ROMANTIC SUSPENSE READERFUL WEDNESDAYS – Guarding His Midnight Witness
When did you first consider yourself a writer? How long have you been writing?
I first considered myself a writer in high school when I began writing stories for my fellow students; then started writing term papers for a fee. Yep, I was that student, LOL. I LOVED putting words on the page even though I preferred writing fiction and romances but how else was I going to support my romance novel habit? I started when I was about fourteen, and played with it off and on for more than twenty years. It wasn’t until 2012 when I finally got serious and told myself I either had to make a real go of a career as an author, not just a writer, or find something else to focus on. The writing won. Thank goodness!
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Ah, cooking and baking shows! I used to do dollhouses and miniature scenes, but between space and money, it wasn’t feasible, not to mention the time it takes to create little worlds. So I’ve shifted my focus and in recent months, I’ve become an obsessed Great British Bake Off fan. Even bought myself a stand mixer for Christmas last year and it has saved my sanity these last months. Cooking and baking, working in the kitchen, it’s my happy place and it’s also where I work out plot or character problems. When I start thinking so hard is when the ideas usually start to flow.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I wanted to write about a character who saw—or maybe didn’t see—a violent crime. I didn’t necessarily want to examine how that affected her except in how she dealt with the uncertainty. The big question throughout GUARDING HIS MIDNIGHT WITNESS is did Greta actually see what she said she saw? Even she wonders that and Jack McTavish takes a pretty big risk in believing her. His own career is a bit shaky at the start of this book; taking chances could push him into forced retirement, but because he’s the man he is, a stand-up, good guy, he really doesn’t have a choice. That he falls in love as a result only makes that decision sweeter.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at one time?
Well, that’s something else that’s changed in 2020. Before this year, I was a write the book, move on to the next book kind of author. As I’m writing this post, I think I’m writing three books at one time? A sweet romance, a romantic suspense, and editing a new paranormal idea I’ve got circulating in my brain. It’s a lot of characters and a lot of storylines to keep track of, but I think in a weird way, it helps me keep things fresh with the other projects. Helps me see things in different ways; the plotting out of a romantic suspense (what plotting I actually do), can illuminate something in my sweet Butterfly Harbor series.
When I was finishing up GUARDING HIS MIDNIGHT WITENSS I was also writing BRIDE ON THE RUN, my January Heartwarming from Harlequin. That book was so much fun—just silly fun because the hero and heroine are trapped together on an old gentleman’s cruiser out on the ocean (along with a parrot named Duchess…I needed some added comic relief). It was actually invigorating to go back and forth between the two, almost from dark to light. They feed one another and, I hope, makes each story better.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
Not much. But it depends on what topics I’m going to be writing about. For GUARDING HIS MIDNIGHT WITNESS, I did some research and photo searches (and took a few trips into downtown Sacramento). I knew I wanted to use a building I’d seen frequently on my drives into town and I turned it into something completely different than what’s actually there, but I know what building I’m writing about, even if locals might not catch it.
Since I don’t plot, I tend to do research on a separate laptop when a question comes up. I shouldn’t. I should make notes and fill it in later, but sometimes you just can’t wait. My writing laptop does not go online; it’s strictly a word processor, so I either use my phone or another computer.
I think the most research I did for a book was in my Nemesis Files trilogy, because I was writing about money laundering, art forgeries, and art cons. Talk about a fun series of books to write! I needed to get into the darker side of life and found the show WHITE COLLAR particularly inspiring. So that’s probably my main go-to, movies and TV, especially when they’re heist related. I’ve gotten a lot of story ideas from those types of shows.