Monday, April 16, 2012

Author Interview ~ Lila Munro



It’s been a long weekend. Friday the 13th and all...I’m worn out. Javier? A drink please? Thank you. Kealie should be here in just a few. Ah, there she is. I’ve set up the play pen. Want a drink?

Yup, yup, I’m here… is the playpen for the baby or for me? Howdy howdy howdy… doody… WOW, way too much caffeine this morning! So sorry! I think maybe I should pass on a drink… wait… I can have water! I know… I know… lots of exclamation points right now, but you’ll have to deal until the caffeine wears off! :-D Super glad I made it in today to hang out with y’all!

I’d like to welcome our author today, Lila Munro. Thanks for being here. We’re glad you could stop by. Javier will get you a drink and a snack, if you’d like. Grin. He’s feeling very helpful. And while he does that, I’ll get this party started. Where are you from?

Where am I not from is a better question. :) I was born and raised a hearty corn-fed Missouri gal, then I grew up and married a Marine. Now I’m from where ever Uncle Sam deems me to be from that day. Currently, that place would be North Carolina, but it’s also been Delaware, Virginia, and Okinawa Japan. Now, I must be honest, I’ve held a driving license in three different counties in North Carolina, so I’ve been known as an inlander as well as a down-easter—believe me in the Carolinas there is a difference.

*snort* Boy can I relate to being from everywhere and nowhere. I come from a pretty big Irish/German Military family… my first word was a cuss word… go figure. And isn’t it funny what causes one to be from somewhere or not from somewhere no matter how long they’ve been in that somewhere? Okay, sorry… still the caffeine!

Goodness. You’ve really been everywhere. Tell us your latest news?

My latest news…Three for Keeps is out there in the world. It’s my latest work to be published by Rebel Ink Press. It’s a m/m/m/f about a woman named Zoey Matthews and the three men she’s known since childhood, Dane, Jack and Ryan.

Oooooohhhhhh sounds… yummy! But I always wonder… with that many men… is it a sandwich or a wrap? Just wondering…

Ooh! Sounds hot. When and why did you begin writing?


I’ve always known that I wanted to write on some level from the time I could say the ABC’s and I memorized The Little Red Hen. At that point I couldn’t write down stories, but I was really good at making them up. I had a very vivid imagination. When I was in sixth grade we traded teachers once a day in our teeny country school (I graduated in a class of fifty-two) and I was introduced to the world of creative writing by Mr. Trokey. I was very much taken in when he told me I had a knack for carrying a story line and that someday he knew he’d get the first signed copy of a book I’d written. I really doubt he thought that book would come in the form of an erotic romance. From there I tinkered with writing off and on until my muses went dormant when the children arrived. Apparently crying, screaming babies tend to terrify muses and they flee for the hills at the sound. Then one day I looked up and figured out I had turned forty and my dream was yet to be realized. It was at that point I dusted off the old notebook, found an idea or two and turned them into The Executive Officer’s Wife.

We know quite well how children can make the muse cringe.

Funny how things work… I can honestly say my muse isn’t terrified of my small children… more… obnoxious that I don’t sit down and do what she wants right when she wants… kind of like having another child that only I can hear. Glad yours just went into hiding… mine demands duct tape.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?


Oh golly, sometimes depending on the way the day is going I still question that title. However, for the sake of a real answer, I’d say that when I knew I had readers, that’s when it hit me.

We can relate to that, too.

Those readers/fans can change your whole outlook on what you do and why you do it. Gotta love em. Do you have a specific writing style?

I coined my own writing style actually. I call it realmantica—that’s erotic romance with a realistic twist. I’m a stickler for facts and realism. Yeah, it’s supposed to be all about the fantasy, but it has to stay grounded on some levels.

There is something special about a story that’s grounded in reality. Fantasy is good, but I like my contemporary romances with realism.

That makes sense… nothing worse than reading a story and thinking, “Yeah, that would never happen in real life!” And I think we should all start using that term… “realmantica”… it covers so much ground! You’ll so fit in here if you continue designing your own words! How did you come up with the title?

Aside from the fact that it seems a necessary evil in today’s world to make it clear that there is ménage going on between the pages of your story, all four characters in Three for Keeps are playing for keeps. I always try to pin down a key phrase or theme in my work and morph that into a title.

Well, that makes sense. I always have a hard time coming up with titles… I seriously want someone else to say “You should call it this!” But alas, I’d probably be difficult about that as well…

Great idea, Lila. Kealie… hon… not gonna happen, lol. What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?

