Her passion for writing led her quite accidentally to a career in journalism and to North Carolina where, at the ripe old age of thirty-five, she bought her first horse because it was a little pathetic to still be asking Santa for a pony.
Her Every Second Counts is a Goldie finalist in the Ann Bannon Popular Choice and Traditional Contemporary Romance categories. I asked her to respond to the 6 questions you posed on Facebook – and here are her replies.
1) Who/What is your favorite book/author? Why?
I have lots of favorites, but the top of my list is Radclyffe and Gerri Hill. They write with such feeling and intensity, that I’m always instantly lost in their books. They are my role models for writing.
2) What has been your most surprising or interesting inspiration for a book?
Every Second Counts, which is quickly becoming my best seller, evolved from two surprising sources. After my second book, Long Shot, was released, several readers wrote to say they wanted Bridgette to get the girl in that story. I tucked that in the back of my mind and forgot it for about two years. Then a new author’s challenge started up on the Radclyffe yahoo group and I had a good idea from a discussion with co-workers about the body scanners used by the TSA at the airports. People were calling the newsroom where I work to demand that the newspaper write something about how invasive they are. When I wrote the story for that author’s challenge and I realized that Marc Ryder was the butch who could rock Bridgette Leroy’s world. I actually used that author’s challenge as the prologue for Every Second Counts.
3) Writing is emotional and can be isolating. From where do you get your support?
I get great support and amusement breaks from my three terrier-mix pups. I have an office, but mostly sit on my recliner sofa to write so they can compete for who gets to sit next to me while I’m working. They are very busy pups, playing, napping, running in and out of the pet door to bark in the back yard. And, they love to pause their playing to come ask for a hug or a throw of the ball. It keeps me grounded and I never feel alone. I do have friends and family, of course, but when I’m writing on a contract deadline, I often neglect them.
4) What does it mean to you to see your work in print and then up for an award?
I don’t think I’ll ever get over that flush of wonder when you see your box of author’s copies on your doorstep and open it to hold your book in your hands for the first time. And, although awards don’t actually translate in to additional sales, they are affirmation that somebody thinks you have done something good. Of my two books that came out last year, Hold Me Forever, is a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards and Every Second Counts is a finalist for both the Ann Bannon Popular Choice and Traditional Romance categories. I’m especially chuffed about being a Bannon finalist because it is an award voted upon by the GCLS membership. The other awards are judged in the typical way, scoring certain aspects of the book, then seeing how the scores add up to compete with other books.
5) What is next on your personal bucket list to accomplish (literary or otherwise)?
I’m starting to edit my first fantasy novel, and it will be a series of three books. It was exceedingly difficult to world-build and I’m not sure I’ve produced anything noteworthy, but it has been fun. I like the black and white aspect of good and evil in the fantasy genre … not to mention horses that transform into dragons and pyro warriors…lots of fun.
6) What are you working on now and what’s next up for publication?
I have two books coming out in 2015. The first installment of my fantasy series, Dragon Horse War: The Calling, will release in February, and Riding Passion will release possibly in May, that that date is still tentative.
Riding Passion is a D. Jackson Leigh sampler. It includes a handful of my previously published short stories that have been scattered about in other anthologies, and a handful of new stories. The anthology rates high on the “scorcher” scale and a lot of the stories revisit characters from my novels. And, yes, one story does revisit Ryder and Bridgette from Every Second Counts and involves a birthday gift, but that’s all I’m going to say. Best of all, the book is anchored by a novella that is written in three parts: Chasing Passion, Riding Passion, and Passion’s Bond. I think the novella is some of my best writing.