HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF | Pocket Books | Paranormal Romance | Feb. 22, 2011
Even in Grundy, Alaska, it's unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham-who has been openly critical of Mo's ability to adapt to life in Alaska-has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.
For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it's love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he's worried that he might be the violent canine in question.
If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he's not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .
Please describe your writing environment.
It's a comfy brown couch in my living room.
Please tell us your latest news!
I am very excited to announce the release of HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF on Feb. 22, 2011. The sequel, THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF, will be released on March 29, 2011.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I can honestly say I'm very happy with the way this book turned out. That is the first time that's happened!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Stephen King is one of my all time favorites. What always amazes me about his writing is the universal approachability. I mean, who isn't scared of a pyschotic clown? (I'm scared of clowns, any clowns, really. They don't have to be psychotic.) His stories are about everyday people in insane situations, and that's why he affects so many readers.
Do you see writing as a career?
With the tragic exception of a very short stint as a telemarketer, every job I've had has involved writing.
Seriously, I could not sell a life preserver to people on a sinking ship. I'm glad this book thing is working out.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Writers write. Taking classes, reading books, and joining writers groups are valid uses of your time, but putting words on a page is what builds your story and makes you a writer.
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
I'm the first writer in my family. We're a family of teachers, nurses and construction foreman. But they're very proud and will pitch my books to anyone willing to stand still for more than a minute.
There are times I wish my grandparents didn't read my books. It's really awkward to sit through holiday dinners when you know your Papa Jack has read a vampire love scene you've written.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?
I worked for six years as an education reporter for my hometown newspaper. I loved the job, but I left in 2006 so I could have more time with my daughter. I took a job as a church secretary. While I was working for the church, I started writing the Jane Jameson vampire novels. I'm now working as an editorial assistant for a medical society full-time and writing from nine to midnight every night.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I'm neither a panster nor a plotter, I'm a shortster- a combination of the two. I write the first and last chapters, then fill in everything in between. Sometimes there's a plan, sometimes everything happens by accident. But most of the time, it's a happy medium.
What main genre do you write in?
Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Of course, I start off with a leading man and lady, but then all of the secondary characters just fall into place. Sometimes, I just need someone to fill a plot function. But in other cases, like Mr. Wainwright in the Jane Jameson novels, the character just showed up fully formed.
What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?
Rewriting is painful. You get to a certain point where you're mentally "done" with a book. But editing is a huge part of the process. You don't get a decent book on the first try, so you have to be willing to put in the time.
Tell us all about "The Call" or "The Email"!
After six years at the newspaper, I took a more family-friendly secretarial position at a local church office.
David worked nights and I was alone with our young daughter in the "The Apartment of Lost Souls," where small appliances went to die. It was either go nuts or write a book. A big fan of vampire movies and TV shows, I decided to write a vampire romance novel. I wondered what would be the most humiliating way possible to be turned into a vampire-a story that a vampire would be embarrassed to share with their vampire buddies over a nice glass of Type O.
The story that emerged was that of Jane Jameson, a single, almost-30 librarian working in Half-Moon Hollow, Ky. Despite the fact that she's pretty good at her job, she just got canned so her boss could replace her with someone who occasionally starts workplace fires. Jane drowns her sorrows at the local faux nostalgia-themed sports bar. On her way home, she's mistaken for a deer and shot by a drunk hunter. And then she wakes up as a vampire.
It took me a year to write the book, but only three months to find an agent, Stephany. We signed a representation agreement and two weeks later, I was driving to the post office. The cell phone rang. It was Stephany and I asked if I should pull over. And it was a good thing she said yes because I started squealing like a five-year-old girl when she told me there was an offer. I hung up and the phone, and then immediately called back because I thought I hadn't said thank you. She assured me that I had, several times, but calling back was a nice gesture. And then I called my husband and burst into tears.
The Jane Jameson series-which includes Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs, Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men and Nice Girls Don't Live Forever-was released in 2009, with a fourth installment to follow soon.
How many books do you plan on writing each year?
I can finish one about every six months, so two.
What are your hobbies?
I used to cross-stitch and decorate cakes... and then I started writing. Now, my hobby is sleeping when I can.
How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
I'm more of an academic researcher. I look up weather patterns at noaa.gov, read guide books on my settings' flora and fauna, that sort of thing. Once, I was looking for a fast-acting poison that could be absorbed through the skin, to make one of my characters sick. We were at a bookstore and my husband found me looking through this reference book. I think it was called The Big Book of Deadly Poisons, or something like that. He looked at the cover, looked at me, and said, "Is this about me forgetting to take out the garbage? Because I think you're over-reacting."
Do you have any animals? Do they influence your writing?
I have two dachshunds, Pigwidgeon and Crookshanks. And yes, they influence how I write. In fact, Oscar, the dachshund featured in HOW TO FLIRT, is based on both of them. Oscar is round and chubby like Crook, but has a malformed ear like Pig.
If a bookstore was putting up "Is Like" plaques, who would be listed as being like you?
Northern Exposure meets the Wolfman, with a splash of Stephanie Plum.
What's your favorite drink?
An electric lemonade. I wrote about it in NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS. It's a vodka drink that looks like windex, tastes like lemonade and eventually prevents you from feeling your face.
Thanks so much for having me here at Night Owl Reviews! I hope you enjoy HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF.