Great to welcome you to my site for the first time! Shall we get started with the interview?
1) Did you set any goals for 2011?
In January, my friends and I gathered during the full moon (seriously.) We built a bonfire and wrote the things we wanted out of our lives on pieces of paper and threw them in the fire. Then, we put our goals for 2011 into the universe and released lanterns over the pond. About 70% of my goals have been achieved this year, which included selling my first contemporary romance.
2) What is the best part of the writing process for you?
Writing. I love it. I love to sit in front of the blank computer screen and let my fingers fly across the keyboard. I have no idea what’s going to manifest. It’s so exciting.
3) The worst part?
Promoting, blogging, websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I haven’t worked on my latest book in 2 weeks because I’ve been so bogged down meeting the promotion demands. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve met a lot of really nice people and I’ve learned a lot along the way, which will make things easier in the future. I’d simply prefer doing nothing but writing all day.
4) What is the book you wish you’d written?
I think I’m working on it now. I can see my writing maturing and hopefully improving with every book. The story I’m working on now is about a woman who was in an abusive marriage. She changes her identity and moves to the outreaches of rural Alaska. The story is about rediscovering who she is. She’s clever and strong and her husband gets what he deserves in the end.
5) Favourite author/s & book/s?
My hands down favorite author is Elizabeth George. She writes British mysteries even though she isn’t British. I can identify with her character, Barbara Havers. She’s rough around the edges, kind of frumpy and needs to learn some manners and I just love her! I also enjoy Ken Follett, Daniel Silva and I liked the Steig Larsen trilogy. In the romance genre, I like Jodi Thomas, Pamela Morsi, LaVyrle Spencer, Rachel Gibson and Christie Ridgeway. I like romances with a witty heroine.
6) Tell us about your latest release?
Redneck Ex is a contemporary romance being released by The Wild Rose Press on Jan 20, 2012. I’m so excited!!
7) Tease us with a blurb/short excerpt
With one twang of a banjo string, Summer Leigh Johnson's tidy, organized life in Barrow, Alaska is jolted back to the Ozarks. When her coon-hunting, tobacco-chewing, bull-riding, redneck ex-husband asks for her help, she has two options: turn her back on him like he did to her eleven years ago, or help. Burdened with the curse of every southern woman--What Would Mama Do?--she goes to his aid. And what does she find? The man she fell in love with all those years ago and a second chance at love and family. The last time she gave her heart to Dwight, he flicked it aside like an empty can of Skoal. This time he's cradling it as gently as he would a speckled pup.
It will take a lot more than Dwight's southern charm and good looks to convince Summer to stay.
This is the book trailer.
8) What is your favourite attribute of the hero and heroine?
Oh, my babies, Dwight and Summer Leigh. Dwight is a charming devil. What I like most about him is his sincerity. He’s taken stock of his life and realizes the stupidest thing he ever did was divorce Summer Leigh and he wants her back. He’s honest and open, but Summer Leigh can’t quite grasp that he’s truly changed.
Summer Leigh is one determined and independent woman. I appreciate the way she sets her mind on something and makes it happen. She has her dream job, great friends and travels as much as she wants. Her greatest attribute, her independence, is also her biggest flaw.
9) What’s next?
I’m working on the final edits of Santorini Sunset, which will be released in the spring 2012 by The Wild Rose Press. I’m also working on a women’s fiction novel, Ex-Ray, and fantasy romance called Loch Lonnie.
10) Tell me where you write?
In a blue leather recliner in my living room. I’ve tried setting up desks and writing tables and for some reason I can never get the ergonomics right and end up with aches and pains. Sitting the recliner seems to work the best. I also like working in the living room because it has a wall of windows that looks out over a sloping lawn that is surrounded by the forest. So, when I get stuck on something, all I have to do is glance up and I’m inspired.
11) Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?
NY Times Bestseller with speaking engagements at fun conferences. I want to travel in order to do research for my books and I plan on having someone else take care of the promoting so I can have hours and hours to devote to writing.
12) Where can we find you?
Thanks for being here, Claire - really enjoyed your interview! I felt the same way as you about promotion until I attended a conference this year where an author told the writing audience, "Work out how much writing time you have each day and allow only a quarter of it to promo." Works for me!