Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Wednesday Wisdom with Belinda McBride

I'm so excited to welcome my friend Belinda McBride as my first guest for 2013! I've thrown out the interview challenge, and she's accepted it with gusto! Here we go...

How long have you been writing? Tell us a little about your writing journey.

My writing journey is waaay long, so I’ll try to abbreviate it. LOL! I grew up wanting to tell stories and spent a good part of my life submerged in my daydreams but not writing. I started writing plays and poetry when I was in college but was in a severe accident and came out of it with a minor head injury. I had to learn to read and write again and lost all desire to write creatively. In 2006 I picked up a Christine Feehan book and fell in love with paranormal romance. I started writing again, found I had a knack for erotic romance and from there, I didn’t look back. I wound up quitting my day job to care for a disabled niece and that gave me the time to write. :-) I signed my first contracts in 2008.

Oh wow! That is an amazing story! I can't imagine how tough that would have been. Go you!

Your books cross a few sub genres….LGBT, BDSM, Paranormal, Fantasy …which is pretty awesome, I must say – so how did you get started in this, and have you found it an advantage or a hindrance in reaching your audience?


I think writing in multiple genres does limit an author at the beginning, but eventually I developed a core readership who likes my writing and trust that I’ll give them a good story regardless of the genre or gender of the leads. I got started writing multi-genre simply because I refuse to shut down any facet of my imagination. If a story starts rattling around in my head, I write it.

You write M/M stories. How do you research for your stories? Is it difficult getting into the psyche of males?

Any person writing a book has to have the ability to get into the psyche of the opposite sex. When I write a M/F story, I have to get into the psyche of the hero just as much as I do the heroine, so in a M/M romance, that’s just an extension of what a het writer is already doing.

I believe strongly that research into human behavior should be boots on the ground. I watch people, I talk to people…I listen. I’m really cautious of sweeping generalizations and labels. Not all gay men act the same. Not all BDSM lifestylers hang out in clubs. I rarely watch porn for research because that’s as far from genuine as life and romance can possibly get. For lack of a better term, I channel characters, whether it’s a tough female cop or a gay alpha werewolf. A writer has to have empathy for that which they cannot experience personally. Some of the most miraculous heroines in literature were written by men.

Yep, I get that! I don't seem to have too much of a problem getting into the males' heads, but sometimes my female characters confound me - it's tough to make sure they don't all sound like me!

Tell us about your latest release


My latest is Arcada 2: Silver/Steel. It’s the sequel to the very successful novel Blacque/Bleu. This book is about Lukas Blacque’s younger brother Travis, who is a very low ranked wolf in the pack. He struggles daily with living in the shadow of his father and brother who are both alpha wolves. His love interest is Dylan, a fae who was enslaved and has spent hundreds of years forced to be an assassin. Falling in love is the worst possible thing that could happen to these two, yet it hones them into the men they were meant to be.

Where did you come up with the idea for this book?

Travis had a very minor role in Blacque/Bleu. He was a very negative character and when I started thinking about another Arcada book, Travis came to mind. I spent a lot of time imagining what would turn a promising young man into such an asshole. And you know, it always seems to come back to family. LOL! He lives in a constant state of stress and fear, but at the core, he’s an amazing hero. In many ways he’s stronger than Dylan, who’s much older and more experienced. For the right reasons, Travis will face his greatest fears. To me, that demonstrates true courage.

Is this part of a series? Any plans for other stories based on these characters?


This is part of the Arcada series. I started this series with a couple short stories: Chrysalis and Mad at the Moon. (both will be revised and re-released soon) Blacque/Bleu was the first full length book in the series. Arcada is a magic town that is a sanctuary for paranormal beings and gifted humans. It’s very charming and like any classic American small town, but the town itself is sentient and has figurative claws.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?

Just getting it written! My computer crashed and I did a lot of re-writing on my backup computer. No sooner had I caught up then my back-up computer failed and as it melted down, my online backup saved the corrupted file. So I re-wrote it again. Once I stopped crying, I decided it was my opportunity to write it even better. :-)

Aside from that, following a successful book is always hard. Lukas and Oliver are very, very popular and it was tough to try and capture that spark again. I tried to make this book part of the whole, but completely unique with equally special heroes.

I remember that happening...and I don't know if I could have handled it as well as you did. It took a lot to get it all written again, and in such a short time!

What was the easiest part?

Finding the emotional core of the men. Once I knew what made them tick, the characters just blossomed. Dylan starts off cold and Travis starts off as a spoiled asshole. But that’s just the beginning of their journey.

Favorite Scene?

I love the moment that Dylan and Travis first meet. Dylan is so hard and cynical. He scopes out this slutty young man he sees in the bar, but the moment they make eye contact, he falls hard. I loved that moment.

Oh I love that first moment of eye contact too. It reminds me of when I met my husband :-) *sigh*

Where can readers find out more about you?


I’m most active on Facebook these days. I had to pare down my social networking because of my limited time, but I pop in and out there all the time. I try to blog weekly and readers can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter at my website.

What are you working on now?

I’m juggling two projects. One if called Toxic, which is a re-issue of the first Truckee Wolves book. It’s M/F BDSM and related to the novellas I did for the Doms of Dark Haven anthologies. Toxic will release at Loose Id. The other project is a trilogy of books called The Aphrodite Project. It’s a M/M fantasy series about minor Greek gods who work as bounty hunters in the modern world. I get to play with classical myth and do some fun gender-bendy stuff.

