● What it your favourite childhood book?
Young adult mysteries about a teenage girl named Jill Graham. I think they had a big influence in defining what I wanted from reading, the archetype and the journey.
● Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I like to write a variety of genres. I love thrillers with women leads, but they can be tough, even when the leading lady succeeds in the end. If I need a break from the darker side, I write romance where the obstacles appear not in the form of serial killers, but in the characters’ own dysfunctional habits (that they hopefully overcome in the course of the story). I also wrote a number of utopian/dystopian stories, like Rise, and the upcoming The Exodus Project. The older I get, the more I get frustrated about the slow pace of change, and the, apparently, inevitable backlash. This genre is a way of dealing with that frustration, because you can lay out your own vision. Whatever the genre, it always comes down to women fighting the odds, and succeeding – and, of course, loving women.
● Where did your love of books, storytelling, reading, writing, etc. come from?
My parents read to me a lot when I was little. I always had stories in my head, and I couldn’t wait to be able to read and write myself. I never stopped.
● Who are some of your favourite authors that you feel were influential on your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
These are a few that have created unforgettable characters: J.M. Redmann (Micky Knight), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) and James Patterson (Women’s Murder Club). All deal with women overcoming odds stacked against them, and that’s definitely a theme that attracts me.
● What projects are you working on at the present?
Preparing for the release of my next book, an erotic romance, and doing last edits for the next after that, a political utopia. Variety is the spice of life! Writing-wise, I’m in the middle of Carpenter/Harding book 7.
● What do your plans for future projects include?
I have outlined the next few Carpenter/Harding novels, and generally releases for 2017/2018.
● Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
I have synesthesia. I didn’t realise until my adult years that not everybody automatically sees colours when thinking of letters, words, numbers, etc. It’s quite helpful when coming up for a colour scheme for covers, or when having to memorize things.
● If you could live anywhere on this planet, and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live?
I’m quite happy here in Canada, but I wouldn’t mind visiting the Caribbean for a few weeks or so (that comes from watching many episodes of House Hunters International).
● If you could go to the past or future, where would you stay and why?
The past, no thanks. It’s not such a great place for women or the LGBT community! If there’s ever a future that offers full equality, I’d like to see what it looks like, but only if I could take my wife with me.
● Favourite place to eat? Favourite meal there?
It’s between two, the Fun en Bouche, our favourite breakfast restaurant. Everything is very good, but we usually take a classic and crêpes, and share. The other one, the Myagi, is an Asian fusion restaurant, and they have an amazing dish called Poutine Thai (poutine being a local dish with fries, gravy and cheese).
● What takes you out of your comfort zone?
People. Lol! I’m the quintessential socially awkward, hiding in her office writer. Fortunately, my wife is the opposite of socially awkward, and she gets me to leave the house every once in a while.
● Would you rather have a cat or a dog? Why?
I’ve lived with both – when I was a child, we always had a dog. When I moved in with my wife, she already had a cat, and I realised I like both. Sadly, Joey (the cat) died a few years ago, and we couldn’t bring ourselves to get another pet since. If we do, it will likely be another cat.
● What’s your passion?
Love, stories, politics.
● If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?
Angie Harmon, Hillary Clinton, Justin Trudeau. That should make for interesting conversations.
● You have to wear a t-shirt with one word on it for the rest of your life. Which word do you choose?
● If you were a spy, what would your alias be?
Lindsay Boxer. My favourite book/TV character.
● If someone rented a billboard for you, what would you put on it?
Depending on the specifics, I could imagine using it selfishly for my books, or make a bold political statement. Or both?
● What was the first live concert you ever attended?
Bon Jovi. And many followed after that.
● What is your favourite holiday?
Easter. It’s all about renewal and hope for the future.
● What’s your favourite TV show of all time and why?
Women’s Murder Club. It did what I strive to do in my books as well: Show women being allies instead of competitors, but being able to respect other women even if they’re not in their circle of best friends. Getting the job done. Some action, lots of subtext (in my books, of course, it’s all text). I prefer a contemporary context, and realism, to speculative/mythological, so that show was definitely tailor made for me.
● What is your best book marketing tip?
Before spending any money, make sure whatever you pay for is reaching your target audience. In the past, there haven’t been many opportunities to market directly to an LGBT, specifically lesbian audience. Fortunately, it’s getting better. For example, I advertise on Women and Words, and I know that visitors to that site are potentially interested in the kind of books I write. Before, I have paid for a FB party or Twitter blast, but that kind doesn’t do much if it reaches mostly straight readers.
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