It’s Friday again and I have another guest blogger this week. Heather Lin has agreed to step into the hot seat and let me play at being an interviewer. So please welcome her here today.
What would you like readers to know about you before they pick up any of your books, and which of your books would you suggest they start with?
I guess readers should know that I love writing. It’s the one thing that I’ve always managed to stick with, the one passion that’s never faded. I put everything I have into my stories.
As for which to start with…hm…decisions, decisions. It really depends on the reader’s taste. For something hot and spicy with scene after scene of scorching hot sex, Scandal or Strangers would be good. But if the reader is interested in something a little more tame with more plot than sex (although there’s still a good amount of that, too), Westridge would be a good pick.
You have some books on your site listed under Ruthie’s Club (defunct). Are these available elsewhere or are they going to become available at some point in the future?
Good question. Ruthie’s Club accepted some of my earliest works, and I love them for it, but I would definitely need to go through the stories and give them another edit before I released them to the public again. I’ve been considering having them republished through a different vendor or putting together an anthology of my erotica, once I regain the rights to my other short stories. So I am planning for them to reappear at some point in the future; I’m just not sure when or where.
I see you write poetry as well as stories; how does each type of writing compare to the other?
Stories are exciting and take me into another world. They require a lot of time and a lot of planning. I write all of my poetry in the moment, based purely on emotion. With poetry, I’m less worried about editing and more worried about getting my thoughts down on paper.
I guess the best way to put it is that I write poetry more for myself, as a sort of therapy, and I write my stories to entertain others.
Is there any genre that you would like to write that you have not yet delved into?
Epic fantasy! I’ve always dreamed of writing something comparable to Tolkien, Martin, or even Rowling. But, quite honestly, I’m not sure I have the focus it would take to plan out a whole new world and a story that doesn’t deal mainly with sex and romance. I need a love story to keep me going, as much as I love the dynamic of warring peoples and fantastic creatures. But who knows? I may end up compromising with myself and writing some kind of epic erotic fantasy novel. Keep an eye out. 😉
Which of your characters do you think you relate to the most and why?
Of my published works, I’d have to say Gabby from Westridge. I’ve never literally run from my problems the way she does, but I do have a hard time dealing with confrontation. I have the tendency to just shut down and avoid dealing with the issue at hand. I’m also very close to my family, and my heart belongs in a small town rather than in the city, just like hers.
Who do you like to read for inspiration and which author would you say has influenced you the most?
I’d have to say Carly Phillips has influenced me the most. She’s the first romance author I ever read, and I just couldn’t read her books fast enough. She blended plot, sex, and romance seamlessly and oh-so erotically. She’s really the person who inspired me to write in the genre in the first place.
Would you like to tell us about your latest release, what inspired it and where and when it will be available?
I’d love to! I’m so excited about Westridge. It’s the only story I’ve written so far that involves people and places based on those from my own life. It was inspired by the Taylor Swift song “Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)” and writing it really helped me to deal with my homesickness while I was away at college.
Westridge will be released on June 18th as part of Silver Publishing’s Father’s Day line, but it’s available right now for pre-order on their website at the following address:
Gabby Jones and Jason Dawson were born only months apart in the small, country town of Westridge. For the next eighteen years, they were inseparable, but after their high school graduation, Gabby got on a bus to the city, leaving Jason with a weak explanation and a broken heart. After five years of making it a point to avoid her old flame, Gabby comes home for a funeral and, thanks to meddling parents and circumstance, she and Jason are thrown together again.
But now Jason is an auto mechanic with an ex-wife and a daughter, and Gabby owns a successful flower shop in the city. Even if Gabby is able to admit she still loves Jason, and even if Jason is able to convince her to tell him the real reason she left, will they be able to get past the changes and broken pieces in time to start over?
“What do you mean you can’t pick me up?” Gabby Jones asked in disbelief, trying to balance her purse, suitcase, ticket, and cell phone as she boarded the bus.
“I’ll send someone to get you. I’m busy helping with the funeral arrangements,” her mother replied.
“What about Dad?”
“He’s busy, too. We’ll send someone.”
