Archive for May 3, 2012
Tell us about your current series.
I’m currently working on the sequel to Blame it on Texas, tentatively titled Blue Moon over Texas. It should be ready for release sometime in mid-to-late May. Blame it on Texas starts off the series, set in Morris Springs, Texas–West Texas cotton and ranching country. Life in West Texas isn’t easy. There are lots of challenges to deal with, especially weather. The weather plays a big role in both stories, but small communities in isolated areas pull together and help each other during hard times. The community becomes an extension of the family. That’s what I’ve tried to bring to life in both books.
What is your favorite part of writing?
I love getting to know my characters. They become real people to me. They are people I’d like to have as friends or family. I barely know anything about them when I first get started, but they pretty much drive the story, revealing more about themselves as they go along. People often ask which is my favorite book or character, but I can’t choose. I love them all and enjoy going back to visit them on occasion. That’s one reason I like sequels.
What is your least favorite part of writing?
Having to get off of Facebook and Twitter and concentrate. I’m a social media junkie. I end up writing late at night after my online friends have gone to bed, and often write until 4 AM. I suspect I also have a bit of ADD, so I have to shut off everything–internet, television, phone–so I can get those words down. I’ll allow myself a 15 minute break every hour to do a quick check on Facebook and Twitter before I settle back down for the next round.
How has your experience with self-publishing been?
It’s been a roller coaster ride. There was the steady uphill climb from July to February, a freefall from March through April, and now we’re back on the uphill climb. But it’s allowed my husband and I to quit a thankless, dead-end job and let me pay off my credit card bills, so I’m way ahead of where I was this time last year. From this point, all I can do is wait and see. But I love, love, love the control self-publishing gives me, the fans I’ve gained, and the friends I’ve made. I wouldn’t trade it.
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Like Nike says…Just Do It! The biggest mistake I made was not doing it sooner. The optimum time would have been the fall of 2010, but I was working 70 hours a week and just didn’t take the time to check it out. It wasn’t until the spring of 2011 that I really started listening to my friends talking about sales numbers. They got my attention then, and I finally jumped in and learned to format my manuscripts, and to get them up on the various sites. I wish I hadn’t waited so long, but I’m glad to be here now.
What do you have planned for the future?
Once I finish the Blame it on Texas sequel, I’ll release another sexy novella and then I’ll be working hard on the next book in the Superstition series. After that I want to write another romantic suspense along the lines of Lone Star Justice. And maybe a Christmas novellas for the holiday season. That’s for this year. Next year? I have no idea yet. My fans usually tell me what they want to see–or demand to see–next. LOL.
Megan had just curled up on the navy and gray striped couch when the doorbell rang. Nancy was in the shower and Jean was in her room with the door closed, so she pulled herself to her feet with a weary sigh and opened the door. A pretty, raven-haired girl about twelve years old stared at her, one small hand clenched tightly around the strap of a bulging backpack.
“Where’s my dad?” The girl’s voice teetered on the edge of hysteria. She looked like she’d been drug through a wringer washer–backwards, at that.
“Well, I don’t know honey. Who’s your dad?”
“Logan Tanner. He lives here.” The child made a valiant attempt to look cool and composed, but her quivering chin revealed her exhaustion and fear.
“Logan Tanner’s your father? That makes you Carol’s niece.” Megan stuck her hand out. “I’m Megan, one of Carol’s friends from college. But your Dad’s not here. I’m subleasing the apartment from him.”
“What do you mean, subleasing the apartment? He doesn’t live here anymore?” The girl bit her bottom lip and clenched the backpack tighter with a trembling hand.
Megan could see the panic in her eyes. The poor child’s face lost all color and she swayed on her feet. Not sure what else to do, she grabbed the girl’s hand and pulled her inside. With an arm around her shoulder, Megan led her to the couch and gently pushed her into a sitting position. “You stay right there. I’m going to get you something to drink.”
The oversized, double door refrigerator was still almost empty and she’d finished off the last of the tea, but she found a soft drink hidden behind a six-pack of beer. Nancy’s, but it couldn’t be helped. This was an emergency. She filled a glass with ice, then carried both back to the living room. “Now, why don’t you know where your father is? Didn’t he tell you he was moving away for a while?”
