“How do you do it?” An author juggles careers.

Authors hear a lot of questions from their friends. The one question I receive most is “How do you do it all?” I’ve always worked outside the home and didn’t stop after I got published. I like having something to fall back on but it’s also important for me to get out in the world and experience different situations. I’ve gotten a lot of story inspiration from my various jobs. Even if my royalties increased to a startling degree, I don’t think I would stop working.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get tired. After all, I’m juggling two careers. I’m sure there are those of us out there who are juggling more. Add to that my family and friends and general commitments and it can feel like a lot some days, especially because writing takes time. I don’t like doing it in fits and starts, but sometimes that’s all I can do.

How do I manage my two jobs? First of all, and most important of all in my mind, is I don’t beat myself up when I can’t do everything. There will be days or weeks when my library job has to be the priority. Yes, I can get stressed if I have to go a couple of days without writing, but I try not to dwell on it. Life happens. Regular pay cheques are important. Without them, I couldn’t write. And I love my job. That helps. I couldn’t do this if I had a job I hated.

Secondly, even if I can only write in fits and starts, I do it. Take this morning, for example. I had half an hour before I had to head to work so I wrote this blog post. You grab it when you can.

I will admit I’ve made sacrifices to accommodate my writing time but they have been sacrifices I’m willing to make. I don’t go out for coffee with friends during the day. I never did sign up for those yoga classes I wanted to try. I don’t shop for hours. I’m targeted with my errands and make the most of my time.

The only thing I don’t sacrifice is family time. I don’t tend to write at night when my husband and kids are home and I rarely write on weekends. However, because I have a part-time job, I can do this. Nevertheless, family time is crucial. I can write that page tomorrow but I can’t rearrange my kid’s music recital.

Lately I’ve been accepting a lot of hours at my library job. Because it’s summer, a lot of people are on vacation and I’ve been jumping into the fray for a lot of shifts. I’m starting to feel that little tingle of unease between my shoulders because I want to finish my latest manuscript. But then I remind myself it’s all okay. It’ll all get done. The book will be there tomorrow. When I have a deadline, I limit extra shifts, but right now I can do them. It gets me out and into the sun, something a lot of writers could use on a more regular basis.

So how do I do it? Minute by minute, day by day. I make time. I respect my time. And I just do it. If it’s important to me, it just has to get done.

Why I write what I write. #amwriting

I’ve always had voices in my head. The benign kind who just want their stories told, thankfully. It was probably inevitable I became a writer of some kind. As so many of my peers know, writing is an outlet for those voices.

I’ve had opportunity recently to look back at a couple of my earliest books. When someone asked about them, I reread a few passages here and there. I have to admit, I had a couple of “Did I really do that?” moments. A part of me wishes I could go back and rewrite a few sections to polish them up. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m not proud of my early work, but I find I learn something new every day in this business and I suppose I wish I knew it all right from the start.

If given the chance, however, would I really change anything significant in any of my books, even if it meant greater sales and  bestseller lists? Probably not. And there is one reason why.

Ultimately I have written the books I wanted to read.

At times I needed fanciful romances, full of mysterious figures. At other times, I craved stories full of human frailties and mistakes. Either way, I wrote my books because something inside me needed to hear and share those narratives.

This is one lesson that serves as a constant reminder. If the story doesn’t speak to me, it will never speak to anyone else.

I’ve been reading a lot of submission calls from publishers lately. Some look interesting and others don’t. If they don’t get me jazzed, I don’t submit. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I can’t force a story to come. If it doesn’t spring from my heart, it will never leap into another person’s heart.  At the end of the day, I need to dictate from those voices in my head and I need to trust their tales will find an audience. Luckily I have a great audience and I think they appreciate those wacky personalities dwelling inside me, the ones who end up spilling onto the page.

If I write a story about a museum conservator who fawns over a statue of a Greek god in a Toronto museum, it’s because I’ve walked those same museum corridors, dreaming about what it would be like to love a god. If I write a book about a lonely woman who cries seven tears into the cold North Sea, it’s because I have also known loneliness and wondered what would happen if I was thrust into a strange, new world. If I write about a modern woman who decides to picket a Las Vegas casino because her life has been destroyed by gambling, it’s because I understand the basis of those sentiments all too well.

