R.L. Mathewson, author of Playing for Keeps, agreed to answer some questions for me. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.
How much research, if any, did you have to do for this book?
Playing for Keeps didn't really require any research, lol. To be honest most of the time it felt like I was watching the story unfold. It was a fun book to write and I fell in love with the characters early on and couldn't let them go.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
That's actually the hardest part for me, that and picking a title. I usually search the web, look up names and test the name against the image I have of the character in my mind. When one fits I go with it. Jason was originally named Jaxon, but the name didn't work for me at all and I ended up pushing the book aside for a few weeks because of it. When I came back to the book I realized that it was the name that causing me to step back from the book. I read what I'd written again and the name Jason kept popping into my head.
How long did it take you to complete this book?
Six months. There were a few delays because I was finishing other books at the time.
Do you write in other genres besides romance?
No, I love romance. It's fun, relaxing and I truly enjoy it.
Are you working on another book? If so, what is it about? Do you know when it will be published?
I just finished the second Pyte book. It's a paranormal romance and takes off where Without Regret left off. It should be available the first or second week of April. I don't want to rush my editors so I can't give an exact date.
When did you realize that you were meant to write?
I don't really think that I have. It's part of me now. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I think it's more along the lines of when did I realize that I enjoy it. I started writing in 2010 to escape a bad marriage. I had a ruptured disc, couldn't do much, and definitely couldn't work because of the location of the disc. It was a very depressing time in my life. The only good thing in my life was my two children. I felt trapped, isolated and needed an escape. Writing did that for me. I hoped it would be enough to get us out of that situation so I kept working day and night to make it happen. I feel very blessed that I have so many supportive readers out there who made this possible for me and my children. The end of the marriage was a thing of nightmares, but thanks to everyone who took a chance on me I had this career to keep us going.
Are you successful enough to write full time?
I do this full time to help support my young children and I hope that I can keep doing this forever and provide them with a safe and happy childhood, but I know things happen and one day I might write a book that nobody likes so I decided to go back to school to make sure that no matter what my children are provided for. I will continue writing and hope to use my degree (when I earn it) to continue and to help others go after their dreams.
Do you plan out the entire book before you begin writing? Or do you just sit down and write?
Plan it? No, I find that if I think about it that it actually becomes that much harder to write. I force myself to stop thinking about the book once I step away from my computer. All my books are pretty much 'What ifs?' where I wonder about something, get ideas for a book and take off from there. I find that if I try to dictate the book's direction that I end up hating it and delete everything. Personally I like to leave it open and the characters tell the story.
Do you have a set time that you write each day? Or do you wait to be inspired?
Hmmm, I get up at 5am usually. Check out things, read Dear Abby :), answer e-mails from readers and then start working. I take care of my children and handle school work throughout the day, but I usually manage to put 14 hours in a day. I used to work close to 20 hours a year ago, so this is a big improvement for me.
If you would like a copy of this book to read and enjoy yourself, I have provided an Amazon link for you below.