Welcome to The Tarasphere! I am so excited to bring you an amazingly talented author and great friend. We are celebrating the release of her paranormal romance, ERIN, the sequel to the much-beloved, CONNER!!!
Ever since I finished CONNER, I have been waiting for ERIN, so it was a treat to sit down with Miranda and find out a little bit more about her and her writing process.
But first, ERIN.
Description: Erin is the werewolf Queen of Athol Castle. She has no memories of the events of a few months ago, where she believed herself to be a psychologist, and met the enigmatic and charming Conner…
Filtiarn has taken over Conner’s body once more, and is relishing being in control. Cruel and sensual, he decides to work on a plan…to take over humanity. He begins a war…of werewolves against humans. But unknown to him, Conner is fighting against him within his own body, to set things right, and to bring Erin back from her own darkness. He tries to undo a great mistake from long ago, using Erin’s famed sword, Sioctine, as remnants of his own memory come back to him, opening up the present he now lives in.
At the same time, another enemy is using the situation to their advantage, following the werewolves at every turn, threatening to undo everything that Conner is struggling to obtain…
But will he be able to bring Erin back from Filtiarn’s grasp, or is it too late? And will he be able to stop the war against the humans progressing?
And who is threatening to take over not only the humans, but the werewolves as well?
Sounds enticing, no? Well, if that weren’t enough, take a look at the gorgeous trailer. If you don’t want to read this after watching the trailer….I weep for you.
Now, on to the interview!!!
What was your favorite part of the book?
Without giving too much away, I love the action scenes. It was a new experience for me, as there are a few parts where I have to write in quite big battle scenes. I had to keep the action at a fast pace, while at the same time building the tension and not rushing it too much by focusing on the small details.
What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Definitely the end. ‘Conner’ was my baby, and ‘Erin’ is my second baby. Of any other characters I’ll ever write, I’m going to miss not writing about them anymore! I really did feel a tiny bit emotional as I wrote the last few sentences in.
What do you wish was different about the book?
I wish I’d been able to split it up a little more, in order to write another book and make it a trilogy. A trilogy may still happen, but it won’t be for a while yet, and if there is, it’s going to focus on their past.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
Too many to mention! I have an enormous library of books, and I love them all. If I was forced to choose a few, they would have to be Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Adam Nevill, Stephen King, and Nicci French.
What sparked the idea for your novel?
It was the sequel to ‘Conner’, so it had to happen! I originally just meant ‘Conner’ to be a standalone book, but I soon realised that there was just too big a story there. So I had to take a little bit off ‘Conner’, and it became the beginning of ‘Erin’. I wanted it to explain more about Erin’s past, because there were so many unanswered questions. Then as I was writing these parts in, I wondered what she would do with her new-found power, alongside Filtiarn’s twisted ideals. That’s when I came up with the idea of a battle between humans and werewolves.
How personal is your writing?
Hmm…that’s an interesting question. Very few, if any, of my characters are based on real people, but my writing is personal in the sense that it’s a part of me. Every word I write down is a little piece of my soul going into the page. So in effect, when people read my books, they are reading a little about me. So I guess they are personal to me in that way.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Pantster, definitely. Although I make notes. I tend to have an idea, and jot it down. I know what the beginning will be, a few events that will happen, and then a rough idea of the ending. But along the way, a new character jumps in and begs to be included, or a road twists another way, and I can see a different route. I like to have a framework, but then I find it better to let the story be organic, and decide itself where it’s going. I have to whip it back into shape now and then, but other than that, it flows in its own way.
What is your writing routine?
I always need to have other tasks out of the way first. If I have housework, or blog tasks, or anything else, I always have to get them done first. Otherwise my mind can’t concentrate properly. Then when I’m writing I like to have the TV on in the background like white noise, and I’ve always got to have plenty to drink. And I write every day. Even if I don’t write very much, or most of my writing is on a blog post, I make sure I write every day. Other than that, I don’t think I have much of a routine.
Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?
For me they’re sort of the same thing. My novels tend to be very character driven, so it’s like the old question of the chicken and the egg. The character’s stories usually are the ideas for my novels, as most of the events in them lead back to something that someone is or did.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I don’t think I actively chose it. I’ve always loved darker, more gritty tales, even as a child. I always preferred Little Red Riding Hood, or Beauty and the Beast over sweeter tales. I think Conner started out as horror, but then Erin came in and I added a little romance and erotica…and then on top of this it’s a psychological thriller. And you could even argue that most of the events within the books push it into fantasy. So even now I have difficulty deciding which genre to put it in, and settle for Paranormal Fantasy, and Horror Thrillers. I like that though, that I can just write a story, and not have to pin myself down into one particular ‘type’.
