So, tell us a little bit about yourself.
This question is always so hard for me to answer! ;) I never know how to narrow it down! I'm a wife and a mom – my youngest is three and so I'm very busy at home. Potty training in the midst of writing steamy scenes is… interesting. Haha! I love to do anything creative and I LOVE figuring out how to do things I've never done before. I'm a total homebody and I'd rather be at my house (with my family around me) than anywhere else on earth!
Now, tell us one thing about yourself that you do not usually include in your regular author bio.
Hmmm… I guess that writing a book, putting part of me out there for the general public to judge, is so far out of my comfort zone that some days I think it was completely CRAZY for me to do it. But I honestly didn't think that more than a few neighbors and my husband would read it! I'm still struggling with it on a daily basis. Some days it's just not fun for me – I'm BEYOND grateful, but it's ridiculously scary, too.
Who and what did you grow up reading? Do you remember the first book that you fell in love with?
Yes! I remember LOVING the Flowers in the Attic series. They were so angsty and full of drama! I remember coming to the dinner table with my nose buried in one of those and my mom would yell at me to put it down while I ate! That must be where it all started… ;) The way the author made you WANT a brother and sister to be together… how did she DO that? I always think it's a great storyteller who can convince you of something that is normally completely taboo and out of your comfort zone.
Who would you say has had the most influence over you becoming a writer?
My daughter, Darcy, who was stillborn last year when I was 37 weeks pregnant, due to a cord accident. I started writing a blog about it that I shared with friends and family. It's not something that I'm ready to share publicly, but several people told me that I should write a book after reading it. I'm not ready to write a book about my experience of losing her, but I read a lot of romance novels and so I thought I'd try my hand at that. Sweet, romantic stories are wonderful escapism, and who knows the value of escapism better than me? If I can give that to someone else who is going through a dark time, my heart is full.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
My husband! I told him that it wasn't my calling and he told me I was wrong and that he'd watch the kids while I wrote, if I would just get started. Yeah, he's a keeper.
How long have you been writing? Do you write part-time or full-time?
I've been writing for less than six months. I write part time, when my husband is off and can wrangle the kids, or when they're in bed. It can be hard to have to write when you can find a minute, not necessarily when you're inspired. I carry around a notepad and am CONSTANTLY writing things down as they occur to me, because most often, I can't just run down to the computer when inspiration strikes.
What is your normal writing style? Do you outline and plot or do you just start writing to see where the story takes you?
I have the story semi-outlined in my head, and I do write down a very, very rough outline (think a short list of bulleted ideas), but I really just start writing and see where the story takes me. Leo started out as a very different story than what it became! I like to think that the characters use me to tell their own story and I try to be open to that. ;)
Do you have any quirky writing habits?
I have to be showered and semi put together when I write. Weird, right?? I just don't feel as inspired if I'm still in my p.j.'s or frumpy sweats with a greasy face, when I sit down to write! I'm not sure why… Maybe because my best writing happens when I feel most confident? Not sure… Maybe someone has an idea about that? ;)
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It took me two months to write each of my books. But that was because the stories really flowed right out of me… I'd like to hope that happens next time, too, but I'll have to wait and see!
What would you say is the hardest and the most enjoyable thing about writing?
The hardest thing for me personally is dialogue! A conversation, once started, can go in thousands of different directions! I have a hard time figuring out where to take it a lot of the time… I'm hoping I get better at that with practice!
The most enjoyable thing for me is when I write something that really puts my own feelings about something on paper, in a way that I'm happy with, and that sums up my emotions. It's like therapy!
What has been your most memorable experience since publishing your first book?
I've met the most amazing people! I am constantly FLOORED at the beautiful messages I receive from readers who really connect to one aspect or another in the story. The things people have shared with me is truly humbling and I never, ever take it for granted. If a reader feels comfortable sharing his or her scars with me because of what I wrote, I consider it a gift. An amazing gift!
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Oh gosh, in general? I'd say stop feeling like every time a relationship doesn't work out, that you are not enough in one way or another. You may not be someone's ideal, but that's okay! Who knows what their ideal IS – maybe it's something you wouldn't want to be anyway. You ARE perfect for someone else. Stop beating yourself up. It's such a girl thing. I hope I can help my own daughter avoid some of that.
Give us a little hint and insight into what you are working on at the moment.
I just finished Leo's Chance and I'm still editing. But honestly, you get to a point where you can't even read it one more time! I'm so done with my own story! (Not that it's not incredibly, over –the-top amazing of course), ;) haha, but reading the same thing 25 times gets old. I'm ready to hit publish! :D
Next up is the Scorpio story, and I will say for the first time here, that it's called, Stinger. My main character's name is Carson Stinger and yeah, I'm having filthy thoughts about him. It's slightly distracting. :D I've only written one chapter as of now, though and I'm still kind of feeling out his story. I'm excited to really delve into it, though.
Now, let’s have some fun. What is your favorite pizza topping?
Describe to me your most perfect Ice Cream Sundae.
French vanilla ice cream, carmel topping, whipped cream, Heath bar crunch topping, and peanuts. Wow, I wonder if I can convince my husband to run out to the grocery story now…
As a reader, do you prefer ebooks or paper/hard backs?
I didn't think I'd like my ereader as much as I do, but I love it! I resisted it for a while, but now I'm in deep. In fact, I think I prefer it now. All that actual page turning… so exhausting. ;) My ereader died several months ago and I cried actual tears. True story.
Where is your favorite place to read?
Propped up on my pillows in bed!
If you found yourself stranded on an island, what is the one book you would want with you? And why?
That is a horrible, horrible question. (curled up in the corner in fetal position). ;) I mean, really though? I should probably say the bible. I think in that situation, you'd need to really embrace your spiritual side! :D
I am a huge lover of book quotes, what is your all time favorite quote from a book? And what book is it from?
One of my favorite books of all time is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith and I love this quote, “Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.”
And last but not least, I am an animal lover. Do you have any pets? And if so, what kind and what are their names?
I'm actually not a real animal lover. Don't hate me now! :D I mean, I like animals, especially baby ones, but not necessarily in my home. Despite that, we do have a cat named Shiloh. She's anti-social and likes to shred my curtains.
I just want to say a HUGE thank you to Mia Sheridan for agreeing to be a part of my author spotlight, and for putting so much effort and time into her answers. I absolutely fell in love with Leo. I am dying for the release of Leo's Chance and for the continuation of the Sign of Love series.