Beware of Warlocks
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Shadowcat Publishing
Date of Publication: March 25, 2015
Number of pages: approx. 45 pages
Word Count: 15,000
Cover Artist: Melody Simmons
Can two warlocks be too many?
Yes, if one happens to be your ex-husband trying to kill you for a witch divorce.
The other, a sexy Aussie that makes you forget all the rest.
That’s Catherine Bank’s warlock problem. She will have to choose between the two of them. Will she marry either, or end it all in a spell battle that will bring Las Vegas to its knees. Only time will tell.
No one knows the mind of a witch better than herself. Unless, she falls in love.
I slid out of my bar chair faster than I’d ever made an exit. I had to regroup. Nothing like a quiet bathroom stall to clarify your thoughts.
I made it through the bathroom door and stumbled into an empty stall. Sitting on the toilet, a stream of tears burst forth. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I let it happen. Nothing like a good purge to get some sense back into a girl. Was I really ready for a life with Jeff? I felt the soul binding telling me he was the one to stick it out through thick and thin. But then, I thought so with Rich, too. But he’d never done the soul-binding spell. Just the marriage spell, and then we went on a shopping spree, buying houses, cars, and anything else that he thought my money, and now his, could buy. I was so stupid. He was such a cock suck up.
I heard a knock on my stall door. “You okay in there?”
I snuffled, using some toilet paper to clean up the snot from my nose.
“Yeah. Men suck.” I wouldn’t say warlocks. This was a mixed club.
“I agree with you there, girl. Just let me know if you need something.”
I blew my nose a couple of times, wiping off any excess, then stood, straightened my dress, and flushed all the tissue down the toilet. There. My man tears were spent. Time to move on and try to make a decision. I opened the stall door and saw the attendant ready to hand me a towel.
I added a quick “Thank you” before dabbing at my streaked make-up. I was going to have to do some reapplying.
“Sometimes this is the best place to come and let it all out, dear,” added the attendant.
“I’m totally embarrassed,” I said as I tried to make something out of my raccoon eyes. I’d just gone old-fashioned tonight. No added spells instead of make-up. I liked going all natural, as I called it. I really didn’t need spell enhancing, and was proud of that. Not every witch could claim to have a spell-free appearance. I started going through my purse for items to reapply and make better the mess on my face. My brown hair kept flopping in front of my eyes. It was getting distracting.
“Don’t be. I get a lot of woman crying out their man problems in here.”
“Hear any good solutions?” I started to reapply some liner, giving up on the mascara. I figured just adding more base and rouge would make me presentable again.
“Yes. Most of the answers involve kicking the scoundrels out of their lives, or forgiving them. I’m guessing one of those options might fit yours.”
“It does in one case.” I laughed. Throwing Rich out of my life would seem fit, if I lived through his retaliation. “I think getting rid of him is the best option.” I smiled at the thought of it.
“Oh, girl, two men. That’s always a problem.” The attendant smiled, leaving me to my make-up repairs. Just then, a toilet flushed and the stall opened. In the mirror, I recognized the woman exiting. It was Cassandra.
I wasn’t sure how much she’d heard. She came up to the sink next to me, rinsing her hands. My lips pursed, and I tried to play it coy. I looked in the mirror to touch up my rouge, but I saw my cheeks were plenty red without it. Maybe she wouldn’t notice it was me.
