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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Interview of Author Michele Zurlo

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Michele Zurlo.

Latest Book: Re/Bound

Buy Link:

I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve. I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at or @MZurloAuthor.

Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: I think it came out on a Tuesday, so I went to work. At the time, I didn’t know anything about marketing or promotion, so I just checked my sales over and over. We might have gone out to eat that weekend. My first royalty check was only about $600, so that spring we took the kids to Florida to see Busch Gardens and their aunt who lives nearby.

Q: Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?
A: For Malcolm/Theo, I’d like to see Richard Armitage. I’ve been binge-watching MI-5 recently, and the moment I saw him, it was like the picture in my head had come to life. He’s been in a fair number of movies, none of which I’ve seen, and now I have to add them to my Netflix queue. For Darcy, I think Anne Hathaway could nail it.

Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: I write seasonally. Because I’m also a teacher, I tend to scale back on writing August-October. I pick it up again in Nov-Jan, let it slide for Feb-April, and then write like crazy from May-July. My kids swim and dive (one swims and one dives), so I do much of my writing poolside. If I’m at home, I usually have to squirrel myself away in my bedroom. Open concept houses are great if you have an office, but I don’t, so if I work in the kitchen or living rooms, then the kids are in and out. I can’t write a sex scene with kids running around. They’re even birth control for my characters.

Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: I’ve learned to put myself out there. When I first started, I didn’t know anything about marketing or promotion. I put blurbs on Yahoo groups and wondered why nothing happened. I didn’t have the Internet at home (yep, I’m slow to adapt—I had it at work, so why did I need it at home?) and so I didn’t know anything about blogs, interviews, Facebook, or appearances. Now I make a point to be visible and active. I love interacting with readers and other authors.

Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: Like most authors, many characters have pieces of me. Like Darcy, I have a huge fear of public speaking, yet my day job demands I do it. Like Amy (Darcy’s sister), I worry about my little sisters. And like Malcolm, I don’t always follow protocol to get things done.

Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: The first character I ever created, Rhiannon Cartescu from Tomorrow Cries, is my favorite character. Creating her—and her story—was like giving birth.

Q: If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
A: Funny you should ask. I’m getting the rights back to my first book soon, and I’ve changed a lot about it already because I plan to reissue it. First, I changed it to first person, the way I’d originally written it. Second, I took into account feedback from readers, particularly about the ending, and I’ve added 30K words to the original manuscript.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I don’t rely on any one method. Sometimes their names just come to me. Other times, I peruse baby name websites or go to a random name generator. I’ve even listened to my kids playing and stolen names they’ve made up. I’ve opened a magazine and taken the first name I came across. Once I named a character (Torrey) after a street.

Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: In Mina’s Heart, the characters play poker and have a funny conversation. That came from my friend’s surprise 40th birthday party where we had a very similar conversation.

Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: I always have 2-3 stories that I allow to swirl around in my head. I used to be able to keep them in my head, but now that I’m juggling the schedules of 2 tweens, a day job, and a hectic household, I have a notebook. Everything is in there, and I’d be totally screwed if I lost it.

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: We are pagan, and so Samhain is our favorite holiday. The kids like to dress up and trick-or-treat, and then they leave the majority of their candy out for the Halloween fairy to take. In its place, she leaves gifts. It’s actually a bigger holiday for us than Solstice.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I don’t know if people are actually surprised, but they always seem shocked when I tell them my age. Apparently I look younger than I am, or I just surround myself with people who kiss up. Second, people are often surprised to find out I’m a Doctor Who fan. Yep, I’m a geek.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a librarian so I could read all day. I even set up a library in my basement and made my friends check out books.

Q: Favorite food.
A: Chocolate, though that’s more of a basic necessity. Grilled cheese comes in a close second.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: The day my girls were born.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: Tea—Stash’s Holiday Chai

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Chilly winter nights. I love to snuggle with my family under a pile of blankets.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: I don’t have a bucket list. If there’s something I want to do, I do it.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: I’d be a Timelord.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Website: (My blogs can be accessed from there.)
Twitter: @MZurloAuthor

Picking herself up after the devastating loss of her master is more difficult than Darcy anticipated. Just when she needs someone the most, a handsome Dom steps in. Theo is thoughtful, dominant, and demanding—everything she needs. He pushes her boundaries, tests her limits, and takes her to new heights. With him, she remembers what it is to feel joy and love and a firm hand on her ass.

Agent Malcolm Legato is after a corrupt businessman, and Darcy is his ticket into the upper echelon of Snyder Corp. As he cultivates her as an asset, he falls hard for this feisty submissive, and he knows he'll break her heart the moment she finds out he's been lying to her all along.

