Tule Author Q&A: Michelle Beattie talks Last Stand, Texas and tropes!

Michelle Beattie dropped in to talk about the third book in her Tangled Up in Texas series, Cowboy Wild!

 

Orange Wooden House Surrounded With Green TreesWhat has been your favorite part about writing a story in Last Stand?

Texas!  I’d always dreamed of going to Texas and was lucky enough to visit San Antonio on a writing conference and get a small sense of the state.  I loved everything about it.  As for Last Stand itself, I like small towns.  I like the history of this one and the fact you can “see” it in the outside walls of the saloon.  That walking the streets you can feel the history.  Also, I’m from a small town. I’m very familiar with the feel of them, so Last Stand was a perfect fit.

 

How is Cam different from his brothers, Dallas and Gage? How is he the same?

Well, Cam is the wild child.  He’s the fun one.  He has a cocky swagger and a cheeky grin.  He’s definitely lighter than Dallas and Gage, at least on the surface.  His smiles come easier.  But where Dallas and Gage are more confident in who they are, Cam actually is less.  And has felt less, which is why he hides behind his smile.  He is similar to his brothers in that he has the  same work ethic as Gage and Dallas, and the loyalty.  Despite his wild ways, you can count on Cam, same as all other Granger men.

 

Photography of a Man Riding HorseCowboy Wild is fun opposites attract romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

I loved the idea of a cowboy and a city girl.  Of a man whose education is the land and the animals versus the college educated woman.  I thought it would make an interesting dynamic.  Especially when the city girl isn’t as city as she might appear.  Although her parents are, which puts a big strain on Cam and Kara’s relationship.

I’m not sure I have a favorite trope to write.  For me it’s all about the characters.  First I think of them and who they are and from there I decide on which trope suits them best.  So I don’t start with “I’m going to write a secret baby.”  I’ll start with “I have a man who’s solid and dependable.  Rock of the Earth.  What’s the best way to challenge him?” and go from there.

 

What is different about writing historical romances vs contemporary romances? Which one do you enjoy more?

Historicals are harder, for sure.  Research is harder because you can’t just call up a pirate or a sheriff from the 1800’s to ask questions.  And cell phones!  So many times I wished my historical characters had them!  LOL.  I enjoy both genres.  I really like the pluck it took to survive in the pirate days or on the western frontier.  I love the chivalry and how sometimes the female seemed more cherished than she is today.  But it’s definitely easier to write about current times and clothing and they can sure get from one place to another a lot faster!

 

Black Kindle Tablet On Grey Floral TextileWhat do you want readers to take away from this book?

I’m not necessarily after them taking away deep meaning.  What means more to me is did you like the characters?  Were you able to relate?  Are they characters that, by the time you’ve read the book or series, feel like family?  I always strive for that.  For a story you can get lost in and love so much you’ll want to keep it and reread it one day.  That’s the take away I want.  Have I done a good enough job that you’ll come back to it one day as though you’re visiting an old friend?

 

What are you currently reading?

So, continuing on with my last answer, I am currently rereading a Maisey Yates book, Part-Time Cowboy.  I love to reread books that I’ve enjoyed and I have 2 large bookshelves for just those books.  With Covid-19 I’m not going into bookstores, and as I do prefer a hard copy book, I’m going to reread her Copper Ridge series then likely go back to Nora Roberts.  I have shelves of her books.  I’ll likely read her Inn of Boonsboro trilogy.  I do love a man wearing a tool belt!

 

About the Author

Award-winning author Michelle Beattie began writing in 1995, almost immediately after returning from her honeymoon.  It took 12 long years but she achieved her dream of seeing her name on the cover of a book when she sold her novel, What A Pirate Desires, in 2007.  Since then she’s written and published several more historical novels as well a contemporary.  Her pirate books have sold in several languages, been reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly and Romantic Times.  Two of her independent self-published works went on to win the Reader’s Choice Silken Sands Self-Published Star Contest.

