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Monday, September 3, 2012

Guest Post and Interview with Miranda Stork





Title: Conner

Author: Miranda Stork

Genre: Paranormal Romance - Werewolves oh my

Released date: April 20, 2012

Publisher: Moon Rose Publishing

Source: Free Copy from Author for honest review

Description from Goodreads:

Erin is a young psychologist, with no time for anything but her work, and unable to remember anything about her past. She leads an uneventful life, but a lonely one, in which she secretly wishes for a soulmate...

Conner is an unusual patient who approaches her, thrusting her into a strange world of darkness that runs beneath our own. He believes himself to be a creature of legend-a werewolf. But he also draws Erin with a roguish charm, and an irresitible feeling that seems to bind them together...

Conner desperately tries to save her from an unknown evil that persues her with a relentless passion that crosses centuries, an evil that once took her very soul away, somewhere in Erin's lost memories.

As she becomes more entwined in a series of events that will remind her of who she really is, will she make it away from the oncoming darkness unscathed...?

The interview:


I’ve been Connerized!! Yep. Read Conner and you’ll figure it out why. This is a fantastic werewolf story like none other. A real treat. 

Welcome Miranda, I am thrilled that you’ve stopped by my blog to enchant us with your wonderful wit. (I love this lady).


Thank you for having me here! And you’re far too kind. *blushes*













1.   Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Guisborough, North Yorkshire in 1987 and have lived in various places around Britain, including Newcastle and Glasgow.
My writing is inspired by various writers, including the vivid characters of Charles Dickens, the imagination of Stephen King, and the gothic imagery of Anne Rice.

My love of horror began at an early age, when I was only three or four. I could read proficiently at the age of three, and devoured fairy-stories, but I always had a bent towards the darker stories, such as the Brother's Grimm's tales...Red Riding Hood was always a firm favourite, although I always felt sorry for the wolf, despite him having tried to eat everyone!


2. Let’s go back in time for a short while. In your bio, you mention having had childhood nightmares. Can you tell us how these nightmares may have played a part in the creation of your stories, if at all?

Ooh, good question…I think some of them play a part in my stories, for sure. Although I would probably just call them ‘dreams’ now; they’re still weird, but I’m used to them. Sometimes a particular story just sticks in my head, and I have to write it down. I have lots of ideas noted down, and they may become proper stories in the future. 

3. What was your favorite thing to do when you were ten? What was your favorite thing to do when you were sixteen? What is your favorite thing to do now?

I’m not sure if I can remember! When I was ten, it changed every week, but I’m sure it settled somewhere between reading and being outside in the countryside with my friends. When I was sixteen, it still included reading, but it also became about…yes, boys. I’m sorry. *holds hand up* My favourite things to do now include writing, (obviously) but also spending time with my wonderful boyfriend, and our spoilt cat, going to restaurants when I can (as I’m a total foodie), and basically making a nuisance of myself on Facebook. *grin*

4. Could you tell us a little about how you progressed through the writing of your Conner? Did the story come to you wholly formed, or did it sort of construct as you wrote it? How long did it take to write?

I had an idea in my head for some time before I started writing Conner, as I did my degree in psychology, and have always been fascinated by it. Add to this a natural love of all things spooky and supernatural, and you’ve got…well, Conner. I toyed with the idea of a creature who was told he had a mental illness, when in fact he was real. There were times were Erin was going to be a journalist, or a reporter, but I settled on the psychologist. I’m a ‘by-the-pants’ writer, but I always have a basic framework in my head of how the story will progress. I like to get the shell written out, and let the characters take me where it’s going. It took me about two years altogether, as I wasn’t used to writing, and when I was writing ‘Erin’ it was a lot faster.

5. Conner is sexy, sultry and … well, although this question is asked a lot I love playing with the possibilities and want to hear your opinion. If Conner was to be made into a movie, which I can totally see, whom would you cast in your roles of Conner and Erin? 

You have no idea how many times I asked myself the same question! When I write, it’s almost like a film playing out in my mind, so I’ve often thought about it. While I would love to have some unknowns take the main characters, that wouldn’t be much help for your blog readers! I think the best fit in my mind for Conner would have to be Colin Farrell, as I can see him being able to pull off the twisted characters of Conner and…oops, nearly let the cat out of the bag there! For Erin, it would possibly be Catherine Zeta Jones, as I think she has that sweetness about her that can turn into kick-ass if needed, which would be perfect for Erin’s character. While I don’t want to say too much, there IS a plan to maybe get Conner made into an indie film, although I doubt we can get Farrell and Jones!

6. Conner is the first book in the series and I know the next book is Erin, which I can’t wait to read, can you tell us the names of any of the future books you have planned for this series?

