Monday, September 17, 2012

Interveiw: Author Tory Michaels

I have Tory Michaels on my blog today for an interview and if you scroll down to the next two posts you can read our reviews of Blood Rage and Blood Mage Rising. 

I know you get asked this question over and over but can you tell us a little about yourself? Maybe something juicy. ;)

I love juicy peaches! And watermelon! How’s that for juicy? Hehehe.

Erm, more seriously, I write for an erotic romance house, but my biggest struggle is writing those hot scenes. It’s a bit scandalous, I know, to admit that, but it’s true. Those are always the last scenes I write in a book, and for EP, the number of such scenes in my books is very low (2-3 usually in a 95-100k book).

When did you first start writing? Are you a full time author or do you do it on the side?

My mom kept this writing on those old tablets, you know from elementary school where there’s a big open space at the top and like 3 wide lines (with the broken lines as well) at the bottom? I wrote about a turnip who wanted to be human, so I think it’s safe to say I’ve been writing, and wanting to write since I first learned how.

Unfortunately, I do it on the side around my full-time job, twin infant girls, first grader and husband (who seems to want attention too).

Do you have an author that has really inspired you?

Sherrilyn Kenyon has been a big inspiration. I have to say, though, that Kim Harrison and Keri Arthur have been bigger ones because it was through them that I realized oh, hey, there ARE people out there who’ve written about the supernatural critters being out of the closet, so to speak, and accepted (nominally at least) by society.

How long does it normally take you to write an average book or your last book?

Once I get started, I’ve usually been able to finish within 6 weeks for the first draft. Unfortunately, my current WIP, Prophecy of Blood (Book 3 in the Dream-Walker War) took me almost 3 months and one totally false start (like 60k in before I realized something was seriously wrong – pacing…how I hate it). Luckily I cannabilized a good portion of that first run through so it wasn’t a total waste. My goal is to get up to 4-6 books in a year, but that’s a long way off.

What do you think makes a story great?

In part, that’s a subjective thing. For example, people seem absolutely in love with the “classics” written by Bronte, Dumas, etc. I’ve tried reading those, and they bore me to tears. To the point where, just in disbelief that it’s so popular, I actually stopped on a particularly loathesome sentence and counted how many words were in it (87, as memory serves). Yes, that was ONE sentence.

For me, I like a healthy dose of action, some hot sex (but not too much, because if there’s sex every chapter, or every 20 pages, that can get boring). I want significant, heavy-duty plot with my romance. Or, as an alternative, a nice historical romance serves instead of action and adventure. So I guess, for me, it’s a matter of getting pulled completely out of my own comfortable “real” world (I don’t care for contemporary romance – give me romantic suspense, paranormal, or historical, and I’m a happy camper!).

Tell us about your Dream Walker War series?

The Dream-Walker war takes place on modern day Earth, but the difference is the non-humans all came out of the closet in 1929 (vampires, shifters, dhampires and mage-born are the species known). In Blood Rage, the head of the vampire leadership is trying to keep the humans from learning there’s a group of (he believes) terrorist vampires (don’t giggle, I don’t know what else to call them, since in essence that’s what they are) who call themselves the Aristocrats trying to incite a species-war between the vampires and everyone else. This has been going on for months, but a body finally turned up that he and the rest of the leaders didn’t get to before the authorities (in this case, the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs) found it.

In Blood-Mage Rising (which takes place during the same period as Blood Rage), another member of the vampire leadership takes a different route in trying to find the terrorists, and

Have you done lots of research for your books or do the stories just come to you?

There wasn’t a lot of research, though I had been working on my Master’s in Public Administration, which is where I got the idea to build the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs. After all, if the non-humans had been known to the humans for 80+ years, it only made sense that they would have been fully integrated into society. Why wouldn’t they have their own government agency?

Vampire research – not so much of that, other than I’ve been an inveterate reader and watcher of most things vampire since I was eleven (I cannot include the Twilight Saga, as I couldn’t stand Bella, and Anne Rice’s Vampire series bored me after the 2nd book in the series).

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the second draft of Prophecy of Blood, the third book in the Dream-Walker War, and the events of it are helping me shape my ideas for the fourth (and final) book in the series. I take notes now and then for a fantasy series I’d like to give a shot on.

Can you tell us about some of your prior achievements?

