Greetings all! Today we have Shelley Munro on the blog telling us about herself and her latest book, The Spurned Viscountess. Without further ado, here’s Shelley!
Shelley lives in New Zealand with her husband.
Typical New Zealanders, Shelley and her husband left home for their big OE soon after they married (translation of New Zealand speak – big overseas experience). A year long adventure lengthened to six years of roaming the world. Enduring memories include being almost sat on by a mountain gorilla in Rwanda, lazing on white sandy beaches in India, whale watching in Alaska, searching for leprechauns in Ireland, and dealing with ghosts in an English pub.
While travel is still a big attraction, these days Shelley is most likely found in front of her computer following another love – that of writing stories of romance and adventure. Other interests include watching rugby and rugby league (strictly for research purposes), and curling up with a good book.
She must marry him.
Cursed with the sight and rumors of witchcraft, Rosalind’s only chance at an ordinary life is marriage to Lucien, Viscount Hastings. She doesn’t expect love, only security and children of her own. Determined to go through with the wedding, she allows nothing she encounters at the gloomy Castle St. Clare to dissuade her.
He wants nothing to do with her.
Recently returned from the Continent, Lucien has no time for the English mouse his family has arranged for him to marry, not when he’s plotting to avenge the murder of his beloved Francesca. He has no intention of bedding Rosalind, not even to sire an heir.
Dark secrets will bind them.
Though spurned by her bridegroom, Rosalind turns to him for protection when she is plagued by a series of mysterious accidents and haunted by terrifying visions. Forced to keep Rosalind close, and tempted into passionate kisses, Lucien soon finds himself in grave danger of falling in love with his own wife…
Okay…the camel picture on your website bio…did it spit at you?
No, it was a real cutie. It was still a baby and was curious about me. It tried to lick me.
Where did you get the idea for The Spurned Viscountess?
I originally wrote the very first scene of The Spurned Viscountess as a writing exercise for the Auckland Chapter of Romance Writers of New Zealand. I can’t remember what the topic for the exercise was now, but I wrote about a man who had lost his memory. His family told him he was Viscount Hastings, but the man didn’t believe them. He recalled nothing of his childhood years or any of the time before he met his wife in Italy. His “newly found family” expect him to go through with an arranged marriage. Lucien doesn’t wish to marry again, but he wants a reason to stay at the castle while he investigates the murder of his first wife.
I really liked my finished scene and started to think about where the story would go. I added all my favorite elements from historicals including smugglers, a gothic element, a scarred hero and a heroine in peril plus a creepy castle. The Spurned Viscountess is the end result.
You mentioned in our pre-interview e-mails that you don’t celebrate Halloween in New Zealand. Is there any particular tradition you’ve learned about that you think sounds like fun?
Yes, it’s true. We don’t celebrate Halloween in New Zealand. Dressing in a costume and going trick or treating sounds like fun as do all the decorations and the weird party foods. I love cooking, so making special cakes and other food for Halloween would be fun for me.
With Halloween upon us (just around the corner!), I can’t help but ask: what makes Shelley Munro cower under the covers, or at least sends a shiver down your spine?
I’m a terrible sissy when it comes to horror movies. I refuse to watch them. In fact anything with too much blood and guts sends me fleeing to another room.
What made you choose a gothic romance?
I read a lot of Victoria Holt books and other gothic romances when I was a teenager. I like the creepy castles and the element of danger that shimmers between the pages. With that sort of reading background gothic historical romance seemed like a natural choice.
Your hero, Lucien, sounds delicious. What’s your definition of a hero and are there any in New Zealand looking for an American girlfriend?Thank you! I’m rather partial to Lucien. My definition of a hero—someone who is strong and capable, someone with drive and ambition who is kind to children and animals and also to people who are less advantaged than him. He’s honorable. He doesn’t have to be handsome but he has charisma, which makes him sexy.
LOL – my husband is my hero. I’m sure there are a few more like him around somewhere in the country.
You have quite the bookshelf! Do you have a favorite genre? How do you come up with your ideas and decide which genre they fit in?
I’m equal opportunity when it comes to genres. I like reading most genres and writing them all seemed a natural extension of this. I tend to write more contemporary and paranormal than anything else. Ideas are one thing that I find easy. Almost anything can inspire me—from TV, movies, magazines, the news or a trip to our local mall. The genre depends on how the idea comes to me and also if I need a break from a particular genre. I think swapping around helps keep me fresh.
Do you have a favorite movie? Actor? (I hope it isn’t Gerard Butler…)
I like The Mummy staring Brendon Fraser. I’ve watched this movie countless times and still love it. It’s the setting and the adventure plus Brendon Fraser looks pretty good. *grin*
What’s your writing routine like? Are you an everyday writer, or a binge writer? (I waffle between bingeing and everyday…but then again, my college advisor did say I had no discipline.)
LOL – I wouldn’t listen to them. I write every day. It’s a habit I’ve developed from when I first started writing. These days I feel a bit lost if I don’t do my daily writing.
What kind of music do you listen to when you’re writing?
I like all kinds of music. At present I’m listening to a lot of Country music. I start off listening to music but, once I start writing, I tend to tune out. I’m afraid music is wasted on me during my writing hours.
What do you do when you’re not churning out your latest manuscript?
I like to travel. Most days I go for a walk and/or a bike ride to get out in the fresh air. I enjoy cooking, photography and of course reading. We also do a little fostering for the SPCA so when we’re fostering a dog, I do lots of extra walking.
Do you have one piece of advice you were given that you hold true to no matter what?
I steal the Nike motto – “Just Do It”. That always works for me.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many favorite authors—too many to mention. I like Kate Pearce, Louisa Edwards, Keri Arthur and Ilona Andrews and many others.
What is Shelley Munro working on next? We like to be teased.
Well, since you asked…I’m working on more than one book at present.
-I’m working on book 11 (the final book) in my paranormal Middlemarch Mates series about a feline shapeshifter community living in a small New Zealand country town.
-I’m working on a follow up to Fancy Free (a story about a woman who inherits a condom factory)
-I’m working on a follow up story to The Bottom Line – this story is about one of the secondary characters from The Bottom Line.
-And finally, I have another gothic romance in the planning stages.
Now, for the extra special treat. Shelley is offering a prize to one lucky person! Shelley, tell us what the prize is.
PRIZE – I’ll give away a download from my Ellora’s Cave or Samhain Publishing backlist. The winner can choose one download from my backlist.
Be sure to comment between now and Sunday for your chance to win one of Shelley’s books. The winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!