Happy Friday everyone! Today is a special Fantasy Man Friday. I actually had inspiration for today’s Fantasy Man because my awesome critique partner, Daisy Harris, is joining us for an author interview and book giveaway!
I’d like to say that I started writing shortly after learning to hold a pencil and haven’t stopped since. Sadly, that’s not the case. I came to writing via a long and circuitous route that started with wanting to be a fiction writer at 11, morphed into wanting to be a scientist by 18, journeyed through becoming a doctor by 28, and plateaued at being a medical writer by 32. And now I’ve arrived full circle writing fiction again.
I joined RWA, found some awesome critique partners who helped me transition out of technical writing and into fiction. I wrote books one and two of the Ocean Shifters series and found the lovely folks at Siren to publish it.
After twenty years in Landworld, mermaid Ismaelda Freya seeks refuge in her home habitat, Key Sirena. In all that time, she’s never taken a human lover to become fully human, but neither is she willing to give up her freedom and be marked forever as mere.
The sea dragon Sidon can have anyone and anything he wants, except the one female who left. Using every trick he’s learned in her absence, he vows to convince her to stay.
Not even a shape-shifting mermaid can keep her options open forever. When faced with losing everything she values, Isa must choose between her freedom and her one true love.
What gave you the idea for dragon, dolphin, and shark shifters?
My kids were watching Barbie and the Mermaid Tale around the time I started writing, so I credit Mattel.
How many books do you plan for the Mere series and when will they come out?
Mere Passion should be coming out in a month or so. Shark Bait a month or two after that. I’m writing book four, a male-male romance, right now. I’m guessing that’ll be the last in this series. But if the readers like it, who knows? I may keep going. In particular, I might go into the paranormal land species more- vampires, succubi, etc. Maybe even shape shifting pterodactyls!
Who are you inspired by? Which authors gave you the urge to write?
My biggest inspiration came from the writing duo Sydney Croft. They were able to write fun comic-book-esque stories with supernatural characters that included lots of sex, but were not entirely about the sex. I like writing erotic romance, but I like having a story beyond the main characters’ sexual interactions.
Oh, and I love the Dragon’s Kin series by G.A. Aiken (aka Shelly Laurenston). That series showed me that romance can be funny and irreverent. Romance doesn’t have to take itself too seriously.
When you started writing this series, did you think any of this would happen? You know, getting an amazing critique partner published?
When I started writing *this* story, I had no idea what I was doing. I had PMS, was in-between tech-editing companies and thought- hey, I’d like to write about supernatural folks having raunchy sex!
But I found RWA, and yes, amazing crit partners. I took some coursework and did some research. Luckily I had a huge background in tech writing to fall back on. When I was a kid and thought about novel writing, I imagined it was about inherent skill or the author’s uber-deepness. But when I did tech writing I took a lot of courses and read a lot of books and found I got better. I got so good that people were telling me I should write books.
So I approached fiction the same way- as a skill I could learn. And I’m still learning! Maybe someday I’ll write something over 60,000 words!
Do you have a background in marine biology, or just an interest in marine life? You have an amazing amount of information in your books.
My husband is a landscape and wildlife photographer who does a lot of underwater work. It’s great because I can shout into his office, “Hey- I have a 34 foot aluminum boat with an enclosed cabin. Would twin 240 horsepower engines be too much?” and he can answer without missing a beat. Ditto, “Do whales calve in the shallows or in open ocean?” Then there’s my medical background. I know a lot of biology, and as a tech writer I learned to research anything I didn’t know.
Plus, my husband watches every ocean-related nature show on the planet and belongs to Sea Shepard. Yeah, we’re freaks.
I know you’re working on a m/m erotic romance right now (and since I’ve read a few scenes…may I just say OMG, hawt!), what made you decide to go in that direction? Is it harder to write from two male POVs? (Pun intended)
I went that direction largely because my agent told me to. That and because male-male romances are very popular right now. My heroines are often very strong, if not dominant, women, and my agent thought that it would translate very well to male-male stories.
The hero of my fourth Ocean Shifters is all about appearances, and trying to make everyone happy all the time. He’s always enjoyed liaisons with men, but never considered being open about it. But when he finds the right guy, and his fiancée from an arranged union shows up all at the same time… well, it kind of forces the issue.
The hardest part for me about writing male-male is the pronouns! It’s especially bad if they don’t know each others’ names at first! “He saw him from across the crowded room. His pulse beat high in his chest as he surveyed the hard outline of his…” Well, you get the idea.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given that you would share with other budding authors?
I’ve heard a lot of great inspirational quotes along the lines of, “if you’re not failing on a regular basis, you’re not trying hard enough” and “the road to success is paved with rejection letters.” That type of wisdom, combined with the stories of myriad authors who got rejected hundred of times before they sold a book, taught me to embrace and learn from negative feedback. After all, readers will be harsher than any editor!
What’s the best part of writing for you? Is it the part where you laze around all day in your silk pajamas and eat bonbons? Cause I keep waiting to reach that part of writing.
I’ve worked from home a lot in the past ten years, so in all honesty writing is not much different from other medical/technical writing and editing I’ve done. The only thing is I’m a lot more motivated about my fiction projects than I have been about technical pieces.
Though I’ve gotten pretty psyched about some spreadsheets. Me and excel have had some good times together.
What do you do in your spare time? You know when you aren’t writing about smexy dragons, dolphins, and sharks, oh my!
I have absolutely no spare time. I’m dead serious. I wake up and make kids breakfast and lunch. Then I clean, market, blog, or maybe talk to a friend or family member on phone after kids leave for school. Then I write. Then I pick kids up from school. Go to gym where I read on treadmill. Write some more if I get lucky enough to have a babysitter or husband around. Cook dinner, read stories, collapse in front of TV for an hour. Sleep and repeat. On the weekends I buy groceries and cook extra food for the week.
Yes, is sad. Don’t have children. 😉
Who is your favorite actor and what’s your favorite movie? If you didn’t know, Gerard Butler is my man, just saying.
Hmmm… that’s tough because it changes so often. Right now, my favorite movie is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Most days my favorite actor is Jeff Goldblum. Yes, yes… I’d say Jeff Goldblum. Have you seen his body in Earth Girls are Easy? Meow!
Thank you, Daisy, for that marvelous interview! Readers, don’t forget that she’s giving away two ARCs of Mere Temptation. So be sure to leave a comment. I’ll be leaving the commenting open through Sunday and will announce the winners of Daisy’s books on Monday’s blog.
And now I get to show you all the man Daisy’s books have inspired me to find. As her critique partner, I’ve read all about her heroes and when I saw this man, I simply had to save him for the day I interviewed her.
Um, so what do you think? If you had to choose which Mere being he would be which would you pick? Dragon, Dolphin, or Shark? And second question…does it really matter? Move that rock outta the way cause Mama’s coming through!