In Bound by Trust, my heroine, Madi Melbourne, learns that her deceased Ranger husband was having multiple affairs. She’d always suspected this, but the day that his personal affects arrive via the UPS man, her worst nightmare comes true as the trunk is filled with photos and letters of and from other women. Madi has a complete and total meltdown at that point. Feeling everything she was feeling was intense and I spent a great deal of time being angry and hurt with her and crying. Hell, I was tempted to throw things with her.


Wow, yeah… I’ll throw things with y’all if you’d like! That would make me snap my bolt too!

I can see where that might be painful and hard to deal with. I’ve had those times and characters, too. I understand. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Many writers will deny any part of themselves or people they know somehow being woven into their work. Not me. If I know you watch out. Something about you--a quirk, a funny saying you always spill, a mannerism—will come out in a character at some time. As for me, yes, there’s a piece of me in all my characters or stories and as far as experiences, absolutely, although I keep which ones under my hat. ;)

I can honestly say that I have shamelessly used people I know… especially when they are just too fun for me to make up! They never know, but sometimes others recognize them, lol.

I don’t know that I have specific people I know in my books, but I can relate to the mannerisms part. I use actors, but same idea. What book are you reading now?

Right now I’m finishing the Loralei James series, Rough Riders. I love cowboys and this woman knows how to dish them up proper.

I’ve only read a few of her books and I’d have to say, she does do cowboys well… hmm… yes, I mean that in every way you could possibly take it!

Yes, yes she does. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

There are so many out there right now. And many of them are really good. I’d have to say a newer writer that I can’t live without some of her work being on my Kindle would be Cherise Sinclair. Her Masters of the Shadowlands are positively yummy!

Yup, she’s pretty awesome!

Absolutely. What are your current projects?

Oh Lordy. That list is long and longer. I’m currently working on book 3 of my Identity series, Assumed Identity, book 3 of the Force Recon series, Rogue Nation, book 3 of the Slower Lower series, A Slower Lower Leap, a new series due out later this year, The Sergeants of Echo Company, and wouldn’t you know it, with all that going on three new marines started talking my ear off recently and their series is tentatively called Marriages of Convenience. My easy bake book oven is always on and hot.

*snort* Someone once called it an “Idea Garden” and I liked that… but Easy Bake Oven is hilarious!

The easy bake oven. Nice. Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I do. I don’t have a traditional day job like most other writers do, although I do have a gig over at Rebel Ink Press as the VP of Business Affairs. However, my husband provides very well for me and our nest is now empty, so my purpose in life through his eyes is stay home and make my dream come true. He’s my very own hero, and I appreciate all he does to allow me to wordsmith all day long.

I’m sure he’s an amazing research assistant too!

Having those men to back us up is fantastic. I agree. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Absolutely…

Zoey Matthews is in love. She’s been in love since the day she was dropped off by a social worker at yet another foster home on a back country road miles from nowhere, Missouri. At age ten, she met the men of her dreams. Over the course of sixteen years, Dane Cardwell, Jack Devereux and Ryan Wilkins fell in love with her, too. They’ve each told her they love her, they’ve shown her and each man has gone so far as to ask her to marry him. But what they don’t know is Zoey loves them all.
Her game of kiss and not tell all comes crashing down around her the night of her graduation from veterinary school and Zoey runs for the mountains. Of Colorado. Hoping to outrun her obsession with three men and forget them all together, she stays gone for ten years. But the wound has never healed. In fact, it's done nothing but fester. Needing to clear the air, Zoey agrees to spend a few days back home with the boys never imagining it would turn into a week filled with comparison sex as Dane, Jack and Ryan each try to get Zoey to choose between them and their varied tastes.
When she finally tells the truth, a truth only one of them has known all along, Zoey fears the foursome will never be able to make a sharing relationship work. After all, aren't there just too many personalities and desires to sort through? Add in the kink factor and things get really complicated. Zoey’s not convinced the truth has any merit, but there's one thing she knows for sure…this time she's playing for keeps.

Here’s a bit of an excerpt (unedited):

“I mean I have needs. Things I’ve discovered I like. Dark things, Dane. I think you have those needs as well. Tell me you wouldn’t like to lash me to this wrought iron bed spread eagled and make me come until I begged for mercy. Have you ever laid awake at night and thought about bending me over and spanking me until my ass was as pink as the flowers on that chair over there? I have.” Zoey watched as Dane’s breathing sped up and his nostrils flared. “Know what else? In my fantasies Ryan and Jack help. Sometimes they take turns watching while the other one fucks my mouth while you take me from behind. Now are you disappointed, Dane?”
“Hell no, Zoey. Get up,” he rasped out and stood.
“Why?”
“Because first we’re going downstairs to tell the others what you’ve decided. Then I’m bringing you back up here and fuck you seven ways to Sunday. In my room, not this frilly little princess room we thought you needed. Starting with that filthy little mouth of yours,” Dane explained as he walked to her side of the bed then grabbed her wrist and helped her stand. “You may have just told me what you want, but you also said you loved when I made the decisions. Consider your decision making power revoked, sweetheart, starting now. Oh, believe me, Zoey Christine Matthews, I’ll give you exactly what you want and more.”
I hope so.
Zoey followed Dane down the stairs naked as the day she was born with her head held high. Ryan was sprawled out across the couch with a Michelob in his hand and a scowl on his face. Jack was absent.
“Where the hell’s Jack?” Dane spat as Ryan bolted upright at the sight of Zoey in all her glory.
“The kitchen. What’d she do let you get to third base, too then bail?” Ryan snipped.
“No, she didn’t. Jack! Get your ass in here!” Dane yelled all the while still hanging on to Zoey’s wrist.

