Hello Layla, and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your writing adventure.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
This didn’t occur when I first started to write a story. This realization came when someone reacted to what I’d written. Since I started writing, I’ve worked within various critique groups. In my early years, the group met in person on a weekly basis, and we brought hard copies to line edit. When a critiquer laughed in the correct place, I knew that the characters I’d created were real enough and I’d presented the situation in the right light for the person to react to the situation. In that moment, I considered myself a writer.
What book are you reading right now?
I lolled about this morning and finished reading Richard Castle’s third novel, Heat Rises. I am an avid fan of the television series, Castle, and really like the quality and depth of writing in the novels that are an offshoot of the series. I love the inside jokes connected to the show and have the image of Nathan Fillion in mind as I read the scenes where journalist Jameson Rook appears.
In what genre do you prefer to write and why?
Everything I write has romance at its base. I write erotic romance because I want to explore the steamy side of the sexual relationship between the characters I’ve pitted together who need to overcome their conflict to reach a goal. No matter if I’m only writing about a couple’s overnight adventure which starts with no expectation for more than a dalliance, or I’m exploring the dynamics of a couple who are looking to build a future, the sexual component of a liaison has impact and I don’t want to be constrained in language or action.
What place inspires you most?
Early in my writing career, I worked fulltime and wrote late at night when the family all slept. In those years, I wished for the chance to live in the mountains among the boulders, pines and cedars, and to work fulltime at creating stories. I love the feeling of being in nature, of sitting on a fallen log or a rock, being completely still and just listen to the sounds that come forth. Buzzing of insects, skittering of squirrels and chipmunks, tap-tapping of a woodpecker, whistling notes of a songbird. Often, while in committee meetings or watching the kids at swim lessons or athletic events, I’d dream of being in the place that inspired me. The kids are now adults living their own lives. Last year, when my husband had the opportunity to take a job in a mountain setting, my wish came true.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?
I always wanted to be a librarian. To be able to read books all day long—that had to be the greatest job in the world. (remember, kid thinking.) I ended up getting a degree in Business Administration, but I have always loved research. My love of learning--about the specifics of a certain place, its history, how many people lived there a hundred years ago, what did they do for a living—led right into doing research in order to plot a story. In fact, sometimes I get lost in the research and have to drag myself away to start writing pages.