1) What originally inspired you to get into writing?
I fell in love with reading rather late in life. Even with a full-time job and with a family, I was treating books like candy and couldn’t get enough. One day one of my favorite authors released her latest in a series. I think it was book #15 or so. I had read the other 14 books and had spent months waiting for this release. I was very disappointed and started thinking of dozens of ways the story could have been better. This author is still one of my favorites and I’m still reading the series (book #15 was the only one I didn’t like). Anyway, I thought I’d try writing a novel and just loved the entire process.
2) Where did the idea for Taking Chances come from?
I registered to do a book signing near an army base. My father is ex-military and I just thought it’d be fun to write a short story about a young soldier.
3) Was there any particular character that you liked or felt able to relate to?
I love the character of Abby. She’s a strong and determined character who is self-sacrificing.
4) Was there any particular character that you disliked?
No. This is a short story about personal growth. Tommy has been wounded in battle and rehabbing in a VA hospital in the US. I chose to set the story a good month after the injury when he mentally/emotionally has already gone through the stages of denial and anger. I didn’t think he’d be a likeable character during those stages of loss. He’s in the stage of self pity and I though that was a great place to have him grow as an individual.
5) Were there any scenes in particular that were particularly challenging or easy to write?
The scene where he is being measured for his fake leg was hard. I’ve never had to undergo such a tragedy and I didn’t want to make light of the situation. I wrote the scene once filled with Tommy’s emotions and it felt too overwhelming. I finally decided that a ‘closed door’ approach was better for the scene. You see a bit of what he’s experiencing, but the reader doesn’t have to read the sadness. Overall, the book is a romance and not a tragedy. I didn’t want this story to be depressing but a nice “feel good” and uplifting one.
6) Have any of your characters been inspired by real people?
Sort of. When my father was stationed overseas my brother became very ill and spent two weeks in the military hospital. One of his room mates was a young soldier about 20 years old. I based Tommy’s character off of him.
7) Are there any particular authors or books that have inspired you?
I write mostly paranormal romances. The authors who have inspired me are Kerrelyn Sparks, Lynsay Sands, and JR Ward.
8) Do you have any advice/pearls of wisdom for budding writers?
Write the story you want to write and finish it. A lot can be done in editing. The most important part of writing is actually writing.
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