Friday, August 26, 2011

Shelley Munro and Lone Wolf

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
When you fall out of step, that’s when everything falls into place.
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…
Product Warnings
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.

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 and you might even find her lurking at Facebook or Twitter

Barnes & Noble:


marybelle said...

If I were fortunate enough to meet you or any other much loved writers I think I would be so tongue tied, I'd end up standing there like a drooling idiot unable to from words into speech.

Best we don't meet face to face I think.


Maria Zannini said...

I'd ask: what's Plan B?
What would you do if you weren't a writer?

Mary said...

Interesting question...I think I would ask how do you come up with some of the love scenes in your books. I've read books where there were bits of serious naughtyness, a little S&M or dominance/submissive type things going on and wondered how authors come up with this stuff. Do you ask people in that lifestyle questions or is it completely made up from your own mind?

Sara York said...

I'm so happy to have Shelley here today with me. Thanks you all for coming to visit her on my blog.

Bookwyrm369 said...

I'm always interested to know how authors come up with their ideas :-) Especially for writers with a ton of books, how do you keep the stories fresh and interesting?

smaccall AT

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

The art of writing is one I love and admire. As an author I can imagine that info that can't be found online or from one's own knowledge. I guess my question is:
Has there been a subject or idea that was the most difficult to research and has said subject matter been truly uncomfortable for you?
Thank you so much for sharing your writing and life with us...*S*



Angela Brown said...

LOL! @ the moment of pause after telling them you write erotic romance.

If I asked you a question, it would probably be what else would you like to write?

Confession: I worked with a great group of folks a few years back and we had a small team event where we all anonomously wrote down one thing about ourselves that no one would suspect. When we got to mine, everyone pointed a finger everywhere, except toward me. I quietly raised my hand and admitted to being the one to self-pub an erotic novel. We could have made an eyebell soup the way they popped out of everyone's head from surprise.

Awww....good times.

Shelley Munro said...

Marybelle - LOL - I'm a bit quiet and shy in a social situation. I'd probably be stuttering and tongue-tied along with you. I remember meeting Sherrilyn Kenyon and blurting out that I loved her books. She was so gracious and is such a lovely lady. I ended up with my book signed and a button badge. I'll never forget how nice she was.

ClaudiaGC said...

Oh man, I probably would have no idea what to say! lol I think I would need to do a bit of small talk first and then come to the important questions.

claudigc at msn dot com

Shelley Munro said...

Maria - that's a really easy one. If I had my time over I would have gone into the travel/tourism industry. You know how much I love travel. Being paid to travel/talk about travel seems like a good idea to me!

Shelley Munro said...

LOL Mary. You would ask THAT question. In all honesty, I think writers write their books after doing a lot of research - talking to people in the field, book research and a little personal experience sprinkled in. The Internet is a wonderful tool, and most groups have communities. If they know you are genuinely interested they're very open to questions.

Shelley Munro said...

Sara - thanks for having me to visit! I really appreciate it :)

Shelley Munro said...

Bookwrym - I think that writers are very curious people. We ask lots of questions and let our minds wander down some very strange corners. When we go for walks or visit new places we see good places to bury bodies!!
I'll always remember embarrassing my husband on an Air New Zealand flight from San Francisco. We hadn't taken off yet, and I was flicking through the inflight magazine. I came across an ad for a vibrating condom.

"Oh, look!" I said. "A vibrating condom! I wonder how they make them? We should buy one!" My husband was busy trying to shush me. "It would make such a great story," I said.

"You should be quiet and plan your story." He had his grumpy face on, so like the good wife I am, I obeyed.

The viewing of the ad turned into my book Fancy Free - the story of a woman who inherits a condom company.

Shelley Munro said...

Darcy - when it comes to my writing not much embarrasses me. I'm quite driven. I'm currently researching BDSM as it's something I've never written and it fascinates me.

People and other writers are always very generous when it comes to sharing information. While writing can be a lonely occupation, the online comrarderie is just amazing.

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Angela - I've experimented with most romance genres. One thing I haven't written is steampunk, and I'm dying to give that a try.

I also like strewing dead bodies through my stories so mysteries and suspense are probably a natural fit for me!

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Claudia,

I guess the questions depend on the writer too. If I go to a booksigning I try and think of a few questions beforehand because I usually get a bit tongue tied like Mary :)

Chelsea B. said...

I would ask.... After you write the book, what's next in the process?
Congratulations on your new book release!


lisagk said...

I would have so many questions and all of them the same as anybody else asks, I'm sure.

ruby95660 said...

Great excerpt! I loved following this blog tour and I'd absolutely love to read this book!


Shelley Munro said...


Once I've written the first draft I try and let it sit. Next comes the polishing, which can go quickly or it might take a couple of months. When I'm happy with the story I might send it to beta readers and then on to one of my editors. Toward the end of the process I'm already thinking about the next book, and the process starts again.

Shelley Munro said...

LOL Lisa. Thanks for stopping by.

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Ruby. I'm glad you've enjoyed the tour.

Sandra Cox said...

This sounds like a great read, Shelley.

Shelley Munro said...

Thanks, Sandra :)

N.J.Walters said...

Love the cover of Lone Wolf, Shelley. And if I ever met a favorite romance writer in person I'd probably be tongue-tied. lol