What got you interested writing Sweet Romance books?
I didn't want to be embarrassed to have friends and family read my books.
Tell readers a little about the Calusa Town Tales series.
It is set on a highly fictionalized version of the Florida island where I actually live. Some of the incidents in the stories have a basis in reality; however, I exaggerate the details for dramatic or comic effect. It is a close knit community full of quirky residents, all of whom know each other's business.
If you could live the life of one of your characters, would you?
If you had to pick one, who would it be?
I would pick Geneva, the mayor in my first book, The Lady Is a Mayor. I must confess I like to be in control. (It's an oldest child thing.) I am also pretty diplomatic, so I think I'd make a good mayor.
What's your favorite character that you have created and why?
My favorite character probably is Jeremiah Wibbertson. He appears in all three books of the series. I copied his habit of making musical commentary on what is happening around him from a lovely gentleman who was the accompanist of a group I sang with.
Do you have any real-life stories that you have incorporated into one of your books?
There is a runaway emu in Island Dream. This really did happen back when I was the editor of the local newspaper. He roamed through neighborhoods on the island for a week or two before an animal rescue organization finally caught up with him.
If you had to choose a different career other than writing, what would it be?
I have had several different careers, and none was as well suited to me as writing. I did enjoy teaching a class for first year students at a local college though. I wanted to help them to avoid making all the dumb mistakes I made when I was their age.
What is your favorite book that you have ever written and why?
My favorite of the three I've written so far is the middle one, Southern Hospitality. I think I was able to show in it the strong sense of community that also exists in my real life town.
What do you like to do with your time when you're not writing?
I sing with a symphonic chorale. It is challenging and enormously satisfying to my spirit.
What's a fun fact that your readers might not know about you?
I was a member of a dance team for women over the age of 50 for a couple years. We dressed up in the most outrageous costumes you've ever seen. It was all for a good cause. We raised money to provide service dogs for veterans.
What do you have in store for your readers next?
Drawing on my musical background, I am working on a book set backstage at a fledgling opera company. The PR director must pretend to be engaged to the maestro to keep his groupies at bay. I'm aiming for a fall release.
Thanks again for doing this interview. Here's to continued success.