Last Wednesday, I learned that my alter-ego, Lindsey Piper, was nominated for a RITA for the paranormal romance Caged Warrior.

When writing my first paranormal, I was in between historical romance projects when, apparently, my mind wandered. Although some fantastic authors can make their living writing what setting and genre they love for years and years, I’m not that wedded to any particular backdrop for romance. That wasn’t always the case. I have an advanced degree in history. Never did I imagine writing something so ‘out there’. However the story was the key. It inspired me, and in a way, it freed me from expectations. I didn’t have to consult history texts and primary sources. I could simply…make things up.

Now I have the excitement of a RITA to add to my liberation!

That liberation continued when I chanced on an idea for Blue Notes, which releases in trade paperback from Gallery Books on May 6. Blue Notes is also available as a digital download in any format for $1.99 through the date of its release.

A lot of fantastic things happened to me during my years in college, where I majored in history and English. (Those who said I was bound for teaching had no idea that I envisioned my name in embossed foil lettering on romance novels!) Those fantastic things included having my heart broken for the first time—wait, that wasn’t fantastic at all. But it certainly was a growing experience. How can you know about true love when you know what it’s like to find the wrong one first?

I met my best friend in college, the woman who became my soul sister. On my first day moving into our shared dorm, I had two choices. I could hang up my poster of The Crow and lay out my X-Men bedspread—therefore declaring exactly who she’d be living with—or I could hide demurely behind a more subtle first impression. Which do you think I chose? I went for it! She was relieved by both, saying that we had things in common from the very first day. We survived a lot over four years, and you might find some of these hints about posters and bedspreads in Blue Notes. Write what you know…

More dramatically, I spent a year abroad in Britain where I met a quiet, flutters-his-eyelashes-when-he’s-embarrassed Englishman. Surreptitiously, I made it my mission to drag him back to the States with me and make him a contented ex-pat for the rest of our lives. As in most things, through willpower and a series of happy accidents, I achieved my goal. Our wedding took place during my junior year, and we’ve been together ever since.

I channeled that surprise, that passion, that energy, and that adventure into my first foray into the New Adult genre. In many ways, it felt like going home. Thus the current incarnation of me is celebrating my RITA nomination, enjoying married life, and awaiting the release of Blue Notes. But deep inside of me, there will always be that incarnation who spent her first night on campus listening to the sounds of the dorm all around me and wondering what adventure awaited me in the years to come.

New Adult is called that for a reason. It was all so new…