Tell us your name and then a bit about yourself.
I write steamy contemporary romance set in Chicago. I have multiple series surrounding big Irish-American families. I like writing about essay families both the ones we have bye blood and by choice. I also write heist romances as Sloane Steele. I am a mom of 3 mostly grown people, I work as a curriculum writer and part-time English teacher and executive functions coach.
When you are writing a book, which is harder? The first book in the series or the others after it?
The hardest part about the first book is setting up the world – which for me, means figuring out who all the siblings are. But that’s the fun part. It’s harder as the series goes on because I never know how much to include about past couples and things that happened. It’s a fine line of making new readers aware of things without boring the readers who have been there since the beginning.
When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
I try to play with different tropes and if I’m not feeling it, I’ll write something else for a while. That’s how I ended up writing a heist romance series. Then I was happy to jump back into my Chicago neighborhood families.
Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Find other writers. If you have a supportive partner or family (I haven’t), they don’t really get what it’s like to be stuck or to be excited when you unravel a plot point. Other writers get it. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my writer friends at Chicago-North Romance Writers and my Panera supper club pals.
On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?
That’s a total crap shoot. It depends on where I am in the writing process, but I try for at least an hour a day. Because of my day jobs, that doesn’t always happen, so then I do more on the weekends.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
I don’t hide that Jimmy O’Malley is my favorite hero. He’s overprotective and bossy as the oldest sibling in his family. He’s not much of a talker, so of course, I paired him with his best friend’s sister who does nothing but talk. Jimmy and Moira were my first grumpy-sunshine pair (although I didn’t think about that at the time) and they will always be special to me.
If any of your books were to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it? What book and who?
I could do this all day because I create a collage for each book before I start writing. I use actors as placeholders for each character. The book I am currently working on (In Fine Form – The Doyle Family #2) the hero, Declan would be played by Nico Tortella (who played Josh on the TV Younger) and Renee would be played by Hayley Atwell (who played Peggy Carter)
What is your definition of success?
As a writer, success means having readers who look forward to my next book. When people have me on their auto-buy list, that’s a sign of success.
Do you have anything you want to share that didn’t fit on one of these questions?
If anyone wants to try my books, I always have at least 3 books free – the first from 3 different series.
What are your social links?
What are your buy links? (Provide links to your Amazon/iBook’s/Koko/etc Author Home Page if you have quite a few. Also include audible links if applicable.)
Want tickets to Writers on the River #2023?
They are available starting November 4th at Writersontheriver.com
$45 VIP sell out quickly – 12-1 VIP hour, 1-4 General Admission time. You get a filled VIP bag and admission to the after party is included.
$25 Early Access – 12-1 VIP house, 1-4 General Admission time. You also get a filled VIP bag but NO admission to the after party.
$10 General Admission – 1-4 General Admission time. You can purchase a bag but it is not filled with VIP swag. There is no admission to the after party included.
$35 After party – 7-11 After Party with food and cash bar. Dj with a photobooth is also included in the fun.