Back in October I had an interview with J.L. over at Within His Castle. And several people remarked to me that they'd missed it. So I'm "re-publishing" it here. Some of the comments are "outdated", but overall I enjoyed the experience! :)
Within His Castle
J. L.’s Twenty
1 – Within His Castle is very pleased to have with us in our Hot Seat this evening best-selling author Linda Mooney! Welcome, Linda! Sensuous Romance with a Sci-Fi or Fantasy Flair. You have our interest so tell us more! What does this slogan mean in terms of your writing?
Hi, JL! Thank you so much for this opportunity!
The phrase means I write erotic stories that are very descriptive, but heavily romantic, too. However, it doesn’t contain overt graphic content. You could say it’s on the low-end spectrum of being called erotic, but yet still remains titillating and hot. LOL! It’s a fine balancing act, believe me!
2 – What would you say is your favorite thing about being able to craft tales featured in worlds and times different than our own?
My worlds, my rules!
3 – Going through your list of current and upcoming titles, you seem a very busy woman! AEquana, a most intriguingly scripted storyline, seems a very fine ride of espionage, adventure, and romance. Tell us a little about this tale.
It has a mermaid in it, but not like anything you’d ever expect. People reading this story come back and tell me how they would love to see it as a movie.
It takes place in present day. Not to give anything away, it’s about a woman who was raised in a lab because she can breathe underwater. The government uses her to go on missions for them. For AEquana, this is the only life she’s known. She knows nothing about real life or the real world.
John “Talon” Eagletalon a full-blood Native American. He used to be part of Navy Special Ops, but his team was disbanded due to medical reasons. But since he still owes Uncle Sam time on his contract, he’s assigned to be AEquana’s partner and bodyguard. He soon finds out how she’s being used and abused (seriously). He also finds himself falling in love with her.
The story then becomes a battle between the government trying to keep AEquana for their own dastardly deeds, and Talon trying to keep her out of their clutches.
4 – I’m equally intrigued by “36 Exposures,” your short piece available through Amazon. What is this Amazon Short about?
It’s a fantasy that takes place today. Jolee Wiley is a regular white-collar worker who finds a roll of undeveloped film in the street. She has it developed, hoping to find out who the roll belongs to. What she finds are pictures of a man she falls instantly in love with. But along with this man are pictures of a woman who is the exact, spitting image of herself. The photos of her double and this man are intense and very romantic.
5 – One of the highlights of your literary career is your title Runner’s Moon: Jebaral. This title earned you your best seller title with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. How did it feel when Jebaral raised you to this plateau?
I still can’t believe it. I have read the works of other authors from there whom I think have much better stories. To have my book stand out is flabbergasting, to say the least!
I wrote Runner’s Moon as a single piece (on a personal dare), but halfway through it discovered I had another story in me. So Tiron, book 2, was born. Before I was done, I had outlined book 3, Simolif.
I submitted Jebaral with the comment that I had # 2 ready and # 3 not yet written. To my shock WCPT took all three once I had finished and subbed them. Jebaral is the most romantic of the three, I’ve been told. Tiron is more heart-wrenching. Simolif is the most dramatic.
6 – What was the inspiration behind this story of fugitive alien slaves and forbidden romance?
It came because of an argument I overheard between two authors at a convention I attended last summer. They were discussing shape-shifters. One said a shifter was like a were-beast (wolf, etc.) The other claimed they were also vamps. So that evening at supper I challenged myself to write a story where the shifter was neither. In fact, rather than being a human turning into a creature, I began with an alien shifting into any humanoid form they came across. In this case, a human on Earth.
From there I asked myself why they looked the way I imagined them. Roots took, and the rest is history. I wrote all three books in less than 6 months total.
7 – The next two titles in the Runner’s Moon series – Tiron and Simolif – will be released over the next four months – December and April – from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. Tell us a bit about what we should expect from these two titles?
Tiron is the female alien’s story. She was tortured and abused on the Arran spacecraft, and it turned her into a bitter, angry person. When she landed on earth, the only way she learned to survive was to prostitute herself. One day she’s busted by Thomas DeGrassi, who’s working vice. She realizes that this man is the key to her happiness. At the same time Thom is trying to sort out his feelings for a hooker. Through it all they have to face a serial killer who’s targeting streetwalkers. (Not to mention the ever-present Arra still looking for their lost cargo!)
Simolif is Jebaral’s brother. Like his brother, he works construction. When a new job takes him to a university, he meets Sarah, a professor of astronomy. They are immediately attracted to each other, but soon Simolif realizes Sarah has gathered sufficient evidence of his landing on earth. If she releases that information to the public, the lives of all surviving Ruinos (the name of his people) will be in jeopardy. Not only does he have to convince her not to reveal what she’s found, but he also has to explain why—and Sarah had no idea he’s an alien from another world.
8 – Also coming soon is your title The Gifted from New Concepts Publishing. Tell us a bit about The Gifted and what you hope to see come from this highly-awaited novel?
The Gifted is unlike any story you’ve ever read. The title refers to a woman from another world named Sah’Reena. (First off, let me assure you she looks human!) She’s one of a few unique people, even among her kind, who is blessed with an enormous power. But when her people declared her too dangerous to live, they shot her out into space to die. By luck or happenstance her capsule ends up on Earth and taken to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Dr. Robin Dickenson is an astro-physicist working at JSC. When he helps release the dying woman from her capsule, they immediately bond. He works diligently to keep her alive while the government and military vie over who gets to “own” her.
Inevitably Robin and Sah’Reena end up challenging his world just for the chance to love.
9 – So, my Dark Castle Goddess, tell me about your DCL title Healer of the Heart. This sounds like a vibrantly adventurous tale of days long past.
