L.D., tell us all about you! What would you most like your readers to know?
I lead a dramatic double life chock full of chaos and mayhem! Ha ha, just kidding. 😉 I’m currently a resident physician at a big academic center in New England. I wrote my debut novel, RELEASING THE DEMONS, in its entirety while I was in medical school. Many of the traumas the hero in RTD goes through were inspired by my one-month stint rotating through a locked psych ward at a major New York hospital.
Are you one of those writers born with a pen in your hand and ideas flitting through your mind, or did your interest develop later?
Telling stories is in my blood. The first story I wrote was on a typewriter at ten years old. It was called “The Secret Door,” about fifteen pages long, and starred a haunted house that held a portal to another dimension. Even at ten, I was obsessed with the paranormal.
When did you become serious about seeing your name in print and begin writing your first romance novel?
Honestly, when I wrote RTD, but RTD isn’t actually the “first” book in the series. The first book was a 250K word monster I wrote in college that’ll never see the light of day. But I learned so much from it and it made RTD that much more fitting as the “official” first in the series.
Being in medical school and watching people become sick (and sometimes die) on a near daily basis made me realize if I wanted to achieve my goal of publishing a novel, I shouldn’t wait. I should go for it, no matter how busy or crazy life is, because who knows what could happen tomorrow? Many of the patients I took care of voiced so many regrets while they lay on their deathbed and it really got to me. Don’t put off your dreams or one day you may not have a chance to achieve them.
How long did it take you to complete your first manuscript? Did it fly from your fingertips, or did the story emerge slowly?
My very first one? Three years. RTD took two. The next book in the series, currently titled BLACK BULLET, took less than a year. See a pattern here? *grin*
Tell us about your writing process. Soft lights and music? White noise? Child-and-pet confusion? Locked in a room alone? What sets your writing mood and pushes you forward?
Locked in a room, alone, preferably with a scented candle on. Complete silence if possible (which drives my husband nuts). The noise in my head is loud enough! Although when I take breaks, I blast a book-inspired playlist to keep the muse sated.
What are some life experiences that have infiltrated your stories?
Oh my God, I wish I could detail them all, but this interview would never end! I had a hard life growing up and my family was poor. Like many young adults, I had a little rebellious stint in high school and college, partying a lot and hitting the club scene. There were so many times in my life where I felt like I was teetering on the edge, but I always managed to drag myself back onto the right side of the street. When I met my husband, the straightest arrow in the quiver (ha), he whipped me into shape. I ended up in medical school, and now residency, which brought its own set of crazy experiences (dissecting a cadaver, coding multiple people, delivering six babies, operating on massive traumas and harvesting organs to name a few). Granted, I don’t write medical suspense (I get enough medicine on a daily basis as it is) but all of these moments somehow end up infiltrating my work in some way, shape or form.
Literary Inspiration: throughout your life, what novels have lifted you, made you think, “Someday I want to create something like that . . .”
Almost every book by Stephen King. No matter what horror or absurdity he comes up with, I completely fall in love with his stories and his characters. He is the master at finding that special thread of connection inside you and plucking it from your bleeding heart.
Let’s talk about romance. How do you set the mood for your characters, what do you draw from that helps your H/H achieve oneness with each other? And how much conflict do you give them, along the way?
I have a tendency to pit my heroes and heroines against one another. For example, in RTD, the hero is a prime suspect in a murder, and the heroine, an NYPD detective, is hunting him down. The first time they meet, the heroine pulls a gun on him and arrests him. In BLACK BULLET, the heroine literally tries to kill the hero with a katana when they first meet (!). Naturally, this creates conflict, but when they get to know one another through a barrage of obstacles I throw at them, they discover how right they are for each other and it’s a blast strengthening that bond and making it grow.
What shining moment in your journey stands out the most as a real turning point for you as a writer?
Signing my contract with SMP! When I received the offer in my inbox, I was floored. It took me almost a week to realize it wasn’t going to vanish and I had to, you know, answer it.
Five vital things surround you as you create. What are they? What makes them special to you?
My hubby (even though I give him the silent treatment when I’m writing, poor guy), my pets (my two cats, Milk and Oreo, and my Boxer, Kaia), a lit Yankee Candle, and coffee. Lots of coffee. These are the people/creatures/things I love and that give me peace.
