I like to write about people who are smarter, braver, more talented and daring than I am doing things that are more interesting and difficult and admirable than anything I’ve ever done and falling in love along the way. I like to give my characters occupations that interest me, which I hope also will¬†interest my readers.
My stories (with¬†occasional exceptions) are¬†set in the present,¬†in a¬†relatively familiar¬†world, because even though I prefer wearing dresses most of the time, I really can’t relate to living without the conveniences of modern life. (I make no apologies for being¬†a big fan of indoor plumbing.)¬†I actually¬†live in a village that’s¬†tucked inside¬†a city, so I tend to set my stories in places that are sort of idealized, often fictitious, versions of that kind of locale. It also makes it easier to ensure that there’s at least one furry — or maybe feathery — creature in every story.
As for the conflicts that draw my characters together and push them apart, well, I base most of that on observation and¬†interpolation, since¬†having said “I do” a long time ago, my own romance has been relatively steady. The truth is, I’d rather my characters were happy than conflicted, but that would make for very short, very boring stories, so I’ve learned to enjoy stirring up trouble for¬†people who belong together but can’t, for whatever reasons I dream up, get from point A to point B without a few detours. Not just my heroes and heroines, mind you; sometimes there are children involved, too.
So far, I haven’t felt moved to write stories in which the fate of the entire human race or the planet we call home is in danger, although I love reading stories like that and count a number of fantasy and romantic fantasy authors among my favorites. I also love reading mysteries, and occasionally flirt with crime-solving, but for me, it’s always the characters who are the most important and the most interesting.