Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Interview with Lila Munro, Author of The Executive Officer's Wife

Author- Lila Munro

     Lila Munro is a writer of contemporary romance currently residing on the coast of North Carolina. She is a military wife and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fourteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her previous works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, and Destiny’s Fire. Anthology work includes a piece in All I Want for Christmas is Redemption. She loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted via her website http://lilamunro.weebly.com , her joint effort website http://www.wickedmuses.webs.com or through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Lila_Munro .

Said Wendy from Happily Ever After Reviews about Bound By Trust:

Let me say, I loved the book and I fell in love with the characters. Their story is so realistic I felt as if they were my friends. Through all the hardships, Rafe is a man who Madi learned to depend on and love again. He made her feel like a woman cherished while teaching her what she craves is right in his arms. Theirs is a true love story with their share of disagreements and trials. The story had me from the first paragraph and is a must read if you want a real man falling in love with a real woman. 5 Teacups. 

How did you get started as a writer?

It’s funny; I just did a guest post about that very thing. When I was three I fell in love with books. In fact, I loved The Little Red Hen so much I memorized it and my mother touted me as a bit of a side show. We convinced a relative I could read that way. Mom would put me in my little rocking chair and I’d recite The Little Red Hen verbatim. I realized at eight I wanted to make up my own stories and asked for a typewriter for Christmas. Santa delivered. A cute, little blue toy typewriter was waiting Christmas morning under the tree. In sixth grade I took a creative writing class and my teacher planted the seed that would grow for many years before coming fully to fruition. I wrote all through my adult years, but never sought publication until last year. My nest was emptied, I was jobless and had all the time in the world on my hands. After being mute for several years, my muse, Arwen, began chattering away and the result was my first submission, The Executive Officer’s Wife. Since then, I’ve had three more works published and Arwen’s cousin Bronwyn has joined the ranks.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Well, I used to have typical days until I morphed into Lila—full time realmantica writer. Now nothing is really typical as I never know what’s going to happen next or what character will wake me up demanding to be heard. However, I can tell you this much. I love the fact that I get out of bed, walk down the hall in my jammies, grab a cup of coffee and walk into my office. No more fighting rush hour traffic, no dealing with anyone I don’t particularly want to deal with, and I love the uniform. While my days aren’t necessarily typical, I do have a few routine things. I start off my day by checking my sales rankings, answer a few emails, flit about Facebook for a few minutes, then get down to the nitty-gritty of writing. Sometimes I write on a manuscript, sometimes I spend the day working on promotion, and sometimes I work on interviews and blog posts. Lately I’ve been working on a bit of a new role as a part-time PR Assistant for an up and coming publisher, Rebel Ink Press. You can visit them at www.rebelinkpress.com . They are currently taking submissions and would love to see some new talents. I love my job and love everything that occupies my atypical days.

What do you like most about reading and writing Romance?

The HEA. Real life is often times very difficult and often times has a not so happy ending. In the world of romance, everyone always gets a happily ever after, or at least a happily for now ending. That’s not to say the characters involved don’t have their ups and downs. I have been dubbed a conflict whore as I give my characters the most difficult circumstances imaginable to overcome. But, in the end they do and everyone gets their HEA. It gives people the sense that they can overcome the problems in their own lives and gives them hope. They leave the story with a warm fuzzy.

Which author influenced you the most?

I get asked that question quite a lot and truthfully I can’t put my finger on just one person as being my greatest influence or favorite author. I read extensively and I’m not genre biased, although romance is my favorite there. Remembering back, I’d have to say the first couple of author’s that really had a big impact on me were Laura Ingalls Wilder and Carolyn Keene. Wilder’s autobiographical books were so vividly and descriptively written I often felt like I was out there on the prairie with her. I remember one scene in particular where she describes being in a cabin with no door or windows and it was surrounded by wolves. The moon was full and the howling was eerie. She was so descriptive she pulled me into the pages and I felt as though I were there right along with her and Pa watching those wolves and hearing those sounds. Her writing is so raw and honest. You can tell her stories come straight from her heart. Carolyn Keene—what more is there to say about Nancy Drew? What girl didn’t dream of solving a mystery and dating one of the Hardy boys?

