Please welcome to the blog today co-authors Cai Smith and Arwen Lynch, who write together as Marilu Mann. They'll be giving away a really cool coffee mug (on the back it says "NEED A BREAK? Relax with a book by Ashlyn Chase or Marilu Mann" and a print copy of their book Changing Hearts to one commenter here on the blog.
1. What's the scoop on how you both came to be writing together under the name Marilu Mann, and does that name have some significant meaning to you?
Marilu Mann is the combined name of our mothers. This was to honor them and hopefully to cause them to love us enough so that when they read the S-E-X in the stories, they would still love us. Marilu (Arwen's mama) passed away a few years ago so she never got to see us published, but Cai's mom (the Mann half) has read the books. We are our mother's daughters in many ways so we are proud to use their names
Of course, as far as that goes, Cai's family thinks Arwen writes all the steamy stuff. And Arwen's family knows it's Cai!
It also has a "Ring" to it - Marilu Mann...see? Just rolls right off the tongue! :)
2. How do you handle the writing process? What do you do when your vision for the story doesn't follow the same path? If you haven't quite come across this yet, do you have an emergency plan in place for such a thing?
Our emergency plan is to argue about both sides until we get a third better idea. It's not even about compromise really so much as a weird brainstorming. Arwen can get really possessive about her ideas and Cai is the same. We tend to beat one another over the head a bit. But you are talking about a few years of friendship here--like 32 going on 33 so we know each other really well. We are actually fairly respectful of boundaries and buttons for the most part.
We've also taken to writing out scenes the way we want them to go and then seeing what works best with the story. Sometimes that sparks a whole different story as well!
3. Do either of you have any individual projects on the go? What is next on your respective plates?
Arwen has a YA steampunk she's hammered out a synopsis for and has a non-fiction for her Tarot for Writers workshops. She's also published a lot of poetry in various venues.
Cai wrote one stand-alone story for another publisher under a different name and is still trying to write something else in that world.
4. The important questions (for each of you to answer separately): Sweet or salty, give us your recommendations. Favourite movie character ever, and why? If you could rule the world, which 3 laws would you redact because they were just stupid?
Arwen: I need salty and sweet but if I have to choose, salty! Fave movie character? EVER? AHHH! Um... Freddie Hightower as August Rush? No wait.... Nathan Lane in Bird Cage! :) Um Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Swann? Three laws? 1. Marry whomever you like. Love is love and be damned who says who can love whom. 2. I think we should be able to pronounce Arkansas any way we like! 3. Gravity. why is it a law anyway? HUH?
Cai - Sweet, definitely sweet. Give me M&Ms or a Zero bar and I'm a happy camper! Favorite movie character ever? Really? Jeez...Ummmm....Humphrey Bogart as Rick in Casablanca? 3 laws to redact...wow...Let's start with laws regarding marriage - I say you can marry whomever you want as long as both parties are of age and of the same species (we'll worry about shifters & vampires & others of that ilk when they truly come out in the light of day. Second law to toss out - Drinking age - if someone is old enough at 18 to enlist in the armed forces and fight (and sometimes die) for their country, they're old enough to have a beer or glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage. Really, some 18-year olds I know are more mature than some
so-called adults! Third law...IDK, I'll get back to you.
5. What are your signs and how do they help or hinder your writing partnership? (I figured you'd like this one *wink*)
Arwen: I'm a Pisces with Aq rising and a Scorpio moon. I'm flaky and dreamy and all over the place. I think I sometimes make Cai want to nail me to the couch so I will just WRITE.
Cai: I'm a Taurus and don't have a clue what's rising or where my moon is (LOL). I'm stubborn, opinionated and firmly grounded, which occasionally makes Arwen want to gore me with my own horns to get me to accept something new.
6. All right then, now tell us all about your book.
Changing Focus is Book 3 in our Lusting Wild series from Ellora's Cave. Finally Micah gets his story told. You can read this one alone but there are references that might be better with the first two books. Characters from both book one and two show up in book three.
Reluctant to be a Pack Alpha, Micah Keeps Vigil has no hesitation about what he wants in a mate. A strong, intelligent, passionate and, most importantly, shifter female. He’s found her in photojournalist Olivia. She’s come to Micah’s lodge to write about winter sports.
Olivia isn’t expecting a gorgeous man who encourages her wilder nature with a sizzling erotic encounter in her room. Nor does she anticipate the amount of steam they generate in the sauna. With Micah’s hot body and Olivia’s innate sensuality they generate enough heat to melt the snow around the lodge.
One problem—Olivia isn’t aware she’s a shifter. She believes her vivid dreams are just that—dreams—and that her blackouts can be controlled with medication. There’s no way she’s been running through the woods on four feet! Micah has to convince Olivia to accept herself—paws and all—or lose her forever.
Book 2 of Lusting Wild was released in print 9/9.
Buy Link: http://www.ellorascave.com/p-7599-changing-hearts.aspx
JK Coi: Thanks again for visiting, ladies. Everyone else: don't forget to comment for your chance to win!