Friday, June 19, 2009

Make That Man Mine - Shelley Munro

Today I'm very excited to welcome my good friend, Shelley Munro, whose latest release from Ellora's Cave, Make That Man Mine, hit the cyber shelves earlier this week!

Shelley is generously giving away a copy of Make That Man Mine to one person who leaves a comment on this post. The winner will be picked Monday morning, US time (later for us Down Under!)

Shelley, it's great to have you back on my blog. Can you tell us whether being published is how you imagined it would be? Given the chance, are there things you'd do differently?

When I was an aspiring author, all I used to focus on was getting to the published side of the fence. Everything I did was aimed toward achieving that goal and climbing that fence. It’s funny, but I actually think life on the published side of the fence is harder and more time-consuming than anything I’ve ever done. When you’re first published there’s a steep learning curve, and the amount of promo necessary is a rude shock. It’s not an easy business, and the truth is a writer has to produce books at a fairly fast clip to stay in readers’ minds. Most people’s vision of a published writer dressing in pink, having long, leisurely breakfasts and doing a little dictation is way off course! So, long story short—no, it’s not how I imagined it would be. It’s hard work, it can be lonely and soul-sapping at times with long hours. It’s challenging, and I can’t think of a better job.

I would have started dabbling in e-publishing a lot sooner if I had my time over. Oh, and I would have started writing at a much younger age. Not that I regret the years of travel that I experienced instead of writing and rejections! *grin*

You're a very prolific writer, Shelley, and an inspiration to me. Do you write every day? Do you give yourself daily/weekly goals?

Yes, I write every day. I get twitchy when I don’t write. On the occasional day when I don’t write, I’m usually thinking about writing or plotting or doing some sort of promo. I don’t have rigid goals, although I might get up on a Monday and think, yes, I want to finish this story this week or edit a particular story to send to my editor. When I’m in writing mode, I try to write a constant 2000 words a day. I haven’t done that recently because I’m editing manuscripts, but I’ll get back to writing soon.

I know that twitchy feeling! Would you call yourself a panster or plotter?

These days I’d call myself a hybrid. I do a bit of both. I lean toward the panster style of writing, but if I get stuck, I’ll sit down and plot. Occasionally, I’ll plot an entire story. It depends on the story really.

What keeps you motivated when the writing gets tough?

Sheer bloody-mindedness. I hate to fail. If I decide to do something, no matter what it is, I keep trying until I succeed. I never give up. Some people—my husband included—would probably call me stubborn!

Is there any advice or light bulb moment you'd like to share about getting/being published?

I think the one thing to remember is not to compare yourself to other writers and worry about doing things wrong or differently. Each writer’s journey is different. There is no right or wrong way to get to the final destination of publication.

That's so true. Do you have critique partners (CPs)? If so can you tell us how you met up and your process?

No, I don’t work with a critique partner. I’ve found I prefer to work alone, although I wouldn’t mind a couple of beta readers, if anyone is interested in applying for the job *grin*

Tell us about your latest release. What can we expect?

My latest release is Make That Man Mine. It’s a paranormal story featuring a taniwha shifter. (a taniwha comes from Maori mythology and is a sort of water dragon) Oh, and it’s an erotic romance with a bit of a suspense plot.

Emma Montrose works as a secretary for a private investigator firm called George Taniwha & Son and wants to become an investigator. She also has a crush on Jack Sullivan (a taniwha shifter) and decides it’s time to make her move and go after Jack. It’s time to make that man take notice.

Jack is horrified when he learns he has to work with Emma. He’s noticed her curvy body but doesn’t want a partner. Besides, there’s a full moon on the way, and he’ll need lots of sex to keep things together and his taniwha at bay. No way does he intend to complicate matters by becoming close to Emma.

Unfortunately, the case means they need to pretend they’re lovers and have to share a room…

Here’s the blurb:

On her 25th birthday Emma Montrose decides it’s time to show bad boy investigator, Jack Sullivan she’s more than an efficient secretary. She’s a woman with needs, and she wants him.

Jack is a taniwha, a shifter, who requires women to satiate the sexual demands of the serpent within. Nothing more. Then work forces the reluctant Jack and ecstatic Emma undercover as a couple. Thrown together, pretence and reality blur generating hot sex laced with risk…

And here’s a short excerpt from the start of the story where Jack and Emma are arriving at the resort to start their investigation.

