2. What would you like readers to know about your hero and heroine? Did you base Shane and Jena on any celebs in particular?
Shane and Jen aren’t based on celebs, per se but I do look at Jason Statham as a physical reference for Shane.
3. The story is fabulous (I’m lucky and read Jessica’s books—they’re awesome)! What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter or pantser? What was your favorite part of writing BOY?
Thank you! Shane and Jen have been a long time coming to the page. I used to be a 100% seat of the pants writer. The problem with that was that I’d write the entire book, only to discover that I was all over the place. Earlier this year, I read Alexandra Sokoloff’s Screenwriting Tips for Writers and a whole lot of pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Now, I do have a tendency to story board, to work out what the character’s goals and arcs are as well as figuring out what the story premise is. If I’ve got those things worked through, I can start to write. My favorite part of BECAUSE OF YOU was really watching the story take shape through revisions. The story today is completely different than that first draft over four years ago, but the characters have grown and molded along the way. I love the revisions process.
5. Who are some of your favorite authors and books?
I read a lot of nonfiction about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my favorite fiction books lately has been Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Blade. Even if you’re not a fan of paranormal, the characters in this book are so torn and damaged, it’s absolutely riveting. It’s one of my favorite books of the year.
6. I love hearing about call stories. Will you tell us yours?
My call story is kind of funny and one I’m sure editors and agents on twitter will cringe when they read. Shane and Jen had just been sitting under my bed, so to speak for about a year or so. Right around the time that the SEALs had killed Bin Laden, the romance world went nuts for all things military romance. Sue Grimshaw had a blog up about wanting to read a contemporary military romance that was not romantic suspense. I didn’t have a current email address for her, but I’d chatted with her a few times while I’d been deployed so I shot her a note on twitter that basically said, hey I’ve got this contemp military romance, do you want to take a look. She said yes and I figure it would be months before I heard anything but she basically got back to me in like a week and said she loved it but wanted to talk about revisions. At this point, I got my agent on the horn and let him take over negotiations. “I was sitting in my dentist’s chair, getting ready to get fluoride when he called and said congratulations, you’re a published author.”
7. What’s next for you?
Right now there are 2 more books in the Coming Home series for Loveswept and I suspect there will be a couple more. I’m still an active duty army officer so we’ll see where the Army wants to send me next!