Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi! My name is Maren Smith. I’m 45.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in the little town of Redmond, Washington, which is just outside the Seattle/Bellevue area.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Fortunate enough to live with my Daddy Dom, I am a Little, coffee whore, pain slut, administrator at two of my local BDSM dungeons, resident of the wilds of freakin’ Kansas (still don’t know how I ended up here) and submissive to the love of my life. An International and USA Bestselling Author, I have penned more than 150 novels, novellas and short stories that run the gamut between paranormal and kinky romance, and am the author of the Masters of the Castle series.
I also write under the names of Denise Hall, Darla Phelps, and Penny Alley.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Well, on the author front, my latest news consists of my newest release which is Fearless, the 10th book in the Black Light series. On a personal front, I guess my biggest news is the puppy’s been spayed and the living room carpet has just been cleaned. So… it’s wet. Stay off it. (I’m really very boring in real life.) Oh, also: I’ve got 18 lbs of cookie dough I want out of my fridge. So, cookies. My house, tomorrow. BYOM (Bring Your Own Milk).
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was about fifteen. My first romance novel was published 1995, and yes, it was a BDSM romance. No, I did not have any first-hand knowledge of what I was writing. It was all imagination. I understand those first books are considered cult classics now and one is/was recommended reading at a Texas university for the women’s psychology course.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think that moment first hit me two months ago when I sat down to do my very first signing at a convention and sold every book I’d brought with me ten minutes before the event officially started. I was really very surprised.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
When I was fifteen, the question was posed at school: What do you want to be when you grow up? I honestly had no clue. I knew I didn’t particularly want to work for a living, so I chose author. Everyone knows authors live in luxury. It’s all bubble baths and chocolate bonbons for those people, and they never have to work. I’ve been doing this for 23 years now and I’ve yet to meet that kind of author, but one can always hope, right?
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Sometimes I’m fortunate enough that my titles will come to me as I’m working on the book. Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to come up with something that makes sense. Sometimes publishers like to pick your titles for you, although I’ve only had that happen to me one time.The Black Light series focuses on using words of empowerment for their titles, and since I was writing about a woman fleeing abuse, Fearless just came naturally. It felt right.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
You know, good question. I think every author has his or her own distinctive voice. I’ve been told I have great dialogue and that I write ‘feels’ extremely well. I am very comfortable in my genre, but I’d say my biggest challenge is the ol’ ‘show don’t tell’ problem. I really have to work hard to keep that down.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Parts of me go in every book I write. I write a lot of contemporary BDSM romances, and yes, I do practice everything I put my heroine’s through. I want to know what my characters feel, hear, see, taste first hand. If my reader is aware s/he is sitting on the couch in their living room, turning a page, then I’ve failed. They should be in the nightclub, or running for their life through the Victorian streets of London, orgrinding and moaning their way through some of the best sex of their life right along with my character or I am not doing my job to the best of my ability.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have travelled, but as I’m not likely to go into outer space any time soon, sometimes I do need to use my imagination. My process tends to involve a lot of mood movies or music instead.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My cover for my latest, Black Light: Fearless was done by Eris Adderly. But I often use Allycat Cover Designs for my covers and promo work.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Love really can conquer all when the right people are involved.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Oh gosh, this is a hard one. They aren’t new authors, but they’re new to me: Renee Rose, Jennifer Bene, Pam Godwin, Alta Hensley, Addison Cain, Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole. Each of them brings something different to their genres, so what I love about each of them differs slightly. But I love the darkness, the humor, the romance, the horror, the suspense, and the sex. I like heroes who are unapologetically alpha and yet who are secure enough in their masculinity to let the women be strong in their own right too.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The one entity that has supported me unequivocally is the community of fellow authors that I have met over the years. I talk to these ladies and gents on a daily basis via Facebook, and I seriously doubt I ever could have made it as far as I have without them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do. And I treat it that way every single day when I sit down to work on my book. I have a desk, I have my spot on the couch, I take 15 minute breaks where I talk to the cats around the coffee pot, and I don’t stop working until the SO comes home at night.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would have done a find and replace to make sure all the miles got changed to kilometres for those scenes done in the Australian’s point of view.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned I should really have paid better attention in Geography and that the Pacific and Atlantic are not interchangeable.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Jason Momoa. No movie starring Jason Momoa could ever suck.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep working at it. I know it’s hard to find the time to write when you’ve got a full-time job, kids and a family who needs you. Write anyway. Write on your lunch hour and breaks. Write in the doctor’s office and in line at the DMV. Keep a notebook in your purse or an app on your phone and write whenever you have five or ten minutes of just sitting there. Make it a habit, because that’s how books get written. One word after another, one fifteen-minute sprint session at a time. If you really, really want to do this, you will make the time. If you don’t, you’ll make the excuses.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Here’s something few people know about me: I’m color blind. While I can see some shades of blue, othershades are grey to me. Including the sky. I didn’t know this about myself until last year when my sisters were playing a Dystopian survival game that required them to turn on the oxygen so their characters could breathe. The only indication for when they should do this came when they could no longer see blue on the TV, and I couldn’t see any blue on the TV ever at all. We went through this Laurel and Hardy “Where’s the blue? Right there! Where? You can’t see this right here, right where my fingers is? There’s nothing there!” skit before we each figured out the other person wasn’t pulling a prank. And then we went through the house pointing out all the blue things. Come to find out, my bedroom is not a soothing shade of business-suit grey and the term ‘sky-blue eyes’ really is a color.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am working my way back through Gene Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
See Spot Run? Um… I think Shel Silverstein’s Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends was right up there. In fact, I still have those books and I still love to read them. Mercer Myer’s Where the Trollusk Got His Hat was a good one. I loved the artwork. You could look at those pictures all day and never see all the hidden gems in them.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Apart from writing, I love to cross-stitch and make wreaths. Every year I make two or three wreaths and give them away to friends.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I tend to watch a lot of documentaries, the cooking and do-it-yourself channels. Like I said, I’m a very boring person in real life.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love chicken curry, the spicier the better; I gravitate to dark purples, the colors of blue I can see, and deep forest greens; and I love just about any and all kinds of music. I listen to just about everything except disco, hateful rap and garage grunge.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
“Welcome to Walmart. Can I help you find something?”
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I would spend it writing down all the website passwords people would need to access my finances, pass my WIPs out to my sisters so they can finish them, and make sure my SO got some attention, because I’m pretty sure he’d be a mess trying to deal with it.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Is it hot in here to you?”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Visit Maren Smith’s blog here: http://badgirlscorner.blog
Friend me on Facebook here:http://facebook.com/Maren.Smith.10
Follow me on Twitter: @authmarensmith
Friend me on Instagram: maren_smith
Follow on Bookbub:https://www.bookbub.com/profile/maren-smith
Visit me on Tumblr:https://www.tumblr.com/blog/authormarensmith
Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/Maren-Smith/e/B005DZ32GQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1