Q: Are you going to write a follow up to Just Once? Brandon and Hailey need a story!
A: Sorry, but likely not. Their subplot left them with the potential for more and I actually tried to write that book when I finished Just Once, but after too many months of struggling I finally admitted to myself that it wasn’t working out and started a new project. I’d like to say never say never, but…never.
Q: Are you going to write a follow up to Going the Distance? A short story? Something? That book ended too abruptly and I need to see more to believe in the HEA!
A: Sorry again, but likely not. I actually really love the idea of revisiting Olivia and Jarek, but catching up with old characters without having an essential story to tell for them feels unnecessary. For me that ending was satisfying because it really brought Jarek to a wonderful place, emotionally and physically, and showed that he was in a position to continue finding happiness with Olivia. If you absolutely need a little something more, there’s a deleted scene on the book page on this site. It’s NSFW, but should satisfy your perverted craving for some Jarek and Olivia happy times.
Q: Will there be any more books in the Time Served Series? Jade’s character has a lot of potential.
A: I know I sound like a broken record, but likely not, though I totally agree about Jade’s character. She’s awesome and the more time I spent with her the more I adored her. That said, there are currently three books in the series and if you look at the dwindling number of reviews, it doesn’t seem like a good investment of my limited writing time to work on a series that has run out of readers. Being pragmatic really sucks, doesn’t it?
Q: You suck. Will you ever stop saying “not likely” when people ask you to write a new book?
Q: Will there be any more books in the Burnham College Series? As everyone in the world can agree, Undecided is the paragon of book awesomeness and we all need more.
A: Finally a person I don’t have to disappoint! Yes, there will be at least one more book in the Burnham College Series. I published Kellan’s story, called Undeclared, in late February 2017. As for any other books in that series… I don’t know yet. My next book ideas are not part of that series and I can’t tell you when/if further inspiration will strike. Maybe?
Q: If you’re not working on any of the above books, what ARE you working on?
A: My tan. Kidding. I don’t tan. I’ve been struggling with my most recent contemporary romance idea--the idea is great, the characters are sound, but I just can't nail the voice for whatever reason. I recently decided to set that aside and work on a non-romance project that's been percolating for years. I'm about 20% in and so far it's going great. The voice is back! (That's not a promo for the NBC show, I promise.)
Q: Who is your favourite hero/heroine from your own books?
A: Hands down, Jarek (Going the Distance) is my favourite hero. I’m almost as big a fan of jerk heroes as I am of character arcs, and Jarek takes top prize for both. I love it when someone has a long way to go, they fight the process, then they give in and start to see the light. It makes the character and story more interesting and I just find it wonderful.
My favourite heroine is Caitlin (In Her Defense), for many of the same reasons as Jarek. It was nice to see reviews that showed readers believed in her character development and were able to see the potential and ultimate redemption of a character who started out unlikeable.
Q: Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?
A: I get asked this question a lot and while I love every book I’ve written (I wouldn’t shed so much blood, sweat and tears for them if I didn’t), my favourite book is Undecided. It’s the first book I self-published and was a huge undertaking and, to date, my biggest success. It’s also the easiest book to summarize plot-wise, which is cool for me because I tend to write character-based stories that are difficult to describe, so I learned a lot from the process of writing a plot-centric story.
Another favourite book is Time Served, partly for the difficult characters and their journey to a happily ever after, but also because it was the first book that got any notice and gave me some hope for my writing future. I was visiting my parents the Christmas before it was released, idly looking at my Twitter account, which never had any notifications, and suddenly I had a bunch of mentions. I couldn’t figure out why until someone finally said “I saw that Dear Author recommended this” and I was like WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. (I read the DA website every day and saw no mention of me or I would have already died.) I combed through the DA Twitter page until I saw a tweet that said she’d read an ARC of Time Served and loved it. She even compared it to a Cara McKenna book, which killed me again because I love Cara McKenna. That gave me a huge boost in sales, reviews, and readers (huge being relative, since I had pretty much none of those things before), but most importantly a big boost in confidence.
A newer addition to this list of favourites is My Roommate's Girl. The more I think about it, the more it might be my actual, overall favourite, which is interesting/too bad, because it's by far my lowest rated title, as far as Goodreads is concerned. I love everything about that book, not least because I really don't think there's anything out there like it. As you might have noticed, I tend to analyze things, particularly the more technical aspects of writing and storytelling, and I think the structure of My Roommate's Girl is incredible. It surprised me when I was writing it, and I adore it. It's completely original and enhances the story. I love Aidan and Aster. I'm fully aware that a lot of readers hate Aidan because he does a "bad" thing at the beginning (yep, it's in the blurb), and they weren't able to invest in his redemption because that initial action was too off-putting. I'm on the opposite side of that equation. I hate it when heroes are good-better-great all the way through the story. I like it when someone messes up, because I'm counting on their redemption. That's what I like reading, and it's what I like writing, and I don't think there's a ton of it out there in the romance genre. (Though feel free to correct me and offer suggestions - I'm open!) I also like the play on "instalove," which is something I hate. There are so many stories where the bad boy hero spots the heroine and for no reason whatsoever becomes instantly devoted to her. It drives me nuts, because you don't see or feel the work being put in, and it makes it difficult for me to connect with the growing relationship. In My Roommate's Girl Aidan does just that. Spots Aster, wants her, end of story. Except it's not. Because after he puts his plan into effect, breaks up Aster's relationship, and starts to really get to know her, he genuinely falls for her. Then there's a huge twist you'll have to read the book to discover.
