What the deuce is a FAQ? FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. Below are some commonly asked questions and an answer or two to each.
- What are your books about?
- Where can I get your book(s)?
- Are your books connected? Do you have a series?
- How long are your books?
- Are you writing any more books?
- What inspired you to become a writer?
- Where do you get your ideas?
- How often do you write? Do you have a schedule?
- How long does it take you to write a book?
- Do you plot?
- How much research do you do?
- Do you base characters on people you know?
- How did you become published?
- What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
- Where can I find more information on writing romance?
What are your books about?
All of my books are romances with mystery, intrigue and/or adventure elements. Trust, abandonment, and/or class conflict feature highly in most of my storylines, along with how different people deal and heal when love becomes involved. My main characters always have a strong sense of loyalty, although some of them beat to their own drummer and moral code.
Where can I find your book(s)?
If you would like to purchase any of them hot from the shelf, your local independent or chain is the way to go — and if they don’t have it in stock, they can order it for you. If you are an online shopper, the Amazon links are (in most recent order of publication):
- Seven Secrets of Seduction – June 2010 release
- For the Earl’s Pleasure
- The Bride Price
- Three Nights of Sin
- What Isabella Desires
- The Earl of Her Dreams
- The Viscount’s Wicked Ways
- Daring the Duke – ordering currently unavailable
- Masquerading the Marquess
Are your books connected? Do you have a series?
Of the books currently on shelves, Masquerading the Marquess, Daring the Duke, and What Isabella Desires have connected characters. They can be read alone, but the characters do overlap. The events in the books take place in the order of publication:
- Masquerading the Marquess
- Daring the Duke
- What Isabella Desires
The Viscount’s Wicked Ways and The Earl of Her Dreams are both standalone books. Neither has ties to the other, though in an earlier version of the manuscript, Christian Black in TEOHD did have a friend from Eton named Thomas that never appeared on screen… All winking aside, both books completely stand alone.
Three Nights of Sin, The Bride Price, and For the Earl’s Pleasure are also standalone books.
Seven Secrets of Seduction will begin a three book “series” of connected characters, though each story will be able to be read alone.
How long are your books?
Around 370 pages in their current format.
Are you writing any more books?
Yes! I have a historical romance scheduled for March 2011 and I am currently working on another contracted historical romance – both for Avon/Harper Collins.
What inspired you to become a writer?
Reading mostly, and dreaming up stories and motivations for why people act the way they do.
Where do you get your ideas?
Dreaming, reading, research, strange bursts that seem to come out of nowhere while I’m driving…
How often do you write? Do you have a schedule?
I maintain a weekly schedule rather than a daily page count. As opposed to trying to write, say, 10 pages a day, I instead shoot for 50 pages a week (or whatever the page goal happens to be). I tend to write in bursts, on weekends and late at night, so a weekly goal is much more manageable for me.
When I’m on first draft deadline I write every day (with a day skipped here or there, usually weekends). When not on deadline, my writing pace is more sporadic. It depends on what else is going on – revisions, copyedits, page proofs, plotting, procrastinating, etc.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Depends on what is going on at the time. Between 3 and 9 months — all of which would include research, plotting and revisions.
Do you plot?
I do a mishmash of plotting and diving in to the story. I need to know the bare layout of where I’m going and I usually have a vision of the resolution scene. The joy and torture is in laying everything in between. I do work with an outline that I create from the synopsis I turn into my editor, and I paste in juicy future tidbits as they come to me.
How much research do you do?
It depends on the needs of the story. In terms of getting the feel for the ebb and flow of romance novels — I’ve read thousands. In terms of historical facts – I tend to research as I go, so it is hard to quantify.
Do you base characters on people you know?
hmmm… Could you be more specific?
Yes. The cheerful curve of a mouth, crinkling of the eyes, nervous habit of clicking fingers…
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I know every author says this, but honestly the best advice is to keep writing. Finish a book, revise it, research the market and send some query letters.
Where can I find more information on writing romance?
Romance Writers of America is the best place to start. They have exceptional resources to get you started and moving. And by joining a local chapter you get the friendly, supportive atmosphere for which romance writers are famous. www.rwanational.org
Also check out the Writing Romance forum at eHarlequin. The Q&A archives are a gold mine of plotting, characterization and coping techniques, and the people on the boards are knowledgeable and friendly.
If you would like to increase the frequency of a question you don’t see on the list, implore, inquire or ask me in an e-mail on the contact page.