Tell us three interesting things about you.

Oh my. I’ve just about told every secret there is to tell over the course of the last few months. After telling Tam Quijas about the cherry stem secret, there’s really not much left to tell. Right? Let’s see…one secret people have a hard time believing is I’m a grandma. I’m old enough…right? Well, even if I’m not, my magician can attest that underneath her spell induced disguising, there’s proof my hair thinks so. I’ve lived in several places due to my secondary MOS—Marine Corps wife. Those places include Missouri, where I was born and bred, Virginia, Okinawa Japan, and most currently North Carolina. I’ve been a resident of Delaware, although I’ve never lived there physically. During all this moving about I have driven through or set foot in eighteen continental states. Oh, and I speak fluent southern—ya’ll.

Have you ever dabbled in writing other genres or poetry?

As a matter of fact, I have. The Christmas anthology, All I Want for Christmas is Redemption, which I participated in, while romantic in nature, is a paranormal work. I’m not a paranormal gal by nature. In fact, I’m a great big scaredy-cat when it comes to that stuff, but after a few dark side cookies and some punch that I’m not entirely certain didn’t contain some magic potion, I agreed to give it a whirl. I had a great time doing it. The stories take place in Redemption, WV, where all things parascary take refuge and something evil lurks about. My character Claire Voigant has a special talent that only her hero Caleb, town baddie catcher, can coax out of her. And, yes, I do dabble in a bit of poetry from time to time. When I was younger it was the quite sappy style, but now I border on the macabre and my style leaves my work open to interpretation by the reader.

Best and worst part of being a writer?

You know, Nomar, I’m not sure there is a worst. I enjoy everything about it, and even the times that offer up a bad experience I appreciate because I learn something through that experience. One of my favorite things about being a writer is the research involved and the field trips I often take for hands on and up close observation. I’ve found myself in naughty stores, standing under black lights, gentlemen’s clubs, online BDSM chat rooms, and fire houses. The field trips are far from boring.

Advice to writers?

In the famous words of Nike—just do it. Don’t wait and say there’s still time. Make time. Even if it’s a few minutes a day and all you can accomplish is a few hundred words in those few minutes. Write.

Interesting story about writing.

Well, since I’ve already tattled on myself about those interesting field trips, I might as well elaborate a bit. The BDSM chat rooms and how I found them. I’m writing a series called The Sergeants of Echo Company. Three marines are tasked with three women with more problems than you can count on both hands. After visiting the gentlemen’s club which led me to the naughty store where the black light was, I was perusing the merchandise and realized the girl in the third book was into the lifestyle and I needed more information than I could glean from reading the packages in the bondage aisle. So, dragging hubs along, I went on a quest for more information. After several stops around town at some seedy places looking for the right person to talk to, we ended up at a club for a drink and there he stood. The man I was certain had all the answers. A big burly dude with a barbell in his lip and a look in his eye. So, I reached down deep, found my fortitude and approached him. He did in fact have the answers, more than I needed actually. After he directed me to the chat rooms, I found out all I needed to know about my character Abby and my husband politely asked me to stop researching. He’s not prudish. He just has his limits as to how much he’ll tolerate of my little field trips. Wink.

Tell us about your book.

I would love to talk about my latest published work. It’s called A Slower Lower Love. Here’s a blurb:

When running isn’t the answer,

Cait O’Kelley loved Bryce Delaney with all her heart. But loving him scared the hell out of her. She didn’t want to settle for being married to a cop and having his children. She wanted more. Unfortunately, more came with a price. After leaving her small home town for more glamorous life and working her way up the corporate ladder, a whirlwind affair with the boss’s son tears her world apart. On the brink of losing everything she’s worked for, she had to make a decision.

and going back seems impossible,

After eight years of living without her, Bryce finds himself tasked with the job of watching over Cait during her week long stay at her parent’s beach house in Bethany. She’s come there to sort her life out and while she’s contemplating her future, they discover the fireworks are still there. But can they ever go back to where they once were? As his secrets begin to surface, he sees only one way to save her. He disappears without a trace leaving Cait behind to pick up the pieces and deal with a whole host of new problems. One of which she can’t explain away or hide.

can you find middle ground?

