What reviewers are saying...

♥ 2015 Rainbow Book Awards Honorable Mention ♥
♥ 2014 Amazon Bestseller ♥
♥ 2014 Dreamspinner Press Bestseller ♥
♥ 2014 All Romance Ebooks Bestseller ♥
♥ 2013 Top Pick of the Year ♥
♥ 2013 All Romance Ebooks Bestseller ♥
♥ 2012 Rainbow Book Awards Honorable Mention ♥
♥ 2011 Best-selling Author ♥
♥ 2011 Best Anthology ♥

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Author Spotlight - Shira Anthony

It is my pleasure to introduce Shira Anthony, author of Mermen of Ea Series

Shira Anthony
Tell us a little bit about how Mermen of Ea Series came to life. What inspired the story?
The Mermen of Ea series was inspired by a sail at the North Carolina coast where a pod of dolphins swam around our boat and a trip to Grenada, where my husband I got our open water scuba certification. I was writing a pirate romance - a captor/captive, simply story about a kidnapped slave (Taren) falling for his captor (Ian), the captain of a sailing ship. But after seeing the dolphins and spending nearly a week diving in the Caribbean, the main character in the original story, Taren, announced to me that he was a merman! And what could I do but write the story he wanted me to tell.
Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
That's such a difficult choice! I think I fall in love with nearly all the characters I write - risk of the profession. But there are certainly characters in the Mermen of Ea Series who I find particularly fun to write. Often these are the secondary characters. One of my favorite secondary characters in this story is Bastian, the quartermaster (something like a first officer aboard a pirate ship) of the Sea Witch. Bastian is young, in his early 20s, with fiery red hair, freckles, and a great personality. He's also got a few secrets of his own that come to light in the second book in the series. He's loving, kind, and fun, and he makes a great foil for his longtime captain (and captain of his heart), Rider. He becomes something like a brother to Taren, the main focus of the stories. He, like Taren, came to the Sea Witch as a slave, but he stayed and rose in her ranks. The quartermaster aboard pirate ships was, in some ways, more powerful even than the captain.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write?
I've been writing stories and poetry since I was in grade school, but it wasn't until about five years ago that I decided to try to publish my stories. I found male/male romance when a good friend of mine suggested writing a story about a violinist and a conductor, which became the basis for "Prelude," one of my Blue Notes Series books. Once I started writing MM, I never looked back!
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Ask for criticism!!! And LISTEN to it! Those are two of the hardest things a writer has to do, but they are essential to improving your craft. Criticism stings, but it's a forest for the trees sort of thing when you spend so much time with a story. It's difficult to see a story's flaws when you're that close to it. Too often, writers either avoid getting beta readers, or they ask people they know won't really give them constructive criticism (because they don't really want to hear it), or they balk when the do get it. Ask writers who are as good as or better than you for their feedback on your stories. Then follow up with questions based on their feedback. And for heaven's sake, listen to your editors! Editors, like betas, are there to make you look good. Sure, there will be times you disagree with them, but if you're disagreeing all the time with their comments, you may want to look inward and see if you aren't fooling yourself about how your work holds up. I can't tell you how much better my books are because of my betas and my editors. I often add multiple chapters to completed, contracted stories based on editorial advice. Yes, I sometimes flinch when I see all the red lines in my manuscripts, but it's totally worth the pain in the end.
Closing remarks...
Thanks for hosting me today, Allison! I've got a great giveaway going to celebrate the release of "Into the Wind," the second Mermen of Ea Series book. You can link to the Rafflecopter widget here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf0ba93/ There's an amazing grand prize for that giveaway - a handmade unisex Ea (mermen) tailflukes pendant, plus lots of other fun stuff like Dreamspinner Press gift certificates and books. Also, I'm offering up an ebook copy of the first book in the series, "Stealing the Wind," to one reader who comments on this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mermen of Ea: Book Two

Since learning of his merman shifter heritage, Taren has begun building a life with Ian Dunaidh among the mainland Ea. But memories of his past life still haunt him, and as the threat of war with the hostile island merfolk looms ever closer, Taren fears he will lose Ian the same way he lost his beloved centuries before. Together they sail to the Gateway Islands in search of the fabled rune stone—a weapon of great power the Ea believe will protect them—and Odhrán, the pirate rumored to possess it.
After humans attack the Phantom, Taren finds himself washed up on an island, faced with a mysterious boy named Brynn who promises to lead him to Odhrán. But Taren isn’t sure if he can trust Brynn, and Odhrán is rumored to enslave Ea to protect his stronghold. Taren will have to put his life on the line to find his way back to Ian and attempt to recover the stone. Even if he does find it, his troubles are far from over: he and Ian are being stalked by an enemy who wants them dead at all costs.


Brenda Cothern said...

Haven't read any of Shira's work yet so I am looking forward to this. Thanks!

Jen CW said...

I just got a copy of the first book in this series and am looking forward to reading Stealing the Wind as well.

Cornelia said...

Would love to read