Fantastic Interview Friday

Interview with…Nalini Singh

So if you’ve caught some of my review’s of Nalini Singh’s work, you know I ADORE her books…I had a chance to interview (and sign!!) with her last year, and she graciously agreed to contribute to the newsletter.  (Remember, you can get these babies hot off the press once a month by signing up for the newsletter…and have a chance to win a $10 gift certif to Amazon!!).  Anyway, with no further ado…Nalini Singh!

MftBS: What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as an author?

I think the first sale is just something special.  The excitement of knowing that my book was going to go out there in the world – it was this amazing, wonderful, stupendous feeling! It makes me grin each time I think of it.

But you know, cool things happen every day – every time a reader emails to tell me they loved my work, it just makes my day. 🙂

MftBS: If you were trying to describe your work to a new reader, what would you say?

I write about the Psy, a race that buried their emotions a century ago in an effort to fight a vicious tide of insanity and murder, and the changeling shapeshifters who challenge their perfect Silence. The Psy have amazing powers of the mind, none of the heart, while the changelings crave touch, live for sensation. Caught somewhere in between are the humans.

If you like hot, alpha heroes, strong heroines, and find yourself intrigued by the idea of a world in which telepathy is accepted and a panther can walk alongside a human, check out my books!

MftBS: Who are three of your favorite writers & why?

Oh wow, this is SUCH a difficult question!! I’m a huge reader and have so many favorites. Here are three (but really, I need a whole page to list them all!)

JD Robb – love, love, LOVE her In Death series. I’m really in awe of how she’s kept the Eve/Roarke relationship interesting despite the fact that the two of them are now married.

Anne McCaffrey – her Pern series, & her Tower and the Hive series are just amazing blends of sf/fantasy and romance. The way she builds worlds, creates these wonderful relationships, it’s something extraordinary.

Jayne Castle (actually Jayne Ann Krentz in any of her guises!) – I really enjoy her characters and how they interact. Love her alpha heroes, especially when they’ve convinced everyone else that they’re beta. Yeah, right!

MftBS: What is your oddest habit while writing?

Hmm, sometimes I listen to music in other languages. I might not know what it means, but if the tone works for me, I’ll listen to it.

MftBS: Last but not least…what tidbit of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) would you like to share with my devoted, die-hard fans?

Well, I have a book out this month – it’s called CARESSED BY ICE and it’s about an icy Psy assassin that I just know you’ll love. On reader said that the hero was “so dominant, so controlled, so Icy Hot that he gave me hot flashes” . Oooh la la!

If you want to read extended excerpts of all the books in the series, check out a free short story, or go Behind the Scenes, swing by my website:

Also, just for fun, you might want to check out this quiz to see which Psy/Changeling hero is for you:

Friday Interview with… Lori Armstrong

 This month I’m totally jazzed to be bringing Lori Armstrong your way.  I read BLOOD TIES and was totally over the moon for it, so of course grabbed HALLOWED GROUND, and am now anxiously awaiting my Amazon delivery of SHALLOW GRAVE!  Lori’s writing is just phenomenal, and it’s no small wonder that she was nominated for the prestigious Shamus award for her series, and then won Willa Cather Literary Award.  In a word…WOW!With no further ado…I bring you Lori Armstrong!

MftBS: What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as an author?

Besides getting that all important first contract? And then holding my first book in my hand like a newborn babe? I’d have to say when I recently won the 2007 Willa Cather Literary Award for Best Softcover Fiction. I was stunned, because I’ve been nominated for other awards this year and last, and lost every damn one. I attended the banquet, and let me tell you, it’s a whole lot easier to sit there and choke down your chicken knowing you’ve already won, rather than waiting to hear you’ve lost (which has also happened to me numerous times!) and having to smile when you want to cry or curl up in your room and slam tequila.

MftBS: If you were trying to describe your work to a new reader, what would you say?

Gritty. Dark. Sort of sexy with a thread of humor. I’ve been told the South Dakota setting is an equally important character in the books as any flesh and blood person. My protag, Julie Collins, is a tough tough broad, who’s been knocked around by life – and by various men – and she still manages to be feminine, to come out on top, kicking ass and taking names, yet she has a vulnerable side she shows only those closest to her, but that is a catch-22 because she is damn hard to get close to.

MftBS: Who are three of your favorite writers & why?

