Describe the relationship between Tom and Emily Knox. Were there challenges in writing it?
Reunited with the Rancher is about an estranged couple whose young child has died. My vision for that book was that losing a child has to be one of the most agonizing, disruptive events in a marriage. It was a challenge to write about such a loss and so much pain. The love between Emily and Tom has to be deep and lasting, strong enough that they can’t give up even in such a traumatic situation.
What is your favorite part about writing Contemporary Romance books?
My favorite part of writing contemporary romance is just that—it’s contemporary. There is an immediate feeling about contemporary—it’s today and what is happening now. It is current places and fun background things like limos and rodeos and terrific makeovers.
Do you have any traditions you enjoy during early Spring?
Early spring means my husband and I can get the garden ready for flowers and some easy-to-grow veggies. We love and raise roses. My favorite rose bush is a Chrysler Imperial. Early spring means I can walk outside. One spring tradition is at Easter the family gets together for the grandkids to dye eggs and bake a bunny cake.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was growing up, I never thought of being a published writer. As far back as I remember I loved books. It didn’t occur to me to try to become a published writer until after I was married. I wrote and sold a short story and then started writing books.
How long does it take you to write a book?
My writing schedule isn’t routine. I had children and now grandchildren. I’ve taught in high school. I’ve also taught at the University of Central Oklahoma. Later I worked for a state agency where I retired three years ago, so I don’t have regular hours or a regular schedule. When I travel, I carry an iPad. I have a laptop and a PC. I write in airports, in the mountains, wherever I have some time. There isn’t a regular, consistent amount of time.
Where do you get your inspiration to write about a heartbreaking past and a hidden family secret?
Stories come out of living, going through the happy times, as well as the painful moments. I’ve known sorrow and I’ve known joy, so that all goes into my feelings about what happens to characters in my stories and how they deal with life.
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I had my 100th. book out in July 2016, Expecting the Rancher’s Baby, Harlequin Desire. This year in January, The Rancher’s Nanny Bargain, Harlequin Desire, was out and now this March, Reunited with the Rancher, Harlequin Desire, will be book #102.
My favorite Desire book is a Texas Cattleman’s Club book, The Playboy Meets His Match. My favorite of all 102 books is a Harlequin Regency Romance, The Fairfax Brew.
What book are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading several. Sometimes I read more than one at a time. I’m reading an old book that I love and read over and over again: The Joyous Season by Patrick Dennis. I love that book because I can laugh all the way through it. I’m also reading Maureen Child’s The Baby Inheritance, Karen Booth’s Pregnant by the Rival CEO and Maisey Yates’s Take Me, Cowboy.
What are your current projects?
My May book, The Rancher’s Cinderella Bride, Harlequin Desire, is the third book in a series called Callahan’s Clan, about Texas best friends whose relationship changes to their surprise. The fourth and last Callahan’s Clan book, The Texan’s Baby Proposal, Harlequin Desire, will be out this summer and then I’ll have a new series called Texas Promises.
What advice do you have for writers?
My most important advice for new writers would be to network with other writers. Go to writer’s conferences and enter writing contests. Advice for writers in general is to stand up often if you sit to write. Walk, swim, go to the gym, whatever works. Exercise is essential for me.