It’s time for another blog swap and today, I’m trading blogs with Maripoza Cruz! Cruz is a sister rose and while she’s answering my interview questions here, I’ll be answering her questions at: http://mariposacruz.blogspot.com
Welcome to my blog Maripoza! What is your latest release and when will it be out?
Roar! is my latest release and it is currently available from The Wild Rose Press.
Give us a quick back cover blurb:
Focused on the bottom line, corporate paralegal Linda Underwood answers to no one. Her world is torn apart when a bear shifter turns her romantic weekend rendezvous into a desperate struggle to stay alive. Now a recently-turned shifter herself, she is determined to beat the affliction by ignoring her newly awakened beastly impulses.
After the accidental death of his wife, shifter Flynn Cromwell finds solace in a remote mountain cabin, immersed in his computer network security work. When he discovers Linda’s ravaged body near the brink of death, he’s compelled to protect her.
Can Flynn save Linda from her own stubborn nature and defend her from a vicious shifter with a taste for her blood? Can Linda soothe the beast within, even the score with her maker, and gain Flynn’s trust as well his heart?
Who’s your publisher? Do you write for any other publishers?
Both Howl and Roar! are published by The Wild Rose Press.
I love TWRP! What do you like about your current publisher?
Since both The Wild Rose Press founders are authors, the press is very writer-oriented in its focus. They have always responded promptly and professionally to my questions. Given the many authors in their house such personal attention is impressive.
I couldn’t agree more! Have you ever attempted self-publishing? Why or why not?
My novella, Mixed Blessings, published under my legal name is self-published. It is a bit of a twist on the usual adoption story focusing on the aftermath of the search. After receiving several favorable rejection letters, I realized Mixed Blessings was not a likely fit for traditional publishers due to its short length (less than 50K words).
My experiences with traditional and self-publishing have been both challenging and rewarding in different ways. I prefer having control over my own work and my future releases will be self-published.
What inspired your latest novel?
When I was six, before we left for a camping trip in Yosemite, my dad gave me a very stern lecture about bears. No bears raided our camp, but they roamed through my dreams and have resided in my imagination ever since. When I finished Howl, I knew my next story would have to be about bears.
How many other books have you published?
In addition to Roar!, I have two other books. Howl by Mariposa Cruz is published by The Wild Rose Press. Mixed Blessings by Susan Winters is self-published.
Where do you get your ideas for books?
Day-to-day life with its quirks is a great starting point. Both shifter heroines in Howl and Roar face similar struggles as their real-life counterparts (job drama, coping with co-workers). However with shifters losing your temper with a co-worker can have deadly consequences.
What are you working on next?
I’m in the draft phase of a contemporary romance, Package Deal, which centers on salsa dancing (another one of my passions).
Can you share a brief excerpt?
Widowed attorney, Liz Grant, buries her grief in a deluge of paperwork. On a rare whim she takes a free dance lesson at the club Eclipse where the mojitos are cold and the salsa is hot. She soon falls for salsa’s sultry rhythms and Patrick Cavanaugh’s sexy grin. But can Liz handle the dramatic change of tempo in her well-ordered life? Patrick has all the right moves, but struggles to keep his balance as his adult daughter spins out of control. Will their love survive off the dance floor?
What’s the one thing you hate most about being a writer?
I have a love-hate relationship with the editing process. I’m frustrated how many clunky sections surface during my initial edits. At the same time certain character nuances emerge during the editing process so it is also very rewarding.
What do you love the most about being a writer?
Whether I’m writing fiction or non-fiction, any new project is uncharted territory and I’m always amazed where the journey takes me. Being a writer means having a license to daydream.
How long have you been writing?
As a college sophomore, I published my first short story and also wrote a few articles for the school newspaper. About a month before I started my first paralegal job, my first paid article was featured in a local parenting magazine. I’ve been balancing fact and fiction ever since– writing romance as Mariposa Cruz and freelance articles and women’s fiction as Susan Winters.
How difficult was your road to publication and how long did it take you to get that first, coveted contract?
