Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Thanks to Splashes Into Books for inviting me to visit today with new release Mind Mates, and for the wonderful interview!
Tell me about your latest book, please.
Mind Mates begins with a bang, pretty little shifter Emma Singer being rescued from a nasty fall by her six-foot-five boss, Gabriel Light.
She’s got a huge crush on him, and her inner wolf wags its tail, but he doesn’t smell attracted to her in return at all.
What she doesn’t know is he’s been dying to get his arms around her. Gabriel is actually a powerful wizard prince, but witch/shifter sex is forbidden by the Witches’ Council, enforced by the headsman’s axe, so he’s magicked his scent away.
Then, to save his sister, Gabriel has to leave the state, but Emma’s alpha is trying to get his grubby paws on her, so the wizard prince is forced to take his pretty shifter employee with him. What Gabriel doesn’t know is the cute little iota wolf has a dangerous, ugly talent. And then a prophecy names Gabriel and Emma and sucks them into finding the second part of the Key to Night.
Vengeful enemies are closing in, their forbidden attraction flames between them, and they’re racing to find the mysterious key and rescue Gabriel’s sister before she’s executed.
Where did you get the inspiration for your writing?
I think everyone has things and ideas that excite them. That get their emotions revved. Those are the seeds, the sparks of creation. I love romance and adventure. I like to spend my free time thinking of ways to throw brilliant, powerful men up against smart, sassy women—and seeing their sizzling attraction explode. Some of those ideas are strong enough that they’ll sustain a reader for a whole book, and those are the ones I’ll try to write.
What is your writing process- do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I write my first draft on a netbook using Scrivener, which makes it super-easy to move scenes around. A thick pad of Post-it notes sits on my nightstand to jot ideas, because I chew on the plot and character at night.
After the first draft is done, I put the book on my ereader and read as fast as I can for big-picture problems. Does the opening hook, do any parts wander, does the end hit it out of the ballpark? Fix any issues.
I print the book out and do another, closer edit. I see things on the printed page that I don’t see otherwise. I look for consistent, believable characters, dropped plot strings, and ease of reading. This is the pencil edit, and I’ve worn down several leads and erasers over the years, lol.
After this I move the manuscript to Word and send it to my editor. We do two or three passes. If I can, I’ll put it on my Kindle keyboard and use text-to-voice to find typos. Then it’s off to formatting and preorder and soon on its way to readers’ hands.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be and why?
I’d be Gabriel, my hero. To be a royal witch, how cool is that? Throwing magic around as I wanted because I had oceans of it would not only be fun, it’d be useful. Snap, the house is clean. Snap, a gourmet dinner is cooked. Snap, the lawn is mown and trimmed. Of course, there’d be responsibilities too, but all in all I think having magic would be a hoot.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
Great question! I’m very picky about my character names. I wanted the witches to have magical-sounding names. For the males, I went with the angelic “-el” names, Daniel in the Pull of the Moon prequel and Gabriel in this book (his sister Sophia’s name means wisdom). For the wolves, I picked more elemental names. Emma starts with E like earth. Her cousin is Mason, a name that conjures pictures of a muscular bricklayer, working hard. Her lecherous alpha is Bruiser. Too, I try to vary the names within a book, to make each an individual in sound as well, although in this book, I reversed that to tie Emma’s family together—her brother is Elroy, her father Ezra.
Bottom line, the name has to express the character to me. “Emma” sounds like a small, sweet female with a core of iron. “Gabriel” feels like a big, brilliant wizard prince. I hope the names resonate the same way for readers!
Thank you so much for agreeing to answer my questions, Mary – this is a real birthday treat for me!
I loved Mind Mates and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys action packed paranormal adventures with superb characters in a roller coaster ride where you’re not sure you’ll actually get safely to the end! Read my review here.