RITA Award-Winning Romance Author


What is the next book and when is it in stores?

Sometimes I don’t know when my next book will be available, but that doesn’t mean I’m not writing — I am! I am always writing. But I don’t want to post information about my next book until it’s been confirmed. I promise you, if I know I will post it on my site. Always check my home page and Coming Next pages or Follow me on Facebook to be the first to know more details.

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Why do your paperback books come out two weeks before the copyright date and the ebooks are released on that date?

The short answer is... that’s the way Harlequin does things.
Harlequin needs to release several of their series lines and it would overwhelm bookstores to have to shelve them all on the first of the month, I imagine. So they stagger what week which lines are released. Ebooks don’t have that problem.

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Why did you choose to write in the Regency time period?

I actually started out writing Contemporary romance even though I always loved to read historical romance. I was trying to break into Harlequin or Silhouette, but then a friend introduced me to wonderful books by Mary Jo Putney, Laura Kinsale, and Mary Balogh, as well as traditional Regencies (I devoured them like candy) and the master of them all, Georgette Heyer. I adored Regency romances with their London seasons, country houses, lords and ladies, their former soldiers, and vicar’s daughters. At one of the Romance Writers of America conferences I learned that all the major publishers bought Regency historicals. So I decided to get over my fear of historical research and write what I loved to read. Ironically, my first sale was to Harlequin— Mills and Boon, the UK branch of Harlequin. That book became The Mysterious Miss M.

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Don’t you have to do a lot of research to write Historicals?

Yes, but I discovered that I love the research. I love learning about the Regency time period. I love buying research books and if you read my blogs, you know I buy a lot of them. Even more, I love research trips to the UK! I’ve been on two tours of England and Scotland that were designed for writers and every day was a joy of discovery. I’ve been to Bath, Brighton, London, Edinburgh, and countless country estates, like Stratfield Saye, Bowood, Chatsworth. I plan to return to the UK for more research trips. Stay tuned. You’ll hear of them on my website.

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In your bio you mention having reaped a world of friendships. What did you mean by that?

Writing romance has opened up a word of friendships for me, friends who are near and dear to my heart and who have enriched my life in indescribable ways. I hesitate to list them because there are so many, and I am bound to leave someone out. I have wonderful critique partners who have been with me from the beginning, my dear friends Julie, Helen, and Virginia. And my other critique group and dear friends, Darlene Gardner, and Lisa Dyson.

Even though they are not “official” critique partners, I must mention friends Mary Blayney and Lavinia Kent, also of Washington Romance Writers. Of course I must include Amanda McCabe and the other authors at Risky Regencies, all my friends at The Beau Monde, and the incomparable Wet Noodle Posse.

And then there is All Of Us. When I first started writing and connecting with other writers online, I met Marg Riseley, an Australian writer. We shared the same birthday and a lot more. Through Marg, I became a part of an international email loop, All Of Us, that includes close friends, some of whom I have never met face-to-face. I have met Australian Melissa James who also writes as Lisa Chaplin, and and fellow American Becky Wade. And I hope to meet Lizzy Chandler soon.

Gee, there are so many more I could mention. All the ladies who went on the two England tours with me. Other friends from RWA. Readers who have become friends, like Mary K, Judy T, Keira Soleore, Kim L and Melissa L. Booksellers. Reviewers. Kristine Hughes Patrone and Victoria Hinshaw of Number One London Blog. The Harlequin Historical authors. The Mills and Boon authors. You can see what I mean. I could go on and on....

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What is The Wet Noodle Posse?

The Wet Noodle Posse is a group of writers who were all Golden Heart finalists for 2003. Each year the finalists for the Golden Heart, Romance Writers of America’s highest prize for unpublished writers, band together on an online loop to share the experience. The GH finalists for 2003 were no different except after the awards were made, they didn’t drift apart. Instead they became even closer, bonding together and supporting each other throughout each other’s journey in the romance writing world. The name Wet Noodle Posse came from a tendency to beat each other with wet noodles if any of us wavered in our confidence to succeed in writing. It is difficult to describe the bonds that tie this group together, but they are strong and caring and unwaveringly supportive. The Wet Noodle Posse also has a blog and you will find me posting there at least once a month, as well as commenting more often. Our motto is “Be Good to Yourself....Or Else.”

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Do you ever miss working as a mental health social worker?

I loved my profession and I am intensely proud of my service as a mental health social worker and psychotherapist. I loved helping people, and I still miss my clients. They taught me so much about life and about people and have helped make me into the person I am now. I would not trade a minute of the years I devoted to county service, but it was time for me to move on to my new venture of writing romance. The helping professions can be very stressful and stress can wear out a person. I wanted to leave knowing I had not slipped in my ability to be helpful. And I think I did leave before that could happen. I know I left my clients in the hands of very talented, committed, and caring colleagues. They are still receiving the best of care.

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