This was originally posted on Tempeste O'Reilly's blog in March 2015.
What makes your stories different from other authors out there?
I like thinking outside the box when it comes to characters. For example, I have a shape-shifter series with Dreamspinner Press, and I have everything from the classic wolf shifter to a falcon shifter, a rattlesnake, to (eventually) a shark shifter! I also have a bull, and bear, and want to do a lion, jaguar... you get the idea. I want to play with all the animals! I love researching them, learning their mannerisms, and adjusting the characters to fit human characteristics as well as the animals they shift into. Each book is a challenge, and I have to ask myself, how much does their animal side influence their human side?
I have another series with Torquere Press that is about a dark mage and it's set in a fantastical world. Despite the fantasy setting, I deal with complex issues such as abuse, good vs. evil, what makes a villain or a hero? Those sorts of things. I tried to create an anti-hero, and I enjoyed making his stature less than intimidating. He's not very tall, kind of scrawny (at least at the beginning), and he describes his own face as "bird-like." But he's incredibly powerful and finds true love with a warrior archer and together they are explosive (in a good way)!
I really enjoy working with complicated themes and philosophies and asking questions with my stories, ones I rarely answer. It's up to readers to answer the questions.
When did you first consider yourself an author?
Second grade. No joke. We had an assignment to write a short story (one page), and I loved it so much I decided right then and there to become and author. But I considered myself a "professional" author when I published my first story with a publisher and people purchased it.
Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do to get past it?
Not so far (knock on wood). I suffer from writer's overload—I have so many ideas and characters bouncing around in my head, sometimes it's hard to focus on only one. I can work on multiple stories at once and each are always at different stages of development. Should I have writer's block I would attribute it to exhaustion and would take a long break from writing, doing other creative projects, until my muse was ready to get back in the saddle.
If your writing was translated, which would be you prefer: TV, movie, play, or Broadway?
Play all the way! Broadway would be a hoot! Movies are too Hollywood and they wouldn't do it justice (not that I don't love movies, I do, but... you know. Hollywood). If it was an indie film I'd give it a chance.
Does your family know what you write. If so, how did they react when you first told them what and how explicit your writing would be?
My mom always knew. She's my best friend and was my first beta. She wasn't too thrilled that I decided to write M/M romance, but she got over it. My biggest anxiety was telling my dad. But, to my surprise, he didn't care what I wrote but clung to the fact that I was now published! He was so proud and that was very nice. Extended family learned later because my parents weren't very good with keeping secrets. But most of their reactions have been positive, and I describe my books as "alternative romance" because most of them aren't readers, anyway. Also, I have a pen name, which enables some distance.
Have you ever met someone in real life, or a stranger, that you turned into a MC?
Does that include movie actors and their characters? If so, then yes, plenty of times. If not, then nope, not yet.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Hard question! But I'd have to say JRR Tolkien. Yep, I'm one of those people. Why? His world had such depth. He created his own mythology from the ground up, from his own "Big Bang." How can you not be impressed by that? He was a literary and mythology nerd and proud of it! Plus, he served in WWI and survived... and made a (by most accounts) happy life as a professor with a wife and kids. Yeah, he made an impression on me. I seriously went from reading "Harry Potter" in middle school to reading "Lord of the Rings" in high school. Big jump and worth it!
Boxers, briefs, commando? What's your favorite way to "dress" your man?
Depends on the guy really... I can think of a few who go commando and love it! But I'll keep their secrets....
Do you as an author concentrate on one genre? Or do you feel like you should try to find your voice amongst the genres?
Right now I primarily write in the broad genre of romance, but I enjoy the sub-categories underneath—paranormal and fantasy specifically. I want to continue to challenge myself, which means I will be writing in other romance sub-genres, such as sci-fi and contemporary with no magical or supernatural elements. (Though it would be a struggle for me, I love otherworldly elements in the seeming "mundane" world)
And just because I love to tease ;) what are you working on now, and what is coming up from you next?
Oh heavens! Now you've done it... I'm currently working on: "The Shifters" book 9, a random vampire story I've had in my queue for a couple of years, a romance involving a dragon and an angel, and editing the second book of a romance (soft) sci-fi novel.
My up-comings? Deep breath! "The Shifters" books 10-23 (no joke), "The Stones of Power" books 7-13 (yep), trilogy dealing with Hercules, novel about an angel and detective, a story involving WWII, my own rendition of King Arthur (whatever your thinking, it will be better!), soft sci-fi romance saga (first 3 books written, going to be five total. Probably.), trilogy centering around Sumerian mythology (I know what you're thinking—what??), and a few others I can't remember right now. That's also not counting those random short stories that occasionally grab me by the throat and insist I write them first!
Yep. I'm ambitious. Thank goodness I enjoy research and learning new things or else I would have fallen dead long before now. I'm a dog with a bone, I won't stop looking and scouring the internet and the library until I find the info I need! Also, thankfully, I work at a university with a large library, and I can check out anything I want.
I also have many, many more stories on my computer in their own folders, waiting for me to give them the time of day. I doubt I shall ever get to all of them, but I can try!
That's all for now!
May dragons guard your dreams.