Jen: Today we welcome Piper J. Drake to Romancing the Book. Piper, will you share a short bio with us?
Piper: Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) began her writing career as “PJ Schnyder” writing award-winning sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk. She has received the FF&P PRISM award for her work as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award.
Now, Piper writes romantic suspense, incorporating her interests in mixed martial arts and the military into her writing. The bestselling True Heroes series features hot military men, the women they love, and the dogs who have their backs. The Safeguard series introduces the men and women of Safeguard—an elite group of mercenaries who will go to any extreme to complete a mission…even risk their hearts.
Play Find the Piper around the Internet for insight into her frequent travels and inspirations for her stories.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Piper: The series concept came out of a brain storming session with Courtney Miller-Callihan. I was telling her yet another story about my dogs (all now passed away) and my interactions with K9 handlers. There were a lot of beignets involved.
ULTIMATE COURAGE took further shape after the daughter of a friend ended up in the ER with a broken arm after her sparring session at her Tae Kwon Do class.
This is the story about single-father Alex Rojas and Elisa Hall. They’ve each got a past to overcome. They may not make all the right choices, but they’re making the best choices they can.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Piper: I’m a hybrid. For my last several books, I’ve found myself plotting a few chapters at a time, then writing them. I might pants another chapter or two beyond that. Then I’ll plot a few more chapters.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Piper: I try, but I’m always in a different time zone. I travel almost every week for my day job, so my routine is more about doing a bit of writing from my hotel room at night or getting in writing sprints at the airport waiting to board my plane. I also do writing sprints in flight.
When I’m actually home, I tend to be the first awake in the townhouse. I wake up, putter with my patio plants, and go for a walk to catch Pokemon. Then I hide inside my office for several hours to write. By the time I’m ready for a break, my boyfriend and roomie are awake and having their first cup of coffee.
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Piper: Technology is my friend. I tend to capture a few notes on my smart phone and also take a picture to give me a visual reminder. Apps like EverNote allow me to store both my notes and my pictures together so I have context.
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
Piper: Patricia Briggs has been a long time favorite author of mine. Meeting her, chatting with her, has had a huge impact in my perspective as a writer.
Every time I attend a workshop or panel to hear Daniel José Older speak, my mind is blown. He is incredibly thought-provoking. He’s also a really cool guy.
Linnea Sinclair has been a nurturing and supportive mentor. Her feedback on my writing is invaluable and she never hesitates to tell me to quit getting distracted with all my nifty project ideas and write the f**** book.