A couple of things. The first is finding the time to write. It’s tough juggling a day job and family and domestic duties, while still trying to make it to the gym. The second is getting readers to know I exist! Before I was published I thought the hard part would be writing the book. I’ve found that the writing is only the beginning.
What is your hero's biggest challenge?
Finn Cooper, my hero in “The Girl Most Likely” faces the challenge of convincing the heroine, Cara McLeod, that he loves her just the way she is. He’s fighting an uphill battle because Cara is sensitive about her weight, and her age. She’s eight years older than Finn and can’t believe a gorgeous younger man like him could be interested in a woman like her, a woman who’s on the other side of forty and not as svelte as she used to be. After all, why would Finn find her attractive when her ex-husband no longer does?
What is your heroine's biggest flaw?
Cara’s greatest flaw is believing that her self-worth is tied to her looks. She has to learn that she’s so much more than a pretty face, and that she’s a fabulous woman even if she’s not a perfect size two.
What prompted you to write this story?
The Wild Rose Press put out a call for submissions for a series in the Last Rose of Summer line called the Class of ’85 . The series centers around the 1985 graduating class of Summerville High School as they prepare for their 25th year reunion. It sounded like a fun series. A high school reunion can be full of drama and angst and nostalgia. I felt the situation was ripe with possibilities!
What is your least favorite genre? Would you ever consider writing it?
I probably couldn’t write inspirational romance since I don’t possess the faith-based background to do one justice.
Who has helped you the most?
Lots of people. I’ve belonged to the Saskatchewan Romance Writers for many years, and without the support of this group I don’t think I would have become an author; I wouldn’t have believed in myself without them. Friends from my critique group (we call ourselves Lovers’ Knot) have provided invaluable critiquing help over the years, not to mention good friendship. And my friend and critique partner Janet Corcoran has helped me navigate my way through edits on more than one occasion. Thanks Janet!
Do you have a favorite theme? Eg: love conquers all; good vs evil; How do you use it?
I often find myself writing about trust, usually regaining lost trust. Sometimes my hero and heroine must learn to trust each other, but often they must learn to trust themselves first, to believe in themselves.
What have you learned about yourself from your writing?
I’ve learned that I’m more determined than I ever thought I was. I’ve learned that aside from my family and my health, writing is the most important thing to me. I’ve learned that when deadlines loom and things look tough, I can buckle down and get the job done. I’ve also learned to trust my own judgment when it comes to my writing.
Why will your reader think your book is different?
For a start, my heroine is older than my hero, a situation that’s not used too often in romance novels. Though I love stories about outsiders in high school who return for their reunion as winners, Cara’s story is the reverse. In high school she was one the popular girls. But now life has thrown her some curves. She’s afraid that her former classmates will either feel pity for her because she’s lost her perfect marriage, her perfect figure and her perfect life, or they’ll be happy to see her get her comeuppance in life.
As well, Finn has some secrets that make him an atypical romance hero. But those secrets make him the perfect match for Cara. That’s all I can say about him without giving too much away!
Buy link: “The Girl Most Likely” will be released on November 30, 2011 as part of the Class of ’85 series. To check out other titles in the series, click here.
Blurb: Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?
Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?
He chuckled. “Jessica better watch her back. You could give her a run for her money.”
He heard Cara’s throaty laugh, and various parts of his anatomy tingled in response. “Yes, that’s my evil plan. Take over Rochester Noon, then the world.”
“If you set your mind to it, I’m sure you could do it.”
“For believing in me.”
“Are you going to be okay now?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Thanks to you.”
He wanted so badly to tell her he loved her, adored her, thought she was the most amazing woman in the world. But fear stopped him. Was she truly over her ex-husband? Why else would losing weight for the reunion be so important to her if not to impress Peter?
“I’ve got to run. Thanks again. I’ll talk to you later at my condo, right?”
“Absolutely. I can hardly wait to hear about your big TV debut. Break a leg. Isn’t that what they say in show biz?”
She laughed. “Yeah, that’s what they say. Bye.”
Finn replaced the receiver and closed his eyes. He hoped everything went well with this interview. Cara deserved to realize how amazing she was.
If she did come to that realization, would there still be room in her life for him?