I’m excited to be a guest on your blog, Randi! Thanks for having me here today.
Thanks for being here, Mary. Let’s start with a few questions.
Did you learn anything from writing your book? If so, what was it?
This is the first book I’ve published in a few years. While writing this book, I learned how strong I really am. I also learned patience and perseverance. I began this book at a stressful time in my life—the reason for starting it, actually. Like my heroine, I learned how to be strong. It took just over two years for this book to come to completion and without persevering, Howdy, Ma’am, Book #1 would still be sitting on my hard drive. Oh, and I learned that I really like bull riders.
What are your current projects?
At the moment, my priority is to finish the second book in the Bull Rider Series. I don’t want to keep my readers waiting too long to read the continuing story of Vela and Caulder. I received the rights back to the first two books in the Enchantment Series, so I have to revise and reissue them, and finish writing the third book in that series. Two more works in progress still wait for me. I’ve joined a group called 500K Challenge to write 500K words in 2013. Looks like I’ll be busy!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing my book had to do with butt-in-chair, and keeping my head in the right place to create. It was a tough two years, and I’m thankful these characters kept calling me back. The timeline for this book is a memoir in itself.
Are you an Indie Author? If so, what do you like about independent publishing?
I am an Indie Author now! I like independent publishing because I can write the story that needs to be told. The control is all mine; I’m the one who decides when it gets published and how—if it will be an eBook and paperback, or one or the other. The big one? I get to choose my own cover designer, and the cover that’s right for my book. It’s all up to me to choose the editor—to make sure we’re a good fit. And I can set the price of my books.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The heroine in my novel lived with an abusive husband and had the strength to walk away and start a new life. Abuse starts out so gradual some times, and you don’t realize it until it’s too late. This isn’t the premise of the story, but has an effect on the heroine for some time. Taking care of yourself, and being in a safe and loving environment is something I want everyone to realize. It’s possible once you take the first step. Like the old cliché says, ‘One door closes, and another one opens.’ Like my hero says to his heroine, “…you have to stop comparing all men to one a**hole.” Be safe.
What motivates you to write?
The muse? Yes, quite often my muse sits on my shoulder and pokes and jabs until I start writing. Telling a story that I love motivates me because I want others to enjoy it as much as I do. My characters motivate me. They beg. When I worked at my day job, before retiring, the kids motivated me because I hoped they would learn something from seeing what happens when you stick to something. Even though they read books, it was hard for them to comprehend what it took to write one. I would always put my daily NaNo count on the chalk board for them to see the daily accomplishment. It was the first thing they looked for when they came in the room. Motivation.
How did you come up with the title?
This is a simple title and I tried to change it often. Especially when I heard someone say they couldn’t stand to be called, ‘ma’am.’ But, nothing seemed to fit like this one, so I kept it. My character doesn’t mind. It’s actually the first thing Caulder McCutchen says to Velia Armano, the hero and heroine in Howdy, Ma’am.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was a time-travel romance. The inspiration for that book came from a little Victorian town I used to go through on my way to what used to be a family cabin in the Allegheny Mountains. I started wondering what that town was like back in the 1800s, and every time I went through it, I felt like something called to me. Don’t laugh! Then a couple of characters popped into my mind. A little bookstore in the town gave me the idea of the time-travel plot. It’s a three book series to be Re-issued in 2013.Books one and two are out of print. (Still writing book three)
What’s your favorite love story?
Oh, this one is easy. Somewhere in Time is my favorite movie and book. It takes place on Mackinac Island, a place I love to visit, and in my own state!
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Besides writing, my passion is photography. I like to be creative with my camera. It gives me a warm rush to hold my Canon DSLR and focus in on an object, knowing I’ve captured a moment. I like photographing scenic and nature shots, or setting up a creative shot. I’ve photographed nearly all the lighthouses in my state, and we have more than any other! Making a collage with my photos is a hobby.
You have multiple personalities, describe some of them.
Oh, no, this could be true! One of my personalities is calm, sophisticated, and smart. Then there’s the one who wants to be the bad girl. She is the flirty one who gets me in trouble. The teacher? Yes, even after retirement, she likes to pop out every now and then. Mom’s personality is out more times than the grown boys would like. There are two writers, one writes hot, sexy stuff, while the other likes to tone it down to sensual. I always try to keep the bitc@ tucked away, but she has her moments, too. Whew, I should see a doctor.
If you were attending a Halloween party, what would your costume be and why?
