Wednesday, September 16, 2009
IMHO is pleased to welcome Medallion Press author Ann Macela today. Ann says she has been blessed with a number of careers: public school and university teacher (three degrees in history); writer of history (the kind bristling with footnotes); sales, marketing and PR person writing everything from ads to annual reports; consultant and computer manual writer; and now romance author.
A native Texan, she spent most of her life on the Gulf Coast until her and her husband’s business took them first to Minneapolis and then to the Chicago area. It didn’t take her long to learn how to survive in The Frozen North--just wear her entire wardrobe at one time. All of this, some travels here and abroad, and her computer-and-accounting savvy husband have given her inspiration and details for her stories.
In Chicagoland, she finally had the time to do what she has always wanted to: write fiction. She writes both contemporary and contemporary paranormal romance stories. Ann will be putting her Medallion Press release Your Magic or Mine? (the third in The Magic series about magic practitioners brought together by an ancient force, an irresistible compulsion, called the soulmate imperative) into the “Back to School” tote bag of love.
Your Magic or Mine? won the CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Romances of 2008 for the Single Title category. Her non-Magic release, Windswept, won RT BOOKReviews Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Romance, Small Press in 2008, as well as the Lories Best (published division) for Single Title Romance. Both books were multi-finalists in several Romance Writers of America contests in 2008.
Ann’s next book in the series, Wild Magic, will be released October 2009. Wild Magic looks at the world of magic practitioners called Defenders and Swords. Their purpose: to find and destroy items of evil magic. A quick preview:
Irenee Sabel is a Sword, new to her blade and anxious to prove herself. On her first mission to recover a powerful crystal of ancient evil from its practitioner users, she encounters DEA Agent Jim Tylan. Part of a law-enforcement task force but also for personal reasons, Jim is after the same people for drugs and weapons trafficking.
Determined to learn the identity of the mysterious woman who can open a glowing safe with a wave of her hand, Jim is surprised to find himself in the company of people who can actually cast magic spells. He is astonished when they inform him that he is a “wild talent,” someone in whom magic abilities spontaneously occur, and then absolutely astounded when he proves it by casting his own spells.
If that weren’t enough, the practitioner soul-mate imperative is lurking, waiting to bring Jim and Irenee together, ready or not.
Ann hopes her readers enjoy her magic practitioners. As she says, “We all need a little magic in our lives.”
IMHO: Welcome to IMHO, Ann. Great to have a fellow Medallion Press author visiting. What is something surprising you’ve learned from writing and/or reading romance?
AM: Thanks, TJ. One thing I’ve learned is that romance is totally universal. We all want to find that special someone. Now, I should have known this, of course, but when you get tied up with all the messes and heartaches and just plain boring bits of life, it’s hard to keep that in mind. I read mostly mysteries before I found romance—lots of mayhem and dead bodies and precious little romance. I won’t go so far as to say that there IS a special someone out there for every person, and sometimes you have to work really hard at it, but you have to keep looking.
There IS a romance STORY out there for everyone. No matter your beliefs, persuasion, attitude, whatever, there are romance novels that can appeal to you and be a lot of fun to read.
Reading is really subjective. I may like one book, and somebody else will hate it. And nothing will persuade either of us differently. Now, you may say, “Duh, of course,” but when you’ve been with a bunch of people who don’t discuss or argue over books on a regular basis, this is news. Or maybe it’s my ego talking: If I like it, then everybody else must. Unlearned that one in a hurry.
Romance readers and writers alike must not pay any attention to those who would bad-mouth the genre. Those people often have not read it. When I give a talk, I usually introduce myself by saying, “I do not read or write what some consider ‘good literature.’ I read and write genre fiction, specifically romance. And you’d be surprised how many of your friends read romance, too.”
I now find myself reading books on several levels at once. The first is that of reader, enjoying the story, the characters, wanting to know what happens next. The second is that of writer, dissecting and deconstructing what the author has done with the story and how she has done it. The third is that of writer who’s “rewriting” the story in my head as I would have written it. If an author can immerse me in her story, keep me reading, wanting to get back to it if I’m interrupted, and close off the other two levels, I’m her fan for life. Unfortunately, that happens very seldom these days. I don’t know why, except to say that reading is so subjective. It’s like food. Some people dislike what I love to eat, and I dislike what others like. See point number two above.
I have also learned about cooking in the Middle Ages, wardrobe considerations in Regency times, the existence of a large variety of vampires, shape-shifters, gods, demons, and wizards with varying powers and abilities. I have learned how important shoes are to some women and various weapons are to some men. I have vicariously traveled to distant times and distant galaxies, driven fancy sports cars and ridden dragons.
Don’t you just love books!
IMHO: You KNOW I do, Ann. That’s why IMHO is here! Now, for all you IMHO readers, speaking of romance, how about you tell Ann the one most romantic gesture either you or someone you know has experienced. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win the “Back to School” tote bag of love filled with two signed books by Gerry Bartlett, Annette McCleave’s autographed debut novel, Ann Macela’s Your Magic or Mine, and signed books by our September hostesses yet-to-come, multi-published authors Heather MacAllister and Vicki Hinze.
In addition, if you are the lucky winner, you’ll also receive a $20 gift card from Barnes and Noble and a Magnetic Poetry Kit featuring “Mixed-up Romance Novel” phrases that you can use to express your inner romance novelist. And remember, the more authors whose posts you comment on during the month, the more chance of winning. Contest rules are on my website. USA addresses only, please.