Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Welcome Guest Author Maree Anderson

Hi y’all,

First up, a huge thank-you to the lovely Roxanne for having me here at Fang-tastic Books. I’ve been here before and had a wonderful time, so I begged her to let me come back.... And she’s such a sweetie, she couldn’t say no ;-)

I recently organised a poll where I asked commenters about their new book promo likes and dislikes. Interestingly enough, the majority of commenters are like me: they enjoy reading interviews where the author shares a little bit about themselves and their writing process. So rather than sticking to a traditional “here’s some stuff about my book, here’s the blurb, here’s an excerpt, hope you like it!” format, I thought I’d ask my newsletter subscribers and the charming LIST forum ladies to send me interview questions, and I’d answer them here at Fang-tastic Books.

Here’s what they wanted to know:

Q: Have you always written paranormals? And did you set out to be an erotic romance author?

When it comes to paranormal or fantasy elements in my stories, I just can’t seem to help myself. It must be the way my brain’s wired—scary thought! So yes, I’ve always written paranormals or fantasies. I do have an idea for a contemporary story with absolutely no weird stuff, but I’m not holding my breath for it to end up “normal”, LOL.

As for the erotic romance aspect? Believe me, I wouldn’t be writing erotic romance under my real name if I’d set out to be an erotic romance author! I’d definitely have some fabulously awesome pen-name, instead, LOL.

I’ve always just written “romance”—anything from YA, to sweet, to hot. I got the opportunity to be an erotic romance author when I spotted a call for entries to Red Sage’s Alpha Male Novella Contest, and decided to write something for it. I submitted Even Demons Get The Blues and wonder of wonders, it was a finalist and I was offered a contract! And I’ve loved working with my Red Sage editors so much that I’ll continue to write for them as long as they want me.

Q: How did you come up with the titles for your Red Sage novellas?

With Even Demons Get The Blues, it was easy. Take one jaded, 6000-year-old Drakon demon, who’s the last of his kind and fed up to his fangs with all the political crap that comes with being the demon king’s enforcer, and stir. Do demons even get the blues? Oh yeah. In my version of hell, they certainly do, LOL. Poor Rezon. He really was miserable until he found Leisa.

Let Sleeping Demons Lie was a different process. I was actually researching sayings about cats, because the heroine of this story is Naamah, a felinoid demon. And in the course of surfing various websites, I came across the well-known saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie”. And that got me thinking about a scene I intended to write, where Naamah first encounters Brennan, a lion shifter. She’s lying unconscious under a tree, and everything about her is a lie. So sleeping dogs became sleeping demons, with the added benefit of “lie” having two meanings ;-)

Q: What was your inspiration for your first published novella, Even Demons get the Blues?

In the TV series, Saving Grace, Grace is a cop who’s not a “good” girl by any stretch of the imagination. She’s heavily into booze and cigarettes, and she’s having an affair with her married partner. But Grace isn’t irredeemable, and her strength and vulnerability and determination really impressed me—even if I did want to wince, and smack her upside the head for some of her antics! So I decided to take a risk and write heroine who’s not at all a “nice” girl. Hence, Leisa, the heroine of Even Demons Get The Blues.

Q: Let Sleeping Demons Lie is the second novella in your Demons series. Can it be read standalone?

Absolutely! I couldn’t resist bringing back a couple of characters from the first novella. Most notably Asmodeus, the demon king. He’s become somewhat of a reader favourite, and I’ve had multiple requests for him to have his own story. I have no idea why readers like him so much. Could it be because he’s such a sarcastic, dreadfully amoral, painfully handsome devil? ;-) Leisa, the heroine from Even Demons Get The Blues, also pops in to put a spoke in Asmodeus’s devious plans.

And of course I’m hoping that readers will go back and read Even Demons Get The Blues because they’re curious about how Leisa became so powerful, considering she used to be human, and what Naamah did to get Asmodeus so riled in the first place.

Q: We love Asmodeus! When is he gonna get his own story?

Soon, I promise! I’m just waiting for him to pull some truly heinous stunt so I have an excuse to punish him as he so richly deserves ;-)

Q: If you could be one of the characters in your books, who would it be, and why?

I think I’d like to be Calista, the heroine of my recently contracted novel-length space opera, From The Ashes. Why? Well, she has her own space ship—awesome! And what woman wouldn’t want to encounter a gorgeous alien hero with an, er, added extra? (I can hear certain people in the know sniggering—hush, you lot!)

Q: When you start on a story do you just keep writing as the inspiration/ideas come to you, or do you jot them down in an outline and go from there?

I have a concept involving couple of characters in mind, a beginning scene, an ending, and everything in the middle is pretty much a surprise! That said, I have just completed a novella that was fully outlined. But it’s turned out to be a little heavy on plot and secondary characters, so I’m about to tackle a rewrite. See what happens when I plot? LOL.

Q: We love the humor in your books, and reviewers have commented on this, too. Do you consciously plan the fun stuff, or does it just happen?

Cross my heart, it just happens. I suspect I’ve got a huge store of inner snark just waiting to be liberated—perhaps it’s genetic? I’m not sure. But since I spend most of my time sitting in front of my computer, I take my snark out on my characters and force them to deal with it. It’s much more socially acceptable that way ;-)

Q: Tell us three things personal things about yourself!

I’m a Kiwi (New Zealander). I love really dark chocolate, good coffee, and excellent wine. And I suspect I’ve got what you Americans like to call a “potty-mouth” *hangs head in shame*

Q: You’ve mentioned that your characters often taken over and do some surprising stuff. Tell us about that.

Well, in my current wip, Kat On A Hot Tin Roof, I sure didn’t plan for Kat, the heroine, to be an interior decorator. She was supposed to be a lawyer, and I’d done a heap of background research, too, darnit! But she didn’t think much about that plan. So I ended up tossing the research and going with her chosen career, LOL.

I’m always getting in trouble with my secondary characters when I write novella-length fiction. For example, Kat’s grandmother organises a moon-hopper race up at her retirement village, and ends up spraining her ankle when she bounces right off the thing. And the sheriff and his deputy just about fall off their chairs laughing when Kat brings in yet another item that her cat has stolen. Did I plan any of that? Heck no! And ultimately, that last scene will have to go to make way for some more hot stuff between Kat and the hero, Jace. I’m hoping I’ll get to keep the moon-hopping old folks, though *VBG*

Honestly, when characters want to do stuff, I always let them. Naamah ended up with her own story because I had to scale back her scenes in Even Demons Get The Blues, and I couldn’t bear to leave her hurting after Rez and Leisa found their happily ever after.

Q: How do you figure out your characters’ physical characteristics?

Unlike some authors, who use pictures and photos as inspiration for their characters, I just have a hazy picture in my head, and I work from that. I don’t like to get too specific upfront, because my characters just write themselves as they want to be portrayed.

Q: Can you share some information about your new release with us please?

Let Sleeping Demons Lie is a May 1st Red Sage Presents release. Here’s the blurb:

Naamah’s been stripped of her everything—her memories, her demonic powers, and her clothes!—and dumped in a savage wilderness. She believes she is human and has no idea that non-humans even exist—just as well, considering that she’s got a phobic fear of Lycans and the man who finds her is a Lion shape shifter.

Brennan is a Prime, that most alpha of alphas, and he has no time for demon females—not when he can crook a claw and any Lycan female he chooses will come running. Even though he suspects the woman he’s named “Kitten” is not what she appears to be, he lays claim to her body… and her heart. When they’re ambushed by sadistic were-hyenas and Brennan is severely injured, Kitten’s only chance of saving them both is to reclaim her demonic heritage—even if it means revealing her true self and losing Brennan’s love.

You can also read a couple of excerpts on my website:

And if you’d like the chance to win an electronic copy of Let Sleeping Demons Lie, then please simply leave me a comment or ask me a question—I love answering questions! I’ll draw one commenter at random, so good luck, and I hope you enjoy Brennan and Naamah’s story.


Maree Anderson
(writing as Maree Anderson *g*)

For more information on Maree and her writing, check out her website at http://www.mareeanderson.com/

You can buy a copy of Let Sleeping Demons Lie at http://eredsage.com/store/Let_Sleeping_Demons_Lie__Maree_Anderson.html


Maree Anderson said...

Forgot to mention in my post: feel free to suggest a fabulously awesome pen-name!

Heading off for some zs -- it's 11pm here in NZ. So I'll catch y'all in a few hours.


Lilly Cain said...

Hey Maree - Loved the interview! Of course you know I loved Even Demons Get The Blues. :)

You're right - it is always interesting to me to hear about how authors get their inspiration and their writing process. Thanks for sharing yours!

As for a pen name, sorry, but I have no idea! Although you could always log into one of those sites where you pick your hooker name. Most of those would do, LOL


Chris R said...

LOL. I emailed you a possible pen-name.

Great interview!

H Maree Davis said...

Hi Maree,

While I totally get wanting a truly fabulous pen-name, I think your real name is pretty fabulous already.

Of course I might be biased. . .

H! :)
H Maree Davis

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

Great interview and your picture begs the question, "How many wigs do you have?". I have a personal obsession with constantly changing my hair color and I must say the pink is striking.

Miranda ~ SweetVernal Zephyr

Rosie said...

Hi Maree, thanks for stopping by today. I enjoyed reading your interview. You are a new-to-me author, so I'm excited to read your works!! :-)

Sherry said...

I haven't read any of your books yet but I plan on getting them soon. I really enjoyed your interview and your books sound very good.


Leigh D'Ansey said...

I'm really intrigued by the sound of Let Sleeping Demons Lie. I've never read paranormal but I think this would be a great start!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Maree!! Fabulous to see you here! And LOL on your potty mouth! I have to say that though I discourage my children from using such language (and I freely admit that I was stunned that my kids already knew the words, though not what they meant), strong language tends to amuse me. Perhaps I was really meant to be a sailor ;p

Leigh, do pick up Maree's books--they're a wonderful treat! Even if you don't think you'd like paranormal, her stories are soooo worth reading!

Hmm... pen name? Calista Kiwi :D

No, really, just ignore that--naming is not truly my thing! ;)


Estella said...

I can't wait to read Kat On A Hot Tin Roof. Kat's cat steals things????

Enjoyed the interview.

Maree Anderson said...

Lilly -- thank you, sweetie! Must check out that hooker name site...just for fun ;-)

Chris -- Amie, huh? *wracks brains for schoolgirl French* Doesn't that mean "friend"? Nice!

Maree -- LOL! Yes, I do like your name, for obvious reasons. Did we have smart mothers or what? ;-)

Miranda -- hey, thanks for stopping by! That's the only wig I own and I bought it at the Erotica Expo. The vendors sold wigs for SFX and movies, so they were excellent quality. Just couldn't resist the color -- it really pops! And as I'm allergic to makeup and often feel like a frump -- not to mention that in photos I always look half asleep -- the wig is a great prop! I envy you being able to color your hair, BTW.

Rosie and Sherry, thanks heaps for stopping by and leaving me a comment -- mwah! And I hope you enjoy my books. Be interested to hear what you think of Asmodeus, the Demon King. He seems to be a reader favorite and I'm often asked when I'll write his story.

Leigh -- hi there! A paranormal newb, huh? Awesome! So many wonderful wonderful paranormal authors out there to choose from. If "darker" paranormals are not your cup of tea, then I have a very light, funny paranormal coming out toward the end of the year with Red Sage -- they made me an offer for Kat On A Hot Tin Roof...yay!

Maree Anderson said...

Fedora -- Calista Kiwi? ROFLMAO. AWESOME! And I try to confine my potty mouth to my books but occasionally something slips out and the kids giggle and I'm totally mortified. And thanks for the lovely comments about my books -- BIG HUGS!

Estella -- Kat On A Hot Tin Roof was such terrific fun to write and I really did hope it'd make people smile. Evidently I succeeded, coz my editor said she was having THE WORST day and yet she kept giggling and laughing all the way through. That's the best feedback ever, I reckon. And Kat's cat "appears" to be the culprit but there's a bit of a twist which shocks the socks off of all the characters except Grandma ;-)

Cathy M said...

Hi Maree, what a great interview. I love your humor, and judging by the excerpt, the shifter storyline and your humor will make this book a total treat to read.


Just signed up for your newsletter today.

