Today we are interviewing Missy Martine, who also happens to be our spotlight author for the month. Welcome to A History of Romance.
- I’m very curious. How did you get started writing?
My writing came about as a type of therapy after I had a series of strokes back in 2002. For a while, I wasn’t able to communicate at all. It was a pretty unpleasant year for me, able to think pretty clearly but unable to vocalize any of my thoughts. If you’ve never experienced it, you can’t imagine how frustrating it is to try and make someone understand the simplest of things.
My recovery was slow. I was able to talk, long before I was able to control what I was saying. It was very strange trying to communicate with my family, hearing the words clearly in my mind, and then hearing something different coming out of my mouth! What a strange period that was. Just by accident we discovered that I could type what was in my mind, even if I couldn’t say the words out loud. With this new discovery, my recovery seemed to move full steam ahead.
I’m a retired nurse, and had opened my own medical billing service before I had the strokes. I had to become resigned to staying at home, unable to work in my chosen field any longer. Unfortunately, I couldn’t work in any field at that point. The strokes left with a problem with short-term memory that would keep me out of the work force indefinitely. I was so depressed, going from working 12-14 hours a day to sitting at home and watching daytime television! What a culture shock…LOL To occupy my time, I began to read more and more romance novels.
My husband could see how unhappy, and depressed I was becoming, and he decided I needed a new challenge to get me going. He goaded me into writing my first book. He told me, “You’ve read enough of the silly things, you ought to be able to write your own by now. Unless, of course, you’re afraid to try.” They were fighting words! I buckled down and started writing “Table for Three.”
To my surprise, it was a lot of fun, and quite challenging. I’d never considered myself artistic, or creative, so this was all brand new territory to me. But I stuck with it, and finally found a home for it with Siren/Bookstrand Publishing. I can’t tell you how wonderful the feeling of accomplishment was when I got their letter accepting it for publication. It changed my whole life, and all after the age of 50!
Where would you like to go from here?
I’d like to see my health continue to improve, and I’d like to be able to release at least 4 new books per year. I still can’t work outside the home. That nasty little problem with short-term memory is going to be with me all my life. Let’s face it; nobody wants a nurse who can’t remember what she did an hour ago!
I like that the writing can be done anytime, and is providing me with a small, independent income from my husband. I feel more in control, like a contributing member of this marriage, and I don’t want that feeling to end.
What do you love most about what you do?
My favorite part of writing is being able to use my imagination in whatever way I want. I was somewhat limited with my first book, “Table for Three, because of the subject matter. But my second release, “Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage”, is about wolf shape shifters and the rules are completely different. I can let my vivid imagination run as wild as I want, with the rules no longer applying. Some of my book ideas for the coming year include creating whole new worlds for my paranormal characters and I think it’s going to be a blast!
What achievement are you most proud of?
Well, if you’re talking about achievements as a writer, the morning my book “Table for Three” went on sale was a big moment in my life. When it hit #1 on the Siren/Bookstrand 20 Best Sellers List I thought I would absolutely burst with excitement. I didn’t think anything could top it, until my second book, “Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage”, also made the Siren/Bookstrand 20 Best Selling List just one day after release, and “Table for Three” was still on the list as well! Talk about a thrill!
If you’re talking about personal achievement, outside of writing, then it has to be the end of my first marriage. Like a lot of women, I stayed in a loveless, abusive marriage for twenty years before finally getting the courage to walk away. The proudest moment of my life was when I signed my first apartment rental lease, after filing for divorce from my husband. That courage opened my life to new possibilities, and made it possible for me to meet the real love of my life. We’ve been together now for twelve years, and each one just gets better and better. You’d never find another man anywhere that is more romantic than my hubby.
What part of a manuscript do you most enjoy writing?
My favorite parts to write are the ones that help define the personalities of the characters. I like creating the dialog between the different people that helps establish their relationships with each other. I want to be able to make the reader feel as if they’re all in a room together, just chatting. If all that dialog can include humor, then I’m doubly excited to write it. There’s nothing like humor in the story plot to tie everything together, and immerse your reader into the story. Laughing along with the characters can make you feel like you’re part of the story.
What parts of a manuscript do you least like writing?
That would definitely be the love scenes. I guess that’s hard to imagine since I’m an erotic, romance writer. To me, they’re the hardest part of any book to create. If you’re too vague, you lose the interest of your reader and undermine the romantic relationship in the book. If they’re too explicit, you can drive some readers away. There’s a fine line between erotic, and pornographic and we all have to be careful not to cross it.
