A fan of Lilac Temptress asked me these questions and I decided that it might be nice to share my answers with others.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Though I have been writing since grade school, I was inspired to begin novel writing by a friend I met in middle school. She told me that if I wanted to be a writer I should start reading Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal. I started reading a few of her books, and shortly afterward I began writing my first teenage romance novel with characters modeled after my best friends and myself.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to write as simple, clean, and precise as possible. I am a stickler for the story making sense, and endings must feel complete. However, as a new author, I am still defining and perfecting this writing style with each new sentence constructed. I suspect that all writers are forever improving their craft. I am no exception.
How did you come up with the title?
My favorite color is purple and I wanted something to be unique to the main heroine of the story. I thought the leading male in the story might find the scent of his woman pleasurable. So, I researched purple flowers with a nice scent. Two other names were in the running for this book—Lilac Desire and Lilac Promise. However, the heroine enraptured the leading male almost immediately at first sight by tempting him, thus Lilac Temptress.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Love conquers all; I don’t think there is any other reason to write a romance without that theme.
How much of the book is realistic?
I would say that 98% of the book is realistic. There are two scenes that could likely happen to someone but however, I don’t think that I would ever find myself in those situations.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The experiences of the characters in this book are based on a dream I had. If one would say that dreams reflect life, then one could relate the book to the nature of my experiences in some way, but the book does not reflect on my waking life.
What books have most influenced your life most?
For my reading of fiction books, I am a huge fan of Anne Rice. So, you could say that everything she has ever written has influenced me. However, in my earlier youth, I very much enjoyed reading Jude Deveraux and her book titled, The Duchess, influenced me most as a creative writer.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading Kushiel’s Chosen by Jacqueline Carey. I plan to finish her Kushiel’s Legacy series soon.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
What are your current projects?
I am currently deciding between three different novels. I have begun one fantasy book, one children’s fantasy book, and a spin off story of Lilac Temptress, featuring Girard Larivière as the leading male.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Actually, there are too many and I would not do any of them justice by naming one.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do. I always have. It is actually a pleasure for me now to have been able to make room in my life to pick up novel writing again and I will continue to write going forward.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I wouldn’t change anything. I think that I only write when inspired until the end of my story. At the end, my story is always complete.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current work consists of an outline that is sure to change quite a few times, and is most unfinished at this point for sharing.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think the challenge is to keep a story interesting for readers as I progress forward. If I am bored with my story, then I am sure others will be too.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have mentioned Anne Rice. She is my favorite author and what strikes me about her work is the quality of depth to her characters. I always bond with her characters emotionally and a few I have even fallen in love with. I love her simplistic writing style that can convey a message, which leaves me long after reading her stories, thinking about her work.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t have to travel as much as I have to research. I spend a considerable amount of time in libraries doing research for novels that I am working on, almost as much time as I do researching on the Internet.
Who designed the cover?
Cheekycovers by Carrie Spencer
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping it fresh. I think understanding how life was back then was the challenge, and making sure that all the events that happened in the story reflected life during those times.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that less is more. Writing with emotion is a must, and that there are three ways to begin a story and starting with dialogue may work best for me.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I think first and foremost is that a new writer must believe in their talent and not let the judgments of others distract them from their forthcoming masterpiece. Also, new writers must push themselves to complete their work. Write, write and write some more.
What was some of the type of research you did in bringing your story to life?
I have listed a few things I did in an article: Ultimate Set of Tools for Creating Your Linguistic Writing Style for Historical Romance. However, I also watched movies and television shows covering the time period, as well paying close attention to fashionable dress and the customs of the time.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your support. I’m just getting started and you can look forward to me doing my best to bring you more novels that you can enjoy.
I wish you happiness in your life, plenty of romance, and above all else, love.