1.As an avid reader and language and literature teacher I have my literary gods and goddesses, you being one of them, so I have to ask who are you literary hero’s or gods and goddesses?
When I was growing up, I fell in love with writers who could grab my attention. I loved Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s the book I recommend most to young readers. I also enjoyed O. Henry’s stories because of the way he could surprise you at the end. Another favorite was John Steinbeck. He could evoke such strong reactions. I remember reading a passage about the dust bowl in The Grapes of Wrath and having to stop long enough to get a drink of water. I think it was then that I realized the power of writing.
2. When you are relaxing with a good book, who are some of your favorite authors and books to read?
I love a good romance, but there are so many friends who are amazing romance writers, I hesitate to single any of them out. I also enjoy a suspenseful mystery. I was lucky to be a judge for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award last year, which gave me the opportunity to read some wonderful novels by authors like David Ignatius and John Hart and Daniel Silva.
3. What is one thing that your fans would be shocked to learn?
I’m a compulsive baker when I’m beginning a book. There’s something about the activity of baking that helps me clear my thoughts and concentrate on my story. If anyone in my family walks into my house and smells fresh-baked cookies, they immediately know I’ve been plotting.
4. In our families emergency packs we each have between 5-10 books, what books would you put in your emergency pack?
I’d take the complete works of Shakespeare. Every so often I’ll open one of his plays and just read a few lines and be awestruck at what he could do with words, so I’d probably want to look at them periodically. I’d also include To Kill a Mockingbird and Grapes of Wrath. Then I’d grab one of the many books stacked on my shelf that I haven’t had time to read yet, something that’s a current bestseller so I can keep up with the times. I’d definitely take a dictionary and a thesaurus. Finally, I’d take whatever book I’m writing at the time. Even in an emergency, I’d most likely want to keep working.
5. If any of your books were to be made in a major motion picture which would you want to see made, and who would play the hero and heroine?
The one I’m asked about most is Mercy. I think it would make a really fun movie. How about Gerard Butler or Ryan Reynolds as Theo? I don’t know about Michelle. Natalie Portman might be convincing as a doctor.
6. In your FBI series we have seen the descendants of Cole Claybourne, Brodrick and Gillian Buchannan, and Alec and Jamie Kincaid, are there any others we have missed? and who can we see in the future?
I’m sure there will be more. When I finish a book, I find it difficult to say good-bye to the characters, so I’m always looking for ways to bring them back in another story. I can’t bring the characters from the historicals back, but the way I’ve gotten around that is to introduce their descendants. So far, I’m relieved to know that my readers like them.
7. If you could travel to any time period where would you go?
No question. The Middle Ages. Ever since my college days studying medieval history, I’ve been fascinated by that period. I’d especially like to see the Highlands of Scotland. The Scottish clans were remarkable in that they were primitive and barbaric, but at the same time they developed a relatively structured society. It would be great to see them firsthand. I probably wouldn’t want to stay long, though. I doubt I’d like the living conditions.
8. What is your secret indulgence?
Reality TV. I have to admit I like the competitions – the dancing, the singing, the designing.