Hello, and thanks to Sara for having me to visit today. Sara asked me to talk about how my characters relate to my life experience. It’s a question writers often hear. This is usually how it goes…
“You’re a writer?” Lengthy pause. “So, do you do those things you write about in your books?”
When I attend a social event and meet new people, the conversation inevitably turns to occupations. Like the Where do you live? question, the subject of occupations is a getting-to-know-you topic—one that breaks the ice. For me, this is where the conversation turns sticky because I write erotic romance. Depending on the people or the occasion, I might tell them I’m a writer. I might add that I write romance and leave it at that. Sometimes I’ll spill the truth, which after the initial pause in the conversation, leads to lots of grins and smartass comments.
Writing and the writing process fascinates people. I receive questions about publishers and books, then the next question is usually about research. They want to know if I have experience with the things my characters do during the course of my stories.
Well, no. I have a great imagination.
I mean, they wouldn’t ask a mystery/murder writer if they’d killed someone in the name of research, would they? It’s the sexual part of romance writing that causes the most curiosity. The questions always make me smile, and I’ve developed stock answers depending on the situation. If in doubt, I smile mysteriously. Other times I’ll say I have a very interesting time researching. The truth is I do have an excellent imagination, and I’m good with Google. I’m also a dab hand with the library catalogue.
Now if people ask me about the general stuff—maybe the setting or the characterization then I’d definitely have to say that life provides lots of great inspiration. I’ve set several of my stories in places I’ve visited such as Fiji, India, Australia, Britain and Samoa. And of course my visit to Yellowstone National Park provided the spark that ended up as Lone Wolf.
During our Yellowstone visit, my husband and I stayed in cabins at Tower-Roosevelt. We drove around the park, saw lots of animals including bison, pronghorn, elk, a grizzly bear and lots of birds. We took loads of photos and stopped at numerous viewpoints and thermal spots. One lasting memory was waking up and hearing wolves howling. I was very disappointed we didn’t see any wolves, but we certainly heard them. It was magical. Much of our visit and my experiences at Yellowstone found its way into Lone Wolf.
The truth is there’s a small part of me and my life experiences that bleeds into each book, no matter what the setting or theme, and I think this is the same with most writers. Life colors our perceptions and the way we look at things, and this part of us shows in hundreds of ways such as word choice, characterization, setting and sometimes the type of plot.
So, my answer to the question—do my characters have any relation to my life experiences? Yes and no.
What questions would you ask on meeting a writer at a party? You never know, I might actually give you an answer!
Blurb: Lone Wolf
R.J. Blake begins a new session tutoring young werewolves in the old ways—before the introduction of the shift-suppressing drugs that allow their kind to live secretly among humans. He expects nothing out of the ordinary. Until sexy, smart, aggravating-as-hell Corey Wilson arrives. Older than the others, son of a powerful Los Angeles pack leader, Corey is an instant temptation he cannot afford.
The last thing Corey wants is three months stuck in the Yellowstone wilderness, followed by the stifling life his father has all mapped out for him. One glimpse of R.J., though, sparks a determination to seduce the older man before he leaves. Yet as R.J. guides him through the sometimes terrifying process of rediscovering his heritage, a deepening respect calls to his artistic soul and fuels a burst of creativity.
When their time comes to an end, Corey senses hesitation behind R.J.’s insistence that theirs was simply a summer fling. Inspiring him to take a leap of faith with consequences neither of them saw coming. A dangerous plot that reaches from the heart of their love to the highest office in the land…
This book contains a young werewolf intent on seduction, an older werewolf determined to resist said seduction, werewolf politics and brutality, a little spilled blood, and hot, naked manlove in the great outdoors.
Excerpt-Lone Wolf by Shelley Munro
R.J. jerked his gaze away to focus on the two girls in the group. “What can you smell?”
The kids fell silent and tested the air with intent expressions on their young faces.
“The different plants,” one of the girls replied. “They have a strong scent, more pungent than the ones in the city park at home.”
“The dirt,” the other girl said.
Teague grinned in triumph. “Animal droppings.”
“Perfume,” Corey said.
“I can hear people,” Scott said, after they’d taken stock of their surroundings again. “Arguing.”
R.J. nodded in approval. “A family group is heading down the trail toward us.” He’d no sooner finished his sentence than four people—two adults plus two children—came into view on the track ahead of them. All were dressed casually in shorts and T-shirts, and footwear unsuitable for tackling the terrain. Their faces were flushed red with exertion. Sweat shone on their brows. R.J. stood back for them to pass. “Did you see anything interesting on the trail?”
“Nothing,” the father said in disgust. “Not a single animal. What a waste of an hour.” They continued past, talking in loud voices, a wave of chemical perfume wafting in their wake.
R.J. waited until they’d disappeared into their campervan. “They didn’t catch a glimpse of any wildlife because they spoke in loud voices, and you might have noticed their scent. Any sensible animal hid the instant they sensed them. If you want to see animals, you must move silently and blend with the surroundings. The same is true when you’re in wolf form. If I’m hunting, I’ll sometimes roll on the grass or rub up against the bushes to disguise my scent.” His gaze slid to Corey. “Corey, if you start to feel strange I want you to tell me immediately. Stopping the suppression drugs abruptly can mess with you.
“We’re going to take the trail to the summit of this peak and we’ll take a break there for our lunch. It’s not a race. We’ll pace ourselves and will stop regularly. Questions?” He noted their anticipation with approval. Succumbing to Yellowstone’s charms didn’t take long, and the transformation never failed to give him a sense of satisfaction.
Purchase link: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/lone-wolf-p-6304.html
Shelley Munro - Bio
Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.Shelley is also a writer blessed with a vivid imagination and lives with her very own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Liquid Silver Books and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at http://www.shelleymunro.com and you might even find her lurking at Facebook http://www.facebook.com/shelleymunro or Twitter http://www.twitter.com/shelleymunro
Purchase link: Samhain Publishing http://store.samhainpublishing.com/lone-wolf-p-6304.html
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lone-Wolf-ebook/dp/B0057WU6VY/ref=sr_1_6_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309857668&sr=1-6Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/lone-wolf-shelley-munro?store=book