Hoping something positive would emerge from a dark time, I submitted Howl! to The Wild Rose Press on New Year’s Eve with a court date for my divorce looming at the end of January. The editor said in her response in February, that she liked the story, but it was not ready for publication. I worked on edits while getting my life back together. Several months and drafts later, I finally received a contract in October. I will always be grateful for the editor seeing the potential in Howl! and having the patience to work with me through publication. For those of you who exist in “cope” mode, lighten your writing schedule, but don’t give up. Continue your creative pursuits on whatever level you can manage and you’ll have something wonderful at the end of the storm.
What authors inspire you?
Geraldine Brooks-her well-researched novels span a variety of subjects from the Black Plague to Louisa May Alcott’s father and they always ring true in setting and in character.
Charlaine Harris-I thoroughly enjoy Sookie Stackhouse’s world of Bon Temps and its characters.
What are you reading now?
Ireland, by Frank Delaney. A traveling storyteller entrances Ronan, a nine-year-old boy with his tales. When he grows up, Ronan goes in search of the storyteller. Set in 1951, the novel is a rich tapestry of modern Irish life and folktales. Visiting Ireland is at the top of my bucket list— but for now I’ll just have to enjoy travel-by-novel until I can make the actual trip.
For more about my writing, please check out my blogs:
Mariposa Cruz: http://mariposacruz.blogspot.com
Susan Winters: http://createontheside.wordpress.com
Thanks for being here today Maripoza. It was a pleasure having you.
Mariposa Cruz said:
Lilly, Thanks for inviting me. It’s a pleasure to be here. Have to run to work, but I’ll check in at lunch.
Lilly Gayle said:
I’ve been running all day today, Maripoza. Just now getting to the blog. But hey, I got my groceries and put them away!
Having abandoned some perishables a few times myself, I’m glad you got the groceries put away. Hope you have a chance to take a breather. I’ve got to get ready for salsa. Thanks again for having me!
Rebecca Booth said:
ROAR sounds like a great read! I fell for a truckdriver partly because of his sultry rhythms, dance moves and his sexy grinI I love dancing and watching dancing shows, the people are so talented, jthe same as writers of books .. I have read and reviewed everyone of Lilly’s books and they all are amazing!
Mariposa Cruz said:
I can’t resist smooth moves and a sexy grin either! One of the things I love most about dancing is that there is always a show to watch.
Thanks for stopping by both blogs!
Mary Ricksen said:
Love the cover, it’s terrific! I hope you sell a ton. It’s always interesting to see what authors are reading as opposed to what they write!
Rae Monet did both my covers for Howl and Roar. She does amazing work. I agree, it is fun to see what other writers are reading.
Lilly Gayle said:
Rebecca and Mary are two of my favorite people. lol! Thanks for stopping by ladies!
Hywela Lyn said:
Great interview ladies – and lovely to meet you, Maripoza, even if only through the ‘ether’! 🙂
Pleasure to meet you too. The great thing about blog interviews is you can meet people all over the world (with no jet lag!)
Vonnie Davis said:
I need to buy your book just to see how you handled the bear shifters. I just contracted a book about bear shifters to Random House and worry if the storyline will ring true or be farcical. I’m off to order ROAR now. Best of luck to you. Hope you have awesome sales!
I know lots of authors like wolves and big cats, but I think bears are sexy. I had a blast writing Roar, I hope you enjoy it!
Lilly Gayle said:
Love my Roast and Toast Rose sisters. lol! Mariposa, check out http://authorroastandtoast.blogspot.com/. You might want to schedule a roast. Bear shifters would be so cool.
Mariposa Cruz said:
Sounds like fun, I’ll definitely look into that!
Niecey Roy-RomanceAuthor said:
Howl and Roar both sound like great novels 🙂 I’m published too through Wild Rose Press, but hope to publish a New Adult three book series on my own…very exciting AND scary at the same time! I work in the legal field too as a legal assistant. Love my day job 🙂 Hope to read more about your adventure into indie land, Mariposa 🙂
Always a pleasure to meet a fellow member of the legal clan. The main characters of both Howl and Roar are paralegals. Congrats on going the indie route, it can be daunting at times, but I think you’ll enjoy the flexibility. I also have women’s fiction novel (Ever After) which I hope to release later this year.