Mya, tell us about your books.
My latest book is paranormal romance called ‘DarknessBound.’ I wouldn’t really say that it crosses genres but it does travel between the realms of humans, sorcerers and demons. In a way this is more of a ‘message’ book than anything that I have ever written. The main character, Malice is half-sorcerer/ half-demon but being raised by the supposed side of good, she throws her lot in with sorcerers to defend the earth realm. With a superior talent for energy binding, Malice becomes a valuable warrior for the cause. When a mission to hunt and destroy demons goes too far, she draws the line at destroying an infant demon. Furious, she leaves the council of sorcerers that have been her family.
The book finds her several decades later catering to urges of paranormals by various means of bondage. Rather than hunt down demons and supernaturals after they commit a crime, Malice uses her powers to calm their urges to prevent them. Ignoring the worlds around her, she believes that she has found a neutral balance.
Until Naeem, the demon whose life she saved so long ago returns to shake her every foundation.
Now, my blurb writing skills or lack thereof aside, this novel does possess a May-December romance, Malice being several decades older than Naeem. It also makes a statement about mixed-race/species issues. Malice struggles with being raised as a sorceress and finding a home amongst demons. Needless to say Malice’s ability to bind adds a slight BDSM flavor to the text.
How do you come up with ideas?
I meditate a lot and day dream constantly. Many of my stories are products and subjects of my mental wanderings. I get inspirations from movies, photographs and music. I trained as a painter so a ton of my inspiration is based on visual themes, a postcard or a specific set of colors. I still have certain images branded in my brain that yearn to be woven into stories, like several of Mapplethorpe’s photos, Virginia O’Keefe’s paintings and Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed,’ the multitude of monsters in that film was highly inspiring!
What is the single most important part of writing for you?
The most important aspect of writing is just getting the material down on paper. Once I have pages, then I have clay with which to mold and shape otherwise known as edit, cut and add. Every page is a small victory to me as I am an absolute masochist when it comes to beta readers and editors. I don’t mind seeing red cause it tells me when its dead…corny I know.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I’m a craftsman at heart and to me writing is a craft a lot like weaving. All of the parts have to be interlaced, constructed to build one solid form that can hold a myriad of ideas and fantasies. I enjoy trying to make the metaphors and similes cater to the theme, to achieve the right balance of world creation and character development needed to achieve the sound basket.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
I would love to be the type of person who can plan out a book from start to finish. I would work sooo much smarter and get so much done. Unfortunately, I am notorious panster, who plots by whims and what ifs, trial and error. Even when I attempt to do an outline, I always veer off course and go on tangents.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
The most important lesson I learned from writing my first book is to be persistent. Seriously, I am stubborn about completing a manuscript. No matter how distracted I get, I try to stay the course and work on one manuscript even though other ideas are knocking hard on the door. Persistence is a good trait to have, when you get rejection letter after rejection letter. I had certain manuscripts that didn’t sell, and ended up in the free read category of my website. But all together, just refusing to give up or give in was a valuable lesson.
Would you consider self publishing?
I most certainly would not. My grammar is shaky at best and my punctuation is suspect on any given page. I enjoy writing and telling stories, but the mechanics of editing, polishing and promoting weigh me down. I highly applaud those people that can self publish, but with a full time job, I just want to get my stories on the page and into some semblance of a novel.
How many hours a day to you spend writing?
On a good day, after work, I try to spend at least four –five hours writing, completing edits or doing some sort of promotions. On the weekends if I’m lucky, I can get in maybe six hours but that doesn’t count distractions such as gaming and well…gaming.
Is your muse demanding?
My muse is a narcoleptic drunk. I am certain of it. Sometimes it rants and raves about what I should write and then other times it’s passed out in some dark, dank bar. There are times when it propels me to contemplate what the proper shampoo for a werewolf might be and others when its face down doing the Conan in some platter of fried pub food. Many a night I have threatened it, complained to and about it, but then it comes staggering back with a “you really should write this.”
Are your stories plot or character driven?
All of my works are character driven despite my nefarious plans to tell a grand message. I fixate on a character and run with the hundreds of possibilities, motivations and quirks that drive them. It’s my curiosity about how my characters would react to certain situations that drives my fiction. However, my propensity to get caught up in characters often leads to a lot of scenes ending up on the chopping block. Do I like to ramble about what kind of shampoo a werewolf might use or the convention scheduling of a paranormals conference…hells yeah!
How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?
It’s extremely easy and difficult at the same time. I work a full time job so of course when I get home I would love to spend all evening writing, ignoring family and friend obligations but that is so not possible. The desire to be so selfish and hermitlike appeals to me so often I have to fight it. And I must say that my friends and my furry kids do all that they can to make me socialable. I feel grateful that I can eek out the time I want to write but like a child with ice cream it doesn’t stop me from wishing I had more time. Hence the lottery pipe dreams where I can quit my job and spend all my time writing.
What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?
Honestly, I do have an idea for a book about a waitress at a paranormal diner. I was a waitress, the world’s worst, during my high school years and boy did I have some stories to tell. I would imagine a waitress at an alternative diner would have a few as well, serving werebears hash and eggs; a plate of raw eggs for a Serpentoid and raw steak for vampires…Uggh, yes I often feel more like a paranormal write than a romance writer.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
It depends on whether you prefer Fm or MM actually. A Guardian’s Desire would be my recommendation for a Fm reader in that it embodies all that I love about strong, dominant female characters and freakish, badass monsters! Obedience Training would be my starter choice for the MM crowd as it touches upon my love of big man/little man fiction and of course…freakish, badass monsters! All in all, I love my monsters!
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
Honestly, I just hope my readers enjoy the world’s I create. I hope that they are entertained first and foremost. If they can pull a message from the text then it’s a win but I just want them to enjoy the fantasy as much as I.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
I am a rabid fan girl of Neal Asher, a British Sci-fi writer who has world building skills that would knock even Star Wars out of the park. I read everything the man publishes and that I can attain from royal post. Another favorite of mine is Brian Keene, an American horror writer who literally terrifies me, but I can’t put his books down no matter how gory, over the top or creepy they are. I must confess I hardly ever read romance.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
Farming Monsters Since the 1970s
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
If money were no object and I had lots of it, I would probably move to Canada, to Vancouver. Why? Because a ton of my favorite SyFy channel movies are filmed there, the lakes and rivers are cleaner and I prefer cooler climates. I would have a nice rambler with a cat sanctuary on the premises.
What song would best describe your life?
The Cure- “The Same Deep Water as You” would definitely be the title of my soundtrack. I am constantly obsessed with the hurdles I place before myself.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
I would be a new age store that sold trance music, candles, jewelry, essential oils, spices and herbs. I would sell paintings and pillows and homebrew wines. There would also be a small section devoted to Godzilla memorabilia.
Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with bacon and pineapples.
I'm always ready for a rave- I absolutely love to dance.
You'd never be able to tell, but I am a fan of Godzilla and a recovering World of Warcraft addict.
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