Bio: Siobhan Muir lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband, two daughters, and a vegetarian cat she swears is a shapeshifter, though he's never shifted when she can see him. When not writing, she spends time looking down a microscope at fossil fox teeth, pursuing her other love, paleontology. An avid reader of science fiction/fantasy, her husband gave her a paranormal romance for Christmas one year, and she was hooked. She’s been writing since childhood. Friends and family threatened to lynch her unless she published. Siobhan believes in happily ever after, redemption, and communication, which you’ll find in her paranormal romance stories.
GRACIE: I’m excited to have you here at The G-Spot, Siobhan! Please tell us a little about yourself (or a lot J) and how and when you got into writing?
SIOBHAN: I got into writing when the bedtime stories I told myself had far more detail than I could remember, so I had to write them down. I’ve been writing ever since, spinning tales around campfires, dinner tables, and coffee shops for a long time. My education is in geology, so fieldcamp was a great place to get people hooked on my tales. I once had an 18 person field crew captivated with a story I told around the evening fire, they insisted I tell the rest of it in the van on the ride home. Talk about an ego boost. I wrote that one down, and you should see it come out sometime in the next couple of years. J
GRACIE: Is there any one thing or person in your life that inspired your writing? Any one thing or person that influenced the genre you write in?
SIOBHAN: I’ve always loved science fiction and fantasy, so I’m drawn to the paranormal for that reason. I think I’d have to credit Anne McCaffrey with getting me into it initially. I remember reading her Dragons of Pern novels, and the spin-off series about the firelizards and I was absolutely hooked. Ever since then, my writings have turned toward the fantastic and romantic.
GRACIE: You’re mind kind of author! I love the fantastic and the paranormal J When did you get The Call and what was your first published book?
SIOBHAN: My call came December 31, 2011 and I was so ecstatic, I walked around in a giddy daze the whole day. Happy New Year! :D The first published book was Her Devoted Vampire with Evernight Publishing, and it was the first romance I tried to write with a more scientific explanation for vampirism. I wrote it to entice my husband into reading romance. I succeeded. *smug grin*
GRACIE: I don’t blame you for being smug. Getting a man to red romance is quite a feat, LOL. What do you know now about writing and the publishing industry that you wish you’d known before you started?
SIOBHAN: I don’t have anything I wished I’d known sooner because I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. I’m learning it now, and I’m sure there’s plenty more to learn as I go. But for now, I have no regrets.
GRACIE: Please, give us a little story behind the story and what inspired your Siren erotic paranormal romance, Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack.
SIOBHAN: Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack came to me in a dream. Russell Crowe starred as Jeff Lightfoot and he showed up, telling me I had to keep my true nature hidden from the humans while I competed with the other females for the position of Luna. I saw the mugging scene at the salon and another frank discussion about the why of werewolves on a scrubby mountainside with Jeff, and the story built from that. The other characters just showed up when I needed them. J
GRACIE: The heroines in both Her Devoted Vampire and Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack don’t believe in the existence of supernatural beings until each is faced with their reality. What in Bridget Shanahan and Julianna Morris’ backgrounds or personalities do you think leads to each woman’s skepticism?
SIOBHAN: Bridget was raised Catholic and all the magic had been taken out of the world for her with that mindset. She doesn’t see religion or higher powers as something to enjoy, and she certainly never considered the existence of creatures other than humans. I tried to take someone from our world and offer her a whole new world to deal with.
With Julianna, she’s like most people. Humans are it for this world, and while stories abound of other critters wandering around, we’re pretty sure they’re just stories. Julianna was adopted and she spent most of her formative years trying to fit in with the humans around her. That drive to fit in made her set aside her true nature, which forcibly came out when she turned 36.
GRACIE: In the Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack what in Julianna Morris’ character do you think makes her the perfect match for Jeff Lightfoot and is it the same thing that makes her perfect to be the Queen Bitch?