With Bryce out of the picture, his brother, Kurt, finds what he’s wanted a lifetime handed to him on a silver platter. After watching Cait and Bryce toy with each other for fifteen years, he steps up to the plate. He’s always wanted her and now is his chance. But is he strong enough to ground Cait and keep her from making yet another mistake? Which brother will win her heart and show her that a slower lower love is enough

If it would be okay, I’d love to share an excerpt from Cait’s and Bryce’s story.

The sound of seagulls screeching like nails on a chalkboard pulled Cait out of the
peaceful place somewhere between sleep and wake she’d been dozing in and out of most of the morning.  The raucous cacophony was far too close for comfort.  Pushing up on her forearms in the warm soft sand, she peeled her eyes open.  A summer browned boy that looked to be around ten or eleven stood a few yards away with a clear plastic bag full of bread crusts.  The band of ivory and gray birds dipping and swooping behind him cast shadows over her and her fluffy yellow beach towel.  Did the boy have no sense at all?  Probably the offspring of interlopers, he obviously didn’t realize the scavenging birds would never leave if you fed them just once.
       “Hey, kid,” she shouted. “Go somewhere else with your bag of bread.”
She didn’t want to share her space with a child and his flock of motley birds. Why wasn’t he back in school anyway?  It was well past Labor Day.
            He glanced over at her, pulled a piece of crust from the bag, and waved it in the air blatantly ignoring her wishes to be left alone. 
Hating to be taunted, she started to get up. “I said get down the beach you scrawny urchin, this isn’t public access, so go.”
            After watching him dart away with the gulls not far behind, she lowered herself back on her towel and closed her eyes again.  She’d come here to rest and try to piece her life back together, not deal with truants. 
It was her mother’s suggestion that she take a week at the beach house after the last holiday weekend of summer.  She’d finally agreed after giving the idea some serious pause.  There were too many memories here she didn’t particularly care to rehash.  It had seemed at the time, however, a better alternative than being secluded in her town home for one more day alone. But if her first morning was any indication as to what her stay was going to be like, she might well change her mind and go back to Baltimore before sundown.
            For now, at least, here she was.  The very place that eight years ago she’d absconded like it was infested with the plague.  Fled for a life outside the confines of small town life to anywhere bigger USA. 
It just happened that anywhere bigger at the time was Pittsburg.  She’d found a job and earned a degree at the university.  Then she’d gone on to land a gig at one of the nation’s biggest marketing firms in Baltimore.  After working her way up from the mail room, she’d been in charge of some very affluent client accounts.  Always looking for more though, that hadn’t been enough fast enough.  No.  She wanted everything, and everything came with a price. 
After practically throwing herself on him, she’d landed the bosses son.  As far as Jamison Curtis and all their friends were concerned, they were a match made in heaven.  They both had good heads for business and eyes on the brass ring attitudes, and after a brief courtship they had been engaged to be married.  
They weren’t a match made in heaven in her book though.  He wasn’t much for wild abandon in the sack. In fact, he was more the missionary type, though she could concede it was usually satisfying enough.  He liked the opera, while she preferred alternative rock. He wanted steak every night and she would have chosen boiled crabs anytime.  On top of all that, she’d known she didn’t love him.  What did she expect hooking up with someone that wasn’t raised on the eastern shore, south of the Mason Dixon, where life was simpler?  But wasn’t that what she had run from all that time ago? 
For her he was just a mere rung on the ladder of success, the toll to a better life.  At least that was what she believed until three months ago when it all came crashing down around her like a skyscraper after an earthquake.    
            Feelings complicated things, and she didn’t want complicated.  He, however, had apparently let himself fall hopelessly in love with her and it wasn’t until their engagement party at a five star hotel on the inner harbor that she fully realized that. She overheard him talking to his brother and inadvertently discovered how he couldn’t wait until they honeymooned in Paris, and actually hoped they came home expecting their first born.  That she hadn’t counted on.  After Jamison left Haden standing on the balcony overlooking the harbor, she had confronted him. They had already had the children or no children discussion and she had made it perfectly clear that they weren’t in the equation for her right now, and maybe indefinitely.
