Marla Josephs is the author of the book Reluctant. A contemporary romance that I had the privilege of reviewing. Today, Marla has been gracious enough to consent to an interview. So let’s get started and see what she has to say.

Me: So Marla, tell us all a little bit about yourself.

Marla: I lead a busy life in Northern California with my husband, children, and our dog, Princess Padme Amidala. (My boys are big Star Wars fans.) I’ve always been an eclectic and avid reader, and I’ve always enjoyed writing. Besides reading and writing, I enjoy photography, traveling, eating the local cuisine wherever we go, and just being with my family. Though we all have busy lives, especially now that my kids are older, we still like to spend a great deal of time doing things together. We even all train together at the same mixed martial arts dojo. Now that my kids are older, I am very excited to be doing something I really enjoy. I love hearing from my readers. I literally get a thrill each time I get a personal message or review from someone telling me how much they enjoyed my stories.

Me: Are you working on anything special, or maybe another wonderfully well written romance?

Marla: Yes! I am currently working on 2 books actually. The final touches are being put on Forbidden, book 2 in my comptemporary romance series, Reluctant. Forbidden is scheduled for release on September 8, 2015. This is a story about a landlord and his irresistible new tenant. Though this series is contemporary romance, I try to make my books as real as possible. This book is based on the actual experiences of several couples I know. So, while the story is fiction, the main issue faced in the book is one each of these couples faced. I like to thread each story with a little realism. But, I won’t say more so I don’t spoil it for anyone. The second book I’m working on is the 5th installment in my Alexander Ranch series. This series is more of a crime solving, slightly paranormal, romantic series. I’m very pleased at the reception this series has gotten.

Me: Tell us what else have you written.

Marla: As far as published work, I have written 4 books in my Alexander Ranch series, and 1 book in my Reluctant series.

Me: Where do these wonderful ideas you get for your books come from?

Marla: I wish I knew. The story comes to me so I have to say it’s based on decades of people, TV, and movie watching. The character’s personality develops and actions follows. I love it!

Me: Since your an author I’m going to assume you have a favorite author?

Marla: JR Ward!!! She’s the boss!! I want to be her when I grow up. Her stories are so real. She’s a master at creating a believable paranormal world and a well-rounded romance. Her books are the first time I’ve ever revisited characters and guess what?! Their life isn’t perfect. So not only do we get to join in on the trials and tribulations of a new romance, but we get to journey along while an old favorite love is re-explored.

Me: Your such a talented writer. Have you always wanted to write?

Marla: I wanted to be a medical examiner so darn bad. I threw so much money into my education and studies and on the third try…I got on the waiting list. I was pretty confident that if I went for round 4, I would’ve gotten into medical school. But by then we had our first kid and I realized that it would’ve been difficult to impossible to practice in our rural little state, and that’s where we wanted to raise our kids. It was the best decision. I think that career bears too much witness to the devastation humanity can face and it would’ve ruined me. With writing, I have an outlet for my imagination and every story gets a happily ever after.

Me: What books are you currently reading?

Marla: I’m trying not to buy JR Ward’s The Boubon Kings. When I’m into one of her books, I morph into deadbeat mom so badly and I have stuff I need to do!

Me: I would love to hear where you gain your inspiration from?

Marla: Everything. Especially anything with strong emotion. My mind wants to make a scene out of it, then build a story from there. And I’m always looking for the romance angle.

Me: Tell us what method do you have for getting around writers block?

Marla: Since I’m so new at this, I don’t have much experience with the dreaded block. The few times I have struggled, I just worked sentence by sentence and it was brutal. If I can zone out during a long walk, my mind can produce a scene like magic. I used to do think through tough storylines on long runs, my knees said enough of that.

Me: What made you decide to write romance?

Marla: A challenge from a very close friend. While I enjoy a good romance, I hadn’t really thought about writing a contemporary romance. And, while my Alexander ranch series has romantic elements, this same friend was the one who encouraged me to expand that element even in that series.

Me: I love your book cover. I’d love to know all about it.

Marla: My book covers tend to be close to the last thing completed. Once the story is complete and in edits, I get a feel for a cover. Whatever mood I feel from the story eventually gives me an image of what I want the cover to look like. Then that image is conveyed to whomever is designing the cover.

Me: Do you have a favorite positive saying?

Marla: Don’t should on yourself today. (Say it fast) Most days I feel like I’m not good enough: I should’ve done more laundry; I should’ve written more: I should’ve been a better mom; I should’ve provided healthier meals; etc… That sentence helps me see that no one else expects perfection out of me, so why do I?

Me: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Marla: I would love, love, love a writing career. One where I’m writing, going to conferences (cuz they’d invite me, right?!), and meeting readers at book signings. That’s an epic goal.

Me: How did you come up with you latest book?

Marla: From observing the relationships around me and ruminating on their origins and the obstacles and challenges along the way.

Me: So is there any news with Marla?

Marla: I’m so very excited to announce that Reluctant is available on audio, narrated by the amazing Jaime Lamchick. It’s currently available at Audible, Amazon, and Apple iBooks. Jaime is also already hard at work narrating book 1 in the Alexander Ranch series. It should be available by mid to late September.

Me: Did you learn anything from writing your latest book?

Marla: This impulsive girl learns patience from every book

Me: If you could say anything to aspiring writers what would you say?

Marla: Just write. Those two words finally got me writing.

Me: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Marla: Thank you so much for enjoying my books. Feel free to send me a note with comments and questions. I love hearing from readers. Also, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll receive the latest news, free giveaways and contests.

Bio: I lead a busy life in Northern California with my husband, children, and our dog, Princess Padme Amidala. (My boys are big Star Wars fans.) I’ve always been an eclectic and avid reader, and I’ve always enjoyed writing. Besides reading and writing, I enjoy photography, traveling, eating the local cuisine wherever we go, and just being with my family.

You can follow Marla Josephs through her website here!

Or look her up on Facebook and Goodreads!