I met Allie several years ago at a local chapter meeting. She has a nice voice for romance. Allie was a finalist for an EPIC Ebook Award.
1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?
I started writing in contemporary romance and have published 5 novels in that genre. I still love that niche, but I’m currently tackling my first YA (young adult) novel, for something a little bit different!
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you? If more than one you can just focus on one or more than one.
I didn’t really realize I was writing romance until one of my early critique partners told me I was! I’ve always loved the complexity of interactions between people, and I love a happy ending as well, so I guess it makes sense that I’d be drawn to the romance genre. However, I’ve also recently become more interested in Young Adult, in part because I teach high school students, and I love to hear what they’re reading and enjoying.
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try or one you wouldn't?
I don’t read sci fi or fantasy, so I probably wouldn’t write in either of those. Beyond that, I like experimenting, so we’ll see what comes!
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
Lately I’ve been reading quite a bit of YA, both for research and pure pleasure (I’ll recommend John Green here as an author everyone should read). I also read historical romance, women’s fiction and sometimes a little horror (I’m a Stephen King fan) as well.
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing.
I live in the lower Hudson Valley (New York) with my husband, who’s also a teacher, and have been writing seriously for about 10 years,
6. Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
Oh, that’s so hard to choose! I do love Eddie West, the hero in the first romance I ever wrote (Lost in Paradise). He’s strong and sexy and has a soft side and everyone who reads that book seems to fall in love with him He’s also one of the first characters who really didn’t change through all the revisions of that book.
7. Are there villains in your stories and how are they created?
One of my favorite villains is Sean McCabe, a corrupt police chief who stalks the heroine across five states in my contemporary romance One Night in Memphis. He was a lot of fun to write!
8. What are you working on now?
As I already mentioned, I’m in the middle of revising a draft of my first YA novel. I’m really enjoying this project because I get to write in a very different voice – first person, present tense. I’m also fortunate enough to hear this voice all day, every day, at my teaching job!
9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
One Night in Napa just released in print – it’s my third “One Night” novel, which unfolds over twenty-four chapters and twenty-four hours. I was actually driving on a long-distance trip when this idea came to me, about a daughter who leaves home when she finds out a huge family secret – and then has to come back home to protect that secret, years later.
10. How does the book open? Show the opening scene. -- 400 to five hundred words.
It actually begins with our hero, who you will see has his own issues to deal with…
Grant knew it was going to be a long day when he woke up and couldn’t remember the name of the woman lying beside him. His head throbbed. His stomach roiled. Late morning sun slanted across his face, and he squinted. He lifted himself onto an elbow and ran one hand over his stubbled jaw, then rolled over and stared at a digital clock he didn’t recognize.
He heard the sound again, the one that had jerked him from sleep. Somewhere across the room, his cell phone beeped. What the he—? Was it the weekend yet? Or was he supposed to be at work? Why did the room smell like vanilla? He groaned and struggled to pull sense from his sleep-muddled brain.
“Babe?” A manicured hand snaked out from the covers and caressed his bare chest. “Everything okay?”
Babe? He blinked and the room swam into focus. “Um, yeah.” He slipped from between satin sheets, planted one foot on a throw rug, and ended up on his ass next to the bed.
He swore under his breath and pulled himself up. The room was small, decorated mostly in pinks and lavenders. A collection of candles sat on a pink-and-white dresser across the room and, for one horrifying moment, he thought a Hello Kitty stuffed animal stared at him with black plastic eyes. He shook his head and looked again, and the cat changed into a pink dragon with wings. Still a stuffed animal, though. He kept his gaze on the ground so he wouldn’t see any others. Near the door, his keys, phone, and boxers lay in a heap beside a leopard-print bra and something made of clingy red fabric.
Grant licked his lips and silently called himself a few choice words. Again. I did it again. Maybe his father was right, after all.
He searched the bedroom until he found the golf shirt and shorts he remembered wearing the night before. Shots of tequila, he recalled. And a blonde at the end of the bar with a gorgeous rack and pouty lips who wouldn’t stop staring at him. His two vices, served up neatly at Mick’s, the local watering hole conveniently located at the end of his block.
“Shit. I’m late. Really late.”
Now he knew what day it was, because he only hit Mick’s for their Thursday night wing special, which meant it was Friday. The day of his final interview with Francesca Morelli. And his last chance to please his father or lose his job, condo, and sports car in one fell swoop. He swore again and opened two doors before he found the bathroom.