Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a former Philly girl, transplanted to Southern California where I now live with my husband and three children. During the day, I work as a physician in a busy medical practice. At night, I pen steamy Contemporary Romances.
My trilogy, the Doctors of Rittenhouse Square, is now available on Amazon Kindle as a boxed set. The books can also be purchased individually, and read as stand-alones, though it’s always fun to see characters you’ve read about being reintroduced as bit players in someone else’s story:
• Pursued by the Playboy ~ Kate and Marc
• Taking a Chance ~ Samantha and Alex
• This Time for Keeps ~ Isabelle and Luca
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
~ This Time for Keeps ~
You can’t escape it: we live in a violent world. Open a paper, turn on the news, and there it is. Another shooting, or stabbing, or bombing. At school, at the mall, at a political rally, at a medical office.
In this third book of the Doctors of Rittenhouse Square trilogy, Dr. Isabelle DiStefano falls victim to a random act of violence. Facing what is every doctor’s nightmare, she suffers a career-ending injury. With the help of family, friends, and an old flame who re-emerges from her past, Isabelle struggles to rebuild her life.
Set against the backdrop of old Philadelphia and Italy’s Amalfi coast, with a rich cast of supporting characters (whom readers may recall from the first two books of the series), This Time for Keeps is a story about love, second chances, and the triumph of the human spirit.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m a planner. With a full-time job and three small kids, I wouldn’t survive if I didn’t plan ahead. This approach carries over to my writing, from carving out dedicated time for writing, to doing the “foundational work” of research and outlining. I prepare character sketches, chapter-by-chapter outlines, timelines (on an actual calendar!), and individual files for background information (aka research)–all before I even begin chapter 1.
I start with character sketches, often written in the first person. In these preliminary monologues, I become the character. Later, as my characters interact with each other on paper, I often read their dialogue out loud, to make sure it flows. This is often the time when my characters start saying things off-script. And sometimes, I’ve learned it’s best to just listen and go with the flow. Which doesn’t mean I simply chuck my original outline out the window, but I do adjust it now and then to keep my characters happy.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Contemporary Romance: Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Sarah Mayberry, Kate Hardy, Maya Banks.
Historical Romance: Stephanie Laurens, Julia Quinn, Johanna Lindsay
Other: Leon Uris (Exodus: Ari is still one of my all-time favorite alpha heroes!). Howard Fast. Irwin Shaw. John Updike.
What are you working on now?
A new trilogy, set in southern California. Book 1 stars a single mom who *thinks* she’s way too cynical to fall for an adrenaline-junkie ER doc…
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read everything you can get your hands on.
Write down ideas as they come–if you don’t, you’ll forget them.
Carve out dedicated time to write.
Silence your inner critic while working on the first draft.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
What are you reading now?
Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
What’s next for you as a writer?
A contemporary romance trilogy set in southern California. As with my Doctors of Rittenhouse Square trilogy, each book will be a complete self-contained story, meant to be read as a stand-alone.
What is your favorite book of all time?
A Room with a View