Question: How long does it take you to write a book?
Answer: That varies with the book and the other things going on in my life at the time. For example, is my muse with me or has it moved on to some other writer leaving me struggling with a truculent hero and heroine who have no idea what to do next despite what my careful synopsis says they should be doing? Or has the basement flooded, the electrician arrived and the air conditioning quit and the temperatures hit ninety-five?
On average, it takes between three and four months to write most books. However, the older I get, the more I'm pushing four to five months with a month off for good behavior. Don't forget, in between all this writing I have revisions for the last book, proposals for the next book and life in general to get through.
Question: Where do you get your ideas?
Answer: Ideas are in the very air we breathe. They come from everything I see, read, hear, dream. Anything at all can spark an idea. The idea itself means very little. It's the execution of that idea that matters. What if.
Those two little words are the key. Take a simple happening and give it a twist. What if that man standing over there isn't really harmless? What if he's watching that woman over there? And what if I'm the only one who realizes what he's doing? And what if...? See? Anyone can play the what if game.
Put any four authors together give them the exact same 'what if' scenario and you'll get four totally different story ideas from them very quickly. One story might be humorous, one poignant, one filled with suspense, one sexy and bold.
Question: What do you like most about being an author?
Answer: I'd have to say the hours. Though I work every day I can rearrange my schedule most days to fit my needs. How many other jobs are that flexible. Then there's the commute. My idea of a traffic jam is three cats in the hall between me and my office. And the clothing rules. Since my boss is me I don't worry how I dress when I work. Some days it's a skirt and blouse, some nights it's a robe.
Question: What do you dislike most about being an author?
Answer: Lack of social contact. Writing is a solitary job and I tend to be gregarious by nature. It's also way too sedentary for someone with my genetic disposition.
Question: Are your characters based on real people?
Answer: No, I can honestly say none of my characters are based on people that I know, but I strive to make them believable people. I love watching people, seeing how they react and interact and I use that as a basis for some of my characters.
Question: How do you decide where to set your stories?
Answer: Interesting question. I prefer to use familiar settings whenever possible. Fortunately, I've spent time in several states and done a bit of traveling over the years so this isn't difficult. In some instances, my editors request specific story locations.
Question: What do you tell other people who want to be writers?
Answer: Understand that writing is a business.
You have to be able to tell a good story.
You have to be able to tell a story a reader is willing to buy so you need to understand the market and what sells and what doesn't.
You have to sit down and write your story from beginning to end - the entire story, not simply a polished few chapters.
You should consider joining a support group like Romance Writers of America where they offer local chapters and a lot of help to budding authors. rwanational.org
But most importantly, you as an author need to write, write, write!