Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fact or Imagination? With Author Shelly Munro

People react in various ways when they learn I’m a writer. They’ll usually ask what I write and on learning, I write romance they’ll say, “Oh, those Mills & Boon things.” Or they’ll say, “I’m going to write a book one day.” 

When I explain I write erotic romance and I’m e-published that raises a lot more questions. Usually there’s a smirk or two at that stage and I can literally see the directions their minds are traveling. You guessed it.

Smutsville!

They’re wondering exactly how much of what I write comes from real experience. And gasp! Their naughty thoughts have gone right to sex and in particular, my sex life. Curiosity shines in their eyes and the bolder ones come straight out and ask questions.

Now usually in reply I’ll say something about mystery and thriller writers. Everyone knows they don’t actually commit murder while they’re researching their stories, right? Or sometimes, I’ll tap my nose and tell them my husband enjoys the research.


The truth is that most writers come blessed with a great imagination and use this as the jumping-off point for their stories. We come up with a spark of an idea, usually think about it a lot, embellish and perhaps do some research. If you’re like me and don’t do much plotting, this is where we jump into the story with both feet and start writing.

As a pantser, I tend to get a basic idea of my characters and nut out their personal conflicts and learn the rest as I go. I research as the need arises and I fill in some of the gaps with personal experience. In Talking Dogs, Aliens and Purple People Eaters our dog was bugging me wanting some food. I told her if she didn’t behave I was writing her into the story and she and I had an entire conversation. I intended to take the passage out of my WIP but her entrance made the story come to life. In fact, readers just adore Killer, the talking dog.

I’ve used my extensive travel experience in several stories. My visit to the Gold Coast came to life in Summer Lovin’ (Dreams of Oasis III anthology). I adore India. I love the food and the country and used this as a setting in Wanderlust. My characters have visited Fiji, Samoa and Africa. My love of wine and vineyard tours made it into Never Send a Dog to do a Woman’s Job and Assassin. I’ve blogged since 2005 and I decided Maggie, my heroine in The Bottom Line would use this medium to help her explore her sexual kink. Maggie also has my love of lingerie and my dislike for gym time even though I know it’s good for me. I always enjoy the visit most once the session is done!

My sense of the ridiculous will often attach to my characters too, so you’ll find quite a bit of humor in my stories. Since I live in New Zealand, many of my stories take place here too. My characters will visit places I’ve visited, eat at restaurants where I’ve dined and shop at my favorite mall.

The truth is there is lots of myself in my characters and books, and this is probably the same of most writers. Our life experience can’t help but bleed its way into our stories. The sex part? I’m not telling…

Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.
Shelley is also a writer blessed with a vivid imagination and lives with her very own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Liquid Silver Books and Samhain Publishing. 
You can learn more about Shelley and her books at 
http://www.shelleymunro.com and you might even find her lurking at 
Her newest release is The Bottom Line, a spicy contemporary romance about a woman’s adventures with life, friendship, love and spanking. 

You can learn more about The Bottom Line and read an excerpt at her website http://www.shelleymunro.com  


Blurb:
Spicing up her sex life sounds exciting…until the fantasy hits the fan.
When Maggie Drummond buys an erotic romance novel by mistake, she gets more than an unexpected eyeful. She gets an introduction to a world that arouses her to a fever pitch: Spanking.
Her boyfriend isn’t interested in pushing his vanilla-flavored sexual boundaries. Then there’s Connor Grey, who haunts her fantasies like a magical genie. As a source of masculine advice for her and her female friends, he’s off limits. The only safe place to explore her fetish is her anonymous blog.
The recent changes in Maggie don’t escape Connor’s notice. Now that her boyfriend has dropped her, he can finally—carefully—make his move. Given his family history, laying a hand on any woman, even in fun, is a line he’s reluctant to cross. But for Maggie? Anything the lady wants.
As Maggie gives in to the temptation to let Connor add some sin to her life, she finds herself juggling lies, half-truths, friendship and sensual delights. Her job is in jeopardy—and she’s falling in love. Exploring her fantasy is one thing, but she’s beginning to question if indulging her own pleasure is worth the cost to everyone around her. Especially Connor…

BUY THE BOOK:


Thank you Ms. Munro for taking the time out to stop in and spend some time here with us! You post rings true for many writers and even readers of the genre. Sad, however, very true.

Ms. Munro has graciously agreed to give away one print copy of The Bottom Line to one random commenter . Don't forget to leave your email addy for contact purposes in case you are the winner. Winner will be announced on Thursday!

Continue reading...
Excerpt: The Bottom Line by Shelley Munro


Maggie made a cup of instant chai latte and waited for her laptop to power up. The second the distinctive Windows opening tune played, a sense of peace and satisfaction settled over her. Life wasn’t always about making safe choices. Sometimes a person needed to step up and jump into the unknown, despite the haunting specters of the past.

She logged onto her blog and started to write.

Yesterday, the thing that worried me most about my new interest in spanking was telling my boyfriend. I worried he’d consider me weird. Kinky. Well, okay. I’ll admit to the kinky, since this is a blog about spanking, but call me weird, and I’ll deny it strenuously.