Hmm, do you count having children as achievements? I was a competitive swimmer for 7 years as a kid. No big writing celebrations though. I’ve never finalled in a contest, though I’m hoping to enter the RITAs this year with Blood Rage since it came out in paperback (which I’m very proud of).

Is there anything that I didn't cover that you would like to talk about or say to your potential readers?

Thank you so much for having me. I love getting to know more people and will be hangin’ out in the comments if your readers have any questions!

Just for fun:
Hardback or Paperback?  - E-book, heh. But otherwise, paperback. Why spend $25+ and only have one book, when I can spend the same amount and get 3-5 books?
Dog ears or Bookmarks?  - Dog-ears. I can’t keep track of bookmarks. I have kids.
YA novels or Adult novels? – Adult
Library or Bookstore? – Unfortunately, budget requires library.
Reading glasses or No glasses? – No glasses
Snack while reading or No snacks? – Only if I’m hungry.
Beach or Mountain? – Mountains
Vampire or Werewolf? – Considering my main characters have all been vamps thus far, I should probably say vamps, huh? J
Hot or Flirty? – Flirty with a touch of heat.
Movie 1st or Book 1st? – Depends on which is better. Occasionally there have been movies that are better than the books (Lord of the Rings comes immediately to mind……)
Contemporary or Historical? – If it’s just normal, straight romance, then historical every time.
Page-Turner or Tear Jerker? – Page turner, woohoo!

Blood Rage
The Dream-Walker War, Book 1
Evernight Publishing
Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
For eighty years since the Great Awakening, humans and non-humans have lived in relative peace together. The peace is threatened when three bodies turn up less than a mile from the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs in Tampa, all bearing the signature of vampires who once terrorized Europe.

The Bureau’s chief liaison to the vampires, Dara MacKechnie, learns that the Tampa victims are not alone when her ex-lover, and head of the vampire’s Great Council, Anthony Caldwell comes calling.

The pair discovers the lie that separated them two centuries ago only banked their passion, not extinguished it. Dara must decide whether she can trust Anthony with her heart a second time as they try to head off the war that threatens all they hold dear.

