1. Describe the area you write in.
It’s actually not too cluttered right now, compared to what I’ve had in the past. I have a very large office/media room that I work in upstairs with a door that I can close to keep out my playful cats & dogs when I need to work—and my husband who sometimes needs a swat on the end of his nose with a rolled up newspaper. I have a desk, filing shelves for work supplies, books, and general office stuff. I also have a love seat and sofa and a chair for guests—a half bath and a walk-in closet for more storage. Very cool actually. My window blinds are usually shut so I don’t get distracted.
2. What's your favorite season?
Winter. (I live in Texas, so winter means something different here, but I love a good fire and fall clothes and a hearty bowl of vegetarian chili.)
3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Anywhere? I’d love to be a time traveler if I could control where & when I went. Uber-cool. I’ve traveled some in my life, but loads of places interest me. I’d love to visit Japan, back to the UK again, Australia, Greenland, all sorts of places.
4. How difficult was it making the transition from writing Romantic Suspense to Young Adult?
I really think of myself as a romantic thriller author, but maybe not even that. There are so many subgenres within thriller and my idea of romance is only elements, not very traditional. I think it’s always more interesting to have a man and a woman or a love interest involved in any suspense/thriller plot to deepen the conflict. When I was on a panel at a BoucherCon conference for readers of crime fiction and mystery lovers, I got asked how much romance is in my books. I jokingly said that “with my idea of romance, usually money changes hands.”
But to answer your question, the voice of YA is not easy. I brought my thriller craft to YA so I could capitalize on the crossover appeal of YA with adults too, but I also had in mind to introduce thriller writing craft to younger readers. To do that, you have to rethink how you craft a plot and the voice of your protag. I also have mixed first with close third POV to give me more flex on scenes when I unfold the plot and I thread subplots into my story with emotional layering to add depth. It’s very cool to see how younger readers respond to something they haven’t read before, when they notice the difference.
I do a workshop on writing YA. I’m doing one online now actually. I’ll do another one in November 2012 for the Colorado Romance Writers. There is a lot to learn about YA to make the leap, but it’s very worth it. The imagination it takes to write YA is another big plus. I think writing YA has made me a better adult author.
5. Which character really spoke to you when you were writing On a Dark Wing?
On another blog tour, I did character interviews and it was amazing how I could fall into my characters again – Abbey, Nate, Tanner, Death. It was so fun to be in all their heads. Death was a real challenge, but I loved being inside him. Imagining what a conversation between him and Abbey was GREAT fun for me. Tanner was also another favorite of mine. My cousin, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair since he was 22, helped me “fine tune” Tanner. My cousin Dave is a physical therapist, helping people to get back on their feet when he can’t be on his. He’s a real hero to me and he made Tanner a joy to write. Good question.
About On a Dark Wing:
The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn't prepared for. And Death would be my willing teacher.
Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her "lucky" break came at the expense of her mother's life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again.
Now she's the target of Death's ravens and an innocent boy's life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey's secret crush—starts to climb Alaska's Denali, the Angel of Death stalks him because of her.
And Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.