Thanks so much for hosting me, Liz!
Well, the first thing people tend to know about me is that I’m a certified geek. I grew up reading science fiction and comic books and all kinds of history novels. English history was something of particular interest and I have the entire lineage of the Kings of England memorized to this day, starting with William the Conquerer and ending with Queen Elizabeth II.
This may explain why my first published book features a science concept (alternate history) and is set in an ancient time period in which the Roman Empire survived to colonize North America.
I used to be a reporter, then managed a Barnes & Noble bookstore, and now I’m a stay-at-home mother of four, including twins. Sometimes I wish I worked outside the home but being home has allowed me to set my own schedule and get some writing done.
So, I now get paid for being a geek and a parent. 🙂 Life is good.
Tell everyone about your journey to publishing a novel.
Well, my journey to Dinah of Seneca being published started with my being pissed off.
I had finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart contest with a mystery/romance novel and expected, of course, to find an agent and an editor post-haste. This didn’t happen. Apparently, my need to mix genres was a tough sell. And I must also confess that while my work was good, at this point it wasn’t *great.*
At the time, though, I got angry that people didn’t see my obvious genius. 🙂
So I gave up submitting for a while and just wrote something for me, a book that would make me happy, no matter how unmarketable people thought it might be.
Which is how I happened to write an alternate history romance with Romans and Vikings in North America, and with a heroine who was a former Roman slave trained as a spy.
I had a great time writing the story. It was epic, it had swordfights, and romance, and a big climatic battle and explosions. And sex. Some unusual sex. 🙂
Unfortunately for me, publishers did not fall at my feet offering a contract. Wrong time period, wrong setting, heroine was a tough sell…etc. In other words, very unmarketable.
Then I happened to run into an editor for The Wild Rose Press at a RWA regional conference, I pitched her my book, not really expecting anything at this point, and got a full request.
I received her rejection on a day I was in the middle of a severe ear infection. The historical editor was passing on the manuscript but asked if she could pass it along to the fantasy editor. Through pain and bleary eyes, I answered, ‘sure.’ I really didn’t expect anything to come of it at that point.
And then I heard from my editor, Sarah Hansen, within a month, she asked for revisions, I did them, and…presto! I was published.
It still seems a bit surreal that I sold my most unmarketable book first. 🙂
What do like the most and the least about writing?
I love writing. It’s where I go to escape. It’s the best job ever. You make up stuff for a living. So I tend to love the whole process, with one exception.
That’s when I have a vision in my head of a scene and I can’t find the words to do justice to the picture. That’s frustrating. During those times, I just do the best I can and keep going back until I’m at least somewhat satisfied.
It does make me feel very inadequate, however.
What are three things you cannot do without?
My Macbook Pro.
Give us a peek into your latest published work?
I have two published works now. There’s Dinah of Seneca, which is out and available now from The Wild Rose Press and up on Amazon in print and Kindle too. There’s also a short prequel of sorts to Dinah, Freya’s Gift, which is with Samhain Publishing. It features the hero of Dinah’s story but it was too erotic for Wild Rose’s standards. (It’s a fertility ritual featuring multiple partners.)
Here are two of my favorite lines from the stories:
Freya’s Gift: “A chief’s wife does not beg.”
Dinah of Seneca: “Her bad fortune to be captured by a perceptive Viking.”
What’s next on the writing horizon for you?
Right now, I’m working on a steampunk detective romance for The Wild Rose Press. I wasn’t planning on writing steampunk and then I realized this was my chance to write a Sherlock Holmes mystery. My Holmes analogue is Gregor Sherringford and he’s asked to solve a mystery by one Joan Kriegerson, who eventually becomes my version of Watson.
I have a few unpublished manuscripts that I’m still trying to place. One is a superhero romance, the other is an urban fantasy romance that comes from my love of ghost stories, and there’s this mystery/romance series that I’ve been fiddling with forever. One of these days…
Is there anything you want to tell readers?
Other than run out and buy my books? 🙂
Mostly, I’m just really, really grateful for readers. If I had to say anything to readers, I would just plead with them to stop worrying about genre labels and titles and simply start looking for a good story.
Thanks for hosting me, Liz!
It was a pleasure, CORRINA. Come back soon!