Yes, I write under two names. But never fear, no matter the name, the story is always mine.
I discovered my first romance novel at the age of twelve in a bargain bin at the local five and dime. It involved swashbuckling pirates having grand adventures on the open sea, a heroine with a mind of her own, and a seriously mouthwatering, masterful hero who swept her away no matter how clever she was.
I was immediately smitten with romance and all the romantic themes I could get my hands on.
I had grand plans to star on Broadway – preferably in Evita, just like the great Patti LuPone. Sadly, my inability to wow audiences with my singing voice required a back up plan, so I launched myself into academics instead. This was not a good fit for someone who liked lounging about and reading books a lot more than dissecting them in classrooms, but did allow me to live in England for half a decade, so I can’t complain.
But writing my first book was a relief. And actually publishing that book was one of the greatest thrills of my life.
Now I’m some 75 books in, I’m still a romance fanatic, and yes, I’m still plotting my Broadway debut.
If you’re new to my books, try starting here.
Do you read reviews? Even the bad ones?
Especially the bad ones!
If, as a writer, you can read an in-depth negative review of your work that lays out how the writing or story failed the reader and conclude that you wouldn’t change a single one of those things, I think that’s encouraging. That’s your voice – and you need to listen to your own voice and honor it.
And for every reader who hates what I do and lists the reasons why, there’s another who loves me for the exact same list of reasons. Reading is subjective, thank goodness!
Of course, there are bad reviews that are somewhat less inspiring, and we all have fragile days, but still. I think it’s all part of the fun.
The Edge books talk a lot about “compliants.” What/who are they?
“Compliants. Of course. The descendants of all those poor, deluded souls who’d wanted so badly to believe in the pronouncements of the last body resembling a government in those mad days after the Storms when there had been nothing left but wrecked cities and bodies to burn.
Compliant citizens—of what country, dumbasses? There were no countries left—were concerned about one thing only: repopulating the drowned earth. They had their churches and their devout and their grabby-handed priests with their speeches about the evils of technology and how their god alone brought light to the darkness. Whatever. They’d claimed one of the great protected valleys in the high west as their spiritual home—conveniently, said valley had been spared from the worst of the floods. It was also easily defended by the kind of self-proclaimed holy men who knew exactly how to manipulate generations of terrified people with made-up moral absolutes.
Same old bullshit, brand-new world, Tyr thought derisively.
They claimed they were acting in the best interests of humanity, what was left of it. Then they locked pretty young girls away and called them nuns, buying them from their families and claiming it was an honor to give their fertility to the church as a kind of tithe in the grand ceremonies they held when each girl turned twenty-one. Lucky priests, Tyr had always thought, to have all that pretty, virgin pussy at their disposal. They’d dictated that all the rest of the world should enter into winter marriages, so that was what compliant folks had been doing for three generations now. A long, stormy winter to fuck and then, if the woman turned up pregnant, another winter to have the kid and nurse it, claiming it as blood. Or a summer spent finding a new partner, if the fucking didn’t take.
As stupid systems went, Tyr supposed it was fine. The rich dickheads who’d dubbed themselves the new nobility and claimed the high ground in the mountains took multiple fertile women apiece in support of their precious bloodlines and their even more precious property, the way rich people always had and always would. The poorest people were little more than vagabonds, keeping on the move and finding temporary shelter as best they could in their ragged-ass caravans, and who cared how they arranged their personal lives when the wolves picked off most of them like dessert?
Compliance kept those in the middle occupied.
But even people without vast stores of gold and grain at their disposal—or massive Rocky Mountain valleys they conveniently claimed were sacred—were twisted and liked power over each other. That was the way of things, and these arrangements had long since turned into extended bartering sessions for food and shelter. Fertile women were currency; barren women had better hope they had other sources of wealth. And Tyr had met more than one leader of a compound like this one who thought all the potentially fertile women in it were his to trade for status or favors as he chose, the same as his grain or his gas stores or the clothes he wore.
Tyr preferred to get his dick wet where and when and how he pleased. His great-grandfather hadn’t carved his way out of the carnage that followed the Storms to live in a brand-new world under the rule of tiny, red-faced kinglets and their pocket-sized priests. His great-grandfather had helped form the raider brotherhood to stay free of the kind of idiots who couldn’t defend themselves without an assault rifle and a fleet of self-proclaimed holy men to pray on their every move and then help themselves to the spoils. He hadn’t followed any rules he hadn’t chosen himself.”
I hate Jessa from Majesty, Mistress…Missing Heir. I hate the ending. Why did you do that?
But here’s a short and (warning!) spoilery answer:
I think that adopted families are just as real as blood families. I don’t think blood parents should be able to show up and change their minds years later, no matter if their circumstances have changed, because I don’t think that’s fair to the child. I loved that while Jessa and Tariq had to live with the consequences of the choices they made the first time around, they would always know that their child was loved and treasured and taken care of… and they could see this with their own eyes!
In my mind, there are no secrets in the family after a few years, and that means little Jeremy has two sets of adults who love him. I can’t think of a happier ending.
I love pictures. I take a lot of them.
It's not super new, but I'd still say all the same stuff on the subject of Frenemies:
And here are some other items of note:
- Caitlin discusses The Return of the Di Sione Wife with BookTrib.
- My Process (as Megan and Caitlin, on Conversations with Cupid)
- Action and Emotion (as Megan, with my husband Jeff, on the Nerd Out podcast)
- On Shame and the Romance Heroine (as Caitlin, on Dear Author)
- Falling in love with the Rodeo (as Megan, a guest on Jane Porter's blog)
- My Call Story (as Caitlin, from the iheartpresents blog)