Current Release: Defiant
Describe your current release in two sentences?
Ordered to rescue Lord William Wentworth's niece after the Shawnee take her captive, Major Connor MacKinnon finds a brave and beautiful lass in desperate peril. But the only way to free Lady Sarah Woodville is for Connor to defeat the Shawnee warrior who kidnapped her and claim her himself, setting off a chain of events that will change all their lives forever.
Please describe your writing environment.
The living room of my house is now my office. I have a family room downstairs where we have the TV and fireplace. So the entire living room space is my desk, my shelves, my filing cabinets and supplies. Sometimes, I head off to a coffee shop, but mostly I write at home either in my office or downstairs on my ultra-comfy sofa in front of the fireplace. There's something about crackling fires, coffee and writing that just go together.
What are you working on?
Right now I'm working on STRIKING DISTANCE, the sixth book in the I-Team series. It tells the story of SOCS Javier Corbray, an active duty SEAL, and Laura Nilsson, a broadcast reporter whose life Javier saves in the prologue after she is taken captive by a group of insurgents. The story is about Laura putting her life back together again — and having finding out who was behind her abduction. She and Javier are reunited, and obviously he plays a big role in the suspense thread that runs through the story.
What do you feel blessed with?
I feel blessed with wonderful, enthusiastic readers; a wonderfully supportive family; two beautiful sons; a facility with languages; a love of the written word; and the ability to write full time. Those are amazing blessings. Writing is a gift, and the ability to live my dream and write novels for a living is my own personal idea of heaven.
What was your childhood ambition?
This won't come as much of a surprise, but my great ambition was to be a writer. I wanted to write the kind of stories that sneak their way into people's hearts and just stay there so that readers think of them long after they've put the book down and moved on to other things. I wanted to write stories that made people forget about the rest of the world, lose track of time, and abandon themselves to the storytelling. I've wanted that since I was about 10 years old.
What is your favorite TV show?
I have a TV, but I don't have cable, so we don't actually get any television shows at all. I decided about a decade ago that I could either sit on the couch watching people live out fake adventures in fictional lives or I could get busy living my own life. And so I got the cable disconnected that week. I've never regretted that.
We do watch movies on DVD once in a while — maybe once a month.
What career fields have you worked in?
I've worked all of my post-college life as a journalist. I held pretty much every position in the newsroom from reporter through editor-in-chief and was the first woman editor-in-chief of two different papers.
What are your plans for the summer? Any books you are looking forward to?
Summer is a crazy-busy time for us because we have a big rose garden, as well as a very large vegetable garden. We try to grow as much as we can of the food we eat — all organic — and so days begin very early so that I can get outside and get the work done before it gets too hot. My summer plans are usually just about keeping up! I'm always glad in a way when that first frost comes and kills the garden. Then I can put away the gloves and the shovels and the wheelbarrow and come inside and just focus on writing.
How was your road to publication?
It was exceptionally smoothly paved. I wrote a book. I found an agent. I spent some time revising the book. The agent submitted it. It sold within nine months. I got a multi-book contract and have been under contract since, first with Dorchester and then with Penguin. It wasn't until after I published and joined RWA that I heard stories of writers writing five, six, 10 books before getting one published. The ironic thing is that, because my first book was published, I've been on deadline pretty much ever since. I don't have dusty manuscripts I can dredge out of boxes and send off to my editor for revisions. I wish I did, particularly now in this age of self-publishing! I'd love to discover that I wrote five books in my sleep sometime in the 90s or something.
If you could time travel, where would you travel to and why?
Oh, this is always such a hard question! I would love to see Minoan culture — one of the cultures I focused on as an archaeology student and grad student — so perhaps ancient Crete. If not there, then back to the time when Stonehenge was built so that I could answer the questions "who?" and "why?" I'd love to visit ancient Rome and the Britain during the time of King Arthur. And I would love to see North/Central/South America before the arrival of Europeans.
If you could live in a world created by an author, which book / world would you jump into?
Middle Earth! Oh, please send me to Middle Earth! I'll dress up like Arwen and sneak up on Aragorn somewhere and... Sorry. Got carried away there. Seriously, I love Tolkien's world. His books are among my all-time favorites. If I had to take one book off to that proverbial desert island, it would be LORD OF THE RINGS. Maybe by the time I've been on the island for a few years, I'll have a better grasp of Elvish.
Thanks to Night Owl Reviews for having me! And a big thanks to my readers — the members of the Defiant discussion group and the private I-Team group on Facebook. They are the best!
My next book release will be the grand reissue of RIDE THE FIRE with new material, revisions, and the long-awaited epilogue. It will be out in February 2013. For those who are interested in starting the trilogy that ends with RIDE THE FIRE, I'm giving away free copies of SWEET RELEASE, the first book in the Kenleigh-Blakewell Family Saga via Smashwords. The coupon is good through Sept. 2.