Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Welcome American Title V Finalist ~ Michelle Lauren

SK ~ Welcome to Title Magic, Michelle. Thanks for joining us today, and major congratulations on being a finalist in the Romantic Times’ American Title V contest, sponsored by Dorchester Publishing. That is a huge accomplishment.
To start out, why don’t you give us a blurb about yourself and tell us where you hail from?

ML ~ My name is Michelle Lauren. I'm a former editor, a current freelance writer and a certified workaholic. Although I love traveling, I’m a Southern gal at heart and my favorite place is my home state of Virginia. I enjoy incorporating the natural beauty of its landscape into my stories.

SK ~ Oh, I know what you mean about incorporating the beauty of a landscape into your story. And, I once had an opportunity to drive through part of Virginia. It is a beautiful scenic state.
But now, for the good stuff. What is the title of your finaling manuscript? And what sub-genre is it?

ML ~ HOW TO TAME A HARPY is an urban fantasy.

SK ~ Oh, I think I’m in love with your story already. The Title is definitely titillating for a paranormal junkie like me. And urban, all the possibilities. Can you give us a quick 100 words or so blurb about the story?

ML ~ Welcome to Poseidon, Virginia, where things that go bump in the night come to play and where passion and danger collide.
Siren Jones is no stranger to trouble. As a harpy, her unpredictable powers often land her in trouble. When she is implicated in the death of a high-profile ex, she turns to an unlikely protector whose touch sparks her passion but whose past threatens to destroy them both.
Genetically-enhanced human Daniel Smith is a creature of the shadows, considered an outcast by humans and supernatural creatures alike. Jaded by past betrayals, he's sworn off love. But when Siren seeks his protection, he cannot deny their attraction. With time running out, can they catch the real killer before he strikes again?

SK ~ Poseidon, perfect for a Harpy! Passion and danger colliding, just my cup-of-reading tea. And I have a yen for those genetically-enhanced heroes, I have to tell you...*inserting a pause to fan myself here* ...
Michelle, do you have a website?

ML ~ My main site is I also blog at The Naughty Girls Next Door ( )

SK ~ Michelle, oh my, the ‘naughty girls’. I’ll have to check that blog out.
What kind of books do you like to read? And, who are your auto-buy authors?

ML ~ Sadly, I haven't had much time for pleasure reading lately. When I do get free time, I have very eclectic tastes. Some of my favorite authors by genre are:

Multicultural and contemporary romance: Francis Ray, Emma Petersen and Shelli Stevens
Urban fantasy/paranormal: Minx Malone, Loribelle Hunt, Sunny and Kate Douglas
Futuristic: Crystal Jordan
Historical: Beverly Jenkins, Amanda Quick and Sarah McCarty

SK ~ Hmmm, we have a lot of fave authors in common. And, sadly, I’m rowing in the same boat of too busy, right now. But, tell me, what was your biggest inspiration for HOW TO TAME A HARPY? Everyone wants to know. I know, I do!

ML ~ I'm a huge fan of comics and fairy tales. How to Tame a Harpy allowed me to combine the elements I loved from both — fantastical, somewhat dark elements and lots of action with romance and universal themes of love conquering all — into one story.

SK ~ Michelle, I’m so excited about your story. Blending or fusing all those elements together makes for the best romance novels, IMHO. What is it you like most and admire about your heroine?

ML ~ Siren is a survivor. She has been through a lot of drama (getting accused of murder definitely puts a girl through the ringer!) but refuses to accept defeat. She is a creative problem solver and is not afraid to break a few rules to get her way. Although she has suffered a lot of heartbreak, Siren is willing to risk her heart for the right guy. I find that courage endearing.

SK ~ Siren, I adore your heroine’s name. Does she have an alluring singing voice...oops, never mind. That’s for the readers to find out...eventually, right?
As a reader, courage is one thing I’m very partial to in a heroine.
Now.. *my heart is tripping enthusiastically here* ...Michelle, tell us what it is you like most and admire about your hero?

ML ~ Daniel is a gamma hero: dangerous, a bit jaded and extremely loyal and protective of those he loves. He doesn’t back down from challenges. He is willing to risk anything to protect Siren—and to win her heart. Plus, he’s gorgeous. :D

SK ~ *Le sigh*...a man who willing to protect his woman, no matter what. Now, that’s a hero my heart can fall for, anytime and anywhere. Give us some more info about your story, Michelle. What is the major conflict?

ML ~ The plot revolves around a series of murders that implicate Siren, whose trigger-happy temper and super powers make her the obvious suspect. How to Tame a Harpy has action, suspense, an ongoing mystery and lots of passion as Siren and Daniel join forces to clear her name.

SK ~ Okay, I have to read your story now. For one thing, I love it when the heroine and the hero come together, and ‘join forces’. To me, that’s best kind of romance.
So, we’re at the close of the interview. One more question, Michelle. Who is your muse?

ML ~ The Red Queen. She can be a bit of a nag and tends to pick apart my plots, but she has an excellent eye for details and plot lines. I can always count on her to nudge me out of a writing slump. I wouldn't have gotten this far without her. So R.Q., I love ya, girl!

SK ~ I might have to ask my Muse to take some lessons from your ‘Red Queen’! Thank you, for being with us today, Michelle, and for sharing your entry, HOW TO TAME A HARPY with us. Tons o’ luck...and, maybe, Siren could sing a little song in all those voters’ ears...with, you know, that special magical invitation to vote for her, for Daniel, and for their love story.

Note: Tomorrow our own, magical Mel, will interview our own, enchanting Evonne, on her American Title V entry. Don’t miss this one! Or any of the finalists’ interviews. And, remember, voting for the first round begins on November 10.

Dream-big kisses from the Kougar...

Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ ~


Savanna Kougar said...

Welcome, Michelle, and everyone who comments.

Tamara Hughes said...

Great interview, Michelle! Genetically-enhanced hero, hmm, intriguing.

Edie said...

Michelle, what great protagonists! It sounds like a book I'd want to read. :)

Jessica said...

"Gamma hero!" I love it! I'm going to borrow that from you, with full credit, of course. :)

Gah! This is killing me. I can't wait to read these!

Evonne Wareham said...

Welcome Michelle to Title Magic. Someone has to publish all these books so that we can get to read them.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the kind words ladies. I won't mention which parts of Daniel are genetically enhanced. I'll leave that to your imaginations -- at least until AT V starts and the entries are available online.

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Looks like a great story. I definitely want to see this in print! Love the gamma hero too, need more greek letters out there :)

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Michelle,
Thanks for joining us on Title Magic. Urban Fantasy is so popular right now and your book sounds original.

Lots of luck in the contests!