What inspired you to create the fictional town of Angel’s Bay?
I took a drive down the California Pacific Coast Highway with my husband one summer and it's a spectacular drive especially around the central coast where the ocean is wild and the highway spins in sharp curves just above it. There are a few small towns along the way and I imagined a series set in such a place. Like all of my books, the idea comes from a small seed that grows and grow.
Tell us about the legend that surrounds Angel’s Bay.
The community of Angel's Bay was created after a shipwreck in the mid 1800's. The ship was leaving the California Gold Rush, laden with passengers and gold. Some of the survivors made it to shore, others perished. The shipwreck has never been discovered, although pieces of it have washed ashore at various times. It's believed to be hidden in one of the huge underground canyons that populate that part of the coast. The survivors settled by the bay that saved some of them and named it Angel's Bay in honor of their lost loved ones. They also created a memory quilt where each square tells one of their stories. The quilt plays a role in each of the books as the past and present intertwine in each story. As you can imagine, there are lots of layers to these books! While there is a continuing theme and some continuing characters, each book is designed to stand alone, so if you haven't read the whole series, you won't be lost.
What is the latest book in the series about?
GARDEN OF SECRETS is the 5th book in the series and features Charlotte Adams, an OB/GYN who has appeared in all of the other books and her love triangle between Joe Silveira, the Chief of Police, who is recently divorced, and Andrew Schilling, the new minister in town, who was Charlotte's first love. Readers of the series have been asking for Charlotte's story, and I think they'll love it!
What inspired you when you set out to write your first book?
My very first book was written many years ago, and my desire came from a love of reading. My mother was a voracious reader, and I grew up in a house that was filled with books. Every nook and cranny had some stack of paperbacks or hardcovers. I loved those books. And I loved imagining my own stories. Many years later, after a college degree and a few years in public relations, I decided to write the novel that I'd always wanted to write. I wrote romance, because that's what I knew best, and what I read. My first book was about a wedding planner who ends up sharing office space in an old Victorian house in San Francisco with the worst possible guy -- a divorce attorney. It was titled PROMISE OF MARRIAGE and was published by Silhouette Romance. I'm actually excited that the rights to this book have recently reverted to me, and I will be able to put it up in electronic format in the next few months.
What is your next project in the works?
I'm working on a spin-off book to Angel's Bay. One of the characters in GARDEN OF SECRETS, which is the last book in the Angel's Bay Series has a really interesting story to tell, and it takes place hours away by a long and winding river. So I'm going from the ocean inland, but I think it will be fun, and I hope readers enjoy it. There's no title yet, but the book will be out in June of 2012.
What do you like to read when you’re not writing romances?
I also like women's fiction and thrillers and the occasional biography.
What is the one thing your fans would be surprised to know about you?
A lot of people ask me how I have so many layers to my stories, and they would probably be surprised to know that I don't do very much outlining. I tend to write first and then figure out things later. Of course, this approach lends itself to many, many drafts. But I find that a lot of my inspiration comes from the writing itself, finding dialogue for a character and sometimes being surprised by what they have to say. I love stories with depth and I don't think romance happens in isolation, so I tend to explore a lot of the other relationships of the characters, sisters, brothers, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. I love building an entire world in each book, and I think the readers enjoy that. I hope so anyway!
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