What prompted you to write that first book? I was teaching my children to read, and I began writing children’s stories. That’s one of the hardest markets to break into. Then I had a huge upheaval in my life, and I wrote my first western historical romance. From there, I began to explore one of my greatest loves—the paranormal. Did you always want to be an
author? I have always created stories, sometimes orally to share with my girlfriends, but I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d be published author.
You’re published in a variety of genres and time periods, how do you decide which book to write? Some have deadlines, like with my wolf series. So when I’m caught up on those, I can write something else. I’m currently working on three stories—the sequel to The Trouble with Demons, Demon Trouble Too, the sequel to The World of Fae series, The Ancient Fae, book 4, and Silence of the Wolf, Book 11, Tom’s story. Sometimes I don’t plan on a series of books, like with the fae, but because of its popularity and so many requests for more, I wrote The Dark Fae, The Deadly Fae, and The Winged Fae. The same with The Trouble with Demons. I really hadn’t planned on writing a series, but between fan requests and a new story coming to me, I just started writing it and it’s 75% done already. Some flow like that, just keep on going. I love it when that happens!
Please explain your fascination with wolves and how you worked it into so many books? My early brush with wolves was in Jack London’s White Fang and Call of the Wild. I found the wolves fascinating and the idea that they deserved a place in the world just like man came home to me. In one of the stories, I was intrigued by the point of view of the wolf pup, its curiosity about everything as it left the den. Later, I’d seen a number of werewolf horror stories, yet I always had the notion that not all “horror” creatures are the bad guys. What if some werewolves were pretty sexy? And I loved the pack dynamics in real wolf behavior, so built my series on the concept of real wolves.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release? My latest release is A GHOST OF A CHANCE AT LOVE. I used to go to Salado, Texas, an old western town in the heart of Texas and wondered what it would be like if a woman went there and got stuck in the past? She would want to go home, of course. But what if she meets the man of her dreams in the past? Now the story changes.
Many of your books contain paranormal elements, have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Three! I never thought I would. They just happened. The first was when I was bivouacking with Army ROTC in the Palo Duro Canyon. That night while we were sleeping in our sleeping bags, or at least everyone else was—I happen to have royal blood as in The Princess and the Pea and anything I couldn’t sleep for all the rocks on the ground, the chill in the air, and the worry rattlesnakes and scorpions might crawl into the bag with me to get warm—I heard horses stampeding toward us. I could hear their snorts and whinnies and their hooves pounding the ground. I recalled an experience when I was younger when we’d camped at Lake Shasta, I believe it was, where our friends slept in a tent on the shore and we slept on our boat. In the middle of the night, they screamed and we learned deer had run through their tent and collapsed it on top of them. So I knew that the herd animals wouldn’t go around. They’d just trample us.
I woke my sister, but she told me to go back to sleep. I listened intently to the sound of the horses as they grew closer, but one thought stuck in my mind…I didn’t feel the ground rumble.
And then they faded off as if they’d taken another direction. I couldn’t sleep, worried they might switchback our way. The next morning, I asked everyone about the horses. No one had heard a thing. My cadre said it was possible wild mustang ran through the canyon.
Years later, I wanted to write about the wild mustangs of Palo Duro Canyon, and wanted to learn of other sightings of them before I sent the story to a magazine. There were none but the stories of the ghost horses of the canyon. Cavalry soldiers had herded them off the cliffs during the last stand against several different tribes. If the Indians didn’t have their horses, they couldn’t escape and mount another campaign.
It brought shivers to me, thinking that all those years ago, I hadn’t heard but echoes of the past—a savage past.
What is your favorite paranormal creature and why? I fell in love with Dracula when I saw him at a college play when I was an impressionable teen. I was ready to join him on stage and offer my neck to him. He was soooo sexy!
Do you plot your stories out or do you just start writing? I think about character’s goals and occupations, the way the hero and heroine will meet, but other than that, I just start writing.
Can you describe your office or where you normally write? It’s in the hallway between the kitchen and the living room. It would be nice to have a real office! But it works fine even so.
Which came first the plot or the characters? Either. Sometimes I write about the characters. Sometimes the plot comes to me first. In The Winged Fae, I saw a picture that gave me the idea for both the characters and the plot at once. With Demon Trouble Too, I definitely had the plot idea first. Although, the characters are from the first story, with another added to the plot. So, I guess it was about both again. And yet, I didn’t have a real idea as to the plot, come to think of it. I get more scene ideas. They just come to me. I don’t even know what’s going to happen—but by the end of the scene, the characters are in a real new mess. In that story, it’s really just taken off. One thing leads to another. If I had tried to plot it out, I’d be stumped and not have come up with half of the fun scenes I do otherwise.
Have you ever gotten stuck while writing a scene or chapter? Yes. How did you overcome it? Sometimes brainstorming. I’ll go to bed at night and before I fall asleep, I’ll be thinking about the story and where I want to go with it next. Sometimes, I began to see a scene in my mind, and have to write it down right then and there.
What is the wackiest thing that’s ever happened to you since you started writing? I work at a library and one of the volunteers asked if my werewolf books go in the nonfiction or fiction section. 🙂
Did you do any research for you book and, if so, did you find any interesting information that you had to include in the story? When I was researching for Wolf Fever, I found that wolfsbane was considered in much literature to be a werewolf repellant, a werewolf curer, or a werewolf killer. So I had fun with that because I have the real werewolf’s version of what wolfsbane means to them from the werewolf’s point of view, of course! I love researching for my stories and often include interesting tidbits about legends and myths, about real wolf behavior, and now that I’m working also on a jaguar shifter series, about big cat habits, about the fae, just anything that will help ground me in the paranormal world and make it real.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Linda!