What is your definition of romance?
It's the standard: Boy meets girl, they fight, they fall in love, they fight again and then they live happily ever after - after he's (of course) made some compromises! *grin*
What is the most unexpected place you’ve heard ‘I love you’?
In a viewing room in a funeral parlour.
Which famous person did you have your first crush on?
David Cassidy - sigh....
Who do you find strangely attractive and why?
Leonardo DiCaprio does it for me in so many ways and I'm not even sure why - even when he plays the most appalling character, I'm still strangely attracted.
Partners/lovers aside, who would be your ultimate love?
Answering that could get me into serious trouble! I'm going to play it safe by saying that I'm head-over-heels in love with every hero I write. Jules is currently at the top of my list again because I've been working on his story.
What do you read?
Anything! Including the breakfast cereal box! Seriously, I'm a fan of dark and gritty stories involving struggle and heartache. I love tragedies, which kind of makes me a 'strange' romance writer.
What's your fave romantic movie/song/book?
Love Actually - closely followed by Titanic
How do you unwind?
I live by the beach, so I walk with my dogs. Miles and miles and miles of sand and sea do it for me.
How do you balance the writing ‘you’ with all the other ‘you’s?
I don't! The writing me is always aware and on the look out for story. When I'm really immersed in creating a story, I find myself looking at the world through the eyes of my characters, "Oh, Mags would like that, or Jules would be livid that's happening..." It's a strange way to live, but my family are used to it now.
What do you do when a flash of inspiration hits you at an inopportune moment?
I'm never far away from my laptop or my Iphone so I've always got somewhere to make notes. It's essential for a writer to be able to capture those moments of inspiration - you think you'll remember them - but you never do.
Writer's block? Do you get it and how do you get over it?
I'm not sure that I believe in writer's block per se, it's more a matter of 'story stuck' for me :) I have dogs and I do a lot of walking on the beach with them. I find when I'm stuck that something 'moves' when I'm moving so I guess that makes me a great believer in exercise.
Ultimate story you'd like to write?
I'm a fan for the huge, sweeping saga. I'd love to write a series that follows three generations of powerful women! Watch this space... although I have so many stories on the boil at the moment, I'm not sure where I'd find the time.
How do you deal with the dreaded rejection?
When and where are you most productive when writing?
In bed, on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee on the bedside table, the cat on the quilt and the sun streaming in through the blinds. Bliss!
What was the name of the first story you ever wrote?
I can't remember, but I do remember that I should have been learning French verbs at the time!
When did you know that what you wrote was good?
A friend who I trusted read some of my work. He's a published author and a reviewer. He told me I wrote well and should write more. I haven't looked back since.
Why do you write?
Because I'd be dreadfully unhappy if I didn't write.
Do your characters "tell" you what they want you to write? How?
My characters talk to me. They have conversations in my head and I write down what they say and how they are feeling.
Each author has a unique voice. How would you describe yours?
Sensual and edgy.
How do you deal with reviews that aren't as positive as others?
I know I can't please everyone, so I've learned to just let them go. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'm okay with that.
What is the one thing you can't do without when writing?
My MacBook Air. My dearly beloved thinks it needs to be surgically removed from my lap!
Give us a hint of what The Fan is about…
Did you enjoy PRIVATE LOVE IN A PUBLIC PLACE?
THE FAN is a short erotic romp - written for those of you who desperately want to know what really went on between Julian, Barbie and Young Elvis, what happened in that bathroom, or for anyone who has ever lusted after a famous musician!
Describe your two main characters in 10 words each.
Caitlin (Barbie) - Effervescent fan enjoying a night of passion with her idol.
Steve (Young Elvis) - Man about town who gets more than he bargained for.
I have readers waiting for the second instalment of Julian and Mags' story and I'm looking forward to releasing that. In the meantime, 'Return to Ala Moana Beach' will be my next release. The idea came from a Harlequin Superromance Memorial Day competition. It was a tough story to write and well outside my comfort zone and I'm looking forward to seeing what my readers think.
Find Toni here: