Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

- Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"

WHY DO I WRITE SEX AND ROMANCE AND GHOSTS AND THE FANTASTICAL?

I write romance because it is the people we love and who love us that give our lives meaning. I write erotica because sex is one of the many ways we as humans connect to each other. I write fantasy and paranormal fiction because inviting myth and fantasy into our worlds allows us to experience life more fully.

When I write romances I invite readers into my characters lives when they are their most vulnerable, their most human. We connect with these characters on a deep level and share their hopes and fears because they are ours, too. I can’t tell you how many times I have sobbed over a story. I hope I can make some of you cry, too. Please let me know if I do!

We look at our daily lives and wish for a destiny. For someone to come and say, this is your path. It is scary and hard but you can preserve and you won’t be alone while you walk it. We wish for a soulmate, for the person who is The One, created for us, that we can love without questions. But neither of those things happens in real life. So we read. We read for escape, to imagine that the do happen. We read to see how other people navigate the real world of messy relationships and

We humans are storytellers. We continuously create our stories and tell them to ourselves, to other people. We try to make sense of what we did and who we are. I did this thing because of this other thing, I did this and then this happened as a result. The element tying our stories together, the thread binding the narrative is love. All kinds of love.

There is no hierarchy of love. Each being we love, however we love them, sustains us in a way that is unique to that being, this time, this version of who we are. I love the found families we make, the collection of people who force their way into our lives, or slide in so subtly that suddenly we can’t remember a time without them.

Romance, love, connection is all central to the stories I tell. We need community to celebrate with and mourn with. Without connections to friends, lovers, families, life can become just an empty series of events.

I write fantasy because it expands the world. Inviting myth and fantasy into our worlds allows us to experience life more fully. The first stories humans ever told were full of the fantastic. Ghost stories, fairy tales, stories of gods and demons. Giants and Titans remake the earth as they walk, vampires and ghost steal innocence and life. Fairies and small unseen creatures tempt the weak and bedevil the unwary. We use fantasy to explain, explore, and make meaning of this world and of the life that can seem so cruel and arbitrary.

Ghost show up in a lot of my writing because we live our lives haunted. We are haunted by the specter of unchosen paths, by the voices of people we’ve lost that we loved, and difficult relationships that ended unresolved. We are haunted by the ghost of nostalgia, that poignant combination of special places and special times to which we can never return.

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