Please welcome Lila Munro to the blog today!
Did you always want to be an author? What made you choose to write romance?
I can remember wanting to write since I was old enough to know what words were. Funny little story, when I was growing up I wanted to be John Boy Walton. That must have been my first tendencies that people were people not to be separated by sex, color, sexuality…I didn’t want to be a boy, I just wanted to be a writer and he was so he was my role model. It wasn’t long after that declaration, Santa left a toy typewriter under the Christmas tree for me. Why romance? Honestly, I just sort of fell into it…it found me, if you will. My husband is a Marine and after yet one more move, I found myself unemployed and not looking to be employed again for who knew when because the economy was in the tank. I took to being a full-time stay home wife and liked it. My husband agreed it suited me and a few months into this new role, I resurrected the writer who’d been hiding in me for a very long time having been back-burnered my entire adult life. It just happened the first thing my muse dictated was a contemporary romance, The Executive Officer’s Wife. It stuck.
What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?
What’s not to like? I get to do what I love all day. I create worlds where anything is possible, love overcomes all, and everyone does what I say without argument. And people pay me to do it!
Tell us a little about your book. What inspired you to write it?
Assumed Calling is actually the fifth and final installment of the Identity series. If I may be so bold, the inspiration part actually comes in where I decided it was the last book. I’ve watched a few of my favorite series go the way of the Tidy Bowl man as of late and I knew I wanted my series to end on a positive note and go out with a bang. I think I managed that and so much more as a new spin-off series will emerge next year as a result.
At the seasoned age of fifty-six, Allen Bourke has resigned himself to the fact he’ll probably never find someone to top he can also love. While he’s had wives and lovers, none of them endured and he’s come to the conclusion the clock’s ticking and age is working against him. Then a very intriguing Nicki Cartwright pings on his radar at what Allen determines will be his last house party. He can’t help but notice while he and his friends are getting older, the players emerging on the scene are forever getting younger. Nicki's no exception. Determined to resist the vibes humming between them, he only agrees to service her after his old friend, Kyle Montgomery, convinces him it's entirely feasible. Then it’s brought to Allen’s attention who Nicki really is. Knowing their pasts are forever intertwined, as hard as he tries to ignore his heart, he finds himself yielding to the tides of fate.
Born to senatorial royalty, Nicki Cartwright has spent her entire life trying to shield her mother from her father’s wrath while drifting further and further into a world where panic is normal and anxiety is always on the edge of her reality. Tired of burning the candle at both ends and forever trying to live up to the picture of All-American perfection her father James Cartwright touts as his ace in the hole during election cycles, Nicki finds herself on the path of self-discovery in search of relief from the stressors continually swamping her mind. What she doesn’t expect is to find who she thought she was is truly just a shadow of the person she really is. And what scares her most is the fact Allen, the only person she thought she could trust, has been holding a secret since before she was born which could destroy her entire family.
“Mom’s not with James in Vermont,” Nicki blurted as if she’d been holding the information for so long it was about to eat her alive. “In fact, she’s been out of the public eye for a while now. So far my father’s handlers have been able to convince the press she’s been away visiting family or busy writing her memoirs in private while they’re on vacation. The truth is, only one of those numbers is my therapist. The rest are her doctors. At Cedar Ridge…” She trailed off, a tear rolling down her cheek to meet Allen’s right thumb as he stroked along the corner of her mouth. “She’s an inpatient. He finally ran her crazy and she’s being treated for a psychosis and chemical dependency on prescription meds and alcohol.”
“Can I have something a little stronger? Than water?”
Nicki’s seemingly innocuous question came back to mock Allen. Although there were no signs she was hooked on anything in her apartment, not all addicts failed to hide the evidence. Some were closeted so carefully nothing short of a complete breakdown outed them.
“And you? Do you share your mother’s problems?” he asked.
“I’m not a drunk and I don’t pop pills,” she snapped, anger overtaking her features and overshadowing her fear.
