Q. How do you create chemistry between your characters that keeps readers turning the pages? I mean, I know chemistry when I see it on the TV or movie screen but when do you know you’ve captured it on the page?
A. That’s a very good question, and one that many romance writers struggle with each novel they write. It’s important to remember that chemistry has key components: sexual attraction, intellectual common ground, emotional connection and emotional conflict. It’s not excessive mental lusting and sex scene for the sake of just having a sex scene. I always look for ways in which the characters shake each other’s world to the foundation. I like it when they challenge each other… among other things.
Q. Your brief summary of North Star alludes to a villain or villains so is the story a mystery?
A. No it’s a romance with some suspense elements. I mean it’s not John Gresham and the story focuses more on the relationship of Caresse and Graham.
Q. In your blog you spoke about critiquing other writers of RWA, doesn’t it make more sense to have only published authors critique unpublished writers?
A. No way! Everyone’s feedback is vital because all types of people read romance novels. If you are an active romance reader, and most published and unpublished romance novelists are, then you know when a passage is confusing, or if the pacing is inconsistent or even if the characters are likable. A writer should never limit the critique to just published writers because good feedback can come from the most unexpected places.
Q. What will be the next novel after South Beach is finished?
A. Well I haven’t decided yet. I think I’ll be closer to knowing the answer to that question when I’m on the final chapters of South Beach but I promise to keep you updated. I hope to have North Star published before I begin to outline m third novel.
I spoke to a retired literary agent that stays informed about today’s market and he read the first chapter, character bios and novel summary of "Jacmuir" in one sitting and told me I have a real jewel on my hands. For a moment I thought he was just saying that because it’s important not to crush the dreams of an aspiring author but he was really excited. I mean REALLY!
We spend a few hours talking about the characters I developed over the last five years and the world I researched and plotted for about ten years when he said, “Is this your legacy?”
His words stopped me mid-sentence because I’ve been thinking about my contribution to the literary landscape since my college days. So I steadied my jaw, looked him in straight in the eye and said, “Yes, it’s keeps me up every morning and most nights.” He grinned the way a grandfather beams at a child.
He gave plenty of writing advice and cautioned me to keep my characters as captivating as they are in their bios. I told him, “If I’m not interested in what’s happening in the world of Jacmuir I KNOW one else will be.” (Yes, I’m very hard on my prose. So a literary agent’s tirade pails in comparison)
I can’t describe how wonderful it was to see someone excited about my novel. It was great to hear the questions about the characters and plot. Part of me wants to put the first chapter online for your feedback but published authors have warned me against it. What do you think?