I’m pleased to introduce M J Schiller and her book Taken by Storm. It’s an exciting read, a wonderful love story. But before we share more information on that, let’s hear from M J and put her on the hot seat.
Callie: Welcome, M J. It’s so nice to have another Crimson Romance author on my website the same day my Crimson Romance releases. Now, if you could be a character in one of your books, who would it be, and why?
I’d have to say Beth, from my next book, which will be coming out in January. In Trapped Under Ice, Beth Donovan is sort of me, or an idealized me. (She’s skinnier, prettier, wittier, and more thoughtful!) Beth is a lunch lady/romance writer, like myself, only she ends up with the rock star. So, basically, it’s my wildest fantasy come true.
Callie: So nice to play around with our fantasies isn’t it? Now, if you hadn’t decided to become a writer, what other occupation can you see yourself in?
I think I would enjoy being a book cover artist. I would have a lot to learn about graphic design, and would need a lot of experience before I became good at it, but I find it interesting. If I could learn the ins and outs, I think I might be good at it.
Callie: Maybe one day you’ll be designing your own book covers. Who knows? Do you prefer redeemable villains, or like them nasty through and through?
A little of both, if that’s possible? My villains are pretty dark characters, but I’d at least like my readers to see why they are that way. Their backgrounds and motivations don’t excuse their behaviors, by any means, but they do explain them.
Callie: Everyone seems to have a different way to do things, so how do you pick the names of your characters?
I actually have a list I compiled, with girls from work, of sexy male names and female names we like. Last names are harder, for me. I want it to be somewhat distinctive, but not “out there,” and, of course, it has to fit with the first name I’ve chosen. For my new release, “Taken by Storm,” I had to do things a little differently. Since the book is set in a fictional place a lot like Persia, I couldn’t draw my names from my standard list. I looked up Persian names and then scanned for names that sounded right for my character, and whose meaning fit them. For example, Bashea, the heroine, means “lips of the Gods,” and this actually comes into play in the story.
Callie: I imagine an exotic place like that would require different types of names. Is finding the right title easy or hard?
Most of the time it’s pretty easy for me. I even have one book inspired by the title! “Taken by Storm” was a little harder. The editors at Crimson Romance didn’t like my original title, and I agreed with their arguments. We tossed about a lot of names, most of which ended up sounding corny, but when I came up with “Taken by Storm,” I knew it was the one. It fits the book on so many levels.
Callie: I agree, I think it’s a wonderful name. Speaking of Crimson, what did you do immediately after receiving your first ‘call?’
Having had a book contract turn sour in the past, (the company closed before it even opened) I tempered my enthusiasm. Now that the book is being released, I’m thrilled! It was also neat that within a few weeks, two of my good friends were offered contracts on books they’d been writing, too.
Now a little bit about who you are:
Jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers, or pencil skirt, silk blouse, and killer heels?
I’d like to think I’m a pencil skirt, silk blouse, and killer heels kind of girl trapped within a jean, t-shirt, and tennies kind of body.
Thanks for having me, Callie! This was fun!
Blurb for Taken by Storm:
Born from the fire of a palace coup, the relationship between the king of Avistad’s son Prince Tahj and the captive girl Bashea burns with a passion that neither of them quite understands. The pair is drawn closer together as they face enemy soldiers, a screaming panther, even the scathing winds of a desert storm.
After what she has been through, Bashea is afraid to trust and her fiery nature is both what appeals to Tahj and what drives him crazy. It takes a long separation to bring them back to each other, but when Tahj does return, it is once again during a battle with his greatest enemy, Lord Boltar. But now Lord Boltar, who has been forced beyond reason by Tahj’s success in retaking the throne, is an even more dangerous threat than before. Reunited, will Tahj and Bashea be strong enough to defeat their twisted and powerful enemy?
Find Taken by Storm at Amazon, BN.com, and through most e-Book retailers.
Visit me at www.mjschiller.com, M.J. on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
Also post Crimson: www.crimsonromance.com