Q: You write a lot of sexy men, but none of them are perfect. They seem real. What character traits do you think make for the most interesting male leads in your books?
A: Ah, the many faces of the hero! They are so complex and yet sometimes so simple—but indeed there are types! There is the bad boy, the conqueror, the romantic, the confused and hurt hero with so much to overcome! Oh man, they’re all good! There are a few things they have in common, however—they’re good, strong, admirable men. And while you can count on them to be physically attractive, usually what makes men sexy has little to do with that—it’s their values that draw women; their integrity is very alluring. And above all, they respect women—all women.
Q: Jack’s Bar was an essential central location in Virgin River. Is there a new spot where characters from Thunder Point will gather?
A: There are several fantastic gathering places in Thunder Point. The beach is a primary location people tend to see each other, and that includes Cooper’s beach bar. It was once a bait shop with a bar in it before Cooper arrived, and after he took over it became a bar without bait. Another place people often meet is the diner or almost anywhere on the main street. Cliffhanger’s, a nice restaurant at the marina, is a good place to gather. And this is a town where the sport competitions of the school kids, from elementary school through high school, are a primary source of entertainment for the town. The teens love the beach for parties, bonfires, paddleboarding, sailing.
Q: The Wanderer has characters of all ages, from high-school football player Landon to sassy (this would be great aunt—she never had children) grandma Lou McCain. Will we be seeing more of them? What other characters are you excited to introduce us to?
A: Because Thunder Point is a friendly and uncomplicated place, it draws people who are looking for a simpler life, for a safe place to raise their children, a strong community that gives a sense of belonging. There’s no big industry there, even the beach is private and not dominated by resorts or time shares or golf courses, so the residents are mostly fishermen or small business owners or work in neighboring towns. Some people seek this town, while others, like Cooper, stumble on it and find out it belongs to them. You will eventually meet a young teacher and coach looking for a solid community in which to raise his son and a man who walked away from the town as a youth only to get in trouble and serve time in prison, who is back in search of redemption. And many others.