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More Answers from "You Asked"

So to keep up with your questions, (which I should tell you, there were 6 pages worth!!!) today I am going to answer the ones posited by Ebony Morton. I thought they were particularly perfect for right now as I struggle through finishing a book and wonder what the heck I am doing.

My husband says I always do this, and I wish he wouldn’t always remind me. I prefer my short term memory when it comes to deadlines.

So here are Ebony’s excellent questions:

Do you have all your stories planned out before you write them or do they just come to you and you write?

I like to think I have a story all plotted out before I sit down to write it. I usually have a very detailed outline and synopsis at the ready before I even start Chapter 1. But then I start to write and the further I get into the story, the more the synopsis turns into more of a “general idea” than an actual roadmap. But no matter how far I nearly always stray from that synopsis, I will always start out with one because I like having that sense of where I am going. Over the years and nearly 20 books, I’ve learned–some times the hard

One of my favorite series characters, Temple.

way–not to be too married to a synopsis and open to the creative process that can work magic on a story.

Are series of books hard to write?
Yes and no. I love having an ongoing series because you have this great gang of characters that you can draw on for inspiration. Best of all, you already “know” them. But series characters also come with their baggage–what they’ve done and said before–so you have to make sure you are always aware of their idiosyncrasies and particulars. There are times when I have to go back and hunt down what color a character’s hair and eyes are, and other significant details.

The key to always remember when you are writing a book in a series is to keep focused on the primary story–the romance between the hero and heroine, because face it–the romance is everything!

What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
I’d probably be unemployed, because I am rather unemployable. Apparently being an outspoken control freak is not a problem when you work at home for yourself. In the job world, it can be a detriment. But that aside, I used to be a paralegal and a pretty good one I will say with no lack of humility. It was the perfect job for me. I got to write, meet interesting people, and come up with wild theories as to why (or why not) our client was innocent. I found the law, especially trial work, really exciting, and at times, miss it terribly. Then I remember that it also involved working for lawyers (no offense to any lawyers out there) and I am content with my current occupation for as long as you all will have me.

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