Taming Beckett was the winner in the romance category of the 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards, and I couldn’t be more honored and excited.

Below you’ll find a copy of my interview with IndieReader, which was originally published on the IndieReader website.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Taming Beckett is the name of my book, and it was published in August of 2019.

What’s the book’s first line?

“Beckett woke with a head ringing like a metal goal post that’d just been struck by a screaming slap shot.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

Beckett’s a pro hockey player whose bad boy ways cause him to lose everything. In his struggle for redemption, he falls for the only woman who wants nothing to do with him.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

The story had been rolling around in my head for decades, and I finally decided to write it down.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

While he’s not based on any one person I know or have read about, he does exist. He’s that person who’s basically good but has gone astray. A solid family is behind him, he knows right from wrong, but sudden fame and fortune in his early twenties make his moral compass go haywire. He becomes corrupted by his celebrity and the hangers-on and gets swept up in the excesses money brings. Fast-forward ten years, and his hard-partying ways catch up to him, upending his entire world. His life view begins to shift—partly from necessity and partly because he’s finally taking stock and growing up.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

It’s not your typical romance. I try to create realistic characters who face the real curveballs of life. They’re flawed, and they don’t always behave in the most admirable of ways. What they experience is not always pleasant or easy. When I read for enjoyment, I love retreating into a story where I can identify or sympathize with a character and their challenges, yet witness how they overcome the odds. I find those stories uplifting, and hopefully, that’s what a reader discovers with this novel.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Chris Hemsworth and Emma Stone

When did you first decide to become an author?

I toyed with it in college after an English professor told me I should write. I’d always loved writing, so I took a creative writing class. It wrecked me. The teacher emphasized the rules and structure of storytelling from the get-go, and it strangled my creativity. About four years ago, I read an interview with Diana Gabaldon and was stunned to learn she doesn’t use outlines. It was freeing, and I decided to challenge myself. Could I write 250 pages? With no outline or structure, I wrote. And wrote. Eventually, I ended up with a story that was 1400 pages long! I’m not saying it was publishable, but I fell in love with the creative process.

Is this the first you’ve written?

No, though this is the first work I’ve published. The first work is a historical fiction that I will self-publish in late Spring of 2020. (Since this interview, the publishing date for this work has been moved to Summer of 2020.)

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I manage rentals and work for real estate clients part-time.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I try to devote at least one hour each day.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best part is the ability to write the stories I want and know they’ll be published. It allows the creativity to flow and the story to unfold as I write. The hardest part is the marketing necessary to get my work in front of readers and make the stories financially viable. I spend more than half my time on the marketing side of the business.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?

I used to think so, but now, I don’t know. It would depend entirely upon the offer.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

Knowing readers enjoy my stories and being able to transport them to a different head space for a while. I love that! Fame is definitely not my thing. However, it would be nice to make enough to hire someone else to take care of the marketing and administration side of things, freeing me up to do what I love best, which is to listen to the characters in my head and write their stories!

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Right now, I’d have to say Diana Gabaldon. The amount of research and the detail in her books are astounding. I learn so much when I read her novels, while at the same time, I get lost in a different place in time. She’s a captivating storyteller.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Oh boy. I have to stop at one? Then it would be The Odyssey by Homer.