1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.
11. I’m plotting a single title romantic suspense, then I need to do the partial, I’ve got 2 Blazes coming up right behind it, I’m moving to a very small house that’s going to be the interim house during the building of our new house, and I’m doing my best to help a dear writer friend who recently lost her husband. So, uh, the asylum is sounding really nice.
2. You have a very varied writing background. Do you think that writing for television has made you a faster writer? You’ve been very prolific as an author.
I don’t think it helped me be prolific. Sitting my butt in the chair and writing every day helped with that. Also, living on my writing income. I didn’t relish the idea of having to take a normal job. I’m too spoiled. What the TV writing did for me was help with dialogue. And pacing. But it was a hard switch from thinking in script format to thinking like a novelist. In the beginning, I left out almost all the description. I still have trouble with that. I keep thinking the director and art director will fill in the blanks.
3. You mentioned on your blog that the publishing industry is very different from the movie industry. Do you think moving into book-writing has been better for you as a person?
I know it’s been better for me. I imagine national politics has more sharks in the pond than the film business, but there aren’t that many other industries that can hold a candle. It’s the combination of outrageous money and power, I think. I know too many people in film who consider themselves to be good and decent who wouldn’t hesitate to sell their own mother’s for the right deal. I watched it over and over again. Now, I’m not saying that publishing doesn’t have sharks, but as a whole, the people have been generous and honest, although, as in the film industry, it’s usually the writer who gets the short end of the stick. Don’t know why that is, just that it’s true.
4. You’ve written for a number Silhouette/Harlequin lines, but especially lately, you’ve mostly been writing Harlequin Blaze. Do you simply prefer to write HOT?
Hmmm, no. I tend to write hot, but that’s not the primary reason for sticking with Blaze. It’s an amazing line to write for. I’ve gotten to write so many different kinds of books, all within the line. From romantic comedy to nearly-mainstream romantic suspense. I have an astonishing editor, Birgit Davis-Todd, whom I’ve been with since my first Temptation in 1997, who has supported me from day one. I can’t think of another line at Harlequin or Silhouette where there’s as much diversity for the writers. I think Blaze is hitting the right notes with readers, too. They’re getting hot reads, yes, but they’re not all the same, not by a long shot.
5. What was the process of ghostwriting like?
Ghosting was odd. I was very grateful for the gig, and don’t regret it at all, despite the unsavory subject. It felt much more like writing a big term paper than writing a novel. It was easier than a novel, too. By a lot. I had some folks working with me, who gave me a lot of the material, but there was a considerable amount of research that had to be done. But I find research fun. So once I had the layout together and the research tamed, I wrote the book in short order. I wouldn’t mind doing it again, but hopefully about someone I could respect.
6. It’s said that teaching someone else helps one understand better. You’ve taught a lot of writing workshops and classes. Have you come to find that this has been the case for you?
Absolutely. Teaching is always a two-way street for me. First, I love the process. I’m one of those weird folks who wants to be in front of a hundred people, talking. It’s really about the energy. If I’m doing my job right, everyone in the room is buzzed and excited. Can’t beat it for the adrenalin rush. And once people get excited, they feel free to share, and that’s the treasure trove. In helping other’s get their ‘aha’ moments, I’m also understanding my own. Oh, just talking about it makes me want to do a weekend workshop. Any takers?
7. Has doing surveys on your blog of various matters been helpful to you? Or has it been a case of “Everyone has an opinion that only complicates the issue”?
Honestly, the surveys I can do on my blog hasn’t been much help. I appreciate the folks who participated, but the number was so minuscule there was no way to really get a feel. It has been fun, though, to let other folks express themselves. Books are so personal, and our feeling run so deep about them, it’s nice to give that private voice a public forum.