What made you decide to be an author? I think, in all reality, writing chose me. Writing is my oxygen. Without it, I can’t exist. Sounds a little wacky, I know…but it’s true.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? The best part of being a writer to me is being able to have control over the lives of the people I create. That feeling of being all-powerful is a writing rush. The one and only thing I despise about the whole process of writing is the marketing/self promotion. I don’t like talking about myself and I feel pushy when I do. I know I need to suck that up, but believe me, it’s hard.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? This is a great question! I’ve lived a strange life. I came from divorced parents when no one’s parents were divorced and that made me somewhat of an oddity and a pariah in school. Both my biological parents remarried, so then my mother’s last name was different from mine and that added confusion to the mix with other people. We were very badly off financially and many times there wasn’t money for the basics like food. A debilitating eating disorder to deal with stress and loneliness took over much of my young and mid adult life and since I was always the smartest kid in school – or one of the smartest – I was shunned by the “normal” kids. I married a wealthy, educated man and then had to deal with being in the public eye because of it, so I’d say each and every one of those experiences has given me thousands of avenues for stories and characters. MY characters are always complex emotionally and I really think this is where that comes from.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? This is a little like asking if the book wrote itself and the answer is yes. The book is the one that’s currently being released, First Impressions. I feel like I woke up one day knowing exactly how Clarissa and Pat’s story was going to unfold, and it did, right in front of me. I wrote the book during NANOWRIMO 2014.
You’ve written 27 novels (3 published so far) and are working on a 4th novel in your current MacQuire Women Series. What’s your favorite time management tip? The Nora Roberts rule of writing: sit in a chair, put your fingers on the keyboard, and write. That’s it. I write everyday, whether it’s for twenty minutes or 14 hours. Every day. Between cooking meals, laundry, grocery shopping and household chores. My laptop follows me around the house if necessary.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? Total and complete plotter. I even plot out my website blogs. I need to know where I’m going, how I’m going to get there. I think the need for this is because my younger life was such an upheaval, never knowing where we were going to live, moving a great number of times, never feeling settled. I tried to be a pantser once…it didn’t work out well. Enough said.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Don’t ever let someone squash your dream of writing and/or being published. I had my first romance book published at 54 years old. I never gave up on my dream of being a published author, and I never let anyone take it away from me by telling me I was too old, not talented enough, dedicated enough, or was wasting my time.
Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? I don’t listen to music when I write – I’m one of those people who needs quiet or else I’d be singing along and not getting any work done.
Tell me more about First Impressions:
Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers' first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town.
Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can't pledge himself to her forever. Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for "The One." When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent's marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.
Can Pat convince everyone--including Clarissa--she's the only woman for him.
How about an excerpt from First Impressions:
He crossed the room and took one of her hands in his own. She startled a bit, but then her shoulders relaxed as she looked up at him.“I have a call to make. New calf giving her owner some worries. I’m sorry, Clarissa.”“Don’t be. If anyone understands being on call, it’s me.”“Does the dinner offer still stand, even though I’ve gotta leave for a while? I know this won’t take long, but...” He shrugged, letting her make the decision and hoping she’d make the one he wanted.Clarissa squeezed his hand and smiled her shy smile. “Of course it does, Pat. After all you’ve done for me today, the very least I can do is cook you dinner.”“You know you don’t have to cook for me for taking care of Teeny, don’t you?”She swallowed and nodded, staring down at their joined hands, she said, “Yes.” She lifted her gaze to his. “I want to,” she said simply.“Okay,” he said at last. “I’ll text you when I’m done to give you a time frame. ’Kay?”She told him it was.With one last look at her, he rubbed a hand down her arm and let himself out.In his truck he blew out a breath and sat, hands gripping the steering wheel. In the past few hours, he’d learned more about her than he’d known in the previous five months since meeting her, and yet, she was still a complete mystery.He put the truck in gear and drove, all the while thinking about Clarissa and how she’d looked today. Sad, frightened and grief stricken, to be sure. But resolute, strong, and accepting, as well.She’d also been embarrassed when it was revealed she knew how he liked his tea, and nervous when she’d asked him to stay for dinner.So many different qualities wrapped around one tantalizing woman.And Pat was coming to realize how much he wanted to learn about each and every one of them.
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6373
Peggy, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.
Sharon – the pleasure has been all mine. Your questions are fabulous! I may steal a few of them.