We welcome today, Cree Walker, author of M/F paranormal romance novels! Cree will be answering questions and holding a book giveaway–see details below!
Hello, Cree! Welcome to my blog and thank you for answering my
nosy discerning questions! First, please tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of stories you like to write. Would you say there is an underlying theme behind your stories?
When I first started writing it was just paranormal romance but then I started seeing a theme in peoples responses to my writing, some found it dark. So, I began integrating a lot of light-hearted humor into my writing and I’m really loving it that way.
Do you believe in love?
With all my heart yes.
What gave you the courage to submit your first story to a publisher?
My boyfriend asked me why not and I didn’t have an answer. That wasn’t good enough for me so I started sending it out and when people didn’t write back that I sucked…I kept with it.
The Zombie Apocalypse has begun. You have a van with enough gas to get you to a defensible location. In addition to your immediate family, you can take three of your own characters with you. Who would you chose and why?
Oh no, only three? Okay, Jack and Sugar because they are both tough as nails and would probably keep everyone alive and Maple because she would keep things fun while trapped in a fortress that’s being surrounded by the walking dead.
“Writers should write what they know.” What does this statement mean to you as an author?
It means to me, that once you start stretching things too far into the unknown it really starts to show in your writing. People want to believe us when we tell a story, so if they start to write things that we ourselves can’t even explain…we aren’t the story tellers anymore, we are spectators. We are no longer the creator.
Are you a panster or a plotter? Do you outline extensively or write your story as you go along?
I do not outline my stores ahead of time. This has resulted in many wasted hours and pages of discarded material, but it’s also resulted in some of the best mistakes I’ve ever written.
What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
A week in a cabin, in the woods, by myself with my little dog, a working computer without internet access and enough coffee to fuel a 747 for take off.
Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created? Why does this character resonate with you?
Maple would have to be my favorite because she’s a lot like me. I try to put a little of myself in each of my characters to give them some realistic appeal. Maple did end up taking on a life of her own but she’s someone I wouldn’t mind spending the day with.
Of the stories you’ve written, which one do you like the most? Which one would you recommend a new reader begin with?
Definitely Maple Lane Manor, Home for Retired Supernaturals. It’s light-hearted, interesting and full of love. This is by far my favorite of all my writings.
What are the three most important things in your life—the things you can’t do without?
My boyfriend, my dog and my laptop.
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a published author?
Never give up. Your first book probably won’t be the one to win over the readers but those who give up after one are simply making it impossible for readers to even find them amongst the sheer mass of publications.
Most authors admit to feeling uncomfortable with the degree of self-promotion necessary to be successful. Are there some aspects of social media and self-promotion that make you more comfortable than others? Are there some you avoid like the plague?
As long as people don’t know who I am I’m cool with it. But as soon as a local news paper wants to do a write-up, I get super uncomfortable. I am a very private person and I cherish that but I admit that one day I might have to break out of my shell.
How often does your real life experience figure into your story telling? Do you base characters or stories on your actual experiences?
Sometimes but not very often. I like to take bits and pieces of people I may know and add them into stories but I try to steer clear of making things too similar.
If you could have lunch with anyone in the world (real life, celebrity, fictional, etc.) who would you choose to dine with and why?
Janet Evanovich…she’s awesome.
Any advice for the 20 year old you?
It hasn’t been all that long, but I would tell myself that life only gets better as you go and don’t go snow shoeing at night on January 18th 2007.
If you could pick one of your stories to become real, one world which you could be part of, which would you choose and why?
Maple Lane Manor, Home for Retired Supernaturals! I know I’m sounding like I’m promoting this one book but it’s the honest truth. I would love to spend a day with all of the characters and their wonky habits.
Brains are nice, but what’s your favorite physical characteristic on a man or woman? What do you check out first? What makes you decide if someone’s good looking or not?
Height, I’m 5’2” and I’ve never dated a man under 6 feet tall. As far as physical attributes I really love strength in a man. I want to feel safe in their arms. I just happened to find a 6 foot man with soft chocolate eyes and dimples. It worked out.
What’s your go-to method of providing comfort after a bad day (week, month, year)? Is it a favorite book, movie, television show? What gets you through the rough times?
Hiking. I have a really stressful job that can sometimes be pretty scary so when I’m not at work and I need a place to escape, I leash the dog and walk until my feet hurt.
How much do you think that a good blurb and good cover art figure into the success of a story?
