Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ties that Bind author interview and giveaway (3 winners/3 copies)

About you as an author:

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved to write. Throughout high school and beyond, I was told over and over that I should be a writer, but I resisted. At first, it was because I wanted to be an actress. Later, I was looking for a more “practical” career. It wasn’t until about four years ago that I admitted to myself and the world that writing was very much a part of who I was and who I wanted to be.

How long does it take you to write a book?

The fastest I ever wrote a book was in about three weeks, though I did have to go back and re-write a few things after the fact. The book that took the longest for me to write took a year. That one kept getting interrupted by life! My average is six weeks. After I write, I take a week or two off and then go back to re-read it and make adjustments. I’ll do this a few times if I can. By the time a book makes it to the editor, I like it to be as close to a finished work as possible.

Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?

When I sit down to write, I put in my earbuds and listen to that book’s soundtrack for a while, picturing the next scene or the characters in general while I check in online. After about twenty minutes of chatting in social media sites, I force myself to log off and focus on the characters.

While I do run the risk of losing all track of time and bouncing around the Internet for hours, I’ve found that this time of listening to the right music and only half-thinking about the characters helps me transition from my own chaotic world to my characters’.

When I’m writing, I hate to be disturbed. Even a simple “hello” can set me back to square one and I have to put myself in the right frame of mind all over again.

Before I became a full-time author that meant the best time for me to write was overnight while the rest of the family was asleep. (Which made for lots of stupid typos!) Now, I try to schedule writing time when I know the house will be a little quieter. It doesn’t always work, but I try!

Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?

The stories themselves always originate from a dream, even if indirectly. My most recent release, Devil in Disguise, sprang from a couple of my other novels that sprang from a dream.

The dream is usually just one scene and I wake up the next morning knowing I have another book to write. I jot down what I saw and put it away until it’s time to write that book.

When it’s a particular book’s turn, I pull out the dream and spend time thinking about what’s happening on either side of it. Who are these people and why were they in that particular situation?

As the pieces begin to fall into place, I start to do research for the parts of the storyline I know. Other pieces begin to fall into place from there.

Before I start writing, I research which actors I think fit the characters. Once I’ve picked my actors, I’ll watch movies with them for several days. That helps me picture gestures and mannerisms as the characters interact in my head.

I begin writing when I know the first sentence. Sometimes most of the book is mapped out by that point, but usually I have no clue what’s in store.

How do you decide what you want to write about?

Sometimes I think the stories pick me more than I choose them. When I have a story idea, I type it up and store it on my laptop until it’s that story’s turn. Just this week, I was commenting to my book manager that I have two more to write and then, for the first time that I can remember, I’m not sure which one should come next.

She replied, “Well, what are the options?”

As I started rattling off ideas, it came to me with startling clarity which one I wanted to write next. I don’t know why that particular book is next – it just is.

About you as a person:

What books have most influenced your life?

I’ve been a voracious reader for most of my life, and I believe every book you read impacts you in some way or another, so it’s hard to say which books have influenced me the most. The one that stands out in my mind the most is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. One of my favorite quotes comes from that novel: “Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!”

What is the first book you remember reading by yourself?

I have a horrible memory when it comes to reaching too far back into my childhood. I do remember devouring the Mandie book series when I was about eight years old. The first books I remember reading that really stuck with me were Gone with the Wind and The Scarlet Letter when I was around 12.

What are you reading right now?

Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard. I’m only a couple of chapters in, and it’s driving me crazy that I can’t find time to just curl up and finish the book. I read the first book in that series (Gabriel’s Inferno) in one day.)

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I adore my family and spending time with them. We laugh a lot when we’re together, and I think that’s important. I spend a lot of time tending or simply watching my chickens and horses, too. Being around them brings me a lot of peace. I’m just beginning to train a new mare, so I have a sneaking suspicion that’ll take up quite a bit of my free time for the foreseeable future!

What do you think makes a good story?

I can forgive a lot in a story if I like the characters. Conversely, if I can’t understand the choices the characters are making, I tend to forget everything I do like about the story.

Maybe it’s all the years I spent teaching corporate writers to be succinct, but I tend to get to the point when I write. Sometimes I have to slow myself down to offer more descriptions. I struggle with books that are overly descriptive simply for the sake of setting every detail of the scene, though. I think it’s important to find a balance – to set up a scene well while still allowing the readers’ imagination room to play.

Kate Yager never had a father, and she never minded - until her mom died. Now, acting on the name called out on her mother's deathbed, Kate has moved to San Francisco and gotten herself hired by the man she suspects to be her dad. As if a new job, new apartment, and new parent weren't enough, Kate finds herself head-over-heels in lust with a complete stranger she met at an art show. A stranger who, she later finds out, happens to work in her office.

As her relationships with her friends and father grow stronger, Kate has to confront the
decisions of her past to find out whether she can love the man who gave her up, love the man who loves her truly, and even whether she can love herself.

Rules for the giveaway-
Please just leave a comment with your email address and please tell me what ebook format you would like! 
We will have three ebook winners of 3 copies of Ties that Bind!
Winners have 48 hours to reply and if not a new winner will be chosen. The winners will be picked randomly by my kids.
 I will email the atomrbookblogtours with your email address and what type of book you would like and they will forward that on to the author.
This giveaway will close at Midnight on June 30th, 2012 any and all comments after midnight will not be counted.
 When you comment you agree to these terms.
Good luck!


  1. Thanks for hosting this!
    snapdragon77 (at) hotmail (dot) com
    Kindle format

  2. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. Kindle please.

  3. Sounds like a great book! Kindle format please.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  4. I would love to win the book!

    Kindle format please!

  5. Good luck with the hop.

    I'm following you from Goodreads, care to follow me?