Dennis Lehane – because his writing is beautiful and lyrical and every book is a study in how to create a masterpiece.

Sue Grafton – the Godmother of modern female PI fiction and the creator of the fab Kinsey Milhone series.

JD Robb – the “In Death” series is the single best series out there in any genre for me. Period. The way she’s shown Eve’s, as well as Roarke’s character growth throughout the 26 books is amazing and a masterclass in storytelling. The secondary characters add to – rather than detract from – the leads. Robb manages to make the plot important in every single book, unlike some long running series where plots begin to suffer or are simply nonexistent.

MftBS: What is your oddest habit while writing?

I’m normal. I write every day. I take care of the hubby, house and kids. I do some stuff online. That said, it really depends on how far behind I am. If I’m pushing a deadline to the last minute, I’m pretty much MIA from my real life. So far the girls have stuck to the “don’t bug Mom unless you’re bleeding” rule when it’s crunch time. Which means, I live on caffeine, but energy drinks have the opposite effect on me than they do on most folks, so I’m guzzling coffee, Diet Mt. Dew and Diet Pepsi. My husband throws the odd candy bar into our bedroom to appease me.

Umm. That didn’t really answer the ‘oddest’ question, did it?

How about this: rarely do I write anything new on my main computer, I work upstairs in my bedroom on a stone-age laptop without internet access. It keeps me writing instead of goofing off online.

And another one, I single space everything, and keep chapters in separate documents until the book is completely done. Completely. I’m fanatical about it. Only when I’ve written “the end” do I combine the chapters into one document and apply the publisher’s required format. Even if I have to submit a partial, I double space it to send it off, then the document immediately goes back to single space until I’m finished with it.

Ooh, I’m such a rebel, huh? I wish I could say something interesting like I only eat organic or orange food while I’m killing folks and planting bodies…but alas, I’m…boring.

MftBS: Last but not least…what tidbit of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) would you like to share with my devoted, die-hard fans?

If you like strong, realistic female characters, plenty of plot twists and turns, the occasional sex scene, and aren’t offended by rough language and content, then my books are for you! Run! Don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and demand these books -BLOOD TIES, HALLOWED GROUND, SHALLOW GRAVE – from the Two-time Shamus nominated, Willa Cather Literary Award Winning author, Lori G. Armstrong!

Fantastic Interview Friday…Jill Monroe

To start with, thanks so much for everyone’s kind words on and off the blog about August’s family.  They still don’t have word if their neighborhood survived, but we’ve got our fingers and other body appendages crossed.

Now, for the fun stuff!  This is an older interview (from last year), but Jill has another new release coming out, TALL, DARK AND FILTHY RICH, so I thought now was the perfect time to bring her interview back to life!


This month we’ve got one of the hottest new authors on the Blaze scene.  Her first book, Never Naughty Enough, was a Temptation, and now she’s launched into the even steamier stuff with a bang!  With no further ado, meet Jill Monroe!

 MftBS: What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as an author?

Oh gosh, so many.  I think my favorite thing is to talk to people who read my book and liked it.  For so many years I just wrote for myself that to know I brought a smile to someone’s face, or took their mind off that root canal it really makes me happy.

Making an appearance on Neilson’s Top 100 Romance Book Sales for a week (I made 89!) – that was a HUGE rush!

MftBS: If you were trying to describe your work to a new reader, what would you say?

Eclectic!  Honestly, I don’t think any of my books are remotely similar – unless you count the sexy.  And ducks.  Ducks are in every one of my books.  My first published book, Never Naughty Enough, is a short, humorous read.  My second is a suspenseful and much more angsty.  My next three contracted books are also all different from each other.  But still with ducks.

MftBS: Who are three of your favorite writers & why?

The first one is easy – I ADORE Gena Showalter.  Since she’s my critique partner I’m thrilled to be able to read her work first.

Karen Marie Moning is on my autobuy list – I’ve stayed up all night reading her sexy paranormals.  Judith McNaught is the author that got me through Graduate School.  I’d reward myself with a book of hers after a particularly grueling test.

MftBS: What is your oddest habit while writing?

I am addicted to Diet Cherry Coke from Sonic.  I don’t write unless I have one nearby.  I also really like to do laundry while writing.  Something about the sorting, folding, hanging up really makes me itch to get back in front of the computer.  I also think the monotony of the household chore lets my mind rest and my subconscious get to work!

