Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Hi Molly. Thanks for having me today. Writing from south of Atlanta, I'm an author of historical and contemporary adventures. My current release is TURTLE SOUP, an environmental sweet romance set between Atlanta and the island of St. Thomas. All of my books have sea themes, but TURTLE SOUP is one of my favorites because I have a soft spot for sea turtles.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
The only time I'm ever scared when I write a story, is if I don't know where I'm going. I can't write by the seat of my pants like some authors. The story already has to be in my head, and working up an outline helps me to see the waypoints I need to help the plot progress.
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Absolutely. Although I don't base characters on myself, I do use a lot of my experiences to bring stories to life. I've taken dive classes, gone on cruises, and even taken a weekend tour of Savannah, Georgia, to eat at a famous restaurant in order to make everything as realistic as possible.
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
I usually dip my toe into a subject before I begin writing, but I leave major research for my second draft. Getting the story down on paper is the hardest step for me; afterwards I submerge myself in the details and work them into the scenes.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
Besides taking my readers on faraway adventures, I hope to inspire others to care a little more about people, animals, and the planet. There is always a romantic subplot in my work, and I strive to keep the romance sweet and refreshing.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
As I mentioned, definitely a plotter, but that doesn't mean the story doesn't take some turns that surprise me!
How long did it take for you to be published?
Once I sincerely began submitting my work, it took a little over a year to get my first contract. I have been writing all my life--the journey has been a long one. Now that I am seeing everything I've hoped for come to fruition, I feel that every sacrifice has been worth it.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
Trust yourself. I've never had a hard time taking criticism because I understand I can learn from it. That being said, I do wish I would have been more confident and bold when I first began.
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Both! I must have paper and pencil to draw out plot maps and outline my ideas. When it comes time to write the story, I can't do it without a keyboard. I type faster than I think these days.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
I would say my writing has been most influenced by Jane Austen and Patrick O'Brian. I love their voices, style, and wit. Right now I am into the PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIAN series when I'm not reading new releases for review purposes. I have also discovered some new authors I enjoyed this past year: Miss Mae, Linda Swift, Anne Patrick, P.I. Barrington, and many other exciting authors on the rise.
I LOVE the Percy Jackson series!
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I've been asked this before and I'm sure those familiar with me already know—that I have four boys. Growing up with four brothers, it hasn't been a big deal for me to be surrounded by all this bedlam, but some people find it interesting. I couldn't imagine myself with a house full of girls. Just doesn't process.
What is your Prom story?
My parents moved right before my senior year. My prom date was some kind of parental intervention--a set up. Luckily, my date and I were good friends and both survived but I try not to think on those times. Being a teenager was the hardest thing I ever endured, bar none!
Favorite Mother’s Day memory?
All of my memories of Mother's Day blur together. Just good times with my family—a few flowers and rose bushes. It's nice to be appreciated.
If you have children, does the end of school signal loss of writing time for you?
Yes! I write during school hours and then late in the evening when everyone is in bed. It's important to me to balance the free time I have seeing to my duties as a mother and homemaker. I'm not perfect, but I try to make sure that I keep in mind what is most important in life—and that's family.
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
Thanks for having me! Guests can find out more about my books (and me), and especially TURTLE SOUP, by visiting my website.
My next release will be out July 1st with Desert Breeze Publishing. Titled BY HEART AND COMPASS, it's a shipwreck adventure for contemporary romance readers. Watch for it!
TURTLE SOUP Blurb:
Sea turtles may be endangered but after an encounter with marine biologist, Jack Brandon, nothing will stop Sara Hart from naming her deli Turtle Soup. When Jack takes a job at the nearby Georgia Aquarium, Sara finds the environmental poster boy at her door, hungry and carrying a chip on his shoulder. Neither thinks the other has what it takes, until a scuba class reveals what lies beneath the surface.
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TURTLE SOUP Excerpt:
Jack rotated and refilled some of the tanks. Guffin gave him a slap on the back. "Lock-up the classroom, will you? I've got to call the front office."
"Sure." Out of the corner of his eye he saw Sara peeling off her wet suit. She was under the shower head in the rinse area, one hand against the green tile to keep her balance.
He couldn't help watching the little wiggle in her hips. The harder she pulled, the longer the rubber stretched as if it were a piece of black gum. He would have laughed out loud if jets of water weren't smoothing her hair down in a wheat curtain against her back.
Her legs were athletic and trim. She needed a tan, his defenses observed. Before he could stop himself he stepped into the shower to help her pull the wetsuit the rest of the way off. He caught her off balance and had to grab her wrist so she didn't fall. Her hand landed squarely on his bare chest, his eyes in the valley between the cups of her dark bikini.
One leg of the wetsuit had flopped to the tiles, while the other was still glued to her calf. She looked down foolishly for a moment as if unsure what to do but their eyes met and she seemed to trade her embarrassment for unease.
The words I'm sorry passed through his mind, but he kissed her instead. Without thinking, he closed his eyes and put his mouth on hers, timidly, in case she bit him. She didn't bite, but she didn't lean into him either. Her lips had a light layer of salt residue that had not rinsed off and he kissed her harder enjoying the scent of her breath that rose up with the steam.
With a jolt the water temperature switched to ice cold and he stumbled back. Sara had not been lost as lost in the moment as he'd thought. "I'm sorry," she said as she screwed the faucet handle off.
She wiped the water off her face and ran her hands over her hair. He moved to put his arms around her again but she stepped back out of reach. "Don't. I'm sorry. I didn't mean that."
Her face was so red it looked like her cheeks could bleed. Humiliation singed Jack's pride. "You didn't mean that?"
"No." She tripped over her wetsuit trying to escape.
He reached for a towel and wordlessly she accepted. Struggling, she pulled the other leg of her wetsuit off at last. He stood on the pool deck waiting for something more.
Of course she didn't mean it. She didn't like him one iota. She would head straight home and tell her little niece everything. There'd be a cookie on the menu tomorrow called Crummy Kiss.
He drew an angry breath but before he could insult her, she stuck her hand out like a traffic cop. "Don't say it."
"Say what?" A cold wave of disgust washed over him. Why had he let himself think she was different? "What makes you think I meant it either?" He thought he saw her eyes water but she quickly wiped her face. He spun on his heel and stalked off before she looked up again.