“Mom,” she said unhappily. “I know who you’re gonna send. You can’t.”
“Oh, you’re gonna have to see him at the funeral, anyway. And just because you disowned all of your friends when you moved away doesn’t mean I have to.”
Gabby had left the small town of Westridge five years ago. In Westridge, the nearest mall was forty-five minutes away, and “got stuck behind a plow” was the most common excuse for tardiness. The kids hung out at Walmart or the diner during their downtime and talked about how they couldn’t wait to get away from the stupid small town where everyone knew everyone else’s business. They didn’t want to be stuck in the same routine, seeing the same people their whole lives, and Gabby had felt the same way — trapped, bored, insignificant. At least, that’s what she’d told Jason two days before getting on a bus to the city and not looking back.
Ever since, she’d made a point of avoiding her old friends whenever she returned to visit her parents. Of course, her mother always updated her on Jason whether Gabby wanted to hear it or not. Mrs Jones had complained about the girl Jason dated after Gabby, discounted their quick marriage, gushed over their new baby, and gloated when they got divorced just a year after her birth. It had hurt Gabby to hear the news, but there was no way she’d ever admit it to her mother. Gabby tolerated her mother’s gossip and was grateful she’d managed to avoid her high school sweetheart in person, if not in conversation. But this visit would be different.
Her parents and Jason’s had been best friends since high school, and none of them made a secret of wishing Gabby and Jason would get back together. Sending him to pick her up today was a perfect setup. For them. Gabby rolled her hazel eyes in annoyance, even though her mother couldn’t see.
“I didn’t disown anyone,” she said. “I just went on to bigger and better things. People drift apart. It happens.”
She found her seat and threw her bags onto the rack above it. Her neighbors didn’t look particularly happy about the twenty-three year old talking away on her cell phone, but she ignored them.
“Bullshit,” Mrs Jones admonished. Only her mother could make cussing sound like a gentle, motherly act. “You loved it here. You were perfectly happy until—”
“Mom!” Gabby interrupted, not wanting to hear what her mother would say next.
She’d become a master of denial over the years and couldn’t handle anyone breaking through the fog of her self-induced memory loss. Her mother sighed. It was a heavy sound, and Gabby didn’t like it. It made her seem old.
“You’re right. It’s fine,” Gabby’s voice softened. “I’ll have to see him soon, anyway.”
“It’ll be okay, baby. I love you. I have to go now.”
“Love you, too, Mom.”
She snapped the phone shut and leaned her head back against the seat, closing her eyes to fend off a tension headache. But all she could see was an eighteen year old Jason: blue eyes full of disbelief, face pale, fists balled.
* * * *
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Jason demanded, slamming the door to his truck shut.
Gabby had to work hard to keep her chin raised and her lips from trembling.
“Just like that? And all I get is a note in my locker on the last day of school?”
He threw a crumpled piece of paper at her feet. Her parents had dropped her off at the bus stop, but they were long gone. If that goodbye had been painful, this one would be excruciating — which was exactly why she’d tried to avoid it.
“I told you in the note—”
“And now you can tell me to my face.”
He was making a scene. Gabby was embarrassed, and the tears she’d tried desperately to keep at bay burned in her eyes.
“There isn’t anything to do in this town. I just need to see what else is out there.”
“This is bullshit, Gabby. A few months ago, we were talking about getting married.”
Her voice rose as she lied desperately through her teeth, trying to keep control.
“Well, I changed my mind.”
The bus pulled up, and Jason’s anger turned to pleading.
“Don’t, Gabby. If you need some time away from this place, I’ll go with you.”
“You belong here, Jason.”
“I belong with you.”
Then she turned and boarded the bus, ignoring the stares. She managed to hold the tears back until he was out of sight.
* * * *
The pain of the memory was scorching, surprising Gabby with its intensity. She opened her eyes. She had to get a hold of herself. She looked past the old man reading a magazine, her gaze falling on the houses outside. They were reaching the suburbs, but her destination lay far beyond that. Gabby groaned and firmly pushed the last image she had of her high school sweetheart out of her mind. The next few days were going to be hell.
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