# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I am a USA Today best-selling author who has been writing romantic suspense for over twenty years. I’ve lived overseas most of that time, and love to travel. The Chase is book two in my US Marshal series. It’s set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest from Seattle to the San Juan Islands as US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn hunt down four bank robbers.
# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
Honestly, I would not want to be most of the characters in my books! I prefer a quiet (boring) life compared to chasing after bad guys and being shot at. In real-life, though, my family and I experienced an armed home invasion a few years ago, something that changed how I looked at my writing. In books, you can tie things up in a neat bow. Life isn’t always like that. Thankfully, we survived that attack, and I have put things from that night in my books.
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
I constantly find inspiration in things around me that make me ask questions, and go off in a tangent with what if? It could be a photo, or a headline, or a clip of something. Anything, really.
# How do you deal with creative block?
Thankfully, I rarely have writer’s block, but if I do get stuck, brainless activities like vacuuming or doing the dishes always get things going again with ideas.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Two things come to mind. Bad editing, and the lack of motivation for a character. I think it’s possible to have characters do almost anything, but if there isn’t motivation behind their actions the story will always fall flat for me.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Covers are the first thing people look at and have to grab your attention, which is hard with so many books out there. They need to look professional and be recognizable for the genre they are in.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I don’t read my reviews for the most part, but I have had people contact me personally with writing advise. I always try to look at whatever the comments are, see if there is anything to learn, then forget it.
# How has your creation process improved over time?
I think it’s become more natural. My mind is always working on something, and a book’s rhythm comes far more naturally now than it used to, as well as my ability to see what is missing in a plot line.
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
I loved the research for this series. I grew up in the PNW and yet researched places I’d never heard of or been to. I’ve been to the San Juan islands now as an adult, but there are still so many places I want to explore.
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I want my readers to love my stories (obviously) but I also want to write books I love. I think the goal is definitely doing both at the same time, something I try very hard to do.
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
A large role, I think. I do pull from my own emotions and experiences in order to deepen the characterization in my stories. I don’t want my stories to be me in a book at all, but if I can dig up feeling and reactions, I think it can make my characters come to life.
# Do you have any creativity tricks?
Watching certain TV shows and reading always triggers something and gets me going!
# What are your plans for future books?
This series has another book coming out in the spring as well as a novella that ties the main characters to my Nikki Boyd, missing person series. I’m super excited about both of these!
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
This is hard. . .We have a family rule (my rule) that you can’t use the peanut butter knife in the jelly, thus getting peanut butter in the jelly. It kind of horrifies me in a weird, quirky way. 🙂