The Writing Process Blog Hop

Crystal Perkins, up and coming New Adult author of Gaming for Love (and my friend), tagged me for this blog hop. See the author I tagged below (another talented friend, Heather Lire), who will post her answers on her blog next week.

1. What am I working on right now?

At the moment I’m working on final edits to my upcoming release, Breaking His Rules. The fifth book in my Feeling the Heat series, Breaking the Rules will be published on September 8, 2014 by Carina Press. If you read Catching Heat, then you probably remember J.T. Sawyer’s brother Jake, the owner of a gym called Jake’s Joint, and Melissa Atherton, whose quest to change her life led her to join Jake’s gym and sign up for his personal training sessions. Jake has an ironclad rule against getting involved with his clients, but his attraction to Melissa just might have him rethinking that particular rule.

Breaking His Rules started out as a novella, but I’m happy to report that a novella wasn’t long enough to tell Jake and Melissa’s story. It now comes in at over 70,000 words!

2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?

This is a tough question to answer. I believe every single author is unique. What I mean by that is each author has a different voice, or their way of telling a story. I’d like to think one of my strengths is to inject my stories with humor, as well as emotion. I love writing a series because it gives me (and the readers) a chance to revisit the characters they fell in love with in previous books.

3. Why do I write what I do?

This one’s simple. I write what I love to read. Contemporary romance has always been my go-to genre, so it just made sense that when I decided to start writing, I’d write contemporary. My first book in the series, Love in the Afternoon, is an homage to soap operas (which I grew up watching), and my second book, The Winning Season, is a sports romance. Soap operas and sports wouldn’t seem to go together in a series, but somehow it worked, and I couldn’t be happier to combine two things I love in one series.

4. How does my writing process work?

I have a pretty simple process. Once I decide on the characters, I write a loose outline of the story and then just start writing. For me, planning out every single scene or detail is too restrictive. I love it when I’m writing and something that never occurred to me pops into my head and takes the story in a direction I never thought it would go.

Because I also have a full-time day job, my writing time is limited to after work and weekends. Like a few of my author friends (Tera Lynn Childs, I’m looking at you), I can’t write in Starbucks or other public places. I need complete silence to concentrate. And I’m not sure if this is odd, but I actually like working on revisions because it’s a second chance to make the story and the characters shine.

Next week, the lovely Heather Lire will be answering these same questions on her blog. Heather’s first book  Second Chance at Forever is a wonderful story of lovers reunited. Read about it, and her writing process on her website.

SecondChanceatForeverCoverArt72dpi-200x300

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

packard_loveaft_final.indd My fellow Carina Press author, Lynnette Austin, tagged me for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. What’s a blog hop, you ask? Well, it’s a fun way for readers to get to know authors and their books. We all answer questions about our book on our blogs, then tag more writers and keep the information flowing.

So…let’s get the party started!

What is the title of your current or next book?

Love in the Afternoon. It’s my debut novel and was released on December 17th.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

One day I was watching my favorite soap opera, General Hospital, and wondered if the actors ever fell in love in real life. And with that, Love in the Afternoon was born.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a  movie rendition?

I have to admit, when I was writing Love in the Afternoon, I imagined Sean looking a lot like Josh Holloway from Lost.

Josh Holloway

And as for Kayla, I imagined her as a younger Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Catherine-Zeta-Jones

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Two actors on the country’s most popular daytime drama fall in love when their characters are paired together on the show; soon they are living their own soap opera, complete with a jealous co-worker, a controlling father, and a mysterious stalker.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Love in the Afternoon is published as an e-book by Carina Press.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took about five months, writing after work and on weekends.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

My editor, Angela James at Carina Press, compared my style to Jill Shalvis, Shannon Stacey and Victoria Dahl. I’m extremely flattered to even be mentioned in the same breath as such talented authors, but I feel I still have a lot to learn about writing before I could join their ranks.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My love of soap operas, of course! They may be over the top, but they’re always entertaining.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Love in the Afternoon is my homage to the soap opera genre. Anyone who has grown up watching soaps, or watched them with a beloved mom or grandmother might enjoy this book.

Now here’s a question from me to those of you who have read Love in the Afternoon: Who do you think should play Sean Barrett and Kayla Maxwell?

I’ve tagged this fine collection of  writers keep the blog hop going! You can read their answers on their blogs on or around Jan. 2:

Siobhan Muir

Heather Lire

Beverly Preston

And you can read the author who tagged me, Lynnette Austin’s answers here:

Lynnette Austin