The reason I am writing at all is Mary Stewart. I love her books – all of them. Moonspinners and Touch Not the Cat have to be two of my fav reads of all time. I love her so much I even wrote the essay on her for an anthology called Mystery Muses: 100 Classics That Inspire Today’s Mystery Writers. While Mary Stewart wrote what we romance writers would call romantic suspense, she won two Edgar Awards for best mystery. Yes, her books had very few sex scenes and are mild in that regard considering today’s romance market – Touch Not the Cat has the most obvious one and even it was mostly off-stage – but the growing romance between her heroes and her heroines was fabulous and set against some of the most exotic backdrops in the world and set off against edge of your seat danger. She is why all my books have a background of danger. I like the external conflict juxtaposed against the internal conflict, the growing attraction and romance of the hero and heroine.
Q: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Besides Mary Stewart whose books I re-read every year, I have many favorite authors. LOL Too many to list here, that is for sure. Linda Howard of the Mackenzie era has to be mentioned. I think my copy of Mackenzie’s Mountain has to be falling apart. I also loved Mr. Perfect and Cry No More. Her last two, I have reservations about, but her back list is on my Keeper Shelf and I re-read her books on it frequently. For the sexier, more sensual authors, I just love and adore Nalini Singh’s books, both paranormal series. She has a talent for exposition; her alpha heroes are just yummy and her heroines are strong enough to stand toe-to-toe but know when they need to lean on their men. Her world-building is so subtle that a reader is not jarred out of the story with a lot of technical jargon or rules that are hard to understand. Linnea Sinclair is also another author I love since I am a scifi geek and her science fiction romances are to die for.
Q: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Define new. LOL New for me? Cynthia Eden. She is not “new” to romance writing, but I just discovered her books and am now buying her whole back list. Love her take on the paranormal. I have also discovered Sarah McCarty and Kylie Brant (her new mass market romsuspense books, not her Harlequin days).
Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
Earth Awakened under my Rae Morgan pen name. I started this book in early 2007; that Spring my very elderly mother began to fall down a lot and I had to make long round trips every day to check on her and my stepfather. I spent at least two hours a day driving and then dealing with whatever medical issues and paperwork and errands. I was always exhausted by the time I got home where I had to deal with my husband’s angst about retiring early for his health. We also had downsized by that time – so I was still reeling from selling, buying and moving. My son was making the decision to come home from Oregon to finish his degree at Kelley School of Business at IU in Indianapolis. So, a little life stress? – – parenting parents, moving aftermath, retirement of spouse, child changing major and moving home, last illness of my mother and her subsequent death and dealing with all the legal stuff (I’m the lawyer in the family). Uh, yeah. I’m lucky the men didn’t come to cart me away to the psych ward. So writing did not go well when I could even get to it. My brain was wholly engaged in strategies to take care of my family.
I did finish the book and it came out at the end of December, 2009 – over two years after I started it. The book evolved over that time and I think it is a stronger book for the wait, but I feel as if I had let my fans down. Good news is – my life has gotten back to normal, or as normal as having a husband home 24/7 can be – and I am back to turning out 2-3 books a year under my Monette Michaels pen name. Rae is still hunting for a new project. J
Q: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I travel twice a year at a minimum to conferences. I like to attend Lori Foster’s conference in Cincinnati each June and Archon in the St. Louis area in October. I also attend some Bouchercons and I was registration chair for the one held in Indianapolis in October 2009. All are fan conferences. I love fan conferences.
If RT is in a place I can drive to, I like to attend it. I am absolutely terrified to fly; didn’t use to be that way, but am now. I like to be in control and since I can’t fly the plane and make sure that all the people on board are not crazy, noisy or rude, I avoid flying. I only fly for my day job when there is no other way (I am an arbitrator).
Q: We all know “SEX” sells, have you ever been asked to “sex-up-your books”?
Not really. All my books have lots of sensual buildup and heat. My older books (published at LTDBooks which closed its doors in 2005) had sex, but not as much as I am writing now. I have offered to revisit older books when they come up for re-publishing and “up the heat levels and open the doors to the bedroom more widely,” but no one has ever asked me to. The older books sold well “as is” and sometimes it is better not to rock the boat. At Liquid Silver Books, I have books in the Sterling (slower buildup and less sex scenes) and the Liquid (characters move more quickly into bed and there are more sex scenes) levels. I have not written a Molten book yet and would probably have to stretch to do so – and then I am afraid it would be too molten. I have a very vivid and kinky imagination, but am not sure I want to share that much of my personal fantasy life with the world. LOL
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception in e-publishing
That people won’t read on computers or hand-held devices. I think that the advent of iTouch, iPhones, the Blackberry, the Droid, and all the current incarnations of eBook reading devices has proven that wrong. My son (23-years-old) reads fan fiction all the time on his laptop. His goal is a phone with a 3G network (I think he’ll hold out for the 4G to be more prevalent), and I am sure he will use it and the appropriate apps to read on it. I have had a Rocket from the day they came out – my Rocket is ten years old now, still works, and I love it. I am holding out for a reading device with color screen and wireless capability for downloads that reads the main formats.
Another major misconception? That all e-books are badly written and edited. From my days in math and philosophy, I was trained to be skeptical of statements using the words “all” or “every.” Not all e-books are badly written, some are. And the market will handle those. There are badly written and atrociously edited print books from major print publishers, but no one skewers the whole industry based on a few bad books. The same should apply in the e-publishing world.
I am lucky that I have had two excellent e-publishers: LTD Books in Canada (now closed for reasons having to do with the owner going back to get a Master’s Degree) and Atlantic Bridge Publishing in Indianapolis, the parent company for Liquid Silver Books. Both my e-publishers strove, and in the case of AB/LSB still strive, for quality in content and editing. AB/LSB has been around for ten years (LSB as an imprint has been around since 1/2003). I think the company’s longevity speaks for itself.
Q: What are your current projects?
Monette Michaels has a lot on her plate. Rae is relaxing and letting Monette do her thing. LOL
The first book in a romantic suspense series called Security Specialists International (SSI), Eye of the Storm, was just contracted with Liquid Silver. It should come out in the second quarter of 2010. I am currently finishing the second book in the Gooden and Knight paranormal mystery series (the first, The Virtuous Vampire, was a reprint of an LTDBook that came out in 2005). The second Abby and Luc book is called The Deadly Séance and I hope to have it to my publisher by the end of March and see it published before the end of 2010. After the Abby and Luc book, I will write the second book in the Prime Chronicles series, Prime Selection, Huw and Nadia’s story. And finally, I have the second in the SSI series, Weather the Storm, already in the planning stages (to be completely honest, the pushy characters forced me to write the first 50 pages of this book when I should have been working on Abby and Luc’s book).
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
And of course at Liquid Silver Books, SiN Forum: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/forums/