“I wasn’t trying to offend you, Nicki. But I need to know these things. I like you, but we can’t play if I don’t have all the cards face up and I’m too old to allow some things into my life no matter how much I like someone. So if there’s anything I need to know, now would be a good time to spill it. And. I. Mean. Everything.”
Do you plot and outline or do you just write? Plotter or Pantser?
I always laugh a bit when asked that question. It is my personal opinion that writers sort of grow into what they are. At first, many moons ago, I was a die-hard plotter. A book didn’t get started with a flow chart, a graph, an outline, a pie-chart. You name it, it had to be done scientifically and to a T before the first word was uttered. Then I had a dry spell about a year ago. I struggled and gnashed teeth, but then one day on a whim, my muse started talking and I let her have free reign, not one note was taken, not one graph drawn. The result of that was Three for Keeps. And while it’s been one of my best-selling titles to date, there are things I know I could have done better had I been in more control than the muse. Since then, I’ve come to a happy middle ground. I have dubbed myself the world’s first Planster. I start off with outlines, loose outlines. And character sketches and a few facts, then I see what happens. If a character says, hey try this, I listen. But I have an initial plan.
Can you tell us about the process of getting your first book published?
Gosh, I’ve not talked about that in a long time and it seems so long ago, even though it wasn’t. Of course my first title was The Executive Officer’s Wife and what I didn’t know I didn’t know. I got a yes right out of the gate from a small press and was scared to death. It was the only press I sent it to. I figured either I was that good or that bad. As it turned out I was somewhere in the middle and not satisfied at all with the results. After a year, I pulled the title and it’s now re-edited and in its second edition. It did much better the second go around and has become one of my readers’ favorites.
What advice would you give new authors? What have you learned about the business?
Hone your craft, buy a dictionary and don’t rely on spell check, listen to your editors and your readers, and find your niche and focus on it. As far as what I’ve learned. This business is brutal and social media is the devil. Use it properly or avoid it altogether or it will be your demise as a writer.
Do you have another book in the works?
I have several lined up. I just sent A Slower Lower Leap off to my editor, book three in the Slower Lower series. I almost have Private Impropriety complete and ready for edits. It’s the second in the Private Collection. And of course I have the Steele Image series coming next year.
What do you like to do in your free time, besides read and write of course?
I embroidery. I know, a dying art. But I really enjoy it and it helps me wind down after the day is done. I also garden, take care of a couple of four-legged kids, walk, spend time at the beach, and pine away for my husband as he’s away so often.
Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs
Cookies or cake? Neither, I’m on a sugar-free diet.
Good for you! I do not have that kind of self-control.
Pizza or hamburger? Hamburger
Beer, Wine, or mixed drink? Mixed drink, Royal Flush to be exact.
(Hero/Heroine Character Questions)
What were your first impressions of each other?
Allen: When I first laid eyes on Nicki something primal snapped inside me and I knew I had to avoid her at all cost. You see, I’m thirty years her senior and I didn’t want to pursue her and ruin her life. Obviously my first impression won out and we’re now married.
Nicki: Allen scared the shit out of me, honestly. I was looking for exactly what he had to offer and when he happened along I did a sanity check. And the more I fought my feelings the deeper they ran.
What are your plans for the near future?
Nicki: Give Allen lots of children. And somehow work that around my career as a concert pianist and music teacher.
Allen: Keep Nicki happy. I’ll also be helping my long-time friend Kyle Montgomery with a couple of his upcoming missions in the Steele Image series.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, Salvation, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, and the Identity series. She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2012-2013 and has a brand new line scheduled for winter 2012-13.
Ms. Munro loves to hear from her readers and can be found at:
Realmantic Moments: http://realmanticmoments.blogspot.com/
You can also contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Lila is giving away a Godiva Chocolate Gift basket to a lucky commenter at the end of her tour! Be sure to say hi and leave your email! Who wouldn't want a box of chocolate truffles?
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