SIOBHAN: Julianna is a fighter. She never gives up, even when things seem impossible, and she definitely doesn’t give up on something she really wants. And she really wants Jeff. Plus, while she’s aware of appearances, her actions stem from her respect and love for her family. She will protect the whole pack if necessary, but she won’t play dirty. Sneaky, but not dirty. It’s that fighting quality that makes her a match for Jeff and an excellent leader for the Callowwood Pack.
GRACIE: In Her Devoted Vampire what is Fredrick MacGregor’s Achilles’ heel and how do you go about stomping it?
SIOBHAN: Bridget herself. Once he finds her and connects with her, any mortal injury could take him down with her. He’s more than just devoted to her emotionally. However, because they are connected, she’s a lot stronger and resilient than she was before she met Fredrick, so killing Bridget isn’t easy.
GRACIE: Of all the stories you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?
SIOBHAN: That’s a hard question. Each story attracts me (or I wouldn’t have written it) for different reasons. I loved writing about Fredrick and Bridget because it gave me a chance to address the whole swooning issue. Yeah, he’s a cute guy, but would you really sleep with a guy who kidnaps you, just because he’s cute? With Julianna, I loved the challenge of winning everything just by being yourself, even if she had to figure out who or what her true self was. In my upcoming dragon shifter tale, I wanted to address the “walk of shame/fame” issue. A guy can sleep with anyone and society cheers him on. A woman sleeps with anyone, and she’s castigated for being a whore. Uhm, how is that fair? That double standard drives me crazy. So each story has its pet issues for me and I fall in love with each one for finding a solution (at least for one couple). J
GRACIE: I know this is like asking a mother which is her favorite child, but which of your characters is your favorite and why?
SIOBHAN: Right now, my current favorite “children” are Lieutenants Brickman, Hunter, and Waters, from my upcoming Navy SEALS M/F/M ménage. I love Brickman’s determination to be the only female SEAL, and her subsequent determination to love both her Teammates. I love Hunter’s calm, steady love of both his woman and his best friend, and I ache for Waters’ demons that keep him from his loved ones. Right now, these folks are my favorites. It might change when the next story comes along. ;)
GRACIE: What about your characters makes them unique?
SIOBHAN: Most of my female characters are strong and won’t quit, even when life gets really black. They’re fighters and don’t need to be rescued (although they like it when they are). I write the Megara version (from Disney’s Hercules) of damsels: “I’m a damsel. I’m in distress. And I can take it from here. Have a nice day.” I also write characters, male or female, who are true to themselves throughout the story. I can’t stand it when characters flip-flop back and forth from one core belief to another, and back again, without apparent cause. That just makes me want to throw the book across the room (bad news for my Kindle, lol).
GRACIE: What is your favorite aspect of the writing process? Your least favorite?
SIOBHAN: I love the creative process when the words just pour out of me. I even love revisiting the older stories and “fixing” them (read = updating them). It can be a long and arduous road, but it’s worth it in the end. My least favorite: writing query letters and synopses for publication. How the heck do I get a 60K word story into just 150 words? Yeah, not my favorite.
GRACIE: Are you a pantser or do you outline?
SIOBHAN: I do a little of both. If I get an idea or a dream, I write down everything I can remember so when I come back to it (if I’m in the middle of some other story) I can get back into the flavor of what attracted me in the first place. This becomes a basic outline. Then I let the Muse run with it and see how the story unfolds. Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack evolved that way. J
GRACIE: If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you have chosen to pursue?
SIOBHAN: I’d be a dead things specialist. :D My educational background is in mammal paleontology, particularly of fossil foxes, coyotes, and wolves from the Pleistocene epoch. You’ve seen Ice Age, I’m sure. They didn’t show the dire wolves, but that’s the age of animals I study when not writing fiction.
GRACIE: That sounds like fascinating work and great fodder for your imagination ;) Who are some of your favorite authors and why? Name some of your favorite books and why they’re your favorites.