“Cat?” Her voice actually sounded surprised.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Marilyn: I really wanted to be a cartoonist when I was a kid. I loved drawing Snoopy and Disney was my hero. I always struggled writing, and didn’t enjoy it until my 5th grade teacher showed what kind of power it held. She helped me get bit by the writing bug, and I’ve been writing since.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Marilyn: I had sent out manuscripts with the usual rejections until I discovered self-publishing as an option. I tried it, and have never looked back. Self-publishing gives a lot of control over your writing career, and I hire freelance cover designers and an editor to help turn my books into products. I’ve learned a lot from the whole experience. It’s improved myself as a writer too. Going to writing conferences, I’ve found that the thing that really matters is sales. If you self-published to get there, fine. If you get sales and make money than all power to you if you self-published. Better than leaving it on a shelf collecting dust. I’d rather have readers enjoy my writing.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
Marilyn: I do. But I can’t really talk about it. I have to be secretive that way. I will say I have to be on medical leave right now from it due to my present health issues. We’ll have to see what happens. Right now, I’m working on recovery and physical therapy from heart arrhythmia and acute pneumonia that led to septic shock. I’m lucky to be alive. I consider it a second chance. Writing might have to become more of an income for me now while I go through this. But I’m ready for the challenge. Excited I survived to write another day.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Marilyn: My latest book is called Never Cross A Warlock. Summary in 20 words: Catherine catches her best friend in bed with her husband. Good thing she’s a witch. Divorce is a spell battle.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Marilyn: My process usually takes 3-5 months. It can sometimes take longer if life’s trials get in the way. I write an initial first draft. Then, I send it out to beta readers for feedback and make changes. Then, I send it to my editor, and she makes changes. All during this process I’m having the cover done by my cover designer, and when I see how close it is to release, I set up the promotions. At most, about 6 months to a year.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Marilyn: I’ve been working on a time travel romance that I’m about ¾ of the way through. It’s called “Everything For Love”. It’s about people from the future coming back to study the arts of the past. They’re like time researchers, but study people of the past in person. My main character starts out in Paris in the late 1890s, and then jumps to London 1914. Problems arise and another agent has to help her. I won’t give too much more away yet. I’m still in the first draft process, so it could change over time.
The other project I’ll be starting during Camp NaNo(which is a motivational event for writers to get off their butts and write with other writers) is the sequel series to Beware of Warlocks. I’m going to have Cassandra get into some trouble of her own, and call the series Beware of Vampires. So, it will still be in the underground undead world of warlocks and witches, with a mixing up of other paranormal creatures.
What genre would you place your books into?
Marilyn: Paranormal Romance
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
Marilyn: I love paranormal romances. I’ve always had a thing for vampires ever since I first started reading Anne Rice’s books back in the early 90s.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Yes. It’s taking awhile to get the process right. I think every writer has to develop this to be successful. I finally figured out mine while staying with my husband in Sydney, Australia while he was on a business trip. We were there for 6 weeks. So, I got a routine down since all my friends and family were on the other side of the world. No distractions.
I would talk to family and friends via Internet, do my social media and blog in the morning. Than, I’d go to lunch. When I came back, my afternoon was devoted to writing. I’d meet my husband for dinner, and sometimes get in an hour more at night. That has been my routine since.
I make up playlists for writing. It’s from the days of making up mixed tapes. I almost like to do things to music. I mix 80s pop tunes with modern pop. My current playlist for writing includes Taylor Swift, Duran Duran, Pharrell Williams, Adam Ant, Michael Franti, Bruno Mars, Sia, Ratt, Motley Cru, The Pretty Reckless and Iggy Azalea. I really like mixing the songs onto a playlist from Youtube. I guess growing up with videos really makes me like having them to watch while I write.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Marilyn: Um. Yes I do. Sometimes it’s the best way to get feedback from your readers. I actually take the suggestions to heart and try to give my readers what they want. I had feedback that people wanted to see Catherine and Cassandra, the friend that slept with her husband, have a confrontation. I had a lot of readers looking forward to the spell battle between Catherine and her soon to be ex-husband. So, I included all of this in Never Cross A Warlock. There’s a saying about writers: “Be careful knowing an author. You could end up in my next novel.”
