Free ebook contest rules: each response/comment about my answer to any AMA today will earn you a chance in a random drawing to get a free ebook copy of any of my Amazon-listed titles (follow the link to my author page). Contest entries will be collected until January 18, 2019 11:59 PM (GMT -5:00)

Ask Me Anything

Question: What traits do you and your characters share?

Physically most of my characters aren’t much like me. But intellectually? Emotionally?

Yeah, my fingerprints are in the DNA of all these folks. This is the reason, I think, we authors like to use the term “our babies” for our characters. They are part of us, born into different lives, and growing differently, but still parts of us are in them and we want to nurture them, protect them.

No one character of mine is a complete clone, so don’t go looking for any “Mary Sue” in my stories. But there’s no escaping that We Three‘s Elena and Jess have big parts of me. Elena has this deep desire to make her own singular stamp on the world, which is why she’s trying to start a business. It’s a lot like me right now, trying to figure out what it is I’m meant to do (yet again between jobs/careers I go through this roughly every five years). And the frustration of not being able to clearly communicate that, and hope that the people or person in her life will understand anyway. Yeah, that’s all me. Jess is also just trying to find her place (literally not just figuratively), too. It’s one of the reasons Elena clicks with her.

Eric manifests my compersion. I love seeing my spouse happy, whether or not I’m the one directly making that moment. This is not about sex. Let me give you an example. He (my spouse) loves making music and has been in and out of bands for more than 20 years. I enjoy his music, but I can almost never go see him play, because the venues are usually horribly smoky bars. But he goes and he spends time doing something he loves and comes back happy. That makes me happy for him. My husband is also my unconditional support. Even for the writing I do, which has gotten him weird looks from other people. But writing makes me happy, so he makes sure I get time left alone to do it.

Now more “me” that shows up in my stories.

In my first two novels, Turning Point and Turn for Home, Brenna and Cassidy were the two sides of me figuring out how to express my interest in women. Yes, I was (and am) married to a man, very happily (see above). But these novels began as a chance to explore a fantasy. I was not writing a guidebook, I was writing a Hollywood romance. But having my imagination at least being able to start from within an otherwise healthy relationship allowed me to be inside their heads for their thoughts. It also helped to build the conversation Bren had with her husband, and the one Cass had with her boyfriend.

Cassidy’s ex-husband Mitch, on the other hand, is thankfully like no one I know personally. Writing that scene (if you’ve read Turning Point, you know the one I mean) gave me nightmares for a week before and after.

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