I was asked why, with my background as a psychiatric nurse, I decided to write light paranormal romances instead of something grittier, like murder mysteries…
Well, the easy answer is—because writers like to escape as much as readers do. I worked in the psychiatric field for fifteen years. When I left, I was jaded and burned out. It took a while to get back to my old self, but I finally did. Sure, I have stories to tell, but I don’t want to. Simple as that.
I might violate the confidentiality aspect too. I heard intimate secrets that would make your skin crawl…and I was told those things because my patients knew they could trust me. Sure, they might never read one of my books, but can you imagine doing so and recognizing your story? Patients want to forget about grim reality too—especially theirs!
However, all that experience contributed to my writing in one important way. With a degree in behavioral sciences (a psychology-sociology combo) and having observed people for most of my life, I “just know” how my characters are going to behave.
Writing paranormal characters can be a challenge, because you have to put yourself in someone else’s paws, never mind shoes! Or you need to think like a vampire who’s technically dead, only comes out at night, and needs blood to survive. And ghosts! You don’t realize how much writers require body language and facial expressions to communicate until you can’t use it. But, I like a challenge.
And I love a good laugh—more than anything. I think this world needs more laughter and love. I’m fortunate. I have a wonderful marriage. MR. Amazing makes me laugh regularly, challenges me intellectually, and still—even after eighteen years of marriage (twenty-two years of togetherness) turns me on. Who wouldn’t want that?
Sometimes I think of my writing as a public service. Seriously. I’ve worked hard to hone my craft and put a smile on your face. Since reading works for me when I need a lift, I imagine it works for others.
When both of my parents were terminally ill at the same time, the stress showed. A friend and fellow nurse shoved a book in my hands and said, “Here. Read this.” She didn’t tell me anything about it, and I didn’t recognize it as a romance novel from the cover. It’s a good thing or I might not have read it.
The book was the first in Diana Gabeldon’s Outlander time travel series. I ate it up. While they slept, I was transported to another world. I forgot my sorrows for a time and experienced a mini mental vacation. A desperately needed, healthy escape.
When I turned to writing I realized that for me, it was more than a job. It was a privilege.
And it still is. I’m grateful to have an audience with whom I can share my creative outlet.
I hope my series Strange Neighbors and the spin-off Flirting with Fangs (coming Spring 2013) transports readers into my wild imagination and allows them to have some fun there—whether they need it or not.