That led to an argument right there in the ballroom that escalated until all she heard was the sound of their two voices reaching a piercing pitch.  The band had stopped playing and all their friends ceased what they were doing to stare at them there in the middle of the floor spearing each other through with glaring eyes.  The silence had been even more clamorous than the sound of their arguing.  That was the point at which the relationship had snapped in two like a dry twig.  Pop!  It was over.
She’d composed herself and tried to salvage some of her dignity.  After apologizing to their guests, she made a hasty exit to take a cab home. Like a coward, she left Jamison there to put out the blaze she knew would consume Curtis Industries by Monday morning.
After ignoring his calls all day Sunday, the phone finally quit ringing.  He hadn’t bothered leaving any messages.  Nothing he could say, and nothing she could do, would make things right anyway.  She’d torn another man down and crushed him.  Only this time she was a grown woman and it was no longer a game of hurt feelings.  Her livelihood would be affected by her stupid selfish actions.
Monday morning she’d slipped into the Curtis building downtown under the cover of pre-dawn.  It only took minutes to clear her desk and type out her resignation.  She knew she could never set foot in the office again, and even if she could face the humiliation of it, chances were she’d be fired and asked to leave.  After depositing the letter on Jamison’s desk, and laying the two carat Marquis cut engagement ring on top of it, she left like the coward she was and went home to try to figure out what to do next.
Three months later, she still hadn’t figured it out.  She had no job, no Christmas wedding to plan, and, if the tides of fate didn’t turn in her favor soon and leave some source of income at her doorstep, she would soon have no gorgeous town home.  Her emergency funds were vaporizing and she had received so many rejection notices from prospective employers that she now suspected the elder Curtis of blackballing her all over Baltimore and a few other choice cities. 
She squirmed around on her towel trying to root out a lump under her right shoulder and let out a loud sigh when she felt another shadow fall across her.  That damn kid!  She shot up fully ready to march him off and leave him with his absent parents, wherever that was.  But when she looked up, instead of a four foot tall tow headed boy, a six foot tall dark haired man stood over her in blue board shorts with a matching towel slung over a very muscular shoulder.  The sun wasn’t at its midday point yet and fell behind him shadowing his features, but she could plainly see that he was stacked to the nines.  He sported chiseled biceps, his abs looked like a washboard, and every visible inch of his smooth skin was bronzed.
“Is this seat taken?” That voice.  She couldn’t see him, but she would recognize that voice anywhere even though the years had deepened it to a low sexy pitch.
“What are you doing here?” she snapped.
“The same thing you are, Cait.  Trying to relax.  So do you mind if I join you?”  He started to spread his towel.
“Yes, I mind.  No, you may not.  Possession is ninth tenths of the law.  I’ve been on this piece of sand since dawn. Therefore, in this case, the law is on my side.” She plopped back down and crossed her arms over her ample breasts. “Now, go away, Bryce, my life is complicated enough as it is.”
“The law, huh?  In case your mother hasn’t informed you, I’m a cop now. Your whole law thing doesn’t hold water with me.  Have you forgotten our house sits just a few yards from yours?  We co-own this stretch.” He continued to spread his towel and sink into the sand next to her.
“Fine, suit yourself.  I’m sure it’s no coincidence that we’re here at the same time.  Our mothers made sure of that didn’t they?  I’ll try not to bother you.”  She turned on her stomach and pointed her head in the opposite direction so she wouldn’t have to look at the fine example of a man Bryce Delaney had become.  Her heart had done a familiar flip-flop at hearing him say her name and that really made her mad.  That was the problem with Bryce. He made her feel things she had no business feeling.

Thanks for hosting me today, Nomar. It was a pleasure being here. Your readers may purchase A Slower Lower Love, as well as my previous works at www.allromanceebooks.com .

Thank you Lila for sharing entertaining and interesting information with our Knight Chills readers. I wish you all the best and continued success with your fabulous novels.  Come on Knight Chills readers, lets curl up these winter nights and catch the heat delivered by realmantica author Lila Munro. Her books are on fire! 

Trailer Links

The Executive Officer’s Wife

Bound By Trust

A Slower Lower Love

© Copyright Lila Munro 2010 A Knight Chills Exclusive

1 comment:

  1. All success to you, Lila! I'll have to check out your new title. :)