I noticed that several of you had questions for me about Something About You and Practice Makes Perfect in my previous blog about reading guides/discussion questions. So I thought I’d go ahead and answer a few of those:
Q. I was wondering what inspired you to include more sex in Something About You?
A. Lots of wine. Just kidding. (Well, sort of.) Something About You was steamier than my first two books because it felt like the right thing to do. By adding a suspense subplot, there was a little more “grit” to the book, and the higher sensuality seemed a better fit for that. Plus, there was such a build up of sexual tension between Cameron and Jack, I thought readers might kill me if I didn’t show the culmination of that. : )
Q. Do your characters take over – meaning have a mind of their own and if so, do they take you to a very surprising journey?
A. Yes and no. Sometimes I set out to write a certain scene and I write and rewrite and rewrite it again and it just doesn’t work, and usually that’s because I’m trying to get the characters to do something that would be, no pun intended, out of character. And what also happens is that, as I get into the book, the characters will become so vivid in my mind that I can “hear” their voices and the back-and-forth dialogue really begins to flow. I don’t know that I’ve ever been completely surprised by any character’s actions, though.
Q. I am curious as to how your ‘past life’ as a lawyer pushed your books ahead and have you had to do more research as you write new books?
A. Being a lawyer has certainly been a plus in writing lawyer heroines, I can say that. : ) Although I did have to do more research for Something About You, since I was a civil litigator and Cameron is a criminal prosecutor. So I emailed a friend who is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for help. I suspect he thought that I was going to have all these sexy, thought-provoking questions about his job and then instead I asked him things like, “How many people do you share a secretary with?” “When you meet with FBI agents, do you meet at your office or theirs?” I knew the big-picture aspects of the job, I just needed help with the details.
With respect to Book 4, the upcoming A Lot Like Love, I had to do a lot of research. Neither the heroine nor the hero is a lawyer–imagine that! The heroine owns a wine store, so I shadowed the owner of my local wine shop for a day, I took a wine appreciation course (not exactly a hardship), and I read a couple books on wine. Plus I took a trip to Napa Valley last year, and I was able to draw on that experience.
Q. While writing the one book, did you start to get ideas for the next book and if so, are you able you write more than one book at a time?
A. Not with my first three books. Those were written entirely as stand-alone books, without any cross over in the characters. But with A Lot Like Love, not only do I bring back characters from Something About You, but a supporting character in ALLL will be the hero in Book 5. So when writing A Lot Like Love, yes–I definitely began to get ideas for the next book, because I already know who the hero will be. That being said, I don’t actually write more than one book at a time. I get very entrenched in the book I’m writing and need to focus only on that.
There were more questions, and I’ll get to those next time. I think I like this Q&A idea! So if you have questions you’d like answered in a future blog, feel free to post them below.
On an entirely different note, I started the first book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and I’m enjoying it so far. For those of you who have read the BDB books–and I know there are many of you–what did you think? (No spoilers please!)