Q & A Size 5 for the LUV romance community app
I had the pleasure of being interviewed for a feature on LUV, a romance community ap. Here's what they asked and here's what I said.
Do you have any suggestions for others who want to write romance?
Partly, I have the same advice that was given to me. It really is the best, happiest, advice. Read as much as you can. Write what you like to read. Watch the romance movies you love. Keep track of why those are your favorites and incorporate the elements in your own story. Here’s the part I’d add—write what you’d like to read even if others tell you that its isn’t marketable, that readers won’t buy it, or that reviewers won’t ‘like’ it. Think big. Imagine your work moving from the pages to the screen.
I am a new reader to you, what book or series should I start with?
Do you like erotic horror? Start with the dark, urban fantasy, Servant of the Undead.
Need a touch of holiday romance? Start with the Hallmark Christmas, romantic comedy, in reverse, Not Home for the Holidays.
Which book of yours do you wish a producer would adapt onto the screen.
Ohhh…can pick 2? Yes? Thanks!
I have a horror series, Tribe of the Undead, I’d love to see brought to life. The first two books, Servant of the Undead and Mistress of the Undead, are set in Boston during an intense blizzard. Zombies roam the streets, looking to take humans captive. Not to eat them, though. My zombies absorb the energy of the humans—through sex. As long as the zombies get what they need, they aren’t rotting or stumbling slowly. My zombies wear black leather, climb walls, and ride horses. Crazy, vivid and exciting stuff.
My other pick is totally different. It’s a holiday romance set in New York. A country girl heads to the Big Apple, days before Christmas, to take part in a contest for small business owners. The challenge of the contest is to see which of the contestants can use social media in the most innovative way. New York during the holidays is amazing. Its bright, its busy, its romantic. My story has much of what makes the city magical at that time of the year: a surprise kiss under the mistletoe, ice skating in Central Park, and a romantic, happy ending.
Tell us something most fans don’t know about you.
I was a punk rock scene kid. I went to most all the shows that came through Detroit in the early 80’s—Devo, Ramones, Black Flag (before Henry Rollins and with), Dead Kennedys, X, Iggy Pop, Fear, the Misfits (I helped them with their hair in the women’s bathroom), and all the rest.
I wasn’t into the high school scene. It was the height of the Preppy Era and, with my bright yellow plastic Fisher Price lunch box purse and ever-changing fashions, the other students didn’t know what to make of me. So, I spent half the day at cosmetology school and the other half, when I was supposed to be at school, scouring thrift shops and day dreaming.
My sister and I were interviewed for a documentary on the Detroit hardcore scene. The director thought it was cool that I’m a writer, so he made a special clip about my days at The Freezer, a now-famous hole in the wall club (actually, it was just an empty warehouse on the infamous Cass Corridor) where most all the bands played when in the Motor City. Curious? Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/F5SzTYiYpdI.
You combine academia and genre fiction writing. Can you tell us about this experience?
Combining my academic “day job” and my writerly “night job” wasn’t something that happened quickly. Even though the skills overlap, and both are very important to me, for many years the two pieces of my life were separate. I taught freshman composition, only, for years, until I was invited to teach one of the creative writing courses—Writing the Novel. That was the first step toward bringing my fiction background into my academic world.
In the beginning, talking about that other side of my life and the related area of expertise, felt odd, after all the years of separation. That first course was seven years ago. Now I teach the novel course and another creative writing course.
This past year, I assisted with the relaunch of the school’s literary journal, The Washington Square Review, and am the fiction and creative non-fiction editor of the journal. I’m finally able to use all the lessons learned over the years of submitting and publishing. Our first relaunched issue will be released this summer. Very exciting!
One of my recent releases, The Binge Watcher's Guide to Riverdale: An Unofficial Companion, gave me the opportunity to bring my academic background into my writing world. I used my understanding of story structure and characterization to analyze the CW’s popular series Riverdale, based on the Archie comics characters. The freshly undated edition, including the 5th season, will be out this June.