I’d like to welcome Erin Moore today a fellow Etopia Press author. Erin is awesome. She was even actively promoting my book at RT in NOLA in May. LOL. Erin writes paranormal romances, but is currently at work on her first historical. Her current release is Awakened by the Minotaur.
Hi there, Erin! I’m so glad you could come by today. My first couple of questions is around the craft. Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
Unfortunately, I start plotting along, usually before any research or outline. And then I have to go back and do all of my research. But whatever I’m writing about is usually whatever I’m reading about, anyway, so I just sort of expand my research a bit. For instance, I was reading everything about the Mongols that I could, and then I wrote something that has been tucked away for a little while called “Captive of the Steppes.” It may see its day in the sun soon…
Ooh, sounds interesting. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far that’s improved your writing from that very first book to now?
That we no longer write books like they were written in the 70’s. For instance, the POV switching is much more defined now; you don’t see books getting published now where you have a POV switch in the middle of the paragraph (even though that was pretty common back in the day). And also, info –dumping is really not allowed (not that it ever was, but you can really see the distinction if you read a historical romance from twenty years ago.)
Another favorite tip that I learned from great editors: there’s usually no need to put in dialogue tags (“he said” or “she said”) unless it’s unclear who’s speaking. It’s almost always better to put in an action. Wow. That was more than one answer!
The more the better. And you’re so right. I find it very distracting now when I do catch a POV slip in the middle of the a scene where it’s not supposed to be. I think, as writers, we’re certainly more attuned to it now. You know, I can probably count on one hand number of times I use dialogue tags. It so rare to use one.
If you could give a new writer or even a younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Start now. Start writing, every day, and finish that book.
Exactly! Why wait? What’s next for you in terms of writing?
Ooh. I love this question! I’m currently writing a paleolithic romance. Think Clan of the Cave Bear, but a little closer to us in time period, set in ancient Turkey. It’s been a tough road to research and write, because every little detail has to be cross-checked (did they have bows and arrows? What were the houses made of? Would they have traded with other tribes?) And so much of it is still being uncovered in places like Catal Huyuk or Gobekli Tepe ,changing the whole nature of what we know of that time period. It’s super fascinating stuff. (Well, if you’re kind of dorky like me, it is!)
Talk about taking me back. I LOVED Clan of the Cave Bear. I read all of Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children® series. Talk about a rocking heroine in Ayla.
List a couple of your favorite authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
I’m a huge fan of Kate Furnivall – her historical fiction is always top notch. Also always love unique historical fiction, like Maria Bordihin’s Falcon of Palermo or anything from unique time periods that most other authors leave alone. Sophy Burnham’s Treasure of Montsegur, about the massacre of the “heretical” Cathars in France, also comes to mind.
I hear you have a recipe to share with us today, Erin. I so love when my guests bring me food. Especially the easy recipes because I love to cook, but I wish I had more time.
For a book set in Greece, I’ve got an easy Greek salad. (No red onions, because I hate them, but feel free to add them!)
Yum! Though, I’m horrified you took out the onions. Red onions are good! You’d get along great with my family, Erin. I put onions in just to annoy them now
EASY GREEK SALAD
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and large dice
1 medium English cucumber, large dice
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon), plus more as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
Combine lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Place tomatoes, cucumber, and olives in a bowl and toss gently. Add dressing and feta.
Voila! Super easy and perfect for summer tomatoes.
And now for the real reason, Erin stopped by. Her latest book is now available.
When man becomes minotaur, dark passion takes hold…
Lara Castille always plays it safe in both love and life. But when she arrives on vacation in Crete, she is determined to enjoy herself. Old habits die hard, though. Drawn to her tour guide, the enigmatic and sexy Teo Lambros, she cannot let down her guard—until she takes part in the ancient and sensual rites at the ruins of Knossos. She dreams of the minotaur who takes her upon the altar, and wonders if it could be Teo who brought her to ecstasy.
A gray haze clouds Teo’s memory of the rites; he knows only that the bull has chosen him for his own. He fears that the land will once again need a sacrifice, as it did when it claimed his fiancée the year before. Though he cannot deny his need for Lara, he knows that protecting her from his desire is the only way to keep her safe.
As the island’s magic demands everything they have, Lara and Teo must discover what’s real and what’s imagined if they’re to survive the passionate sexuality that draws them together…
She pushed inside and followed what sounded like a drum beat as she picked her way carefully over rocks. It would be just like her to fall and break her neck in the middle of a Greek ruin.
The beat was insistent, wild, primal. She felt it all the way through her stomach. Where were the drummers? She stopped and blinked and then blinked again. Was it possible that she was seeing what she was seeing? Or had she had way more to drink than she’d thought? There were people below her. Naked. Singing. Dancing?
Curiosity overwhelmed whatever rational part was left after her four—okay, six—ouzos; she wanted to know what was happening. More than that, though, the sound of the drums and the clear sensuality in the air pulled her ever closer. A strange tingle began in the base of her feet, spreading its soft tendrils through her body, compelling her to walk down the last few stones. She had to see for herself. She had to know.
She inched closer to the dark faces who were whirling, dancing, and, she realized, fucking in the dark. Men and women, women and women, men and men—she didn’t want to stare and confirm, though it didn’t seem as if anyone had noticed her presence—found each other in eager caresses all around her. The sounds of ecstasy, moaning, and cries of joy, pulsed around her, competing with the deep bass of the drum. She was glad of the dark, glad that no one could see her flushed face.
A path, lit only by the light of the moon, shone before her. The white stones marked a way through the mating couples. The drum beat its wild rhythm, and she felt strangely wild with it, as if pulled, called, summoned to this. She should have been embarrassed, observing so many others in the midst of sexual ecstasy, but she wasn’t. Instead, her whole body moved in time with the throb of the music, matching its rhythms. She lifted her arms. Twirling, her body moved of its own accord down the path between masked men and women as they writhed and danced all around her.
At the end of the path lay a raised altar, like a thick stone table. And there, standing atop it, a man. His lithe body was clad only in a rustic loincloth, but his head was that of a bull.
The horns looked real, their bone tips lethal in the moonlight, and his head was swinging as if truly melded to his beautiful body. His large cock was evident even from this distance, the body it was attached to distinctly male in its form. Thick, hardened, strong, he stood as if the world belonged to him.
Lara didn’t question it. This night was a fantastic dream, and this creature a part of her fantasy. Mesmerized she moved ever closer to the stone structure and the beautiful bull atop it. Drummers kept an elaborate rhythm, and the couples writhed and danced in time with its intricate melody. All except the bull. He swung his head around, as if sniffing the air, looking for something.
Lara gasped as he stared straight at her. Surely, he couldn’t see her.
Oh, but he did. He was watching her. Drawn to him, she approached the altar, unthinking, unknowing. As if in a trance, she moved in time with the insistent music. The moon and the energy all around her drove her to him. And she responded; she no longer knew what she was doing, and all rational thought fled from her.
Erin writes sensuous paranormal romances set in exotic locales. Her latest book is a sexy minotaur shifter story in Crete. A regular blogger for Marketing for Romance Writers as well as Heroes and Heartbreakers, she is sadly neglectful of her own blog. At home in Atlanta, she has two little paranormal beings as well as one unruly husband.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Erin. It was so wonderful to meet you in New Orleans, though we didn’t get nearly enough time to spend together. We will have to rectify that next time!!
Please check out Erin Moore and Awakened by the Minotaur