This flashback is from March 2011.  Maggie Berkley has completed the series she was in the middle of when she answered my interview questions.  If you like dark romance, give her stories a try.  After all, books don’t age until after we’ve read them.    

Maggie BerkleyMaggie Berkley Gets Weird http://wp.me/p4hGmz-xk is my special guest this week.  She agreed to answer a few questions.

What genre do you write and why?

I write what I like to call Dark Romance. It’s a combination of romance and urban fantasy with action and intrigue. Depending on the main character the story could be grim and dark or mischievous and sexy. My favorite genre is fantasy but I seem to always fall back into having characters develop a love life of some sort.

It all sounds very tall, dark and sexy to me.  Tell us a little more about the fantasy aspect?

There is always a fantasy element in my writing, whether it be with the paranormal or the fae realm. I also like to combine horror with a touch of romance too, as silly as that sounds. Who says a bad guy can’t fall in love too? Ending might not always be perfect but you can have a lot of fun while experiencing it. I once created a story about a Death Knight who fell in love with a young woman who stumbled across his castle. The story was a bit dark and twisted (he’s evil after all) but I was tickled pink writing about his unease then gradual acceptance of his feelings toward her. The book was more of a chaste love story.  Whether the scene is set in another world or in a modern city there will always be a person or creature that is something more than human.

I also enjoy putting in some form of conflict. Could be the main character is a thief with some serious relationship issues or a Sidhe assassin learning to understand the dynamics of friendship and love or even a teenage girl falling for her ghostly bodyguard and comes to realize they can’t really ever be together. Conflict doesn’t always have to be boy meets girl, boy (or girl) does something stupid, one takes off as the other tries to make amends. I think I enjoy personal conflict better.

Conflict is good.  Yours sounds edgy.  I like that.  So what would you like readers to take away from your stories?

The thought, “Wow, I really enjoyed that. Can’t wait for her next book.” I know when I write certain scenes either I get really mad (at a stupid action one does), get weepy (especially during a specific scene in the third book in my trilogy, between the main character and a certain young Were) or get gleeful (while writing fighting scenes. Kinda picture myself in my heroine’s position…lol). I hope my readers get pulled into my stories and characters the way I do.

I’m big on fight scenes too.  They’re my favorite to write.  I get particularly inspired when I watch action movies.  What inspires your stories?

Okay, here’s the story. I’m about to reveal a secret so don’t laugh. I’m a closet nerd. I used to play Dungeons & Dragons and a lot of my novels characters come from the characters I used to play in the game. Those people who used to play (or still do) might notice certain terms that only gamers know (one of my editors caught a reference to ‘ebon’ and asked me if I played. She’s a nerd too! LOL).

There’s nothing like having an editor on the same page!  So will it be gaming or writing cons for you this year?

There will be a publishing conference this April in Vancouver, WA. Spring Intensive 2011 April 22-24. Hope to see you there!

If I were to go to Vancouver, I’m sure my time would be spent stalking Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.  I can’t imagine having time to hit a publishing conference too.  What about local appearances?

Wish I did but no. I’ll be at home moping and watching season 5 of ’24’ with my hubby.

If you didn’t write, what would you do instead?

I’d be Jack Bauer from ’24’. How cool would that be? To run around saving the USA from bad guys and the idiots surrounding you.

You mean you aren’t a superhero?

I’m a stay at home mom (harder than anyone thinks) and wife. I used to do child care (stopped because of parents), cleaned houses, drive thru bank teller and movie theatre manager. Various jobs where you need tons of patience and the ability to bite your tongue. I enjoyed each one though, they had their own separate appeal.

Yes, I have a 3-year-old at home who has had a runny nose for the past week and a half, screaming “Mama, I got a booger!”  I don’t think they put that in the stay-at-home mom propaganda sheets.

So let’s ask the big question now.  Are you one of those die hard writers that clocks in every morning at a certain time?

No real schedule. I write when I can and when I’m on a roll I’m dead to the world. No one can get my attention (husband has tried) and if I’m forced away from my computer and into public I’m filled with nervous energy, tapping my fingers and looking like a deer in headlights. (usually by that time my husband feels sorry for me and lets me go back home to write).

Where do you do your best writing?

The living room couch. Because the couch cushion already has my butt imprint, the TV is available for background noise and the kitchen is not far away. Perfect!

Right now I’m having a hard time finding time to write because we got a new puppy. He’s half Rottweiler/ half Rhodesian Ridgeback and a major handful! Argh!