How did you come up with the title?
That was an easy part. ‘Conner’ was so named because it, basically, about him. ‘Erin’ is more about Erin herself, although it really becomes about both of them. They were originally going to be named ‘Darkness Returns’, and ‘Darkness Retreats’, but to use their names seemed so much stronger.
What project are you working on now?
A few things! I have my next novel, ‘Vigilante of Shadows’ coming out in early December, which will be the first novel in a series called, “Scarlet Rain”, and a few people are Beta reading it for me now. Then I have the next novella in my ‘Bassinville Witches Series’ coming out in September. I’m also currently writing my fourth novel, which will be number two in the ‘Scarlet Rain’ series.
Are there certain themes you like to address in your writing?
Although on the surface it would seem not, I do have a few. In both ‘Conner’ and ‘Erin’, there are a lot of issues I feel passionate about in real life that I touch upon. I am basically an eco-warrior masquerading as a nicely-dressed author, and a Pagan to add to that. So I feel very strongly about people destroying the Earth around them, and each other. This is one of Filtiarn’s driving forces for wanting to get rid of man-kind. Obviously I don’t want that to happen! But it seemed appropriate for the evil version of someone who felt the same to do. In my next novel, it deals with the question of justice for those who deserve it, and what we should do about it. I like to take real-life issues and weave them into my fictional novels.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Do it, but be prepared to work very, very, very hard if you want to make a real go of it. If you just want it to be a hobby, write your book, and leave it for people to read. But if you want to be a writer who makes a living for writing, most of your life will become work-and that’s not including the actual writing. You have to promote yourself constantly, and remember to do the same for others. Which leads onto my other advice. I’ve found a huge, caring indie community of writers online, and if you are just starting out, come and makes friends with us! Learn as many tips as you can, listen to constructive criticism from others, and enjoy being part of a vibrant community! And always pass your tips on to others, don’t forget who helped you out on the way up.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism I’ve received would have to be when I first published ‘Conner’ years ago. I let a few people read it, and they basically picked it apart at the seams. So I left it for a few years, and didn’t do anything more about it. It took me two years before I hardened up, thought about what they had said, and sifted through it again. I changed whole chunks of it, and added a few in as well. The result was published in May, and is the copy you can get now. But it was good, because any criticism I get now washes over me, and I focus on the constructive parts that the person is trying to tell me. The best compliment so far is when someone said my book could make it onto the NYT best-seller lists. While I’m not too sure whether it could or not, it was fantastic to get such a compliment.
If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
One person would definitely be Charles Dickens. I’d love to pick his brain for writing tips, as I loved his style of turning what could have been negative events in his life into gritty, humorous novels. My second guest would be Elizabeth I. I think that she was an amazing Queen; and a pioneer for women in that she was the first truly successful Queen that people loved. She did a lot of things that men before (and after) her had failed at. Annnd my third guest would be Hiddles. Sadly, nothing intellectual there, just something nice to look at. Although it’s Hiddles, I’m sure he’ll be intellectual.
I agree. Tom Hiddleston is most definitely an intellectual. A sexy one. But, enough!! Here’s more about Miranda and where you can find her and her books.
Bio: I was born in Guisborough, North Yorkshire in 1987 and have lived in various places around Britain, including Newcastle and Glasgow. My writing is inspired by various writers, including the vivid characters of Charles Dickens, the imagination of Stephen King, and the gothic imagery of Anne Rice.
My love of horror began at an early age, when I was only three or four. I could read proficiently at the age of three, and devoured fairy-stories, but I always had a bent towards the darker stories, such as the Brother’s Grimm’s tales…Red Riding Hood was always a firm favourite, although I always felt sorry for the wolf, despite him having tried to eat everyone!
All of Miranda’s books can be found at her Amazon Author page. Go. Read. Get sucked in to the fantastic worlds she creates. But since we’re celebrating the release of this phenomenal sequel, I’ll make it easy for you!! Go here now and pick up your copy of ERIN!! You won’t be disappointed!!