Writers face many time-constraint challenges. What are some of yours? What do you do to overcome them?
Being a doctor certainly doesn’t help, LOL. I’m a hardcore weekend (or rather, day off) and vacation warrior and sometimes I’m able to steal short periods of time during the workweek. You just got to MAKE the time. Carve it out from your busy life and give it attention, just like you would with anything else (like your hubby, for instance!). I’ve had to abandon things (like cable) and I honestly don’t miss them—make time for what’s important to you, and if writing is important, then treat it that way.
What is the most thrilling aspect of the writing process for you?
The first draft and the rush of everything coming together so perfectly as you’re pantsing away through a manuscript. I love the thrill of “all that can be” and turning it into “all that will be.”
What aspects of the writing process do you find most difficult?
Editing. *cringes as she waits for her editor to throw something at her* I get so hung up on words and phrases and I’ll literally stare at a paragraph for fifteen minutes and be like “hmm” and end up changing absolutely nothing.
How do you begin a story? Do you just sit down with an idea in mind and start writing, or are you a person who wouldn’t dream of starting without a detailed outline, character sketches, and pages of research data?
I always have a general idea of the plotline, who the characters are, and where they need to end up. Otherwise I start typing full steam ahead and keep a rolling outline as I’m writing. I guess you could say it’s a combination of pantsing/plotting but pantsing > plotting. The world and characters are usually quite vivid before I even open the document, but sometimes they surprise me.
Tell us a little about what you’re currently working on.
I just finished the first draft of BLACK BULLET, the second book in the Order of the Senary series, and it’s currently undergoing revision. The third book in the series, BEAUTIFUL LIAR, is also underway. I actually wrote a good chunk of the third book before the second, but I decided it fit best as lucky number three. They’re all so very different, with BLACK BULLET approaching even darker subject matter than RTD while BEAUTIFUL LIAR borders on erotica and a bone-deep desire for something you can’t have.
How about some faves of yours?
I absolutely love metal and rock music (the Deftones, Stonesour, In This Moment, Seether, and Marilyn Manson to name a few, but Trent Reznor is my musical god). It inspires and drives me and cures all ailments. I also love red wine and I’d like to think I’m a foodie, but really, I’m not that sophisticated—I just like food, period. I drink about 32-40 ounces of coffee a day (see? lots) and I really love the ocean in the summer and fire in the winter. It’s the simple things that make me happy.
L.D’s debut release with Soul Mate, RELEASING THE DEMONS:
Five years after Blaze was maimed by Cyrus Chimola, a powerful vampire with a penchant for torture, he’s still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. As a genetically engineered mercenary with the ability to bend fire to his will and to see in infrared, Blaze’s mission is to protect what’s left of humanity. When Chimola and his crew return to the Bronx gunning for Blaze’s blood, Blaze is forced to face the demons of his past. Hell-bent on revenge, he seeks the help of Valerie Medeiros, an NYPD detective who manages to steal his heart and save his life in more ways than one.
Motivated by her sister’s gruesome death, Valerie has made it her life’s goal to bury every vampire in the ground where they belong. When she brings in Blaze Knight for suspected murder, she discovers he’s not only innocent, he isn’t a man at all—he’s a half-vampire hybrid working with a band of brothers for the U.S. military. Valerie has a hard time trusting anything with fangs, yet she quickly falls headlong into Blaze’s life, a life full of darkness and horror she can’t even begin to fathom. The bodies are stacking up, but Valerie can’t seem to let go of this hybrid, a beautiful monster filled with pain, rage, and passion unlike anything she’s ever known.
In a world where the line between good and evil is blurred, Blaze and Valerie will find danger at every turn, risking everything they’ve come to know and love, including one another.
BUY LINK: AMAZON:
L.D., thanks so much for visiting with us today!
Spotify playlist for RELEASING THE DEMONS, HERE:
Pinterest board for RELEASING THE DEMONS, HERE:
L.D. is giving away an E-copy of RELEASING THE DEMONS to one commenter! Please leave your email address in the comment section to be included in the drawing.