I have been writing romance for over 18 years and published over 100 titles. In 2019, I moved all pen names (Cara, September, and Echo North) to one website. I write in a variety of subgenres, I am a USMC veteran, and work in higher education as my day job. I host affordable writing workshops once or twice a year, attend conventions and signings as available, and enjoy collaborative projects.
You can buy Drum here.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
I’ve always been a writer. Words were my way of processing what was happening in my life when I was younger. They became a creative way for me to deal with everything. Then, later, they became a way to re-write stories I had lived through or ones the people around me had lived through and give those stories a better ending (in most cases). For the past two decades, I would say that my constant muse is an actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, and I don’t know why. He just is.
I think casting characters is part of it. The first book I wrote for publication, it was easier for me to cast the characters in my head with actors to let those scenes play out like a movie that I just tried to keep up with by typing.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I’m a USMC veteran. I worked retail until I finished my graduate degree and began teaching. Through additional degrees and course work, I have been employed in higher education in some capacity since (instructor or instructional designer).
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
The story of my book’s title, Drum, was easy. It is the love interest’s nickname and he is a drummer.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
I did create a playlist for this book and the rest in the series. It is a very musical book and songs are often referred to as a means of communication that may not be as easy to say out loud to someone, especially at that age.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
My perfect reader is/was my nieces. I wrote the book for them. At sixteen and seventeen, they needed more than formal talks about sexuality, expectations, and the fact that teen girls should have expectations and are responsible for learning about themselves before expecting anyone else to figure out their mind or bodies. One of the lines in the book is, “If you are not comfortable talking about it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.” It’s not a lecture. I don’t preach abstinence. I attempt to convey a need for respect, consent, and education about self and others before doing things that can’t be undone. My hope is that my nieces would expect someone like Drum. I wish I had this book when I was a teen. Maybe I would have had higher expectations of people I dated and more self-respect than I did during that time of my life.
What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?
All the people who said they wished they had this book as a teen would be one aspect. The other is my nieces and their choices they are making as young women now. I know the series has had an impact on their decisions. We don’t talk about it other than they occasionally will say something like, “He’s not a Drum.”
What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?
In addition to the completion of the Drummond series, which spans three generations (thanks to reader requests), and Dating Wyatt’s Mom, which is a teen mom short story, I am now writing the next YA for mature readers book on the Ream platform. It’s a subscription platform, but my hope is the interactive experience for readers will help guide my choices for what stories and characters to write next in a more organic environment. Drum was supposed to be one book and turned into a massive collection with all types of diverse characters as each generation is different, but also navigating their hearts as teens and young adults.
If you read Drum, the characters William and Kendra have a short that is available to followers and subscribers at my September North page.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.