Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Interview with M.L. Guida

Today I would like to welcome author M.L. Guida!  M.L. is having a busy year!  Her novella will be included in the November anthology release Finding Ms. Wright. She is surely someone you will be hearing a lot about.  So without further ado... Welcome M.L. Guida!

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I like delving into my characters and creating their world.  My characters are real to me and in my mind, they play out in a movie.  

What genre(s) do you write?
Dark Paranormal.  I love the supernatural.  

What genres and authors would we find you?
I think you would find me next to Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan and Kerrelyn Sparks, but instead of vampires - demons.  

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Sometimes I have far out endings, and I have to trust that they will work.  I believe if I lay down a strong foundation with my characters, my readers will not feel jolted from a surprise ending.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m definitely a pantser, but I have started plotting and organizing more.  I keep notebooks on all of my stories and have been using the W plot to outline the book.  I also use enneagrams to develop my characters.  I took a class with Lori Wilde, romance writer, and she pushed me to a whole new level of writing.  

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?
My books are based in Colorado and instead of vampires, they are based on demons.  Although I love vampires, I wanted to go into a new direction.  My demons do not possess people, but sometimes I blend them with different mythical creatures such as Eric is half demon and half dragon.  

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I want readers to know that even in a world of darkness, true love survives.  

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Like Cassandra, I want them to learn to trust in themselves.  Appreciate the gifts that are given to them.  I want my readers to pursue their goals despite of hardships.  Cassandra gets derailed from her goal of becoming a speech and language therapist, but in the end, she achieves her.

How long have you been a writer?  
As a little girl, I wrote poems.  In college, I thought I wanted to be a journalist, but switched to being a social worker.  I’ve been a social worker for the past 25 years.  Throughout those years, I have written off and on, but about five years ago, I had a problem at work and decided to write.  I wrote my first paranormal manuscript within three months, but never got that one published, although I did final in a contest regarding my male hero.    

How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published? 
It took five years before I landed a publisher.  I have learned you have to persevere, especially in this business.   

What other careers have you had?  
As I’ve mentioned before, I am a social worker.

Do you write under more than one name? Why?
I write under the name, J.L. Bowen, because the books I write are not romance.  They are dark paranormal young adult.  My character is a fourteen year old boy, Armond Costa.  His aunt and uncle physically abuse him, but no matter they do to him he can heal himself in three days.  But after he sprouts wings, he discovers everything they told him is a lie.  Featherweight Press is publishing my book.  Check out my new website, www.jlbowen.com  

Are any of your characters based on real people or events?  
No.  The town of Frisco, the Boatyard Grill, Copper Mountain and the Galena Mountain Street Inn are all real.  I encourage you to check them out!    

How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?
I’m adventurous.  I like to risks such as skiing fast, scuba diving, eating unique foods such as haggis which is boiled sheep’s innards.  

What’s something fans would find fascinating about you?
Someday I would like to scuba dive with sharks.  

What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
I tend to write dark so there are torturer scenes.  Gryffin Drake didn’t get the name The Torturer for nothing.  

What books or authors have most influenced your life?
S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter Series and Marsha Canham’s historical books have all influenced me for different reasons, mostly due to their world building.  S.E. Hinton’s books and J.K. Rowling’s books propelled me to become a social worker and work with adolescents which influenced my novel, The Healer.  

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
My family supports me.  Believe me they were several times I wanted to quit due to my many rejections.  At my last rejection, I wanted to throw in the towel and my dad, of all people, reached in and pulled me out of my misery.  He was there when I needed him the most and I’ll never forget that.  Hint:  My dad is an alpha male and most of my characters are based on my dad, my brother-in-law and my brother.  

Where are you from?
Denver, Colorado

How do you come up with the titles?
My original title for this one was The Sinkhole, but since I joined an anthology, we had to come up with a name that we all agreed upon.  Lori Corsentino came up with the title, Finding Ms. Wright, but we decided to name each story based on our heroines.   However, the sequel will be based on heroes.  