Fat tears welled up in the child’s eyes. “I haven’t heard from him in months. Mom says he’s forgotten about me and that I should forget about him, too. But I want to hear him say he doesn’t want me anymore.” A lone tear spilled over and made a watery track down her grimy cheek. She wiped it away, leaving a streak of dirt in its wake. “Maybe Mom’s right, if he didn’t even tell me he was moving.”
“Hush now. Fathers don’t forget their children. What’s your name?” Megan sat cross-legged on the oak coffee table, poured the soft drink into the glass, and handed it to the distraught child.
“Katherine Elizabeth Tanner. My dad calls me Katie. Or Katydid, when he’s teasing me.”
“You see? That proves it. Fathers don’t give their daughters nicknames if they don’t care about them.”
Hers hadn’t, anyway. She’d always been Megan Colleen, no matter what tone of voice her father had used. “Where do you live?”
“Baton Rouge. I live with my mom, but I need to find my dad.” She looked up with pleading storm-gray eyes. Do you know where he is?”
Baton Rouge! That was more than four hundred miles away. “Where’s your mom? Did she come with you?”
Katie shook her head. “I took a bus. I told Mom I was going camping with a friend’s family. It’ll take her a few days to figure out what happened.”
Oh, good Lord. She was harboring a runaway. “Look, Katie. You need to call your mother and let her know where you are. I have your father’s phone number around here somewhere. As soon as you let your mother know you’re safe, we’ll call your dad.”
“No! I can’t let her know where I am until I find my father. She’ll make me go back home without seeing him. And I doubt she’s home, anyway.” She grabbed Megan’s hand and squeezed it tightly. “Please. Will you take me to him?”
“Katie, I can’t…”
“Fine. I’ll find him myself.” Katie flung Megan’s hand aside, jumped up from the couch, and ran for the door. Megan caught her before she could get it open.
“Wait. You can’t go wandering around by yourself. You could get kidnapped.”
Katie snorted. “Who would want me? I’m just in everybody’s way.”
Megan’s heart wrenched at the casual way Katie dismissed her own worth. She knew exactly how the child felt. “Honey, that’s not true. I’m sure your parents love you. There has to be some reason you haven’t heard from your dad.”
Platitudes, but what else could she offer? “Look, you go sit back down and I’ll find that number. We’ll call your father and he can come get you. We’ll let him work things out with your mother.”
Katie’s young face lit up with a brilliant smile. She threw her arms around Megan’s neck and hugged her. “Thank you!” Then she skipped off to sit back on the couch, leaving Megan staring after her.
Jean’s door opened just as Nancy reappeared in the living room, Chanel No. 5 preceding her in a cloud of overpowering scent. Katie wrinkled her nose and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Who’s that?”
Nancy held her freshly polished nails in front of her. “Who’s the kid? And what did you do to her to make her squeal like that?”
Katie drew herself up to her full five-foot height. “I don’t squeal.”
“Really?” Nancy made a production out of blowing on her nails. “Could’ve fooled me.”
Megan stepped in between them. “Stop it. This is Katie, and she’s looking for her dad–our landlord. Katie, this is Nancy, and that’s Jean.” She waved toward the bedroom doorway.
Nancy and Katie sized each other up, then Nancy grinned and said, “You need a bath, kiddo. The shower is all yours.”
Katie rolled her eyes and turned back to Megan. “Could you find Dad’s phone number? Please?”
Megan went to the roll-top desk in the corner and rifled through the drawers, looking for Logan’s number. “Hang on. I know it’s in here somewhere.”
Katie walked over to the window and looked outside, then turned to Megan. “Do you have his new address?”
Megan found the elusive piece of paper and turned around, waving it in the air. “Found it. And the address is a post office box in Morris Springs.”
Katie’s face lit up. “Morris Springs! That’s where my Grandpa lives.” A crease formed between her brows as they scrunched together. “But why would my dad be there? He hates it.”
Megan reached out and took Katie’s hand. She hated to be the one to break the bad news. “Your grandfather’s had a stroke, and your father and Carol are taking care of the farm.” At Katie’s stricken look, she rushed to add, “He’s doing better, I think. Your dad is planning to move back here at the end of the summer.”
Katie looked up with an expectant expression. “Would you drive me out there?”