Today, we have an interview with Shelly Munro, author of the House of The Cat, Middlemarch Shifters, and Dragon Investigators series. Her current catalog of books include:
My Scarlet Woman, 1: Middlemarch Shifters
My Younger Lover, 2: Middlemarch Shifters
My Peeping Tom, 3: Middlemarch Shifters
My Assassin, 4: Middlemarch Shifters
My Estranged Lover, 5: Middlemarch Shifters
My Feline Protector, 6: Middlemarch Shifters
My Determined Suitor, 7: Middlemarch Shifters
Captured & Seduced, 1: House of the Cat
Claimed & Seduced, 2: House of the Cat
Merry & Seduced, 2.5: House of the Cat
Stranded & Seduced 2.75: House of the Cat
Seized & Seduced, 3: House of the Cat
Hunted & Seduced, 4: House of the Cat
Festive & Seduced, 5: House of the Cat
Blue Moon Dragon, 1: Dragon Investigators
and many others! She is currently working on a new story for her Middlemarch Shifters series, and another for her House of Cat series as well as a super secret project that we can all look forward to sometime soon.
In this interview, Shelley talks about her writing process, her new series, and more. Enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a typical Sagittarian who suffers from itchy feet and who loves to go off on adventures. Luckily, my long-suffering husband enjoys travel as much as I do, so we head off on our adventures to different parts of the world as often as the budget will allow.
When I’m at home, my time is spent writing and completing my virtual assistant duties with my partner-in-crime, our dog Bella, at my side.
I was brought up on a farm and love animals, and like many New Zealanders, I enjoy sports. I’m an excellent armchair ref when it comes to rugby! I also possess an “interesting” imagination and all of these elements—the travel, adventure, animals, sports and imagination—find their way into my writing. Paranormal is the perfect genre for blending imagination.
What do you like to read in your free time? What are you reading now?
My love of reading is what lead me to writing. I’ve always enjoyed reading romances—picking the genre to suit my mood—and mysteries/thrillers.
At present I’m reading a historical romance box set called My Favorite Rogue featuring stories by Courtney Milan, Lauren Royal, Grace Burrows, Christi Caldwell, Jess Michaels, Erica Ridley, Delilah Marvelle, and Eva Devon. I’ve read the first five stories so far and have enjoyed every single one.
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest recently and why?
Not so much new authors as new-to-me authors, which is so much better because they often have a backlist to glom. Recently, I’ve enjoyed Laura Trentham who has a new small-town contemporary series, and Christi Caldwell, discovered in the historical box set mentioned above.
I haven’t read as many paranormal romances recently, but I’m always on the look out for new-to-me authors in this genre.
How did you begin writing? Have you always wanted to be an author?
I’d always thought about writing, but travel and adventures got in the way.
Hubby and I spent six years working in London and traveling in between jobs. Once we settled back at home and into routine, I woke up one morning and decided if I didn’t start writing instead of just thinking about it, I’d run out of time. That day, I enrolled in a writing course and my journey into the world of romance writing began. I’ve been writing ever since.
What are your thoughts on receiving book reviews—the good and the bad—the ugly?
Book reviews are great and I appreciate each one I receive. It takes time for a reader to read and review a book—time they could have spent doing something else—hence my appreciation. The good and the bad? The ugly? Every author needs to realize that there will be some readers who don’t connect with their book. There is no point stressing about bad or ugly reviews. I just move on. Life is too short to worry about a bad review.
Although writing is a solitary endeavor, many authors have a community behind them that supports and encourages them. Do you have people in your back pocket who help you, or have mentored you along the way?
I’ve always found that writers are incredibly supportive and generous with imparting their knowledge. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America and visit the online forum at Romance Divas at least once a week. The depth of knowledge in these two groups is huge, and even though I’ve been writing for a while, I always learn something.
The Authors Support Network (for Indie writers) is also an excellent source of support and encouragement. This is an excellent place to ask questions about the writing business and craft stuff too.
