Welcome book fiends and coffee aficionados! Today we are lucky enough to be chatting with, and learning more about, talented author M. A. Ellis. Thanks for taking the time to be with us today, M. A. To start, could you tell us something about your recent release, Filigree and Fantasy?
The story takes place in a unique location as well as including shapeshifters that aren’t the main characters. Whitney is ecstatic over her internship to Macedonia and the opportunity to hone her craft at the hands of a filigree master. She doesn’t know that the old man has an ulterior motive. He plans to use her talent to save the dwindling numbers of his family’s canine shapeshifters, the Sharplanjat.
Jovan isn’t a shifter, but his sense of duty rivals that of the Sharplanjat—until his unbridled attraction to the woman who might very well hold his family’s future in her hands forces him to throw caution aside. To hold her. Taste her. Drive her to the brink of exquisite passion and beyond.
Mesmerized by sexy, violet-eyed Jovan, Whitney is ready for a quick, steamy affair. But Jovan has more than a few days of scorchingly wild sex in mind. He just doesn’t know what Whitney will do when she learns his family secret. Will she run screaming in fear or embrace the fantasy that can be found in his protective arms?
I noticed on your website that you mentioned you had some first hand knowledge of filigree from an artisan and I loved how you worked the jewelry making into Whitney's character. Was your choice of Macedonia as a setting for the bulk of the story due to personal experience of the area or were your vibrant descriptions merely from research?
I was fortunate to know an actual filigree artist who did an internship in Macedonia. She was my daughter's roommate in college and she graciously shared her stories of the people and photos of her trip with me. The filigree work from her collection was very inspiring. I've got a link to her site in the acknowledgement of JUST PRESS PLAY. And it was with great delight that I dedicated to the book to the darling Whitney....who also allowed me to use her beautiful name for my heroine!
Not just in this book, but out of any that you have written previously or are working on, who is your favorite character and why?
That's a tough question due to the number of stories I've written. When I had a handful of books out there I always had my go-to hero or heroine. Now, with JUST PRESS PLAY being my eleventh erotic romance it's a little more difficult to choose. But I do love my Henderson brothers, so I'll go with Tom from LOVE'S ALLY. His integrity shines through right along with his great sense of humor. And he's man enough to allow my headstrong heroine to be the person she needs to be. And their innuendo via dialogue is some of the best I've written. I adore innuendo!
This was a very unique story idea. What usually inspires your story ideas?
I've got a backlog of story ideas but this was for a themed series for Ellora's Cave that needed to center around some form of the 'Arts'. I just tried to think of something unique.
What kind of books do you read for pleasure? Stuff nothing like what you write, or pretty close to the same genre?
Recently it's been research books on BDSM. But if I'm picking something up for pleasure it's either an historical romance or a humorous mystery such as a Hiaasen or Jasper Fforde.
Jovan was a very dominant man... and Whitney was no pushover either. Did you model these very strong characters after any real life people or were they completely made up? If made up, did they cooperate and do what you expected them to or try to run away with the plot?
As I said, the heroine’s career was based on the real-life Whitney but other than that it’s all fiction. My characters never cooperate, lol. This time my main ones were pretty well-behaved but my secondary character and shape shifter, Filip, clearly wanted more of a presence. More attention on him. I held him at bay fairly well, but if readers like the book, he’s probably going to be screaming for a sequel.
Do you have a newsletter or chat-loop where fans can keep up with you?
I have the blog on my website and my Facebook pages, one personal author page and one fan page.
When writing steamy scenes, which you are amazing at, is it like a relationship and work to keep it fresh and interesting from book to book or is it easier, since it is a new set of characters you are working within each plotline, to keep the heat level fiery?
I find that each set of characters have their own sexual parameters. Obviously, I like those boundaries to be pushed at least a little because I feel personal growth in all areas is very important where characterization is involved. Sometimes, I’m surprised by where they want to take me. There are times I’m thinking a light spanking is just perfect and my heroine suddenly whispers to me that she’d really like the hero to pick up a crop and ply it with deliciously erotic precision.
I personally hate meek and mild lead female characters who simper on the page and Whitney was far from that mark... You too?
I don’t write the shrinking violet heroines because like you, they’re not what I want to read when I spend my hard earned cash on a book. My heroines aren’t perfect and I think that’s what readers like about them. They all have their faults and self doubts and flaws, but they’re inner strength is very evident.
What do you do when the characters stop 'talking' to you while you are writing?
I’ve only had that happen once and it was horrible. Thank goodness I have many peers who threw out suggestions on how to combat that writing block. I ended up starting another story and within a few days, those voices from the other book were back and demanding my undivided attention.
Do you have anything else you would like to add/say to our readers?
Thanks so much for your continued support of the authors who you love and the new writers you’re willing to try. We all recognize the numerous things you could be devoting your free time to and very much appreciate the fact you’re still turning to our written words.
Hey, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer (any/all) questions for us today. I really look forward to reading more of your work in the future and loved reading Filigree and Fantasy! Where can we readers find you on the internet?
Website | Look me up on Facebook @ Author M. A. Ellis
Well, fellow book addicts and coffee lovers, it was truly a pleasure to get to know a new author and thank you for stopping in to read with us today. I also want to make sure to thank the author for the worlds you create and transport us to with your words and mention that we look forward to more great reads in the future!