MftBS: Last but not least…what tidbit of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) would you like to share with my devoted, die-hard fans?

Well, I’d love people to come drop by my blog.  I have a lot of fun doing that and try to post at least once a day during the week.

  And now, it’s my complete pleasure to introduce you to Rachel Vincent, whose scalding new urban fantasy hit the shelves about six weeks ago…try STRAY, you’ll LOVE it!!

MftBS: What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as an author?

Being an author is pretty cool in itself, but so far, my first sale was pretty much the highlight. And getting mail from readers who liked the book. That’s amazing!

MftBS: If you were trying to describe your work to a new reader, what would you say?

My writing is dark, and sometimes gritty. My characters all have room to grow, and I love watching them discover things about themselves-and each other-that neither of us knew existed.

MftBS: Who are three of your favorite writers & why?

 Steven King. I’m a huge King fan, and I own nearly every book he’s written. The man can write anything. Horror, fantasy, romance. It doesn’t matter; he’s good at it all

I also love Kim Harrison, for dark fantasy, and Faye Kellerman, for mysteries. But lately I’ve discovered so many new writers that the list is ever-expanding.

MftBS: What is your oddest habit while writing?

Hmmm. I’m not sure I have any odd habits. I don’t print my manuscripts, though. At all. I do everything-proofreading, note-taking, and rewriting-in Word. My editor even lets me email in a list of changes during the line edits.

MftBS: Last but not least…what tidbit of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) would you like to share with my devoted, die-hard fans?

I’m on-line all the time. I have a blog, a LiveJournal, a MySpace page, a website, and a Yahoo group, and I’m active on them all. I love to hear from readers, and I write back to every email I receive, even if it takes me a little while to get caught up.

Fantastic Interview Friday…Suzanne Brockmann

  This month y’all are in for a fabulous treat…Suzanne Brockmann, author of the *hugely* popular SEAL series books has agreed to chat with us!  Those of you who’ve perused my book reviews know that I adore her work, and the totally true-to-life depiction of our military men and women.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a female author who can delve into the male psyche quite so deeply and believably as Suzanne, so when she agreed to this interview, I was just a smidge jazzed <g>!

Without further ado…Suzanne!

MftBS: What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as an author?

Suz:  The sheer thrill of holding a book that I wrote, a book with my name on the cover (!!!) in my hands is pretty cool — even after having written more than 40 of ’em.  But I have to say, the coolest thing, IMO, is hearing readers talk about my characters as if they’re real, living, breathing people — the same way I’ve been talking about my favorite fictional characters (Jim Kirk and Spock, and Buffy and Angel and Willow and Giles) for years.  I also really love meeting readers — both via email and face to face.  It’s just undeniably cool when a reader makes an effort to tell me that my words, my stories, my characters have touched them in some way. 

MftBS: If you were trying to describe your work to a new reader, what would you say?

Suz:  Even though my books are considered Romantic Suspense, what I really write are action/adventure romances.  If bookstores were amusement parks, my books would be the roller coaster, not the haunted house ride!  <g>  Despite my plotlines featuring counterterrorism (I write mostly about teams of Navy SEALs), my books are extremely character driven.  My goal as a writer is to make readers care about my characters.  I want you-the-reader to come on a journey with my characters — to laugh and maybe even cry with them as they face personal hurdles and make that ultimate human connection with another person, as they fall in love. 

MftBS: Who are three of your favorite writers & why?

Suz:  Number one, hands down, has to be Joss Whedon — the creator of what I consider to be the best television show ever:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I’m also a huge fan of his shows, Angel and Firefly.  The man can not only write in terms of story, character development and dialog, but he really understands the power of a story arc.  (I write using long-term story arcs, too.)  Interestingly, I didn’t discover Joss until recently, until Buffy was released on DVD — which is a great way to watch episodic TV, IMO. 

Next would be Carla Kelly, who writes Regency romances for Signet.  I just love her books — she writes wonderful characters.

Ooh, only three is so hard… 

I’m going to have to say Dean Koontz is number three.  (At least he’s holding that slot today!  LOL!)  I’ve got to give him that honor for writing a book called ODD THOMAS, which, IMO, is a perfect gem of a book.  Again, it’s all about his characters.  He writes great characters.

