Was it different to write about a K-9 in the plot vs people?
Writing stories with dogs is both a challenge and a delight. I love dogs and find them fascinating creatures. Dogs have their own personality, just like people. Making them a character in the story without overshadowing the humans can be tricky. I like to show the bond between humans and canines, especially the special relationship of a K-9 dog and the police handler. They must rely on each other, trust each other and constantly train in order for the working relationship to function properly.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes the names come to me easily while other times I have to search for the right name depending on the characters personality, background and temperament. I have a reference book titled Names Through the Ages that I use quite often when looking for a name. I like to know where the name originated and the meaning of the name. I try to incorporate something in the characters to reflect the meaning or origin of the name.
Do you have any traditions you enjoy during Spring?
Here in Oregon we have The Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest during the spring months. It’s a wonderful sight to see the fields of colorful tulips swaying in the gentle breeze or sunlight reflecting off raindrops. The festival is a family affair with a children’s play area, hay wagon rides through the fields, and local food vendors providing delicious fare. Even dogs are welcome. It’s a wonderful place to create family memories. http://www.woodenshoe.com
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I would act out my stories for my grandparents when I was a kid. In junior high I had an English teacher who really sparked my interest in one day becoming an author. He made believe that my stories were worth telling. In college, my creative writing professor also encouraged me to pursue writing. However, fear kept me from taking the leap of faith for many years but I’m so glad I finally gathered enough courage to try.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I like to have 3 to 4 months to complete a book. Sometimes it takes longer or shorter depending on my deadlines and what is going on in my personal life.
What makes writing in the contemporary romance genre unique?
Writing the contemporary story requires a delicate balance of grounding the reader in the world of today yet not dating the book so that readers who find the book a few years later don’t feel like the story is outdated.
How many books have you written?
I’ve written over forty books in the span of fourteen years. Do you have a favorite? My second book, A Sheltering Love for Love Inspired, will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and the heroine in this story is closer to who I am than most of my other stories.
What book are you reading right now?
I’m reading a Harlequin Romantic Suspense by one of my favorite authors. Operation Alpha by Justine Davis, is book eight in the Cutter’s Code series. Cutter is an uncannily brilliant dog who not only knows when someone is in trouble, but he plays matchmaker amid well-done suspense plots. I’ve enjoyed all the books in the series and have read every book Justine Davis has written.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on a couple of stories right now. Book 1 of the 2018 K-9 continuity series for Love Inspired Suspense. This series will be set on a fictional Air Force base and feature Military Working Dogs. I also just turned in the proposal for book 1 of my own new series for Love Inspired Suspense.
What advice do you have for writers?
Keep writing through the ups and downs of life. Be flexible, teachable and believe in your work.