Ooo, I just love dragons. Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest book.
A: Not a Dragon’s Standard Virgin is about a woman who must either face being a dragon’s sacrifice or find a way to lose the virginity that makes her eligible to be eaten. Isabelle isn’t a woman who stands by and lets people make decisions for her, but to give her innocence away before marriage is a big deal in 1547 Scotland. She’d be reviled and outcast, and she has to decide if that’s a fate worse than death.
Where were you when you got your first book contract? Who did you tell?
A: I was at home getting ready for New Year’s Eve. I was really nervous about it because it was my first romance novel I’d ever written and I had doubts about its quality. When I got the contract, I called my best writing friend, my husband, my other writing friends, and anyone willing to listen, lol.
What draws you to write your genre and sub genre?
A: I’ve always been a sci-fi/fantasy reader since I discovered Anne McCaffrey, and I loved the idea of creatures other than humans having stories. When I realized there was a genre for just such creatures in romance, I jumped on it. I love odd critters in love, lol.
Do you have any tips for new writers?
A: Never give up, never surrender. One of the best quotes I saw was “a professional writer is merely an amateur writer who never gave up.” It stuck with me. The only way to become a best seller or a household name is to keep writing and keep publishing – oh, and have a good critique group/editor.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A: Cake, pure and simple.
Where can your readers reach you?
A: Website: http://siobhanmuir.com
Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/u/0/118081545120488658410/posts
Are you working on another book?
A: LOL Yes, I’m always working on another book. Not a Dragon’s Standard Virgin just came out this week, and A Hell Hound’s Fire came out at the beginning of April. The second in the Cloudburst, Colorado series will be out in June/July, and I’m in the middle of finishing up The Navy’s Ghost, a Menage a’ SEALs romantic suspense which should be ready to go in September.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share?
Isabelle sighed a little as the stranger gave her a view of his broad back, and she had the odd urge to see if it was as heavily muscled and powerful as she guessed.
Bloody hell, lass. Focus on what you’re doing.
“Welcome to the Careless Wench, good sir. Are you lookin’ for a pint?”
“To be sure, but also for a warm bed. Have you one of those as well?” The stranger’s voice painted images of comfort, contentment, and far more lustful things in Isabelle’s mind.
“Well now, I may have one for you at that. Isabelle!”
She set down her cloth and straightened her skirt before answering her father’s summons. She could feel the violet gaze of the stranger on her, and it made her skin tingle, but she kept her own eyes on her father’s chin.
“Have the extra rooms been cleaned since our last guests?”
Isabelle wanted to snap at him that of course they’d been cleaned, but it would only irritate her father. Usually she liked nothing more than to needle the philandering prick, but she made herself play the dutiful daughter in front the elder and the stranger. She wouldn’t give them a reason to select her for the Virgin Sacrifice until she’d secured her ineligibility.
“Aye, Father, they have been cleaned.” The beautiful warrior met her eyes, and everything heated as if she’d caught on fire. How could one look do such things to her?
“Very well.” Her father narrowed his eyes and grunted with suspicion, but he turned to the stranger with a smile. “There be a free room at the top o’ the stairs that should suit you well enough. Say five coppers a night with supper.”
“Done.” The warrior reached beneath his plaid for his belt pouch, but his gaze returned to Isabelle. “How much for a bath? It’s been a long road between them.”
Oh, Lord, why does the idea of this man bare tease me so?
“Three coppers, four if you want some of my wife’s special soap cakes.” Her father always pandered Elizabeth’s soap cakes for no other reason than to get extra money out of people. The soaps smelled heavenly, though, and her stepmother made them from fresh herbs, improving everyone’s scent. “They cause a healing, they do. Best soap cakes in the Highlands, I warrant.”
The warrior chuckled, and his laughter sent a shiver up her back. He could laugh around her any time he pleased. The timbre of his amusement made her think of the richest velvet sliding against her skin. She clenched her teeth as her womb tingled, and she shifted her legs to relieve the ache. Dear Goddess, perhaps she’d already become no better than a brazen hussy if his laughter could get her wetter than a soft Highland rain.
“Four coppers it is, if I can have it tonight.” The warrior’s brilliant blue eyes fastened on Isabelle as he smiled, creasing the edges of his mouth upward. She wanted to kiss them.
“Very well. Your name, sir?”
“Be welcome at the Careless Wench, Master Swift. I’m Joseph, the tavern keeper, and anything you need, you have but to ask.”
Her father waddled his way back to the bar, maneuvering his bulk into a crouch with a guttural grunt. Isabelle often wondered how her stepmother could stand the fat bastard. Joseph fished around under the counter as Master Swift and Isabelle followed, and she took lascivious pleasure in ogling his backside.
“Here it is.” Joseph rose and handed Isabelle a key. “Take Master Swift to his room and see that he has enough linens and towels. And tell Martin to fill the wash basin in the laundry for Master Swift’s bath. Go on, gel! Quick now, before the year is out.”
‘’Tis spring, you fat bastard. We still have most of the year of our Lord 1547 left.
Isabelle tightened her lips around the incendiary words, but she held her tongue and nodded. “If you’ll follow me, please, master.” Nodding politely, she walked past him and headed for the stairs.
“Thank you,” Master Swift said, though she had no idea whom he thanked.
