Tell us about your current release.
Ah, my baby! Most Eligible was started back in high school, right around when Joe Millionaire and the like were popular. They may still be but I don’t watch them, so I wouldn’t know. Anyway, it didn’t quite end up the way it started. It actually started off as a woman being the subject of the show with women vying for her heart. She was also quite a bit younger than Gavin ended up being and it was a mess.
So, Gavin is a twenty-nine year old successful writer of historical mysteries. He writes with a pen name, however and so in his everyday life, he is a journalist for a huge newspaper in L.A. One day, his agent calls him, practically begging him to go on this bachelor reality show, but he is reluctant. He agrees, but only if none of the ladies know who he is prior to the end of the show.
The weekend before the show starts, he meets Aislinn, and by the end of the weekend, he doubts his own feelings of going on the show. He is immediately taken by her and so he must decide what to do.
It was really interesting getting into a guy’s head, when in real life, I don’t understand them at all. It was nice meeting Gavin and all the other characters. All I did was tell their story for them, while they actually did all the work. *laughs*
How do you get your character’s names?
Here is a list of how I got them:
Gavin: Gavin is a character name on one of favorite shows called Degrassi. His name is actually Gavin Mason, but he goes by Spinner in the show. I loved the named Gavin so much, I wrote it down as one of my “to-use” names. Gavin’s name was originally Christian, which was close to Christine, so I had to change it so it wasn’t so close.
Christine: My mom’s birth name is Christine Brita, but she goes by Tina and she writes under both Tina and Brita (Addams). Christine’s name was originally Tina, but I wanted to use Christine instead.
Victoria: My niece’s name.
Aislinn: An actress named Aislinn Paul plays a character on Degrassi named Clare. I loved her name, so like with Gavin, I wrote it down and since it was Irish and I needed an Irish girl’s names, voila! Aislinn’s name was originally Fiona, which is my puppy’s name, but since it’s Scottish, and I needed her to be Irish, it had to change.
The rest of the names don’t have any significant meaning to me, so I just picked them as I was writing them.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
My only suggestion is one that I’ve been given and I used it to finish Most Eligible. Write daily! Even if it just for a little while, set some time aside and do it. Don’t burn yourself out, but try and make it a part of your daily routine. It really helps you to get motivated, especially if you give yourself a goal of when you’d like to be finished.
Plotter or Pantser? Why? I’m a little of both, actually. In Most Eligible, there was a time line I had to complete and if I hadn’t written it down, I would have been lost. When I was done mapping it out, it looked like a line chart. *laugh* I had lines going from here to there and everywhere. It was ridiculous. I will tell you it didn’t end up being what I had written down. Names changed and so did the looks of the characters. Gavin’s name started out as Christian, then it changed to Gavin when I wanted to make Gavin’s agent, Tina’s name, Christine (after my mom’s birth name) and the names were too close. Aislinn started out as Fiona, but I changed it when I decided I wanted Aislinn to be Irish and not Scottish. Victoria, the show’s producer, was Colleen, but I changed it to Victoria because that’s my niece’s name.
I plotted out what everyone looked like, particularly Gavin and Aislinn. In the big picture though, I just wrote the book with the little plotting I did and filled in the gaps. I didn’t know where Gavin would take me next half the time, but he led me to the end and for that, I’m grateful. *smile*
How do you describe your writing style?
My writing style is a lot like how I talk. I mostly write contemporary because it’s what I know. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in any way opposed to research. Hell, I count on it, but I can live in the now and I’m a little more in tuned with what a person today would be thinking and feeling and saying, etc.
I really admire my mom Tina Ordone/Brita Addams because her historical romances are so on point with history because take it from me, she researches, researches, researches. I couldn’t do historical if my life depended on (but I’d try) because she is the historical novelist in the house and I’m not. I’m ok with that.
With the idea that I write how I talk, I don’t talk using modern day slang, nor do I intellectualize everything that I say. I talk like a human being, so that’s how I write too.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
I think the hardest part for me is fleshing it out. I know what I want to do and I’m in a rush to get there, so I have to sit back and relax and let it happen. If I’m not on some tirade when I’m writing, I will probably come out better for it. Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone will know what I’m getting at in a story unless I say it, so I have to be mindful at all times that I’m not just writing to entertain myself, but others as well.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books? I never realized before I started writing the modern day Most Eligible that your characters tell YOU what THEY want to happen. They tell you that they want a glass of bourbon or they want to go for a walk, or have dinner or breakfast or whatever. They tell you how they feel about other characters and they demand that you write it down for them. If you don’t, they will get angry and go off and do something silly. *laughs* Gavin has a very subtle sense of humor, but he does like the finer things in life. You may notice that he will find things funny when others may not, I know he made me take a step back a few times and say, “Boy, what are you thinking?” And, man, did he tell me!
Tell us about your favorite character from your books. I think that even though Most Eligible is in Gavin's POV, Aislinn is my favorite character because she was sort of based off of a character in one of my favorite books. Only a couple aspects are the same, but I love her personality and passion, plus she is totally cute on the cover. Although Jimmy Thomas is Gavin on my cover, so that's hard to beat!
Where do you research for your books? I research all over, but because my books are contemporary, all I really have to research are locations and flight durations, etc. For flight durations, I use orbitz.com.
Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career? My mom has really helped me a lot. She is an author as well, so she helped to keep up my spirits and with the editing and suggesting process. Thanks, Mom!