We’re more than a little in love with the idyllic Vermont setting of the Green Mountain series. What was your inspiration for this fabulous place?
Yay! I’m so glad you’re in love with my little corner of Vermont! My inspiration was a TV news story about the real-life Vermont Country Store, which is owned by a father and three sons, who are second- and third-generation proprietors. I was fascinated by their story and went to visit both of the actual stores in Vermont. I quickly realised the setting would make for a fantastic series.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to be and have been a writer because I’ve never really been good at anything else. Never could do a cartwheel, I can’t sing as well as I think I can, I cook and the smoke detector goes off, I tried out for the track team and couldn’t make it once around the track… You get the picture. I wouldn’t trade the one thing I got for any of those other talents. Especially the cartwheel. I’ve learned not to mess with gravity. Gravity always wins.
You’re a hugely prolific writer publishing not only the Green Mountain series but your hugely successful McCarthys of Gansett Island and Fatal series as well. How do you manage your busy writing schedule?
And let’s not forget my new Quantum series that’s coming next year… Because I wasn’t busy enough! I really love to write, and it’s pretty much all I do when I’m not reading a good romance! I’m not quite sure how it all gets done, but it does. I feel very lucky to be able to write fairly quickly and to keep up with a rather punishing schedule. I love my job - best job EVER! :-)
Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines?
I love the guys! I think I might’ve been a guy in my previous life. I love writing them. Of course they’re no good without strong women to love, so I like creating them, too. But there is something about the guys.
Do you have a favourite hero or heroine from your books or by any other author?
My all-time favourite character in my books is Lt. Sam Holland, homicide detective extraordinaire, from the Fatal series. She’s the bad-ass broad we’d all like to be. She thinks it, she says it, and her mouth gets her into a lot of trouble. She’s so fun to write, and of course her guy, the hunky Senator Nick Cappuano, is pretty damned fun to write, too!
Who are the authors you read for pleasure?
I read ALL over the place. I’ve been really digging the new adult genre lately. One of my recent favourites was Tangled by Emma Chase. Laugh out loud funny!
If you could take only three essentials with you to a desert island what would they be?
My kids (because they are WAY smarter and more resourceful than I am), my Kindle and my laptop with a very long extension cord.
Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list, dead or alive?
Hmmm… What does it say about me that I have no good answer to this question? I guess I will say Nora Roberts, because I greatly admire her career and her blunt way of telling it like it is, which is a lot like my blunt way. I feel like she and I would be BFFs by the end of one night and a couple of bottles of wine.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Chocolate and uninterrupted time to write. What can I say? I’m kind of boring and easy to please. :-)
Can you tell us a little of what we have to look forward to with Let Me Hold Your Hand and beyond with the Abbotts?
Let Me Hold Your Hand is a very special book for me about an Iraqi war widow who finds new love with her late husband’s close friend, seven years after her husband’s death. I spent a lot of time reading and talking to war widows, which was an extremely powerful and emotional experience for me. It was really important to me to do justice to Hannah’s loss while also giving her a fresh new start with a man who truly deserves her. The result is a book I’m extremely proud of and can’t wait to get out to readers! After Let Me Hold Your Hand comes I Saw You Standing There, which features Abbott family mountain man, Colton, who runs the sugaring facility that makes maple syrup for the store. He is paired with Lucy Mulvaney, who we met in Book 1, Your Love Is All I Need. I love their story - the two of them were hilarious to write, and I think readers will enjoy them. Right now I’m writing I Love Her, which features oldest Abbott sibling, Hunter, who is the family’s chief financial officer and resident GQ cover model. :-)
There’s so much interest and excitement around romance fiction right now. What do you think that romance readers are looking for in the romances they read today?
I can really only speak to what I think they are looking for from me, because those are the readers I’m in close contact with. Mine are looking for sexy romances with hot guys who care passionately about their independent women as well as families that pull together in tough times but know how to laugh together, too. More and more I hear from readers who thank me for the ‘escape’ from their real-life problems. For a couple of hours, my books take them away from it all, and they love that. And I love to hear that my books did that for them!