What can I say? I write romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels. 

Did I always want to be a writer? No. I discovered it along the way. 

The first romance book I read… Perfect by Judith McNaught. She started by love for reading romance. 

Why do I stick to writing romance? There’s nothing like that book on your mind long after the ending. I think stories with strong romantic elements give readers an opportunity to relate to characters making wrong choices, bad timing, misunderstandings, and the mother of them all– heartbreak.  

The first time I “tried” writing a novel… I bought a notepad and went to Borders (they were still around). I cancelled plans. Blocked off the whole morning. Ordered my big latte and sat at a table. I wrote one sentence. Then I packed it all up and went home. I had no clue what I was doing. 

My first manuscript I ever submitted to a publisher… A YA Fantasy novel about a girl trapped beneath the ocean (insert blank stare). The heroine discovered a world of sunken ships. I think I broke the record for the fastest rejection notices. Sometimes the story we think we’re meant to tell isn’t the one that needs to be written.

My writing advice…Find a way to create tension. That’s the real hero of romantic suspense. That alone drives the story. I’m sorry to break it to you, but tension is a major tease. No different from flirting and attraction. Writers use this tool to string the reader along, building expectations and hopes along the way. Tension is powerful. And it must be created intentionally. The groundwork for intensity begins with a dilemma. The character wants something, but can’t have it. Whenever I think about ideas for a story, I ask myself two questions.

What does the heroine want?

What is the consequence if she doesn’t get it?

The answers will vary from tragedy to heartbreak or death. There are literally hundreds of things that can go wrong (the more the better) and to the character, the unwanted outcome is real. The situations a character is written into must bring about the potential for danger, pain, and loss. 

In my personal life…I started out a west coast girl and now am on the east coast. I live in Maryland with my husband and our two children. My favorite month is October. December is a close second. There’s something magical about a good coffee shop. My favorite superhero is Thor. I have an obsession with playing Ms. Pacman. I’ve never mastered the art of parallel parking. And I prefer a lake to a beach.

What else would you like to know? 

Interested in understanding more about the life of an Author?  Or maybe how we begin to start to write a 400 page book?  Where we get our ideas and inspiration?  Click here to ask me a Question on my GoodReads page.  Look forward to hearing from you. ~Emily