Oooh, Halloween party! That sexy black feathered mask with sequins that only covers my eyes and nose looks pretty secretive, and I love to be mysterious. No one would know who I was. My red sexy top would show off just enough for everyone to wonder what was underneath. Black leather pants and heeled Valentino boots would complete the costume. Of course, this would be the bad girl personality sneaking out. What time shall I tell her to be there?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice to other writers is, first and foremost, to follow your dream. If it calls, go for it, don’t put it off. Once you start, don’t give up. Research, research, research the publisher/agent you choose, if you go that route. Read contracts. Grow a thick skin. Write what calls to you. Listen to your heart and muse. If you’re going Indie, make your manuscript the best it can be before submitting. Would the cover draw your attention if you saw it online or in a bookstore? Edit, edit, and get an editor! A lot of writers use Beta and Alpha readers to edit—either way, don’t write it and then submit it the next day. Learn what you can about marketing and promoting you and your book. I will repeat…grow a thick skin. And, last but not least—have fun.
HOWDY, MA’AM, Book #1 in the Bull Rider Series
Mary J. McCoy-Dressel
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BM6ZW2
EXCERPT Note: This comes from Chapter Fourteen, after a show.
“I told you it would grow on you, and your fear would turn to exhilaration.”
“My biggest fear happened in the beginning when the gates opened. You’re right, it soon turned to excitement, but because you stayed on the damn wooly thing. My heart beat at top rate. I’m surprised I didn’t have a heart attack.”
After they finished eating, Caulder poured them both a glass of champagne. He held out his hand. “Ready?”
She accepted and followed him to the Jacuzzi. The water temperature was superb, hot and perfect. She watched Caulder settle down across from her on one of the benches.
“Thanks for coming over. I thought you would say no, and I’d be sitting here all alone with nothing but a bottle of champagne and a bag of chips.”
“I’m glad I accepted. Thanks for asking.” Velia rested back, letting the water relax her tired soul. She wondered if she should say anything about the man in the stands, curiosity still looming inside over the stupid matter of hitching a guy with a groupie. “A man in the stands came up and asked if I wanted to meet any of the riders.” As usual, she couldn’t control her babbles.
“Is that how it’s done? How the girls meet the guys?”
“Sometimes. If there’s a hottie in the stands and one of the single guys is interested, he’ll tell Max and he’ll make the first contact.”
“Well, I could have had my choice according to him.”
“He must have thought you were pretty fine. I wonder who he had in mind for you.” Leaning forward, he said, “Listen, Velia, it doesn’t mean it’s all for sex. These guys have a reputation to uphold, and they do a good job at it. Most times they just want company.”
“Yeah, I’d still like to know who he chose for me. No, maybe not. Most of these guys are boys.” She rested her head against the marble back. “This is incredible. I bet it feels so good on your muscles. You must be sore.”
Caulder looked down at his lap. “Yeah, my muscles are sore so how about rubbing…my shoulders.” He didn’t give her a chance to reply. He moved over in front of her and turned his back. “Right here will be nice.” He pointed to a spot between his shoulder blades.
“Ah, I’m not sure…” Touching him? Oh, God!
“Oh, come on. Please.”
His begging words caught her off guard. She put her fingers on his warm shoulders and started massaging, gently at first. His groaning and squirming almost made her stop. His skin beneath her fingers felt tight, pleasurable. He leaned closer, allowing her hands to glide over his shoulders down to his tight pectoral muscles and back to his solid traps. She ran her hand over his arms, wanting to clutch those hard biceps, but she held back.
She wrapped one hand around his neck and squeezed. “You sure have big muscles.” With him so close, it wouldn’t take much to lean down, rest her chin atop his head, and wrap her arms around him. She eased back…she couldn’t let this happen. Becoming sexually aroused from caressing his ripped muscles wasn’t part of the plan. What would it hurt? With her eyes closed, her fingers still, she felt Caulder turn toward her, sensed his eyes fixed on her. She kept them closed when he moved in and kissed her on the cheek. He smoothed her damp hair away from her face. Velia forced her eyes open.
Her stare was an inch away from his lustful gaze, a look turning her on more than she cared to admit. Caulder moved closer and kissed her, first a quick peck against her lips, another light, lingering touch, and then full on. She greedily kissed him back. His lips, soft and warm, and the caress, gentle but hungry at the same time. Exactly the kind of lips she needed…
About the Author
After having two published novels with a publisher, I’m on my own now as an Indie author. I write sensual and spicy contemporary and historical romance, mixed with a little women’s fiction, and I aim to sweep you off your feet. I love having the ability to put my thoughts into words for others to enjoy.
Home is in the Great Lake State of Michigan, U.S.A. Two wonderful grown sons and an Australian Shepherd/Chow mix fur-baby dog, complete my family.
I love connecting with readers and friends. So much that I’m including a coupon code for a free book at SMASHWORDS only. Use this COUPON CODE MP26R for any format you choose at Smashwords. The coupon will be good until Wednesday January 23,2013.