I’d like to welcome author SAPPHIRE PHELAN to The Block today.
Welcome Sapphire. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing
I’ve been writing since I was eight, maybe even younger. I wanted to make up stories (mainly animal and scifi ones) like I read. I wrote poetry when I was in high school besides short stories and one day discovered this poetry magazine when I was 17. I submitted three poems to them, “The Horse,” “The Leopard,” and “Sands of Time.” All three were accepted and I got a contract and was paid. That was my first paid publication.
But it took until 2005 when I wrote my first erotic fantasy romance. It was about a knight cursed to become a dragon at night and the young woman who broke the curse and become his love. It was a twist on the virgin offered to a dragon.
Oh, I love dragons. Your newest release involves shifters as well. Could you tell us a little bit about it?
DARK LEOPARD MAGIC is the second book in the Beast Magic universe. It is erotic male/male interracial novella with wereleopards as the two heroes.
Dev Tollen is a tortured soul who also happens to be gay and a wereleopard. He has never had the Dreaming until one day it happens and he sees his destined mate. Montsho first appeared in the first novella as a secondary character, BEAST MAGIC, as friend to Ramses, the werelion leader. He never thought a male wereleopard would be his mate, as he never thought himself as gay.
And there’s a mystery involved in the storyline besides being a paranormal romance.
Blurb for the book:
Dev Tollen is a man with a dark past and an even darker soul. More than that, he’s a gay wereleopard. He has never had the Dreaming and never met his true mate. But one night the Dreaming does come and reveals his lover, an African man named Montsho, also an alpha black wereleopard. Montsho will fight their love and their destiny. Dev will do all he can to win his beloved’s heart and keep him by his side always.
Then the ghost of a human begs Dev to solve his wereleopard lover’s murder. Both men will find that their new-found love tested and their lives in danger. Their idyllic time in paradise is about to be torn asunder when they discover who the murderer is.
Oh, two alpha males, they sound great. How did you come up with them?
Out of my head, like all of my characters. I knew about Montsho and knew from the first book that he had to be the central figure in the second one. But I couldn’t figure out who should be his mate. Not until it hit me why he never found his destined mate. And when I started writing DARK LEOPARD MAGIC, Dev Tollen came to life and in first person. That Dark leopard didn’t mean because of Montsho’s black wereleopard form, but because of Dev having a dark past and even darker soul. I realized as I went into the book that I also had to have some chapters from Montsho’s viewpoint.
Sometimes those dark characters should come with a warning. If you came with a warning label what would it read?
Beware: Author creating universes of hot sex and supernatural beings and aliens. She’s always trying to save the day, so take care of explosions, evil creatures, and hell breaking loose!
LOL! With a warning like that it should probably be posted over your desk. Could you describe your writing space for us?
I write in a room that the office shares with my sewing room. LOL I do costuming so this was the costuming room first. I have piles of reference books and collectibles fighting for space. Everything helps me write. I always have something to look at to give me ideas. I like this mainly for my writing area, though I have taken my laptop and written while sitting on the couch in the living room when my husband needs to get to his PC (his and my laptop sit side-by-side), when I go to conventions I write up in my room and even during a writer’s workshop at my table! But I prefer my office the best.
I’m a little envious that you can write most anywhere. So tell us a little about your writing process are you a plotter or a pantser?
I think I am more a pantser—the stories just came to me. When I do a novel or large novella, I do write down the characters, descriptions and more so I can always reference back when one returns. I never could do outlines, even in school. I write the article, then do the outline. The teachers gibe me As, never knowing I never did it the way they asked us to.
I either have a cup of coffee with cream or bottle of diet Lipton green tea within reach. No music. I admit listening to a song on the radio one day while driving the car that inspired my paranormal romance, ‘His Girl” that’s included in Just Another Paranormal Halloween anthology, but I don‘t listen to any while writing.
So what happened to the first novel you wrote?
I wrote this novel, Howling in the Night when I was in seventh grade. It was by long hand and since I was a kid, I doubted it was even 40,000 words, never mind what they want today. LOL it was a gothic romance with horror mixed in—paranormal romance before it was thought of.
I know this is completely off topic, but do these pants make my butt look big?
No, I don’t think so. And after all, black is slimming as they say.
Mwah, just the answer I was hoping for. There is just something about sitting down to edit in leather pants … oh, sorry, I digress. How do you get through the editing process?
I try to write my book completely before starting to edit it. I try to do it twice to three times when I edit a book or story. I also take chapters or a story to my writer’s groups I am with and my critique buddies. They help me immensely. Once I feel it’s ready to submit, that’s when I do it.
Thank goodness for crit partners. Who or what do you attribute your success to?
All those writers I’ve read short stories and novels and nonfiction books of. Like Shirley Jackson (her The Haunting of Hill House is still a big fave ghost story), Ray Bradbury (this man knows how to write and keep you reading), Anne McCaffrey, etc… I also attribute my success to my friends and family who have backed me, to my editors who made sure my stories are the best they could be, and most of all, to my readers, who buy and read my crazy worlds. Thank you all.
Rapid Fire Questions …
Vampire or shifter? Shifter, natch’!
* Coffee or Tea? I like both
* Cats or Dogs? I like both, though all we own right now are two cats. It’s hard to be a cat herder
* Shopping or Massage? Mmmm. . .massage
* Happy Ever After or Happy for Now? It’s depends on the story. Both work for me
* Boxers or Briefs? How about commando?
* Sugar or Salt? Sugar
* Wine or Beer? Wine
*Quiet night with your honey or a party with friends? I like both, but a quiet night with my hubby beats it all
* Flowers or Candy? Flowers if in a pot and I can plant outside. Candy—yeah, I like this. Me though, I prefers books and eBooks
Well it looks like the cabana boys are heading this way. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers before we dive into that pitcher of margaritas?
Keep reading. And do contact me, letting me know how you liked my heroes, heroines, and worlds they play in. I always love to hear from my readers. I try to write the stories of my heart and I am glad you have embraced them well.
Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance, along with a couple of erotic horror stories. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and nonfiction ghost books. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bast. She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it! Most days you can find Sapphire at her website or her blog. And follow her on twitter and facebook.
**CONTEST ALERT** Sapphire will be giving away a download of DARK LEOPARD MAGIC. So leave a comment with your name and email so she can check back and draw a winner from ALL the blogs on her tour on NOV 29.