This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
I understand you are a teacher as well as an author. How do you find time for both?
My teaching responsibilities are part-time, so those can fit into my writing schedule a bit easier than one might think. They are quarterly weekend seminars that require bursts of planning and energy rather than a weekly teaching schedule. My other regularly scheduled activities, however, are volunteer activities. I’m a planner, so I’m able to plan those activities after my writing time in the morning.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I am a combination of both. I do a huge amount of research and planning before I ever write one word. That includes creating “persona” sheets for each of my characters and interviewing each of them so that as I write about them, they speak and act organically. Then, I create a sweeping outline of the story. While I’m writing, however, I occasionally let my characters lead me down a path that I haven’t already thought about. After all, they know themselves better than I do! I can always reel them back in and make them follow my general outline.
What was the inspiration for Love on the Lido Deck?
This book is the sequel to Love on the Back Burner, and is the “other” story of two best friends who are witty, fun young women in today’s society who are seeking love and career happiness while maintaining their values. I decided to set it on a cruise ship because a cruise is like a small community where everyone has the opportunity to visit with each other in a fun setting. Keira’s story in Love on the Lido Deck is multi-layered and one of her stories is how to learn how to deal with the fact that her widowed mother has now found love again.
Tell us about your heroine Keira from Love on the Lido Deck and what you like best about her?
Keira has always struggled with her image of being the cool, collected ice princess who analyzes every decision. She is a great contrast to her best friend Alexandria, the heroine of Love on the Back Burner who is the bubbly and energetic drama queen. I like Keira because deep down, she really is just very shy and has been covering that fact up for a lot of years. I wanted to give her the opportunity to break out of her shell and to also realize that the people that love her know how wonderful she really is.
What's next for you?
I’m working on a new romantic comedy with new characters. The heroine of this one is working in an off-beat profession and will face the challenges in that profession. I will keep true to my style of building a romance through plot and dialogue rather than relying on excessive sex and crude language because that has been my goal from the beginning of my fiction writing career. I’m also studying the techniques of writing screenplays because I feel that my stories lend themselves to a movie setting.
When she gets a game-changing opportunity to organize a major event on a luxury Caribbean cruise, Keira turns to best pal chef Alexandria D'Agostino to help recruit famous chefs who will offer classes for foodies looking for fun in the sun as they gain cooking know-how. The cruise becomes a rollicking adventure for Keira, her sassy assistant Juliet, the entire D'Agostino clan, Keira's mother and other surprise guests. And has Keira meet her match in charismatic Cruise Director Brennan McAllister, who could have something more than keeping everything shipshape on his mind?
Enjoy an excerpt:
You have got to be kidding me.
This guy was—what?—10 years younger than my mother! I was expecting polo and khakis, and he was in designer jeans. Gray hair with a receding hairline? Oh no, he was years away from gray. His full head of light-brown locks were shorn in a super trendy cut. And those shoes? Definitely not Naturalizers!
I caught my mother’s stern look in the corner of my eye and pulled my debutante self together.
“Sorry.” I gave myself a mental shake of the head. “Pleased to meet you. Would you join us for brownies and tea?”
I ushered him to the counter.
“Thank you, Keira.” He sat down, but I didn’t need to worry about serving him. My mother fluttered around with a sparkle in her eye and a skip in her step.
“Russ, do you want to forego tea and have coffee in your usual cup?” she asked.
His usual cup? He’d been around long enough to have a USUAL CUP?
Whoa! May-May? What was she, all of a sudden? A character in a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical?
I pulled my phone conspicuously from my pocket.
“Yikes! Would you look at that? I have a client meeting I forgot about!” I lied. “I gotta go.”
I kissed my mother’s cheek and stuck my hand out stiffly to Russell.
“Very pleased to meet you. I’m looking forward to getting to know you.” I blurted out in what I hoped was a polite tone.
“Keira—” Her disappointed voice trailed after me as I dashed through the house, took the steps on the porch two at a time, jumped into my car, and tore down the driveway.
About the Author:
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