When Michelle isn’t writing she enjoys playing golf, reading, walking her dog, travelling and sitting outside enjoying the peace of country life.  Michelle comes from a large family and treasures her brothers and sister as well as the dozens of aunts, uncles and cousins she’s proud to call family.  She lives outside a tiny town in east-central Alberta, Canada with her husband, two teenage daughters and their dog, Ty.


Tule Author Q&A: M.A. Guglielmo discusses fallen angels and Persian folklore!

M.A. Guglielmo stopped by to talk about the second book in her From Smokeless Fire series, Soul to Steal!

 

Soul to Steal is a fantasy novel with jinns, fallen angels, magic and mythology. Where did you get the inspiration for the world you’ve created?

The central story that inspired me to write the From Smokeless Fire series is the legend of Harut and Marut, two fallen angels who complain so much about human immorality that they are sent down in human form to experience temptation firsthand. After failing at resisting sin in spectacular fashion, they’re punished by being hung by their feet inside a cursed mountain, where they bestow magical knowledge on humans brave enough to find their prison.

 

How did your experience writing Soul to Steal differ from book one, Summoned?

In a word: time. Although Summoned wasn’t the first novel I finished and edited, it was the first I published, and I had more time for feedback from different beta readers, as well as working out plot issues by myself. The timeline for Soul to Steal was shorter, and I had to make tough and fast decisions about cutting out scenes, a few minor characters and restructuring some plotlines. Luckily, I had awesome editorial backup to help with the process! 

 

Jo is attacked by a magical bird from Persian legend. Can you explain the legend?

The Simurgh is a fantastical bird from Persian folklore, with the size and strength to carry away elephants. In the Persian epic the Shahnameh, Zal, an infant with white hair, is thought to be a devil and is left on a mountain top to perish. The Simurgh finds and rescues the baby, then raises him as her own. He eventually returns to the human world and uses the magical feather she gave to perform a cesarean section on his wife, saving both her and his son, who grows to become a great hero of the epic. An ancient tale with surgical technique—I love it!

 

What do you want readers to take away after reading this novel?

Although the story has many entertaining fantastical moments, I think in the end Soul to Steal is about relationships and love, whether in a family or a romantic dynamic. In the story, both Zahara and Jo come from family backgrounds that cause conflicts with the people they love, and they have to bring together former enemies in order to save themselves (and everyone else!) 

 

You work by day as a neurosurgeon. When do you find the time to write and where do you do it?

Finding time with both work and my family is a huge challenge—there’s no doubt about it! Luckily my two daughters are a huge help around the house and supportive of my writing. My dog and cat—not so helpful. I often use the month of November (when the writing event NanoWriMo takes place) as a boost to new writing. I don’t really have a fancy spot to write. Instead, I plop on my couch and put a pair of noise-cancelling headphones after dinner and try to get some words on the page.

 

 

 

What are you currently reading?

I love novels which feature Middle Eastern myth and legend, and I absolutely adore the The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A, Chakraborty. Her heroine is a 13th century Egyptian con artist who is pulled into the palace intrigue and warfare of the jinn world. There’s a wonderful love triangle that has me on the edge of my seat for the final novel, Empire of Gold. Another fantastic stand-alone novel is The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson, a beautiful historical fantasy based on a Sufi tale about the Simurgh. Can’t recommend these books highly enough!

 

About the Author

Born and raised in Rhode Island, M.A. Guglielmo is the proud mother of two wonderful daughters and works as a neurosurgeon in an academic practice. Drawing on her life-long love of imaginative fiction, she writes stories based mostly on Middle Eastern and Southern European mythology and legend.


Tule Author Q&A: Barbara Dunlop loves opposites attract romances and dogs!

Barbara Dunlop stopped by to talk about her new sweet romance, Kiss Me in the Summer!

 

Kiss Me in the Summer is such a sweet opposites attract romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

Opposites attract is high up there on my list of favorite tropes. I also love writing fish out of water stories, because there’s so much opportunity for funny conflict and misunderstanding. I like to toss my characters into the unfamiliar so I can really see what makes them tick. I also like writing stories that naturally lend themselves to comedy. There’s nothing better than a fun write that can turn into a fun read. 

