I remember the dust mostly, well, and the smell of stale books. Page upon pages of yellowed beige spines staring at me from the five shelves. Hardbacks scattered with old Harlequin paperbacks, how to weave the perfect macrame flower pot hangers to the mechanic’s guide to building an engine. At eighteen I had been venturing into antique stores for several years. My stepmom would drop me off at the local shop and leave me for a couple of hours to hunt for treasures, but it was always the musty smell that made me feel at home. I found comfort in connecting with the things people once owned, at one time, cared about.
On one particular day a certain book struck me. The dingy white spine didn’t fit in the collage of the other books. I tugged the book from the shelf and thought, why is this cover so simple? Who is O and why is his/her story so important as to write a book? I opened the hardcover and sniffed, as I did all the books, then pulled it from the row of titles. O was a woman and, after flipping through several pages, apparently very interesting. I flipped through the pages and quickly knew this was a book I had to read.
The summer of my eighteenth birthday was spent devouring the books that would forever shape my writing, I just didn’t know it at the time.
The books that followed, The Beauty Series by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice) and Exit To Eden by Anne Rampling (Anne Rice) stunned and fascinated me. Seeing a theme here people? The BDSM lifestyle intrigued me. The psychological impact on the practitioners was mesmerizing. Mostly, because I subconsciously related.
Edgar Allan Poe’s work, the darkly written romance of his torment, lulled me. I was the woman in the oval portrait, studying him behind the frame as he inhaled opium and dreamed. I was the man floating with the oblong box, carrying my beloved. To Ulalume a Ballad was graceful and Elysium Fields, beautiful.
The rain has always sparked my creative flowing thoughts while music has kept in time with the rhythm of my writing. Groups like Enigma, Nine Inch Nails, and The Cure are staples on my playlist alongside Banks, Madonna, Darling Daughter, Tori Amos, and FKA twigs. Music has been a driving force in my writing.
New Orleans has been a Mecca for me over the last eight years. The haunting beauty and rich history of the city has sparked many stories in my career. Many of my books are set in the South, hence one of my series, Hot Southern Nights. I live twelve hours away from the Crescent City, but have always made time for the pilgrimage to my beloved city. Every time I go, I find new corridors of lusty stories and interesting people.
Gilded Lily, was inspired by a BDSM exploration and its ties to many concepts of the Southern culture. My goal was to describe the lush landscape of such a unique area where it seems time as slowed and preserved history.
My life has been one creative process, ever evolving and changing. The influences that have carried me to this point have been steeped in romance, mystery, lust, and a little humor thrown in for good measure. My writing journal has been built in layers, each experience preparing me for the next adventure.