I had the pleasure to read Ms. Martine's Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage. Now for your pleasure I have brought her over for an interview. Please check our the book review here.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the great state of Tennessee. I’m what you’d call a real, “Southern Belle”. Well, you might call me that if you’d had a few too many margaritas! I am from the south, raised mostly in Tennessee with small periods in Georgia and Mississippi, but I’m as far away as the typical “Southern Belle” as you can get. Aren’t they supposed to be dainty and demure, with quiet, enticing personalities? Well, there you go! It’s definitely not a description of me.
The first half of my life was pretty uneventful, with me following my childhood desire of becoming a nurse. I worked on the medical floor of a hospital for a few years, and then realized that I was more cut out for medical management than I was patient care. I followed this revelation by managing a medical supply house and DME supplier for over 12 years.
During this time I was unhappily married, and after twenty years finally got the courage and gumption to change my life entirely. I ended the unhappy marriage, and looked for ways to branch out professionally. You can’t imagine my surprise when I was introduced to the internet by a close friend, and almost immediately met this remarkably pushy, younger man. He bombarded me with romance, letters, phone calls and delivered roses until I finally gave in. He turned out to be the love of my life and we’ve been together for twelve years now. Even after all this time, he still fills my life with romantic gestures and passion.
When did you start to write? What inspires you?
I didn’t seriously begin writing until a couple of years ago, but I began playing at writing back in 2003. I was in the recovery process after suffering a series of strokes in 2002. The strokes had left me unable to communicate verbally for quite some time. It was a fluke that we figured out that I could type my thoughts, even when I couldn’t speak them. It was so frustrating, to know what I wanted to say in my head, but not be able to make the words come out my mouth.
I was unable to work in the medical field, or any other field, after the strokes. I was bored out of my mind, and began reading romance books by the dozens. I could lose myself in the stories, and take myself into other worlds, worlds where I didn’t have physical or mental limitations. It was great for a while, but it wasn’t enough for me. My loving husband could see that I was depressed, and needed a reason to carry on with my life. With that in his mind, he started goading me into writing my own book.
He was subtle about it, for the most part. I really didn’t take him too seriously. I’d never thought of myself as artistic, or creative. I had already left nursing before the strokes, and opened my own medical billing service. I might have eventually been able to go back to my business, but the stroke left me with problems with short-term memory. It’s a problem that will, forever keep me from working outside the home again. I ignored his ramblings until he said, “You really ought to try and write your own. You’ve certainly read enough of the silly things to know what’s required, or are you afraid of failing?” Boy, those were fighting words to me…LOL I couldn’t pass up that challenge, and I began working on “Table for Three.
I think that the idea that inspires me the most in my writing is telling stories about second-chance love. The books I read helped bring romance back into my life during a very bleak period. They helped me realize that there were reasons to go on. I wished that I’d been able to read them when I was trying to decide whether to end my first marriage or stick it out. It would have made my decision a lot easier. I’m inspired when I think that one of my books might convince someone who has given up on love that there could be a second chance for happiness in their future.
Tell us about the Wolfen Heritage Series? What brought it on? Do the characters resemble people you know?
“A Wolfen Heritage” trilogy is my debut into writing erotic, paranormal romance. It’s about two families of wolf shapeshifters. The main character of book one is Remus, an Alpha to his pack, and loving head of his family. He’s known, since she was a little girl, that Maddie is his mate. Unfortunately, Maddie and her brother were brought up in ignorance. They were never told about their own Wolfen heritage, and now they’re struggling to find their way in a world that’s totally foreign to them. It’s a wonderful story filled with romance, passion, suspense and comedy. There are even a couple of surprises to keep the readers interested in following on into the next book. It has a little something for everyone. Book one is called “Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage” and is available from Siren/Bookstand right now. Book two, “Denying His Wolfen Heritage” will be out early in 2010. You might find it interesting to watch the trailer for book one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze39Y4ytiJo
I have to tell you that I was inspired to write my first shapeshifter book after I read Dana Marie Bell’s “Wallflower” in her “Halle Puma” series. Those books really blew me away! The characters are unforgettable, the story full of humor, suspense and passion. They are everything I love in a book. After reading it I was determined to create my own characters that might be just as appealing to other readers.