There are so many aspects of writing that a lot of readers never think of. What is your least favorite part about the writing process?
I have to say that the area of marketing is always a challenge, mainly because it’s not easy to measure the success of each promotion. It doesn’t help that I’m away for months at a time with limited internet access, and I tend to lose traction.
Writing isn’t the easiest business since there is a lot of competition for a reader’s attention. That said, I do what I can to market my books and continue to write more. I think that is the best thing any author can do—grow their backlist.
Now for something silly, if you were starring in a paranormal romance novel, would your ideal mate be a shifter (if so, which kind), a vampire, or something else?
That’s easy! I’d be a feline shapeshifter with my second choice being a dragon. Both types of shifters are cool in their own way. Climbing trees and purring. Flying. I’d be happy as a leopard shifter or a dragon.
What are you working on now? How is this different from your past projects?
I’m currently working on books for my Middlemarch Shifters series, (feline shapeshifters). Next up will be a new book in my House of the Cat series, (feline shapeshifters in space). I’m in a rinse and repeat phase at present, although I do have a super-secret project percolating during my down-time.
Can you share an excerpt of your upcoming book, or recently released one?
This is an excerpt from My Estranged Lover, which is my latest release. It is book 5 in my Middlemarch Shifters series.
Caroline Rutherford reclined in her double bed and stared at the pages of her romance novel, despite the lateness of the hour. Instead of following the raven-haired Scottish lass as she led her hunky Highlander on an adventurous dance, her mind kept sliding to her own life.
Where was Marsh?
With another woman if her mother-in-law’s barbed hints held truth.
She hadn’t summoned the courage to ask Marsh.
Sighing, she shut the book and set it aside. Caroline rearranged her pillows and flicked off the light, plunging the bedroom into darkness.
With sight obscured, her other senses worked harder. The tick of the alarm clock sprang into focus, beating off the seconds, the minutes, the hours her husband stayed away from the house. The nights he slept in the spare bed. She sucked in a breath and caught a whiff of laundry powder, a trace of cinnamon from the candle she’d burned earlier, the spicy hint of her green tea perfume.
With a trace of embarrassment at her weakness, she reached beneath the pillow on the other side of the bed and pulled out a T-shirt—one of Marsh’s. She’d behaved like a stalker to get this, stealing her husband’s favorite T-shirt from the laundry hamper. Her throat tightened even as his comforting scent wrapped around her senses.
Tears stung her eyes as the truth loomed in her mind.
It was time.
Their marriage couldn’t continue in this fashion, not if she wanted to retain her sanity.
A vehicle pulled up outside the house—one of the farmhouses reserved for workers. At least she’d won that argument and insisted they have their own home instead of moving into the large Rutherford homestead. Caroline’s stomach rolled, the knots twisting, turning, tightening until she wanted to scream in frustration.
But she remained silent.
She froze, tension in every muscle, in every slow, even breath.
The back door squealed open, squealed shut.
Her hands curled to fists.
The old wooden floorboards creaked under the weight of footsteps.
Her fingernails dug into her palms.
Another door squeaked, softer with less of a protest.
The grip around her heart softened, emotion spilling a tear free.
Marsh was checking on Ricky. No matter how wide the gap yawned between them, she knew he loved their two boys, which made this situation even more difficult.
The door squeaked again. Footsteps neared their bedroom, stilled outside the ajar door.
Caroline’s breath caught, held. Sharp teeth bit into her bottom lip.
The pause lengthened.
Her heart hammered.
Then the measured footsteps resumed, the creaks retreating as Marsh walked to the bedroom at the far end of the passage.
Maybe he was checking on James. Maybe he’d return.
She waited and waited and waited.
Marsh didn’t make a return trip, choosing to sleep in the spare bed in James’s room instead of sleeping with her. A long-standing habit.
Tears slid down her cheeks, one after the other.
She couldn’t go on this way.
She’d talk to Marsh.
Last but not least, where can our readers find all your great work? Do you have a newsletter they can subscribe to?
Thanks again to Shelley for taking the time for this interview!