About BooksAre your books part of a series or are they standalone stories?
My daughter plays this game called Kiss/Marry/Kill. So I’ll answer in that format, so I don’t have to choose one.
Kiss – Cade (Tap) Marry – Tyler (Catch) Kill – Peter (Premiere) Poor Peter. 😏
Females that stand out for me are Meg (Exposure), Kate (Candidate), and Anna (Playbook). I also liked Hollis (Vacancy) because she was unlikeable at times, as was Jules (Catch). They both made me work for every chapter.
About TracyYou write a lot about food. Is that because you’re a great cook?
I do love to eat, though, and I believe so many great moments in life happen around a table. Friends and family often hash it out over food and drink, so I’m drawn to those settings. And, I love to eat. Did I mention that already?
As a reader, I like friends-to-lovers and sometimes the similar unrequited love trope. I enjoy the history, the dance around, and near misses that lead to that moment when one or both find out or spill their feelings. Sigh. I will hang on for well over half a book for that moment.
Enemies to lovers is another good one, provided the dialogue is on point, and it takes them a while to work through their issues. I can’t do E/L if they are in bed after one meeting. Their conflict and attraction need to be believable for me to stay interested. I think this is a tough trope to write, but they are some of the most memorable stories when it’s done well.
I have also been known to favor some good Alpha, well-crafted fake engagements, which I think are best with a friends-to-lovers component, and I like fish-out-of-water when they’re funny.
As a writer, I am drawn to friends/lovers because there is history to pull from, although that sometimes gets me into trouble. I am a recovering flashbacker, so I remind myself to stay eyes forward.
I write a lot of the opposites attract trope. It allows for individual character work, which is my favorite. And I love connecting the dots to their similarities and eventual HEA.
The second part of this question is harder for me because many places are left to see. Top on my list would be Jodhpur, Rajasthan in India. It’s known as the blue city, and they make what look like amazing omelets. I need to go there. I would also love to spend a month in South America.
If I’m sticking close to home, I would love to visit Nantucket and Louisiana. I’ve never been to either.
About Everything ElseDo you read book reviews? Do you try to write what you think readers want?
I try to stay away from reader reviews. Not because I don’t care what readers think or that I don’t appreciate them taking the time to comment, but the review is not for me. By the time most people have read my books, my work is done.
If I were doing something with a right or wrong answer, I would tune in to find out if I got it right, but the like or dislike of a story is subjective. One reader’s “best book ever” is another reader’s “don’t bother.”
And readers should have a place to talk amongst themselves. Reviews are their space to do that, and while I will admit to peeking, I do not feel I should be there.
So, for those reasons and a dash of self-care, I stay away. However, I have a wonderful assistant who reads reviews and shares some of them with me, and readers sometimes reach out personally. Those are spots of sunshine.
Second part. I don’t know how to write what readers want, and sometimes I don’t think they know what they want until they read it.
I have read so many books that took me on a journey I never knew I’d enjoy. Stories full of surprise and learning. That’s what storytellers do. They take your hand and lead you down a path. I think it would be boring if it were a path I helped pave.
That being said, as a writer of love stories, I do promise a happy ending. Real-life is messy. So if a reader is going to trust me enough to walk my path, I try to be careful with them until they’re delivered safely home.
He is my calm and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, my best friend. You might see pictures of him from time to time on Instagram.
Fun fact: Garrett (Stirred) has a Brittany who rides shotgun in his truck. His name is Jack, and that book was dedicated to, you guessed it, Jack.