 

Black Long Coat Medium Dog on Grey Concrete PavementDogs play such a big part in this story. Are you a dog person?

We’ve had two Bernese Mountain dogs over the years. They were both amazing pets, smart and loyal, but very different from each other. Our first was a people dog, wherever we went, no matter the adventure, he was game to do it with us. Our second felt the homestead was his special responsibility. Our house is in the middle of a forested acreage. We could try to take him for a walk, but half a mile or so from the house he’d give us a look that said: “Keep going if you must, but I’ve got a job to do.” He’d head back home, and we’d find him on guard when we got back.

 

How do you relate to Laila and Josh, and how do you hope readers will relate to them?

What I really liked about Laila is her refusal to let life get her down. She’s a go-getter, willing to look seriously at her own shortcomings and try to do something about them. She often fails, because she has both strengths and weaknesses, but she generally gives it her all. I was drawn to Josh’s patience and kindness. He accepts people the way they are without judging them. He’s loyal and dependable. Those are two of the things that have kept him in his small town and appreciating the little things in life.

 

What was your favorite scene to write and why?

I loved writing the scene where Laila and Butch first connect. Butch might be a misunderstood mutt, but he sees better than the people what Laila needs to overcome her fears.

 

 

 

 

What are you currently reading?

While we’re all staying home, I’ve been re-reading some classic comfort favorites by Lisa Kleypas and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Right now, I’m in the middle of Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas.

 

About the Author

Barbara Dunlop is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty romance and romantic comedy novels. She is a four time finalist in the prestigious RITA award and has had her work optioned for film and television. The first book in her acclaimed Match series, An Unlikely Match, was a number one bestseller on Amazon.


Tule Author Q&A: Karen Foley loves Last Stand!

Karen Foley stopped by to talk about the second book in her Riverrun Ranch series, Counting on the Cowboy!

 

Field of Texas BluebonnetWhat has been your favorite part about writing a story in Last Stand?

I fell in love with the town of Last Stand after I read The Lone Star Lawman by Justine Davis. This was the first book in the Last Stand series and she really set the stage for all the subsequent books. I loved being able to incorporate some of the Last Stand businesses and characters into my own story. I also really enjoy working with the other Last Stand authors. They are absolutely the nicest, warmest group of writers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. Before I began writing my Riverrun Ranch series, I made a special trip to Texas Hill Country so that I could get to know the area and hopefully give the books more authenticity. I visited the region during peach season and ate more than my share of peach cobbler while sitting outdoors, surrounded by fields of wildflowers.

 

Your story is very animal-heavy, with Luke as an ex K-9 handler and Jorie a wildlife rehabber. Do you have a soft spot for animals? 

I do! I work on a military base and I have so much admiration for the K-9 handlers who help process the incoming visitors at the gate. The bond these soldiers have with their canine partners is really unique and special. I love watching them work together; they have absolute trust in each other. I also live within walking distance of an animal rescue center called Sweet Paws. On certain days, volunteers walk the dogs around the neighborhood, or just drop in to cuddle the cats. I am retiring from my day job this summer and one of the first items on my retirement agenda is to volunteer at the rescue center as a dog walker/cat-cuddler! I can’t wait!

 

controlled farming, cultivation, gardeningImagine: You’re feeling uninspired and you’ve sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

When this happens, I take a break. I actually find cleaning the house or gardening to be helpful in working through writer’s block. While I mindlessly push a vacuum or pull weeds, I’m actively thinking about the storyline and asking, “What if…?” This usually does the trick, but if I am still not able to create, I curl up with a book by a favorite author and just immerse myself in reading. This always refills my creative well!

 

 

 

Food Presentation In A PlateIf Luke cooked Jorie a meal, what would it be and why?

Luke is first and foremost a Texan, born and bred on a cattle ranch, so it makes sense that his favorite meal would include a good piece of steak or a burger. He can grill either expertly. For Jorie, he’d cook a juicy ribeye steak, accompanied by grilled sweet potatoes and a grilled zucchini salad with a lemon-oregano dressing (do you sense a theme here?). He’d pair it with a delicious red wine from a local vineyard, and follow it up with a fresh peach cobbler (although he would likely pick that up at a local peach orchard). He’d do anything to keep his lady happy!

