It is my pleasure to welcome Sex & Subterfuge author Isabel Roman today! Let’s jump right into the good stuff.
AS: Sex and Subterfuge is your second of three installments in your Dark Desire of the Druids series. How was the idea for this series born and which is your favorite character so far?
IR: Hi, Amber, thanks so much for hosting me!
Actually, there are four Druids books, while Temptations & Treachery isn’t in print, it’s Isadore’s story. She’s Lucien’s sister and though I wouldn’t say it was an afterthought, since I like Isadore so much…it was. Okay, no, I really just wanted to round out the series. There, that’s better! How the idea came about, I don’t remember any more. I remember there was history involved, where did I want to set this and how would that timeframe fit into the plot itself, but as far as involving Druids and Hunters and such, again probably history.
Druids are fascinating and there isn’t a lot known about them that is proven fact. The myth is what drives fiction, books or movies. Taking all that and moving it from the ancient or medieval world into a more modern time made me think. What would be the same? What would have changed? And what would have been forced to change because of hiding and innovation? My Druids were forced to spend several hundred years hiding in plain sight, so how would they have adapted? It’s those questions that I tried to answer. But then I’m always fascinated with the What Ifs of the world.
My favorite character? You want me to choose between a bunch of magickers who can smite me with a thought? *G* Lucien probably. Something about him really appeals to me. He’s strong and smart, knows what to do and how to get it done, and yet he’s not the strongest magicker in the lot. He has to take orders from others but is never subservient. It’s appealing.
AS: At Manic Reader, your bio says you’re a “sci-fi loving, movie watching, occasionally paranormal, mostly erotic romance writer with way too many ideas and so little time to write them all down.” So, what is your favorite Sci-Fi flick? Why?
IR: Wow, you do your research! I’m going with Star Trek, specifically Star Trek: The Next Generation. Why? Because it takes today’s relevant topics (race, environment, equality, the meaning of life without the cheesiness of the 60s costumes) and puts it smack in the center of pop culture attention with a spin you can relate to no matter what. After all, there aren’t really any Klingons on Earth, so equality for a Klingon should be an abstract concept. And yet when it boils down to it, what difference is it if you’re fighting for Klingon, Android, female, West Paupan, Native American, or Indigenous Brazilian rights?
That doesn’t mean that I don’t love other science fiction, I’m a huge 1950s B-movie fan. Godzilla? There isn’t one I haven’t seen. Soylent Green? Them! Classics. Terminator? (the original and the second, and the TV series…let us not discuss the third.) Sure, Arnold is a robot out to kill the savior of humanity, but other than the coolness of the early 80s special effects, the movie is about the people. Freedom, independence, the right to live.
AS: Finding time to write is tough for any author. What tricks have you learned along your 11 book journey?
IR: Take whatever time you have an use it well, young padawan. Make a plan to the best of your personality’s ability for plot so that when you’re ready to sit and write, you can do so. Now I try to have everything ready before I type word one: who my characters are, what they’re doing, what they did, where they’re going and why and with whom and how. This way, by the time I’m ready to start Chapter One, I can do so no matter how little time I don’t have.
I’ve also learned that no matter how wonderful I think something is, it can always be edited. Or deleted, for that matter. I used to like writing scenes that I wanted to write but that didn’t necessarily go anywhere. Sure, they’re fun but did they move the scene forward? Did they contribute to the overall plot? No. *grumble* Delete!
Enjoy yourself! If you can’t do that, then writing becomes just like my day job. I love to write, I enjoy creating characters and worlds and plots. I don’t want it to become tedious—work at what you love and it’ll never be work (non verbatim quote obviously). That’s how I envision writing.
AS: You write short stories as well. Between short stories and novels, which is more challenging?
They each have their own challenges. Short stories are baby plot bunnies that grow into those cute bunnies in my garden. Novels involve the entire family. That’s not the most perfect analogy I’ve ever come up with, but it’s close.
Short stories, also vary in length. I’ve written 5,000 word stories where it’s easier to get around sustained conflict, and 20,000 word stories where the conflict is wrapped up fairly quickly. But once you’re at the 50,000-100,000 word mark, you either need a really sustained conflict, more than one, or a huge battle scene to make it all work.
I think, with all that, I’m going to say novels are harder. There’s a fine line between writing a great plot with action, romance, suspense, and sex, and writing one that becomes tediously repetitive after the 140th page.
AS: Now, fill in some blanks for us:
To _write______________, is __to breathe__________.
All _plot_________ and no _writing______ makes Isabel a _cranky girl__________.
If you can’t __laugh at yourself_________, then _you can’t laugh at anyone else____.
AS: So true, so true! When you’re down, you’re stuck and feeling blue, what is one thing that always gets you out of your funk and back to writing?
IS: Good question, Amber. A favorite movie or TV show episode (there’s my Buffy and NCIS obsession) or a day at the beach. Time with family, where there’s no pressure to write or plot or think helps, too. Sometimes when they ask about my stories and I say oh, it’s okay and offer that pathetic shrug, they know not to press. This lack-of-pressure lifts the pressure I pile onto myself and helps me think again.
A good massage.
(A good review!)
Friends how make you laugh for no other reason than they know you all too well.
Other writers, so you know you’re not alone.
Those cute animal videos. What? They’re adorable and you know it!
AS: They totally are! Excellent list. Thank you again, Isabel, for stopping by. Now, reader, it’s your turn to fill in the blank: If you can’t _______________, then ___________.
:} Amber Scott
Sex & Subterfuge by Isabel Roman
A master magicker, Morgana Blackthorne has a tenuous hold on her following. When a strange Englishman arrives on her doorstep with news of other druidic magickers, and magicker problems, she’s intrigued but suspicious. There hasn’t been contact between the American and European druids in over a hundred years. Plus she has her own worries and doesn’t need the handsome earl adding to them.
Lucien, Earl of Granville, left England to seek out the Blackthorne Druid line and discover what they’ve been up to since contact was lost. Once he and Morgana meet, their mutual attraction distracts him from his purpose. Embroiled in her problems, he finds himself more concerned with her welfare than is practical for a passing affair.
When I invited you into my bed, it never occurred to me I wouldn’t want you to leave.
There are darker forces at work and the hunger of a weak magicker desperate for power. Will Lucien convince Morgana of his true feelings before things spiral out of control? Or will the surrounding subterfuge tear them apart?
To purchase Sex & Subterfuge, click here.
For your free Choose Your Own Druids Adventure, click here.