STRW Interview with M.A. Church on her new release ‘Texting, AutoCorrect, and a Prius’ (author interview and excerpt)

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Texting, AutoCorrect, and a Prius by M.A. Church
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have M.A. Church here today talking about writing, characters, and her latest release,

Texting, AutoCorrect, and a Prius.  Welcome, M.A.!

 

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Our Interview with M.A. Church

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

A lot. Many of my characteristics, thoughts, feelings, and reactions are built into my characters. Actually, both my main characters have many of my personality traits.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Absolutely! Research plays a vital role. I mainly write paranormal and sci-fi, but I spend a lot of time checking mythology. I’m a firm believer in you have to understand a myth before you can flip it on its head.  If I’m writing about werecats, I feel it’s necessary to the understand habits and reactions of felines, whether they’re big or small.  Many of my paranormal stories are based in present day, so I have to make my shifters fit into that environment.

I do enjoy research, but I love making up worlds and cultures. It’s one reasons why I’m so fond of sci-fi. But even with that, research plays a key role in making the unbelievable believable.

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I have but not recently. There was a scene in Shadows in the Night where the main character’s mother was dying. I struggled with it because it was close to when I lost my mom. It caused some bad moments, but I got through it. Frankly I think it made that scene much stronger.

  •  Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m good either way.  I like HEA, but sometimes the story just isn’t set up for that. I’d much rather have an ending that is HFN than to force HEA. As long story ends with the characters happy, I’m good, even if all their issues haven’t been resolved.

  • How do you choose your covers?  

The main thing I look for is something that highlights my story and picks up the feeling of the book. I want something that portrays a very basic element of the book so readers know at a glance what my story is about.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I’d say it’d either be The Harvest series or Trouble Comes in Threes from the Fur, Fangs, and Felines series. The Harvest was originally written right after my mom passed away. The books kept me from losing my mind.

Trouble Comes in Threes doesn’t have that memory connected to it, but it was the first threesome I ever wrote. It was well received, fortunately. And I did worry about how to portray a threesome believably.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I have a book coming from Dreamspinner in October called Dragon’s Hoard. It’s part of the new Dreamspun Beyond line, and I’m very excited about that.

At Sixes and Sevens is under contract with Dreamspinner and will *probably* be out in November. It could be October, though.

Blurb

Clay McDonald finds the perfect car on Craigslist and is quick to send the seller a text:

Is your penis still for sale?

AutoCorrect strikes again. Damn—he should’ve proofread. How embarrassing.

Luckily Darrell Anderson, a mechanic and the owner of the Prius, is more amused than offended, and the two men agree to meet. When they do, the attraction is instant, and a date is arranged. But a series of mishaps, misunderstandings, and misplaced assumptions sorely test the new relationship.

In a contemporary romantic comedy about the perils of technology and dating in the modern world, a text that went so wrong might just lead to something so right—but only if Clay can refrain from jumping to conclusions and give love the benefit of the doubt.

 

 

Excerpt

“Whoa, whoa. The truck is fine, and there’s nothing wrong with it. You didn’t hear me because I drove the Prius. Which means you’re going to need to take me back up to the shop since I left my truck there.”

Darrell groaned. Of all the rotten, underhanded…. “Oh, come on. Seriously? You just ruined my Saturday.”

Bert laughed, a cocky little grin on his face. “Hey, I told you it had to be parked here.”

Darrell continued to grumble as he went back to arranging the food. “I was trying to forget about it. Does that mean you posted the ad on Craigslist?”

“As a matter of fact, I did this morning.” Bert opened his beer. “It should be up already.”

Of course it was. “Lovely. Just what I want to do on my weekend off. I’m assuming you put my cell phone number on the ad?”

“Yup.” Bert sipped his beer, then put it down on the counter. “Look, if something comes up, just let the call go to voicemail.”

Darrell poured a soda for himself. “Thank you, Captain Obvious.”

Bert smirked, then drank some more of his beer as he studied Darrell.

“What?” Darrell demanded as he opened the chip bag.

Bert slowly sho✒︎ok his head, an overdone look of pity on his face. “You’ve got all the symptoms.”

Darrell knew he was going to regret asking, but just like a moth to the flame, he couldn’t resist. “All the symptoms of what?”

“BBS.”

“As sure as I’m standing here, I know better, but okay….” Darrell scrubbed his hand over his face. “I’ll bite. What is BBS?”

