Lovely to have CJ back here again.
When you were last here we chatted about watching first book fledge. What does it feel like with subsequent ones?
Seeing my name on the cover of that first book was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Having my stories in a couple of anthologies was amazing but releasing Drifting Sands has been like that feeling you get, when you just know something is right. This is where you belong. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s work, lots of hard work but I love it!
What do you think you’ve learned since you were first published?
I’ve learned so many things, I’m not sure exactly which one or ones to mention. With the help of many people, I’ve learned more about writing itself. Mastering a POV or a tense was something that I had to work at. It’s more than just having a plot bunny running around in your head, though I have many of those, it’s getting the words down on paper so that a picture is formed in the readers mind as they read. It’s important to me that a reader can see that picture. Watch a character develop, change, morph into something else than what they started out as. I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible.
What do you wish you’d known when you were first published?
I wish I’d known that I’d be spending as much time networking and social media talking as I do writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love chatting with folks on line. I enjoy interacting with readers, authors and friends but sometimes I just want to write. I need to feel that personal connection to my characters. Be in their world and out of mine. It’s a balance that is sometimes hard to find.
What inspired the latest book?
Getting older and being alone with no one to really share your life. Let me explain, so many of us reach a certain age when we feel alone or adrift in our lives, whether we are in a relationship or not. I wanted to explore how that would feel. Justin had reached the age when most of us have settled down, started a family, had someone special in our lives. He didn’t have any of that and I wanted to explore how he would react to meeting someone who made him feel alive again.
In the past you’ve written romance – why did you ‘turn to crime’?
I ‘turned to crime’ because I love mysteries! It’s what I read and when I wrote Fan Fiction back in the day, it was what I wrote. There is nothing better than a cast of character to take a part and analyze.
Which book do you wish you’d written and why?
I’ve come back to this question several times. And I’ll be honest, I have no idea. Except, I remember reading Dan Brown’s The Da Vinici Code. I read the entire thing in one straight day. I couldn’t stop. Couldn’t put it down until I knew the answer to the mystery. It would have been amazing to write something so profoundly riveting.
Which book do you wish somebody else would write?
Okay, this is a fan girl moment, so don’t laugh. I really wish Stephanie Meyers would finish Midnight Sun, Twilight from Edward’s POV. I have always wanted to know what really went on inside his head.
Have you got a secret you’d be willing to share?
I can fake confidence. Please don’t tell anyone this but I’m terribly insecure. Somehow, I am always able to put on my big girl panties and speak in front of groups or direct a training seminar but deep inside, I’m shaking. It’s going to be amazing to see how I do at the Indie Book Fest in Orlando this summer. I’m sitting on several discussion panels. Getting face to face with readers and other authors. All in a setting with a lot of people. I’m excited and I’m nauseous all at the same time. But I’m not going to let my insecurities keep me from doing what I love and that’s talking about my stories.