You became a writer by accident. Could you talk a bit about that?
I had never thought about becoming a writer until I met my future husband, L.J. Martin, who had written an historical western novel I loved. I was helping him work on the editing, not his strong suit--grammar, spelling, the basics. The more I dabbled, the more I thought maybe I could write a book. I had always had a lot of stories in my head and I also read a lot. The next thing I knew, I was writing my own novel. Magnificent Passage was my first book. Since then I have written more than sixty novels.
Which of your characters would you like to meet in person? Why?
One I would definitely want to meet is Rafe Brodie, the hero of my new book, AGAINST THE TIDE. Rafe is smart, rugged, and savvy. Plus he is gorgeous! Another of my favorite characters is Chance McLain from The Secret, a hunky Montana cowboy. I think you can guess the reason I’d like to meet him (grin). I like my heroine Olivia Chandler, also in TIDE. She’s one of the smartest women I’ve written. Liv really has her stuff together.
What is the one thing about you that people would be most surprised to know?
I’m a hermit. Unless we are traveling I pretty much stay home and write.
I hate writing description. Which is why I don’t put a lot in. I’m not crazy about back-story. I don’t care what my hero/heroine did in high school unless it pertains to what is happening in his or her life now. Sex scenes are difficult to write because I want them to be fresh and match the tone of the story line at that time. I love writing dialog.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Getting published, staying published, writing stories people seem to want to read. Staying 4 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list with Against the Sky!
You’ve written several types of romances since your first book was published in 1988. Which category is your favorite and why?My favorite is Contemporary Romantic Suspense, without question. I love the challenge of coming up with fast-paced, intriguing stories. In my new book, Against the Tide, the characters are in peril from the opening scene and the problems only get more intense. I love helping them find ways out of their dilemmas. I also like the freedom to use a broader range of language, different from writing historicals.
Do you find it challenging to keep a series going?
My stories are each so different, I have a lot of latitude. I like writing detectives, ex-military, or just take-charge kind of guys. In Against the Tide, Rafe Brodie owns a charter fishing boat fleet in Alaska. He’s sucked into a mystery that becomes deadly, but he’s the tough, rugged kind of man who can handle it. With those kinds of characters, I’m pretty wide open when it comes to story. The trick is to find the right woman to help tell the tale.
What is the best part about being a writer?
The personal challenge. Being able to work from home, set your own schedule. Meeting interesting people both in and out of the business. It always feels great when a book turns out the way you want it.AN INTERVIEW
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