It started with kind of a weird whim. I was working in academia, teaching history, and it was… we’ll just say “a challenge” to keep myself motivated. So, I figured why not give what I always wanted to do a shot?
A year later, I’d written and published about a hundred short stories, and realized that yeah, I could do it. I could make a living writing. It’s kind of a crazy realization that this thing that’s supposed to be impossible – you know, the “oh you have to win the lottery to do this!” kind of mentality – is really not at all. It just takes a lot of learning, and a lot of work.
What part of being a writer do you love most?
I’ll just explain my day so far. I got up, stared at my coffee pot for about five minutes while my eyes focused, and then drove my kid to school. Then I came home, stared at the coffee pot a while longer, poured some this time, and sat down. As I type, I’m sitting in my office with a corgi and a bulldog snoring behind me and breeze coming through my windows. It’s… honestly pretty hard to complain.
I’ve got my book outlined, I’m ready to go.
That it doesn’t always go like what I laid out in the last question.
There will be times when books don’t work. When they get halfway done and fall apart, and require a week to fix. There are times when I finish a book, think it to be a good story, good book, and it just utterly fails to generate any sales. Those are the hard times.
The hardest part, I guess, is the up and down. But the longer you write, the more you release, the less you depend on each individual book, and so while you still get really excited about the successes, the failures hurt less and less.
If you could be a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I’ve recently fallen totally in love with werewolves.
I should clarify – the OLD kind of werewolf. The mythical skin-walker sorts that you find in myths from all over the planet. The Twilight sort of werewolves never did it for me, but the idea of being a creature who could change their skin, run through woods, just go wild when I felt like it? Seems like a good time to me!
I loved Flora Dare’s novella. One of my favorite things in a good romance is a rugged, rough around the edges hero, and Jonathan delivered.
If you had a time machine, what era would you like to visit and why?
Tough one. I think the problem with being trained in history is that I know TOO much about the gritty parts of the past!
I’d go with the 1920s though. The glitz, the glamor, all the incredibly lavish parties and weird cocktails… that seems like my idea of a good time. Also, they had plenty of antibiotics, which is one of my requirements for a place and time to live. Just… call it a safety measure!
What life advice have you been given, that you wished someone had given you sooner?
“It’s a lot worse to live with regret at not trying than it is to fail at something and get over it.”
Abraham van Helsing. I’ve read probably a million books or so in my life, and he’s the one who always sticks out. He’s got such a curious way of looking at the world, and sticks with what he knows to be true even when it seems like the silliest possible way to think.
Also, that would give me the excuse to have a really lavish late-Victorian meal with all the trappings. Roasted quails, those incredibly rich pies, all the sweets… yeah, I could really go for that right about now!
Who are your favourite authors and why?
My favorites are the ones I’ve learned from. The big names – Nora Roberts, Stephen King – people like that who have been working, and prolific for years, have always inspired me. Recently though, the people in this very bundle have been more inspirational to me than anyone else.
We work together – often a handful of us sit in a chat room and write while we keep each other company. The ideas we exchange and the camaraderie we share is just incredible.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a paranormal romance series under my PNR name “Lynn Red” and the follow-up/conclusion to my Scottish historical series under Anya. I’ve got my life scheduled out pretty well until after Christmas, which is a pretty comfortable mental space for me to be!
Where can fans find you online?