Instinct helped her draw back before she took more than she should. Dara sucked in air, trying to wipe away the addictive taste of him even while she absorbed the new details about his true nature.
    “Good lord,” she said against his throat. “Wow doesn’t seem quite adequate.” The exchange was bliss itself, but ultimately left her unfulfilled. Her body throbbed with it, and she felt the same need in him, rock-hard desire pressing up against her core through their clothes. Dara shifted, trying to alleviate the pressure trapped between her thighs.
    Anthony’s arm around her waist tightened, holding her still. He groaned, teeth grinding together. “I suggest, my pet, you stop moving if you wish me to remain a gentleman. There’s a reason exchanges take place during sex.”
    Her mouth fell open. Chris had mentioned something of that nature on more than one occasion.In for a penny, in for a pound, Dara reasoned. It would be better than walking away right then, knowing they wanted the same thing. Maybe a second night would quench the lust, and she could let go of the need, the hunger for him he created just by breathing.
    She shifted, straddling his lap to settle more firmly against the erection that bulged in his jeans and wrapped her arms around his neck. She felt reckless right then. A second night wouldn’t hurt anyone or anything. Dara found the notion liberating. “Do you really want me to stay still, Tony?”
    His dark eyes glittered with familiar intensity as he clutched her hips. His mouth curled up at one corner. “Don’t call me that.”
    “What?” She leaned forward and nuzzled the side of his neck, just above the tiny marks from where she had bitten him, and reached for the button on his jeans. “I don’t know. I rather like it. Sarah might be onto something with that. Tony Caldwell, man about town. Maybe I can convince you to like it.”
    Anthony groaned as she slid the zipper down, shifting back on the couch. “Unlikely, but you can always try to convince me. What do you propose to do?”
    Dara trailed her fingers just inside the waistband of his pants, toying with the firm flesh there. “I have an idea or two. It might be easier if you took your pants off though.”
    “Are you going to reciprocate?” He set her own her feet before standing, towering over her.
    She grinned up at him, easing the pants over his narrow hips until she could cup the rampant erection he sported. “Wasn’t planning on it quite yet.”
    He shucked the pants off the rest of the way, kicking them to one side. A heartbeat later, his shirt joined the heap on the floor. Dara leaned back to admire the gorgeous sight he made, standing there totally nude. Oh, to have her camera, take a picture to remember this night for the rest of her existence, long after they moved on. Broad shoulders, chiseled abs leading down to his waist, with only a faint sprinkling of body hair.
    She slowly circled him, trailing her fingertips over his middle, watching with delight as goosebumps rose in their wake.
    Anthony held up his hands, watching her as she paused in front of him, clearly debating her course of action. It was a bit of a role reversal, as he was well-used to having her naked while heremained clothed. But he was inclined to give her her head and see where she led. “Now what?”
    “Sit.” In that effort, she rested her hands, silky smooth and warm, on his chest to urge him down.
    Yes, he liked this more decisive, assertive woman. He cherished the memory of her innocence and enthusiasm, but he found it quite alluring, a woman who knew what she wanted. And clearly she wanted something beyond the obvious. He settled back on the couch, arms spread along the back. If he didn’t, he’d reach for her and end this now. Control, Anthony, control.
    His breath caught in his throat when she dropped to her knees between his legs and took him in her hands, stroked along his length. His world narrowed to just the two of them, everything not her fading rapidly as he thought only of the soft hands caressing him, something he’d long feared might never happen again. Anthony groaned. “You’re going to kill me, woman.”
    A tiny, teasing smile crossed her face. “La petite mort, yes. That’s certainly the idea,” she said, cupping his balls. Warm breath tickled the length of him as she spoke.
    His hands clenched into fists. He wouldn’t be able to take much of this, or he’d thoroughly disgrace himself by coming too soon. When she took him in her mouth, his eyes crossed. Gods, yes. If Odin himself popped in and offered to take him off to Valhalla, he would turn the god down in a heartbeat, just to stay like this. It’d been so long.
    Dara allowed herself a satisfied mental smile at his raspy growl and swirled her tongue around his cock, continuing to caress him. He’d never let her get away with calling him Tony, but it’d been an excellent segue to this.
    Her eyes closed as his fingers speared into her hair, massaging her scalp even as he slowed her pace.
    “Such a talented mouth, pet,” he said, tugging strands free from the braid trailing down her back. “I’ve miss this so damned much.”
    The words echoed round and round her head, and she hummed with satisfaction, drawing another long, tortured groan from him. And then voices from the past exploded from her subconscious, rough hands pulling at her. Such a good little pet. Dara choked.
    “No!” She fell back, scrabbling away on the floor. Voices pressed in on her, upper-crust British accents, laughter, and pain. The newly recovered memories dug their claws in, and she buried her face in her knees, trying to force them back.

Blood Rage Buy Links

Blood-Mage Rising
The Dream-Walker War, Book 2
Evernight Publishing
Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
In the eighty years since the Great Awakening, humans and non-humans have lived side by side, relatively at peace.  In an attack that leaves his wife dead, Jordan MacNaught is caught up in the start of a war meant to turn the other races against the vampires. He knows beyond a doubt the vampires of yesteryear are not involved in the attacks. They're all dead, except for him.

     Jordan asks for Chris Javert's help in hunting those who murdered his wife. She's no stranger to hunting vampires. After all, she nearly destroyed Jordan when she ended the reign of his Aristocrats in Europe two hundred years ago.