“You’re gonna have to cure the jumpiness around me. We’re meant to be lovers.”

Emma’s gaze shot up to meet dark chocolate brown eyes. Sinful eyes, she thought with an inward sigh. Those eyes could certainly lead her into sin.


“Sure, honey,” Emma said, miffed for almost giving them away. Yet she was angry with Jack too because she thought he was doing his best to show her up. He’d certainly tried hard enough to talk her out of the assignment. Emma wanted to glare but it wasn’t loverlike. Most of all she wanted to needle him. Yes, she felt like poking the man with a sharp stick to see if she could rattle him.

“How long before we get to our room?” she cooed, fluttering her lashes at him. “I need your cock inside me.” Part of Emma was shocked at her words, but the couple standing in front of them grinned at her in sympathy.

“Have you seen the contents of those goody bags the hostess is giving out?” the young woman said. A theatrical shiver jiggled her pert, braless breasts.

“No, what?” Emma asked, her fertile imagination creating all sorts of pictures. Handcuffs? Powerful aphrodisiacs? Torturous sex toys?

The woman leaned closer to whisper, “A pair of edible undies.”

“Both his and hers,” her partner added with a grin.

“No!” Emma breathed. Good grief. It would probably be like trying to choke down pills. She’d gag and throw up all over the man’s groin. All over Jack’s groin. “I hope they’re chocolate,” Emma said, waggling her brows.

“Oh, you’re terrible,” the woman said with a giggle.

So terrible that Jack’s arm tightened around her in silent warning, his fingers digging into the sensitive flesh at her waist. Emma smothered a grin. Perhaps if she kept needling him, she’d forget her nervousness.

“I’m looking forward to this week,” Emma confided to the young woman. “My honey works so hard. He’s exhausted when he gets home and most nights just falls asleep.” Emma peeked through lowered lashes to gauge Jack’s reaction. Her stomach flipped anxiously when she noticed the tic in his shadowed jaw. He looked as though he might burst while the arm around her waist tensed until it felt like a shackle. But not enough to make her stop goading him. “Too tired for good sex, if you know what I mean.”

A low growl vibrated through his chest. Emma stilled and the hair on her forearms stood to attention. Slowly her gaze rose from his broad chest and traveled up his neck, across his rigid jaw and collided with eyes the color of onyx.

“We intend to make up for that, don’t we, sweetheart?” His flashing eyes promised retribution when they were alone. “Can’t have you saying I can’t get it up often enough to keep you satisfied. Wouldn’t want you to wander to greener pastures.”

Oops. Perhaps she’d pushed a little hard.

Catch up with Shelley over at her blog, website and MySpace

Don't forget to leave a comment to go into the draw!!!

Link to Shelley's Tea for Two Interview


Shelley Munro said...

Hi Christina - thanks so much for having me to visit today! :)

Mon Wood said...

Love the cover! Very hunky hero (a shirtless hottie always gets my attention :-)

Shelley, I find it interesting you said it gets harder after you're published. A few authors have said that to me, so I'm trying very hard to enjoy the learning process without the pressure of a deadline/contract obligations!

All the best with your writing, and I hope MAKE THAT MAN MINE is a big seller.

Maree Anderson said...

Oooh, great cover, Shell and even hotter excerpt *VBG*. Your perspective on being published is very do you do manage to keep the manuscripts coming? I can't remember the last time I actually wrote something new: as in, actual words in an actual manuscript, rather than a blog post. I never thought it'd be possible to be "all blogged out" but I sure am! Kudos to you for making your career work--and then some!

Can't wait to read all about your taniwha shifter in Make That Man Mine!

Emma Lai said...

Great interview ladies! Make That Man Mine sounds HOT! Shelley, I wouldn't think you'd have any problems finding beta readers.

Fedora said...

Just wanted to say hi, Shelley! Congrats on Make That Man Mine! And um, if you're taking applications for beta readers, please let me know where to apply! :)

Wishing much success and many more wonderful books for us to read in the future!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Love the cover and the excerpt, thanks.

It's interesting to find out about after a writer has been published.

Catherine Bybee said...

