AAD Author Spotlight: Interview with Mari Freeman plus giveaway
For my ninth Author After Dark Spotlight I welcome Mari Freeman!
Questions about AAD:
Have you attended Authors After Dark before or are you an AAD virgin like me?
This will be my second AAD. Went to Philly last year and had a blast.
What are you most looking forward to at AAD2012?
All of it! LOL I’m a con ho… really. But, for AAD, I loved the panels last year. I’ve done a lot of cons and found the panels at AAD much more intimate. Must be the smaller nature of the conference that makes it feel like I’m more connected with the readers and other authors.
Which author(s) attending AAD2012 are you most looking forward to meeting?
I got to meet Mary Janice Davidson briefly at RT a long time ago. I was such a squealing fan girl at the time. Embarrassingly so… Really. I would love to get the opportunity to talk with her and not babble like a love-struck teenager. She is really a big part of the reason I write paranormal romances. But I love meeting romance authors in general. They’re a very generous and fun loving group. And we drink a lot… so there’s that. lol
Questions about your WRITING and READING HABITS:
What did you do when you found out you were being published for the first time?
I’d quit my corporate job to write with the intent to earn not long before my late husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer. My journey toward publishing became something we worked toward together through his illness. Things happen for a reason I always say. Writing gave me plenty of time to spend with him during his treatments and I had his full support. When I got the first “call”, it was a thrill to tell him. He was not doing well and it meant a lot to him that he’d helped me achieved a life-long dream.
Of all of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite?
It’s the one under the bed, lurking among many half written stories and spiral notebooks full of ideas. The book of my heart was the first novel I ever completely finished. I was not ready to publish at that time but it I love it for what it is. The first. One day I’ll take that premise and all the characters I love out of that herky-jerky plot line and make it into something people will want to read.
Have you ever written a scene that made you blush?
I write a lot of scenes that make me blush…but only when I have to talk about them out loud.
Who was your favorite hero or heroine to write?
You’re an UF fan.. So am I. My book Birthright is a erotic UF. And my heroine is Keena. Her story was all about having to restart her life under really unbelievable circumstance (as I did when Allen died). She handled it wonderfully at one moment and bumbled the crap out if it the next, like we all do. She made a lot of mistakes but she did it all keeping her sense of self. I cried with her and laughed at her. LOL She will probably always be my go-to bad ass.
(Although my Valkyries in my new series Valkyrie’s Vow are coming in a really close second. Them’s some tough bad girls too.)
Have you ever been surprised by a reader’s reaction to a scene that you wrote – either good or bad?
I was knocked back last fall at Ellora’s Cave conference when a woman sat next to me. She was very quiet compared to the rest of the crowd at a reader party. She didn’t speak much for a while. After the party, when it was just her and a few others she told me her story. She had been in an abusive relationship and for years was afraid to leave her husband.
But she’d read all my books. She said that my heroines and their strength contributed to her finally finding the courage to get her and her children out of that situation. Imagine my surprise. I write erotic paranormal romances. I never thought that my words would inspire real people to make big changes in their lives. It was a bit humbling. And it changed the way I think about my girls as I go forward. I want them all to be worthy of that woman.
Have you always been a reader or are you like me and got turned off by the mind-numbingly boring deep and multi-layered books you had to read in High School only to ‘find’ reading again as an adult?
Undiagnosed dyslexia made high school a nightmare for me. In college I was diagnosed and learned some new ways to read and comprehend that changed my life. So, yes. My love of reading came later in life. However, story-telling was always with me. Maybe because I couldn’t keep up with the reading, I made up my own worlds. Who knows? But I have gone back to read some of the classics and enjoy them much more now.
What book do you most remember having read in High School?
I didn’t complete too many of the books assigned because of the dyslexia. I faked my way through it as much as possible. What I did discover in high school was poetry. Specifically the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe and E. E. Cummings. Their irregular use of grammar was really cool to me. And the use of strong imagery in the tight genre of poetry to tell a big story captivated me. And scared me!
Questions about YOU:
What is your favorite movie?
