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Friday, February 18, 2011

Interview of Author M. S. Spencer

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of romance author M. S. Spencer.

Latest Book: Lost and Found
Buy Link: http://www.redrosepublishing/books/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=282&products_id=654


 BIO:
Although M. S. Spencer has lived in Chicago, Boston, New York, France, Morocco, Turkey and England, the last 30 years have been spent mostly in Washington D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. Once she escaped academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. She holds a BA from Vassar College, a Diploma in Arabic Studies from the American University in Cairo, and Masters in Anthropology and in Library Science from the University of Chicago. She divides her time among Virginia, Maine and Florida. All of this tends to insinuate itself into her works.

Writing as M. S. Spencer, she has published two contemporary romance novels, Lost in His Arms and Lost and Found, both bestsellers at http://www.redrosepublishing.com/books. She has a third contemporary romantic suspense novel, due to be released by Secret Cravings Publishing, http://www.secretcravingspublishing.com in July.

Ms. Spencer has two fabulous grown children, Spencer and Emma. She has only one cat (down from three, plus the dog, the snake and the hamster). It’s a quiet household now, but since her study window looks on a park and river there is plenty of wildlife to distract her from her writing.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: Squeal—I’d bet my life that’s what every writer does. That took about an hour. After that I emailed my true love, my two best friends, and my children. Then I ate a cookie. For the second book: another hour or so of squealing, then I emailed the usual suspects. Third book: I sat quietly and smiled warmly at my laptop.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: By way of introduction here is the blurb:
What do you do when David, your husband of a year, ups and disappears? If you’re Rose Culloden, a beautiful, wealthy woman in her forties who had despaired of finding happiness, you do anything to find him. The trail takes you first to the North Woods of Maine, then to Florida and back again to western Maine. Along the way you meet James Stewart—a Maine guide—who vividly highlights the contrast between a real man and your delicate Harvard professor of a husband. Loyal to your marriage despite your powerful attraction to James, it takes the dramatic discovery that David is not just vicious and venal, but insane, to free your heart for true love.

I actually like the secondary characters—the ornithologist who never suspects that others don’t share his joy at finding the rare willow ptarmigan; the retired couple, so old-fashioned and still so much in love; the heroine’s boss, a typical bombastic Harvard professor… I like them because they are snapshots, sometimes reproduced whole, sometimes cropped, of people I’ve passed in my life. They provide an outlet for all those little image nuggets lodged in the attic of my memory, so I can make room for more.

I also like the baddies: the deliciously insane villain, the sullen, pock-marked hotel clerks, the sympathetic landlady who has a secret…

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: Uh oh, the truth will out. I love watching birds…yes, my name is M. S. Spencer and I’m a birder. We are a strange lot, as I discovered when I excitedly blast-emailed my entire contacts list about the yellow-rumped warbler in my backyard. On the more conventional side, I love to eat, cook, drink wine, swim, needlepoint, kayak, read, write, walk the beach, listen to C-Span, yell at the newspaper and TV, stare out my window and procrastinate (2 different things), watch CSI, Star Trek and X Files…did I mention eat?

Q: What is your favorite romance book?
A: Pride & Prejudice! One of the purest, most delicious romances of all time, don’t you think? I also loved Wuthering Heights and most of Thomas Hardy—I admit a partiality to English romantic writers. I don’t have much time to read while I’m writing, so I’m glad I spent every waking moment of my childhood reading anything I could get my hands on.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: Ha, this is one of those inkblot questions, isn’t it? To probe whether I’m a hands-on romantic, a bathrobe & fuzzy slippers dream-world romantic, or just a techie, right? Okay—I’d jump the handsome man (I’ve recently had surgery and…well…it’s been WAY too long); then, while he’s off recuperating…I mean, fishing, I’d Google seafood recipes and how-to-make-your-own-coconut-liquor recipes. And then I’d take a moment to thank whoever was providing the power….

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: I like and use Facebook a lot—in fact, I’ve reconnected with many people from my past through Facebook, plus I keep up with several authors as well. I like the different means of communication available through it—private messages, wall, profile. I have never used MySpace. I soon tired of Twitter since, as a writer it’s too frustrating to limit my thought arbitrarily (although it’s good practice for editing!); plus very little of note ever seemed to appear on it. If you mean by “Chats” the all-day affairs featuring this or that publisher group, they always seem a bit forced, and I confess most of the time I can’t figure out how to get on them. I do enjoy discussions on the various yahoo author groups to which I belong. As to blogs: I love writing and reading them. They are more focused and can be very helpful for advice on the writing art and business. They also remind you that you are not alone.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Website: http://www.meredithellsworth.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mssellsworth
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/mssellsworth#%21/pages/M-S-Spencer/132571588515?ref=ts
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/M.S.-Spencer/e/B002ZOEUC8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1277387999&sr=1-2-ent
All Romance E Books Author Page: http://www.allromanceebooks.comstoreSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=M.S.+Spencer
Author page at Red Rose Publishing: http://www.redrosepublishing.com/books
And my latest publisher:Secret Cravings Publishing: http://www.secretcravingspublishing.com

BLURB:
What do you do when David, your husband of a year, ups and disappears? If you’re Rose Culloden, a beautiful, wealthy woman in her forties who had despaired of finding happiness, you do anything to find him. The trail takes you first to the North Woods of Maine, then to Florida, and back again to western Maine. Along the way you meet James Stewart—a Maine guide—who vividly highlights the contrast between a real man and your delicate Harvard professor of a husband. Loyal to your marriage despite your powerful attraction to James, it takes the dramatic discovery that David is not just vicious and venal, but insane, to free your heart for true love.