Grinning madly, Bert took another sip of his beer, then with exaggerated patience, put it on the counter. “Blue ball syndrome. Dude, you desperately need to get laid. You’re grouchy, your sense of humor has left the building, and quite frankly, your one-liners need a couple more lines.”

Darrell tilted his head back, stared at the ceiling, and sighed helplessly. “I had to ask, didn’t I?”

About the Author

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children.

She is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Social Media Links:

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In the New Release Spotlight: Marina Ford on ‘Lovesick’ (Dreamspinner Press author guest blog)

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Lovesick by Marina Ford
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reamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Available for Purchase at

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Also at Dreamspinner Press in Paperback

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Marina Ford here today. Welcome, Marina!

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Hi, I’m Marina, and I want to introduce you to my debut novel “Lovesick.” It’s the story of a university lecturer, Leo, who is based in London, and who spent the last couple of years mooning after a colleague of his, who disappoints all of Leo’s hopes by getting engaged. The story of how Leo recovers from this blow, how he finds love and friendship, and how he becomes a better person in the process, is told in the form of a diary.

It’s the only book I’ve ever written in this form, and it was an interesting challenge. Normally, chapters give you, the writer, a framework for how to organise your plot points. But diary entries are not like chapters. Stories, friendships, issues don’t evolve, usually, within the span of a day. While most novels (written either in the first person or third person perspective) involve a certain level of foreknowledge by the narrator, and therefore allow you to bring up things that will later become important, diaries have to seem like they are written a day at a time, and so if you, as the writer, want something mentioned that may later become important but feels innocuous or meaningless to begin with, you have to think of clever ways of including them.

The decision to convey Leo’s story in the form of a diary was mostly dictated by the type of story I wanted to tell. Since Leo’s perspective, and especially his flaws which this perspective exposes, are part of his arc, it made sense to tell his story in a way that revealed Leo to the reader, that might not be obvious to Leo himself. The diary form allowed me to present a ‘slice-of-life’ novel in a way that didn’t feel like I was cluttering the reader’s mind with irrelevant detail. The things Leo notices in his day-to-day life, which he thinks are worthy of being mentioned in his diary, tell us often more about Leo than they do about anything else. His wry observations about his neighbours, his work, his family and his friends serve not just to make us aware of the world around him, but mostly to unravel the way Leo sees the world – and eventually it allows us to monitor his growth and progress as a human being.

I had great fun writing this book. It was a labour of love from start to finish. I hope this comes through while reading it. It’s meant to be funny, light and romantic. I hope it’s as enjoyable to read as it was to write. 

Blurb 

Friday, 23 January
The cat funeral.
Yeah, that happened today. I went and participated in—aided and abetted?—a cat funeral.
London life is tough on idealists. In an ideal world, after years of flirtation, Leo would be cosily settled down with Jack, his long-time crush. In an ideal world, Jack wouldn’t now be engaged to a woman. And in an ideal world, Leo would move on.
When handsome new neighbour Alex moves in opposite Leo, an opportunity to do so presents itself. But Alex is probably straight, working class, and poorer than Leo. While Jack’s engagement unravels, and Leo’s friendship with Alex deepens, will Leo manage to find happiness with the right man? Or will he succumb to his enemies: self-doubt, family expectations, and pride?
Told in diary form, this is both the story of a love triangle in London and the chronicle of a man’s struggles to confront his self-image and overcome his insecurity.
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Author bio:
Marina Ford is a thirty-year-old book addict, who would, if permitted, spend all of her time in bookstores, libraries, or in her own bed with stacks and stacks of books. Luckily, she has a husband and a dog who force her to interact with humans of planet Earth from time to time. In fact, she so enjoyed falling in love with her husband that she can’t resist evoking those same feelings in the love stories she creates in her head. She does not believe in love at first sight— but she does believe in Happy Ever After, though it must be earned. She likes her stories to be light and frothy, since real life can be miserable enough without making up more of it in fiction. She lives in England, loves rain (gives one an excuse to stay at home and read books, right?), long walks (when it doesn’t rain), history, love stories, classical literature, pulpy literature, Jane Austen, languages, and dogs. It is her dream to one day possess an enormous country house in which each room is a library (okay, maybe except for the kitchen), and in which there are more dogs than people. A smaller and perhaps more realistic dream of hers is to make people smile with the things she writes.