 

 

What are you currently reading?

I write contemporary romance, but I love to read historical romance. Right now I am reading The Art of Theft, the fourth book in the Lady Sherlock Series by Sherry Thomas. I’ll probably be up all night because it is SO GOOD!

 

About the Author

Karen Foley admits to being an incurable romantic.  When she’s not working for the Department of Defense, she loves writing sexy stories about alpha heroes and strong heroines. Karen lives in New England with her husband, two daughters, and a houseful of pets.



Tule Author Q&A: Leigh Ann Edwards discusses the land of Highgard and writing!

Leigh Ann Edwards stopped by to talk about the fourth book in her Vikings of Highgard series, The Norse Conqueror!

 

Book Opened on White Surface Selective Focus PhotographyAll the books in your Vikings of Highgard series are impressively lengthy. Do you plan out the book in advance? How detailed do you get?

All four books in my Vikings of Highgard series are very lengthy. I’ve always loved reading really long books, therefore writing long books seems to just come naturally. My last series, The Irish Witch series was seven books about the same characters so that allowed plenty of time to tell the characters’ detailed story. With my Vikings series it’s mostly one hero and heroine’s story per book, so the books ended up longer than I expected. 

I tend to plan out the beginning of each book, the main plot, the characters, a few major events, and the ending. (Although I find the endings sometimes change drastically from what I originally planned.) From there, I develop the secondary characters and subplots. Often backstories and new ideas happen along the way. As many authors say, the characters seem to develop a voice and take on a life of their own.

 

The heroine in The Norse Conqueror is a mother. Did this change how you approached her character?

Vora, the heroine of The Norse Conqueror, is a mother to adult children. This did change how I approached her character. I wanted her to sound a little wiser, with life experiences. However, she’s only thirty-seven years old so she’s still a young woman. It was a little more complicated developing Vora’s character because I’d already written the first books about her daughters. Vora was forced to leave them when they were only children, but they never knew the whole truth. Having created their varied and complicated perceptions of their mother, it was interesting to then write it from Vora’s perspective. It answered a lot of the questions building in the previous books. 

 

Green Grassy HillWhere did you get your inspiration for the lands of Highgard and Modir? 

My inspirations for the fictional worlds of Highgard and Modir came from places I’d fallen in love with when I travelled or envisioned when reading other books. When I wrote about Highgard, I imagined beautiful Ireland with its lovely green landscapes, castles, and temperate climate. Of course I added a few peculiar creatures, distinct landmarks and the very unusual aspect of Highgard’s sky having two moons. I didn’t want Highgard to be anything like Asgard from what I’ve read or seen in movies, for Asgard always seems futuristic to me. 

There isn’t as much detail about the world of Modir in my story as it is only mentioned in the last book. Because not much remains of that world, I envisioned silent, deserted ruins of an ancient civilization, crumbling buildings overgrown with vines and very few Modirian people or creatures living there any longer.

 

Where and when do you get most of your writing done?

I tend to write in a few different locations–sometimes at the kitchen table as the large windows offer preferred natural light. Other times, I write in my bedroom…it’s a little quieter and more subdued. I’m a reiki master and rent a space for doing reiki. That room is decorated whimsically…it’s almost magical, so I do go there to write also. I’ve tried to write outdoors, but I use a keyboard with my laptop so it isn’t easy dragging that along. Plus when I’m outside, my two very large dogs assume I’m out there to play with them. Living in Canada also prevents writing outdoors for better than half the year. It’s mid-April and we’re still experiencing unseasonably cold temperatures, lots of snow and bitter winds. Occasionally, the part of the story I’m creating dictates where I decide to write.

I like to begin writing first thing in the morning, but if the words are really flowing, I’m quite happy to write all day long. I used to write through the night sometimes, but now my older eyes now prevent that. With everything that’s happening with the COVID-19 virus, I have a lot more time to write. I must remind myself to move around, go for a walk, etc. I’m lucky my husband is home now as sometimes I get so lost in my story I forget to stop to eat. I never write in the evenings or on Sunday afternoons.

