WHEN DO YOU WRITE?
Having a day job as a divorce lawyer doesn’t give me much time to indulge in my love of writing romance. However, I do find that having less time to do something –anything – makes me more efficient. I write at nights, usually between 8 and 11, as well as on weekends (and try not to get caught up in weekly television shows, although I will not miss “So You Think You Can Dance”). Of course, life gets in the way and I don’t write every night or every weekend. In addition to working and raising a family, I sit on two non-profit boards (Dress for Success Mercer County and Thomas Edison State College Foundation) which also require my time and energy fundraising. I love everything I am involved in. Diversity is key.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?
Ever since I was young, if I couldn’t sleep, I would make up stories in my head. A few of those ideas have been written into my manuscripts. But most ideas come from real life drama – a friend whose husband died, a divorce due to an affair with a friend of the couple, a devastating car accident that changes a life. My stories start with one idea which I then grow into something with tentacles and conflicts, and of course, romance. It’s so fun!
DO ALL YOUR STORIES HAVE LAWYERS AS THEIR MAIN CHARACTERS?
They say “write what you know.” I know lawyers — lots of them – working in many different areas of law. My firm has 125 of them. My husband, who is also a lawyer at our firm, practices personal injury, so he is helpful when I have that type of case in my story line. My background is in family law and estate planning. Given my career as well as my contacts, it is very easy to incorporate lawyer characters into my manuscripts. However, I do have one manuscript in which the hero and heroine are teachers. I know a few of those as well.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A WRITER?
I love to read. Every night, I pick up a novel (now, my Kindle) and enter into someone else’s world until I can’t keep my eyes open. I remember vividly, one night, saying to myself, “I could do this.” Sound familiar? I told my husband who encouraged me to try it. I learned very quickly that it’s not as easy as a reader may think. But I joined New Jersey Romance Writers and went to countless seminars and conferences, trying to incorporate what I learned into the manuscripts I was writing. It has taken me a lot of time, effort and persistence to get to this point, but I have loved every minute of it and look forward to continuing the process for a long time to come.
DO YOU PLOT YOUR STORIES?
I’m a plotter. I start with Chapter One and make a very detailed outline of every chapter from beginning to end. Although this method is a little over the top, it makes it easier for me to sit down at the computer and write (even if I only have a half hour) since I know where I left off and where I am going. While my story line may change as I go along – depending on where the characters take me – it is still easier to veer off and come back to my outline at any given juncture. I also cut out photos from magazines for reference to help me remember what my hero, heroine, and secondary characters look like. Being well organized works for me.