Ohhh look, the gangs all here! As for an applicant to be your beta reader... I'll bet a few girls over at CTR would jump at the chance. LOL. Best of luck with this one, Shelley.

J.A. Saare / Aline Hunter said...

Shelley and Christina - Thank you for sharing!

This was incredibly helpful as a writer that has recently been contracted. I often wonder about the journey others have taken toward publication.

It's refreshing to be reminded that it's okay to be different, to go at your own pace, and to stop comparing yourself to the other writers that surround you.

Congrats on Make that Man Mine and all of your future endeavors!


Isabel Roman said...

Yes, I write every day. I get twitchy when I don’t write.

I have to agree, Shelly lol. It's worse than a addiction! I love the cover, and the excerpt is great!

Alice Audrey said...

The thing about being a published writer, though it may be more work, is that now you can tell people like your husband to back off because you're working.

BecK said...

Great interview and excerpt Shelley.

I can't wait to read this book.

Helen Hardt said...

I've told you this already, Shelley, but I love the concept behind this story. Can't wait to read it!


Shelley Munro said...

Hi Monique - Definitely enjoy your journey to publication and use it to learn and experiment as much as you can. Although writing is hard it is rewarding and well worth the effort.

Maree - it's easy to get caught up with promo etc. I know I don't do as much as I should. I have another release on 1 July and started thinking about promo last night while I was in bed. I decided that I'd do as much promo as I could and keep it to the things I enjoy. I tend to focus on writing the next book and getting a backlist. With epublishing it's essential to have a backlist to make good money.

I'm rather found of this cover too. BTW - I have my newest cover for my Sep release on my blog today.

Shelley Munro said...

Thanks, Emma. :)

flchen1 - thanks. Email me at the contact address at my website and let me know what you like to read etc. :)

Shelley Munro said...

Debs - I enjoy hearing about writer's journeys too. Every one is always a bit different.

Catherine - good idea. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for popping by.

JA - thanks. I think that trying to compare yourself to another writer can bring out the green monster if you're not careful. It's better to choose your own path and walk tall.

Shelley Munro said...

Isabel - LOL, it's a terrible feeling and is definitely close to an addiction!

Alice - quite right. Hubby is and has always been very supportive. I'm very lucky in this regard.

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Bec - thanks for stopping by. :)

Helen - thanks very much. I think different is good!

Caffey said...

Hi Shelley!
I want him to me MINE!! I so love that title! Know that all you do to get these stories out is appreciated. And I end up too gobbling up them in a day when you work on them so long! I did love your interview and how you got to where you are today! Huge congrats!

Suzanne Brandyn Author said...

It's great to see such a hunk on a cover. Yum Scrum! :) lol Also, I loved reading about your daily life as a wrtier. Oh, but not comparing to mine. It's good to see how other authors, writers, set their goals.

All the best with your new release, and your new publisher.

Suz :)

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Cathie,

Syneca did a wonderful job on this cover. She's done most of my recent covers and I've claimed this man as mine. You're too late :)

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Suz! Learning how other writers work always fascinates me too. We're all so different in the way we write.

Cari Quinn said...

Loved this interview, Christina and Shelley! Shelley, Make That Man Mine sounds delicious and I can't wait to read it! Best of luck in your future endeavors. :)

The Brunette Librarian said...

LOVE Shelly!!! :) Her books are always awesome...and the excerpt?? pure magnifique!

rachie2004 AT yahoo DOT com

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Cari - thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

Rachie - thanks so much! You've made my day. :)

Unknown said...

I couldnt wipe the grin of my face as i read the excerpt. i cant wait to read the whole thing.
i'd like to thank you for being honest in your interview, it was nice to find that i am not alone in many aspects and i hope i can be as good a writer as you.
i have been interested in the e publishing side and i feel safer hearing your confidence.
thanks again

Unknown said...

oops, sorry- typo. SHELLEY. lmao

Shelley Munro said...

Kerri - I think writing is a bit like a pair of jeans. One size does not fit all. We have to try on several styles before we find the perfect fit. I love epublishing. I love the quick turnaround, and it's an excellent training ground if I want to change directions at a later date. The thing is (as with everything) do your research first. Go in to any writing situation armed with knowledge and you're less likely to go wrong. Happy writing.