Oh, it is! It was the first romance I wrote after writing freelance for years. I love the medieval period of our history, with swords and gallantry, but I wanted to “tweak” it, so I placed the story on a parallel world.
On this world different countries are at war. One country has Healers, people who can take pain and injury from one person and into themselves. The country of Bothe has a treaty with the Healers so that one is always with the royal family for protection against assassination attempts from their enemies.
But when the next attempt kills the current Healer, his replacement turns out to be a beautiful woman named Mareesa. She and Querl, the nephew of the current ruler, fall in love, but their romance is rocky.
Just when it seems thinks couldn’t get worse, another murder attempt leaves Mareesa fighting for her life. And Querl fighting to find out why she fled to his country in the first place.
10 – You and I have a common Dark Castle Lords title coming out November 16th in the Christmas Anthology When the Snow Lay Round About. Share with us a little on what you’ve crafted for this holiday collection?
My short story is called “Sandcastle”. It’s a sweet little contemporary about a woman who’s just survived cancer and is trying to find a new start in life (and hopefully love). Little does she realize her wish will come true, thanks to the imagination of five-year-old girl.
11 – I believe we’re both also featured in the DCL 7 Deadly Sins anthology. What was it like crafting around the sin of your assessment?
Oh, wow. My “sin” is wrath. I initially got an idea for a sci-fi type story, but when that one outlined WAY into a full-fledged novel, I had to come up with an alternative. Believe it or not, I found my inspiration from the background photo at a friend’s MySpace site! Overnight I got the basic idea for the story (which will be a fantasy), along with how to incorporate the picture. After that the story fell onto the paper.
12 – How did writing begin for you, Linda? Had you always known it was in your blood?
To be blunt, I came from an abusive childhood. Since elementary school I wrote stories as escapism. Wrote or read. Of course at the time I had no idea why I wrote notebooks filled with stories until I received counseling in college. But being able to have people live beautiful, happy lives in my stories made the day-to-day life I was living tolerable.
My real life now is very wonderful. I’ve been married to Jim for nearly 25 years, and we have 2 great sons. Still, I love creating worlds and people, and placing them in dire situations just so I can give them their HEAs. Writing’s become a passion with me, and my hubby supports me 110%.
13 – What are some of your favorite things to write about? What brings you the most joy when you pen it?
Bad guys who get their just rewards (because that’s not always the case in real life.) Abused women who find true love. Men who will risk everything for the women they love.
14 – Let’s say I somehow became a character in one of your fictional worlds. What scenario would you put me in? Where would I be and what would happen to me there?
I see you as a trusted confidant of the hero. You would be privy to the love between the hero and heroine, and do what you could to allow them to have their chance at happiness.
15 – Of course, everyone seems to have a favorite Dark Castle Lord. Are there any dark lords that stand out more to you than others or any that you would like to see gracing your covers in the future?
I’m very partial to Mark Johnson, but I also like Peter. :)
16 – As a romantic author, how would you best describe the terms “romance” and “sensual?” What do you think are the necessary elements to successful incorporate these traits into a great piece of fiction?
Romance tugs at the heart. It’s like having every dream of love come to life.
Sensual is having all the push and thrust of hard rocking, exploding orgasms, but with the sweet temptations of caresses and kisses—and without the rough words.
17 – Of all of your books, what would you say is perhaps the best one that new readers of Linda Mooney should start off with? And do you have a personal favorite out of all of your works?
Umm, I would suggest people start with AEquana. But each of my books is totally different from the other. Past, present, future. Other worlds, this world. Aliens, normal people, gifted people. Contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy. I’ve even done some hardcore erotica (under a pseudo) and a gritty urban fantasy, as well as horror.
But I prefer my sensual side. I adore my Battle Lord hero and heroine. But I also love my super-powered couple from HeartFast. I cannot pinpoint a personal favorite because each book is its own special baby.
18 – For brand new writers just taking their first baby-steps into the world of publishing, what advice do you have for them? What direction would you steer them and what would you perhaps warn against?
A toughie, eh? I would say they have someone who’s NOT a friend read through their book and give edits/suggestions/comments, and that they listen carefully. Don’t be upset over criticism that would only make your story better. Your story isn’t perfect. It has warts and pimples, and needs to be ironed a little, too.
When you’re ready to submit your story, make sure you’ve followed the submission guidelines to the T. And don’t submit to ANY publisher who asks you to pay to submit. Or demands in a contract that you’re required to buy anything.
As a Mardi Gras Publishing survivor, there are a lot more warning signs I could tell you. But for the moment I suggest you use Piers Anthony’s site for good ideas of who not to submit to.
19 – So, Linda, what are you writing on now? Anything new and exciting in the works?
Well, I’m finishing up a horror story. I’m also about 4 chapters away from finishing a paranormal (ghost) love story. And I’m wanting to begin a faery love story I’d outlined some time ago. There are about 3 more in the pot stewing at the moment, as well.
20 – Linda, thanks so much for participating in this interview with JL’s Twenty and Within His Castle! Before we part, I’ve one last question for you. If you were able to live out the life of any one of your characters for a day, which character would it be and why?
Ohhh! What a wish! Let me be Annie from my Lord of Thunder series. Rion and his people live in the ultimate world of my creation. And Rion is the ultimate hero of my dreams. :)
A special thanks once again to best-selling author Linda Mooney! Linda can be found all over the net, including the OFFICIAL Linda Mooney website http://www.LindaMooney.com and on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/lindamooney Be sure to check her out and send a shout out to me while you’re there! The best of luck to Linda on all of her current and future literary endeavors!