Sparks is the first book you have put out in over a year, tell us about it and what you’ve been up to.
Well, I have been busy in my real life. Always writing when possible, but the fall was busy professionally, and then my grandmother had a bad fall in January. As a family we decided to adapt our home to move her in. She still has mobility and her mind but needs that little extra help. It’s just my Mom and I, so we are making it work. I’m not a fan of nursing homes, and luckily my husband is handy enough to do the renovations for cost. She got out of the hospital right before we went into the lockdown for Covid, which I am so grateful for. She has bad brochities, so it was a worry.
My family and I stayed in lockdown for over a month. It was crazy, but we were just like the rest of the world trying to navigate this new normal. Sparks had been a novel I started last summer, and I found ample time to write with my newfound free time.
I love Asten and Natalie’s story. First loves are something that I think are very special. There is a whimsical nostalgia that surrounds them. When you grow up and get married, thinking back to those firsts (if they were good) can bring back a lot of emotion, because without that experience you may not have been the person you were when you met The One. I’m still friends with my first love. We shared a lot of our younger years together, and I think helped one another grow up. I’ll always be grateful for that part of our lives we got to share. We ended on good terms, so there isn’t anything weird there. My husband isn’t jealous. He knows my loyalty.
First loves are our taste of real life. They are also usually our first taste of heartbreak, and in the book, I really let that happen. It is devastating to lose someone you truly loved or thought you did at the time. It alters your soul. Maybe not for men, but definitely women who feel things strongly emotionally. Now the mother of two daughters, and two sons, I see their time approaching and my stomach is sore with apprehension for the life events they will be going through. As a parent, I want them to make good choices and not end up with regrets. However, I know my job is only to support them, and let them know no matter what I’m here. I just hope they can look back on the firsts and smile. In fact, if I hadn’t met my first, I’d never would have met my husband… So, fate was very kind to me.
2. Are there parts that are real in this story, or is it all pure fiction? Give us the dirt…
The slap scene where Natalie meets Asten on the path was real. It happened similarly for me and my first. We were broke up at the time though, so some things are not from reality.
The powerbomb thing really happened, although I just instinctively did it. I still don’t know how, but those around were impressed. It was to a guy named Kyle too. Why did I add it? Because it is a funny memory for me.
Another reality is the cabin crawl. We do that at out summer place. I did fall in a mud pit and pull my grandfather-in-law in with me. It is one of my favorite memories of having a few around the fire. I apparently can’t navigate well in the dark. The names mentioned are real people, although slightly exaggerated. They are some of my favorite people, which means a lot because I’m more of a loner/hermit.
Most is made up strictly for the story, but the beach is probably my favorite place on earth. I had to immortalize it.
Things that were strictly for the story were, I wasn’t a teenage mom. When I met my husband we fell very hard fast, and within 3 months began to try for our first. It took us nearly three months, but by the fall we were expecting and over the moon. For Natalie, she finds herself single and pregnant. The man she loves won’t take any messages from her, and she needs to grow up quickly for the sake of her daughter. I like that. I come from a single parent family, and single mom’s are tough!
I like how Asten is devastated, because he was a child to a man who wasn’t much of a father, and he ended up unintentionally hurting his kid too. It shows the realness of life, and how sometimes even with the best of intentions, life has other plans we know nothing of.
With Asten and Natalie, finding their way back to love is inspirational, I hope. Even after all they’ve been through, they still get their HEA. It’s a feel good story, a little kinky, and I hope offers a few chuckles along the way.
3. Any other news for 2020?
Yes! Border Crosser: The Bear King’s Bride is getting the sequel! I am currently writing it, and over halfway finished. Blushing is publishing it in August, along with a revamped-up version of the first book.
Book 1 is about Illayda and Iver, now you get to see Zyon and Irae’s story. I’m loving getting to revisit some of the old characters and watching the love story of Zyon and Irae unfold.
Book 1 showed how Irae was abused by her first husband Kavon, Illayda’s evil brother. He dies in book one and she’s married to Zyon, by order of the King. Zyon has to earn the trust of a woman who doesn’t trust men, and I really wanted to highlight that because of all the domestic violence in our communities. I can only imagine the magnitude of distrust between a woman who has been abused and a new romantic partner. Hopefully, it comes across as being an example of hope, because Zyon really shows his soft side in this one.
That’s really all right now. I have a few others on the back burner that might come out of the vault when Zyon’s book is finished. I might do a cowboy book, who knows. I have two more months of vacation and a lot can be created in that time.
Stay tuned and stay safe!