Q: Okay, stop bragging. Do you listen to music when you write? Will you share any playlists?
A: No and no. I have zero distractions when I write, otherwise I get distracted. No people in the room, no TV, no music. Even if I did have a playlist, I’d be embarrassed to share it since I pay very little attention to music. I recently thought I had discovered a great new artist only to find his song on Youtube and learn it was released three years ago and had 40 million views.
Q: Okay, let's talk about that title - My Roommate's Girl. It's not exactly...your style. What happened there?
A: You're right (for once). I generally work really hard to make my titles a little less on-the-nose, but at the time I was seeing so many books with really unimaginative titles finding huge audiences. For whatever reason, My Roommate's Girl popped into my head and I thought it was funny - it's basically the whole plot of the book. The hero? My. The heroine? Girl. The obstacle? Roommate. It practically writes itself! Except not really, because I still had to write it. I thought I'd just write a few simple chapters to get back into the writing groove, but the book was really fun and I didn't want to stop. I wanted to see what happened next, and I loved the freedom of writing it kind of secretly. If I hated the finished product, no harm done, it would simply join the slew of abandoned manuscripts hidden under my bed. Lucky for me, I adored the finished product and wanted to share it. So...lucky for you, if you think about it.
Q: That's great, but let's get back to how you keep lying about what you're going to publish next. You've coyly mentioned a baseball romance, but now I see you're publishing a royal novella. That's...different. What's the deal with you and this reckless dishonesty?
A: I just really adore being dishonest. Actually, I really adore baseball, and I'm hard at work on that book (update, December 16, 2017: I'm not). You can bet your striped kneesocks that when it comes out, it'll be worth the wait. In the meantime, I'd written the royal novella for something that didn't end up happening, and then I read it again and thought, "But it's awesome!" so I decided to publish it myself in late 2017, as a nice little holdover. It's super fun, seriously sexy, and quite empowering, so I suggest you read it and stop harassing me. I'm the only person who reads this page anyway, so joke's on you.
Q: Well, you finally published the baseball book, and it was AMAZING and shows how seriously knowledgeable you are about the game. But you wrote about a whole awesome team and now I need more stories. What are you going to do about it?
A: Finally a question where I don't disappoint! Well, maybe I won't. I'll be vague so I seem mysterious and cool. I totally have plans and an awesome 50% of a story idea for book two in the Thrashers series. It's July 11, 2019 today, and that book is next on my to-do list, which means I'll start it, um, tomorrow? Okay, honestly, probably next week. Or the week after. I like to have more of the story in my head when I start writing, so I have a clear goal and the book's pacing is better. But I won't be too vague: assuming I finish this book with no hiccups, it'll come out on Blue Jays opening day 2020, it will feature Connor and Allison from Team Player, and it will be called Bench Player, a theme I'm pretty stoked to explore. There. Now you're the first to know. Good question, mom.
Q: What happened to your writing productivity? You put out three books in one year, then the next, absolutely nothing. Now we're getting just one story in 2019?
A: Well, it looks like the warm and fuzzy questions are over. My writing productivity did hit a bit of a snag after some writing disappointment, but that's no longer the case. I'm hoping to branch out into more genres and styles, and I've been working on those projects privately. I do have a few exciting things in the works, and with a bit of luck and more perseverance I'll be ready to blow your socks off soon.
Q: I've now read both books in the Charleston Thrashers books, and it's clear you are the Queen of All Things Baseball. Will there be a third book in the series? I need more!
A: Eh... I don't know. Sorry I can't answer that better, or be more definitive. Do I want another book? Yeah. I'd like a third book to close it all out, for the team to win the World Series (spoiler) and to give another couple their HEA. But a few things factor into that decision, one of which is Did the first books sell well enough to justify the time and expense of a third? and another is, Do I have time? I have a couple of other things going on that might make it not-so-easy for me to squeeze in a Thrashers story. I've certainly received some wonderful messages from readers that make me think it's a great idea, because if only a handful of people read the book, maybe it'll make some of them happy, and that's worth it to me. But will it happen? I can't say for sure.
Q: Do you respond to emails/tweets/Facebook messages?
A: I certainly do my best. I actually had zero social media when I started writing, and only signed up for Twitter and Facebook because I had to. I still hardly know what I’m doing with them, but I check at least once each day and try to respond to everyone. I’m a huge reader and it’s only since I started publishing that I realize how much a message from a reader can mean to a writer, so when I find a book I like, I try to reach out to say so. Hopefully what goes around comes around!
Q: I just heard that you're writing thrillers & mystery novels as Elaine Murphy - is this true? How can one woman accomplish so much?
A: It is indeed true! For a few years I've found my mind wandering to different types of stories, both in the kinds I like to read and also the kind I like to write. I gave it a try, wrote some terrible things and then some better ones, eventually found an agent, and eventually (huge emphasis on eventually) sold a book to Grand Central! It's called Look What You Made Me Do and you can find all the details here: http://elaine-murphy.com
Q: Are you ever going to write another Julianna Keyes book? What's with the delay?
A: Yes! I totally have plans. In fact, I have two ideas I'm excited to write, what I'm lacking is TIME! On average, it takes me about 8 months to write and polish book (I have a full-time job and an important nap schedule I must stick to) and I was seriously sitting down in February 2021 with the Word doc open to start a long-awaited story when I got a contract for a second Elaine Murphy book that would be due in...six months! So Julianna Keyes had to take a back seat (or a longer nap) and let that genius book idea percolate a little bit longer. But never fear! It will happen.
Have a question? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
(Not so) Frequently Asked Questions