Despite the disturbing turn to her daydream, the shower centered her. It certainly ended her bout of the hornies. When she exited the frosted glass enclosure into the steam and gardenia-scented room, Chris could face the world, and Jordan, again. Cool marble tile provided a sharp contrast against the balmy miasma blanketing her. She needed to get dressed and back to work.
“It’s about time you got out,” Jordan said as he materialized, seated on the edge of the counter between the sink bowls. His legs dangled over the edge.
“Son of a—” Chris yelped and leaped for her towel.
He blinked slowly, warning, and she just caught herself before the last word slipped out. The last time she called him a son of a bitch, he buried her alive for disparaging his mother. For some reason, he objected to the pejorative, even though rumor had it he’d killed his mother at some point. She clutched at her towel like a shield.
“What are you doing in here?”
“To quote a certain someone, I should think that it’s fairly obvious. I wanted to talk to you.” He flashed a smile, fangs just barely showing, and leaned his weight back on his palms. “You know, Chrissy, if you’d just given me a bit longer, you wouldn’t have had to resort to alternative methods.”
She might be claustrophobic, but right then she wanted the floor to open up and swallow her whole. Dear God. Her reflection turned a nice, brilliant, beet red, and she looked around for her bathrobe, finally finding it slung over the door that separated the toilet from the main portion of the room. “Mother of Lorminstra, you perverted jackanapes!”
Jordan blinked again, the picture of innocence. “I am the perverted one? Which one of us just masturbated in the shower?”
This absolutely can’t be happening. Please let this be a continuation of the weird-ass dream. Chris snatched her robe down and yanked it on, surreptitiously pinching her side in the process. Pain flared and dissipated. Unfortunately, the bathroom invasion continued unabated.Damn, no dream. She belted the flimsy scrap of silk, not feeling much more secure than with the towel. “You could have waited five minutes.”
“I did. Then, when you still didn’t emerge, I thought I’d wait in here.”
Since the universe didn’t see fit to rescue her by sending a great bolt of lightning or a tsunami to kill her, she needed to brazen the situation out. And had her shower really taken that long? Good lord.
“What was so important you couldn’t wait? And while there’d better not be a next time, next time let me know you’re there. I could have finished...ah, I could have gotten, ah, ….”
There really wasn’t a good way to end that statement, and she floundered. He didn’t seem inclined to rescue her either, judging by his grin. Asshole. The recently departed headache began to squeeze her temples again.
“I wouldn’t have enjoyed it half as much if I had interrupted, unless I joined in.”
“Well, why didn’t you?” In her brief glimpse before she bent at the waist and flipped her hair over her head to begin toweling it dry, she got good visual confirmation that he definitely enjoyed the view. Must have been in mist form to see much, given the frosted glass that surrounded the shower.
“And get my clothes wet? Don’t be absurd.”
“A normal person would join me.” She wrung her hair out with more force than strictly necessary. “Now, explain what was so important you felt the need to become a Peeping Jordan, and then get out!”
“I think you need to have another go in the shower, if you’re still this waspish.”
Anthony would thank her if she killed him.
“I’ll make this brief. You’re fond of gambling, aren’t you?”
“What of it?” She continued to rub viciously with the towel, not sure she followed him yet. “I’m fond of lots of things.”
“Earlier, you propositioned me.”
Chris choked. “I did no such thing!”
“Then what would you call it?”
“Losing my mind.”
Jordan chuckled. From her upside down position, she saw his legs stop swinging as he leaned forward. “I propose a bet. Just to make our time a little more interesting, although I doubt it will beat what I just saw.”
She purposely ignored the latter half of his statement. Finished with her scalp she moved on to the longer portion of her hair.
“If you win, I will walk the straight and narrow for, hmmm. Two decades should be impetus enough, even for you. While not admitting to having done anything that might get me in trouble under your country’s Rights and Responsibilities Act, I promise not to indulge in any of my more exotic entertainments for that period. No murder, no torture, nothing of that nature.” Her eyes widened, and she stood, towel held loosely in her right hand. “I thought that might garner your exclusive attention.”
Mouth dry, she swallowed hard. For that offer, he wanted something big in return. “And if I lose?”
“I get your blood. More specifically, we forge a blood-bond.”
No chance in hell.
Though she wanted to say the words, she didn’t. If she rejected him out of hand without a good reason, he might wonder. Vampires commonly shared blood. It wasn’t safe for her to do, since most people would feel obligated to turn her over to the Circle for execution if they figured out what she was.
She couldn’t dismiss the possibility he’d offered the bet to see how desperate she was to avoid sharing blood. In that case, she should say yes and win, no matter the cost.
“Quite the stakes. What’s the bet?”

Blood-Mage Rising Buy Links

Originally from the Sacramento Valley, Tory packed up and moved all the way to Southwest Florida in 2004 with her husband (a Florida native) under the premise that ‘hurricanes almost never hit that part of the state.’ That year, 4 blasted the area. 4 more came the following year, and her husband blames her for bringing the hurricanes. She now resides in Jacksonville and is relieved that, thus far, no more hurricanes have followed her around.

She began writing in kindergarten when a turnip wished to be human and, other than a hiatus shortly after getting married, has never stopped. Her love of vampires began somewhere in junior high, and combining the two loves didn’t take long. She loves music, considers herself a ‘book slut’ whose reading habits would break her family financially if given free reign, and is (usually) delighted to be a mommy of twin Shrimpettes and a Shrimp.

Author Links


Tory Michaels said...

Thanks for having me here today.

Tory Michaels said...

Thanks for having me here today.

DBookWhore said...

Great Interview! This sounds like a great one!

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