How did you come to be interested in the Lei Crime Kindle World?
Toby suggested I try it a long, long time ago, but I’d never written fan fiction (nor really read it), so I didn’t look into it much. During a Kindle Worlds talk at my local writers’ meeting, I learned more about what makes Kindle Worlds different, including the biggest issue I had with publishing fan fiction: the author’s consent. After I learned the original authors get credit/compensation, the story ideas started flowing. That, and I learned a little more about Jared Stevens.
My first story features Jared Stevens, the sexy firefighting brother of Michael Stevens. It takes place in L.A., a few months before he moves to Maui. (Right before Fire Beach). Spark My Desire introduces original characters, Cherry Daniels, and her sister, Sera.
The Lei Crime Series are police procedural mysteries with a twist of romance. What genres do you explore in your story?
Mine is full-on romance. Specifically, light romance, with a side order of heat. While I love reading a lot of different genres, romance is and will always be my go-to. When I write a story, the characters get all smoochy whether I planned it or not.
The Lei Crime Series is set in Hawaii, but these novellas could be set anywhere. Tell us about where you set your story, and why?
I set mine in Los Angeles, before Jared moves to Hawaii. Hawaii is a different world (I grew upon the East Coast) for me, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing a story set there since I’ve never been able to visit it. One of the things I love about Toby’s writing is how she’s able to bring Hawaii to life, and I think her fans expect that. I wouldn’t be able to do the setting justice without a lot more research, which I plan to do, because Cherry and Jared’s story continues a few years later, on Maui.
Tell us a little about your main characters. Why do you think readers will like them?
Jared is one of my favorite characters. I’ve loved him since I first saw him on the page. But I didn’t love him with any of the other secondary characters (sorry, Toby!), so I created an original character to pair him with.
Cherry is the sister of Jared’s best friend and fellow firefighter in L.A. She’s young (just graduated with her MSW), fun, and just out of a relationship. She’s also been a beauty pageant competitor since her youth. One of the reasons I love her is that she’s got an athletic, adventurous streak, which is perfect for Jared. And she’s not looking for The One, either. She goes after what she wants, and in this story, she wants Jared.
This story is just a taste of Jared and Cherry’s journey, but I have the rest of their story planned and waiting to be written. They both need to grow up a little more before I’ll give them a happy ever after. *grin*
Share some of your story about becoming a writer.
Unlike a lot of writers, I didn’t want to be an author when I was younger. I loved visual art in many forms. Additionally, the human mind fascinates me. I got my degree in psychology, and was working on my doctorate in education when I decided to try and write a historical romance story that had popped into my head. That was in 2009, and I haven’t stopped writing since. I play in lots of romance sub-genres, from contemporary, erotic, historical, and paranormal, but the one thing that stays consistent is the romance.
While I have lots of manuscripts on my computer, few of them are finished because I love writing, but I hate (loathe, detest, despise) editing. I cannot stress this enough. One of these days, though, I’m going to get them done. My Lei Crime Kindle Worlds story will be the first.
Do you have a background related to your writing? What makes you interesting outside of your books? Authors are often some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met!
One of my greatest fears is to be bored, so I am what some call a lifelong learner. I have so many interests, they have to take turns. I don’t know that I’d ever be happy doing just one thing as a career. Right now, I have three: teaching psychology, digital art, and writing. I’ve also started learning how to code WordPress themes, and websites in general. Why? Hell if I know, other than it fascinates me. I’m also considering taking up photography again because I’m tired of using stock photos in my cover designs. My husband once called my interest-bouncing “Hobby ADHD” because I can’t settle on one.
I also put out some adult coloring book journals last year, which has been fun. There’s a general one for journaling, one for writers to plot, and one for musicians to compose. It’s allowed me to play with a whole new type of art, and I love it.
What are you working on next, aside from the novella in the Lei Crime Series Kindle World?
I’m working on the next book, which is Sera’s (Cherry’s sister) story. Cherry plays a pretty big role in it, too, as does Jared (though he’s in Maui by that point). I’m also working on a couple of other projects, like my next adult coloring book and an erotic romance novella.
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