Though Isabelle knew he followed, she could barely hear his footsteps over the thunder of her own heart. She sensed him behind her like a fire, and the heat burned all the way to the top of her head. An idle thought shifted through her head, making her wonder what it would be like to lie pressed against him. Would it be as warm as she felt just walking in front of him? She took a deep breath as the blood rushed to her face, heating her skin, and she thanked her lucky stars he only saw her back.
Get a hold of yourself, lass! She mentally slapped herself. Have a little decorum. You can’t just throw yourself on him.
How did you come up with the title?
A: Actually, the working title was “Double Standard” because I’ve always been frustrated and disappointed in the cheers/jeers men and women get respectively for having sex before marriage. Isabelle would be reviled for having sex with someone before marriage, even to save her skin, but any of the men in her village could sow a few wild oats and no one would think badly of them. It’s still alive and well today. Even other women get catty about it to their female friends. So when the story developed more, I changed it to Not a Dragon’s Standard Virgin because she isn’t standard, she doesn’t cry and whine, and she’ll take care of her own problems, thank you very much.
Do you work on one project at a time or mulitples?
A: To stave off writer’s block, I work on several projects at a time because the muse will write, just not always on the same project day after day (unless I’m close to the end/deadline).
Is there one particular thing that you find challenging about writing?
A: Promotion is challenging because it can suck you in and you never get any writing done. And if you don’t have another book coming, all the promotion in the world won’t matter in the long run.
Who is your favorite author?
A: I have several, but I’ll only name a few. Cara Michaels, Silver James, Cat Johnson, Deborah Coonts, Lila Shaw, and Gem Sivad.
What are you reading now?
A: I just finished The Duke’s Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley, and I’m in the middle of Still:Long, Slow Tease by Ann Mayburn. It’s hot!
Are your characters a reflection on you or anyone you know?
A: I suppose all my characters have aspects of me (I can’t make them believable if they don’t react the way I think they should), but they are their own people, even if just on paper. I did model Fredrick MacGregor from Her Devoted Vampire after a hot guy I know, but only his looks.
Do you use more than one pen name? Why?
A: Currently, I only have one pen name. If I chose to write a completely different genre like fantasy or science fiction, then I’d write under a different name.
What do you do to get in the mood to write?
A: Sit my butt in my chair, turn off social media, and open a word document. It’s all about taking advantage of the time I’m given. With two young kids, I have to write when they’re at school or I get swamped.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you like to be and why?
A: Honestly, I’d like to be a dragon shifter. I’d like the opportunity to learn anything I wanted (and have the longevity to do so), breathe fire, and fly. I guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with hang gliding and helicopters.
How many books have you written? How many have been published?
A: Seven I’ve written and finished, four I’ve published, with two more on the way this year.
Do you have a favorite character from one of you own books? Who and Why?
A: No, not really. I like all my characters for their different quirks and abilities. Isabelle is a fiery red-head who won’t just roll over and let the men decide her fate. Bridget is NOT impressed with Fredrick’s overall mystique and handsome face. Julianna really likes Jeff, but won’t just let him take liberties just because he’s the Alpha werewolf, and Sarah will battle a hell hound just to save her son. Each one is different, but has things I really admire.
What is the easiest and hardest thing about writing?
A: Easiest thing is writing the story down. Hardest thing is going back through and editing it to be clear, concise, and grabby (meaning it hooks the readers and holds on tight).
Do you find love scenes difficult to write?
A: You know, I used to. Writing a love scene always came out mechanical the first time and I used to berate myself with the old adage “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” So therefore, “No sexual arousal in the writer (when writing), no arousal in the reader.” It used to depress me. But I can always go back and fix a love scene, and I’ve gotten better at being present the first time, so I don’t have to fix too much when I go back through it.
Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?
A: Yes, some of them.
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
A: Depends on the length of the story and the drive of the Muse. I think on average it takes me about two to three months of consecutive writing to finish.
Do you set timelines when you’re writing or write when the feeling hits you?
A: I don’t have a lot of time with two young children, so I get about 3 hours in the mornings while my youngest is at Kindergarten. I write like the wind at that point because between homework and chores, I don’t get much done in the afternoons.
Do you characters talk to you?
A: Yes they do and it’s the most amazing thing. The first time happened to me in Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack. I had no idea what Jeff Lightfoot, the hero, would do when he visited the heroine for a cup of tea. She asked him to say and Jeff said he should go. There was a period of about a day while I waited for him to tell me whether or not he’d leave. For the record, he stayed.
Who controls the storyline, you or your characters?
A: My stories are often character driven, but because a lot of my stories come in dreams, I have a basic outline of what’s going to happen. I just have to let the characters tell me how they’ll react to any given situation.
What is your writing day like once you start a book?
A: I first get the basic ideas down. My stories often come in dreams, so I have to sit down and write out the dream before it disappears out of my memory. This becomes a basic outline that I refer back to when writing. Then I allow myself a little time to promo and interact online, then I hit the keyboard and see what comes out.
Do you promo your backlists when you’re writing a new book, or dedicate your time solely to writing?
A: I promo all my books all the time. Why only depend on word of mouth from others? If I’m not talking about my books, how can I expect others to do so? Granted, I don’t hit it as hard as when the books first come out, but I promote about my writing, and that includes all the books that are out.
How many books do you write in a year?
A: I write three to four books a year. Someone once asked me why I take so long, but it’s not really the writing that takes a long time, it’s the self-editing, the editing from my critique partners, and then the editing from the publisher. I never submit a first draft to anyone.
Thanks so much for sharing this with us!