She has been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) since 1988. She writes contemporary and historical romance and mainstream women's fiction.
I work full time for a pharmaceutical company. In the past, I’ve worked in a bridal shop (which I tried to buy), waited tables, worked as a temp in a bank un-stuffing envelopes. I’ve taught accounting at Rutgers University and creative writing at a local community college. I love tennis. It’s my sport of choice. Before fabric got as expensive as buying clothes ready-made, I used to make all my clothes. At the last Romantic Times Convention I attended, I won the competition for the best costume, a silver brocade Elizabethan gown with a velvet cover and train. When I was little I was the only kid whose paper dolls had real clothes. I love to travel, have been to a lot of European countries and traveled extensively in the United States.
What is your earliest writing memory?
The earliest thing I remember writing were letters to my father. He moved from Washington, DC to Buffalo, NY looking for better work. We stayed behind because of school and to be sure the trip would prove fruitful. He was gone for six months (a lifetime to a eight year old). He’d come back on the weekends, but during the week I’d write him letters telling him all the things that were going on in my universe.
The first thing I wrote that wasn’t a letter or school assignment was an article that was printed in the newspaper on separating boys and girls in different classrooms in high school. Of course, I was against the separation. Prior to that made up stories in my head, but never wrote them down.
What feelings do you experience once you are satisfied with your completed manuscript(s)?
In your upcoming release or newly released book, how did you come up with the idea of your main character(s)?
My next release is called LAST NIGHT’S KISS and it’s the final book in a family series I created. The family is the Clayton and there are five books in the series. The idea evolved from the other four books. Rosa, the heroine, is the youngest of six siblings who were adopted by the same parents. They are a close knit family who stay together through family meetings, even when they are long distances apart. Rosa is a supermodel who needs a rest from her extreme schedule. She takes the summer off and goes to visit a friend and former model in Waymon Valley, Montana. There she meets a television reporter who’s turned his back on his career.
I wanted to return to the fictional city of Waymon Valley. I used it in my only historical novel, CLARA’S PROMISE, and I fell in love with the town, and it’s people. I always wanted to go back there and write a story about one (or more) of the characters that I introduced in the historical. Why the hero was not introduced in the 1899 story, he’s a descendant of the main characters of CLARA’S PROMISE. Once I started thinking about the family tree, Rosa’s story unfolded in my head and then I had to tell it.
My work in progress is a mainstream romance which has no title at the moment. It’s about a twenty-eight year old woman who decides to marry. And since it’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one, she decides to go where rich men are – Martha’s Vineyard. There is a summer long music festival going on and a contingent of Howard University alumni on the Vineyard. However, remember what happens to the best laid plans....
I’m a big believer that word of mouth creates more sales than advertisements. Let’s say I’ve never read any of your books before, how would you pitch the idea of your latest release to me?
Reporter Adam Osborne has seen many a pretty face, but even one as beautiful as Rosa Clayton’s isn’t about to turn his head. He’s interviewed some of the world’s best looking women and he could class them all in one neat little box – shallow. Rosa Clayton has no time for men. She’s a road warrior, always away, never having time to make lasting friendships and steering clear of relationships that could end in heartbreak. And Adam Osborne may as well have heartbreak tattooed on his forehead.
I consider myself a tough critic when reviewing books. What do or would you do when you receive a mediocre or less than average rating from a reviewer or reader?
I read it and go write. There is nothing I can do. This is one person’s opinion and as much as we’d like for everyone on the planet to love our books, there are always people who will not like them. I’m past the point of allowing a bad review to destroy my writing schedule. It does help when I find a good one to counter balance that mediocre one, however.
What authors influence your writing dreams, goals and aspirations?
There are so many. Virtually every book I read influences my writing. Great writing influences me more. I love Eboni Snoe, L.A. Banks, Donna Hill, Anne Stuart, Dean Koontz, LaVryrle Spencer and of course – Nora Roberts.
Story by Robert McKee and The Hero’s Journey by Christopher Volger
There is so little in the publishing industry that an author has control over, that it’s difficult to say what you really could change. I suppose I would have tried to be more prolific. I would have written more books or at least more proposals. I found it was advantageous to have books waiting in the wings. When editors needed something, it was good to know you could produce it because you already had a foundation written.
Read, Read, Read. Read everything. Read books you love and find out what the author did that made you love it. Read books you hate and find out why you don’t like it, then make sure you don’t do the same thing in your books.