AUTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself to start?
I am a pretty boring person! I work a ton and spend the rest of my time reading and hanging out with my family in southern Ontario, Canada.
Q: How are you feeling now that your latest book is out & on tour?
It’s weird because by the time a book comes out, you’re onto writing other books. It’s like a little trip to the past to revisit a book that you wrote a long time ago—oh, yeah, I remember that book? But of course it is always exciting!
Q: How does your family feel about you being a published author?
Depends which family member we’re talking about. My young son thinks it’s just a normal job. Probably the family member who is proudest of me is my dad! He prints out copies of my Amazon reviews and hands them out in his town (really!).
Q: What inspires you to write?
I have always just been compelled to tell stories. Even when I was a kid, I would make up stories in my head at night instead of going to sleep. (Incidentally and perhaps not surprisingly, I went on to become an insomniac.) And, to be honest, inspiration now comes as well from the fact that it’s how I make my living!
Q: Describe your book in 3 words?
Spies! Secrets! Kissing!
Q: Out of all of your books do you have a favorite character or couple?
I think it’s Rose and Marcus from The Engagement Game. I just loved Rose so much—she was a goofball with a spine of steel, and she hit poor Marcus like a hurricane.
Q: Are you currently working on a new book at this time?
I am! I am working on a trilogy called New Wave Newsroom. It’s set in the 1980s (each book is inspired by a song from the decade), and the characters work on their college newspaper.
Q: Do you have a routine you follow when you write? (i.e. listen to music, sit in a certain chair or at a certain desk)
I have a home office that I try to huddle in to distract myself from laundry and dishes and all the stuff that working from home keeps front of mind. I try to spend two days a week working out of the house. Those are my “long days,” where I have some child care help, so I can have marathon writing days. I try to get tons of words down on those two days and save non-writing tasks for the other days.
Q: How do your stories & characters develop?
They usually develop in my head first. I think about a book for a while before I start writing it, and it gradually takes shape—or at least enough shape that I can start writing it. I find walks and bike rides are good spots for this kind of thinking.
Q: What was the first thing that came to your mind when your first book was published?
Oh, I remember it so well. The call from my agent saying we had an offer came the day after my 40th birthday. I can’t remember what I said, but I started doing the Miss America happy-cry thing for sure!
Q: Do you have favorite author whose books you love to read?
I have lots. Courtney Milan and Kristan Higgins are two major favorites.
Q: What is your favorite genre to read & write?
Romance, no question. In terms of romance sub-genres, it’s changed over time. I started as both a reader and a writer with Regency romance, but I would say now I’m more partial to contemporaries, as a writer anyway. Much less research required!
Q: How do you go about creating the most “Swoonworthy” character?
Honestly, I don’t know! I just try to make the hero characters the perfect match for the heroines and somehow it (usually!) works out. It’s about matching up little behaviors and actions that just “work” for the heroine.
Q: Can you share something with everyone that inspires you?
I have this quote from Pride and Prejudice taped to my computer monitor: “Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience—or give it a more fascinating name: hope.”
Q: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world who would it be & why?
Mindy Kaling. I think she’s a genius. A sly, hilarious genius.
Q: As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronomer and a writer. (One of two isn’t bad?)
Q: Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I did always want to be a writer. I just didn’t think it was financially feasible. I wanted to major in English in college, but I felt like that was kind of irresponsible and self indulgent, so I went for Urban Studies instead. Ironically, I ended up being a writer (in the non-profit sector) as my day job before I quit to write books full time. So I’ve been a writer pretty much my whole career, one way or another! I should have just gone with English! (Actually, I’m glad I didn’t!)
Q: When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I think it was when I got my first post-college, full-time writing job. I had dabbled a bit and had some fiction and journalism published. But when people would say, “What do you do?” and I could say, “I’m a writer,” meaning that was my full-time job, I really felt legit! It was kind of a thrill!
Q: If you could go on a date with one of the male/female characters from a book who would it be (Character name, Book Title & Author’s Name) and what would you do on that date?
Oh boy! Romance heroes are pretty screwed up, at least initially! I think if I met most of my heroes, I’d be like, Nope, see ya, bye-bye! But I think I would go for Dax from Sleeping With Her Enemy, if only because he had the world’s most awesome family. He was also a multi-millionaire—that never hurts! No, really, Dax was loyal and funny and thoughtful underneath his devil-may-care exterior! We would go canoeing on Lake Ontario, just like he and his heroine Amy do in the book.
Q: Do you have a favorite playlist that you listen to when you write?
I don’t listen to music when I write. I do usually have a “theme song” for each book that sort of rallies me. I listen to it all the time around the time I’m writing the book (like in the car, before I fall asleep, etc.), just not while I’m actually writing. And then the nice thing is that after that book is over, its “theme song” always makes me think of it. (Incidentally, the theme song for Viscountess of Vice is “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls.)
Q: Do you read all the reviews for your book(s)?
I used to, but I don’t anymore. These days, I read the ones people send me or tweet at me. I also usually read the first handful of reviews on the retailers’ sites. But beyond that, no. It’s not that I don’t appreciate reviews—they are so important in that they help readers find our books—but reading a bad review of something that I have poured myself into really does sting. At some point, I thought, I’m not really sure why I am putting myself through this! (Again, I want people to leave honest reviews! I just maybe don’t need to read them all myself!)
Q: Which do you prefer paperback, hardback or ebooks & why?
Ebook. I hardly ever read print books anymore. I just find it so much easier.
Q: What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it in (ebook, hardback or paperback) and who is the author?
I am deep into judging the RITA contest for Romance Writers of America, so I have been reading the romances assigned to me. We’re not supposed to talk about them—it’s like Fight Club! I think the last book I read before that was The Score by Elle Kennedy—book three in her Off Campus series, which was one of my favourites of the past year. It was an ebook.
Q: Of all of the books you have written do you have a favorite & why?
It is hard to choose, but I’m going to go with The Engagement Game. I loved the characters in that book, but I think it’s my favorite because it was the hardest of all my books to write. It was a little bit of a mess, to be honest, when I turned it into my editor. She helped me see what it was supposed to be. I have an excellent editor (shoutout to Tracy Montoya at Entangled Publishing). She’s always good, but with that book in paricular, I feel like the process especially embodied what good editing should be—helping a writer figure out what book is trying to emerge. I was so happy with it in the end, and that feeling was such a LONG way from where I started!
Q: When you aren’t writing what do you do to relax and have fun?
Relax? What? I’m kidding, but only kind of. I have a friend who says there are the folllwing boxes: Job, family, friends, hobbies (which includes exercising). Before you have kids, you can do three. After you have kids, you can do 2.5. She was not wrong. After work and family, there isn’t a lot left, at least in this phase of life. The boring answer is probably that I read and try to fit in some yoga (I used to teach yoga before I had a kid). I guess I should be less one-dimensional!
This or That
1. Coffee or tea: coffee
2. Cats or Dogs: cats
3. Country or bad boy: bad boy
4. Tattoos or no tattoos: no tattoos
5. Beer or Wine: wine
6. Romance or Horror Movie: romance!
7. home cooked meal or eating out: eating out
8. regular or diet soda: My compromise is Zevia, which is soda sweetened with stevia
9. Ellen or Jerry: Ellen
10. Red or Purple: purple