Friday, October 17, 2008

Tea for Two - Shelley Munro

Please welcome my special guest this week, Shelley Munro, as I grill her about her new release from Samhain Publishing, Tea for Two.
Over to you, Shelley!!
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, spending her time writing hot and spicy tales for Ellora's Cave and Samhain Publishing. You didn't really believe the bit about being an explorer/treasure hunter, did you?

Book link: Samhain Publishing
Can you tell us a little about your book, Tea For Two?

Tea For Two is a contemporary romance and also my debut title for Samhain Publishing. The heroine reads tea leaves and gets herself into all sorts of trouble when a few white lies take on a life of their own. Oh, and there’s also a very sexy hero, a one-night stand and some spicy loving along with a little humor.

How did the idea for the plot come about?

I collect ideas—newspaper clippings, articles from magazines, Internet links, travel brochures and DVDs on topics that grab my interest. Whenever I start a new book I think about the type of characters I want, the possible settings and then I head to my idea box. It’s full – in fact, I either need to write faster or get another file box!!

With Tea For Two I started with fortune telling, tea, and London. I usually toss the ideas around inside my head for a few weeks along with possible plot themes. For Tea For Two I used secret identity/famous person/one night stand and hey presto, my story was born.
I love sale stories (ok I am just nosy) so can you tell us about your road to publication – and your call story?

I wrote for six years before I sold. Mostly I targeted Harlequin lines but I kept getting rejections. My writing is on the light side, usually with an alpha character and a quirky heroine. The stories I wanted to write just didn’t fit, and I have the rejections (filed in a folder) to prove it.

I continued to work and started what I call my “hope in the mail” process. This is where I worked really hard to get several submissions to agents and editors in the mail, and each time a rejection came back, I sent my submission (or another one) back out. That way I continued to have “hope in the mail.”

I started to submit to e-publishers and on 2nd January 2004, I received an email from New Concepts Publishing saying they wanted to publish my paranormal story called Aislyn. I vaguely remember shrieking. My husband came running. The wee dog came running.

“What’s wrong?” hubby demanded.

I stuttered and stammered so much he couldn’t get much sense out of me. I remembering checking that email several times during the day because I couldn’t believe it, but it was true. I had sold.

And the good thing was that my “hope in the mail” process really paid dividends because I sold several manuscripts really quickly. I sold to Medallion Press and Ellora’s Cave one day after the other. My husband is a sweetie and we had many bottles of wine to celebrate.

We are all about the love here, so please share your fave books, movies, TV shows or current fantasy squeeze (it’s all in the line of research)

I’m all about cowboys and the wild West at the moment. Maybe it’s something to do with my recent trip to the US – I’m not sure. I’m anxiously waiting for Lorelei James to release another of her contemporary Western romances (very hawt men) and she also writes mysteries under the name of Lori Armstrong. I did a Fishpond order last week and I can’t wait for my package of books to arrive.

Hubby and I visited Deadwood during our trip and we’re currently watching the series on DVD. It’s not for the faint of heart since the language is shocking and it’s a bit gruesome in places, but we’re finding it fascinating. I’m in lust with the actor who plays Seth Bullock in the series, Timothy Olyphant . It’s his brown eyes. They’re very intense and sexy.

Funnily enough, I’m also into country music at the moment and Tim McGraw has caught my attention. Yep, tall, dark and cute, and he can sing as well. ;-)

And finally, before I went on holiday I watched a series called Wildfire. There’s an actor, Eric Winter who plays a cowboy called RJ Blake on the series (his character actually dies). He is very inspirational when it comes to the hero department. He also appeared on Brothers and Sisters as Jason McCallister, Kevin’s gay minister lover. I liked him in that, too. Yep, inspirational is the word…

What are you working on now?

I’m working on book seven in my feline shapeshifter series for Ellora’s Cave—doing final tweaking before I send it to my editor. Next after that I intend to start a new contemporary series for Samhain. There’s going to be a rodeo or two—New Zealand-style and a few other farming-type things along with some spicy loving. A good mixture, I think.

How can readers keep up with your writing and books?

I have a website, which is usually up-to-date, along with a blog where I post at least five days a week.

I also have a newsletter that I send out each month. This contains all the latest news, along with contests and special chapter previews for newsletter members. You can join at my website from either my news page or my blog.

Thanks for inviting me to play at your blog, Christina!


Amanda Ashby said...

Great interview, though Shelley, I refuse to believe that you're not an explorer/treasure hunter in real life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Suzanne Brandyn Author said...

What a wonderful, inspiring interview Christina/Shelly. Are you a explorer/Treasure Hunter, surely not. lol.. Oh no... perhaps you are... but do you live these adventures through your characters. :)

Pat Posner said...

Great interview! I believed every word.
Lovely cover, Shelley. I like the title, too.

Debra St. John said...

HI Shelley! I love cowboys, too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today. Christina, thanks for inviting Shelley along!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Blast, I lost my comment somehow (such a technodope).

Loved the interview and the cover is gorgeous too, thanks.

Kaye Manro said...

Yet another fab story from Shelley Munro! I love the concept of this story. It's a great title.

Did you know there is another name for tea leaf reading? It's called
Tasseomancy. I know, I'm strange-- I do way too much research!

Anyway, good interview, Christina. And good luck to Shelley.

Helen Hardt said...

Oh Shelley, I love your "hope in the mail" process. Think I'll have to try that!!


Sara Hantz said...

Fab interview.... LOVE the sound of your new book Shelley!!

Kealie Shay said...

Great interview. I think I'll have to adopt the hope in the mail process as well.

Mon Wood said...

What a great interview! It's good to see after years of trying Shelley finally got published. There's hope for us newbies!

Cari Quinn said...

Hi Shelley. Your "hope in the mail" process reminded me of Kresley Cole's rule of 25. She endeavored to have projects on submission to 25 agents/editors at any one time to maximize her chances. Both of your ideas are great!

Terrific interview! :)

Christina Phillips said...

I love Shelley's 'hope in the mail' too!

Thanks for popping in, ladies!

Shelley Munro said...

Thanks so much, Christina, and thank you all for the wonderful comments. My "hope in the mail" method has really helped me. I'm sure it will work for you all too!

Amanda - explorer is my middle name. ;-)

sexy said...