It’s also very important to keep the encounters fresh, and enticing. You have to be really careful to not be repetitive in your various encounters between characters. For someone like me, with short-term memory problems, it’s a special challenge. I find myself having to keep a chart for each sexual passage I write during the course of a book. This helps to assure me that I’m not repeating positions, phrases, or dialog during the sex acts. And let me tell you, when you’re writing ménage sequences, or books with multiple couples who are sexually active, it can be quite a challenge.
What are you working on now?
I’m putting the finishing touches on book 2 of my trilogy, “A Wolfen Heritage.” It’s called “Denying His Wolfen Heritage. I’ve started on the sequel to Table for Three called “Catch Her When She Falls,” and a paranormal, romantic thriller called “Screams on the Mountain.”
At the same time I’m working on book 3 in my trilogy called, “Changing Their Wolfen Heritage,” plus have just finished outlines for a romantic thriller called “She Wakes,” and a tearjerker love story called “Christmas in July.” As you can see, I multi-task a lot…LOL
Where can fans follow you?
They can follow my books, and any new announcements I might have, on my website at http://www.missymartine.com, and on the Face book page for Missy Martine. If you visit my website, please take a moment to sign the guest book, and enter your email address for my newsletter. I like being able to see whose been checking me out!
What is your favorite television show?
Unfortunately, none of my favorite television shows are still on the air. I don’t watch TV much at all anymore, and only occasionally do I watch a DVD. When I did watch, I loved ER, NYPD Blue, Charmed, Angel, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. I was always an avid fan of Science Fiction, Hospital and Crime dramas.
What’s the most memorable book you’ve ever read?
That is a toughie because there is so many that stick out in my mind. Before I had my strokes LaVyrle Spencer’s “Separate Beds” was the most memorable. It was the first love story I ever bought that I read straight through, without a break. It was such a beautiful story, and I’d never read a book before that made me physically cry.
After my stroke, when I was so down and depressed, it was Leah Brooke’s “Desire for Three” in her “Desire, OK” series. That book was everything you could possible want. It had humor, romance, hot sex, and drama all rolled up in one really good story. It literally brought romance back into my life, and was instrumental in inspiring me to write my own first ménage.
Then I got to read Dana Marie Bell’s “Halle Puma Series” and I was hooked for life on shape shifter books. Her book “Wallflower” made me want to create my own shape shifter characters. That inspiration caused my book, “Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage,” to become an outline.
Do you have any pets?
Oh, yes. I have three beautiful, baby boys! Three cats named Beau, Midnight and Bubba. No, I didn’t give them those “redneck names”…..LOL We rescued them and they already had names they answered to when we took them in.
Beau is around 10 years old now, solid black and part Himalayan. His hair grows to an excess of 9 inches long when we allow it, which in almost never. We keep him neatly shaved down to his skin, which seems to keep him more active. He’s a whopping 22 pounds of cat.
Midnight is strictly what my grandmother called an “alley cat.” He’s approximately 7 years old, mostly black with a few white strips on his underbelly. With short hair, he’s only 10 pounds and desperately tries to act like he’s the “alpha” of the bunch.
Last, there is Bubba who is about 3 years old now. He’s part Bengal, and has a beautiful gray/silver coat of short hair. He’s huge- over 20 pounds but not fat. He’s just tall, and long.
We give those cats a life that most people would envy, and in return, they allow us to continue living with them and providing them with all the luxuries of life! If you’re interested, I have pictures of them on my website at http://www.missymartine.com
Do you have a hobby/favorite pastime?
My husband and I really love to travel. I’ve been blessed to be able to travel with him on so many of his business trips overseas. Thanks to him, I’ve spent time in England, France, Wales, China and Japan. I guess the months we spent in China were the most interesting, just learning the culture and the difference between real Chinese food and American Chinese food.
I have a real love of photography, and wild animals. Many of our vacations have been spent taking our jeep into Wyoming, Utah, Montana, and South Dakota. We’d take all the back roads, sometimes not using roads at all, and literally crawl through the brush so I can sneak up on animals and get their pictures. I have quite a collection of various types of wild life pictures.
We’re also into model railroading. Mostly HO scale, we focus on Norfolk & Western in the mid 50’s. It’s great fun, he puts together the models, and tracks and I’m supposed to do the scenery. We have well over two hundred engines, and several hundred cars.
And I guess a more personal past time for me is cross word puzzles. I love them, the more challenging the better.
I want to thank you for having me today. It’s been a pleasure to chat with you, and I hope to see a lot of your readers on my website.
Thank you so much for the interview,