Your genres range from sweet to adventure to bad-boy bikers– is there a subgenre or trope you LOVE reading that you haven’t written about yet?
Science fiction! I love me some sci fi and have plenty of ideas floating around in my head for future stories. Alas, I have a long to-do list and I won’t be able to work on them for quite a while. But I’ll let you in on a little secret – I already have the covers ready for a special two-part sci fi series I’ve been dreaming about for years. Now I just need to find the time to write the books!
Love Spied was inspired by the year I spent living in Istanbul. I miss it mightily: enjoying hot tea at a cafe on Istiklal Street, exploring the narrow streets of the Old City, and spending long nights out with friends around Taksim Square. I think my longing for the city is visible in the book. I poured a bit of my heart into the setting, and I have to admit it was bittersweet when I finally finished the story. I got to visit such a dear place again, but only briefly.
What was your favorite scene in Love Spied?
Oof, that’s really tough. I’m going to go with the scene where Nara and Ophelia spend the night in the safe house. Exploring the hidden, silly quirks that the two stoic women keep from the rest of the world was so much fun. It was tender and funny, and I found myself melting a bit at my computer as I wrote the dialogue.
You write sweet romances without graphic sex scenes. Do you find yourself skipping the sex when you read other authors’ books?
Nope, I definitely read them. Sometimes twice. 😉
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?
I love listening to music while I write. If the walls are rocking, my keys are tapping!
My favorite music for romantic scenes is Beyonce’s self titled album. Have you listened to Partition? That song is pure sex. Lately, I’m also really into Anti by Rihanna. I can put it on repeat and jam for hours on end. Other than that, you’ll often find me enjoying Reggaeton while writing fight or action scenes.
I so love novellas – it is my favorite length to both read and write. However, I plan on putting out some longer work in the next year. Here is a sneak peek at one of the stories: it is a contemporary M/M second chance romance that takes place at an animal sanctuary. I’ve been having a blast researching and writing about all the crazy animals in the sanctuary. They have quite a lot of personality!
What authors or books have influenced you the most?
I think The Little Prince has had the greatest influence on how I see the world. It taught me how to be brave and follow dreams, even if they seem crazy to all the ‘real adults’. If I hadn’t read that book, perhaps I wouldn’t have been brave enough to start this writing gig!
You say your life goal is to travel the world, what country is next on your list? Which one is your favorite?
Yep, my goal is to visit every country in the world. When it comes to life goals I go big, or go home!
For my next trip, I’m hoping to do Uruguay! It has been on my list for a long, long time and I can hardly wait. I may be able to go with my mother, which would make it a really special trip.
As for my favorite country, that’s like asking me to chose a favorite book – they are all different and I love them in their own way. If I absolutely had to pick a top two, though, they would be Bosnia and Peru. Bosnia was such a surprise – the countryside is stunning and the food is out of this world. You would be both impressed and grossed out by the amount of cheese I ate while I was there. As for Peru, it just feels like home. I’ve spent quite a bit of time there, and even though I was born and raised in the US, I sometimes get homesick for Peru. There is nothing like relaxing in the altiplano, a pisco sour in your hand.
One of the most important things I’ve learned while traveling is this: the smallest details matter. People are very similar around the world, more similar than we often think, in fact. We want love, safety, and happiness and we go about our day striving for meaning. What separates us are the small details – the way we make our tea, the view from the kitchen window, or our favorite song. I try to put those small, but important, details into my writing to bring the settings to life.
I think readers can really see that in my book Love Rescued. Sarajevo is my favorite city in the world, and I wanted to capture what makes it magical – the way the birds settle on the cobblestone streets, the sound of the coppersmiths, and the way the call to prayer reverberates around the old city. I hope readers enjoyed the background as much as I enjoyed writing it!
What are the three things as a writer that you can’t live without?
My cat, because he makes sure I take plenty of breaks to rest my eyes. He yells for attention if I type for more than an hour straight!
Hot chocolate, because otherwise I’d be freezing in my office all winter.
My trusty 99-cent notebook, because I handwrite my plots a lot of the time.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
Well, I’m actually trained to be an archaeologist. So if I wasn’t writing I’d probably be out digging up dead people (now that is a phrase you don’t hear every day).