Not sure where I stand, what I’m about, and if my books are right for you? Here are some Q&As that will hopefully help you!
What kind of romance do you write?
I write the lovey kind…? But seriously. I write small town contemporary romance and no matter how hard I try to steer my stories they always always come out a little dark, a little angst-y, and a lot emotional.
Why do you write about small towns?
I grew up in a small town. I live in a small town. I understand the inner workings of small towns on an intimate level. It’s fascinating to me watching life on a small scale but these little towns often carry big secrets.
Rural life is slower and a lot more freedom to live a less hectic life, but with a slower pace life there is so much more time to stir up trouble. Small towns are a complex ecosystem of founding families (small town royalty), political divide, personal/private life balance, lifers vs can’t wait to blow this joint citizens, boredom, blue collar workers, ignorance vs naivety, and a group of people who have no choice but to inhabit the same space despite big differences.
In big cities it is so much easier to find your people. In small towns, what you get is what you get. You either make it work…or it makes for a juicy story…
Is there always a HEA?
Sooooo, yes. Of course. Because it’s not romance if it doesn’t end in forever, right?
You knew there was a big ol’ but hiding in here didn’t you?
I will just come right out and say it. HEA doesn’t have to mean he pops the question and fast forward to the epilogue where she’s barefoot, pregnant and loving every moment of her now perfect life as a domestic goddess.
Sometimes that’s what they want. Sometimes the ladies I write about don’t want to get married. Or have kids. Some want careers. Some want adventure. Some have other desires they wish to fulfill and now they have the support of their great hero cheering them on.
My characters get their well earned forevers…it just might look a little different for each couple.
Are your series standalone?
So far yes. I’ve sort of fallen into the Small Town Romance thing where everyone in town gets a HEA.
*prepares Oprah voice*
You get a HEA. You get a HEA. You get a HEA!
Do your books have cliffhangers?
I’m not opposed to cliffhanger endings. That said I write stand alone so it wouldn’t be a cliffhanger, it would be an unfinished story.
I will give you fair warning though, my endings feel abrupt to some people. I lack the drive to tie up all the loose bows and make everything perfect. This is not because I hate bows, they are quite lovely. This is because I feel like once the plot is done the story is done. And how could I ever write a sequel—should one ever demand to be written—if I have left all doors closed to future torture for these beloved characters?
If I’m not Canadian will I still understand your books?
Absolootly, there, bud. There’s nothin’ sexier than a Canadian accent, eh?
How sexy is sexy?
There is sex in my books. On page sex. Descriptive and emotive sex. But I do my very best to be sure it’s there on purpose to further the growth and connection of the characters. I also write sex from an emotional standpoint, not a mechanical one. So it leans a little more to how sex feels emotionally for the characters than how it works—or what it looks like—physically. I have fun choreographing but I trust you have an imagination and will fill in what I miss. *wink wink*
Do you write about triggering or taboo topics?
Yes and no. Because of my ‘rules’ I probably wouldn’t write a BDSM book (even though the BDSM life is heavily reliant on consent) or a book about a sordid affair but if I ever found a set of characters that embodied my rules and chose a lifestyle that was a little out of my range of knowledge I would definitely tackle it—after copious amounts of research—like polyamory or open relationships.
I do not shy away from triggering topics though. Grief, loss, mental health, suicide, abuse, addiction, rape, toxic masculinity, politics, and religion are all things I write about. I am drawn to ‘broken people’ and helping them on their journey to realize that they are not broken, that they matter and they are important and they deserve to find their love too.
What do you mean when you say deeply flawed female characters?
I mean you’ll probably hate my women. Seriously. It’s what I am criticized the most for. If I had a dollar for ever time an editor or beta reader or reviewer told me my women are unlikable, I’d be filthy rich.
Here’s the thing. I don’t care about being likable. I care about being real. All women matter. Not just the nice ones. The not nice ones can grow too. The non-traditional ones deserve love too.
This is how I work most things in my life: Can a man do it and get away with it? Yes? Than so can a woman.
I hold my heroes and my heroines to the same standard. If I’m allowed to write an angry brooding hero who pushes people away and self medicates his gaping emotional wounds, then I sure as shit can write a woman like that too.
If I can write a sweet, innocent and naive woman who shies away from love and affection by building a wall of humor or distance, then I sure as shit can write a man like that.
Do you write Alpha’s or Bad Boy Types?
Personally I can’t do Alphas. I have nothing against them or authors who write them. I just can’t do it. Or I should say I can’t do it with a straight face. I’m either grimacing because if a man spoke to me like that he’d be picking his balls up off the floor, or I find it so over the top that I end up in a fit of giggles.
This comes down to personal preference because of things that have happened in my own past with aggressive men that I now find extremely triggering.
I hold no judgment in my heart to ANY author for writing what they love to write. There are a million faces of love, and my love stories are not the ONLY love stories. Each person gets to choose what works for them. There needs to be lots of authors writing lots of different kinds of stories!
As for bad boy types. Yes. I am all over bad boys. Misunderstood bad boys with a heart of gold and a huge emotional wound to protect? *Melts* That is my bread and butter, you guys.
All that said, I have to point out that nice guys can still be sexually aggressive. Sweet guys can still have wild sex. Kind hearted men can ravage a women when asked to…
Can you explain your ‘rules’ about consent, communication, and conflict? Why is that important to you?
My view of love and sex was warped at a very young age. I never had good role models when it came to love and believed some very toxic things about it.
By the time I was seventeen I was the child of an alcoholic, a survivor of sexual assault, and was chin deep in an emotionally abusive relationship. I believed that love was a lie, that sex was a bargaining tool, and that I deserved the shitty guys I chose.
As I began writing and reading romance I really struggled to connect even though I really wanted to. I love love stories. I kept trying to write them but they always felt forced, or I lost interest, or I couldn’t connect with my own characters.
Through therapy I uncovered that consent and communication were deeply rooted core values I hold. I believe that ongoing and enthusiastic consent paired with open and honest communication is the recipe for true love.
I want both characters in every story to have a shot at a real forever, so while my plots may be exaggerated/overdramatic/unrealistic, the characters themselves are not.
For young girls who sneak their mother’s romance novels to read after dark, this is the message I want them to receive: You deserved to be loved and you can choose what love looks like for you.