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Friday, June 29, 2012

Interview with Author Mia Marlowe and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author Mia Marlowe to the blog. Mia is super nice and she has a bunch of books that will be releasing soon. Also, Mia is one of the fabulous authors behind the Rock*It Reads group, which is a group of published authors who got together to help readers identify quality self published stories. With everything Mia has got going on right now she took some time to answer some questions I had for her, though before we get to the interview, lets get to know a bit about Mia.

Award winning author Mia Marlowe writes historical romance for Kensington Publishing and Sourcebooks. Her debut title received acclaim from romance luminaries. #1 New York Times bestseller Victoria Alexander says Mia's Touch of a Thief has "adventure and heat and everything I want in a great story!" UK's BooksMonthly has crowned Mia Marlowe "the queen of saucy historical romance."

Mia learned much of what she knows about storytelling from singing. A classically trained soprano, she won the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions and shared a stage with Placido Domingo. As she prepared for operatic roles, she devised back stories for her characters. Since she's worn a real corset, and had to sing high C's in one, she empathizes with the trials of her fictional heroines. But in Mia's stories, they don't die in a Parisian garret. They get to live and keep the hero!

Places to find Mia:


First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
Words are my life, but writing about myself is the hardest topic I ever tackle. I never know what people might find interesting. You see, most of the really dramatic and dangerous things in my life have never really happened. It's all in my head . . . and in my books!

I've been married to the same wonderful guy since we were in college together. We have two daughters and have lived in 9 different states, but we make our home in New England for now. I've learned to be flexible and treat all our moves as extended vacations. We just happen to drag along all our stuff too.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Nope. I've had a very checkered past. I've been--hold on!--a professional opera singer, a choir director, teacher, childrens' ministry director, realtor, banker and now finally, full-time author. Writing has forced me to keep learning, to dig deep into the human psyche, to try to master a whole new craft. I love it.

What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
To my horror, I'm a pantser. I so envy my critique partner, Ashlyn Chase, who can crank out a detailed outline, even down to the POV of each scene before she starts writing. I know the characters well before I begin, but I discover the story as I write. I believe everything flows organically from the characters and their goals, so that's how I have to work. Now in the back of my mind, I'm still ticking off plot points and making sure I hit the hot buttons, but that's secondary. My characters are the ones who shape my stories.

Where do your ideas come from?
Lots of different places. My next release, LORD OF FIRE AND ICE, is a collaborative novel I wrote with New York Times bestseller Connie Mason. She wanted to do another viking story, so that settled the time period for us. I like to take standard tropes and stand them on their heads. So often in viking romances, the hero makes the heroine a slave. I decided the hero should wear the iron collar in this story. And I wanted him to have a special ability, so we decided to make him a fire mage! Brandr can call flames from thin air and control the element with a thought.

And doesn't the cover art make him look like Thor? Yum!

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
Sexy fire mage melts an ice princess in @Mia_Marlowe's LORD OF FIRE AND ICE. Serious heat!

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Setting, time period or genre isn't as important to me as the characters. I really love stories where the characters grow and change, where the goal they were chasing in the beginning has morphed into something else entirely by the time I reach "the end." A flawed hero or heroine pulls me in. I'm pulling for them to rise to meet the challenge. I enjoy action and adventure, even a little danger in my romances. I want to feel I've lived the adventure with the H/h, fallen in love, defeated the villain and basked in my own Happily Ever After.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
I adore MM Kaye's THE FAR PAVILIONS. This doorstop of a book is an epic love story with British India as its riotous backdrop. Action, adventure, danger, forbidden love, a hero I loved even as a boy--and yes, you see him grow from his birth in a tent in the Himalayas to manhood--this story has it all

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
If a scene is hard to write, I have to ask myself if I'm trying to force my characters to do something that's out of their essence. Or maybe I don't know what the subtext of the scene is. In every scene, there's the action and dialogue you can see. Then there's what's going on in the character's hearts and minds about it. That's the subtext. If I know what the subtext of the scene is, the surface action and dialogue comes fairly smoothly.

I have a rigorous writing schedule since I write for both Sourcebooks and Kensington. Deadlines are sacred to me. I will push through whatever difficulty my manuscript is giving me in order to meet them.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
That's a toughie. There are so many I admire. If I'm forced to limit it to 3, I'd love to have Diana Gabaldon, Eloisa James and Sherry Thomas around a table. Each of them bring their characters to aching life and I'd love to pick their brains about their writing process.

Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Actually, I've got two irons in the fire at present. I'm finishing up ROMANCED BY A RAKE, the 2nd book in the Royal Rakes trilogy that'll start with WAKING UP WITH A RAKE in January 2013 with Sourcebooks. In November 1817, Princess Charlotte died with her stillborn son. She was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. The king's three youngest sons suddenly realized they had the opportunity to wed, bed and breed, producing a child that would eventually wear the crown. However, not everyone wants the House of Hanover to continue on the throne. Who better to keep them from the virgins of their choice than three determined rakes?

And I'm just starting a light-hearted Christmas story set in Scotland. My working title is such fun I've been ordered to keep it a secret. There's a curse that needs to be lifted, a ghost or two in the castle, kilts galore, and a hero and heroine who discover love where they least expect it. Kensington will release this book in October 2013.


But you don't have to wait till next year for more of my books. I'm bookending the month of July. After LORD OF FIRE AND ICE is released on July 3rd, be sure to watch for TOUCH OF A SCOUNDREL on July 31st!

If you're an ebook fan like me, you'll also want to check out my books page for my self-pubbed Rock*It Reads. I joined a group of talented authors to form an ebook brand called Rock*It Reads to help readers identify quality self-published stories.


His Duty is to Fulfill Her Every Desire...

Brandr the Far–Traveled has seen the world and a good many of the beautiful women in it. His bed skills are the stuff of steamy legend, his sword sings death, and he can call up fire from thin air. No one in a hundred years ever thought he could be enslaved through trickery and forced to wear the iron collar of a thrall—least of all him.

Until All She Desires is Him...

Katla the Black isn't just called so for her dark, silky hair. His new mistress has a temper as fierce as a warrior's and a heart as icy as the frozen North. But inch by delicious inch, Brandr means to make her melt...
Places to Purchase:


Want to win a some books? Check out whats for grabs.

Up For Grabs:

To Enter:
  • Leave a meaningful comment or question for Mia.
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  

48 comments :

  1. Great interview Mia I dont read may historicals, but this sounds great! Definite TBR! Good luck and best wishes!

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  2. Lord of fire & Ice sounds amazing! Interesting combination: historical+viking+PNR.

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  3. I love reading your books. I just finished How to Pleasure a Pirate. Can't wait for your next book to be released.

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  4. Kerry--I confess I'm a historical junkie. There's no romance subgenre that takes me away like a story set in a world gone by. Paranormals run a close second because it gives me that sense of "other-ness" I seem to crave. What is your fav?

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  5. Thanks so much, Ora. You don't have a long wait. LORD OF FIRE AND ICE is almost here!

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  6. Hey, Mia! Great interview! I LOVE that you've been an opera singer. I've always had a desire to sing but I'm horrible. LOL I look forward to hearing a little note or two.

    Congrat on all your successes! Keep up the fantastic work.

    Cheers!
    ~C

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  7. Mia, I have loved every one of your books that I have read. I would LOVE to win a copy of LORD OF FIRE AND ICE. It sounds like another great read!! Best wishes with the release!!

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  8. Hey Caroline! *Waving hi* Caroline and I are going to be roomies at RWA this year. Can't wait!

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  9. Thanks, Betty. Good luck in the drawing.

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  10. Great interview, Mia! And what fun to work on a collaborative novel with such a great author. I write with my hubby, and it's way more fun than one would think. Hope the books sells by the bazillions!

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  11. Thanks for the great interview. It must be hard writing a collaborative book especially since your writing styles aren't the same. Lord of Fire and Ice sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it.

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    1. Connie and I were able to find plenty of common ground. We both love adventure and action in our stories and we're both all about the alpha.

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  12. Great Interview!! Mia--you said your character's drive your stories. Do you have a process or anything to help develop and understand your characters better before you start?

    Can't wait to get my hands on a copy! I LOVE mages ;)

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    1. I've always tried to focus on understanding the crossroads my characters have faced in their pasts. You know what I mean. It's those moments when they make choices that shape who they are and where they're headed. That's more important and hair and eye color. In April I attended a Michael Hauge workshop that gave me some great new ideas about understanding a character's essence.

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    2. I mean "than" hair and eye color. My fingers are stuttering today.