My movie tastes don’t really reflect my writing or my reading taste. There are so many great ones to choose from. Oh man… Recents would have to be This Means War… I mean, Chris Pine. OMG. So cute. And the blend of action movie and romantic comedy was right up my alley. I do that all the time in my books.
If you go for all time faves… Terminator, The Godfather, Shawshank Redemption, The Shining, and all the Monty Python movies. Kind of varied there, huh?
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I love all ice cream equally. Well, unless it has coconut in it…then it’s out.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I’m a swing shift girl. I get up about 8am, putz around for a little bit before heading to the gym. I come home and shower, then get started working. I stay at it until about 8 or 9pm…then I’m toast and have some wine.
Tell us something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I used to use my morgue experience to answer this question, but most people know that now. So let’s see what else I can come up with. Oh… how about dirt bikes. Yep. I used race dirt bikes. Well, RACE might be an exaggerated description. But I did ride dirt bike trails and occasionally my male riding companions would let me catch up and make it back to the trailer first…LOL. It was great until one afternoon I had a particularly nasty entanglement with a couple trees and a lot of large rocks which resulted in a concussion and large amount of bruising. No more dirt bikes for Mari.
Question about your UPCOMING RELEASE(S):
The first book in your series of short novellas, Valkyrie’s Vow, was just released on January 20th. Tell us about About to Blow and about your new series.
It’s a sexy little tale about a Valkyrie – who is kind of a junkie – and the vice cop who really gets her in trouble. In the series, I take the Norse myth and monkey with it a bit.
Here’s the blurb:
For a thousand years, Mist has shepherded battle-slain warriors to their choice of Valhalla or Asgard. It’s the task she was charged with upon her own death, the mission she chose when becoming Valkyrie. Never before has she fallen for one of those warriors. But then, never has she felt emotions like those evoked by Kurt Stone.
As an undercover cop, Kurt expected a shortened life. He didn’t expect an afterlife spent jumping from realm to realm, screwing a tattooed hottie who makes his blood boil. He should be choosing his next destination, but he’d rather spend eternity indulging in Mist’s delectable body.
The vicious betrayal that led to her death has made Mist reluctant to trust, let alone love. If Kurt can help her face ancient demons, they both might find their idea of Heaven…together.
The second book in your Hot Hard series, Hot, Hard and Hexing, was released November 18th 2011. It takes place in New Orleans! Tell us about this series and about your latest installment.
They take place in NC and NOLA. The series is about the Ambercroft sisters. They’re Halflings – Half Demon and Half Human. Being Halfling means they can’t fully shift into their Demon state, and their magical gifts are a little hinky at best.
In Hot, Hard and Howling, oldest sister Nell, finds she’s the target of a murderer who is trying to steal a very power talisman that belonged to her father. Local preternatural super cop, Trent Nicholas follows her to New Orleans to help her discover more than the clues in the case.
The second book, Hot, Hard and Hexing, the story picks up when middle sister, Sonja, decides to use the blood-magic talisman to boost her own psychic powers in order rescue a kidnapped cousin. That backfires on her when it opens her mind to a dangerous Dreamstalker. Sexy Sorcerer, Ray Burgess comes to her rescue in more ways than one when he breaks his own rules to assist her.
The last book in that series is releasing this spring (hopefully). What can we expect from Hot, Hard & Hedonistic?
Spring may be optimistic… I was hoping, but maybe late summer. I am working on it. I promise. Hedonistic wraps up the trilogy as the youngest sister, Trina, finds the strength to trust herself and embrace her erratic fire starting powers. Fire fighter, Matt Snow, is just the man to control her flames as they unravel the mystery of the talisman.
Thank you Mari for answering my questions today!
You are very welcome! Great questions and I’m glad to hang out and chat.
Mari is offering one lucky winner a copy of either Hot, Hard and Howling or Hot, Hard and Hexing! Just leave a comment by Sunday March 4th 2012, 11:59EST. Contest open internationally. Good luck to everyone and Thank You to Mari for offering up such a great prize.