Border Crosser: The Bear King’s Bride
1. Where did the idea come from for this story?
Where I grew up there are a lot of native people and the traditions that they have are fascinating to me. I love the idea of a strong oral culture in that history cannot be erased if the elders teach the younger generations about their people and beliefs. If you look at history tribes have fought even when most of their ideas are the same. I liked the idea of two people being world’s apart, but so close in proximity. Two people who were never supposed to end up together overcoming the impossible and following their destiny despite the hardships. I also believe in the idea that things are not always what they seem, and we don’t know everything. We should question authority and find some things out for ourselves.
2. What is your favorite part?
I really loved the scene when Iver takes Illayda to the mountain and shows her their private waterfall. I think you really see that they have come to like one another and are flirty and building a trust between them.
3. How long did it take you to complete?
I always start a book and write until I get bored. I never just sit and write a book all the way through, I usually have about 5 or more started. I like to be excited to write about the characters so if I feel like I’m losing the plot I let it rest for a bit. When I get stuck on one, I go to another. This one took me about a year and a half. Then, there is about a 3-month period you have it in to the publishing company. So, I’m excited for the readers to finally see it and meet the characters.
4. Will there be a sequel?
I’m considering writing a sequel about Zyon and Irae. I’m not sure if that will happen or not. I’m writing book 3 of the Keller’s right now. It’s Ty and Brynn’s story. I also have two other ones that I’m in deep on. There is nothing started for a sequel yet, but who knows… I’m not saying never.
Interview with Mira
1. Where do you find inspiration for writing?
I personally find it everywhere. I’m not a big music person anymore. When I get quiet in my life, I enjoy it. However, I usually have it on when I’m driving and songs can make you think of a scenario or character.
Television or a photograph is also good. A scene might bring something alive in my mind. For example, I started The Diary of Dixie Pearl when I was watching the mini series Roots. All the horror’s that slaves went through, I thought, perhaps a man of privilege fell in love with one of these strong black women… but his family was against it… If something speaks to me enough, I open a blank document and start to create the character as I saw them in my head.
The only thing is, usually I get inspired a lot, so I have about 15 or more books started. I go back and restart them at random. If I’m in the mood for a historical, I’ll open one I started. If I’m in the mood for something with a modern aspect, I’ll look back on ones I started usually, before looking for inspiration on something new.
I like a few themes in a book, but I always write some variation of romance with a happy ending.
2. What is your favorite novel?
Hands down Paradise by Judith McNaught! I have the full paper book collection of her novels that I drove all over the state of Florida combing Barnes & Nobel bookstores for. I love her. I also have fallen in love with Outlander. I have all the books on my kindle and am currently getting ready to start book 5 Drums of Autumn. Jamie, is my ideal fantasy man. Which is funny, because I never liked a man in a kilt before him. Ha!
3. If you could travel to any time, what period would you like to explore?
I’m definitely what they call an old soul. I look at what makes headlines today, and can’t really relate to most of it. I’d like to go back to about the 18th or 19th century, when life was simpler. This technological advanced world seems too chaotic to me. I’d love to not have to work outside the home, or have my kids need to make play dates with their friends. People don’t value family as much today either, it seems we keep selling our souls for material things that don’t matter. I know that time wasn’t really easy for women, but I don’t think we have it easy today either. It’s just a different kind of hard.
I love English and Scottish history, so I’d like to go through the stones like Claire Beauchamp, only I’d probably take my husband. He’s pretty handy.
4. Do you have any other hobbies?
Yes. I love to cook. I love making homemade, fun, healthy or comfort food meals for my family and friends. I try to cook at least one meal every day that doesn’t come from a box or can. Pasta’s and pizza are my preferred dishes, but I make homemade perogies, stew and soups too. I hate to bake though. Sweet’s are fortunately not my vice. They are my children’s, thanks to my mother and grandmother, but I’d rather make a meal.
When I’m not writing or in the kitchen I love to paint. I host paint night’s in our community to bring in extra funding for our community center. I love creating something from nothing.
5. How much research do you typically do for a novel?
I find it depends on the novel. I like some facts to be hidden in the fiction. I’m not a stickler on historical facts being completely adhered too in the novel, but I think sometimes it’s cool to add some realness for those who know a bit about certain topics. For example: I recently finished a time travel manuscript and I researched some of the work by some physicists. Both old and new. I also learned that sea glass has been called mermaid tears and is created in folklore when a person dies at sea.
In The Diary of Dixie Pearl, I did know that white’s could not legally marry a person of color in West Virginia during that time, but it made the story more interesting to me. One review said it didn’t like that I strayed from the fact, but I did a bit of research on it. I made the choice to add more fiction than fact on that one. I’d do it again too. I loved Dixie and Ryland, and Callie and Mike.