I think it means everything. I am an author and I honestly chose a book by it’s cover, then the blurb, unless I like the author, then I just read everything they’ve ever written, no matter what it is. What’s tough in the business is that sometimes we have no say in our own cover art. We just have to hope the book speaks for itself.
Have you ever been intimidated by reviews?
Hell yes, I’m human and I think anyone who tells you otherwise it lying through their teeth.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, do you find what you listen to influences the story at all?
Sometimes, but not lately. I find it distracting lately.
Do you miss your characters when you come to the end of their story? Do you find ways to write sequels for them or do you become entranced with a new set?
I really miss Maple and though I do not intend on writing a sequel, I do intend on writing books with similar characters.
What are your writing goals for 2013? Your personal goals?
1. Finish My Ex Boyfriend is a Werewolf and send it out.
2. Write the third book to the Sugar and Spice series
3. Write the sequel to the Reaper series
4. Work on my other books and choose one to write to completion.
1. Make enough money off my books to quit my job and buy the house that inspired Maple Lane Manor, Home for Retired Supernaturals. 🙂
Cree Walker lives in Northern Maine with her very patient debate partner and their furry love child, mini rat terrier, Titan. When Cree isn’t plugging away at her computer she can most likely be found at the hospital where she works as an advanced psychiatric technician for both children and adults.
To date, Cree has four novel length publications with Naughty Nights Press. Paranormal werewolf romance, Whisper on a Scream, and it’s sequel, Urban Fantasy-nominated book for 2012, Willing Sacrifice. She also has paranormal romantic comedy, A Winter’s Grave, book one to the Reaper series, and her most recent publication, Maple Lane Manor, Home for Retired Supernaturals. So far, Maple Lane Manor has been a finalist in the 2013 UpAuthors Fiction Challenge and all have received the coveted 5 star review rating from the Paranormal Romance Guild.
Maple has spent the last decade, switching from one college major to another. She’s so scared to make a mistake in life, that she’s having a little trouble getting it started. Never quite knowing her purpose, the decision is suddenly made for her when her vampire, grandmother mysteriously passes away and leaves Maple Lane Manor, and it’s four elderly supernatural residents in her care.
Upon arriving home for the first time in ten years, Maple is stunned to see that the Manor isn’t the pristine, stoic, hill-top wonder, it once was. She soon finds out that the condition of the house isn’t the worst of her problems. Money issues caused by a decade of Maple’s lengthy, “college experience” have put them deep in debt and now it’s up to Maple to save her namesake and the only family she’s ever known, from being taken away.
To help her Derek Holt, the dashing and mysterious handyman, a drunk witch, a grumpy werewolf, a semi-lucid wizard, a former starlet/part vampire and a little parrot named, Batman, will do everything in their power to support Maple in her impossible battle to save the Manor from debt, decay and her high school arch nemesis, over zealous real-estate agent, Stacy Monrow.
Will Maple be able to save her home and her family or is the Manor doomed to die alongside its longtime caretaker, Nancy Lane?
Derek had gone straight to his room, so I didn’t expect to see him again, but he was standing in his doorway as I tried sneaking passed.
“Is everyone tucked in?”
I clutched my chest with one hand and covered a scream with the other.
He gave me one of his crooked grins and gently pulled me into his room, closing the door quietly behind me. “You didn’t think I was going to let you off that easy, did you?”
“I was hoping.”
He cocked his head. “Were you, now?”
Sort of. I nodded emphatically.
He shook his head slowly as he closed the distance between us. “I’d have to be a dead man to allow you to get out of that dress without at least offering my assistance.” He leaned down and kissed me lightly.
“You’re gonna be a dead man if Walter finds out,” I said.
He grinned and slid a hand up my bare back beneath the silver chains. “I’m just helping you out.”
Of the dress, or other things?
“I have to go take a shower,” I said breathlessly.
“It’s the dry season, and your shower today must have taken close to an hour.” He leaned in again, and I felt him grin against my throat before he kissed me just above my collarbone.
He was an incubus. Of course he’d know about my special alone time in the shower. And as of late, that time was becoming embarrassingly frequent.
“I’m afraid if I don’t help you out tonight, we’ll run out of water by tomorrow.”
“Just to be clear, you’re not talking about the dress anymore, are you?”
“That’s part of it, yeah.”
“Are you sure? Maybe you just need a cookie or something.”
In response he put his forehead against mine and gripped my ass, pressing me against the door with his body. “I don’t think that’s going to cover it anymore.” His voice came out all husky and wanting, the way I’d always imagined it.
“I don’t think a shower’s going to do me much good, either.”
He chuckled. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
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