I have end-of-school-getting-ready-for-the-talent-show brain. Please excuse the late post!
- What was the inspiration for this book? Out of the Ashes started out with the idea that if a cat could have 9 lives, why not people? My initial thought was to write short vignettes of their first eight lives, starting from when they meet each time until their untimely deaths, then end the book with their 9th life where they finally get it right. Unfortunately, a book like that would’ve ended up being a War and Peace behemoth. So I decided to focus on their first and last lives, and just hint at the tragedy of their other lives that came in between.
While I was doing research for possible time periods and settings, I came across a National Geographic photograph of a plaster cast of a couple from Pompeii. The man and woman died in each other’s arms as they tried to flee the city, forever frozen in time, his hand shielding her face in a vain attempt to protect her. The cast is beautiful, touching, and heartbreaking. In fact, I use a photo of that exact cast from the Pompeii Exhibit taken by photographer Ken Thomas on the back cover of the print book. (You can see his original photo here.) I began to wonder what their story might have been, and the tragic couple eventually evolved into a young Pompeian girl and the slave gladiator she loved. Then I wondered what might have happened if they were given a second chance.
- What’s next for you? I’m almost finished writing a gothic time travel, Once Upon a Gothic, which is a spoof on Jane Eyre. Jason Quint is a middle school gym teacher who travels back in time to Victorian England where he’s hired by the mysterious mistress of the manor to be a tutor to two devilish children. After that, I’ll release the first book in my Bestiary Series, Fire of the Dragon. The series are paranormal medievals, with a mix of time travel, shape shifters, and magic. I hope to have both out later this year.
- When you’re procrastinating, what do you do? I’m a Mahjong Connect addict. It’s warped, but I like to see if I can make beat all 12 levels without using the hint button.
- How many books in your TBR pile? Good grief. I’m not sure I can count them all. I have 5 bookshelves stacked at least 2 books deep with novels I haven’t read yet, 3 grocery bags of books stashed in the attic, and several tote bags from various conferences shoved in the back of my closet. Let’s not even get into how many e-books are stored on my Kindle.
- What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? Other than reading romance? Hmmm, let me see. I like watching ‘Hoarders.’ It makes me feel like my house is not as dirty and cluttered as it seems.
- Name 3 of your favorite things. I enjoy sailing the Mediterranean on my yacht, The Fabio, while Paolo, the cabana boy, feeds me peeled grapes by the infinity pool and Sven, my Swedish masseuse, rubs my feet with sun-warmed lavender oil imported from Bulgaria.
- Where can readers find you?