EXCERPT:
Rose would never forget the tight knot of panic squeezing her heart as she looked down, down an almost thousand-foot drop to moss-dusted crags, down through the cold wraiths of mist circling the mountain in the chill September air. Ignoring the fear, she took a tentative step forward, away from the comfort of the cliff face, felt the icy breath of high altitude fan her face, and retreated. What she'd thought was solid rock behind her yielded slightly and she froze, engulfed in a surge of terror. I’m going to fall. I’m going to die in agony, crushed on those distant jagged spears. The rock behind her moved again. She began to totter forward, but a furry paw seized her elbow. The paw tightened its grip, and Rose let it pull her sideways, back into a gap between the damp stone walls.

Okay, Rose, girl. Steady. Take a deep breath. Now, open your eyes and look at the paw. Five fingers encased in a furry glove. Okay. It’s human. She followed the fur up a forearm, then to a broad furry chest. She risked a peek at the dark face, encircled with more fur. It was scrunched up, not with the cold but with a cold fury. The deep brown eyes flashed. She meekly dropped her own. “I was perfectly safe, Mr. Stewart,” she whispered. Did that sound as stupid to him as it did to me?

The face scowled. Her rescuer moved around Rose and knocked lightly with his heel at the ledge on which she'd been standing. A large chunk broke off and tumbled in crumbly bits into the ether. She heard pops and bangs as it immolated itself on the crags below. Still scowling, he turned back to her. “Get back to the others.” His voice was deep and primal.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Links to the reviews of my books:
Lost and Found received a rave review from Melissa’s Imaginarium and four stars from Icy Snow Blackstone.
Melissa’s Imaginarium: http://melissasimaginarium.blogspot.com/2010/07/lost-and-found-by-m-s-spencera-review.html
Icy Snow Blackstone: http://www.tonivsweeney.com/icysnow/Book_Review/Entries/2010/8/27_Lost_and_Found_by_MS_Spencer.html

Lost in His Arms (released September 2009 from Red Rose) received 5 Divas from Dark Diva Reviews, and a 5-star review from Amazon, wonderful reviews from Melissa’s Imaginarium and Toni Sweeney, as well as 5 Roses PLUS from Rebecca Rose.
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lost-in-His-Arms-ebook/dp/B003WMA72O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1283707601&sr=1-1-spell
Rebecca Rose: http://www.authorrebeccarose.blogspot.com
Dark Diva Reviews: http://ddrreviews.blogspot.com/2009/12/LOST-IN-HIS-ARMS-BY-MS-SPENCER.html
Melissa’s Imaginarium: http://melissasimaginarium.blogspot.com/2010/09/lost-in-his-arms-by-m-s-spencera-review.html
Toni Sweeney: http://www.tonivsweeney.com/Book_Review/Entries/2010/9/24_Lost_in_His_Arms_by_MS_Spencer.html
Buy link: http://www.redrosepublishing.com/books/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=282&products_id=17

Both books are also available at:
http://www.amazon.com
http://www.bookstrand.com

http://www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.fictionwise.com
http://www.redrosepublishing.com

Coming in July: Losers Keepers, from Secret Cravings Publishing
Losers Keepers has a tentative release date of July (ebook) and December (print) from http://www.secretcravingspublishing.com
 Losers Keepers
Dagne Lonegan’s advice column begins to mirror her life when a murder is committed her first week on Chincoteague, while two lovers vie for her affections.



7 comments:

EMMuller said...

So enjoyed the interview. I lived in the Washington DC area for a while and Torpedo Alley was a favorite of mine. Wondering about the snake though. I live in Florida and I'm scared to death of snakes. Hope you've not living with one of those Burmese Pythons.

The story line for Lost and Found is facinating and the excerpt tells me those wonderful reviews are well deserved.

jean hart stewart said...

Great excerpt. It sounds like a wonderful story, and most intriquing one. Jean

M. S. Spencer said...

Thanks Jean & EM for your kind words!
To EMMuller, we had a variable king snake--quite small and beautiful and really very sweet. Sometimes fear is due to unfamiliarity--if you could manage it you could try holding a snake--they're NOT slimy and they're quite affectionate. I'm frightened of spiders, but once I held a tarantula & after that...well I wouldn't have one as a pet but I'm not as scared. I have a house in Longboat Key--where are you?

Viola Russell said...

I really loved the interview. You've been to some wonderfully exotic places. Your books sound wonderful. Will you try some historical romance? I, too, loved Thomas Hardy. I also love British mysteries and romances.

M. S. Spencer said...

Thank you Viola! I too love British mysteries--Allingham, Marsh?I'm actually reading Sherlock Holmes right now! Historical romance might be fun--my first book, Lost inHis Arms, is actually set in 1991 at a very significant point in modern history--it was great fun researching it (not that I wasn't there...)

EMMuller said...

MS

We are practically neighbors. I'm in East Bradenton. As far as the snake is concerned, there isn't much chance that I'm going to pick one up. Wondering how you feel about the Burmese pythons that are headed our way?

Also, I really did love the blurb and excerpt. Can you tell me when the book will be out on Kindle?

M. S. Spencer said...

EM--
I love that area--I'm in Manatee County, MUCH nicer than Sarasota County. I'm not particularly worried about the pythons--just make sure they're fed! :) As to the books--they ARE available on Kindle--did I forget to say that? Search under M. S. Spencer or either title. Enjoy!

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