NAW-When did your literary journey begin? At what age did you discover that you wanted to write?
Since childhood I had made up stories, but I never figured I’d be a writer. I was an art major in college and envisioned a career in the graphic arts. Unfortunately, I discovered that I was allergic to the pigments in most paints – there went my dream of being the first female Picasso. When my kids were little, I started to write. I found that the perfect time was when they were at school
NAW- Tell us about your forthcoming book, ‘Top Secret Twenty-One.’ How did you get the idea for it? How long did it take to finish the book? What is it about?
Top Secret Twenty-One is real roller coaster ride. Stephanie and Lula are on the hunt for a crooked used car dealer who has disappeared (leaving lots of dead associates in his wake), someone’s out to assassinate Ranger and Grandma decides to make a bucket list of things to do before she dies. Like most of the Plums, it took me about six months to write it.
NAW- Tell us about your other works.
I’ve been at the Plums for about 20 years. Before that, I wrote 11 romance novels. While writing the Plum series, I co-wrote two romance series. I also wrote the Barnaby/Hooker series – four books (Metro Girl, Motor Mouth, Troublemaker 1 and Troublemaker 2), the Wicked series (Wicked Appetite and Wicked Business), and the new Fox/O’Hare series with Lee Goldberg (The Heist, The Chase and The Job, which will be published in November).
NAW- Do you carry out any research for developing your characters and your stories? How do you go about it?
Before I began the Plums, I researched the world of bounty hunting and rode along with the police in Trenton, New Jersey, the setting of the series. I don’t need to do too much research these days.
NAW- Which authors have influenced you?
I loved the clarity and humor of the Junie B. Jones series by the late Barbara Park. I considered the late Robert B. Parker a mentor (and a good friend).
NAW- Tell us about yourself. What do you do when you are not writing?
I know this is going to sound boring, but with three books either out or coming out in 2014, I pretty much write all the time. I work seven days a week.
NAW – Tell us about your literary journey. How easy (or difficult) was it to get your first book in print?
I like to say that I was an overnight sensation – after 10 years. I wrote three whole novels before I ever sold anything.
NAW- What is the one thing that your readers don’t know about you?
I consider doughnuts a vegetable. In truth, I don’t really eat all the stuff that Stephanie eats. I could never get away with it.
NAW- What are your upcoming projects?
I only write one book at a time and I’m in the middle of The Job right now. After that manuscript gets turned into the publisher, my publisher and I will sit down to assess what’s next.