Author Interview! -
1. What was your first book? Tell us a little about it.
The first book I published for Avon Inspire was called HIDDEN. It was first published in 2008. Oh, I was so worried about incorporating all the ‘right’ details about the Amish in this book! I remember looking up almost everything and feeling frustrated because I got so many varied answers. The book is still one of my favorites because it was so different than any other Amish romance I had read. It was about Anna, an Englischer girl who goes into hiding in an Amish B&B.
2. How has your writing evolved since you first started writing?
I feel like I’ve become a better writer. I take more chances now with both plot and characters. I’ve learned to let the characters tell the story that they want me to tell. I’ve also learned to accept advice from both my critique partners and my editors. If they say something isn’t working, I go back and rework the story.
3. Of all your books-which one is your favorite? And why?
My favorite Amish romance has been A SISTER’S WISH because it featured a girl in love with her older brother’s friend. I’ve just always been a fan of that plot. I’ve published over 60 books, but I would have to say that my favorite is a western called A TEXAN’S HONOR. It’s a fast-paced, western romance that starts with a train robbery and goes on from there. I loved writing it. It’s one of the few novels I’ve written where I completely lost track of time.
4. And again, of all your books-which one was the most difficult to write and why?
Boy, this is a tough question for me! I’m a fast writer, but I’m not a confident writer. So, most of the time while I’m writing a book, I’m sure it’s terrible. In that way, a lot of my books are difficult for me. That said, the most difficult was a novel called THE CAREGIVER. It featured an abused heroine and a secondary plot about the heroine’s best friend, who was undergoing cancer treatment. I took both of those issues very seriously and wanted to do the characters’ justice. That meant I did lots of research and read lots of blogs written by women dealing with either spousal abuse or cancer treatment. I probably get my most reader mail about this book-a lot of people have liked it. I did a lot of crying while writing it, though!
5. I have read so many of your books and have loved them all. But this one…I think this is one of my favorites. I just loved the characters and it felt so much more edgy and real to me.
Thank you! I really have enjoyed writing this series because the books and plots are very different than my usual romances. For HIS GUILT, I liked the challenge of writing about a hero who had a dark, secretive past. I really felt sorry for him - even though I made him up. I wanted to make the reader be on his side with me, even when many of the other characters in the book weren’t sure whether to trust him or not.
6. How did you come about choosing and developing the characters? And without giving too much away-how did you come to developing this story-line?
When I first researched Hart County, KY, I learned that the Amish there owned and worked in a lot of greenhouses. So, I knew I wanted my heroine to work there. I also wanted her to kind of be anyone’s next door neighbor-kind of girl. Approachable and nice. After I got her figured out…I started wondering what kind of man would both attract her and make her wary at the same time. And that’s how I came up with Mark Fisher. Everything kind of went on from there.
7. Lastly (again without giving too much away) tell us a little about the next book ( and about writing the next book) in the series-The Gift. Please tell us something that we don’t already know, something that is not in the blurb.
Oh, this is a fun question! Here are two details that aren’t in the blurb.
One is ‘the gift’ doesn’t refer to a present. It stands for something else.
The second is that a good portion of the book takes place in Horse Cave…and here I don’t mean Horse Cave, KY. I mean underground, in the actual cave. And yes, I went down into the cave myself. It was damp and kind of creepy…even in the middle of the afternoon. My characters aren’t real thrilled to be there!
I hope everyone will enjoy it, and HIS GUILT, too.