“Dane…”
“Did I give you permission to speak?” he growled and shot her a look unlike any she’d ever seen from the men she’d experimented with.
“No,” she squeaked.
“Then don’t.”
Zoey nodded and averted her eyes.
“What?” Jack asked strolling into the room with a sandwich in hand and a huge bite in his mouth. When he saw Zoey he choked and wheezed then coughed twice. “What the hell?” he managed before coughing again.
“Zoey is under the impression we’ve invited her here to make her choose between us,” Dane bellowed. “Her conditions to this are apparently that we fuck her senseless until she makes her decision. Am I getting this right, sweetheart?”
Zoey nodded and never looked up.
“So, in light of this recent development, I’m first. Although she told me she’ll take us all on and in fact has had fantasies about it. Am I still on track here, Zoey?” Dane demanded.
Again she nodded.
“Zoey, sugar, are you sure about this?” Jack wheezed.
“Answer him,” Dane said.
“Yes. Perfectly sure. I know what I’m doing, Jack, just as long as you all can live with my decision once it’s made.”
“Well, can we live with it?” Dane asked.
The room was so quiet for a few seconds Zoey swore she actually heard the men’s pulses pounding.
“I can,” Ryan finally said with a quiet resolve. “Jack?”
“Yeah, I can live with whatever she decides.”
“Good, we’re all in agreement then. Now, does anyone have an issue with any of this before I take her upstairs and take her sweet ass to task?” Dane asked.
“Not as long as it’s what she really wants,” Jack said flatly.
“Zoey?” Dane said
“It’s what I really want.”
“Ryan, any objections?”
“Nope.”
With them all in agreement, Dane almost flew back up the stairs with Zoey in tow.

Whew. I don’t know about you, Kealie, but I need a cold drink after that excerpt. Fanning self. I’ll let you do the next question.

I’m sorry, what? I was a bit distracted… OH… ummm… kay… Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

That’s one of the beautiful things about being a military life. We’ve travelled plenty. Although at the time we were traversing America’s highways and bi-ways, I had no idea seeing so much and experiencing so much would someday come in handy where my writing is concerned. Most of the places I write about I’ve seen or experienced in some way. Another beautiful thing is that what I’ve not seen or experienced I have a friend or neighbor that has and I can usually wheedle a few facts out of them.

Hee hee. We know that, too.

LOL, helps to have… resources. Who designed the covers?

Rebel Ink Press has a wonderful graphic artist in house. Carl J Franklin. He does beautiful work, no?

I’d have to agree.

Absolutely. Do you have any advice for other writers?

One of the best pieces of advice I got when I started this journey to publication was write what you know. I’ve been a military wife for fifteen years, and have seen and done it all, been through all it has to offer good and bad. I believe my readers get a realistic taste of romance, a solid love story with a banging HEA, through my stories. So, I pass on the advice. Write what you know.

I’ve heard that advice a lot, and it never fails to make it that much easier. I’m not saying you shouldn’t expand your horizons and push the envelope of your comfort zone a bit… but writing what you know at least makes it so it’s not forced… or farced either, lol.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Without your support and continued readership there wouldn’t be a Lila Munro.

Yup, always a good thing to remember!

I agree. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Bubble baths. I love bubble baths and it’s my quirk to take to the think tank any time a scene isn’t coming together quite like I want it to. I spend a lot of time there and time of day has no bearing on when I climb in—of course time of day does dictate my beverage of choice as I soak. 


Now I think that’s something I should try.

No kidding… but usually I’d have chubby fingers poking under the door demanding I tell them what I’m doing… :-D How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

To date I have twelve releases. As far as a favorite, I consider each one to be as unique as one of my children. I didn’t play favorites with my children, I loved them each uniquely and I love each of my books with the same resolve.

Good answer. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Let’s see, the better question is what didn’t I want to be…and just so we’re clear, I’m not entirely certain I’m grown up yet. A nurse, a journalist, a wife and mother, psychologist, teacher, dental assistant, pharmacy technician…see a pattern here? However, I can tell you this much, I’ve achieved all those to some degree through the art of military wifing and what I don’t hit there, my characters get to experience. 

