1. What am I working on at the moment?
Something really personal, actually. It’s a story that snuck in and surprised me one day while I was busy hammering away at another book. It said, “You’ve spent so much time writing stories about NYC and New Orleans and Las Vegas…it’s time you write about LA.” Then the story just sort of played itself out in my head, and I fell in love with it. I fell in love with the two main characters and the romance they were about to have. I grieved for the trauma I envisioned the heroine experiencing at a young age, the chaos that defines her character. And I felt so much excitement to write about a city I know so well, one I have this intense love/hate relationship with that really shapes the story.
In essence, the story is about the daughter of a pair of infamous rock musicians. She’s the product of this destructive, beautiful relationship and her entire life is spent caught between her parents. They have this insane jealousy of each other, causing them to split the band and pursue separate careers on opposite sides of the country. While the dad goes to Boston, the mother stays in Los Angeles with the daughter…putting her inadvertently in harm’s way.
After the traumatizing event that changes everything, the daughter is sent away from LA to live with her grandparents. She only comes back to LA years later when she learns her mother is dying, and at that point the story begins. Let’s just say it gets very chaotic really fast, and that’s where the suspense comes in. Oh, and she runs into the “hero” of the story, who’s really more of an antihero as he’s not a very good person, and a slow-burning romance develops. He’s the one thing she’s always hated…paparazzi. But he has his own story to tell, one related to the career he had to give up because of a tragedy he accidentally caused. In the end, he overcomes his pride and fears just as much as the heroine does, and they fall in love. 🙂
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’d say it’s more emotional and heartbreaking than the typical Romantic Suspense novel. It delves deeper into the two main characters’ lives and really explores who they are as the story unfolds. They both grow so much as people, and facing danger is only part of their story.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I don’t put limits or labels on myself…I just write what I feel passionate about. When I wrote the Quartet, I was really into fantasy. Then I wanted to experience what it would be like to come from this legendary family dynasty (a la Rockefellar or Kennedy), so I wrote the Vasser Legacy. Then I discovered Ghost Adventures and wanted to write about ghost hunting. And with the latest story, I felt a need to tell a story closer to home. I have no idea what I’ll write about next…I’ll just do it when it comes to me.
4. How does my writing process work?
I outline. Outline, outline, then outline some more. I write out summaries of every scene in every chapter and divide it all up so I know exactly what happens. This allows me to foreshadow later events and plan for plot twists, which are crucial to an interesting story. I make character lists with visual and personality descriptions. I assign all the characters astrology signs to keep track of how they would react to any and all situations. I create timelines so I know what specific day every event takes place on for future reference. And once that’s all done, I finally begin writing.
Writing is always the hard part, as I want to make every sentence and every word choice absolutely perfect. I have a hard time moving on from a scene unless I’m satisfied with it. I also tend to read over past scenes before beginning to write a new scene just to get myself in the zone of the story. I find I get very distracted so sometimes I’ll turn off the internet so I can focus on writing (damn you Facebook!). I’ve also learned that the beginning of the story is always the hardest to get on the page. It isn’t until a few chapters in that I hit my stride and really get inside my characters and feel like I know them. And by that point, it’s like revisiting old friends each time I open the file to write another chapter. It’s such a wonderful emotional release.