I’m also a fan of Alesia Holliday and Virginia Kantra and Virginia Ellis, who wrote another perfect gem of a book, The Wedding Dress.  I rarely read books twice, but I read The Wedding Dress pretty much once a year. 

Robert B. Parker, William Goldman, and Jack Schaeffer, who wrote another gem-book:  Shane.  (I just couldn’t leave them out!  LOL!)

MftBS: What is your oddest habit while writing?

Suz:  LOL!  Jeez, I dunno…  I guess it’s that I sometimes mutter bits of dialog as I’m writing to hear what it sounds like when spoken aloud.  That and running my hands through my hair.  It gives me a total mad scientist look.

MftBS: Last but not least…what tidbit of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) would you like to share with my devoted, die-hard fans?

Suz: I’d like to remind readers that my book, BREAKING POINT, is available in hardcover.  And that Ballantine has recently reissued both OUT OF CONTROL and OVER THE EDGE in paperback, with a special “Try it, you’ll like it” low price.  Oh, and that last year’s New York Times bestseller, HOT TARGET, will be out in paperback in November.  Last but not least, visit my website at !

Fantastic Interview Friday…Merline Lovelace

Well, since I ran out of locations (at least until I visit another fun/weird one *g*), I’m going to slip to something a bit different.  In my monthly newsletter (Musings from the Blonde Side), I interview folks whose stuff I’ve enjoyed tremendously.  This week, I’ll be replaying Merline Lovelace’s interview.  Merline is a fantastic friend, mentor and chapter sister!  And for those of you who haven’t signed up for my newsletter…you get not only this cool insight into an author’s work/thoughts, but also a chance to win a $10 Amazon or Fictionwise Gift Certificate every month!!


Wow…this month I’m totally honored to have author extraordinaire Merline Lovelace visit with us.  Merline writes about pretty much everything, from her totally true-to-life depictions of modern-day military heroes to “oh my gosh” historicals.  I can guarantee that you’ll adore any book you pick up by Merline, and her newest trilogy, centered around PI Cleo North is no exception. As a retired Air Force Colonel, Merline obviously knows her stuff, and it comes through so vividly in her writing that it’s enthralling. Ladies and Gentlemen…Merline!  

MftBS: What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as an author? Well, let’s see.  This is sorta cool… When I was researching my military thriller LINE OF DUTY, the local base invited me along on an orientation flight aboard an AWACS.  Just after we took off there was an electrical fire aboard the aircraft.  The pilot declared an in-flight emergency, had to jettison fuel, and brought us down on a runway packed with crash vehicles.  I admit to being just a tad nervous, but took LOTS of notes.  Even managed to use most of them in the book! On a more positive note, the neatest thing about being a writer is the ability to travel to the most exotic spots in the States and around the world researching.  I’ve set stories in Malta, Copenhagen, Panama, Bermuda, Hawaii – just about every place we’ve visited. 

MftBS: If you were trying to describe your work to a new reader, what would you say? I’d say I write books that feature men and women who understand the concept of Duty, Honor, Country – whether they’re wearing the short skirts of a Roman Centurion or a USAF flight suit. 

MftBS: Who are three of your favorite writers & why? Only three?  Goan!!!!   How to choose… I love Georgette Heyer for her fantastic character studies.  I first read her in 1967, during summer break from college.  My older sister was home with her kids while her husband was in VN.  I got her hooked on GH, too, and she and I drove to all the libraries in western Massachusetts hunting down books, which we’d read while curled up in a booth at the local pizza joint.  That summer was wonderful!!! I also love Mary Stewart.  I think My Brother Michael is one of the best romantic suspense novels of all time. Of course, I devour every Nora Roberts book as soon as it comes out.  That woman can create knuckle-biting tension with just a few well-chosen words and, oh, those steamy love scenes!!!!  

MftBS: What is your oddest habit while writing? Actually, my oddest habit comes after writing.  When I’m in the last phase of a book, research material, correspondence, and just about everything else gets stacked up to the rafters.  So after I pop a manuscript in the mail, I have this ritual office-cleaning.  I never dreamed I’d look forward to — or enjoy – cleaning so much! 

MftBS: Last but not least…what tidbit of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) would you like to share with my devoted, die-hard fans? 

Only that I’m thrilled the Cleo trilogy is doing so well.  I had such from with her and Jack and very much enjoyed returning to my air force roots.  It’s great to know other folks are enjoying the series, too.