HH: What can you tell us about Lark and what makes her unique among your heroines?
ND: Lark's father owns Hummingbird, but she never had an interest in working for a security company. She's a botanist seeking plants with potential medical properties, so she doesn't have much beyond her father's original self-defense training. My previous romantic adventure heroines are purposefully kick-ass; Lark doesn't even aspire to be until her father goes missing.
HH: What can you tell us about Jason and why will readers love him?
ND: Jason is loyal and noble, with a quiet command that tells everyone near him that everything will be all right. His boss is his best friend, who tasks him with keeping his daughter (Lark) safe when an enemy takes advantage of Hummingbird's first high-profile failure and targets not just the company, but Lark herself. It's a task Jason finds challenging when Lark's father is abducted, and she's determined to do anything possible to find him.
HH: What sort of research was required to bring this story to life?
ND: I like to write stories where I can make things up. LOL The experimental technologies that keep Jason alive and rebuild him after he falls 8 floors down a stairwell don't exist. But there were factors I had to make sure were logical and possible, so I consulted with my best friend's doctor husband on a couple of details. Most of the rest of my research dealt with locations (Boston, Washington, DC, and rural Virginia) and things like that. Oh, and I did a ton of research into trademarks when my copyeditor didn't think using "Laundromat" was a good idea. LOL
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
ND: Book 1 of my Goddesses Rising series, Under the Moon, will be in stores across the country in mass market paperback in September. The sequels, Heavy Metal and Sunroper, will follow next year. I'm also working on my next contemporary romantic adventure that's a best-friends-to-lovers story with an espionage twist, as well as a couple of goddess novellas to give some secondary characters their own happy endings.
HH: How has the romance genre changed since you began writing?
ND: I'm not sure I can say the genre as a whole has changed. I've seen subgenres rise and fall, lines and imprints and even publishers launch and close, and authors move around from historical to contemporary or paranormal and back again. But at its core, romance is about men and women falling in love, and that will never change. Stories are probably more fast-paced, tighter, and often with higher stakes than they might have been *mumble*twenty*mumble* years ago, but finding happiness is still the characters' ultimate goals.
The industry has changed, though, mirroring changes in the greater world of entertainment. We now have more TV shows on more channels (both network and cable) and all of them have a smaller audience. That's true of romances and any other kind of fiction, too. While that might not be great for authors who might see smaller sales numbers for individual titles, it's *fantastic* for readers who have specific tastes and can now find more books in more places that fulfill those tastes.
HH: What's your writing schedule like?
ND: Man, do I wish I had one! My problem is that once I start something, I want it done. I work a part-time day job at a chiropractor and do freelance editing and proofreading. If I put those things and promotional obligations first, I never get to the writing. If I write first, I'll go for hours and neglect all the other stuff. I strive for balance, but never seem to achieve it short term. Long term, though, I think it winds up perfect. :)
HH: What sources of inspiration do you draw from for ideas?
ND: I really get ideas everywhere. Often it's from a book I read or a movie I see that inspires me to do my own take on something, whether it's a type of character or a story thread or theme. Once I read a sales announcement for a book about a husband and wife who have to learn how to live apart after a decade of marriage. I read it wrong, and thought it said they had to learn how to live TOGETHER for the first time. I was really excited when I realized I was wrong because it meant I could write that book! :) It's in revision stage and on hold right now pending my other obligations. :)
I also get ideas from song lyrics or news stories or offhand comments from friends or idle thoughts that "some time I'd like to write about a heroine who..." The brain is constantly gathering material. :)
HH: What's your favorite book so far in 2012?
ND: At the time of this writing, I just started Suz Brockmann's Born to Darkness, and I have a feeling that will hit the top of my list even though I'm only 4% into it. It's sitting on my desk taunting me! 2012 has been depressingly short on reading time, but the book I finished that has to be my favorite so far is Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls book, Out of Sight, Out of Time. It was sooooo good!
HH: What are you most looking forward to in 2012?
ND: As far as books go, I can't wait for Jim Butcher's next Dresden book (if that even makes it to 2012, it might be a 2013!) and Megan Hart's The Space Between Us (which I got a sneak peek at). I'm dying for another Roxanne St. Claire, Julie James, and Kristan Higgins. Shannon Stacey's next books can't come soon enough, either, and I'm always right there to buy the next Jody Wallace or MJ Fredrick story.
I'm also panting for The Avengers movie, City Islanders soccer, and our July vacation to Orlando so I can tour Hogwarts at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
HH: Thank you!