What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Hawaiian Paradise Surprise?
While watching the athletic, handsome surfers in Molokai, Hawaii one afternoon, I experienced a burst of creativity to write a romance featuring Nash Denning, a legendary surfer, and Jill Cabott, a bestselling author. Jill is reluctant to entertain romance after being widowed in the prime of her life, but as she discovers her self-esteem again, she connects with two men—the dashing Nash and Ben Warner, a recently retired businessman.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Hawaiian Paradise Surprise, what would they be?
Funny you should ask. I incorporated some fun music in this story. Jill listens to authentic Hawaiian music while she writes, then has some interesting conversations with Jim Morrison from The Doors after partying hard with the surfing millennials at a beach bonfire. She’s also serenaded by Nash and his surfing brahs late one night. He sings a pastiche of Sara Smile by Hall & Oates. I would defy anyone not to laugh while reading this scene. Well, and maybe cringe a bit too.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I love a romance in a beautiful setting with characters who are relatable on a human level, maybe because of an unfair situation or health struggle. Jill Shalvis always delivers a beautiful narrative. Her storytelling and motifs of falling in love with someone who isn’t perfect were an inspiration for the obstacles Jill and the swoon-worthy Ben Warner face together in Hawaiian Paradise Surprise…
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
I love writing humor, tension, and suspense. Whether it’s a chance meeting or a planned date, humor provides the release for those clumsy romantic encounters that never go according to plan, right? I strive to make the dialogue real while I build suspense with body language. For HPS, one of the last scenes in the book was my favorite to write because the dashing Nash and heartbroken Jill come clean with each other in a surprising way…
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
My entire life is a quirky habit. While writing, I wear a San Francisco Giants ballcap and have Peanut, my chi/terrier, on my lap all day.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Who did you love today?
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
The recipe for a tasty Mai Tai. No, seriously, exploring love on a deeper level with a partner who isn’t perfect.
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