First of all thank you for having me. I’m happy to chat and answer some questions with a fellow Canuk.
1. I live in a city - Vancouver - but I often set stories in small towns for the sense of community which echoes what I find in my downtown neighborhood. What about you? Where do you live and where do you set your stories? And why?
I live in the lovely and very friendly city of Regina in the province of Saskatchewan, which is smack in the middle of the Canadian Prairies. Ours is a landlocked province, but we’re fortunate enough to boost a 100,000 lakes. That makes for a lot of provincial and regional parks plus one national park. It also makes for plenty of unique and interesting resort towns. I grew up on a farm and I have many happy childhood memories of days and weeks spent beside the water. I spent two summers working for the Moose Mountain Provincial Park. It’s where I met my husband.
So, when it came time to choose a setting for my romantic suspense, Backlash, I created the fictional resort town of Aspen Lake. I used two very real resort towns for inspiration, Kenosee Lake and Fort Qu’Appelle. Set in the middle of an aspen grove and on the edge of a beautiful fish-filled lake, my fictional residents enjoy the benefits of living in small town Saskatchewan. Ideal because small towns make for great settings. Everyone knows everyone else and their business. It makes it easy to connect the dots between characters. Because I write romantic suspense I wanted to build on that small town sense of ownership. The protectiveness residents feel for their own and their space. Then I ripped open that very sense of community and the feelings of safety that comes with the comfort of the familiar.
2. What's your favorite book ever and why? I have 2 or 3 books that I read over and over again - including Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love it because the characters are older and their relationship isn't easy, but you know, when they do finally get together, they're grown-ups and they know exactly who they are.
Favorite book ever. Mercy. If I had to pick just one I’d go with To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. After all these years, I’m still in love with Atticus Finch. He’s the ultimate beta hero to me. I think part of the reason why it’s one of my favorites is that I discovered this book in high school. I was undergoing my own transformation from innocent child to someone with a wider world view, like Gem and Scout. I read it at a time in my life when I was beginning to develop my own sense of right and wrong. It was very relatable in that I also lived in a very small town. It was easy to envision a set of circumstances so huge as to be dividing to an entire community. I’ve read it many times with plans to read it in the future.
3. What's the story you've always wanted to write but somehow can't? For me, it's a story about World War I. I'm fascinated by the stories I've read about it but I'm pretty sure I'm never going to write a real war story. I've just finished a book that is set partly during World War I but a very long way away from the battles. I think that's as close as I'm going to get.
I entertain a fantasy where I attempt to write a novel that falls under women’s fiction and has more of a literary feel to it. It’s an idea I’ve titled A Prairie Song about a young woman who is socially mute. However, she’s been gifted with a beautiful singing voice. The locals, who have created many superstitions around her, hire her to sing to their crops. Her world is very small and very controlled and then something happens that pushes her out into the larger world. Oh well, maybe some day…
4. Finally, do you have a routine? If so, what is it and how easy/hard is it to stick to it? I try to have one, but because I work as a freelance paralegal and teach paralegals occasionally, my schedule tends to change from week to week, if not actually day to day. I'm always buying lottery tickets, hoping to win just enough money not to have to work and write to a regular schedule though I'm pretty sure that even if I did have the money to write nine to five, I wouldn't, as I've been scrambling like this forever :)
I’m a stay-at-home mom to two teenagers, one of whom has special needs. I fit writing in whenever I can during my day and around everyday life. That could mean writing in the morning, afternoon or evening. Sometimes I fit a little writing time into all three slots. Most importantly I try to write every day. That keeps me in the groove and it doesn’t take as long to get my head in the story, which is a problem if I go too many days without tending my work-in-progress.
What he’s sworn to protect, she’s willing to sacrifice to save those she loves...
When dedicated teacher Lily Wheeler interrupts a vicious gang attack on one of her students, she vows it won’t happen again. But her rash interference puts her in the path of a cold-blooded killer and the constable tracking him—a man she has little reason to trust, but can never forget.
Constable Chase Porter returned to Aspen Lake to see justice done, not renew old acquaintances. But when he rescues the woman he once loved from a volatile situation, he realizes his feelings for Lily haven’t lessened over the years.
Now, the dangerous killer Chase has sworn to capture has Lily in his sights. Can Chase and Lilly learn to trust each other again before it’s too late—or will old insecurities jeopardize their future?