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When is your next Nerd book coming out?
The Nerds are back! Thanks to ebooks, the Nerd series returns. Until recently, only Nerd in Shining Armor was available in that format, but now all six of the others are available for downloading. They have snazzy new covers, too. To celebrate the return of the Nerds, I recently released NERDS ARE FROM MARS, an all new Nerd book!

Do I need to read the Nerd books in order?
Although the Nerd books follow a similar theme Ė super-smart guy saves the day and gets the girl Ė theyíre not linked in any way so you can read them in any order you like.

I am hooked on your nerds series! How did you get started?
I saw a billboard that advertised Geeks in Shining Armor (I think it was for an internet company) and I switched it to Nerd in Shining Armor, and a story leaped into my head. That doesn't happen often, believe me. From there, it was nerds all the way!

I just started reading My Nerdy Valentine, and I was wondering where you got the idea for Geekland. Is it a real bar?
I made up Geekland, but I wish such a bar really existed. Unfortunately, it only exists in the pages of MNV.

I just read Talk Nerdy to Me and I loved it. Is the Middlesex CT in the book based on a real town?
Itís not, exactly, except that my momís family is from Connecticut and I was born there. Although I left while still a baby, Iíve been back to visit countless times and have vivid memories of the area.

I just finished reading Gone with the Nerd. Please tell me you are doing a story on Kristen and Trace!
Not at the present time, but I never say never!

In the back of Nerd in Shining Armor it said you were coming out with a book called Hanging by a G-String. I have looked all over for it and can't find it!
Hanging by a G-String got retitled, and is out there under the title THE NERD WHO LOVED ME. Same book, different title. So if you've found THE NERD WHO LOVED ME, that's it!

All your books have the guy as the nerd. Have you thought about writing from an opposite perspective, with a geeky girl?
It seems my heroines have been getting nerdier with each book, so what we are ending up with is dual nerds. I hesitate to give up my nerdy hero, though, because I love giving them their day. The hunky bad boys get so much press, and my nerdy guys, not so much. I'm on a mission to fix that!

What is the difference between a nerd and a geek?
My friends and I debate this all the time. Some say a nerd is socially inept and dresses funny, while a geek is super-smart and wonít wear a striped shirt with plaid pants. I frankly think the two words are interchangeable.

Did you ever have any formal training for your writing? Did you ever go through a period of discouragement in your writing or face a huge writer's block? How did you get over it?
I graduated with a degree in English and went on to compound that with a Masters in English! Yikes. I was so intimidated by the idea of writing the Great American Novel that I didnít even try. Then I discovered romances and loved them. I figured out that maybe I could write a fun romance story rather than attempt that scary Great American Novel. Instead of starving in a garret, I might even have a career! Luckily, that worked out for me.

Of course Iíve faced rejection and many moments of discouragement, but no huge blocks. Thatís good, because I love the writing life and refuse to give it up! Over the years I learned where writerís block comes from, though. It feeds on the need to be perfect. Because I already know my books wonít be perfect, Iíve avoided that trap.

I'm a writer, and just finished my first romance manuscript. How do I go about getting it published?
There are different avenues to take, but here are some suggestions. I strongly recommend joining Romance Writers of America. The website is www.rwa.org, and once youíre a member you can find out if your area has a local chapter. Chapter meetings are where youíll find your writing soul mates. RWA gives you valuable information about the market and will help you hone your writing skills.

You might also consider hiring an agent. Check the library for a copy of the current Literary Marketplace to research agents. Look at the dedication page of some of your favorite romance novels and chances are the author will list her agent there, which gives you another lead. Use Google to find the agency website, which will give you contact information and should tell you whether they accept email or regular mail queries. Your query should describe your project and your qualifications as a writer. Some agents ask for a synopsis and the first three chapters of your book. You may query several agents at once as long as you tell them you are doing that.

Beware of agents who charge a reading or editing fee. They should charge you nothing to consider your work. Most reputable agents are members of the Association of Author Representatives, so check to see if the agent youíre considering is a member.

Some publishers, including Harlequin, will accept unagented queries. Other publishers will not. By joining RWA, youíll be able to find out that kind of information through the organizationís monthly magazine and networking with fellow authors.

When you join the romance community, youíll also learn that some authors are choosing to self-publish their books rather than work with a publisher. Before you consider that avenue, evaluate the risks and rewards thoroughly. Make sure your book is professionally edited and that you fully understand the self-publishing process. Publishing quickly does not necessarily mean publishing well, and you want to begin your career with your very best effort. Good luck!

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