 

What are you currently reading?

When I’m writing I don’t read the genres I love best which are paranormal romance, time travel or fantasy. I don’t want to be influenced by other authors’ storylines. Right now I’m reading Family Secrets by Shawn McGuire. It’s the first of the Whispering Pine Mysteries series. It’s a modern day mystery set in a quirky little town of Wiccans. I’m really enjoying it.

 

About the Author

Since she was a child, Leigh Ann Edwards has always had a vivid imagination and lots of stories to tell. An enthusiastic traveler and author for over twenty years, her adventures in Massachusetts, Ireland, and the UK inspired The Farrier’s Daughter and its sequel novels in the Irish Witch series. Edwards adores animals, history, genealogy, and magical places—and Ireland is filled with many magical places. She lives with her husband and two cats in the lovely city of Edmonton, Alberta.


Tule Author Q&A: Charlene Sands discusses she-sheds and reunion romances

Charlene Sands stopped by to talk all about her new Last Stand, Texas, book, One-of-a-Kind Bride!

 

 

How do you relate to Taylor and Coop, and how do you hope readers will relate to them?

First of all, let me thank you for inviting me on the Tule Blog. I’m honored to be here to talk about my new Tule release! 

I hope the readers relate to the fact that sometimes romantic relationships don’t work the first time around. I developed these characters first as a young boy and girl and we learn a great deal about them in just those few early pages. It’s how I saw them, as kids first, creating a bond that wouldn’t fit perfectly until their later years, after they’d both been through some trying times. But I think, both Taylor and Coop are uplifting types, Taylor determined to keep her promises, a loyal, sweet friend, a talented designer. And Coop, coming home to Last Stand, giving up his successful high-profile job, to raise his daughter and help his father, all to create a loving family unit. I may be biased, but I can’t help love these characters. 

 

Man Holding Clapper BoardIf your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Oh, that’s an easy one! As you might guess, I’m a big fan of Hallmark movies and series so my picks for Taylor Preston is Meghan Ory from Chesapeake Shores.  She’s got that classic beauty and grace, like Taylor, but she also has a fun, goofy side. And Jesse Metcalf as Coop, would be perfect.  I can see Jesse being the rugged carpenter, tool belt and all, but he’d also be a great father to his eight-year old daughter Cassie. 

 

 

One-of-a-Kind Bride is such a sweet reunion romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

Well, you caught me on this one, because reunion stories are my favorite stories to write!  There’s something special about two people who’ve lived a good deal of their lives apart, only to come together and find love again.  A widower sure has a lot of struggles, especially if he’s raising a young daughter. Coop’s first priority is to make sure she doesn’t get hurt in any way. So, I love that protective side of Coop.  As for Taylor, she’s come back to Last Stand temporarily, determined to fix her life and keep the promises she made to her mother. The last thing she ever expected was to fall for her one-time best friend, a guy she dumped on her last summer in Last Stand.   

On a side note, I fashioned Coop’s eight-year old daughter Cassie after my two eight-year old granddaughters, Everley and Kyra. It was fun to think, what would Everley say in this situation? What would Kyra do? So, I dedicated the book to those girls, because they were my inspiration for young Cassie.

 

Brown Wooden Commode Near GrassYour characters are building a she-shed in the novel. What would you put in your she-shed?

Well, the obvious answer is books. And I would line the walls with shelves of books and enjoy the sunshine beaming into the windows as I read peacefully, with no interruptions. Doesn’t that sound nice? But I’m also a big movie buff and have a collection of old movies, Clark Gable, Doris Day, Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, to name a few. So, by night I’d love to make it into a screening room, where I could invite my best friends over for a girls’ night of movies and junk food!

 

What are you currently reading?

 I’m reading and enjoying Jane Porter’s newest novel, Montana Cowboy Romance. I love romance the best, but I also read other genres, like Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing.  I need a book that catches me from the beginning and doesn’t let go! 