With the exception of my first book, “Table for Three”, I’ve never consciously designed a character to resemble anyone from real life. In “Table for Three”, Cass was in a twenty-year abusive marriage that she was finally able to escape from. She moves to start her life over and meets two younger men and gets a second chance at love. Are you seeing a pattern here ☺. She is loosely based on my own life. Did I forget to mention that my loving, romantic husband is quite a bit younger than me?? Just call me a cougar!
What are you currently, or looking to work on next?
I’m just finishing up book two in “A Wolfen Heritage” called “Denying His Wolfen Heritage”. The final book for this trilogy, “Changing Their Wolfen Heritage” is already outlined.
At the same time I’ve been working on the sequel to “Table for Three” called “Catch Her When She Falls.” I have received quite a few emails from readers asking if I was going to tell the story of one of my secondary characters, and that’s what this book is all about.
To keep everything fresh, I have to work on multiple projects. With that in mind, I’m also working on a shapeshifter, romantic suspense called “Screams on the Mountain.” There are outlines for a ménage, romantic thriller tentatively titled “She Wakes”, a romantic paranormal called “Passion from the Pen”, and a tearjerker called “Christmas in July”. As you can see, I’m a person who thrives on multi-tasking and 2010 is going to be a very, busy year for me.
What would your advice be to aspiring writers?
Give your characters life! I can’t tell you how important it is to develop the personalities of your characters before you begin. I know a lot of other writers will disagree with that, thinking it in some way inhibits them from making changes to them in the story. It’s just the opposite.
I use excel charts to create each of the main, and many of the secondary characters in each of my books. The outlines come first, so that I know what type of characters I need, and then I create them. I give them physical descriptions, personal backgrounds, and personality traits. It’s during the creation of these bios that I become personally acquainted with each and every one of them. Imagine how much easier the dialog flows when you know that John has an overbearing personality, with little sense of humor. He’s self-conscious about his weight, and secretly longs for the attention of his personal assistant. It’s easy to create the banter back and forth if you already know your character like a best friend. You’re able to get into their heads, and that’s something that’s not easy to do when you create them on the fly. It becomes a way to make your characters real to you, and to those who read your books.
What do you like to read?
I’m a very eclectic reader. I love mysteries, romantic suspense, erotic romantic fiction, paranormal erotic fiction, science fiction, and action adventure. I have to admit though, that erotic romance and erotic paranormal romance are my favorite.
What are your favorites?
Well for Action/Adventure I have always loved the Dirk Pitt novels by Clive Cussler. Robin Cook is great for hospital mystery/suspense, while nobody can beat the mysteries of Mary Higgins Clark.
For my romance books there are several, but topping the list is Leah Brooke. I was inspired to write my first book as a ménage after reading her “Desire for Three” in her “Desire, Oklahoma” series. Her books continue to be a great source of enjoyment to me. They were the original ones that truly brought romance back into my life after recovering from my strokes.
Other favorite romance authors include Diana Palmer. Her “Long Tall Texan” series is wonderful, and I have every one of them in either hardback or paperback. There’s Lacey Thorn, Lora Leigh, Maya Banks, Paige Tyler, Sandra Brown, LaVyrle Spencer, Sandy Sullivan, and last, but never least is Tymber Dalton.
For paranormal my favorites are Dana Marie Bell, LoribelleHunt, Stormy Glenn and Tianna Xander in no specific order. I’m also very fond of books by Annmarie McKenna, Bianca D’Arc, and Sandy Lynn.
Strange as it may sound, I’m also fond of reading M/M by Carol Lynne (her Cattle Valley Series is great!), and anything by D.J. Manly.
Any of these authors I’ve listed always have me first in line to buy their newest releases.
What is your favorite word? What is your least favorite word?
My favorite word is family. I didn’t have one growing up, and I yearned for one when I grew up and married. It was something that was never meant to be. I have my husband, but no children, parents, grandparents or anything like that. I have one sister, but we are ten years apart in age, and not close at all. Family is something I think a lot of people take for granted, and have no idea how much they would miss it if they didn’t have it.
My least favorite word is hopeless. I don’t believe there is such a thing, no matter what context you use the word in. Nothing is ever hopeless, no matter what you have been told, or what you might think. I’m living proof of that. I finally grew up to be a writer, after the age of fifty!
Thank you, Denisse, for allowing me to join you today for this chat. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to tell you all about myself, how vain does that sound..LOL I hope I’ve managed to spark some interest in your readers, enough that will send them to my website to check out the books I write, and maybe leave me a message in my guest book. You can find me at www.missymartine.com