Lady Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel. I read this book in 8th grade, and I believe it’s where my love of hidden identities started. I mean, her husband was practically the world’s first super hero, and she didn’t even know it. How intriguing is that?
Train. Their song Mermaid would be the perfect opening song to my manuscript Romancing the Throne (currently being shopped by my agent), and Save Me San Francisco fits my next novella for Team Love on the Run. But I’m probably partial to the band because my husband proposed to me in a movie theater to a slideshow of our lives with the song Marry Me.
Right now it’s I Samuel 16:7. “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” This verse fits with the whole idea of hidden identities and also inspired False Security.
“Light-hearted and life-changing.” I may write suspense, but it has to have some humor in it and it has to make the reader think deep thoughts, otherwise I don’t feel like I’ve done my job.
Besides the other authors on Team Love on the Run—Heather Woodhaven, Lisa Phillips, and Becky Avella—I also enjoy reading books by Deeanne Gist (also light-hearted and life-changing), Tracey Bateman (she makes me laugh and cry my eyes out), Rachel Hauck (do you see a theme here?), and Denise Hunter (she’s just amazing).
HOPE. I love that word. It’s my life mission. So I HOPE to inspire, create, and encourage HOPE in myself and others through my writing.
Heck yeah, I read reviews. I write for those people after all. If they love the book, I want to know. If they didn’t get it, I want to know. I appreciate feedback and try to learn from it. I can always grow.
Whoa, baby. I am so mean to my characters. In False Security, Laney pulls a gun on the man who loves her. And that’s just the beginning of my cruelty.
My parents. Dad tells stories. (Seriously. When playing “The Dating Game” my mom was asked what was one thing she would change about her husband and she said, “He wouldn’t tell so many stories.”) And Mom writes. (When I was little she sold an article about me to Woman’s World. They printed it along with a picture of me and my 8-year-old mullet haircut.)
Last fall I took a seasonal job at what I thought was going to be a gift shop like Harry and David’s. Good hours. Good pay. But … I also had to help out with butchering dead animals. For eight hours a day. Wearing an XXL butcher jacket in a freezing warehouse. My mom came to get a gift box and laughed her head off at me. Joe, the Mexican butcher, liked to lecture me about how I should have a real job and not just write at home. And the owner liked to make fun of how I always wore pretty shoes even though they got bloody. I hated it at first. HATED. But then I changed my attitude. And ended up changing the whole attitude of the place. Plus I realized how vanilla most of my characters are compared to real people who work at butcher shops. I will fondly remember the experience as “the Christmas of bloody pig butts.”