 

TO WIN THIS BEACH GIRL NECKLACE, COMMENT YOUR ANSWER BELOW: WHAT WOULD YOU PUT IN YOUR SHE-SHED IF YOU HAD ONE? (US only)

GIVEAWAY CLOSED: CONGRATS TO GIRLFROMWVA

 

About the Author

Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling author writing sexy contemporary romances and stories set in the Old West. Her stories have been honored with the National Readers Choice Award, the Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award and she’s a double recipient of the Booksellers’ Best Award. She was recently honored with Romantic Times Magazine’s Best Harlequin Desire of 2014. Charlene is a member of the Orange County Chapter and Los Angeles Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

When not writing, she enjoys great coffee, spending time with her four “princesses”, bowling in a woman’s league, country music, reading books from her favorite authors and going on movie dates with her “hero” husband. Sign up for her newsletter at www.charlenesands.com for new releases and special member giveaways. Charlene loves hearing from her readers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

*Bold, strong, heart-melting heroes… and always real good men.*


Tule Author Q&A: Susan Lute gives dating advice!

Susan Lute stopped by to talk all about the first book in her Angel Point series, The Sheriff’s Baby Bargain!

 

Tell us about the town of Angel Point! What can you do and see there?Coast Under Cloudy Sky

 

Angel Point. I love the Oregon coast with its small, sleepy towns. Named one of the most romantic places on the Oregon coast (also Whale’s Head lighthouse is rated the 7th out of 100 best places to kiss in Oregon), there are lots to see and do in Angel Point. You can take a stroll down Warren Avenue and check out all the shops—Rose’s Bakery, Faith’s Attic, Ginger’s Coffee House, the Dragon Gallery. You can eat at The Chowder House and Old Mill Bar and Grill, see a play at the Old Town Playhouse. You can take a walk on the beach, fly kites, build sandcastles. My favorite, you can sit on a bench and watch the waves roll in around Shipwreck Rock while you let the sun warm your face and listen to the seagulls flying overhead.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for this novel?

Part of the inspiration for this story is a long-held desire I’ve had to tell a series of stories about strong women, women of honor, who make a difference, and the men who have what it takes to capture their hearts. I’m fascinated with how families come together, that sometimes family is the one you’re born into, and sometimes it’s the family you make as you go through life. The other inspiration for this book grew out of my career as a nurse. Back when I was a newly minted RN, I worked in labor and delivery. Later, after my first book was published, for a long time, I had this funny picture in my mind of a guy holding out a baby in front of him. The baby’s diaper slips off. And well . . . you know what happens next (I have an odd sense of humor). Like all the stories I write, there’s more. What if the man is an obstetrician who can’t have his own babies? What if his neighbor and best friend is a U.S. Marshal turned temporary, small-town sheriff, and has problems of her own and absolutely no experience taking care of babies? And what if a baby unexpectedly lands ‘on their doorstep’, so to speak. Set the story in an Oregon coastal town getting ready to celebrate its centennial (one of my favorite places), and you’ve got The Sheriff’s Baby Bargain.

 

CherriesIn The Sheriff’s Baby Bargain, Taylor asks Gabriel for dating lessons. What’s the best dating advice you could give someone?

Since I got married very, very young and don’t have much dating experience, I may not be the best person to pass along dating advice. But if I were dating in today’s world, I guess I would say, keep your dates simple. There’s nothing more fun than having a picnic by a lake on a sunny day. A coffee date in a quaint coffee shop is the best if you’re with the right guy. Be honest. Say what you mean. Don’t date just anyone. Know what you’re looking for in a date and/or partner. Pay attention to the littlest clues that show what kind of person he or she is. Like that old Kenny Rogers song, know when to walk away. Otherwise, laugh a lot and have fun. Expect the same from your date.

 

Where and when do you get most of your writing done?

I work a day job, Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 4:30, from home and have an office in the back where the Do Not Disturb sign is out whenever I’m back there. The rest of the time, I write at my writing desk in the . . . I’m not sure what to call it, what used to be the living room, but is currently being remodeled with the rest of the house (this week, Mr. L is cleaning out the attic). Anyway, all my book stuff, including the writing when I’m home, happens there. Everything is open and I can look out big windows, front and back. It’s very cool and will be even better once the construction is done. If I take a trip, which happens as often as I can manage when not sheltering in place, I take the writing with me.