Do we seem to be grown ups? I think Peter Pan is my idol! And now we’re gonna move on to the “seriously? There is no way these are about writing” questions! YAY!

Grin. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

Wow. Some of my horrible experiences rate pretty high on the horrible meter, all joking aside. Very few people in the world are privy to my horrible and I’ll keep it that way here, but I will say this—my horrible was certainly nothing as simple as a botched prom date, spilling spaghetti on me in my sweet sixteen outfit or getting caught making out on a dirt road by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Nope those are simple compared to some of the horrible things I’ve endured. And to be honest, as much as the horrible has made me tear my hair out at times, sent me to tears, forced me to scream and rip things off the walls then hide so no one would know, I’m not sure I’d erase them. Each experience is a chance to grow. As horrible as the experience was, as negative as it was—somewhere along the way I learned something. I wouldn’t have been the straight A student had the horrible not happened. I wouldn’t have been such a protective Mom had the horrible not happened. I wouldn’t have been compassionate and tolerant had the horrible not happened. In short, I wouldn’t be me.

Oh, darlin’ I can completely relate! I can say with complete confidence that I’m stronger for all the crap! Good for you. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

It’s Monday—Yick! But you’re beautiful…yep, we can do this, Lila.

Yep, you can do this. Grin.

Kind of like my “I got this!” LOL Have you ever eaten a crayon?

No but I think I’d be more inclined if they had flavors that matched the colors…

AMEN! Don’t tell me that crayon is strawberry and then not make it at least smell like it!

Now that’s an idea I want to see. There were those smelly markers. I’m strange. We knew that. What do you want to know about the future?

Nothing. I like surprises and what’s the point in living if you know the outcome?
I’d have to agree.

True enough. Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Oh absolutely. Several, but the one that still makes me cry no matter how many times I watch it, Steel Magnolias. My goodness, who wouldn’t cry?

OMG, that is my all time favorite movie! I swear, Megan and I are totally Weeza and Clairee… sometimes. But I cry every single time when M’lynn loses it at the funeral… every time and I know the danged thing by heart.

Yes! I cry during that movie every time. But I’m also a sap. What is your favorite pizza?

I have sampled some doozies…remember the question about strangest thing consumed? Try tuna and corn…was pretty good actually. So, a fav? Don’t really have one as far as toppings, although I veer toward fresh and healthy, ie veggies, lean meats, you know waist friendly, but, to be honest, my favorite is a place rather than a topping—nothing better than Grotto’s on the eastern shore of Delaware. They have the best boardwalk fries—malt vinegar is the appropriate condiment, ketchup? Ha!—the best gelato, and by far the best pizza ever. In fact, we’ve had family pick up a few pies on their way here, Grotto’s will cook them half-way for us, the fam travels six hours with them, we pop them in the oven and voila! We have dinner together. Too bad the fries don’t travel as well. 

Yum. Fries. What is one thing scientists should invent?

One more day of the week…still thinking of a name for it, but that day should not involve anything but sleeping. I think that was the original purpose of the weekend, but it seems we’ve forgotten…

It could be Remday… for REM sleep?... okay, they can’t all be gems.

People are trying to pack too much into the weekend. Yeah, we forgot it. Can you tie a cherry stem in a knot?

Yes I can. ;) Nuff said…

Yup… absolutely… nothing else must be said… except you know I want to…

How many fingers am I holding up?

Fourteen.

Shoot…

Awww she guessed it. And now for the readers, do you want to know just a little bit more about Lila Munro? Here you go!
Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina. She’s a military wife and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, A Slower Lower Love, A Slower Lower Life, Salvation, Force Recon: Beacon Bayou, Force Recon: Somalia, True Identity and Identity Crisis. She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2011-12. Ms. Munro also works as the VP of Business Affairs for Rebel Ink Press. She loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted via her website http://lilamunro.weebly.com or through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Lila_Munro You can also contact her via email at lilasromance@gmail.com For more information about Rebel Ink Press please visit their website at www.rebelinkpress.com

Purchase Link for Three for Keeps:

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=publisher&qString=rebel+ink+press&searchBy=publisher&qString=rebel+ink+press

2 comments:

Lila Munro said...

Thanks so much for having me over today! This interview was a lot of fun to do. I'll be in and out all day and hope to connect with a few readers throughout. I love to chat!

Kealie Shay said...

Thanks for hanging out with us! We know it can get a bit... crazy... distracting... yeah, that, around here, but you've been such a good sport.

I'd still like to know how you figured out how many fingers we were holding up... that was awesome! :-D