I have a Shepherd/Ridgeback mix so I know exactly what you’re talking about!  I pity any cats that make it into your yard.  If you’ve never seen a dog run at the speed of sound, you’re in for a real treat!  You obviously have a soft side, puppies and all.  Do you have any other passions?

Passions…hmm, my hubby? I used to draw and was actually pretty good at it, created jewelry and soaps but pretty much writing is it. I even dream writing (nothing worse than realizing your editing your own dreams…cut and paste this, delete that).

Well, at least you aren’t editing your husband!  So what do you do for kicks?

My best memory was scuba diving with my hubby in Maui. I had never done that before and actually wasn’t looking forward to it but being underwater and seeing all those creatures…WOW! Green sea turtles, white tip sharks, frog fish, and a barracuda…whoa. The undersea life is so colorful and beautiful!

And after a long day of turtle watching?

Chicken marsala. I make a mean one my family raves about!

How do you like to relax?

Sleep…lol. Okay, for real, being alone with no distractions, reading my favorite books. It’s so rare to be able to have no responsibilities. Everything and everyone screams for my attention.

Guilty pleasures?

Spartacus! I am sooo addicted to it. Andy Whitfield is hot, hot, hot! I also love Deadwood and any crime show.

From the way my friends rave about that one, I have to say Spartacus is a droolfest.  But hey, who doesn’t like men showing a lot of leg and thrashing around in armor with really long swords?

But I digress.  Let’s change the subject.  Pick your favorite decade?

The 80’s. Hey, it was my high school years. I was young, wild and had no responsibilities. The clothes were, well, weird and the hair styles weirder but the music…totally awesome! Duran Duran, ABC, Flock of Seagulls, Kagagoogoo…you name it.

You’re here so I’m assuming you don’t have a world class publicist to get you on Oprah.  (Although I’d personally prefer to be on Ellen, but what can I say?)  We all have to get pretty creative in this economy.  How do you get the word out about your work?

I would have to say blogging. You get to show a bit of your personality with the blog/story and promote your book at the same time. What’s not to like?

OK, now we’ve come to the crazy-ass question section of our interview.

What is your favorite fairy tale?

Snow White but as done in the movie, ‘Snow White, a Tale of Terror’ with Sigourney Weaver, Sam Neill and Monica Keena. I loved the way they interpreted the story. Once again, a touch of horror with a love story thrown in.

Right.  What’s love without a little blood and gore?  I’m tracking!

If you could have one wish, what would it be?

To be an acclaimed author on the top ten New York Post list making enough money to support my family.

If you could describe yourself in only one word, what would it be?

Weird.

What is the one thing you most want to do that you haven’t yet?

Learn to properly shoot a gun. I’m a pretty good shot with a rifle but I can’t hit a house with a pistol. If I’m going to be Jack Bauer I need to know how to shoot.

I’m all about the firepower.  I can hook you up with some cheap lessons.  Speaking of firepower…

When the zombies take over, what will you do?

Stick around my hubby & son. My son had us take an online zombie test and we found out we’d be a kick ass zombie hunter family.

Excellent.  The family that hunts together, well, can wash the blood off their faces together.  Good bonding.

Vampire or werewolf?

Werewolf. I hate the cold and snuggling up to an ice cube is just not that appealing. Besides, Werewoves…so sexy and protective. And they mate for life!

True, but God help you if you pick the one who is always licking his balls.

Let’s get to some shameless self-promotion now.  Tell us about your most recent release and where we can purchase it.

My most recent book is Behind the Throne: Book Two of the Morgan Crowe trilogy available at Red Rose Publishing, Fictionwise and Amazon Kindle.

The book is the continuation of the story about Morgan Crowe, a Sidhe assassin who had been banished from the Dark Court because of her uncontrollable temper and lack of empathy. Sent to live among the humans she created a life among them, patiently waiting for the day her beloved King calls her back. Unfortunately he murdered and now there are assassins after Morgan, sent by the Queen who hates her.

The beginning of Behind the Throne starts with Morgan heavily pregnant and seeking help from the half-breed daughter of the King of the Light Court. While there new friends come to her aid, old enemies surface and an ally with his own agenda appears.

In the series Morgan grows and evolves, becoming more aware of her own responsibilities and actions and learns to open up and accept friendship and love. The book is also one of intrigue and revenge. So far I’ve gotten nothing but great reviews for both my books. I’m currently finishing up book three. I want the ending perfect and exciting!

If you buy one of my books, read it and tell me what you think. I’d love to hear your opinions! My email is maggieberkley@yahoo.com so drop a line.

 

Visit Maggie’s website and enjoy a free read here.