Monday, October 15, 2012

Gemma K. Murray visits Sugar and Spice

I want to welcome Gemma K. Murray to my blog today.  Grab a cup of cyber espresso (I just finished a real one) and enjoy a fun visit with her.

Hello! My name is Gemma K. Murray and I am an urban fantasy/paranormal romance author. I was born and raised in Michigan. After a few attempts at living elsewhere, my husband and I along with our five canine kids moved back to Michigan. Instead of living in the Lower Peninsula, we decided to give the Upper Peninsula a try and I am so glad we did. It provides plenty of fuel for my Cedar River series as well as the independent stories I’m working on.

So tell us about your latest or upcoming masterpiece. What inspired it?
Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart is my debut novel. It actually started as a dream. I tend to dream in color and, if I don’t write them down right away, they keep recurring. When I reached a breaking point, I sat down and began to write it all down. One thing led to another and here I am. One book in the series out, the second one on its way, and a third, fourth, fifth, etc. waiting in the wings. There a spin-off coming with Book 3, but I’ll let the readers stew on that for a bit.

What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
Oh goodness! I’m currently working on Book 3 in the Cedar River series and readers will be introduced to Silver Larkin, a witch. She is naughty and wicked and sexy as sin. She has a mouth like a truck driver and she makes no apologies. She is as close to me as anyone will ever find. Her bold and brazen attitude fits me to a tee.

What comes first for you when you sit down to write a book? Plot or Characters? Characters, always characters. They tell who they are and they simply begin their story. I write what I am shown and it takes me down paths I never thought I’d go. With Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart, I tried to steer Anastasia in a completely different direction. Let’s just say that didn’t go well. She called me names and yelled at me constantly (in my head) until I changed it and let her have her way. The story flowed and I couldn’t stop it. That opened the floodgates for the entire Cedar River series.

Do you "cast" your characters using pictures or actors to help inspire you when you're writing?
I do it as I go especially if a character has a particular look. It makes it easier for me to visualize them. Silver is tattooed and has a very funky look. I had to piece pics together to find the perfect look for her. Ana and Luna (Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart and Natural Born Enemies) were very “all-American” looking women.

Do you work on multiple projects at the same time?
I’ve tried to, but it seems to fail me. I started off writing contemporary romance and I’d like to send them out to publishers, but I can’t step out of the urban fantasy world without making the characters angry. If I stay in that world, the stories come together. That being said, I am working on Cedar River series: Book 3 as well as a series set in the same type of world.

How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author?
I can’t begin to express how much it means to me to hear from a reader. I have been very blessed. My readers have been so good to me and it means so much. I had a reader reaction the other day and I laughed out loud. She had been flying in first class on a business trip. She had told me she reached a point in the story where she was belly-laughing out loud in a very sedate first class. That made my day!

If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?
Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart is the first book in the Cedar River series (and currently the only one available). The reader is introduced to the town of Cedar River and while it can take a while to become accustomed to the sense of community, it will be well worth it, if you stick with the series. You will get to visit with old friends as the series continues and meet new ones along the way.

What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?
Catch and Release seems to be the one I turn to a lot. It’s the emotion of watching Gray discover that her dead fiancĂ©e is not who she thought he was and discovering his best friend, Fritz, is all that and more.

What is one historical figure you would love to chat with and why?
Mae West. My grandma used to always compare me to Mae as well as Totie Fields. I’d love to hear what they think of when now and how far we’ve come. I love bold, brash and brassy “broads”. (I say that with the highest regards.) Can you just imagine sitting down for a drink with these two?

What do you have coming up next for your readers? Care to give us a glimpse into your upcoming projects?
Natural Born Enemies is up next. It will be released this fall. It’s the story of Adam Thomas (the deputy from Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart) and Luna McIntyre. They are star-crossed lovers in so many ways, but second chances are what life is all about. Will these two get their second time around or will fate decide to keep them apart?

Where can we find you on the web (website, Facebook, Twitter, others)?

Please share your cover and a blurb or short excerpt and a buy-link for your book.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan seems like it is another country. The rawness and beauty of the land draws people from every walk of life. What most people don't realize is there is a little town nestled on the banks of Lake Superior that an entire group of supernatural beings call home. Shifters of every shape and size live there. They raise their families there. Tourists come from near and far to visit the quaint town of Cedar River, Michigan. The tourists never realize they are walking among some of the most unusual beings on earth.

Bowie Golden is a dragon shifter who is in charge of Cedar River's safety. Until now, the biggest threat to anyone's safety was Anastasia Plum, a witch/puma-shifter. She has been the town hellraiser since she was a teenager. Now someone has discovered the secret the residents of Cedar River keep for one another. These radicals are determined to eradicate the entire town. It's up to Bowie to keep them all safe.

Ana has always idolized Bowie. She may have stirred up trouble from time to time, but Bowie or one of his brothers would always get her out of the trouble she was in. One day, it happened. The unthinkable, the unimaginable occurred. Anastasia Plum fell for the "golden" boy. What an unlikely duo- the sheriff and the hellraiser!

Just as these two discover their passion for one another, a group of people is determined to keep them apart. It's up to Ana to prove that she is the only Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart.

You can purchase Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart at the following online stores:

You’re offering a free electronic copy of the preview of your ­­­­­­book to a lucky reader. What question would you like them to answer in a comment to be eligible for the draw?

If you visit the Cedar River series Facebook page, you will find a picture of the actor who inspired Bowie. Can you tell me the actor’s name?