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?
My life has not significantly changed presently, but I am in the process of creating a business plan.  I would like to work part-time and write full-time.  

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
I tend to multi-task.  I’m writing the sequel to Finding Ms. Wright - Ravaged Soul – and I’m doing edits on my young adult novel, The Healer.  However, I have a contemporary paranormal novel that I completed through Lori Wilde’s class and plan to submit this one to different publishers.  

When not writing, how do you relax?
Skiing.  I also like to take my cocker spaniel, Sadie Mae, for walks, read, travel, and watch my nephew’s football and baseball games and my niece’s basketball games.  When I have the money, I love to scuba dive.  I would like to go back to either, Key West, specifically Key Largo, or the Great Barrier Reef to go diving.  

Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.

I am the newsletter editor for Paranormal Freebies.  Check out our website where you can find out more about paranormal writers and obtain a free newsletter and flash fiction stories.  

I love men with long hair so all of my male characters, even my young adult characters have long hair.  

I love Johnny Depp, especially Captain Jack Sparrow.  

I collect story tellers.

My favorite animal is a lion.  

Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.

I wrote a young adult novel, The Healer, under my pen name – J.L. Bowen, which will be released from Featherweight Press.  The date will be predetermined.  

You can find more about M.L. Guida on her publisher's website at www.5princebooks.com and also www.mlguida.com, www.jlbowen.com, www.paranormalfreebies.com

M.L. Guida writes contemporary paranormal. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Colorado Romance Writers and Savvy Authors.  She is the newsletter editor for Paranormal Freebies.  She is currently pursuing my Master of Art in Creative Writing at Regis University.
Thanks M.L. Guida for sharing with us today.  I've ready your work and I know readers are in for a great treat!  Join us on Thursday when M.L. Guida is our guest blogger.  But for now, here is an excerpt from her novella Cassandra.

Cassandra Wright woke with a start.  Her long black U2 tee shirt bunched up around her waist.  Sweat streaked down her face.  She grabbed a tissue from the night stand and wiped her forehead and cheeks.   She moistened her lips.  God, she finished running a marathon or at least one kind of marathon.  It had been him again.   He vanished – a figment of her imagination.  Like always, the same hollow feeling swept over her.  She would be alone. 
Leaning against her headboard, her best friend, Lilly Grace, glanced over at her.  “Cassie, why is your face so red? Are you hot?  Did you have that same dream again?”
Cassandra shook her head.  “Yeah, but this time he was so…so….” 
           Lilly cocked her eyebrow.  “That good, huh?”  She gave her a teasing grin.  “God, I’ve never seen you blush this bad since we went to see the Bridesmaid movie last month.”
“I mean,” Cassandra stammered.  She wadded up the tissue and threw it into a nearby trashcan.  “Come on the opening scene - she’s practically screwing him ten different ways.”
Lilly tossed her black hair behind her.  “You should have seen your face.”
“God, Cassie everybody has erotic dreams, even virgins.”
Cassandra’s face burned hotter.  She hated being the only one who guarded her virginity and good ole Lilly never failed to remind her.  The opportunities had been plenty, but how could Cassandra explain it?  No guy compared to the man in her dreams.  An excuse?  Maybe.  Was she a chicken shit?  Definitely.  She dashed out of bed.  “I’m starving.  Let’s go eat.”
Lilly stared. “Okay we won’t talk about your dream.”  With her indomitable face and tilted chin, she gave Cassandra the I’m-going-to-cross-examine-you look.  “You know he’s a figment of your overactive imagination.  You’ve got to date real guys, not pin for imaginary ones.”
Cassandra shrugged as she headed over to her suitcase.  “Yeah, but how can you complain about a guy who’s hotter than Johnny Depp?”  She yanked out her red Minnie Mouse sweater, workout bra and long underwear. 
“I guess.”  Lilly smiled slyly.  “So, did you do it at Walter Memorial Park?”
Heat rushed to Cassandra’s cheeks. She stopped putting on her long underwear midway up her right leg.  “Lilly.”
“Well, did you?”

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