Maree Anderson said...

Hey, thanks for the lovely feedback! Reviewers are always commenting about my humor -- but sometimes I wonder if it's just because I'm a Kiwi and everything I write sounds a bit weird, LOL.

And you signed up for my newsletter? Kewl! Promise I'm not a serial poster, LOL. And don't forget to email me your address and I'll post you an Even Demons Get The Blues bookmark *g*

Andrea I said...

I loved the interview and look forward to checking out your books.

Isabel Roman said...

I'm kind of jealous you can write humor. I'm pretty good at one liners and sarcasm, but sustained humor? Not so much.

Love the questions, they say a lot about you. I don't really have one to ask, just some admiration over a new author for me to read!

Maree Anderson said...

Andrea -- thank you! And I hope you're not disappointed with my take on Demons and shifters. There are so many wonderful shape-shifters out there already, that I was a bit worried about writing one of my own. But I think --hope! -- the characters and the world I've created do the genre proud.

Isabel -- Thank you! I feel blessed to have someone admire me as a writer -- that's just competely off-the-charts awesome!

BTW, I don't believe that I did humor that well until I wrote a story in 1st person POV. I got told I'd really found my voice in that one. Sarcastic and mouthy? Who me? Evidently so, LOL.

And although I consider Let Sleeping Demons Lie to be quite "dark" people are always commenting on the inherent humor. Perhaps it's my way of lightening the tension and getting through the "bad" stuff.

But up until Kat On A Hot Tin Roof, I was definitely more into the sarcastic retorts and pithy one-liners for my heroines type of thing. I wasn't intending Kat to be a full-on romantic comedy, it just turned out that way! I guess it was all just "in there" waiting to come pouring out.... which is quite suprising considering where my headspace was at the time!

If you want to see if you can write sustained humor, then might I suggest trying something new? I always like to try different things with my writing--just to see whether I can "do" a particular thing. And you never know: a change in POV might well unleash the fun-beast in you!

flchen1 said...

You can also always play with parts of your name...

- MA Allure
- Maree Starr


Maree Anderson said...

OMG, Fedora, you are reeeally good at this! Now if only I'd had you round when DH talked me into publishing erotic romance under my own name -- because he'd already set up my website and figured it made sense. Doh.

flchen1 said...

LOL! That's a practical hubby for you, Maree! Hey, I think it's fabulous either way--we get to read your books, so whatever name you write under is a-OK here! :D

Beth said...

Enjoyed reading the interview.
Love the sound of Let Sleeping Demons Lie. Adding it to my wish list.
Do have a question. What is the proper pronunciation of Naamah? I have trouble sometimes getting into a book if I keep trying to say the name of a character in my head, not sure if I've got it right.

Maree Anderson said...

Hi Beth,

Thank you for your kind words and your excellent point about pronunciation. I'm exactly the same -- drives me batshit crackers up the wall if I can't get my head around the way it's supposed to be said.

Naamah is actually the name of a demon, and (as I found out after I'd written her as a demon) a biblical name, too. So here's the biblical pronunciation that I go by and hear in my head:


And I will put the pronunciation on the My Books page of my website for future reference, too!

booklover0226 said...

I've had Maree's works on my "must have" list ever since Even Demons Get the Blues! I can't wait to read Let Sleeping Demons Lie.

Tracey D

Maree Anderson said...

Hi Tracey! *waves at ya from NZ*
Thank you, sweetie! I hope you love reading Naamah and Brennan's story.

Maree Anderson said...

Hi everyone,

I just thought I'd pop back to say a huge thanks to Roxanne for hosting me and to all of you who popped in to chat with me. You made me feel very welcome!

I've just drawn a commenter at random -- got the whole write the names down on bits of paper and stick 'em in a floppy sunhat thing going on *VBG*

And the winning commenter is:


Congrats, Leigh! You've won a copy of Let Sleeping Demons Lie and I'll email you shortly. I hope you enjoy Brennan and Naamah's struggle to find their Happy Ever After!


flchen1 said...

Thanks for hanging out, Maree! And Leigh, you're in for a real treat!!

mbreakfield said...

LET SLEEPING DEMONS LIE sounds great. I love shifters!