When Erica Peck, one terrified-of-the-ocean marina owner, finds herself at the bottom of the sea conversing with a Mer man named Reel, she thinks she’s died and gone to her own version of Hell. When the Oceanic Council demands she and Reel retrieve a lost cache of diamonds from the resident sea monster in return for their lives, she knows she’s died and gone to Hell.
When they escape the monster and end up on a deserted island, she amends her opinion – she’s died and gone to Heaven. But when Reel sacrifices himself to allow her to return to her world, she realizes that, Heaven or Hell, with Reel, she’s In Over Her Head.
What pulled you into this story, and as a writer made you think I have to write this?
I was looking for a new fairy tale to twist (after Beauty and The Best, Cinda Bella, Fairest of Them All) and I got the idea to do The Little Mermaid but make HIM the Mer. Once I started, the story and characters took over. When I got to Chum I was laughing so hard I knew I had to finish it, even if people looked at me funny when I told them about my “little talking fish” story.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline or are you more organic?
Total pantzer. I’ve had to come up with synopses for the partials, but the stories have definitely changed. Heck, they change as I write them. I think we’re going down Road A, then wham! A character says something or does something and we’re off on Tangent B. It’s fun while it reveals itself, but it can also be a bit scary as you’re trying to meet deadlines: will this all work out or am I writing myself into a hole. I’ve found that if I let the characters be themselves, it does work out in the end.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
There’s no typical day for me. I’m a wife, mother, president of my local chapter, employee, friend, volunteer, etc. It’s a juggling act to keep all the balls in the air and sometimes they might get dropped, but I try to pick them up as fast as I can and get them dancing. My husband is incredibly supportive and the man can do laundry, cook a great meal, yardwork and clean like nobody’s business. He’s my Prince Charming.
If you could only own and read 5 books for the rest of your life, (excluding your own) what five books would you choose?
I can’t pick. I just can’t. That’s like making me pick between my children. Can’t do it. I love to read and would always wonder what I’m missing. Torture.
For you, what is the most difficult part of being an author?
Sitting. Seriously, it’s painful. I’ve joined the gym to get some exercise and my husband bought me a top of the line massage chair for Christmas. Of course, here it is, June and the thing hasn’t arrived. We ended up canceling the order and are looking for a new supplier. I want that sucker!
What do you love about being an author?
I love being able to tell my stories. I love having people telling me they were entertained by my screwy sense of humor. I love hanging out with other authors because they “get” the people talking in your head.
Whats next for you?
Books 2 and 3 are scheduled to release in November 2009 (Wild Blue Under) and February 2010 (Catch of a Lifetime) and I’m working on the proposals for more stories under the sea.