Hi Lauren! It’s great to have you here and I’m looking forward to learning more about you, your writing and your latest release 🙂 Let’s get started with my questions!
1) Did you set any goals for 2013?
I met my editor Debby Gilbert at the Lone Star Conference in October 2012. She enjoyed my pitch for Music For My Soul and asked for the complete manuscript (WOO-HOO!). Two weeks later, I had a contract in hand, and my debut romance came out in May 2013.
I decided to shoot big and stay positive, so my New Year’s resolution was to sell a second manuscript during 2013 and hope it would be published the same year.
Flash-forward to today? Not only is Outlaw Muse an October 2013 release, but A Game of Chance will be released in January 2014 AND I sold A Change of Plans, as well. To see my goal met and then exceed my wildest expectations? Priceless!
2) Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer?
Surprisingly enough for a romance writer to say, but Stephen King has made the biggest impact on my writing. I’ve always admired how he puts ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, and I’ve tried to emulate that in my own stories.
I also learned more than I can say from his non-fiction work On Writing. Google “On Writing and quotes” sometime. The gems of writing wisdom that pop up are only the tip of the iceberg as far as his great advice goes. I think this book should have a prominent place on every writer’s shelf.
3) How long does it take you to write a 50,000-60,000 word manuscript?
Every book has been a different experience for me. I’ve written
from 70,000-100,000 words. Once when I was on fire I had a first draft
in three months and revisions done a month after that. At the same time, I’ve
started a manuscript and hit a wall, tucked it away on a flash drive, and then
pulled it out months or a couple of years later. And finished it.
4) Tease us with a blurb/short excerpt:Outlaw Muse
Separated from her twin during the Orphan Train selection, schoolmarm Serena Sullivan searched for her brother Bill over fifteen years. Just as she gets a lead on his whereabouts, she is railroaded by a crooked sheriff and set to hang for the murder of the sheriff’s best friend.
English playwright Daman Rutledge has come to the American West on business for his brother when he witnesses a woman about to be executed. On impulse he rescues the beautiful stranger and goes on the run with her across the Kansas prairie. Along the way Daman finds the muse he’s been missing and loses his heart to the raven-haired beauty with haunting amber eyes.
As they try to escape the long arm of the law, Daman seeks to prove Serena’s innocence before it’s too late. They find love—and the truth—on a journey that changes their lives.
5) Tell us about a new author you’ve recently discovered
I read everything from romance to mysteries to thrillers. I think it’s
important to read outside the genre you write in, not only to see what
other authors are up to, but simply to discover the ways great stories
can be told.
I stumbled across a fellow Texas author not too long ago by the name of Jeff Abbott. I raced through all three of his Sam Capra novels and hope he’ll keep this series going forever. I love reading a series because you get such great character development over a long period of time. I also like how there can be varying story arcs; some are completed within that book, while others play out over several installments. Sam is a great hero. He doesn’t have time for romance in his life, but I’m hoping down the line he’ll get a chance to create a lasting relationship with the right woman (amidst the bullets, car chases, deaths, and fight or flight scenarios).
6) Name two romances you’ve read more than once
Julie Garwood’s The Bride and The Wedding
Johanna Lindsey’s Tender is the Storm
7) Tell us about your first car
His name was Robby (I always name my cars. I’ve driven everything from Sid Civic to Karl
Convertible.). Robby was a reddish-orange, used Chevy
Vega. He didn’t last long (that little old lady who only drove him to church
on Sundays was a big old lie!), but I have fond memories of him. That
wonderful feeling of independence and freedom you get when you own your
first car is simply perfection