1. If you could trade places with any of your leading ladies, who would it be and why??
It would have to be Kate Andretti (later Kate Lucchesi) in REVENGE, because Mafia don Enrico Lucchesi is my favorite of all my heroes so far. In my mind, he looks just like David Gandy. Don’t know who he is? You can find out here and thank me later: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDavidGandy
2. In 5 words, please describe your ‘Romance Writing Style’.
Intense, steamy, gritty romantic suspense
3. Are any of your more ‘passionate’ scenes, based on any real life experiences?
LOL, Stephanie!!! Of course, to some degree at least, but that’s all I’m saying. 😉
4. What is your ‘girl vice’? ie getting your hair done? Nails? Shopping? Gossiping? Chick flicks?
Shopping–my closets are stuffed FULL!!! Seriously, I need to do some purging. I have no empty hangers!
5. Are any of your leading ladies, based on your you or any of the ladies in your life? If so, who?
All of my heroines have some bit of me in them, or bits of my friends. That’s what makes them real, but none of them are “me.”
6. When writing your more ‘adult’ scenes, do you picture what’s happening in your head, then write what you see? Or do you use another technique?
I picture it all in my head, like any other scene. When I write, it’s like a movie that’s playing in my head, and I’m just frantically trying to keep up and get it down coherently.
7. This or That ~ Wine or Beer? Sex in the City or Caroline in the City? Perfume or Jewelry? Painted nails or Au Natural? Tall or Dark or Handsome?
Wine (especially riesling). Sex in the City!!! (I LOVE Samantha.) Jewelry! Au naturel nails (though I used have them painted all the time; it’s just too much work!). How about all three (tall, dark, AND handsome)? Okay, okay, if I have to choose… handsome.
8. Do your leading men come from any place in particular? Dreams? Movie stars? Your partner? Past partners?
Dreams sometimes, but often they come from movie stars or male models I see in magazines (see David Gandy above — when I saw that Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue ad of him lying back in the boat, my imagination was off and running!). On occasion, they’ve been based on partners… but I’m not telling who!
9. What is the first romance novel you ever read? How old were you?
I read a bunch of Harlequins and a few Barbara Cartlands in my teens (probably started around 11 or 12), but I didn’t become obsessed until I found Joanna Lindsey’s pirate books that came out in the 80’s. Those had all the “naughty bits” that I was looking for. Plus, hot pirates!
10. Do you write for a particular audience or for yourself and pray others like it as well?
I have to like it or I can’t write it, so I’m trying to please myself first. After that, I go by my critique partner’s (the awesome Kristine Cayne) reaction. If she likes it, I’m sure it’ll do well with many other readers, but I know I won’t please everyone. That’s just life.
11. What was the LAST (most recent) romance novel you read? Did you enjoy it?
LOVE BY DESIGN by Liz Matis (part of the SUGAR AND SIN book bundle that I’m currently reading and reviewing). It was a really fun romp that made me laugh out loud several times, and it has a very hot Australian hero in it. ROWR!
12. As a writer of romance, do you ever put yourself in your leading lady’s shoes and ‘walk’ around in them before you write?
Yes. I have to. I usually write a bio of their life up until the book starts, and I spend enormous amounts of time thinking about what they’d do in their situation, how they’d react, what they’d say. I mumble to myself a lot! And I always come up with great ideas in the shower, so thank goodness I heard about Aqua Notes: http://amzn.com/B003W09LTQ. They’ve saved many a great line of dialogue or a plot twist from going down the drain.
13. Would You Rather ~
Live 1 wk in your leading lady’s shoes
The leading lady from another author? Who & Why?
Man! That’s a tough question! My leading ladies have to deal with the Mob, so their lives aren’t easy, but damn, the men are HOT! Plus they all live in Italy, so there’s that. Considering that a lot of the other heroines in romances that I like are living with vampires, demons, or other supernatural creatures, I think I’d probably find the Mob easier to deal with! Plus, as much as I’d love to be a vampire who doesn’t age and has super strength, I really, really, really couldn’t imagine drinking blood for the rest of my life. And I can’t imagine not having chocolate ever again!!!
14. Do you have any advice to give the leading lady of the novel you are currently working on or just finished?
I’d tell Bianca (the heroine of REDEMPTION, the book I’m currently working on) to hang in there. It will get better, and you will be happy in the end!
15. How hard do you try to keep your ‘love’ scenes realistic and flow with the plot? Does it come easy for you?
Love scenes are very important. They change the relationship and show the progression of emotion and commitment. They usually come easily to me, and if they don’t, I know something isn’t quite right. I’m either forcing the characters to go in a direction they don’t want to, or I’m worrying about what people will think of what’s happening on the page. I just have to turn off outside worries and let the characters go.
16. in 5 years, where would you like to be in your career as a romance author? 10 years?
In five years (hopefully sooner), I’d love my writing to be paying all my bills. In ten years, I’d like to have several successful series out and hopefully be building up a nest egg for retirement. I know that probably makes me sound like I’m doing this just for the money, but it’s really about me wanting to do what I love full-time and not having to pick up other work to make ends meet. 🙂
17. When it comes to mainstream Romance authors, who do you enjoy curling up with to read?
I love Delilah Marvelle, JR Ward, Larissa Ione, Kristine Cayne, and Emma Holly. They’re all auto-buys for me.
18. If your sweetheart wanted to sweep you off your feet, what would they need to do??
My hubby writes me poems. He wrote the most beautiful wedding vows. Romance me with words, and I’m yours. 🙂
19. In the spectrum of ‘Romance’, where would you place your most recent novel? Closer to the ‘Sweet’ side or ‘Naughty/Erotica’ side or somewhere in the middle??
The one that just came out, MALAVITA, is the sweetest I’ve written, though I wouldn’t call it sweet! The leads are in their teens, so I knew up front that it wasn’t going to be as steamy as REVENGE or RETRIBUTION, but it’s not for kids either. The one I’m working on, REDEMPTION, is much naughtier, but I always want to get the romance in, because the emotional connection is the heart of the story, and it’s what draws readers (and me) in and makes you root for the characters to be together. The hot sex is just a bonus!
20. Do you ever daydream about people you see at the park? Airport? Train station? Mall? And build romance scenes around them while you daydream?
On occasion. I remember one time being at a coffee place and this tall, dark, and drop-dead GORGEOUS man walks in. He seriously could have been on the cover of GQ. He was meeting the guy at the table next to mine and they were old friends, so I ended up hearing all about him. (I couldn’t help it; the place was small and quiet!) He was French and had the sexiest accent. Married of course with a wife and kids he talked about in the most charming and heartfelt way. He’ll end up in one of my books someday!
21. This or That ~ Romantic Dinner at Home or Romantic Dinner Out? Roses or Lilies? Diamonds or Emeralds? Demure or Sex Kitten? Making love on a secluded Beach or Making love in a secluded cabin in the woods?
Romantic dinner out. Roses. Diamonds. Sex Kitten! Making love on a secluded beach (hey, that scene’s in REVENGE!).