The third installment of Authors in the Zone features American writer, Lila Monro.
Lila Munro is a writer of contemporary romance currently residing along the coast of North Carolina. She is currently under contract for three novels, and when she’s not writing she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. She loves hearing from her readers and can be reached at her website www.lilamunro.weebly.com or her sister site www.wickedmuses.webs.com .
Hi Lila, welcome to Authors In The Zone.
Thanks for having me, Don, I appreciate the opportunity to be here.
What's your new book called?
My debut novel is titled The Executive Officer’s Wife.
How long did it take to write?
From conception to contract, TEOW, as my friends fondly refer to it as, took approximately four months to complete.
Can you tell us a little about it?
The Executive Officer’s Wife is set in Jacksonville, NC and rotates around the military community based there. The heroine, Libby Calhoun, is the daughter of a USMC sniper being held captive. Chase Wayland, the hero, is a former marine turned bodyguard who has been charged with her safety. The road to a happily ever after for them is bumpy and filled with twists, turns, and surprises. There’s a host of colorful supporting characters that help them find their way.
Tell us about your route to publication? Who, if anyone, helped you along the way?
When I first began researching the possibility of becoming published I was as lost as one could get. I knew I wasn’t quite ready for mainstream and after some hunting discovered a smaller press suited my current needs and goals. Thus my union with Wild Horse Press was forged. I also decided that ebook format was the direction I wanted to go. It’s catching on, there are countless, easily accessible ways to download, and it’s environmentally friendly. As far as help, I just got out there and did the ground work alone. I felt in control of my destiny, and along the way I learned so much.
Have you an agent or tried to secure the services of one?
At present I don’t have an agent, and have not tried to secure one. At this point in my career I don’t feel the need, but I’ve not discounted it as a possibility in the future.
How do you intend to market your book?
I market my work in a wide variety of ways. Personal contacts, word of mouth, and networking are key. I maintain a personal website where I blog regularly and showcase excerpts of my work. In addition, I also participate in a joint effort website with three other great gals. For my debut release, I held a virtual release party on facebook that included chat time, an excerpt from the book, and a give away for a twenty dollar Amazon gift card. To be eligible, anyone who purchases the book prior to 8/31 should email me proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered in the drawing to be held 9/31. It will continue to run until 8/31 if anyone wants to find me on facebook and join the fun. Other tools I use include guest blogging, interviews, and seeking out author resources on the web that offer free or reasonable advertising.
Do you write everyday?
There is rarely a day that I don’t write, even if it’s just a few hundred words, or reworking a part of the story that just doesn’t seem to work. My muse controls my schedule more so than I do, and at times she is very demanding.
What's the last book you read?
The last book I really enjoyed was The Art of Desire by Cherie Feather. It was a great erotic romance story told in a very unconventional way by convering two stories to run parallel.
Has the book been released yet?
The Executive Officer’s Wife debuted August 10. It is available through www.amazon.com , www.allromanceebooks.com , www.1romanceebooks.com , and Omnilit.
Here’s a sneak peek into the book:
“Hey, cowboy, what’s your poison?”
Libby eyed him with her breath caught in her throat, wondering when he landed, and why she felt suffocated by his presence.Chase had never seen eyes the shade of glaciers. They were set inside a pair of the darkest, longest lashes he had ever seen. Her jet black hair fell in wavy layers around soft round shoulders and wisps of bangs framed a sun-blushed face. Her lips were full and, though a bit thin, her bare arms were well toned and were as beautifully sun-kissed as her face. The tank top she wore barely contained what, in his assessment, were the most perfectly formed breasts he had ever seen, at least still covered. The rest of her was concealed behind the bar, which he was tempted to climb atop to get a look. He may well have had the sound of her laughter tinkling like ice in a glass not brought him back to the real world.
“Yoo-hoo, cowboy, I asked what you’d like,” she said cocking her head in a sidelong glance. He had to take a moment to remember what he had started to order, but he damn well knew what he’d like. He’d like to have her. Maybe he could coax her into helping him with those kinks later after she was through working.
“Uh, let’s see, Jack straight up on the rocks,” Chase finally let the words slide from his tongue like butter off the side of a hot biscuit. Libby quickly recognized that his lazy accent wasn’t from the southeast, but perhaps the southwest.
“A Jack guy, my kind of man.”He reached in his front jeans pocket as she set the tumbler down shaking her head. He tried to give her a twenty, but she closed her fingers around his sending a shock up his arm.
“That’s okay, cowboy. This one’s on the house,” she said smiling radiantly.
“After that one you’re a regular and on your own. He smiled back at her and dropped the twenty in her tip jar. She knew he assumed she needed those tips. He probably wouldn’t have been as generous had he known she didn’t keep a dime of it, but donated all of it to help fund recon’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball every year. How rich. And to think, she didn’t dress up because she didn’t plan on any new faces drifting in.Feeling flushed she watched him turn and walk away. He was easily six-two or six-three, towering over her by several inches. Broad shouldered and chiseled she wondered what it would feel like to run her hands over him. His golden eyes gave her gooseflesh. She suspected him to be a few years older than her, but that had not affected his physique as far as she could tell. And the way his ass filled out those faded jeans… Maybe you should be my distraction.
Tell us a little about your process?
I don’t know how to describe my process other than organized madness. Once an idea is conceived, I turn to my character sketches, which I spend hours developing, to match my players with their identity. I know everything about my characters, from their physical features to their likes and dislikes to their fears, worries and dreams. They are like dear friends to me. Then I sketch a rough outline of where I think the story is going, and believe me, there is always a more than healthy dose of conflict—external, internal—you name it. Then my dear friends volley for time to sit in my office and tell me what’s been going on. Usually what I thought was going to happen changes in so many wonderful ways. Also, I’m my own worst critic. I self-edit like crazy.
What advice would you have for new writers?
For new writers, my advice would be to never give up, and always, always aspire to do better. If you receive a rejection, don’t whine or complain. Brood a bit if you must, but move on. Figure out what you are doing wrong and fix it.