Q — Do you base your characters on real people?

A — My characters are composites based on friends, enemies, names in the news and a very healthy imagination.

Q — Are some things taboo in your novels?

A — You bet! I will neither write about nor read anything where an animal or child is hurt. I also eschew gratuitous violence in my writing. Sure someone gets killed, but the real focus is on the characters and solving the crime!

Q — What about sex?

A — You’re kidding, right?

Q — Seriously. Your books have been described as sexy and steamy.

A — Actually they’re pretty tame. True, my characters make physical contact but the scenes tend to be sensuous, not smutty. After all, these books are ROMANTIC suspense. Besides, any sentient female would launch herself at the kind of alpha hunks that I dream up.

Q — Are guys like Patrick Fong, Kai Buckley, and Lucian Sand based on men you have known? If so, point me toward them!

A — Sadly no. They’re the kind of sexy, gorgeous, brilliant rich guys we all encounter every day at work or at the local Whole Foods. As if! No, they’re fantasy men who appreciate smart, sassy women and want to cosset them and shower them with love.

Q — Which of your novels is your favorite?

A — Whichever one I last sold. In this case, Gilt Trip.

Q — What’s the most important aspect of a mystery?

A — As a writer and a voracious consumer of mystery fiction, I expect to solve the crime. If the author doesn’t play fair that’s a gross violation of the reader’s trust.

Q—Will we meet another hot guy?

A—Absolutely. DIE LAUGHING has several men worth meeting. Unfortunately one of them might be a murderer.

Q — Which writers influenced you most?

A —Jane Austen, Conan Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe and Agatha Christie. In contemporary fiction, I love Nelson Demille (incredible dialogue), Barry Eisler (poignant protagonist) Lee Child, and most women writers of mystery/romantic suspense.

Q —There’s a lot of humor in your books. Are you naturally witty?

A — Hilarious. Actually, I believe humor has to be part of the writer’s nature or else it looks forced and artificial. I do have a highly developed sense of humor which has landed me in deep trouble on occasion. It also enabled me to survive with some semblance of dignity.

Q — Do you envision any of your books as movies?

A — I wish! Actually, I think any of my books would be perfect for either Lifetime, Hallmark, or USA. Spread the word!

Q — Tell us about your next novel. Will Elisabeth and Lucian Sand return?

A — Nope. They’re busy living their lives. Die Laughing, A Cape Cod Mystery, (release date 12/12), introduces a brand new sleuth. Nicole Nelson is a graduate student, thrust into a murder investigation when her friend and landlady is slain.

Q—Describe your ideal heroine? She’s a lot like you, I bet.

A— Ha, ha. Actually, my heroines have some traits that I aspire to. They’re smart, spunky, loyal to their friends, and crazy about animals. Since these are romantic mysteries, my leading ladies also care about their appearance and long for someone to love.

Q—Will you ever write a series?

A—Thanks for asking. I’ve written two books, Swann Dive, and Mantrap, as part of a new mystery series featuring sleuths Eja Kane and Deming Swann. I expect them to be released in 2013.

Q—Who are some of your favorites?

A—The classics (Christie, Sayers, Rex Stout, Ellery Queen, etc.) and some new favorites as well. Lee Child, Barry Eisler, and my pal C.E. Lawrence’s chilling books featuring Dr. Lee Campbell.

Q–INTRUSION was a big success. What lessons did you learn from the experience?

A—Writing is a lot easier (for me), than marketing. I love doing presentations but cringe every time I sit in a bookstore like a pathetic waif hoping for alms.

Q—A pathetic waif? It can’t be that bad.

A—You caught me—I’m a drama queen.