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  13. Vanessa, I'll bet you and your hubby have some "spirited discussions" during the creative process. ;-)

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  14. Mia, I love your other books so looking forward to reading your latest ones! :) Glad that there are so many new and exciting books coming up in July!

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    1. Thanks, May. It makes me so happy that you love my work. We writers work in such isolation, it's really a shot in the arm to hear that kind of vindication from readers. ;-)

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  15. Hi! Thanks for this chance! I read Sins of the Highlander a few months ago and It was awesome! I'M thrilled to see Lord of Fire and Ice coming out!

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    1. Love your name! Prosepine positively sings! Is it really yours or have you adopted it for use on the web?

      So glad you loved "Mad Rob." He was such fun to write.

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  16. thanks for a fun interview! Congrats on the newest release!

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    1. Thanks, Erin. I see you have a "furkid" in your profile pic. I've got two little dogs who are my writing buddies. Don't know what I'd do without them.

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  17. WOW! Great interview! I really love learning about authors. Historical romance has always been my first love. I would also love to read Mia's book.
    Mel

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    1. Thanks, Mel. Good luck in the drawings and if by chance you don't win today, I hope you'll join me on one of my other blog tour stops. They'll be posted on my Events page.

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  18. I had never thought about how many heroines are slaves Viking stories but I like the idea of turning the tables.

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    1. I love alpha heroes, but I also need for my heroines to be smart and strong women. Hope you like wearing Katla's shoes!

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  19. I love your books' Mia, and I'm always thrilled when you release a new book. It's great that you've made the hero wear a slave collar. :-) I can't wait to read "Lord of Fire and Ice".

    Thank you for this great opportunity.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. Hope you're not in Debby's path down there in Florida!

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  20. I would LOVE to win a copy of your new book Lord of Fire and Ice. Its on my TBR list and I am really looking forward to reasding it. TY for the opportunity to win a copy.

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    1. Thanks, Betty. I'm pretty excited about this story. Hope you'll love it!

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  21. Hi Mia!
    Great getting to know you more... you've held some interesting careers:) Congrats on the upcoming double releases!

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    1. Thanks, yadkny! The thing about my scattered past is that nothing is ever wasted on a writer. We collect experiences, settings and all sorts of odds and ends we can use later with our characters.

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  22. I interested in reading this book now from your Twitter summation. Very interesting.

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    1. Twitter does force one to brevity. I've wondered if it might be possible to do a story with nothing but tweets.

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  23. Great interview! I can't wait to read Lord of Fire and Ice, thanks for the chance to win!

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  24. Thanks, Natasha. My viking hero was fun to write and I really enjoyed being able to play with his special fiery abilities.

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  25. I enjoyed the interview and I adore historical romance. Wow, Diana Gabaldon, Eloisa James and Sherry Thomas sitting around a table for dinner, sounds like a fascinating evening. :D

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

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    1. I'd be taking copious notes at that dinner party, for sure.

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  26. I just read How to Please a Pirate and am looking forward to reading more of your works! Loved it!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed my PIRATE. Later this year, I'll be reissuing HOW TO VEX A VISCOUNT. It's a related title because the heroine is Gabriel's niece Daisy, all grown up!

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  27. Great interview, Mia! I adore Michael Hauge's six-stage plot structure--that's the closest I get to an outline.

    Robin
    A fellow pantster trying to turn into a plotter

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    1. I constantly tinker with my process, but those of us who are natural pantsers should probably learn to embrace that about ourselves. The up side is that if I'm not completely sure what's coming next, my reader is likely not to be able to gues either. ;-)

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  28. Seems like a great writing combo. Seems like an impossible thing when you think about it, nobody thinks alike. But maybe that is where the magic is?

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    1. Lexi, Connie and I have been tossed together for as long as I've been published. She graciously gave me a cover quote for MAIDENSONG, the first she'd ever done for anyone and I met her at my first RT in Daytona, FL. Then RTBOOKReviews compared my writing style to hers with that first novel. We've found plenty of common ground.

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  29. I enjoyed the interview. All your books sound good.

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  30. Mia -

    I love your books and the new Rock*It Reads site is wonderful. It's so good to see you and your fellow authors having more oversight into the publishing of your books.

    In your opinion what has been the one thing that makes self-publishing so gratifying to you as an author?

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  31. Mia- great interview. You lived 9 different states what took you to those states?

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