What’s your next project?
I have just finished my next novel. It’s a romantic spy thrilled called Love in the Shadows. It will be available in January from my publisher Bold Strokes Books. I’m very excited about Love in the Shadows because it’s the first novel in a trilogy. This will be my first series. It was a very fun novel to write. I can’t wait to see if my readers love it as much I do.
What books have had the greatest influence on you?
In Mind Fields, there’s a lot of influence of Jane Austen’s classic Northanger Abbey. More than any other novel I’ve written, there’s a more gothic feel and mood in this particular book. In terms of my other writing, I really love the classics. I find myself constantly going back to books like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre and authors like Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams to study the brilliant architecture of how and what they wrote. There’s so much to learn from them. In terms of contemporary literature I really admire the works of Julia Alvarez, Jo Ann Beard, Sandra Cisneros, Joyce Carol Oates, and Meg Wolitzer.
What books did you love growing up?
When I was young, I discovered my mother’s collection of Nancy Drew books. I read the entire series. I was fascinated by the sense of mystery and solving a crime. I also read a lot of young adult fiction, particularly Judy Blume, Norma Fox Mazer, and Lois Duncan. Anyone who reads my work will see the influence of those authors. At the age of twelve I read every Jackie Collins book I could get my hands on. She knows how to tell a great story – especially a glamorous one. Later I discovered Dorothy Parker and Jane Austen and fell in love with their words.
What book should everybody read at least once?
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg. It’s hilarious, poignant, and beautifully written. I first read the novel when I was ten years old. By the end of the first page I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.
I just finished reading Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir. Growing up, she was my muse. A lot of my friends were really into Madonna, but not me. Cyndi Lauper showed the world it was okay to be different, that creativity should be valued and respected and revered. I adore her. To this day, I’m greatly inspired by her commitment to be her and no one else. Individuality wasn’t exactly the cool thing in the early 80s, but she did exactly what she wanted. She busted her ass to become successful and she never gave up. In the book she talks about one of her favorite personal sayings: “In the darkest place, shed the brightest light.” I take those words to heart. They are words to write and live by.
Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why?
I’m really enjoying the work of paranormal romance author Kait Ballenger. She knows how to craft a compelling story.
Do you have any suggestions for new writers?
The teacher in me says to study your craft. You owe it to your writing and your readers to know about technique and style. It is very important to write as often as possible. Frequency not only makes you a stronger writer, but it can help you strengthen your voice and lead you to discoveries about your work.
Sometimes love can blow you away.
When struggling college student Adam Parsh accepts a tutoring position, he is immediately drawn into the unknown world of the wealthy Vassalo family. Fighting off the sexual advances of Dario Vassalo, the Greek tycoon and patriarch, Adam finds himself the object of the dangerous desires of one of the most powerful men in the world—his married employer. Torn between his attraction to Dario and his deepening love for his best friend, Victor Maldonado, Adam is forced to choose between right and wrong. Surrounded by lust, glamour, and greed, Adam soon uncovers dark secrets strong enough to destroy lives forever.
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Genre – Gay Romance, Suspense
Rating – R