Answering a few more of your questions

Let me begin by thanking you for your interest in me and my writing. I’ve gotten quite a few emails recently asking lots of great questions about my writing, my books, and more. I’ve also gotten a few in which the asker was asking questions that were…well, a bit too personal for me to answer.
As I have mentioned before, I prefer to maintain a certain level of privacy. This is partially to protect the privacy of others, but also because I am just a rather private person. I don’t mind sharing, but there are some parts of my life that I prefer to keep private and separate from my career.Β  I hope that you will understand if I don’t answer your question as a result of that – but also keep in mind that my failure to answer it may not be that it was too personal, but simply that I didn’t get to it, forgot about it, or something else.

With that said, I’ve decided to answer a few more questions today.

1. I read your poem, Soul Shattering Love, and I was really moved by it. Was it inspired by someone specific? All of my poetry is inspired – sometimes by a person, other times by a thing or a situation. That poem, as all the others, was inspired, yes, but I won’t get into details of who, where, what, or anything like that. Aside from wishing to keep that private, I also like to let people form their own image of something or someone in their own lives who might perhaps fit when they read a poem.

2. How do you write your poetry? I write poetry when I’m inspired. Usually, it happens in spurts. I’ll get inspired, write every day or every other day for a couple of weeks, maybe a month, and then nothing for a few weeks or months. I’ve actually been working on some for the last week or two that I’m thinking about putting up on the site, so make sure you check back if you really enjoyed my poetry.

One thing you might find really interesting: When I write my books, I can only write them on the computer. My thoughts fly much too fast for me to keep up with handwriting, so I have to type. But when I write my poetry, I have to hand write it first, and then transfer it to the computer once it’s polished to as near perfection as I can get. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea! My theory is that I am much more in touch with my emotions when I write my poetry, and trying to type disconnects me too much from those emotions. Or maybe I’m just a freak! Who knows? πŸ˜€

Oh, and in case you’re wondering after reading that, I can type approximately 90 words per minute. It drives my mother insane. πŸ˜€

3. Various questions about killing, death, etc. in my books. I’ve received a variety of questions about the murders/deaths in my books, and I’m just going to briefly answer them here.

  • Research – When planning how to kill off a character, I usually just use Google to double check facts or if I need a method. If I can’t find what I need there, I have contacts with police, doctors, etc., who can usually answer the more technical questions (although, as always, if I make a mistake, it’s my own, not theirs!). I’ve even made a contact out of a radio DJ – that story is still in the works, btw.
  • Killing characters – Does it bother me/make me feel guilty to kill characters? Yes and no. I tend to get really involved with my characters, so unless I make the victim just some random victim who was nothing more than a dead body to begin with, I do tend to feel a little bad when I kill them. But I don’t feel guilty, per se. They are characters in a book, not real people, and that is always the difference.
  • Do I pretend that the characters I kill are people I hate (or base my bad guy on someone I hate)? – The old joke is to never piss a writer off, because they will put you in their next book, and then kill you. I won’t lie – if I find myself having trouble killing off a victim, sometimes imagining that they are someone who’s done me wrong can help a little. But I don’t generally pretend that I’m killing off someone I actually know. As for basing the bad guy on someone I hate – there are times when I will draw characteristics, for any of my characters, from people that I know. I do not create a complete character from any one person that I know, however. For example, I may use a friend’s know-it-all attitude in a character, but that will be the only thing drawn from that friend. And it’s not so much using that characteristic in my character as it is looking at how that particular person utilizes that characteristic in real life to be able to portray it well in the book. Hopefully that makes sense.

4. How do you homeschool and write? Do you have time for anything else? Homeschooling takes up a good chunk of the day during the week. There are periods, however, when the kids are able to do independent work. While they do that, I can get some writing done. After their school day is over, I take the laptop outside and work while they play. I also do some work in the evenings after dinner, and some nights take the laptop to bed to get some work done before I go to sleep. I also do a lot of writing on the weekends, when we don’t have school. It takes effort, balance, and a deep desire to want to do both to succeed, but I definitely want to succeed at both. So I make the effort. As far as time for anything else – it depends on what you mean. I find time for friends, reading, pleasure activities such as TV and hiking or swimming, etc. When we have appointments or things that need to be done, I work them into our schedule, or rework our schedule to accommodate what needs to be done. There are some things that don’t get done right now, things that aren’t even on a priority list. Dating, for example. I could make time for it, if I really wanted to, but I feel that I have so little time to invest in a romantic relationship right now that there’s really no point.

5. In general, and when writing, what kind of music do you listen to? I was a child of the ’80s and early ’90s. I listen to a lot of hair bands (Bon Jovi, Poison), and ’80s music, like Springsteen, Guns & Roses, Def Leopard, and Prince. I also listen to classic rock – AC/DC, REO Speedwagon, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Foreigner, etc. I am a big country music fan as well, and listen to lots of Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Shania, and Reba, among others. When I’m writing, the specific music that I listen to depends on why I’m listening. If it’s just for background noise, I turn on whatever I’m in the mood for. If it’s for a specific purpose (to get in the right frame of mind for a sex scene, a fight, etc.), I turn on the music that best fits the mood.

I also listen to music I’ve recently discovered, such as Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers. Two of my favorite CDs are from Tiffany – do you remember her? In the ’80s, she did the mall tour thing, and sang “I Think We’re Alone Now”? Well, she has two CDs (more than just two, actually, but these two are my favorites) that were released many, many years later, called The Color of Silence and Dust Off and Dance that I really enjoy listening to.

6. How old are you? I am only answering this because my birthday is this month. And my answer is this: old enough to know better. πŸ˜€ Okay, my real answer is I’m in my early 30s.

7. What do you like to read? I’ll read almost anything. Seriously. I don’t have a particular preference for any one genre. I read romance, romantic suspense, sci fi, action, thrillers, adventure, mysteries, and even children’s books (although those are generally with my kids). I also read non-fiction, although it has to really appeal to me or has to serve some specific purpose – research for a novel, for example. I also read magazines, and subscribe to Good Housekeeping, Redbook and iD (Ideas and Discoveries), a science magazine.

8. What about movies and TV? I love watching movies and TV just about as much as I love to read. Some of my favorite movies are: Fried Green Tomatoes, Dirty Dancing, Grease, What Dreams May Come, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Flirting With Forty, Joyful Noise, The Help, Water for Elephants, and (dare I admit this?) Magic Mike. When it comes to TV, I watch How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls, Mike and Molly, Switched at Birth, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Survivor, Perception, The Big Bang Theory, Malibu Country, Doctor Who, Good Eats, Grimm, Elementary, and more. I also enjoy reruns of shows like Three’s Company, Roseanne, Yes Dear, and the occasional Dog the Bounty Hunter (but that one is purely for comedy purposes, as the show is just so blatantly stupid. For Christmas, I just got the entire series of Saving Grace on DVD, which I am happily watching regularly. I absolutely adore that show.

9. When is your next book coming out? My next book is called Ripped Away, and I don’t have a firm release date just yet. But I am working on it. It will likely be in early April, and I plan to have a firm date sometime next week.

That’s it for this round. Feel free to ask me any other questions you have and I’ll be happy to try to answer them. In the meantime, thanks for visiting the site and for reading my books! You have no idea how much it means to me.