1. The only character I’ve ever written that is based on “me” is Kenzie Reynolds from the Dysfunctional Chronicles. Aislinn, Nadine, and Brenna all have some of my physical or psychological traits, but they aren’t actually based on me. Of course, some of the men have my personality traits too, simply because characters need personalities.
2. All my female heroines are short with a tall(er) female companion and this is done intentionally. In most female-centric books, the lead female is tall and her female friends are shorter. The only series I’ve read where this is not the case is the Anita Blake books by Laurell K. Hamiliton in which Anita is shorter than her best friend Veronica. In all the other series I’ve read, the lead female is always the tallest girl around. So, I’m giving a shout out to the short women!
3. In every Dreams & Reality novel, there are clues about what the next two books in the series will be about. For example, in Tortured Dreams, Xavier references the Predator movies more than once and in Elysium Dreams, the killer is hanging his victims upside down and skinning them alive (I always think of the scene from Predator 2, when all the Haitian drug lords are dripping blood onto the floor of the condo after the Predator has gotten them). Also, Aislinn talks about mercury a couple of times in Tortured Dreams and of course, the third in the series is Mercurial Dreams.
4. I write from a “first person point of view” because I prefer to read those types of books. It allows “me” to be the heroine and save the day, instead of a named person who is narrating in third person.
5. I am “color challenged.” There is something wrong with the way my brain interrupts colors. Subtle color variations are completely lost on me (any shade of red, looks like red… any shade of purple, can look like either red or blue, depending on nearest dominant color). As a result, impressionist art looks like blurry paintings done in pastels. And I have trouble appreciating other art as well. Another problem, I have to have someone else look at all my book covers and tell me if they look ok. Finally, I buy a lot of black clothes just because nothing else looks like black. Buying dress clothes are a pain in the rear because I can’t figure out what matches and what doesn’t. Hence my becoming a T-Shirt and jeans girl.
6. I learned to play the cello as a child, but I couldn’t tune it because I’m tone deaf. This means listening to me sing (especially karaoke), is a lot like having someone slam your head in a car door, repeatedly. Of course, this doesn’t stop me from singing, out loud with the radio (I try not to do karaoke), even when I’m not alone. I figure friendships require the occasional bout of torture to test their strength.
7. The first “adult book” I ever read was a romance novel by Janet Dailey. My parents didn’t censor my reading because at the end of second grade, my reading ability and comprehension tested as “college graduate or higher.” During the summer, I could easily read thirty books a week, which meant a lot of trips to the library and my mother was a “single mom,” so it wasn’t always possible to get to the library every day. Instead, she opened up her reading collection to me. Most of it was cheesy Harlequin novels that made me a cynic about romance. After that summer, my mom began to desperately buy paperbacks at garage sales as often as possible, which is how I ended up reading lots of Stephen King as a kid… It beat romance novels. (and for those that are going to be appalled by this act – heaven forbid, an eight year old read a romance novel or worse, a Stephen King novel! – remember, I wasn’t your average kid, at eight was more mature than most college students and shared their reading skills, so it really wasn’t that big a deal and I was not scarred for life by reading either horror or romance novels at that age)
8. My best friend is my cousin and she is 12 years older than me. She is the reason why all my female characters have a best friend who is also a cousin in them. Her influence on me as a child (she paid attention to me even when I was reading Stephen King and Janet Dailey novels at eight), left a lasting impact that taught me the value of family. Sure, she was my cousin, but that didn’t mean she had to be nice to me. As I aged, she went from cousin who took me to movies and concerts and bought me books, to friend. Without her willingness to sit through even my crappiest books, I wouldn’t be a writer.
9. My mother is my hero. She jokes that she “lives life in the sucky lane,” but that never stops her. Regardless of what comes her way, she faces it head on and overcomes it, like a knight slaying a dragon. And she’s had some serious challenges over the years. At the end of the day, she always conquers them. I can only hope to be half as strong and determined as she is.
10. While I do love Mexican food, Italian food, and pizza, my favorite dish is not among those. My favorite dish is roast, cooked in a crock pot with carrots, green beans, mushrooms, and onions with Sizzling Oak Season by Van Roehling. I buy and cook two a month and it will feed me for days… I always keep it in the crock pot and just turn it back on in the morning (refrigerating it at night). If it runs out of veggies before the roast is gone, I just add more. I don’t like potatoes, so I don’t put them in it unless I know someone (like my SO) is going to eat it. However, he is currently burnt out on roast, so when I fix it, I have to fix him other meals.
Bonus Food Oddities: I love onions, on everything. I don’t know if it’s learned or genetic, because my father will eat slices of onions with ice cream and he eats onions like apples. I don’t do either of these things, but I get the appeal. I hate the texture of loose meat hamburger, so I won’t eat hamburger in tacos, spaghetti sauce, or any other form except a hamburger and if the hamburger isn’t cooked well done or is too thick, I have trouble getting it down because it breaks apart. I don’t like ketchup, unless it’s mixed with mayonnaise (and I don’t like Miracle Whip). And finally, I love pepperoni, but it is terribly bad for me (migraines, pork allergy, migraines). However, about once a week, I have to give in and grab a piece or two from the fridge (yes, I can eat it cold, right out of the bag).