I’ve been asked on several occasions why I write what I write. Other than the simple fact that these are the stories that come into my head and bounce around, driving me crazy, until I write them out, here are a few answers.
You’re a Christian. Why don’t you write Christian fiction?
- Because there are many Christian writers out there who do it so much better than I do.
- Because I don’t want to limit my market.
- Because I’m known to swear in my writing and don’t like to tinker with realistic dialogue to appease those who have a differing opinion on profanity than I do. Words are just words; take away “shit” and someone will just find a new word for it that others will deem unacceptable.
- Because I’m known to choose topics that would make many Christian readers make the forked sign at me to ward off evil and drop to their knees to pray for me.
Your stories have action in them, but no one can argue that they’re character-driven. Why the focus on characters instead of action?
- My favorite books are those whose characters are as real to me as the person sitting next to me. Those authors took the time to develop intensely realistic characters to add a dimension of depth that many action-packed stories lack.
- I’m better at character development than I am at writing action scenes.
- I’m fascinated by people, by what leads them to the decisions they make, be they good or bad decisions, and like to explore what makes my characters tick.
- Character matters. Character, for me, does more to drive a plot than mere actions, because character is often behind the decisions people make. Character gives those decisions or actions meaning.
Why aren’t you trying to write the next “great” literary novel?
- Because I have a secret fear of one of my books being selected for Oprah’s Book Club? Nah, not really. Well, mostly not really.
- I don’t care about being a “literary” great. I’m not here to raise your social conscience on any topic. I’m not here to be your moral compass. I’m here to entertain you for a while. I’m here to make you forget your own reality for a time. If you want more than that from your reading material, I’m not your girl.
Why do you write both contemporary – and humorous – romance, and paranormal?
- Everyone has light and dark in them. Stories of both kinds float to the surface, and I’m as compelled to write paranormal as I am to write romance.
- To keep myself balanced. Spend too much time wandering around in dark subjects, it has an effect on you. The humorous, contemporary romances balance out the dark, demonic works, and keep me on an even keel when I’m writing. Likewise, too much froth makes one float in the clouds. I always work on two books at one time: one romance and one paranormal so I don’t drift over that line of balance.
You’ve said you’re not a romance writer but a relationship writer. What’s wrong with romance?
- Nothing is wrong with romance. But after a youth spent devouring Harlequins and Silhouettes and various other romantic fare, I realized I wasn’t satisfied with a neat happily-ever-after. I want to explore what happens after the happily-ever-after.
- There is so much more to relationships than romance. So many romance novels explore those falling-in-love champagne bubbles, but I just can’t limit myself to that. Those bubbles pop, and those feelings fade. I like to dig deep into the meat of the relationship, the arguments, the conflicts, the result of leaving the cap off the toothpaste too many times or clogging the drain with hair. Real love comes from dealing with those things every day and still choosing to love that person every day.
- I want to offer you more than a frothy, light-hearted fling. I want to make you fall in love with my characters. I want your heart to break with theirs. I want you to ride that same emotional rollercoaster I put my characters on for the duration of their story.
How long will both series (The Devil’s Mansion and Harper & Lyttle) continue?
- As long as plots and characters for each spring into my mind, I will continue to write in both.