Well, I’m afraid they’re actually not a series. I originally wrote just Conner, and never planned to have more. I realized there was still so much to explore with it, I decided to write Erin as well. While there won’t be any more from these two, *sob!* I have a new series coming out near Christmas, about a shadow demon and a feisty detective heroine, which will be called ‘Vigilante of Shadows’…

7. If you could go anywhere in the world for a month, with an unlimited amount of money of course, where would you go?

Aw, just one? Oh, okay…um…I think it would have to be Madrid. I haven’t visited there yet, but my grandparents on one side are from Madrid, and it would be wonderful to see somewhere that was a little bit of me.

8. Your bio reveals that you started reading at age three and began telling stories to your friends as a kid. Did you write them down then, if not when did you start to do that?

I don’t think I can remember a time I didn’t write stories in some form. I used to draw pictures first, and then put a sentence or two underneath to describe what was happening; I think that was my first ‘writing’. I started writing little stories when I was about five or six. I would fold A4 sheets of paper and draw and write on them, turning them into pretend books. But the stories I used to tell my friends were always based on urban legends floating around at the time, such as the porcelain doll story, which was always a favourite. So if you remember your child coming home crying and having nightmares, from that nice girl at school telling them a story, it might have been me. I’m sorry. I’m so not sorry, I used to find it funny! I think I was a very mischievous child in many ways. 

9. Here is that question that I’m sure you get asked all the time. What inspired you to write Conner? And how did you develop his character? Or did he just evolve as your fingers danced over the keyboard?

It’s a strange story…I had a friend at the time, who was going through a phase of wanting to be a writer. He wrote a chapter and put it up on a community writing site, and (he won’t mind me saying) it was pretty terrible. When I told him this, he challenged me to do better. As the idea for Conner had been rolling around for a while, I naturally decided to bang out the first chapter there and then. His character developed as I wrote more of the story, and the big twist about him came later as well, after I had wrote a little more about him. 

10. Can you tell us a little about the cover of Conner and how it came about?

I love the cover-which is really big-headed, because I did it. But I wanted something that was strong and dare I say it…sexy looking? Because both ‘Conner’ and ‘Erin’ are about the main characters themselves, I thought it would be perfect to really have them highlighted. The woodland came because a lot of features heavily in the book, and the colours were purely an ascetic choice. 

Let’s have some fun.

Beach or Lake? Lake, definitely.

Plane or Train? Hmm….going on our trains over here, I’ll say plane.

Favorite Beverage? G&T for an adult one, milk when I’m being good. ☺

Vacation spot – Sandy beach or Ancient Ruins? It would have to be Ancient Ruins, I love History.

I won’t ask about tea or coffee. I think we all know the answer. I’m English-it has to be tea!

Since Conner is a sexy beast, and I love the scene in the ------, let’s spice it up a bit. The most unusual place you’ve ever had sex. 

Ooh, in the gutter already? Let me find my favourite chair. I think the most unusual place would have to be…well, let’s just say I’m a member of the mile-high club ;) I’m NOT telling you the most unusual place, none of you would talk to me again, LOL!

That was fun. Dare I go on? Favorite sexual position – Just kidding. We don’t need to know this, LOL.  

Phew! People’s eyes can remain unburned then. :D

Miranda, thank you for sharing your most inner secrets with us. Please tell us where can we find you and your books?

Not at all, it’s been fantastic being here! 

Please read on as Miranda explains how a book would make a good move, then be sure to catch my review of Conner. 


Would Your Book Make A Good Movie?