When it all falls apart, will Darcy be able to find the strength to forgive Malcolm so they can build a life together and the courage to bring justice to the man she loved and lost?

With twists of rope and plot, this action-packed story will
make you laugh, cry, and squirm in all the right ways. With Re/Bound, Michele Zurlo delivers a smart, bold, and sexy tale.

EXCERPTWarning: Adult Language
She paused at a door three-quarters of the way down the hall. Her gaze fell to the floor. After the awkwardness had passed, the rest of the night had gone well. He had kept the conversation on innocuous topics and had learned a lot about her relationship with Victor Snyder. The prick had her thoroughly and completely snowed. She considered him a friend and a benefactor.

He hooked his finger under her chin and encouraged her to meet his gaze. When she complied, he rewarded her with a smile. Without a doubt, she was one responsive submissive. Yataines had trained her well.

He cupped the side of her face and traced his thumb over her eyebrow. Adjusting the position of his hand, he repeated the caress along her lower lip. She trembled a bit, but she clearly awaited his command. His earlier intention had been an impulsive act of affection. It had taken all his willpower to keep his cock from saluting her submissiveness.

“I had a nice time tonight, Darcy. Thank you for making this trip worthwhile.”

Her eyes widened a bit, and he knew she wanted to ask if he’d decided against seeing her again now that he’d found out about some of her baggage.

He replayed his caress of her lip. Suddenly he needed to taste her lips more than anything in the world. “Can I kiss you?”

She began to nod, but she caught herself in time. She swallowed and licked her lips. “Yes, I’d like that.”

Malcolm had never once taken the trust of a submissive lightly. Part of him wanted to play the gentleman and leave her alone. A larger part of him needed to know the flavor and texture of her kiss. He recognized the blurring of the line between his cover identity and his real self, and he couldn’t keep from crossing it.

He feathered his lips over hers, a reverent caress that teased a small sigh from her. That tiny sound proved to be his undoing. He traced the seam of her lips with his tongue, and she opened for him. He cradled her head with one hand to hold her close, and he snaked the other around her waist to press her body closer.

She moaned and leaned into him as he directed with the pressure of his hand on her back. He tasted her lips and teeth. He sampled the roof of her mouth and tangled his tongue with hers. A piece of his heart he’d never before used came to life. It beat a furious staccato rhythm he felt echoed in her chest. Blood rushed to his cock. He thrust a knee between her legs and ground against her.

She mewled, and her fingers dug into his shoulders. Inflamed with her flavor, he moved his lips to sample her neck. She moaned and threw her head back.

The sharp crack of it hitting the door brought Malcolm back to his senses. He had shoved her against the door, and he had ravaged her with everything in his arsenal. He released her abruptly, keeping one hand close in case she needed more than the door to hold her up.

She gazed up at him, her eyes heavy-lidded with desire and blurred by shock. She took a deep, ragged breath and pushed away from the door.

Malcolm ran a shaky hand through his hair. “I’m sorry. You consented to a kiss, not a public mauling.”

A little laugh escaped before she could bite her lip to keep it inside. “Now I’m wondering what will happen if I consent to a public mauling.”

The visions she evoked meant he would need an icy shower before going to sleep. Wisely he changed the topic. “I’d like to see you again. Can we have breakfast together? I could swing by around eight, and we could walk down together.”

Malcolm didn’t know whether he asked her for the mission or because the pounding heart
in his chest wanted to shrivel up and die at the thought of not seeing her.

She nodded. “I’d like that.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for having me!


Michele Zurlo said...

Thanks for having me at RB44U!

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

Hi Michele, I wanted to be a librarian too even into middle age. My happiest job was working at the library when I was in high school. And I can't believe you added 30k words to a book. Kudos for that! ;-)

E. Ayers said...

Great excerpt. What a kiss! Teasingly sexy!

I've volunteered for several years as the assistant librarian in a public school. It was fun and crazy. Not at all what I expected.

Rose Anderson said...

A Timelord! You don't see that gift every day. :) I enjoyed the interview, Michele. Thanks for joining us today.

J.D. Faver said...

That was a very insightful interview, Michele. I can see you as a Timelord. Great excerpt!

Lynda Bailey said...

Great interview - and I loved that excerpt...very hot... ;)

jean hart stewart said...

Loved the excerpt!! A hot and steamy start to the day..thanks.

Melissa Keir said...

It's nice to meet you Michele. I'm also a teacher. Do you use a pen name? I worry that because I don't, no one will ever hire me again! :)

Love the cover and the story looks great! All the best!

Michele Zurlo said...

Thanks to everybody for stopping by! Melissa, I do use a pen name to separate my jobs and identities. Kids who like you will buy your books--even when they shouldn't!

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