Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
I do a lot of research. I'm a bit of a history buff, so accuracy is very important to me. I have been known to spend a night researching indoor plumbing just so a three sentence description of an eighteenth century public lodging house would be accurate. I do research at all phases of my books, depending on what it is I need to know. Quite often I'll be writing along, then get stuck on something I don't know, so I'm off and researching. Thank heaven for the Internet!!! Other times even before I begin, I'll know there's going to be something that hangs me up, so I'll do a bit of pre emptive research. For example, an upcoming book will have to do with fairies and I want to have a good grasp on the mythologies before I start, so I've already begun looking. I love researching almost as much as I love writing!
A lot of my stories have to do with people who are in dire circumstances, in dark places in their lives. Yet there's always something, some hope, however faint and I guess that's what I want my readers to take with them. No matter how awful things are, there's hope.
A bit of both actually. I usually have some kind of vague outline, but quite often I get a curve ball from my imagination that takes everything in a while new direction. And yes, I've certainly had stories that have gone in directions even I couldn't have anticipated. I'm not good with short fiction, it usually ends up wanting to be a novel. And I have characters who almost demand their own novel as I'm writing them. It's quite entertaining at times.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
Probably to get up my nerve to send stuff to publishers sooner!!!
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
Favorite Christmas memory?
Any special Christmas traditions?
Christmas cake or log?
Log, because it's chocolate!
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
DEAD GIRLS, DOGS AND PONIES
Jess was beautiful when she was mad. Today she was
downright gorgeous because she wasn’t mad at me. Her
long black hair spun out in spikes as she turned abruptly,
hand going to her waistband, intending to shoot the
messenger. Her hand curled around the grip of her gun, then
relaxed, then gripped it again.
“Say it again,” she demanded, her voice a throaty growl.
I almost felt sorry for the unfortunate messenger. Almost.
Harry had been a particular thorn in my side many times, and
it was almost cathartic to see him getting his comeuppance.
I could see the emotions warring on his face. He wanted to
not have to say it again. He’d do anything, say anything, to
not be in this position. Any smugness he felt at being the
one to ban Jess and her dynasty from Sanctuary was being
replaced by the icy fear leaking into his spine. Jess was
terrifying when she was angry and you were the target. I’d
been there far too many times myself.
“I said,” she repeated, her voice dropping to a silky purr, “Say
The uninitiated would almost think she was trying to be nice.
I knew better. I’d been long ago initiated into the mysteries
of Jess and her dynasty. She was using the force of her
personality to charm it out of him. And it was working.
He took a deep shuddering breath. At least he could still
breathe. Pity. They thought little enough of Jess that they
sent a mortal servant to do a vampire’s job. I didn’t think
Harry was even officially a spokesperson for the Guardians.
He was only some poor schlub who did odd jobs around
Sanctuary for them, but for some reason someone thought
he was the one who should tell Jess the bad news. That
was... I did some mental reckoning… at least their fourth or
fifth mistake. Someone of Jess’ stature in the city deserved
more than this. I sensed the fine hand of Peter Bennett
behind this. I’d find out sooner or later.
Harry looked confused as he stared deeply into Jess’ eyes,
those chameleon eyes that changed from steel blue to
turbulent grey to laden green, depending on her moods.
Now, as she wove her charm, they were a light blue. I wasn’t
fooled. They’d darken to black soon enough, as soon as she
got what she wanted from Harry.
He decided saying it fast was best. The words came in a
jumble, tumbling one after the other.
“Jessamyn Carlisle of the Quen‐She dynasty, thou and those
of your lineage are hereby banned from Sanctuary for crimes
against your kind. This sentence is passed by your betters
and is immediate and immutable.”