Savage Secrets is the 6th title in the Titan series though each book can be read as a standalone. Rocco Savage and Caterina Cruz partner to take down a terrorist, but each have their own reasons for wanting to succeed. Rocco needs to prove that he was the right choice for a promotion within Titan. Caterina needs to avenge her family’s massacre. Both have internal demons that bring them to the point of disaster.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
I’ve “known” Rocco for a couple of years now. I thought he was a goof ball and needed some awesome all-American chick who loved throwing back a couple of beers and cheering on her favorite football team. But then I began to “see” a heroine who was similar to Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek. All of the sudden, Caterina popped into my head, sexy accent, dark hair, and a vendetta that made her as complicated as she was beautiful.
After I came up with Caterina’s obsession, it was easy enough to get the two in a room. The sparks just flew after that.
Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing?
I began to write mysteries before I ever picked up a romance novel. I actually didn’t know they existed. Yes, genre-fiction-sheltered. I loved reading and writing but complained constantly that I wished the stories focused on the characters falling in love and less on the whodunit. I picked up my first romance while waiting for a prescription at CVS and read the entire thing while sitting in their waiting area (don’t worry, I bought it. I wasn’t treating it as a library, but I just couldn’t stop reading.)
After that eye opening experience, I went home and rewrote my first manuscript (not published yet, but will be probably in 2015 with a new series).
What has been the most pleasant surprise about writing? How about an unexpected down side?
The most pleasant surprise has been all the new contacts. I email/tweet/message readers back and have made new friends all over the world. They’ve surprised me once or twice when they’ve written, “I can’t believe you responded.” Well, yeah, you emailed me. You bought my books. You love the characters like I love the characters. Of course I’m going to email back, I appreciate you!
An unexpected downside? There will always be people who see success and judge—and I’m not talking about reviews. I’ve had to smile through a couple of uncalled for comments (“sex will sell anything.” well, gee, thanks…) and insane requests (“can you move your release date, I don’t want anyone else to release the same day as me.” Uh, nope.)
Do you have any writing rituals?
Try to get the kids down for a nap at the same time, funnel a cup of coffee, then write as fast as I can.
LOL. I’d love a writing ritual that had to do with centering myself, chatting with my muse, and pondering plot lines over a cup of coffee. But I don’t have the luxury of writing when the mood strikes. I’m a stay-at-home-mom AND an author. So I have to balance the two jobs.
Do you write your books in order?
Yes, the series has situations that carry forward through each book but they can be read as standalones.
Any favorite writing snacks?
Coffee. Well, that’s not really a snack. That’s a basic requirement to function. I’m a huge fan of Greek yogurt and peanut butter chocolate Skinny Cow wafer cookies.
What advice would you give writers who aspire to be published?
Take craft classes or find educational material to read (Stephen King’s On Writing and Margie Lawson’s writing packets are both affordable and worth it). Know the industry, not just what agents tweet about. If writing romance, join RWA. Find critique partners that better and empower you. But above all, write, write, write. Don’t forget, this is a business, especially if you consider self-publishing. In that case, you are your own CEO, CFO, CMO, C-everything else.
Are you working on anything new right now?
Yes! The prequel to Garrison’s Creed. It’s called Sweet Girl, and it follows Cash and Nicola when they first fall in love. After that, Roman and Parker’s books will come this year.
Who is your favorite character in your current book?
I just love Rocco. He’s far deeper than I ever imagined. He flat out stole my heart and he is unintentionally a sweet guy.
I can never answer this question. I adore Maya Banks’s KGI series and Lora Leigh’s Elite Ops. From my books, Garrison’s Creed has always been my favorite but now Savage Secrets has taken its place.
Tell us in one sentence why we should read your book.
Savage Secrets a tragically beautiful love story that gives a happy-cry worthy HEA.