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Marilyn: Sometimes the title comes to me as I start the book. Other times, if I’m writing a series, the title will come first before I start the next book. That gives me kind of a path to follow with it. Sometimes I have no idea what to call it, and just give it a working title until I think of something.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Marilyn: I develop the characters first, and then their names come from that. I like to use real places as settings, and travel to research them. I write a lot from experience. It’s almost like writing a diary or memoirs but with a fiction twist. All the traveling that Catherine does in the Beware of Warlock series I did. I went to Las Vegas several times to research the experience.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Marilyn: I’ll tell you a writing secret. A lot of the time the main character is based on the author. Catherine has a lot of traits like me. But then, I’ll add some fantasy aspects or things I wish I was like or had. Sometimes she’s a combo of the real me and a fantasy me. I think characters for authors were the original avatars.
Once I get the main character down, I work on other characters depending on what plot I want in the story. A lot of these come from basing characters on people I know. Jeff is based on my husband, except he’s a Brit instead of being an Aussie. Rich, Catherine’s ex, is based on one of my ex-boyfriends. Cassandra is based on several of my best friends. So, many characters are based on real people I may know with a twist of fiction to make them fit the circumstances of the story.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Marilyn: I don’t try to do that. They just come out naturally through the writing process. It’s how humans perceive or connect. You almost create your own message as a reader. That is what art does if done correctly. If I notice there is a message surfacing, I will add more to clues and events to bring it out a little more. Mostly, I’ve seen life lessons of mine contribute to this. It’s almost like I include my wisdom I’ve acquired through living life. Like Catherine, I had to go through a lot of warlocks to find the right one.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
Marilyn: I read mostly paperback and eBooks. I read hardbacks if I can’t stand waiting for a book to go to paperback. But this was solved when eBooks came out. If my favorite author has a new release, I’ll buy it and load it onto my Kindle. Ebooks are so addicting. There is that trap of buying more than you can read. So, I usually download the sample and buy the book if I make it through it. I still love bookstores, and will walk through my Barnes and Noble from time to time. But I find that I’m buying more eBooks lately than paper books. So, I guess my preference is moving to eBooks now.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
Marilyn: I think this depends on the scriptwriter and the director. I’ve seen some fabulous books transfer to movies well. And I’ve seen some fabulous books bomb as a movie. I think one of the best books I read was a horrible movie. “Clan of the Cave Bear” by Jean M. Auel was one of my favorite books in high school. But when they made the movie, the sign language didn’t translate on screen. It was really sad to see that.
Anne Rice’s books make fabulous movies. But when they turned “Exit to Eden” into a comedy farce, it didn’t work. She was so ahead of her time. It’s a love story that is really an erom, and because of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, would work so much better now. Sometimes it’s timing too. Movies reach a more general public than books. So, if the general public isn’t ready, it can bomb as a movie.
Your favorite food is?
Marilyn: I have to choose? I think I’d go with chocolate, pasta, and crab. Not all together. A meal of pasta and crab, with chocolate as dessert. Than, my favorite raspberry chocolate port at the end of the meal.
Your favorite singer/group is?
Marilyn: Way too hard to narrow. I can give you the ones I’m listening to a lot right now. Duran Duran. The Pretty Reckless and Adam Ant. There are so many more, but I go through phases. I was in a Cyndi Lauper phase several months ago. And I love Adam Lambert. Can’t get enough of his music.
Your favorite color is?
Your favorite Author is?
Marilyn: Anne Rice. You probably figured this from my other answers. *Wink* Thanks for having me. I love talking. So, interviews are my favorite thing to do.
Marilyn is a paranormal romance novelist. She enjoys the characters that just don't fit in. From witches to time traveling researchers, she is letting her imagination soar to share her experiences with her readers. Marilyn has traveled to Paris, London, Sydney, Amsterdam, Las Vegas and Munich. She loves to include these in her settings as much as possible. Best of all is letting her reader enjoy them through the perspective of a character. She currently lives in Northern California with her husband and cat. The cat, of course, is the center of attention.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Vix/e/B00LZ1TTXM