Hmm. What do I want to say about In Want of a Wife (released May 2014)? Some readers are surprised when I mention I don’t title my books. Sometimes I have more input than others. Sometimes I go along to get along, and sometimes I really, really like a title that another person comes up with. In the case of In Want of a Wife, my editor beautifully tapped into the story. I’ve written variations on the mail order bride theme, but I have never approached it as straightforward as I did this time. That struck me as odd when I thought about it because I enjoy that particular trope. I suppose it was about time that I got around to using it.
I am enjoying working in the Western genre. I love Regencies (maybe another reason I was drawn to the In Want of a Wife title), but they are a tad confining in terms of the years in which they take place. There is more latitude with Westerns, so much so that they can be contemporary.
In Want of a Wife is the 3rd story to take place in Bitter Springs, Wyoming. I don’t have plans to return to the town. The town and the characters might appear as a throwaway reference point in some future book, but I think I’ve told all the town gossip that was rattling around in my head.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Morgan Longstreet is aggressively ginger. I had in mind a young Damian Lewis when I was working on the book. I’m having a hard time coming up with another redhead. Maybe Heath Ledger if he were a redhead (oh, and alive). I pictured Mara Rooney in my head (and on my desktop) when I was writing about Jane Middlebourne.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I don’t know what other people do. I sit. And sit. I face the computer and sit some more. I might stretch. I might even go take a shower. And then I sit. I don’t give up.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I don’t go looking for reviews (that’s kind of revealing). Usually I see them because someone sends them to me. For me a bad review is one in which the reviewer retells the story and never mentions the writing. A good review is one that tells me how the reviewer connected with the story, the characters, and the writing. That’s more helpful. An awful, terrible, horrible, very bad review is one that gives a plot point away after I tried to reveal it slowly and carefully to the reader. There was a main character in one of my books who was blind (I’m not saying which book, you understand). The reviewer just put it out there. I have words for what I thought about that, but I can’t repeat them here.
If I’m in complete slug mode, I watch TV or do the Sunday Times crossword or play spider solitaire or read or watch snow fall. I have some ‘connect the dot’ books. I find connecting dots to be weirdly relaxing. It’s also relaxing to ride my bicycle, mow the lawn (please, I have a tractor…I’m not pushing the thing), or take a walk.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Just do it.
What is your favorite book?
For a lot of reasons that I won’t go into, I usually say Atlas Shrugged. Unfortunately, the book’s got so much baggage in this current political climate that I figure there are people who will make assumptions about me based on that choice. Soooo…aw, who cares…it’s still my favorite book.
Who is your favorite author?
What is your favorite movie?
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Benjamin Franklin. I want to hear all about the Continental Congress. I want a first hand account of what it was like to hear the Declaration of Independence for the first time and how they debated and compromised and arrived at a final document of such infinite beauty. And the kite story would be fun, too.
What is the most interesting trip you have ever taken?
You probably don’t mean LSD, right? Hmm, then I’d say it was the 3 day voyage away from Cape Henlopen, Delaware out into the Atlantic to collect samples of marine life. When I wasn’t hanging over the side being sick, I was able to dive off the top deck of the vessel into crystal blue water while someone stood by watching for barracuda. A good time was had by all.
If you weren't a Romance author, what would have been your next career choice?
This is always a strange question for me because I don’t identify myself as a Romance author. My professional identity is connected to the human services field as a child and family therapist. So I guess I’m a counselor whose next career choice would be as a Romance author.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
You’re kidding. Are we talking most embarrassing today, this past week, or month? I’ve got so many to choose from. Ok, I’ll just put it out there. I went to a birthday party when I was in 7th grade and I laughed so hard I peed myself and it left a little wet spot on the chair I was sitting in and when a friend saw it, she called me out on it, and I lied and said I spilled something and was just too embarrassed to say so. Of course, I was really too embarrassed to admit the truth. It still happens when I laugh too hard…or sneeze unexpectedly…or have a coughing fit…the difference now is that I just don’t care. It’s happening to my friends, too.
White wine or red?
I don’t like wine. It tastes like medicine, except for communion wine. I admit it. I am a Philistine.
Paper books or ebook?
It’s a space issue. I don’t have room for paper books any longer. So ebooks it is.
Coffee or tea?
Cook dinner or order take-out/delivery?
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
Pancakes or eggs?
Sleep in or get up early?
Get up early
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Desktop, but only because I’ve always been a Mac girl.