I can't wait for the rewrite of Toxic! I loved the Doms of Dark Haven anthologies :-)


And now for the very very personal questions...

Favourite toy?

If I say his name, he might be embarrassed. ;)

Favourite food?

Depends on my mood, but generally its pizza or something chocolate.

Favourite position?

Up against the wall.

Yes!

Favourite research item (tool, scene, whatever…) that you actually tried yourself? (okay, you don’t have to answer this one if you don’t want to LOL)

Well, I’ve never done it in a tree, nor while dropping out of the sky…or in an anti-gravity chamber… In Bad Angels: Burn (which is temporarily out of print) one of the heroes and their heroine have sex on the balcony of a hotel in San Francisco Chinatown. I’ve stayed in that hotel a couple times and based that scene on something I saw on that balcony. Later I went out and scoped it out, checking for foliage underneath for her clothing to fall into.

Like I said, boots on the ground…

You saw a couple having sex on a balcony? That would definitely be inspiring!

If you could have anyone, famous or not - who do you want to get hot and heavy with in a ménage?

I have some very creative fantasies about Viggo Mortensen, and I get the feeling Alex Skarsgaard would fit into those fantasies just fine and dandy…they almost look like a matched pair.

Good choice!

Thanks so much for being my guest today Belinda!
So here's some more about Belinda's new release...love that cover! Of course, I am a cover whore :-)


Book Blurb:

When dream hunter Dylan Ryve spots a beautiful shapeshifter raising hell in a bar, he knows he wants the wild young man. But Travis Feris is more to Dylan than a few hot minutes outside in the snow; he's the assassin's ticket into the magical town of Arcada. He didn't plan to rescue the kid, but when he found the shifter being attacked, the opportunity to play hero was too good to pass up.

Through the solitude of a long winter night, Dylan walks in Travis's fevered dreams, learning about Arcada and the pack, and showing the shifter the man he'd been so very long ago. When morning comes, both men know their lives will be forever entwined.

From Dylan, Travis learns that he is a strong, valued member of the pack. The dreamwalker sees his own worth reflected back at him in the dark blue eyes of the wolf. Yet when Dylan has the chance to free himself from centuries of enslavement, can he betray the man he has come to love?

BUY this book from Loose Id

***

Belinda McBride lives in far Northern California, in a valley bordered by the Trinity Alps, the Siskiyou Mountains and Mt. Lassen. She’s a full-time caregiver for her autistic niece and elderly mother. She also shares her home with a pack of perpetually shedding Siberian Huskies who form the basis of her wolf pack stories.

Belinda’s books have received numerous awards, including the EPIC, the Passionate Plume and several placements in the Rainbow Book Awards. She primarily writes erotic speculative fiction in multiple sub-genres including LGBTQ and BDSM.

Her hobbies include travel, gemology, crafting and Chinese martial arts. She graduated from the notorious party university Chico State without ever getting drunk, arrested or ending up in a “Girls Gone Wild” video. She holds degrees in history and cultural anthropology.

You can find Belinda at:

Facebook Website Blog

 

12 comments:

Cynnara Tregarth said...

Hi Belinda! I love your work, and knowing you love the husky dogs as much as I do-- do you plan on incorporating them into your writing more? *grins*

Andrea S said...

I've heard good things about Blaque/Bleu. But I'm really in awe of your persistence and strength. Go you!

Alysha Ellis said...

I'm with on Viggo Mortenson, throw in Hugh Jackman and...I'd still be dreaming.

Mychael Black said...

Great interview, y'all!! Belinda, my first book of yours was Bad Angels 1. LOVE it! As for Viggo and Alex... toss in Johnny Depp and I'm so there.

Qwillia Rain said...

Hi Belinda!!
I hope you had a great holiday. I think you're so right, boots to the ground and watching others.
I love Viggo...so interesting and compelling a man.

Have a great day!
Qwillia

Mona Karel said...

Hmmm, Viggo. Yep, I could definitely see that...and wouldn't we all like to see it up close and personal!

flchen1 said...

Fun interview, Belinda and Maggie! Thanks for giving us a peek at the mind behind some of those fab stories!

the jo said...

Hiyah Belinda!!! Luv all your books....and upcoming(s) look great! Hope you had wonderful Holidays...

Oh Mychael I am with you on His Deppness....*sigh*

hugs from your fan,
jo

Belinda M. said...

Thanks, guys!
Johnny Depp....le sigh...but off limits because my daughter was his yacht chef and still occasionally in his employ so I can't go off and talk about him wrapped in a hot sweaty embrace with Dominic Purcell, who'd be tugging at that lovely, lovely hair....under Viggo's watchful eye, of course...

Cyn, yes, I'll continue to use Siberians in stories now and then, when one of the pooches breaks through.

M.C. Hana said...

Great post, Belinda. My first book of yours was 'The Bacchi', but I'm getting more in a couple of weeks - I'm hooked!

Maggie Nash said...

See, this is why I love doing interviews with authors. You find out so much more to admire and be inspired by! Thanks so much for being my guest Belinda! And thanks everyone who took the time to comment :-)

Emily said...

Thanks for the interview, I love Belinda's books, so it was nice hearing from her!