SIOBHAN: That’s a long list. However I’ll give you the genre favorites that come to mind off the cuff:
Science fiction with romantic elements – Cara Michaels writes sharp, funny, and adventurous science fiction that usually grabs me in the first paragraph. She doesn’t have sex in her tales, but she gets me interested because you KNOW where the characters are going to end up. ;)
Historical Romance – Monica McCarty writes FBI/MI6 type romance set in the time of Robert the Bruce Scotland. Her stories are pretty historically accurate AND have a great love story attached.
Historical Romantic Suspense – Kris Tualla writes several historical series about Norwegian heros, and my current favorite of hers is a hero who’s deaf.
Fantasy – Elizabeth Kerner and Elizabeth Moon – both these ladies write great fantasy, usually in trilogies that sweep you into new worlds and make you fall in love with their characters.
Historical Erotic Romance – Kate Pearce writes hot, shameless erotic romance set in the 1800s of England. She’s no holds barred and her characters have longevity throughout her series.
Romantic Suspense – Roxanne St. Claire writes gripping adventure and suspense woven around solid love stories.
LGBT Romance – Suzanne Brockmann writes great love stories, a few M/M, but she really captures the love, respect, and compassion found in all loving couples, no matter the sex of the individuals. My favorite by her is called When Tony Met Adam.
BDSM Romance – Kallypso Masters has a gift for writing great BDSM love stories. Her Rescue Me series focuses on Doms from the military and the women who rescue them from their own demons. I love the role reversal on who saves whom.
GRACIE: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?
SIOBHAN: I’m working on final edits of a historical dragon shifter story that should be out this fall, and another dragon shifter story (contemporary) that should be out at the beginning of next year. Then there is the Navy SEALs ménage, a vampire M/M/F ménage, and a vampire/dragon shifter tale about the original Dracula coming in 2013.
GRACIE: Wow, sounds like your fans can expect some exciting stuff from you. Do you have a website and/or how can readers contact you?
SIOBHAN: I love to talk to readers and they can find me in the following places:
Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/u/0/118081545120488658410/posts
Romance Novel Center: http://www.romancenovelcenter.com/siobhanmuir
GRACIE: Where and how can readers purchase and/or read samples of your work?
SIOBHAN: You can find Her Devoted Vampire here:
All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herdevotedvampire-727991-139.html
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/her-devoted-vampire-siobhan-muir/1109506015
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/her-devoted-vampire-by-siobhan-muir/
And you can find Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack here:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Queen-Callowwood-Publishing-Classic-ebook/dp/B008D30MWM/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340238446&sr=1-2GRACIE: What advice do you have for beginning writers?
SIOBHAN: If you want to write and publish, don’t talk about writing or think about writing. WRITE. And never give up, never surrender. There are plenty of people willing to tell you you’ll never make it as a writer, but you can choose to believe otherwise. It takes persistence and drive, but it can be done. Like anything, you get out of it what you’re willing to put into it. If you love it enough to go all the way through, even when you’re sick of your own story, you’ll be a huge success.
On the more practical side, you should get your blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter account up right now, before you publish. Publishers and agents will look to see what kind of online presence you have when they’re deciding to take you on as a client. The more you get your name and voice out there, the more likely folks are going to remember your name and your writing.
GRACIE: Anything else about yourself or your writing you’d like to share with your readers?
SIOBHAN: I love to talk to readers, whether in person at conferences, or online through Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. This year I’ll be attending Authors After Dark in New Orleans in early August, and I’ll definitely be back at Arizona Dreamin’ 2013 in Chandler, AZ next year. Come visit me online, drop me a line, and I’m happy to chat.
GRACIE: Siobhan, thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share yourself and your work with us at The G-Spot and giving us a little insight into your writing and the writing process! We’ll let you get back to writing those wonderful books you write! All the best!
SIOBHAN: Thanks so much for having me. J