Today, I have a new problem. It’s obvious Mr. X and I aren’t suited. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before, or maybe I did and was too stubborn to admit the truth. He wants a quiet woman who will stay in the background and support his career. Dinners with the boss, look after the kids—that sort of thing. I guess my quiet manner fooled him into thinking I was the woman he could mold into the perfect wife.

We’re going to dinner tomorrow night, and I’ve made my decision: I’m going to end our relationship. Hopefully, I won’t hurt his pride. We work in the same firm, and it’s gonna be hell if he starts taking our breakup out on me there. We’ll see.

Meantime, I’m short one boyfriend. I’m going to have to go through the entire getting-to-know-you phase all over again with strangers before I can even casually mention my interest in spanking. I feel like I’m playing Monopoly and have gone straight to jail without collecting two hundred. I’m no beauty queen, but my friends say I look cute when I smile. Evidently, I’ve got the whole girl-next-door thing going on, complete with freckles. I have long, dark brown hair. It’s straight because I didn’t eat my crusts as a kid. That’s my mother’s story—her hair is beautiful with a distinct curl. Normally I wear it in a braid, because it keeps my hair out of the way.

I have plain brown eyes to match my freckles, a straight nose and good lips. I like my lips. They’re kinda plump and pouty. All this set in a plump face. My breasts are on the large side. Let’s just say it’s not comfortable to exercise or attempt to jog without a restraining bra. I’m tall and solid looking. My mother used to say I take after my father’s side of the family. Considering she’s five-foot two, and I tower over her, I’d agree.

The point of all this description? It’s not gonna be easy to find a replacement, so my spanking experiment will be delayed. I’ll have to find my kicks online. If any of you have suggestions about the best places to find a new boyfriend, please let me know. Oh, and I guess I should continue to collect tips about how to tell a boyfriend I’d like him to spank me. Keeping positive might bring me some good karma.

Maggie proofed her post and hit the publish button. Her post went live, and she felt better after writing down her feelings. She smirked. Cheap therapy. Who knew? 

16 comments:

  1. Hi, Shelley! Congrats on The Bottom Line in print! And as a reader, I sure am thankful that you writers are able to blend fact and imagination so beautifully--the emotions ring true, so that I can enjoy your characters' stories vicariously :) Definitely works for me ;)

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

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  2. Great thoughts. Very interesting. I don't often read romances, I'm more of a YA person, but I like to throw one in once in a while and this one looks interesting.

    annettesspot (at)gmail (dot)com

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  3. Thanks, Fedora! I have to say the same thing. When I put on my reader hat, I'm in awe of my favorite authors. I want to be just like them when I grow up.

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  4. Thanks for stopping by, Annette. :)

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  5. Shelley you are truly an amazing author and I want to say huge congrats on all the good things that have come your way. You deserve it.

    I do know how you feel when it comes to people finding out about me being an author and what I write. Sometimes the reaction makes me laugh.

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  6. Shelley-- I truly love you as a person and as an author-- and yes, loved that talking dog!

    About writing erotic-- I had a guy friend once tell me that my business card, which contained a former tag- 'romantic adventures laced with sensual pleasure' - made me sound like a call girl! okay... see if I spend any more nights at his place, lol.

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  7. Congrats on the book :) I def wanna check this one out. When people walk up to me and ask me what I'm reading I just say a dirty book :) They usually blush and walk away! hehe
    Kelly

    kittykelly28 @ hotmail.com

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  8. Congratulations on the print release. My hubby says that I read smut but in the next breath he likes some of the things that I read about in said books. LOL!

    maw1725@gmail.com

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  9. LOL, Kaye! Well, you don't have to accept any of *his* calls :) And hee, Harlie Reader--guess he's enjoying the benefits! As long as he doesn't comment on you adding to your collection!

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  10. I never used to read erotic romances but I find myself reading them more and more. Ms. Munro? Is it really difficult to weave the facts of your life in with the fiction of your novels?

    I'm just curious, you know as a eventual writer-to-be.

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  11. Kaye - LOL - I think I would have tried to keep a straight face and ask him if he'd hand around my cards to friends.

    Thanks for the compliment :)

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  12. Savannah - to make things worse I usually blush. Not that I'm ashamed of what I do. I love being a writer and I'm quite open about it, but I do manage to blush.

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  13. Ah, Kelly. Good for you! I bet you haven't had a brash teenage male sit beside you on the bus and ask what you were reading. I blushed that time because everyone in the bus was looking at me by the time he finished. I did tell him what I was reading, although that was in my prepubbed days.

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  14. Harlie Reader - my husband sometimes acts as a reader for me when I'm having problems with a scene or helps me brainstorm. He's very helpful. ;)

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  15. Fedora - that's what I love about ebooks. They don't take up physical space although my research books are starting to take over the office a bit. I had to get a new bookcase the other day!

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  16. Gabby - I think it's more your life experiences and the way you react to a certain situation tends to bleed into writing rather than actual situations. I've never written about friends or acquaintances but I might give one of my characters facets of their personality, if that makes sense. I definitely use settings I've visited.

    I think you'll find yourself blending without even thinking about it when you write.

    About actual writing - my first books were very tame. Like you, I found myself reading hot books and enjoying them. I decided I'd try writing hotter too and submitted a story to EC. My stories have become even hotter over the years as I've grown into my voice.

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