When all is said and done, any story I give you is one I also need to give myself. It’s an exploration, a journey of self-discovery. Sometimes it’s a poultice, nurturing old wounds. It could be a bit of whimsy, penned by a woman who needs frivolity and laughter. And if I tell a story that has love at its core, it’s because I still believe in a world where love can conquer hatred.

I have given you the stories I need to read. Knowing others might need to read them too is the most wonderful validation.

Vice on sale at Google Play!

I don’t generally share sale info on my blog but this one was too good to pass up. Right now until July 21, my contemporary romance Vice is on sale at Google Play.


This is the perfect time to grab this hot romance at a huge discount. Tell your friends! Call your bestie! Don’t you need a little vice in your life?

Sale link: Vice at Google Play

Need a teaser to whet your whistle?


He’s much more than a bad habit.

As a Vegas singer and volunteer counselor, Kate Callender has experienced life on both sides of Sin City’s bright lights. The thrill of performing, and gambling’s devastating effect on the addicts’ families.

Liam Doyle is just the kind of man she despises—a handsome, enigmatic businessman with a knack for seducing customers into his casino hotels. Determined to put a lid on his growing influence, she prepares to picket the opening of his newest casino, Vice.

When Liam spots the lone protestor hassling his customers, annoyance wars with instant attraction. And he quickly discovers the leggy redhead not only can’t be bought, she tempts him the way the sound of a roulette wheel lures a gambler.

They are natural enemies, but when a vile attack sparks Liam’s protective instincts, they begin a sexual odyssey that dances on the edge of addiction. Dangerously close to losing control…and losing themselves.

Warning: Contains a sexy, damaged hero who’d really rather just be having sex, and a no-nonsense redhead who makes him want to roll the dice on love just one more time.

Vice coupling teaser


He meandered toward her and forced a smile. “You seem to have had a busy day.”

She whipped around and her eyes widened. He saw her give him a quick once-over. Did she like what she saw? Interesting. There was some perverse satisfaction in that.

“It has been busy.” She narrowed her hazel eyes at him. “Do you work here?”

So, she didn’t recognize him. Good. “Yes, ma’am, I do.” He crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, noting how her gaze dropped to his exposed forearms. Her lips parted. Clearly, working out had its merits. “And word inside is you’ve upset the big boss.”

Her nostrils flared as she dragged her gaze away from his arms. “About time.” She put her sign down and picked up her purse. “Do you know Liam Doyle?”

“I’ve heard one or two things about him.”

She stepped closer and her lips did the most amazing thing, curling into a flirtatious semi-smile. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to share them with me? The other guy kept on sucking up about him as if he was wearing a wire.” She paused. “You’re not wearing a wire, are you?”

He laughed out loud. He couldn’t help it. This was way too much fun. He sidled close to her, leaned in conspiratorially, and put a hand on her elbow. Her very soft elbow. “I’m not wearing a wire. But are you sure you want to know the truth about Doyle? I don’t know if you can handle it.”

She gawked at him and then at his lips. Her voice came out in a whisper. “Try me.”

He murmured in her ear, taking note of her lilac scent. “Well, I hear at midnight he sprouts black wings and horns. And he’s always searching for innocent maidens to add to his coven.” He bit on his bottom lip, suddenly wishing he was gnawing on hers.

At first, her eyelids did this fluttery thing that made his imported pants spring to life. But then she blinked and began to laugh. “And here I thought I was dealing with a mere businessman. I didn’t realize Doyle was cousins with Lucifer.”

“What’s your name?”

She regarded him from out of the side of her eye, her mouth still bearing the same flirty grin. “What’s yours?”

“Consider me a friend who wants to give you some advice.”

The smile disappeared from her face. “And what would that be?”

“Don’t mess with Liam Doyle. He doesn’t take to it kindly.”

The coquettish shine in her eyes hardened. “Is that a threat?”

“No, sugar. That’s not my style.”

“What exactly do you do here? Are you in security?”

“Never mind that.” He waved his hand. “Look, you’ve had your fun. Why don’t you run along home now?”

She reached for her sign and tucked it under her arm. “I will go where I damn well please. And you can tell your friend Mr. Doyle to expect me tomorrow. Maybe next time he’ll be brave enough to confront me himself.” She turned on her heel and walked down the manicured pathway leading to the taxi bay.

Liam stared at her ass as she walked away. Brave?

Game on, sugar. He’d show her brave.