The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview
We would love to get to know you
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Let's see.I have a fondness for just about anything to do with vampires - books, movies, tv shows, comic books. I drink a lot of coffee. I knit. I'm studying Greek but not doing very well at it. I love Renaissance fairs and traveling. I love the challenge or writing short stories. I go to science fiction/fantasy conventions for fun and belong to the Science Fiction Writers of America as well as to the Romance Writers of America. My favorite Christmas present last year was a Jane Austen Action Figure doll.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Her name is Shoni Murre and she exists in a space opera universe that a friend and I have been playing in for years but have yet to write down. Why? She's a spaceship pilot and is from a polyandrous culture - which means she has four really hot husbands. Having adventures in space and a harem of one's own seems like a proper fantasy to me.
Also, once, quite by accident, I wrote myself into a book. Once upon a time I answered the telephone and my mother, who was reading the manuscript of LAWS OF THE BLOOD: THE HUNT said to me, "You're Valentine!" And after I thought about it I had to agree with her, Valentine is me - except that I'm not a vampire and I don't look like Salma Hayek.
What's your favorite genre to read?
I don't have a favorite genre, I read them all. But for the last year or so I've been on a military science fiction reading binge (John Scalzi, John Ringo and Elizabeth Moon high on my list of favorites). When it comes to romance, I've been very impressed by a line of romances that Tor has been putting out, all of them paranormal or futuristic. I've also been on a Jane Austen kick, and have been listening to audio versions of her novels. I have been completely addicted to Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels for a long time now. These books combine humor with fantasy and just get better and better. I love mysteries, especially historical mysteries. I could go on and on because I really do read just about every type of fiction. The tbr pile is very eclectic.
Who or what influences you when you write?
Writers are sponges. Everything influences us. When I'm writing I put off reading anything written in whatever genre I'm working in and read stuff from other genres because I want my own voice and ideas to come through in my writing.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
On a typical writing day I spend too much time online, I knit more than I should, I play too much Freecell, and I try to get at least six pages written.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
A long walk sometimes helps, as does a long shower. Talking to the dog doesn't generally work. Listening to music sometimes help, as does watching a movie. Having to meet a deadline to get a paycheck is generally the best cure for writers block. Those bills have to be paid, therefore the book has to be written.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Here's an excerpt from Primal Desires, which will be published this summer:
"You did great, Wolf-Tamer-in-Training," he assured her. "And right now you have to keep thinking like what you are and let's get out of here."
"What I am?" She shook her head. "Do you think I can afford to run off and leave what little I have? Even if I'm supposed to save the world, I'm still on a budget."
Jason supposed that telling Sofia that he could fulfill her every material wish wasn't the way to win this independent woman's heart.
"Fine," he said, and took her into an empty motel room, with the wolves following at their heels.
Once inside he couldn't stop himself from kissing her, and after a moment her mouth opened beneath his and her arms came around his back. They clung together in an eager, hot embrace for a few moments before Jason reluctantly drew away.
"I'll get your stuff for you, Sofia. Stay right here," he ordered. "All of you."
"Wait a second," she insisted as he started to leave. He glanced back. Arousal stretched across the room between them. She touched a finger to her sensitized lips, but her gaze was sharply questioning. "How did you get that door open?"
He smiled. "It's just a little trick my people have."
"Your people? You're not a werewolf, right?"
"I saw how fast you moved, how strong you are, and you've got all that - " She tapped her forehead. "-telepathic talent. What are you?"
"What am I?" Jason knew he'd put this off too long, but he couldn't help but smile wider, and show a great deal of fang. "I'm a vampire, of course, sweetheart."
He closed the door behind him, but he still heard Sofia's stunned whisper. "Vampire?"
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best writing advice was, "Cut to the chase and keep cutting to the chase" to keep the story moving. Worst advice, "Writers can only work well in one genre". I listened to the first, and still think the second is complete bullshit.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
My current writing schedule includes two novellas, one set in the Primes vampire romance universe and one in the Laws of the Blood vampire fantasy universe. I'm working on an epic fantasy novel for Tor, and there will be three more Primes novels to be written real soon. And if I can find the time there are a couple of fantasy short stories I'd like to get to.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
This sounds like a job interview
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
After careful consideration I decided that my perfect hero is a cross between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Han Solo.
What do you do for inspiration?
I enjoy good writing, whether in book format, as movie and television scripts or song lyrics. I love words. So I read, I watch, I listen. Good conversation is also very inspiring. Once a year or so I get together with some writer friends and we talk about telling stories for a few days. That really helps fill up the idea well.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I intend to someday settle down and write a series of huge, epic space opera novels. Stuff with alien cultures and space battles and empires to be won and lost and lots of romance, of course, all my stories have romances. Also, someday I'd like to get back to an alternate history story about Alexander the Great that a friend and I have dabbled with where Alexander gets to live beyond the age of 32 and he gets to live happily ever after with the girl, the boy and the eunuch. And there's the historical novel about Horemheb set in ancient Egypt. And there's the mystery series about a bunch of eccentric pet owners. Lots of ideas. The trouble is finding the time and energy to write them.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
See the answer to the above question.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
One of the things I like to do for research is travel to wherever I'm setting the book I'm working on. I do love to do research, but I also know that doing too much research can be a trap. The temptation is to keep on researching and not get around to doing the actual writing.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
From high school onwards I wrote as a hobby, becoming involved in the world of fanfic and fanzines. For those who don't know what fanfic is, I suggest you take a look over at www.fanfiction.net where people post stories they've written for the fun of writing them set in various media universes. I highly recommend a novel called Respect Between Enemies set in the Gundum Seed anime universe - it's by a friend of mine. Anyway, after about ten years of seeing my Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who, etc. stories published in various zines I got the itch to start writing original fiction. So did a bunch of friends of mine. We formed a critique group and started writing our own stories. My first effort was a collaboration with my friend Marguerite Krause who was also a fan writer. We decided to write a fantasy novel. It took us four years to write the first version of what became MOONS' DREAMING and MOONS' DANCING and another decade to get it right. This epic fantasy was eventually published by Five Star. By the time this first book saw publication many books I'd written on my own had been published. I'm still very proud of my and Mar's eldest child and am so glad she and I took that first step into the world of original fiction writing.
What would you like to tell your readers?
Try reading in every genre, because good story telling is good story telling, everything else is just details.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I do outlines, but not particularly detailed ones. Learning to write an outline is part of the business of writing and any aspiring writer needs to learn how to do it. Even though I personally find outline to be the least fun part of the writing process, it's a necessary one.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I've belonged to two critique groups. The first one, mentioned above, was formed by a bunch of friends who had no idea what we were doing - fortunately we are all still good friends a couple of decades later even though the critique group thing didn't work out. The reason that group didn't work out was because we were all writing in different genres. Mar and I were working on an epic fantasy, Denise was writing cyberpunk, Marilyn was writing a mystery, Pat and Carol were doing script writing, Jane was working on science fiction romance. It was impossible for all of us to critique in all of these genres.
But my second group, organized by Lois Greiman, now that group worked and stayed together for a solid decade. It worked because the members wrote and critiqued romances and only romances. Great group.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
First professionally published work: WINGS OF THE STORM, 1992. It's a time travel novel that's recently been reissued at www.romanceclassics.com First published work: an Original Star Trek based fan story in a Trek fanzine back in the late '70s or early '80s.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Check out my website. Join my newsletter that comes out via email at irregular intervals. Google my name?