Interview with L.M. Justus

authorphotoTell us about your publishing journey…

I wrote my first book (The Mastery of Mind over Matter) as part of NaNoWriMo, a challenge to write a short novel in one month. I self-published it because I wanted a copy of my book that looked and felt like a real book, but I never promoted it because frankly, no one can write a goodbook in one month. My next book was something I put together for my kids and again, I never meant for it to appeal to the masses. The first book of the Darkness Trilogy, Welcome to the Darkness, is something I spent a lot of time on, and I had it reviewed by my critique group and beta readers. I did hope to appeal to the masses with this one, and so far I’m very pleased with its success, as well as the second book in the series, Darkness Reigns. 

What do you love about being an author?

I love getting all these stories out of my head! Once I get them written down, they stop whirling around in my brain stuck on repeat. Hearing praise from fans is the best thing ever and makes the whole journey worthwhile. 

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I’m going to have to go with Lestat from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. He seems like someone who wouldn’t mind talking about themselves…a lot. I’m not particularly chatty (unless I’ve consumed some form of alcohol) so it would have to be with someone talkative. I’d probably order a steak, medium rare, and of course some red wine. Hopefully Lestat would have something (or someone!) to eat besides me, ha.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?17833943

That’s a tough one because two of the three main characters are fairly young and I’m not too familiar with actors in that age range. As for the third main character, can I make Ian Somerhalder play Nathaniel? I might have a thing for him. Maybe. ;)

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Um, do they have to be one or the other? Yep, sexy, blood hungry monsters – that’s exactly how I like them, ha ha! 

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’d way rather go forward in time than back, but I guess if I had to go back I’d revisit the 80s. Awesome music and fun fashion – good times. 

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Don’t feel like you have to maintain toxic relationships. Also, don’t wait to let the people you DO care about know how much you value their relationship.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I suppose a vampire seems like the obvious choice for me, but I think I’d rather be a Kryptonian like Superman. Now there’s someone with kick-ass powers! 

Where do you write best? 

I do all my writing on my laptop in bed. I really need zero distractions or the writing doesn’t happen.

20426233What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

Hmm, well the last book I was reading I DNF’d, but the one before that was Frozen by Erin Bowman, and the one before that was The Young World by Chris Weitz. I read 2 or 3 books a week, and that was a good week because I really enjoyed both of those. Loving the dystopian stuff lately.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

If I weren’t writing fantasy, I’d do sci-fi. Those are the only two genres I’m interested in, I’m not sure why. I just find other genres boring.

Where can fans find you online?

My author website: http://www.lmjustus.com, on Twitter: @lmjustus, on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LMJustusAuthor, on Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7058443.L_M_Justus

On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/L.-M.-Justus/e/B00EA9UJXA/

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Interview with J K Coi

JK Coi (2)Tell us about your publishing journey…

Well, it’s a typical story I guess! It involves secret typing elfs who invaded my home in the middle of the night to write my first book, and a chance meeting with Brad Pitt who loved the story so much he vowed to see it in print, and crazy offers from all the publishing companies of millions of dollars, and diamonds, and private jets…oh wait…that was something else. *grin*

What do you love about being an author?

Well, I guess it’s no surprise that the best part is making stuff up!(see above)

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I think maybe Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights because he’s so brooding and intense and I would love to be able to delve into his character. But I’m pretty sure I’d be too excited to eat anything. Maybe I’d just drink. Lots. :)

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?Dark Immortal

For the first book in my Immortals series, Immortal Duty, I’ve always pictured Clive Owen as Rhys—because he’s dark and rough around the edges, but with a killer accent and a bit of an air of mystery. Amy is more the girl next door type, with a perky personality but the ability to be really focused and intense. I think I like blonde Jennifer Lawrence for her part.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

I’ll pretty much take vampires any way I can get them, LOL.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I love the idea of the flash and excitement of the roaring 20s, or the glamour of the 30s and 40s.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Don’t sweat the small stuff, and live everyday like it’s your last. They’re both really important to me. Life is so short, if all you do is worry about every little thing, you’ll burn out really quickly and have regrets.

Forever ImmortalIf you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Whichever one is the sexiest and lives forever.

Where do you write best?

In special chair in my living room when the house is empty and quiet. Too bad that doesn’t happen very often!

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last book I read was Holly Black’s Coldest Girl in Coldtown – and I thought it was awesome, I’m eagerly waiting for the next one!

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I like writing paranormal and steampunk, but I’m also a huge fan of fantasy, horror, and YA. Mostly because I like variety in the things I read, so it stands to reason that I would get bored only writing in one genre too.

Where can fans find you online?

Thanks for having me!! I had a great time, and I love to hear from everyone.

Interview with Suz DeMello

sue venice maskWhat do you love about being an author?

I love to go to work in my bathrobe and zebra-striped slippers. And now that I am fairly well-established, I love the lack of conflict and stress in my life–do keep in mind that I used to be a trial attorney. I love to be able to dream happy, sexy, loving dreams and get paid!

And, okay, I love royalties! I call myself the Queen of Passive Income.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

That’s a tough one. I’m not religious–not at all–but I’d choose to have dinner with Jesus, from the King James Bible. I bet he’s fascinating. I imagine we’d eat loaves and fishes :)

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Which book? My latest from EC Aeon, Queen’s Quest, features a hero modeled on Viggo Mortensen. As for the heroine–not sure who’d play Audryn. She’s pretty special. I think Jennifer Lawrence.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Sexy leads of course! That’s what I write in my Highland Vampires series.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?queensquest_msr

I wouldn’t go back but forward. I love history but wouldn’t like to live in a time without readily available, clean hot and cold running water, antibiotics and computers.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Shed fear.
This is mostly based on my belief system about life and death–I believe that we are beings composed of energy (actually, everything is energy–you, me, the computer I’m writing on, your puppy and so on).

Thus, we never really die, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

That’s a tough one! Overall I’d say I’d like to be some species of fairy. They seem to be able to do so much, depending upon how they’re written.

Where do you write best?

At my desk. If I get stuck, a walk shakes my thoughts loose.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I reread Stephen King’s On Writing and may love it even more than the first time. Part fascinating memoir and part writing primer, there’s something here for everyone. What a great guy and of course a fabulous writer.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I’m lucky because romance can encompass so much–I’ve written everything from the dirtiest erotica to sweet, from stories set a thousand years in the past to novels that take place thirty thousand years in the future. I’ve written dark vampire stories and lighthearted, sexy romantic comedy.

If I wrote anything else, though, I’d write non-fiction political discourse and commentary. Or maybe cookbooks.

Where can fans find you online?

 http://www.suzdemello.com http://www.facebook.com/sueswift, and visit her group https://www.facebook.com/redhotauthorscafe

Interview with Jennifer Leeland

Dark PastTell us about your publishing journey…

I always loved to write stories, but I didn’t take any of it very seriously. When my Dad died in 2002, I came across a manuscript he’d written and discovered that he’d never submitted it. He never thought he was good enough. I decided that I was going to try and get my stories published, no matter what. For him.

I love romance, especially romantic suspense and even today, my stories usually have dead bodies cropping up. In 2005, I finally submitted my very first manuscript. Six months later, I received my first rejection. Luckily for me, I had met other authors on the same journey and started to really grow as a writer. At the time, epublishing was relatively new and exciting so I jumped in with both feet. In 2006, I signed my first contracts with two different publishers and I never looked back.

I did find that my favorite books to write were erotic romance, especially with BDSM elements, and I’ve loved writing my smut ever since. I think the best part about my journey had been the other people-authors, editors and readers-I’ve met along the way.

What do you love about being an author?

I love creating the characters and stories so a reader can escape for a while. Books have always been my refuge and to be able to provide that for others is the best thing in the world. However, I don’t create in a vacuum. Hanging out with other authors is one of the perks of the job. For example; After reading Joey W Hill books for years, I got to get to know her when I was involved in putting an online workshop together at the writer’s forum Romance Divas. It was such a privilege to talk to her and she is one of the most generous authors in the business. I don’t think I would have had the nerve to contact her except as an author. All the great interactions I’ve had with authors like Kate Pearce, Eden Bradley, Crystal Jordan and Melissa Blue has been the best thing about being an author.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Oh, definitely Minerva Dobbs from Jennifer Crusie’s “Bet Me”. First of all, that chick is hilarious and she’d be a blast to hang out with. And second, she’d understand my love of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and wouldn’t judge me. Being Minerva, I think we’d have to go out for Italian food and load up on carbs.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Ooooh! This is a tough one! “Dark Past” is my erotic science fiction book and I think Chris O’Donnell would play Bradley “Bud” Masterson perfectly. He’s an actor that can play the cold, bitter guy that Bud is outwardly and yet reveal the vulnerability beneath. I love Chris O’Donell in NCIS Los Angeles. For the female role, I think I’d love Cote de Pablo. It’s hard not to picture her as Agent Ziva David from NCIS, but I think Cote could play Julianna easily.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Oh, definitely sexy leads. Of course, I’ve been spoiled by Joey W. Hill’s vampires, and hers are HOT.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I can’t go to the future? LOL! I think I’d love to go back to Ancient Rome. There aren’t too many eras where women were able to speak and be free. The Roman Era is the best AND I would immediately travel to the Alexandria library. That is one of the things from history that I would love to see. So I’d have to go back to Rome before it was destroyed.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

What other people think of me is none of my business. (I was WAY too worried about what other people thought of me for way too long.)

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’d be an empath. Preferably a psychic empath.

Where do you write best?

In my chair at home at 4am Those are my best writing times.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last book I read was “Her Insatiable Scot” by Melissa Blue (which comes out February 20th). I got to read the book in advance (one the best parts of being an author) and it’s as good as the first one (“Under His Kilt). Melissa writes some of my favorite contemporary romance and “Her Insatiable Scot” is SMOKIN’ HOT! It’s an awesome story and I love Tristan, the hero.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I’d love to write an action thriller with the Knights Templar or something like that. One of my favorite authors Matthew Reilly, who writes some fantastic action stuff. Of course, I don’t know that I’d be able to keep the romance out of it. LOL!

Where can fans find you online?

http://jenniferleeland.com

https://twitter.com/JenniferLeeland

Interview with Nancy Corrigan

Nancy Corrigan PicWhat do you love about being an author?

I love the freedom to express myself! I’ve always had an active imagination and would constantly be caught daydreaming. Now when I act as if I’m not listening, I can proudly announce, ‘I’m plotting…it’s okay’.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Lestat from Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire. This book was the first paranormal I read beyond fantasy children’s book. I was completely intrigued by his tortured character. I’d want to know everything he’s seen and experienced in life. Of course, I’d make sure I’m not on the menu for dinner, unless he’s going to make me into a vampire too-LOL!

If your books were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?Beauitiful Mistake cover

For Unexpected Find, Jennifer Lawrence as Jazz and Chris Hemsworth as Rafe. For Beautiful Mistake…I can’t top my cover model…he’s a perfect Devin!!! Lena would be Natalie Portman or somebody similar with a ‘girl-next-door’ look.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Sexy leads…I’m a sucker for vampire books. I even have one sitting in my WIP folder to finish, but I have too many other projects to work on first.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’m fascinated by mythology, Celtic and Welsh in particular. I’d love to visit medieval Europe to experience their culture. It would be a perfect way to research my next series, the Wild Hunt which will be coming to Ellora’s Cave later this year.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Stop worrying about what other people think of you. I’ve learned not everyone is going to like me, how I act, what I do or especially, what I write. I can’t please everyone. Frankly, I don’t want to. Life would be too stressful and too boring if I did. Live your life and as long as you can go to bed at night with a clean conscience, then you can’t ask for more.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A feline shifter! I love big cats. They’re beautiful, deadly and majestic.

Where do you write best?

Because of the crazy schedule I work on top of my family life, I’ve learned to write anywhere. I have my tablet which I take most places, but I also have a word app on my phone. At home, I write at my kitchen table.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

True by Laurann Dohner. I love all of her books, but her New Species series is my favorite. This particular book was very well written. I’d highly recommend it.

unexpectedfind_hiresIf you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Historical Romance (Medieval). Since I already love the culture and legends of that time period, it’d be my next choice. I hope someday to delve into the genre.

Where can fans find you online?

Website: http://www.NancyCorriganAuthor.com

Facebook (profile): http://www.facebook.com/nancy.corrigan.79

Facebook (page): http://www.facebook.com/NancyCorriganAuthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Nancy_Corrigan

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nancycorrigan79

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nancy_corrigan

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Mistake-2-Royal-Pride-ebook/dp/B00HYZ070M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1390325373&sr=1-1
Ellora’s: http://www.ellorascave.com/beautiful-mistake.html
Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/beautiful-mistake-1/book-8nahnuLzQ0uti2k3F8b19A/page1.html

Interview with C S Kane

IMG_3772Tell us about your publishing journey…

My publishing journey has all happened very quickly. I have always written stories and began working on SHATTERED years ago while I was in university. I suppose I got caught up in all the regular things like work and paying the bills etc. and then I fell ill. I found myself without a job and took the opportunity to work on the old manuscript. I noticed that DarkFuse were accepting submissions so I sent it through. A few months later it was accepted. I was overjoyed to say the least. The novella editor Dave Thomas worked with me on the manuscript and before I knew it launch day happened. It has been an exciting time.

What do you love about being an author?

I love that I have the privilege to share stories. It’s all about the writing for me. I’m compelled to do it and happily I get to do what I love.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Ooh, there are so many! Perhaps Hannibal Lecter and we could discuss red wines? That might be a bit risky. I think an evening with James Bond might be interesting. We’d eat a traditional roast dinner paired with Vesper cocktails and chat about fast cars.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I think my main character Stacey Sheldon could be portrayed by an actress like Jennifer Lawrence. Her boyfriend Liam could be played by an actor such as Aaron Paul.

As a horror writer you are looking to scare readers – what scares you?shattered-1

Nothing scares me more than the things people do to each other. Human beings are frightening. Our capacity for cruelty and violence is horrifying.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I’d probably like to go back to medieval Ireland. A supply of Poitín, some writing paper and a quiet cottage somewhere in the mountains. That’d be nice.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

You can’t always stop bad things from happening, but you can control how you cope if they do.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Easy! Vampire. I would love to be immortal.

Where do you write best?

I should say in my office at my writing desk but really it’s on the sofa with the TV blaring in the background.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi. It was brilliant. Harrowing and haunting. I would recommend it.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Through working on other projects I’m starting to discover that I’m quite into genre bending. I like crime thrillers and historical novels. I always say I’d quite like to be Jessica Fletcher when I grow up so there’d be murders in there one way or another.

Where can fans find you online?

The website: www.cskane.com
Twitter: @CS_KANE
SHATTERED is available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1bxu9x1
Publisher: www.darkfuse.com

Interview with Julia Gibson

jmggardenTell us about your publishing journey…

My road has been steep yet scenic. I had a bunch of lives (various careers, offspring) before I started devoting myself to writing. At first, and for a very long time, I wasn’t oriented toward publishing. Some of that was about insecurity and some of it was about solidifying a vision for my work. Eventually I became less tightfisted about showing things, and thanks in great part to luck, as well as the generosity of friends and friends of friends, I wound up with a gifted editor and a brilliant agent.

What do you love about being an author?

Creating worlds and populating my dollhouses.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I’ve always admired Miss Price in Mary Norton’s Bedknob and Broomstick. She’s a kind woman at heart, but has a ruthless streak. And she is smart and brave. I would love to discuss the craft and lore of magic with her over a picnic of watercress sandwiches and sponge cake and ginger beer, preferably on a tropical isle.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Violet would have to be an unknown, ideally a girl who is part Anishinaabe. Her father would be someone good-looking and intense like Orlando Bloom. Aunt Phyllis is beautiful on the outside and less so on the inside; Kristen Bell would be perfect. Miss Nadia is Russian, but the fine French actress Marion Cotillard would be able to pull off the accent and the attitude. And though Buffy Sainte-Marie is known for music, she’s such a passionate performer that I can’t help seeing her as Mrs. Agosa.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?Copper-Magic-6cvr-201x300

Definitely monsters.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’ve always had an affinity for the 1920s, when Bessie Smith was belting the blues and surrealism was a new thing. Artists were busting out of conventionality, busting up language and sound after the horrors of the first world war splintered the collective psyche. It was a time of experimentation and daring: Woolf, Stein, Kafka, Picasso, the Harlem Renaissance. Dresses got shorter, corsets got tossed. It must have been a heady and exciting time. And Hollywood was just getting started, too. I’m working on a story set there in the ’20s. The research is a kick.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Stay out of other peoples’ bizness.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Baba Yaga! She lives in a house with a fence of bones! Everyone’s afraid of her! She controls the dawn and the dark midnight!

Where do you write best?

In nature, especially where there’s few humans. I live in Los Angeles: leafblowers, helicopters, crazies shouting at bus drivers. It’s crucial for me to get away from the cacophonies every so often.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo. I’m working on a story set in the Vietnam era, and the war affects every character, as it affected everyone I knew then and know now who lived at that time. Caputo powerfully illustrates his own loss of innocence as a young soldier against the backdrop of the radical cultural and political changes taking place all over the world in the 1960s. The Vietnam war, like our War Between the States, is a terrible shadow on our country that continues to chill, divide, and grieve us.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I didn’t think about genre or the marketplace when I wrote Copper Magic, which is no doubt one of the reasons the story took so long to manifest into print. In the Tor catalogue it’s historical fiction; I call it mystical fantasy. One of the bookstores I’ll be visiting on my book tour says I’m “a new voice in crossover young adult/adult fiction.” This thrills me, especially because the book’s being marketed as middle-grade! I get that it’s important for publishers to target a readership, but I enjoyed all kinds of books as a fifth-grader, from babyish picture books to grownup sexy violent stuff. So I guess I don’t truly know what my genre is, but I’d love to write rollicking adventures, tearjerker romances, and bittersweet picture books.

Where can fans find you online?

juliamarygibson.com and @juliamarygibson.

Thank you so much, Nicky.  I enjoyed answering these questions!

Interview with Rebecca Royce

demonwithin_200Tell us about your publishing journey…

I’ve been published since 2008. My first book was called Her Wolf. Now, between short stories and novels, I have over 40 works published.

What do you love about being an author?

Getting lost in the writing

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Scarlett O’Hara because the dinner would be lively

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

In Demon Within? Wow. Kristen Bell and Matthew Fox

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Depends on the book. I like them both ways

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I would love to see The American Revolution

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Just to let the small things go before they become big things

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A werewolf. I just love them

Where do you write best?

In my bed.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I read a book called Winter’s Ballad. I loved it so much.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Historical Romance. I’m always so impressed !

Where can fans find you online?

www.rebeccaroyce.com

 

Interview with Electra Shepherd

electraTell us about your publishing journey…

I (Electra) am actually a pseudonym for an award-winning, bestselling author, so my publishing journey is quite different from hers. She wrote a bunch of books and got a bunch of rejections before she got published, but I, Electra, am much more talented (shh, don’t tell anyone). I wrote my first novel, LOVE MACHINE, during a hurricane. The power went out, but my laptop was still charged up. As is normal in a power outage, I started thinking about all the handy things electricity can be used for. Lights…refrigerators…muscular, blue, well-hung sexually active robots…

Thus LOVE MACHINE was born, which was the launch of my BODY ELECTRIC series of erotic science fiction romantic comedy novels, about robots, humans, and hot lovin’. I sent the manuscript to Ellora’s Cave and they wanted it and I was thrilled and kept on writing more.

What do you love about being an author?

Two words: Robot Servants.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I would find it fascinating to have dinner with HAL 9000. Of course homicidal computers don’t really eat, so I would have to eat all the dehydrated and reconstituted lobster thermidore and cherry cheesecake myself.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I’ve casted the whole BODY ELECTRIC series in my mind, but the only really interesting thing is that I used Tom Hiddleston as the lead for two different books. In MAN OR MACHINE, he’s a bitter computer genius hacker human who spends a lot of the book tied to a bed, and in the sequel HARDWARE, he’s a bald green robot with an enormous libido and no emotions. I think I am possibly the only person who has given Tom Hiddleston such diametrically opposed roles in a single series, and therefore Tom Hiddleston should probably come and live with me in my house forever. Please.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?400000000000001005105_s4

Don’t really care. I have this super-flexible titanium vampire-proof suit, see. Try to bite through THAT, vampires! Ha! Suckers!

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I quite liked last Tuesday.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

SKYNET: Not A Good Idea.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I would be a female Smaug. (Smaugette?) I would loll around on my unimaginable riches humming ‘Material Girl’ and burn the buns off of any hobbit who came near wanting to steal my stuff.

Where do you write best?

Evidently, in the middle of a hurricane.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I constantly reread THE HITCHHIKERS’ GUIDE TO THE GALAXY trilogy. I really really love those books, but I can’t help thinking that Marvin the Paranoid Android would have been a lot happier if someone had offered to have sex with him.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

You mean there are other genres out there other than erotic science fiction romantic comedy?

Where can fans find you online?

My website is http://www.electrashepherd.com, my Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/ElectraShepherd and I’m on Twitter as @ElectraShepherd.

Interview with Margaret L Carter

mcarterweb2Tell us about your publishing journey…

Reading DRACULA at the age of twelve changed my life. Because of that novel, I became fascinated with horror, fantasy, and “soft” science fiction, but especially vampires. At thirteen, not finding enough of the stories I wanted to read in the local library, I decided to write them. I particularly wanted fiction sympathetic to the “monster.” My first story involved a love affair between a man and a ghost. Soon afterward, I wrote a thirty-something-page (single-spaced) story from the viewpoint of a man inadvertently changing into a vampire. I wanted to read and write “good guy vampire” and paranormal romance fiction before the subgenre was invented. At the age of twenty-two, I sold my first book, a vampire anthology called CURSE OF THE UNDEAD, to Fawcett. At that time, I knew almost nothing about publishing except that you had to enclose a SASE. I thought the world needed a vampire anthology taking a historical overview of the field, so I assembled a proposal for one. Fawcett had held the submission for about a year without a word when I finally sent a follow-up query (in the form of a funny “why haven’t you written?” greeting card—as I said, I knew almost nothing). They replied with a publishing offer. I was just very lucky that anthologies were easy to sell back then. Two years later, they also published a second anthology from me, DEMON LOVERS AND STRANGE SEDUCTIONS. (Neither one earned out its advance.) My first professional fiction sale consisted of a short story to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s anthology FREE AMAZONS OF DARKOVER. That sale involved a bit of luck, too. The call for submissions got to me long after it was mailed, because the Post Office misplaced it. It did arrive, however, just in time for me to scramble to get a story written and sent. Naturally, I was thrilled when Bradley accepted it. In later years, she bought numerous stories from me for her Darkover and Sword and Sorceress anthologies. My first nonfiction book, SHADOW OF A SHADE: A SURVEY OF VAMPIRISM IN LITERATURE, was published by a small press while I was in graduate school. The book was produced in unattractive offset printing, way overpriced, and poorly distributed. Still, I’m rather proud to have written the first historical survey of the development of vampire fiction that I know of, even though my work was pretty amateurish at that point. After earning my PhD in English, I was invited to submit my dissertation to UMI Research Press (a short-lived book publishing division of University Microfilms), and they accepted it for book publication. They also published an anthology of essays, DRACULA: THE VAMPIRE AND THE CRITICS, and THE VAMPIRE IN LITERATURE: A CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY. Also during that period, I had an agent for a while, but no book sales resulted. Around the same time as the vampire bibliography came out, a new horror small press, Design Image Group, started up, and I sent them a werewolf novel. Coincidentally, the head of that press happened to have edited a vampire fanzine in which I’d had a story or two—so he was glad to get a submission from me. I think Providence had a hand in my career at many points! Design Image accepted my werewolf novel, SHADOW OF THE BEAST (which is now with e-publisher Amber Quill Press), and, after much editing, put it out as a beautiful trade paperback, which got a decent review in LOCUS. Probably all these publishing credits helped in selling my first vampire novel, DARK CHANGELING, to e-publisher Hard Shell Word Factory. Thanks to e-books, I’ve had the opportunity to get published in horror, fantasy, paranormal romance, and erotic paranormal romance at all lengths. Since my natural lengths seem to be novella and category, the flexibility of e-publishing has been a great boon, and my e-publishers have been very good to me.

What do you love about being an author?

Seeing a book or story transmuted from an untidy cluster of words into the finished product, contemplating the final e-book file and/or printed volume, and enjoying the reactions of readers and reviewers. Unlike some lucky writers, I don’t enjoy the process of writing the first draft—though I do have fun outlining—so one of my greatest pleasures as an author is the satisfaction of thinking, “I actually finished another one.”

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

The four Pevensie children soon after the end of THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, when they would have fresh memories of their years as kings and queens in Narnia. I’d love to hear them reminisce about a generally peaceful era in Narnian history and perhaps narrate some untold adventures similar to THE HORSE AND HIS BOY. Being English, they probably like hearty, meat-heavy meals, so I would take them to dinner at one of the upscale steak restaurants near our home. Or maybe the Irish restaurant downtown, since C. S. Lewis was Irish and that kind of cuisine also tends toward substantial meat-and-potatoes themes.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?PassionBlood

While I don’t have much awareness of movie actors in general, I could visualize Claude Darvell, the vampire hero in my novella “Tall, Dark and Deadly” and a major character in my novel CHILD OF TWILIGHT, played by a young Christopher Lee, because that’s the image Claude was originally based on.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Sexy leads, for sure! I see no reason why becoming a vampire should change an individual’s personality or make him/her incapable of living an ethical life. And I love ravishingly romantic vampires such as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Count Saint-Germain and Dracula as played by Frank Langella.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

The late nineteenth century, if I could keep the same social position—wife of a high-ranking officer in the Navy (or, at present, a retired officer). The late Victorian era has always been my favorite period, but that century would not be a good time to be a poor or working-class woman. I love that time because so much of the classic fiction I’m fond of was published then, e.g. DRACULA, THE PRISONER OF ZENDA, the Sherlock Holmes series.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

“Don’t wish your life away.” Actually, my grandmother frequently told me this when I was a little kid (saying things like, “I wish it was Christmas already”); I’m only now beginning to learn to apply it.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I think it would be fun to be a were-cat. Cats don’t have to do anything but eat, sleep, and get petted. Also, I’ve always been more of a night person than a morning person.

Where do you write best?

On the computer in our home office, beside a window looking onto the back yard. Actually, that’s the only place I write.

LegacyMagicWhat was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

DREAMWALKER, by C. S. Friedman. The sixteen-year-old heroine has strange, surrealistic dreams, which she tells to her thirteen-year-old brother, who incorporates them into his online roleplaying games. She also uses motifs from the dreams in her art, and when her works are put on display at school, a mysterious woman shows up wanting to buy them. Early in the novel, the heroine and her divorced mother get DNA testing to appease her pathologically suspicious father; the test result shows that she can’t be the child of her parents, which her mother insists is impossible. Soon afterward, their house burns down, and the heroine’s brother is kidnapped at the same time. The heroine has gotten in touch with two other “DNA orphans,” who help her travel through a portal to an alternate Earth in search of her brother. Amazingly, Friedman pulls all these elements together into an enthralling story. It’s fascinating the way everything turns out to be connected—the heroine’s true origin, her “dreamwalking” gift, the sinister Guilds that rule the other Earth (one of many parallel worlds), and the gray aliens they deal with. I especially like this novel because the changeling myth is one of my favorite motifs.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I would enjoy writing mysteries if I had the gift for constructing a detective plot with cleverly embedded clues, because some of my favorite authors are cozy mystery writers (Dorothy Sayers, Susan Conant, Sharyn McCrumb).

Where can fans find you online?

Please explore love among the monsters at my website, Carter’s Crypt: http://www.margaretlcarter.com

My Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Margaret-L-Carter/212888768731562?ref=hl

I post weekly to the Alien Romances blog:

http://www.aliendjinnromances.blogspot.com/

Once a month, usually on the fifteenth, I post an entry on the VampChix and Bite Club blog about older, often neglected vampire fiction:

http://vampchix.blogspot.com/