What movie do you love to watch?
My son would say Enchanted (with an eye roll and a sigh) but during my husband’s recent deployment, I found I couldn’t watch the happy ever after ending without sobbing. Our action-heavy family movie library got me through, with the Bourne films and Bond films.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
Wherever my family is. To be fair, that deserves a qualifier because I can’t imagine creating any favorite memories with my family if we were in the middle of Siberia without parkas or on a desert island without sunscreen and a cool drink.
Walt Disney World is my favorite vacation destination because you can’t help but smile the moment you arrive. There is a sense of wonder and ease in a Disney resort. A sense that the only thing you need to control is your magic pass, and that can be replaced if necessary. I love that it’s so easy to let go and let them take care of everything else.
Despite the undeniable appeal of WDW, I’m fortunate that being home with my husband, greyhounds, cats, and finches is a very happy place on earth as well.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
Lap top! Well, lap top and my alphasmartNEO. When I really get on a roll, my handwriting is nearly illegible. I often do brainstorming by hand, but sometimes even that is hard for me to decipher later.
I started using an alphasmart years ago so I could keep on writing while waiting in the carpool lane or waiting through my kid’s various practices and activities. Now, with a back injury and an adorable but rather clingy crew of greyhounds and cats, I move around quite a bit from desk to chair to couch, etc. so the laptop and alphasmart are essential to maintaining my productivity.
What’s your favorite part of writing a book?
The unexpected discovery, hands down. I’m what they call a pantser, which means I don’t do a lot of plotting before I start a project. I’ve tried outlines and such, but it just kills the process for me. I absolutely love those ‘aha’ or ‘wow’ moments when a new invention, connection, or plot ripple shows up as I’m writing.
It happens all the time for me in the Shadows of Justice series. In fact, my husband (an Army Reservist who also works for a defense contractor) asked where I came up with one of the inventions when he read the draft of Justice Incarnate. He assured me it wasn’t real – whew – but that was a terrific moment for me because it showed my research of current advances had paid off as my imagination explored how that technology might expand.
The ‘stealth suit’ in Tracking Shadows is another one of those discovery moments that just appeared as I was writing one day. And that ‘aha’ moment led to the entertaining short story, A Gala Extraction, which reveals how Slick Micky got his hands on it in the first place.
How did you come up with your premise for your books?
The Shadows of Justice series started with a short story contest which happened to feature a small snippet of one of Jaden’s lives from what would later become Justice Incarnate. The story won the contest and Jaden was entrenched in my imagination. I knew I had to tell the ‘rest of her story’. Justice Incarnate, book 1, was my first published novel and it sparked this whole dark and edgy world full of unique and gifted characters. Chicago in 2096 has become one of my favorite imaginary playgrounds.
In 2096 things like caffeine, nicotine, and sugar have become illegal or highly regulated substances (thus the need for a smuggler like Slick Micky). The illegal-coffee thing started as a joke because I’m an addict and because when I was crafting that world, the low-carb diet was all the rage and people glared suspiciously if you actually ate bread in public. It was a world-building detail designed to be outrageous and completely over the top and it makes me smile when readers get such a kick out of it.
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Genre – Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Rating – PG-13