I divide my time between Austin Texas and a small family ranch not far from Shiner. Shiner is the home of Shiner beer, I've been known to stop off at their tasting room before rolling up my sleeves to get to work on the ranch. Like many Texans I've got a bit of everything in me, German, Native American, and some Creole influence. Nothing like a little spice to liven things up.
Writing is much like reading, I need to feel the story in the same way a reader would. I adore leading men who are strong, but aren't afraid to love. My goal is to fall in love as I write, it's the only way my reader will as well.
Come with me and get to know a hot cowboy or two. It'll be fun!
Fannie Flagg, Julia Child, and J.K. Rowling. Can you imagine the laughs and the fun that would be? It would be a potluck of course. Country cooking, French cuisine, and Butter Beer. Sounds like a grand time!
2. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My grandmother ran the ranch, ran the house, and smiled the whole time. She was as comfortable with barbed wire as she was writing poetry. Everyone who knew her felt loved, what better thing can be said about a person? Sadly, she died young, but not without leaving her mark in my heart. I’ve spent my entire life trying to emulate her unique combination of grace and strength.
3.How would your best friend describe you?
Ten years ago I met one of my best friends, Claire, in a book club. Of course, no surprise there. My friend is outgoing, has tons of friends all over the world, and could chat up a post with no problem. That summer, when she went home to Montana to visit her folks, apparently Claire kept talking about “Lana” this, and “Lana” that… finally her father, a life-long rancher who says very little, asked her, “Who is Lana?” My friend stopped, looked him in the eye and said, “Lana has the kindest heart of anyone I’ve ever known.” Her father nodded and said, “Is that so? When is she coming to visit?”
It’s probably one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said about me.
4.How do you handle criticism?
I cry, bite a pillow, ask my friends to tell me it isn’t so, learn from it, and move on. I'm mostly joking of course, but tone that down some and that’s roughly how it goes. I’m new to writing, so I’m working on that "thick skin" thing. Why have you heard something bad? (Just kidding!)
5. What three things do you need to be successful in this industry?
-You need to want to write regardless if anyone ever reads your work.
-You need a community. As in most things, a support network and shared knowledge is essential.
- You need to keep working on your craft forever and ever… Amen.
6.What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
I always say the coin has two sides when it comes to strengths and weaknesses. I’m too sensitive, which causes me to suffer. Not only for myself, but for others. This same sensitivity allows me to think ahead about the needs of my friends and family. It also allows me to put myself in the heads of my characters. I can easily imagine what it might be like to walk in another persons shoes. I feel like it adds a richness to my storytelling.
7. What type of writing environment do you prefer?
I like a writing space with a view. It can be out a window, or over a balcony, or across the room at a coffee shop. I need to be alone if at all possible, but I’m getting better about that as well. A cuppa something warm with caffeine helps a lot too.
8. What was the first romance you read that stuck with you and why?
When I was in high school I saw a banned book display in a local bookstore. One of the books was a completion of erotic short stories. Looking back on it now I realize it was even more graphic and raw than most of the romance novels I’ve read. So, I guess it blew the lid off my mental limits in terms of sex in a story. I’m sure my parents would have been horrified to know I had it tucked under my pillow. I can’t recall the name, but the cover had a beautiful period drawing of a courtesan with flowing robes. The cover is what drew me to take a closer look. It was beautiful.
9.Other than writing, what do you like doing in your spare time?
I love to grab my hubby and explore the small towns surrounding Austin and Shiner. Texas is chock full of stories and atmosphere. My favorite thing is finding mom and pop diners and trying the pie.
10. What is the title of the last book you wrote? Tell us how you relate to one of the characters.
My last book was my contribution to Sable Hunter’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World, it’s a novella called THE SONG OF HER SIGHS. The main character, Lola, goes back to her family ranch after a break up. I love the idea of getting a second chance at life and Lola gets that in more ways than one. Lola is starting over in life by leaving the city. I’m finding myself spending more time in the city these days and I’m not happy about that reality. I wish I could be on our family land more often. I would love to do what she’s doing and find a way to move out of the city.
I also relate to the passion and love she feels for Rodney. It’s something all my characters share, loving deeply and for the long-haul. I am happy to have that in my own life, so it’s easy to write about those feelings.
Rodney Regent works hard running the family ranch, and it shows in every rock-hard muscle on his body. Known for his jaw-dropping smile, he has captured the hearts of women, young and old,
all over the small Texas town he calls home. Rodney is single and loving it, until he sees a photograph that grabs his heart and won’t let go. As his luck would have it, the one woman he has always wanted is engaged to someone else. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t forget her.
Then the news comes that Joseph and Cady McCoy will visit Regent Ranch. The change they bring with them includes more than just Cady’s magic touch, it brings the woman of Rodney's dreams to his doorstep.
Lola Maie woke to Rodney moving fast out of bed. “Get dressed. Someone’s outside.” His voice was low and firm. It was no doubt a command, which she followed immediately trusting him completely.
A multitude of lights moved across the long windows lining his bedroom. People were outside. A lot of them.
Then she heard it.
It was a low thumping, something she felt in her sternum before it registered in her ears. Lola Maie’s eyes went wide as she recognized the rapidly growing sound of a helicopter.
Rodney pulled on a pair of jeans laying over chair. In the moving shadows of flashlights racing back and forth, he looked enormous. His broad shoulders, silhouetted against the shocking white of the helicopters eye, seemed six feet wide. Rushing toward her, he all but lifted her off her feet, tucking the bed sheet around her as he swept her towards a small door. “I want you to get in this closet and lock the door. It’s a panic room. Under the carpet in the left corner is everything you’ll need. You don’t open this door until I tell you and not before.”
Lola Maie just stared at him.
“You hear me? Promise me. Right now, say it!”
“I promise.” She breathed.
Then he shoved her inside and slammed the door. “I want to hear it click Lola Maie!” He yelled through the metal door. The command in his voice brooked no argument and with a shaking hand she reached out and turned the deadbolt. After such a warm night of intimacy, having the cold hard door between them felt deeply wrong.
“Good. Now wait for me, baby. I’ll be back”
Lola Maie’s heart squeezed listening as the thunder of his steps became more and more faint as he ran. Until finally there was silence. It was the worst sound she’d ever heard.