What can you tell us about your new release, She Wants More?
She Wants More is a steamy new adult romantic comedy, starring Helen, a 30-something career-driven woman who is on the verge of marrying the love of her life, Ben. But her world is turned upside down when she meets their wedding photographer for the first time and realizes she is extremely attracted to him.
A little sexy eye candy never hurt anyone, and Helen figures it’s okay to look as long as she doesn’t touch. The problem is, she wants to touch. Even her perfect relationship with Ben isn’t enough to quell that desire.
Helen has to figure out what this means for her and Ben, whether they will go through with their dream wedding or not, and how she can reconcile her love for her fiancé with her undeniable attraction for another man.
Luckily for Helen, one of her best friends is polyamorous, so she can help Helen along the way as she navigates her desires! She Wants More is Book 4 in the Polyamorous Passions series, and it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novella. The series follows the story of Helen and her two best friends as they each explore ethical, consensual non-monogamy in their own ways.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’m one of those people who, from the time they could hold a pen, was sitting at a desk and scribbling away. I’ve been dreaming up stories and writing them down since I was a little kid.
For the past 10 years, I’ve had my own business wherein I mostly do freelance writing for clients. In the last few years I wrote and published a couple business books (teaching other freelancers how to build their own businesses and improve productivity while working from home), but because I’ve been so focused on writing non-fiction, years had gone by since I’d done any creative writing.
In fact, it wasn’t until shortly after I realized that I identify as polyamorous that I began searching for romance novels featuring ethically non-monogamous relationships… and I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for. I realized that this was the perfect time for me to write the stories I wanted to read—and finally become a published author, like I’d always said I wanted to do but never got around to. I’ve now written and published four novellas within the last year and I have no intention of slowing down any time soon!
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
It’s torture to choose just 5! Some of my favourites that I reread again and again include the Warlord Chronicles trilogy by Bernard Cornwell (the best version of King Arthur and Merlin that I’ve ever read), Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (her ability to write relationship dynamics and character arcs is incredible), The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (no other story is quite like this portrayal of Dracula), The Princess Bride by William Goldman (such a classic), and the Hellions of Halstead Hall series by Sabrina Jeffries (swoon-worthy historical romance).
Can I throw in a couple works of non-fiction, for good measure? The Ethical Slut by Janet W. Hardy & Dossie Easton and Perv by Jesse Bering are both fascinating reads for anyone interested in learning more about relationships and sexuality.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I would love to interview Emily Giffin about her novel, Love the One You’re With. It has a similar vibe to She Wants More, in that it explores what happens when you’re madly in love with one person and still attracted to someone else. I would be interested to know what compelled Giffin to write such a raw, frank take on relationships and her perspective on writing realism into romance novels.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
When the characters take on a life of their own—that’s the best part. Sometimes they’ll say or do something you hadn’t planned, but it’s exactly in line with their character, and it fits perfectly with the story. I also love it when something I wrote three chapters ago ties into a new scene unexpectedly and creates a thread that makes the story stronger or builds upon themes in a way I didn’t plan. It feels like magic when that happens.
What is a typical day like for you?
Because I work from home full-time as my own boss, I get to make my own schedule. My business is divided into three parts: doing freelance work for clients, teaching other freelancers how to be more productive with their home businesses, and writing novels.
My creative juices flow better earlier in the morning and also in the evening, so that’s when I usually work on novels. I typically focus on client work for two days each week, and the rest of the time I focus on teaching through e-courses or else writing novels. I like taking long breaks in the middle of the day, since my productivity levels always take a dip around then.
Every day looks a little different and I like it that way. It keeps me on my toes. I do some kind of writing (whether for my clients, my books, or for other aspects of my business) each day. The important part for me is to create deadlines for myself, to plan when I’ll work on which projects (such as setting myself daily word count goals when I’m working on a new book), and also to pay close attention to what I’m feeling at any given time. I listen to what my body needs and honour that, including giving myself plenty of breaks, which I find has the happy side effect of making me more productive, energetic, and excited about my work.
What scene in She Wants More was your favorite to write?
Every time Helen interacts with her wedding photographer! I loved writing the sexual tension between them (particularly the scene after they leave the cocktail lounge together in Chapter 8).
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed writing the scenes between Helen, Ben, and their premarital counsellor, too—drawing out their thoughts and feelings and discomfort was interesting. But it makes sense: as an author in the new adult genre, I’m fascinated with exploring relationship dynamics and self-discovery, so the premarital counselling scenes lend themselves well to that.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
“Life is too short, but also too long, to spend your time doing what you don’t love to do.” I’m paraphrasing here, but this is something that was said by a very talented artist, Elizabeth, who took my freelancer e-courses a few years back. She said it during a chat we were having, right around the time that she was making some big changes with her business. It perfectly encapsulates my attitude toward life (and business).
It’s the reason why I have my own business, it’s why I asked my own spouse to open our relationship after I realized I identify as polyamorous, it’s why I write novels and became an indie author. Identifying what makes us happy and embodying that in how we live our lives can be a game-changer and it’s something everyone deserves to experience.