 

What are you currently reading?

Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas (Love it), and The Two Date Rule by Tawna Fenski (also super good).

 

About the Author

Susan is an award winning author of contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and dystopian romance. Like all children of military families, she spent her childhood moving from one duty station to the next. She likes to say she is first and foremost a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer, and novelist. These days, when not working as a Registered Nurse, she remodels her house and writes whenever she can.


Tule Author Q&A: A.P. Murray and her journey to publishing

A.P. Murray stopped by to talk all about her debut novel Greedy Heart!

 

Greedy Heart has garnered a lot of early praise, from sites like The Hollywood Reporter, POPSUGAR, and more! See a list here.

 

 

Briefly tell us about your journey to publishing your book.Book Opened on White Surface Selective Focus Photography

Greedy Heart faced an uphill battle in today’s publishing world because people are STILL not that accepting of a powerful female narrator. Put “powerful” and “female” together and somehow folks fear you end up with “unlikeable.”

I was like, really? Holden Caulfield is a little shit. And don’t even get me started on Alexander Portnoy or Humbert Humbert.

 

What was your biggest inspiration while writing your book?

I wanted to write about the importance of home. The financial crash of 2008 really bugged me in a profound way because it affected people’s homes. Home has meaning outside of what you can flip your house for. So I wanted to explore a situation (a rent-controlled lifetime apartment), where a character chooses the concept of home over profit.

 

Empire State Building, New YorkDoes your book deal with a current trending or controversial issue, and if so, why did you choose to write about that issue?

My book is about a financial collapse, a natural disaster, New York at the epicenter it, and the heroism average New Yorkers who come together in that moment. 

With what’s going on today, I can hardly think of anything more topical than that. 

What has made things worse: the corruption of the one percent, income inequality, the tenuous security of people and animals. All these issues are at the heart of my book. My main character, Delia, goes from complicity with these modern-day evils to redemption.

I’m the kind of writer who sort of HAS to tackle the issues of our time. It’s like I sit down to write and I can’t avoid them.

 

Which part of Greedy Heart was most challenging to write about?

Getting the structure of the plot was definitely the most difficult. This book has a lot of moving pieces—so getting them all to work together was like assembling a pocket watch. 

From a personal level, writing about the different mother-daughter relationships was tough. That’s always hard when you’ve had your own difficult path(s) with your family.

 

Is there a character whose personality most matches yours? If so, which character and why?

The heroine, Delia, is like me in a lot of ways. People who know me will recognize my voice and sense of humor. But she is more bold and courageous than I am. Though I did start my own company—so I suppose that’s bold enough!

 

What is your writing process? Black Text on Gray Background

I do a ton of plotting up front. Just reams and reams of printer paper covered with .2mm lead pencil scratch. I’m working out character arcs and how they intersect, timelines, making lists of possibilities. Then I sort it all out into a rough timeline—which of course changes. But I must have the broad sweep. The first part of the timeline is pretty detailed—covering about 5 chapters. The later part of the timeline can be looser.

I am a morning writer. I get an hour or two done before I tackle my day-job. I’m pretty dedicated to this schedule, even though it’s tough sometimes.

 

About the Author

A.P. Murray’s sprawling Irish Catholic family has roots in New York City going back four generations. Her industrialist great grandfather, Thomas E. Murray, Sr., co-founded Consolidated Edison, was second only to Edison the number of patents attributed to him, and is credited with creating the mass distribution of electricity in New York City. Murray descends from this lace-curtain heritage and also from a working-class mother who rose to international fame as a fashion model.

A technology consultant by day, Murray began her career as a teacher and journalist before founding an early stage web company, which built many national brands’ first websites. The firm, tmg-emedia, later expanded into broad-ranging technology consulting. Murray has won multiple awards for her technology leadership and as a woman tech entrepreneur. She lives in New York with her husband and business partner, Christos Moschovitis, and her whippet, Orpheus. Her horse, Hershey, resides separately in Connecticut.

Greedy Heart is her debut novel.