Come on, admit it. You’re just like me, and you’ve often wondered who would play the perfect part of your main character. If it was made into a movie, that is. 
When I’m writing, it’s exactly how plots work their way onto my pages. In my head, all of the characters are acting, as though in a movie. And yes, there are often quite a few retakes in there. And whoever makes the sandwiches for the buffet table needs firing, because they’re always stale. But we’re going off track here, back to the movie. Thinking of it in this way always means that the characters voices are heard in my head, helping me to write down their dialogue in a vivid way.
But more than this, imagining it in such a way allows me to write it almost with the structure of a film. For example, when you are writing a film script, you use the following structure;
Stage One; The Setup.
 The first 10% of all screenplays have to draw your reader in. It’s no different in a novel. The first part of your book needs to draw people in, and hook them. You introduce the main characters, and must establish an identity with them. (For example, they are the likeable, funny student. Or the creepy yet smart FBI agent. Or the snarky, drunk unicorn. Whatever works.)Your setup should drag the reader from their normal world, and plunge them headfirst into yours.
Stage Two; The Opportunity.
Your character must next be presented with something that will make them have a new desire or goal. Perhaps they get offered the plans to the bank heist of the century, perhaps they are told how they can go back in time, or earn that raise. But something must shift in their universe to make them want something new, to set them down the path you want them to follow.
Stage Three; The New Situation.
This has to be the character’s reaction to the previous opportunity. They must get used to the current situation, and devise a plan or idea for it. For example, taking the bank heist idea, the character could work out a plan for it. Perhaps they look for associates to help them with it. Maybe they don’t want to do it at all. It make include a change of environment (which will definitely happen in a screenplay), and your character must go elsewhere to continue the story. But, as the situation continues, and your character gets closer to their goal…
Stage Four; The Change of Plans.
This is the point at which the opportunity presented in stage two becomes a defined need for the character. For example, imagine your character’s original motivation was to travel to another country, to help someone else get rid of the mafia. But then the mafia kill the character’s father. So now the opportunity is defined into something more personal for the character. This is also usually the point your reader (or audience) begin to really root for them to win through and reach their desire.
Stage Five; Progress.
This is the next large chunk of your story. Your hero or heroine works towards their goal, and the story moves on in this way. You can include conflict in this part, of course, but it must seem as though they are edging closer, and all is so far going well.
Stage Six; The Point of No Return.
This is usually the exact halfway point of your book (or screenplay, I’m confusing myself). Your character has fully committed to their goal, and have usually preformed a task, or done something which ensures they cannot go back from this point on. It is almost the point where they are taking the biggest risk of all in the whole book.
Stage Seven; Complications.
This is where the ‘spanner in the works’ comes in. The plot point that means your character’s journey is interrupted, and is usually either a set-back, or a threat in some way. They usually have much to lose now, and are thoroughly entwined in the plot. The stakes also become much higher, whether they win or lose. And success is getting closer, it seems, until…
Stage Eight; The Major Setback.
This is the point which should have readers at the edge of their seats, and something occurs which means that your character seems to have had the ultimate setback. For example, in a story where the boxer has been fighting in the ring, they get one hell of a right-hook from the opponent, and it looks as though they are going down. All hope will seem lost at this point, and they will have to make one final, all-or-nothing push.
Stage Nine; The Final Push.
Your character must now throw everything they have into the basket, count all their chickens, bolt the doors, and however many other references they can fit into one sentence. Your hero or heroine by this point will be broken down, beaten at all odds, and grasping for that last straw. They have to summon all their information learned throughout the plot, all of their courage, and head face-on to the….
Stage Ten; The Climax.
Lots of things have to happen here at once, the character has to face the biggest challenge of all, and determine what their fate will be. At the same time, their motivation, the desire of the whole book, must be resolved. However, the climax is not necessarily the end…
Stage Eleven; The Aftermath.
Depending on the type of book (or screenplay) you are writing, will depend on whether or not you will use this stage. If, for example, you have written a book where the character’s climax happens quite near to the end of the book (check out my novel ‘Conner’ for an example ;) ) then your objective is to leave your reader stunned or on a high. This is usually used if you want a sequel to your current book, no matter what genre. However, if you are writing a romantic novel or a thriller (if there will be no sequel), then usually there is an aftermath. For example, the hero has declared his love for the heroine. But then there may be a short chapter afterwards, describing how they get married, showing them content in their new life. The aim is not to put a full stop there, but to show how your character is now living in their new life now they have completed their goal. 

If you follow these steps, your book will read almost like a film, and also as a well-balanced storyline. And you never know, one day you may be getting a call…. ;)


You can find Miranda and her books in lots of places;




You can find Conner at Amazon

You can find Erin Releasing Today! at Amazon UK and Amazon USA

Here is my review of Conner:


“But Erin,” he said in his low, deep Irish accent, “Would you do all this if you weren’t attracted to me?”
~~~~
Thump.
It isn’t there!
Thump.
“It isn’t there! It isn’t there!
Thump!
IT ISN’T THERE!
Silence.
~~~
Ahhh…I’m not sure where to begin. My mind is still back in Ireland at Forest Hall … in the shower! LOL. I loved Conner. He’s sweet, sexy, sultry and dangerous, or is he? Hmmm… you’ll have to read to find out. I loved this book. It literally had me squirming in my seat. SQUIRMING! In a good way.  I even got up early in the morning to read because I couldn’t sleep until I finished it. Yeah, this book is that good. I’m not a morning person. I did have some difficulty with the author’s use of was before sat or stood, as in; “he was stood next to…” I wasn’t sure if it was intentional because a great deal of the story was set in Ireland and maybe they talk that way, LOL, but it happened throughout the entire book. It wouldn’t surprise me if this book makes the New York Times Best Selling List some day. Lots of twists. Thank you so much for allowing me to read this awesome book, Miranda. I’m looking forward to reading Erin. 


Thanks for reading!

Susan




2 comments:

  1. Fabulous post! I'm a bit biased cause I think Miranda is the cat's ass... or is it bee's knees? Heck, I can't remember. But I agree, Conner is awesome, and I can't wait for Erin. I also agree that Miranda is a bit of a nuisance on FB, but that's part of why I like her :)

    I love everything about this post, I'm so glad I saw it! Fabulous interview, ladies!!

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    1. AW, thanks for stopping by, Liz. I too like Miranda, a lot. Just so it's known, I never said Miranda was a nuisance, she did. Heehee. But I do enjoy her posts and end up stealing ... I mean sharing many of them.

      Susan♥

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