1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
I’m a thirty-year-old trapped in a sixty-year-old body. That’s a tough spot to be in when everyone expects you to think and act a certain way, so I try my best to keep that part of me under wraps. My “inner young woman” comes out in my writing. Most of my characters are in their thirties, and I write from that mindset.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Besides reading and writing, I am also a music fanatic, and I got my love of music from my father. No matter what I’m doing, there’s music playing – R&B old school, neo-soul, smooth jazz and contemporary gospel are my favorites.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
The first thing I do when I get a story idea is to start making notes of general ideas. The notes then develop into an outline of how I imagine the story going in my mind. After that I create character profiles that cover every aspect of the main character’s physical traits, personality, likes and dislikes, relationships with others, etc. and then I search online for pictures of how I see the character, what they drive, where they live and sometimes a photo or two of a particular scene I’ve envisioned that I want to include in the story. There is always a lot of research to do, and, even though I write fiction, I want my descriptions of the story settings, character professions, and other information to be correct. Once all that is done, I start to write.
My daily routine is always the same. On weekdays, I get up about six o’clock take my husband to work (we share one car). When I get back home, I make myself a cup of tea, read my Bible or devotionals and pray. Next I take care of the online tasks like reading and responding to e-mail, Facebook messages, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, et al. If I’m going to work away from home, I take a shower and try to get to the coffeehouse by 10:00 where I’ll write until around 2:00 when I go back home, fix myself lunch and write until 5:30 when I have to go pick hubby up. If I stay at home all day, the routine is basically the same, only I don’t shower or get dressed until about 5:00. LOL!
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
My ideas come from everywhere – things I hear on the news, conversations with other authors, situations I might observe when I’m out in public, but normally my stories start with an idea for a character. Once that character starts nagging me, I ask myself what his/her situation might be. For instance, I wanted to use actor Marcus Patrick as the physical role model for the hero in my new release, A WOMAN’S WORTH. I knew a little bit about him, but when I went into his background, I discovered he is now a fitness trainer and a raw vegan. After I watched a few of the videos for his business, I knew I wanted this to be my character’s line of work. I then asked myself what could happen to this character to cause major conflict in his life.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
My favorite is LYRICS, the first manuscript I ever wrote. Even though it was never published, it holds a special place in my heart, because it was my firstborn. I revisited the characters from that story in AIN’T NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING, which I published in 2011.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
Chicki Brown is my real nickname and maiden name. My father nicknamed me Chicki when I was two days’ old because he said when I was born my feet looked like a chicken’s.
7. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
All of my stories come strictly from my imagination, but I will often add certain experiences from my own life. In HAVE YOU SEEN HER? Dani reflects back on her childhood and the wonderful times she had at the Jersey shore. Her memories are actually my own.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
I don’t believe in a muse. Writing is my job, and I have to write whether I feel “inspired” or not. Uber-author Nora Roberts said it best, “If you need to believe in the muse, let’s say, fine and dandy. Whatever works for you. But don’t tell me you can’t work today because the muse has left you. Go track down that fickle slut, drag her back, chain her to your keyboard, and GET TO WORK. ”and" I don't believe in waiting for inspiration. It's my job to sit down and figure out what to write. I think if you wait for 'the muse' you may wait a very long time."
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
After reading the first six books in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series twice, I’d have to say paranormal romance, but my imagination isn’t that creative.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
My all-time favorite is Beverly Jenkins with Lisa Kleypas running a close second. I also enjoy J.R. Ward, Suzanne Brockmann and a host of independent authors like Zee Monodee and MJ Kane.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
Of my published works, I think HAVE YOU SEEN HER? is my favorite, because I fell in love with Taylor Villanova, as I was writing the story. He is a true alpha hero, but he’s not rude, abusive or overbearing. I also loved writing Dani’s character. She is a woman who makes a life-changing decision and discovers just how strong she is.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
For me it’s trying to balance the writing and the promotion. As an indie author, everything falls on my shoulders, and it’s an incredible amount of work. I would be thrilled if I could just write and someone else could do all the other stuff. The other hard part is trying to keep myself from being distracted when I’m online. I lose hours by being nosy and reading everybody’s post and looking at everybody pictures. LOL!
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
I tell all aspiring or new writers the same three things:
a) join a local or online writer’s group where you can get unbiased criticism of your work and learn to accept constructive criticism gracefully. This is probably the best thing you can do for your writing.
b) learn everything you can about the craft AND the industry before you jump out there. Read writing and industry blogs and study like you’re working for a diploma; attend writer’s conferences and every literary event you can find; visit author signings of well-known, respected authors and see how they handle themselves. You can learn volumes from the pros.
c) Discipline yourself to stick to some kind of schedule, because that discipline is what will carry you through to the second book and the third and beyond. Writers who write “whenever” might come up with a book, but they will never have a career.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
If I hadn’t started writing, I would probably still be sitting behind a desk in an office bored out of my mind. J
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
My idea of the perfect romantic getaway is an island retreat in a private villa that offers every amenity.
When Las Vegas personal trainer and raw vegan foods advocate, Marc Stafford comes home for the first time in four years, he meets Gianne Marvray at a family celebration. He is instantly attracted to her, but soon discovers she’s recovering from a catastrophic illness and she is his father’s patient.
Marc is everything Gianne has always wanted in a man. He’s handsome, educated, motivated and family-oriented. And that’s the problem. Marc has his eye on marriage and family. Even though Gianne refuses to discuss any kind of commitment, he is bound and determined to change her mind.
“I wasn’t aware that you and Marcus knew each other,” Dr. Stafford said, eyeing his son from where he stood in the kitchen that opened into an enormous family room with an equally enormous fireplace facing floor-to-ceiling windows.
“We just met today, Daddy,” Marc said, giving an anxious glance into the spacious room beyond the kitchen. The two toddlers had made themselves comfortable on either side of a woman Marc introduced as Ramona, Vic’s wife. Heat filled Gianne’s cheeks when Ramona looked her up and down and said, “My God, she’s gorgeous, Marc.”
Gianne wondered why he didn’t bother to tell her they weren’t a couple, but he merely said, “And that’s coming from a former Miss Georgia. She’s responsible for giving old ugly Vic these cute kids.”
“Marc’s here!” Nick announced and almost a dozen pairs of eyes focused on them. Two equally good-looking men rose from the sectional sofa and rushed over to meet her.
“These are the two you haven’t met, Greg and Nick. Gentlemen, I’d like you to meet Gianne Marvray.”
She scanned the three men before her and silently thought that the fineness quotient in this one room was off the charts.
“Whoa. You’re looking real Vegas, man,” Greg said, giving the hair draping over Marc’s collar a playful flip.
Gianne didn’t miss the way Marc drew back with a quick jerk before he said, “Well, we’re a little more relaxed out west.”
Dr. Stafford shook his head and groused, “Too relaxed, if you ask me.”
Marc’s mother reached up and patted his cheek. “I love his hair long. It reminds me of when he was a little boy.”
“And people always mistook him for a girl,” Dr. Stafford mumbled.
His father’s comment seemed strange to her, since it was clear Marc had him to thank – or blame – for the wavy hair, only Dr. Stafford’s was cut short and brushed back from his face.
The air in the room crackled with a confusing mixture of love, admiration, jealousy, disappointment, and hurt feelings. Gianne couldn’t wait to learn more about them.
RELEASE DATE AUGUST 26th on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords!