Today I'm very excited to welcome my good friend, Shelley Munro, who's latest release from Ellora's Cave, Make That Man Mine, hit the cyber shelves earlier this week!
Shelley is generously giving away a copy of Make That Man Mine to one person who leaves a comment either on this post or over at my blog. The winner will be picked Monday morning, US time (later for us Down Under!)
Shelley, it's great to have you back on my blog. Can you tell us whether being published is how you imagined it would be? Given the chance, are there things you'd do differently?
When I was an aspiring author, all I used to focus on was getting to the published side of the fence. Everything I did was aimed toward achieving that goal and climbing that fence. It’s funny, but I actually think life on the published side of the fence is harder and more time-consuming than anything I’ve ever done. When you’re first published there’s a steep learning curve, and the amount of promo necessary is a rude shock. It’s not an easy business, and the truth is a writer has to produce books at a fairly fast clip to stay in readers’ minds. Most people’s vision of a published writer dressing in pink, having long, leisurely breakfasts and doing a little dictation is way off course! So, long story short—no, it’s not how I imagined it would be. It’s hard work, it can be lonely and soul-sapping at times with long hours. It’s challenging, and I can’t think of a better job.
I would have started dabbling in e-publishing a lot sooner if I had my time over. Oh, and I would have started writing at a much younger age. Not that I regret the years of travel that I experienced instead of writing and rejections! *grin*
You're a very prolific writer, Shelley, and an inspiration to me. Do you write every day? Do you give yourself daily/weekly goals?
Yes, I write every day. I get twitchy when I don’t write. On the occasional day when I don’t write, I’m usually thinking about writing or plotting or doing some sort of promo. I don’t have rigid goals, although I might get up on a Monday and think, yes, I want to finish this story this week or edit a particular story to send to my editor. When I’m in writing mode, I try to write a constant 2000 words a day. I haven’t done that recently because I’m editing manuscripts, but I’ll get back to writing soon.
I know that twitchy feeling! Would you call yourself a panster or plotter?
These days I’d call myself a hybrid. I do a bit of both. I lean toward the panster style of writing, but if I get stuck, I’ll sit down and plot. Occasionally, I’ll plot an entire story. It depends on the story really.
What keeps you motivated when the writing gets tough?
Sheer bloody-mindedness. I hate to fail. If I decide to do something, no matter what it is, I keep trying until I succeed. I never give up. Some people—my husband included—would probably call me stubborn!
Is there any advice or light bulb moment you'd like to share about getting/being published?
I think the one thing to remember is not to compare yourself to other writers and worry about doing things wrong or differently. Each writer’s journey is different. There is no right or wrong way to get to the final destination of publication.
That's so true. Do you have critique partners (CPs)? If so can you tell us how you met up and your process?
No, I don’t work with a critique partner. I’ve found I prefer to work alone, although I wouldn’t mind a couple of beta readers, if anyone is interested in applying for the job *grin*
Tell us about your latest release. What can we expect?
My latest release is Make That Man Mine. It’s a paranormal story featuring a taniwha shifter. (a taniwha comes from Maori mythology and is a sort of water dragon) Oh, and it’s an erotic romance with a bit of a suspense plot.
Emma Montrose works as a secretary for a private investigator firm called George Taniwha & Son and wants to become an investigator. She also has a crush on Jack Sullivan (a taniwha shifter) and decides it’s time to make her move and go after Jack. It’s time to make that man take notice.
Jack is horrified when he learns he has to work with Emma. He’s noticed her curvy body but doesn’t want a partner. Besides, there’s a full moon on the way, and he’ll need lots of sex to keep things together and his taniwha at bay. No way does he intend to complicate matters by becoming close to Emma.
Unfortunately, the case means they need to pretend they’re lovers and have to share a room…
Here’s the blurb:
On her 25th birthday Emma Montrose decides it’s time to show bad boy investigator, Jack Sullivan she’s more than an efficient secretary. She’s a woman with needs, and she wants him.
Jack is a taniwha, a shifter, who requires women to satiate the sexual demands of the serpent within. Nothing more. Then work forces the reluctant Jack and ecstatic Emma undercover as a couple. Thrown together, pretence and reality blur generating hot sex laced with risk…
And here’s a short excerpt from the start of the story where Jack and Emma are arriving at the resort to start their investigation.
“You’re gonna have to cure the jumpiness around me. We’re meant to be lovers.”
Emma’s gaze shot up to meet dark chocolate brown eyes. Sinful eyes, she thought with an inward sigh. Those eyes could certainly lead her into sin.
“Sure, honey,” Emma said, miffed for almost giving them away. Yet she was angry with Jack too because she thought he was doing his best to show her up. He’d certainly tried hard enough to talk her out of the assignment. Emma wanted to glare but it wasn’t loverlike. Most of all she wanted to needle him. Yes, she felt like poking the man with a sharp stick to see if she could rattle him.
“How long before we get to our room?” she cooed, fluttering her lashes at him. “I need your cock inside me.” Part of Emma was shocked at her words, but the couple standing in front of them grinned at her in sympathy.
“Have you seen the contents of those goody bags the hostess is giving out?” the young woman said. A theatrical shiver jiggled her pert, braless breasts.
“No, what?” Emma asked, her fertile imagination creating all sorts of pictures. Handcuffs? Powerful aphrodisiacs? Torturous sex toys?
The woman leaned closer to whisper, “A pair of edible undies.”
“Both his and hers,” her partner added with a grin.
“No!” Emma breathed. Good grief. It would probably be like trying to choke down pills. She’d gag and throw up all over the man’s groin. All over Jack’s groin. “I hope they’re chocolate,” Emma said, waggling her brows.
“Oh, you’re terrible,” the woman said with a giggle.
So terrible that Jack’s arm tightened around her in silent warning, his fingers digging into the sensitive flesh at her waist. Emma smothered a grin. Perhaps if she kept needling him, she’d forget her nervousness.
“I’m looking forward to this week,” Emma confided to the young woman. “My honey works so hard. He’s exhausted when he gets home and most nights just falls asleep.” Emma peeked through lowered lashes to gauge Jack’s reaction. Her stomach flipped anxiously when she noticed the tic in his shadowed jaw. He looked as though he might burst while the arm around her waist tensed until it felt like a shackle. But not enough to make her stop goading him. “Too tired for good sex, if you know what I mean.”
A low growl vibrated through his chest. Emma stilled and the hair on her forearms stood to attention. Slowly her gaze rose from his broad chest and traveled up his neck, across his rigid jaw and collided with eyes the color of onyx.
“We intend to make up for that, don’t we, sweetheart?” His flashing eyes promised retribution when they were alone. “Can’t have you saying I can’t get it up often enough to keep you satisfied. Wouldn’t want you to wander to greener pastures.”
Oops. Perhaps she’d pushed a little hard.
Catch up with Shelley over at her blog, website and MySpace
Don't forget to leave a comment to go into the draw!!!