Truth time? I grew up on a dirt road, at the end of a flag lot, on 13 acres. Yes, in New Jersey. It wasn’t a huge transition at all. I’ve always lived the small-town life. I can appreciate its merits and idiosyncrasies. Language barriers aside!
Which all helped inspire me to write the Promise Me series. This series, and the resulting world of Heartwood, Virginia, centers around a town which boasts only a single stoplight. It can feel categorically odd for some. For me, it’s natural. It’s what I’ve known all my life. Writing for Heartwood is as natural as breathing (cliche alert).
I wanted the characters of the Promise Me series to be flawed. Some would say a little too flawed. I say realistic. No one is perfect, no one is 100% endearing at first. But we all grow, we all change, and so my characters do as well.
I wrote the first book as a mirror to my own experiences. It was only after five books did I realize my first heroine, a reflection of myself, was too durn whiny. The first book, Hold Me, follows Isabel Cook and chronicles her return to small town life after trying hard to escape it. For the second book, Touch Me, I wanted to write the same story but from the point of view of the *supposed* antagonist from the first series. Once scenario, two women, two very different ideas about what happened.
These women are realistic. They’re flawed. They are trying to do what we all are, which is find happiness and love.
I’m not a plotter. I am physically unable to sit down and plot out a novel from Point A to Point Z. I follow my heart and write organically.
Small-town life empowers me to write. For my paranormal series, set in Chicago, it took research, and I’m still not sure I have the urban setting down pat. However, paranormal romance is my favorite genre to read. Which means it is my favorite to write, as well. Magic is present, so why not write about it? In whatever setting, magic impacts people and influences their decisions. The Cavaldi Birthright series explores personal culpability. With a whole lot of hoodoo thrown in for good measure.
In Fate Walks, the first installment, our heroine is not only trying to deal with an outbreak of rogue magic impacting her family, but her own personal demons. The idea for the series came to me in a dream. A woman with reddish hair and the power to control gemstones. I actually remembered it once I woke up (surprising, as the dream didn’t involve my number one fellow, Hale Appleman 😉 ) and tried to think about what I could do that would be different, unique. Then it hit me.
What if magic is a trait that can be inherited? Something in a person’s DNA that allows them to manipulate the energy in the world? Magic, then, could potentially be inherited along gender lines. A woman has her mother’s magic, and so on back to the beginning of time.
Then I thought. Let’s take it a step further. What would happen if the woman in my dream, Astix, had inherited her father’s magic?
Thus, the Cavaldi Birthright books were born.
There are plenty of ideas rattling around in my brain, waiting for me to make time for them. Be sure to keep up to date for new series and new worlds! Creativity doesn’t take a vacation.