Hello everyone! Today we have a special guest at the House Millar, the wonderful author of Cop Out;
In this interview she will answer a few questions about herself, her writing habits, and her book. Don’t forget to check out the review of Cop Out tomorrow.
Hope you enjoy!
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Toronto, Canada, but I now live in Orlando, Florida… and not for the reason you’d think. I’m still a good ways off from retirement, but we moved so my husband could take a dream job.
What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?
Just about any author I’ve read, good or bad. If they’re good, I want to be that good and if they’re bad, I know I can do better! Seriously, though, I read the first book of The Belgariad (Pawn of Prophecy) by David Eddings when I was 10, and that convinced me I wanted to be a writer. A number of my early attempts were epic fantasy, and epic failures. So, I’ve been writing for about 30 years.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably since I was about 10 years old. I realize not everyone uses this distinction, but for me, being a writer means putting stories to paper (or computer). I didn’t consider myself an author, however, until that first royalty statement.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Cop Out – a journey of love, grief and self-discovery for a cop who is not as straight as he thought.
Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamour to be heard over the others?
Usually, my characters don’t “speak”. I’m more a narrator of the movie that’s running in my head. I don’t interact with my characters, I watch them from the sidelines and just… report back.
Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?
Oh, my characters try to make like bunnies… wait, that’s not what you meant. *wink* I don’t do a lot of plotting in advance, so yes, they do sometimes complicate matters for me. Most times, I start with a scene in the middle of the book and I have to figure out who the people are, how they got there, and how they’re going to get their happy ever after. There are often surprises along the way. For instance, in Cop Out, when I first started writing it, I didn’t know Kurt had such a large, involved family. His family ended up being tremendously important, but it was a bit unexpected.
Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
In Cop Out, no. But yeah, I’ve done that. Mostly just appearance. Adam in Wolfsbane is based on a guy I saw in a restaurant and Cooper from Blood Relations is a combination of a friend and a celebrity. The funniest thing about that? The celebrity I based his appearance on was Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder in Heroes, Jai in Covert Affairs), but I don’t say that anywhere in the book. When my editor sent me back the first round of edits, she’d left a note that said “I’m imagining this guy looks like Sendhil Ramamurthy”. My mother does have a bit of a cameo, personality-wise, in the book I’m writing now. It’s not flattering, but she’s not interested in reading my stuff, so I’m not worried she’ll figure it out.
How did you come up with the title?
I almost never have titles before I finish the book, and I use simple descriptions as placeholder titles until I can come up with *something*. I find titles extremely difficult to come up with. Anyway, I had Cop Out listed as “cop coming out”, which I then shortened to “cop out”, and after a while, I realized I liked the play on words, so Cop Out it became.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I can’t really say it’s part of a series, because I have nothing contracted, but I am going to start writing the next book within the next 2 weeks, and I have a third planned.
What books have most influenced your writing most and why?
One of my biggest influences was Agatha Christie. I love the formal cadence of her voice, and I think (despite the swearing and explicit sex) my writing leans to the more formal side. Another big influence is… tons and tons of epic fantasy. Fantasy and mystery are my first loves, and even though I’m absolutely dismal at writing both, much of what I learned about characterization came from those books.
Do you prefer eBooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I like both eBooks and paperbacks. I don’t like hardcovers, but that’s primarily because my hands are too small to hold a hardcover in one hand.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
If the genre is gay romance, definitely more. Contemporary? Yes, I’ve got more contemporary books planned. But I also write sci-fi and paranormal, and I will be writing more in those genres as well.
How do you market/promote your books?
Not as well as I should! I post to email loops, I occasionally participate in online chats, I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but probably not enough for it to be an effective marketing tool. I have a website, and I contribute to group author blogs and a free steampunk web serial.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
Oh, if only… If I had ANY idea, I would be soooooo rich! I’ve seen enough books that I disliked that have just sold like wildfire – I clearly have no idea what makes a bestseller.
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
My favourite part is definitely the first sex scene. To be fair, I love writing sex scenes, but in this case, it’s such a huge turning point for Kurt. It combined angst, drama, fighting and sex. Best of everything, all rolled into one.
Have you ever read a book more than once?
I’ve read hundreds of books more than once. I’ve read dozens of books three times or more. I only keep books that I’ll reread, because I don’t read a story to find out the ending, I read to enjoy the story. A good story is always worth a reread. The Belgariad that I mentioned previously? I’ve probably read those books twenty, twenty-five times, at least. The Last Herald Mage by Mercedes Lackey? I’ve read those about a dozen times. In my own genre? I’ve reread Josh Lanyon, LB Gregg, KA Mitchell, ZA Maxfield and Ethan Day, to name a few.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (eBook/paperback/hardcover)?
At the moment, I’m reading Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville in eBook and Altar of Eden by James Rollins in paperback. Although I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like, I often have two or three books on the go at the same time.
Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
Nope! Mostly because if I think about it too hard, I might think of half a dozen things I’d want to change, and I’d make myself crazy obsessing about it. It’s better for my sanity if I don’t start second-guessing myself now.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write every day. Making writing a habit is the best way to make sure you can write even when you’ve got writer’s block, even when the muse is elusive, even when you’ve got zero inspiration.
White wine or red?
Red. I’m a total cheap date, so I don’t drink much, but I really enjoy Malbec, Gamay and Shiraz.
Coffee or tea?
Tea. I love strong black tea. I like the way coffee smells, but I hate the way it tastes.
Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
If those are my only options, chocolate, because it’s slightly less boring than vanilla. Generally I like a chocolate base, but chunks of stuff in it. Peanut butter cups, or brownies or fudge or… I could go on…
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Wallet, keys, phone & netbook.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I have an office, but I usually write on the couch or the dining room table. When? If I get up early enough, I’ll write in the morning before work, but usually on my lunch hour and I’ll spend an hour or two after dinner.
List 3 of your all time favourite books?
Three actual books? Can’t be done.
Three series I can do. The Belgariad, by David Eddings; The Last Herald Mage by Mercedes Lackey; The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
List 3 of your all time favourite movies?
Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and The Wrong Guy
An actor you have a crush on?
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
Leverage. We started watching this just recently, getting caught up via Netflix. It’s a very clever, humorous show that surprised me by how much I enjoyed it.
Where can your readers stalk you?
Other Works By . . .
MIA Case Files: Wolfsbane
MIA Case Files: Blood Relations
Spice ‘n’ Solace
Thank you for stopping by!