Behind the Scenes: When (Book) Worlds Collide

November 30, 2023

Since I started publishing in 2014, I’ve put out over 60 books. I’ve written series and standalones in multiple genres, with different levels of heat and humor and suspense. Basically, I’m all over the place.

In doing so, I have repeatedly broken one of the sacred tenets of achieving success as a romance writer – that is, stay in your lane.

I can’t. I’ve tried. But I can no more write one kind of thing than I can read one kind of thing. I get bored. I lose interest. 

Seriously, if I had to write the same thing over and over again, I’d walk away, because it would suck the joy right out of me.

Now, I’m not the only author who switches lanes, not by any means. But prevailing wisdom says that success lies in having different, appropriately branded pen names.

I can see the logic, but let me tell you – between social media, a website, email, this newsletter, and the dozens of other things necessary to stay relevant, I can barely keep my head above water with one active nom de plume. I have another pen name I used for some of my darker stuff years ago, but I let the socials and pages go on that. It was just too much.

And here’s the thing – all those stories, while different, are concurrently sharing real estate in my head. Think of them like different neighborhoods. Sumneyville is north of Pine Ridge. Birch Falls is across the river. Mythic and Erehwon are magically cloaked in the valleys in between. Each is unique in its own way, offering different experiences, but still connected, because they’re all “real” to me.

Because of that, it makes perfect sense (to me) that sometimes people might end up in someone else’s neighborhood or in other worlds, cross over. 

That’s when things start to get really fun.

I do this in a lot of my books, actually. They’re like Easter eggs, if you will. I include characters, places, and events from previously published books if they fit into the story nicely.

If you’re not into everything I write, that’s cool. I don’t expect you to be. No one likes everything, right? As long as something I write resonates with you – whether it be romantic suspense, steamy (or sweet) small town, time travel, or paranormal – I’m happy.

My philosophy: Read (Write) what you love. Love what you read (write).