How did you get into writing? I always liked reading and writing
fiction as a child. In high school, a friend and I wrote comic serial novels to
entertain and possibly irritate our classmates. In college, I loved my Short
Story Writing course and then became the editor of the campus literary
magazine. When I went to chemistry graduate school, I missed fiction writing so
I applied to and got accepted to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I’ve been writing
ever since, but didn’t attempt a novel until seven years ago.
How do you find time to write while teaching? I try to stay
disciplined and write each morning and evening, even if it is just for a short
Why did you choose to write romance novels? I don’t really like violence and prefer to write things with a satirical edge to them. Love is a universal topic and gives plenty of opportunity for humor, frustration, self-reflection, and a happy ending.
How does the romance novel community react to your infusion of science into your writing? I mostly publish with a Sci-Fi publisher now so I am not strictly in the romance genre. I am still building my reader base and this has been slow going.
Do you bring your writing (in some form) into your science classes? Yes. Writing requires looking at concrete details and evidence, expressing ideas efficiently, and drawing a conclusion based on what has happened—just like a lab report.
Do you ever teach a novel writing class? No but I would love to if there is a demand.
Has anything from Central worked its way into your books? Not really. There is an adage in fiction writing that “only trouble is interesting.” I enjoy my work here so I don’t find a lot of inspirational trouble. I did one time have someone who no longer works here tell me that they found my field of Analytical Chemistry “far too easy.” I found this arrogant and I had a villain use the line.