Blessed | Liquid Silver Books | Romantic Urban Fantasy | May 2, 2011
Eliana Shay is an ordinary college girl with an extraordinary birthright. Handsome professor, Aiden Klemenson, singles her out as a potential Chosen of the benevolent gods of Creation. He tries to convince Eliana that she is born to do the work of the gods, but her upbringing hasn't given her much trust in religion or having a magical destiny. The daughter of atheists, she has been raised to believe that faith in gods is for the foolish and weak.
Aiden must employ all of his considerable charm to break through her defenses, while trying to keep their relationship strictly platonic. A difficult task when the lush and curvy co-ed's obvious desire and seductive aura shreds his self-control. Despite his best efforts, desire burns between them with an enchantment all its own.
The gods of Destruction will stop at nothing to keep Eliana from becoming a powerful force against evil. Cunning and deceitful, they send demons and magical serial killers to exterminate her before she can become a Creation god's Chosen hand on earth. In order to survive, Eliana will have to learn to have faith in her own strength and Aiden's love.
Please describe your writing environment.
Chaos! I have three little boys under the age of six who have no respect for personal space. :) Right now my desk is occupied with an empty coffee cup, a zillion match box cars, and a T-Rex that roars whenever you move. Let's not forget my two fat and spoiled Rottweilers who like to shove themselves underneath the desk and lie on my feet. I've learned how to type one handed while soothing a crying baby and petting my dogs with my feet. I do have one spot of romance on my desk for inspiration. My husband brought me home roses as a surprise for the release of my first book, Blessed. Now you know why I married him. ;)
Please tell us your latest news!
I have six books coming out in 2011 that range from historical western romance to erotic science fiction and a little bit of everything in between. The next book I have coming out is 'Sodom and Detroit' with Loose Id in July. It's a hot M/M/F romp through virtual reality and how it can affect relationships in the future.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I would have to say Stephen King. I started reading his books when I was in my early teens and fell in love with his characters. Reading his books was my first experience with having the crap scared out of me while falling deeply in love with his characters. When you care about what happens to the people in the book they cease to be words on a page and they become real. I think that sums up what every romance writer strives for. We want you to love our creations as much as we do and become a part of their story.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I decided to start writing in June of '10 after the pre-mature birth of my third son. He was born at 31 weeks, nine weeks early, and it was a very rough delivery. I lost a great deal of blood and had some touch and go moments. While I was recovering from my c-section, without my baby, I had a lot of time to think. In my morphine pumped induced state, I considered all the things that I'd done and what I still wanted to do.
I'd had A LOT of fun in my life, and marrying my husband and having my children was a joy that I can never fully explain. One thing I'd wanted to do was write a book. I've always been a heavy reader, my husband used to moan at my monthly bills from the bookstore, and I have an over-active imagination. The trouble was focusing my ADD 'Oh look a squirrel, oh look a penny' self to sit down and write.
Basically, I stopped making excuses about why I couldn't do it, and sat down and DID it. I found that once I started, I couldn't stop. My muse went into overdrive and I have more ideas than I have hours in the day. Blessed was the first novel I wrote and the first draft was a hot mess. After joining up with critique groups, reading articles, talking with established author's, I cleaned it up a ton and ended up selling it to Liquid Silver Books.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Above all else, NEVER pay a publisher to have your book published! They pay you! That's what publishers do! If you have to pay for editing, cover art, ISBN registration, etc. run away as fast as your little cyber legs can carry you. If you're going to pay for all of that stuff out of pocket you might as well just publish your book yourself. Repeat after me, the publisher pays you. You don't pay the publisher.
One of the often overlooked dangers of ePublishing is the huge bumper crop of fly by night ePubs springing up all over the place. It seems like every time I check Twitter there is a new EPubs begging for submissions. Anyone can set up a website and call them self a publisher. All you need to do is hang your shingle and set up shop. Think I'm kidding? Check out the giant and always changing list compiled by Piers Anthony at http://www.hipiers.com/publishing.html. And that's just a small portion of the ePubs out there. Everyone from publishing agents to the creepy forty-five year old guy that lives in his mother's basement who smells like Doritos and desperation are getting into the act. There is money to be made and the sharks are circling.
Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing?
My Ipod. My computer desk is in the living room so I can keep an eye on the boys while I write. When my awesome husband keeps an eye on the kids, I pop my headphones on and listen to some fab techno while I write. I adore the music variety that I have with my Ipod and even have different music selections programed in under such catagories as 'Action Scenes', 'Love Making', 'Down and Dirty,' and 'Peace'.
What main genre do you write in?
What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?
The ending! Gods I have issues with finishing a book. I want everything to be just right, to give the reader a fantastic ending for sticking with me through my book. Nothing sucks more than a bad ending. (Stephen King, I'm looking at you and your Dark Tower Series) It's like really good sex...with no orgasm. What's the point?
Do you like to mix genres?
Everything I write is a mix of genres.-lol- That's one thing that I love about my publishers, they allow me and my muse to just tell a great story without worrying about having to include a secret baby, or stick to the strict nine page guidelines of what a historical western romance should be. When you start writing from a formula your books start to read like a formula, and to me that is utterly dreadful. I guess if you like knowing that by page twenty the first kiss will happen, and that of course the leading lady is a virgin and of course there will be a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING between her and the billionaire ex-Seal sometimes sheriff corporate assassin ranch owner race car driving super spy chef then more power to you. I'll take a genre mishmash that keeps me on my toes any day of the week and hopefully my readers will as well. :D
Do you have any cool promo tricks you can share with other writers?
They are a so much fun to collect. I keep mine in a three ring binder with plastic sheets that are made for displaying baseball cards. It's fun to flip through my collection and see how the authors view their characters and all of the effort they put into their creations. Plus, it's really easy to bring the binder to author signing events. All you have to do is slide the card out, have the author sign it, and slide it back in its little sleeve. No fuss, no muss, and you can show your friends without having to dig through your bag of goodies.
If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?
Gah, I have to pick just one? Right now, I think I would have to pick Devon. He is the hero of Book 2 in the 'Chosen by the Gods' series, and I'm madly in lust with him. We would discuss who gets to be on top. ;)
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my hectic and weird little world. My greatest wish is to bring people the kind of love I think everyone deserves through my stories. So grab a cup of your favorite tasty beverage, a comfy chair, and escape into a world filled with passion and heart.
Ann Mayburn - Seducing your imagination one book at a time.