Why do you write fiction?
I love to read, and I’ve always loved to write. There’s something so magical about immersing myself in a story, whether it’s my own or someone else’s. And how nice to be able to control the outcome.
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
It’s Complicated is a sequel to my previous novel, Show No Weakness. When I first wrote Maggie’s character, I knew she deserved her own story, as soon as I found a man strong enough to handle her. I love wounded characters and most of my stories feature them. Maggie has been wounded by her past, but she has a heart the size of a Mack truck. It’s just well protected and requires a special man with lots of patience to pierce that armor. Maggie isn’t perfect. She’s a little pushy and she makes mistakes. I wanted to show that the right person can and will love her despite or maybe even because of those imperfections.
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I don’t have an ideal reader in mind. I write first for myself. The ‘love triumphs over all odds’ type of story. If the reader likes stories about real people dealing with real life, struggling with their own demons and finding love even when they might not be looking for it, then my books will appeal to them.
Please describe your writing routine.
Before I start writing, I have to have a good idea of who my characters are and a general idea of the plot. I don’t have a set schedule for writing. I fit it in with my work and home life, but once I’m into a story, it tends to take priority. As for the actual mechanics, I usually start by reading what I wrote the previous day, do some light editing to it, add a few more details, then write fresh for as long as time and ideas allow. If I get stuck at any place, I highlight that sentence, paragraph or whatever and move on, because the solution will often come to me later, and I haven’t wasted time on it. I’m a compulsive editor, so my first draft is usually fairly complete. Then I go over it and over it, from beginning to end, adding layers, removing problem words, looking for plot holes, sometimes adding more scenes. I admit to having a hard time deciding when to let it go.
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Make your writing as strong as it can possibly be. Take courses, read lots of books, be thorough with your editing and proofreading. And never give up on your dreams.
More about It’s Complicated:
Having grown up with no one but herself to count on, Maggie Lapage carefully guards her feelings. Professionally, she goes above and beyond to give others the support she wishes she’d had as a child. When she develops a forbidden attraction to a client, she does what she thinks is necessary to save his family and to protect her own heart.
Tom O’Shay finds his life caught in a nightmare when he risks losing custody of his daughter. It goes against his character to seek help, but he doesn’t have a choice. That doesn’t mean he has to like it. Everything changes when he falls hard for his daughter’s counselor and he suddenly has two fights on his hands. One for his daughter and another for the woman he loves. He wants a real relationship; she’s afraid to love. It’s complicated, but is it impossible?
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