Welcome, Neva! Tell us all about you! What would you most like your readers to know?
I am the author of CASEY’S COURAGE and A PRETTY PENNY. I loved spending time with the characters in both these novels. Both Penny and Casey are women of strength, but in very different ways. The men they love are alpha but flawed and somewhat world and woman weary. Danger, suspense, redemption, and LOVE carried me and the characters along on hear-satisfying journeys to happy-ever-afters, of course.
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?
No, writing was way down on the list of things to do as I grew up. I was my daddy’s “cowboy.” Riding horseback, working cattle and sheep, fixing windmills, repairing fence, and a multitude of other things came first.
My interest in writing began as I transitioned from “cowboy” to being a real cowboy’s wife with two small boys and living on a ranch twenty-three miles from town with no phone.
When did you become serious about seeing your name in print and begin writing your first romance novel?
After I retired, I joined San Angelo Writers’ Club. Writing romance was going to be my hobby, but I learned writing romance was nothing like anything I’d written before. It became a challenge I loved. Not until three years ago did I muster the courage to actually try to get something published. What a scary and exciting time I’ve had!
What are some life experiences that have infiltrated your stories?
My life as a rancher’s kid and later a rancher’s wife, the people I observed as my husband enduring rehab again and again after surgeries, and my returning to college to earn a Bachelor of Arts, a Master’s, and an Education Specialist degrees, along with years of teaching high school students, as well as being a high principal and school district superintendent have all seeped into my stories.
What shining moment in your journey stands out the most as a real turning point for you as a writer?
Soul Mate Publishing contracting and actually publishing my novels—nothing like it!
Writers face many time-constraint challenges. What are some of yours? What do you do to overcome them?
I am the primary caregiver for my husband who has chronic health issues and is on a pain management program, so I write when he sleeps or is comfortable reading or watching TV. Time is not so much my problem as having the creative energy to slip into my “make-believe” world with my characters to travel with them on exciting, love-finding journeys.
What is the most thrilling aspect of the writing process for you?
I’m thrilled beyond belief when I get in sync with the characters and we zoom along navigating our way through conflicts and adventures. The best thrill of all is getting that sweet, sensual love scene to simmer and sizzle just right so the reader can feel the love.
What aspects of the writing process do you find most difficult?
Self-doubt and showing rather than telling my story are two things I do battle with daily.
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 pretty much start where I meet the characters in my imagination and move along with them as their lives unfold. Of course, I always have too much back-story in the beginning and have to cut it out and filter in bit and pieces as needed later in the story. After about a hundred pages, I take time out to do somewhat of an outline so I’ll know when the story is over. I usually research when I need the information—Google is my good friend for this.
Tell us a little about what you’re currently working on.
I’ve just finished an American historical set in the Southwest in the late 1800s. The heroine, alone, filthy and fearful, makes her way across half a continent only to find her inheritance, she’d counted on, is in question. How her life takes a hundred and eighty degree turn, the opulence she sees and lives in, the hatred directed at her, an earthquake she survives, are just a few of the problems she works through on her way to her happy-ever-after. I’ll be working with the editor on this one, since Soul mate Publishing gave me a contract for this on also. YEA!
I’ve just started to gather bits and pieces I’ve written for another American historical also in the late 1800s that I’ve worked on in fits and spurts for a while. It is still so fragmented; even I am not sure what is going on. But I’m looking forward to the journey with Annabeth Weston as she leaves her beautiful plantation home in Southeast Texas where the past haunts her and sets her sights on a new life in sparsely settled West Texas.
Neva’s current release with Soul Mate, A Pretty Penny:
Anger at Clayton, her new boss, causes Penny to snap out of the lethargy she’s experienced after seeing her husband killed. She puts to use all her innate abilities, learned skills, and intuitiveness to cope with the overbearing Clayton and the women in his life. Penny, in time, knows she loves him, but she will not become one of his women—not on his terms.
On her terms, they marry, only to be parted by federal agents before they leave their wedding reception. The ensuing intrigue, danger, and antics of Clayton’s ex-wife and her cohorts play a part in Penny being in imminent peril. Their love for one another is once again threatened by a letter from a vindictive woman who is dead.
How Clayton and Penny find their happy-ever-after is both a breath-holding adventure and a breathtaking love story.
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Neva, thanks so much for visiting with us today!