What genre(s) do you write and what attracts you to that genre?
When I first joined RWA and RWAC, I was writing a historical romance set on Ile Saint Jean, which is now Prince Edward Island, my home province. But I soon realized that although I loved reading this genre and my characters and plot, what I really wanted to write was contemporary romance and women’s fiction.
What’s your writing strength? What do you think separates you from other authors?
Based on feedback I’ve received, I guess the ability to make my characters seem like real people going through real situations. I’ve also been told repeatedly that my writing flows and is enjoyable to read. I wouldn’t necessarily say this separates me from other authors, though. But it’s definitely great to hear! :)
What’s your writing kryptonite? What is always tough for you to tackle?
Where do I begin? Dialogue is hard for me. Description, especially setting, is tough. But adding enough conflict (my critique partners are nodding at this one!) is probably my biggest Achilles heel. I tend to avoid conflict in my own life if I can, so I guess it makes sense that I’d shy away from it in my writing too. I’ve also learned the hard way that while I love being a pantser, it creates a nightmare situation for me come revision time. So I’ve learned to love the plotting process a lot more. But it’s still a challenge to put my pantser-loving ways behind me!
Do you work with critique partners?
Yes, and they’re awesome! Every two weeks we meet in person, and they are completely honest but always fair. My husband and daughter also brainstorm with me and read my work whenever I ask them to.
Where are your favourite places to find inspiration for new ideas?
I don’t actively seek out new ideas because characters and their situation pop into my head all the time. This is always my jumping off point with a story, so the hard work is figuring out what else happens so these ideas turn into fully realized stories.
What piece of advice has stuck with you most since joining RWAC?
Don’t let anyone who can’t tell you yes, tell you no. This doesn’t mean I ignore the advice of my critique partners or family because I always trust and value their suggestions and insights. But rather, if you love your story and believe in it, then you’ll find a way to make it work, even if it’s in a genre that’s not hot right now.
Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
This dovetails nicely with the previous question. The first story I wrote to completion was a romantic chick lit. It was very well received in any contests I entered, but I was told repeatedly by the judges (usually by other unpublished writers) that it wouldn’t sell because “chick lit was dead.” Fast forward a few years and chick lit is apparently still dead, but I’m revising this story anyway because I love it too much not to. My plan is to self-publish it this spring.
Thanks for having me! If you’d like to get to know me better, you can find me on Twitter