Born and raised in small-town, rural Indiana, I now live in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona with an intimidatingly smart and devastatingly handsome husband and two hyperactively cute and talented sons who will one day be Earth's Overlords (never underestimate the power of Legos). I enjoy cooking, traveling, gardening, sewing, quilting, and embroidery but only when I'm in the right mood and seldom concurrently (I'm kind of streaky when it comes to hobbies). I adore reading and writing in the same way that I love breathing and eating, gaining a similar nourishment from each.
About My Stories...
While agonizing about a personal tagline with some incredibly creative and generous romance-writers, I began to examine what my buckshot-diverse, genre-spanning work might have in common. And the thread I was able to tease out of the tapestry, so to speak, was the theme of the taboo relationship. I'm consistently drawn to and fascinated by the relationship that shouldn't work but somehow does... and the quirky personalities that miraculously extract happiness from apparent dysfunction.
In all the stories I've written, my main characters become involved in a relationship (romantic or platonic) that, on the surface, most of us would shy away from. You know, the kind of relationship that your mother, sister, and best friends warn you about, the kind people lament in sad or angry songs, the kind self-help books rail against, or the kind that society in general might condemn. Red flags abound! Misgivings galore! What in the world is he or she thinking!?
But despite such knee-jerk judgments, my characters consistently (albeit with much agonizing introspection) come to recognize the core of goodness within their otherwise maladjusted partners. They see the shining potential largely obscured by all the warning signs. They believe that destiny isn't written in stone, in the power to overcome personal faults and awful circumstances, and decide to trust their hearts and/or instincts. Throwing caution to the wind and ignoring all that "good" advice, they find their HEA (Happily Ever After).
Not only are my characters poorly behaved, the stories themselves break all the rules.
For one thing, they're too long for typical romances. Personally, I like a nice long story. Readers who expect the main characters to meet, fall in love, marry, and live happily ever after within a whirlwind 200 pages might be daunted by my comparative tomes. My characters take a while to grow, my plots take a while to play out. In my opinion, it's worth the extra effort.
I'm a quirky person, and my characters tend to be quirky, too. We tend to look at the world a little differently. My characters can be as abrasive and aggravating as they are endearing and sympathetic. And in deference to such uniqueness, they often tend to find themselves in somewhat unusual circumstances. I have yet to write a "perfect" storybook wedding scene, much less resolve a story arc with one, and I can't imagine I ever will. I prefer to think Happily Ever Afters are perhaps a little more loosely defined.
As a result, my stories confound attempts to label them within an established genre. Like most people, they don't appreciate being crammed into an ill-fitting pigeonhole, and would probably bite the finger off anyone who tried. Instead, they make themselves comfortable, spreading out and often overlapping rigid borderlines between genres. Oh well.
I suppose it all boils down to individual taste, doesn't it? As a reader, I find myself attracted to an author's style and voice as much as his or her characters, setting, and plot. I pay far less attention to whether or not the rules of the genre, be it romance, science fiction, mystery, etc. are being followed. A good story is a good story, period.