General Questions About Writing
Q: How do you choose what to write about?
News articles. Nonfiction books. Magazine articles. I read a lot of everything. Something I see or read will start the “what if this happened” string and then I’ll think about what kind of heroine and hero would fit into that particular plot line.
And my stories always have suspense and danger, so I take what I read or see and “up” the danger quotient by a huge factor. I can not write about small town life and every day romance. It’s not what I read. I like murder, mayhem, and extreme danger as the external conflict in my novels, because it places my hero and heroine into a combustible situation and they need to learn to trust one another very quickly in order to survive.
Q: How did your writing style evolve?
I started by writing legal and medical-legal mystery/suspense. Vested Interests, Death Benefits, and Blind-Sided, all had aspects of “write what you know.” I’m an attorney with a science background and my husband is a pathologist. Then I took some writing classes and the instructor urged me to leave my “safe place.” In other words, she urged me to write what I didn’t know. I plotted Fatal Vision, a romantic suspense with paranormal elements (the heroine was psychic), and then wrote Green Fire, another romantic suspense (the heroine was a lithomancer, one who controlled stone energy). Both books were well received (back in the early days of e-publishing), and Green Fire was even a 2003 Dream Realm finalist in paranormal romance at ArmadilloCon.
Now, I write what I like to read: books with strong alpha-males, heroines who stand up to them, and lots of action and danger.
Q: Do you do a lot of research for your books?
Yes. Tons. Each book has its own little set of research notes whether it is about magic, paranormal topics, guns, branches of the military, maps of the area in which the books are set, or whatever. I try to be as accurate as possible about real life objects, but have been known to use artistic license when needed to fit my plot.
Q: Do you accept ideas?
Sorry, no. I have so many of my own ideas that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get them all written.
Q: What’s next?
Two projects for 2017. A paranormal novella entitled What a Witch Wants due out in June (more on this later) and the next Prime Chronicles novel (#4), Prime Target for late 2017. (updated 2/3/2017)
Security Specialists International Series
Q: How did the SSI series come about?
Keely was the seed for this series. I wanted to write about a really smart—precociously smart—heroine who wasn’t strong physically, but could still hold her own. She would have to have older brothers and, of course, she wanted to tag along and be with them, be included in their games and with their friends. The spark for Keely’s multiple degrees at such a young age was a nine-year-old boy from my town who was teaching physics and math at the local IU-PU campus and had disproved one of Stephen Hawkings’ theories. So, yes, a twenty-one-year-old Keely can have more than one doctorate. As for her fighting skills, she was a tom boy and had to keep up with her brothers.
Q: How did the Walsh family come about?
My precocious Keely needed a protective loving family that still allowed her to be herself. Thus, the Walshes—five older brothers, a Marine colonel for a father, and a petite, feisty mother who ruled them all—came into being.
Q: Do you plan to have books for all the Walsh brothers?
Yes. But none of them other than Tweeter has told me what he wants in a woman yet. Tweeter was insistent he get his gal first since he’d put a career in the military aside to ride herd on Keely through her early college years at MIT. He was glad to do it, but still – he kind of wanted to follow Loren and Paul into the SEALs.
Q: What is the series reading order?
Eye of the Storm
Stormy Weather Baby (novella)*
Cold Day in Hell
Storm Front (long novella)*
Weather the Storm
Hot as Hell (long novella)
An Ill Wind (work in progress)
*These two novellas are in print as Storm Stories.
Prime Chronicles Series
Q: How did the Prime Chronicles come about?
The Prime books were originally supposed to be one set of three books, and that was it. I’d seen the story in my head about a kick-ass starship captain who had psi powers she didn’t even realize she tapped into. Once I had her in my head, then the rest just evolved. Once my brain starts adding things, I am not really sure where they come from – they just do. I did know that I wanted to feature a dying race of people (a common fictional trope in both paranormal romance and science fiction and fantasy) and that my heroine in the first book would bring them hope.
Q: Do you plan to write more books in the Prime world?
Yes. After Prime Selection and while I was writing Prime Imperative, fans started asking me what would come next. Some begged me to write more in this world.
So, I had to make a decision. I decided to leave some minor plot threads hanging in Prime Imperative so I could plot more books, maybe even another trilogy.
Q: Do you plan on more shorter works on secondary characters like Prime Claiming?
Maybe. I’d like to, but sometimes it is just about finding the time.
By the way, Prime Claiming was sort of a fluke. I’d just finished Prime Imperative and lots of people were begging for something else from this world. So, I wrote a short story – or, in reality, a long scene – about two quirky secondary characters and how they come together romantically and find that they are mates. The scene occurs during the action of Prime Imperative, but off-stage and is alluded to since the characters are clearly mated in the latter part of the third novel.
Q: Which characters would be next if you wrote another Prime book?
Damon and Susa from Prime Imperative had hinted they are a couple, but they aren’t talking much about how they get to that point. Susa’s cousin Borac is their connection since Borac is Damon’s business partner on Jump Station Charybdis. At the end of Prime Imperative, Susa has gone to help Borac’s wife out while she has another child and it is hinted that Susa is having “issues” with Damon. That’ll be my jumping off point. Susa traveling to the jump station (there might be “trouble” on the way) and when she and Damon meet, there’ll be friction because he is an over-protective alpha-male and she has just become emancipated from the role Prime society had boxed her in for too many years. Sparks will fly.
Gooden & Knight Paranormal Mysteries
Q: Do you plan any more books in this series?
Not at this time. I had a third one planned, featuring a skinwalker, but I just don’t have the time with all the books I have in my head for SSI and Prime. Who knows? Maybe the characters (Sam and Gabi from The Deadly Seance) will take over my head and demand a book.
Rae Morgan Books
Q: Do you plan on writing anymore books as Rae Morgan?
No. At the time I created the Rae Morgan pen name, I was writing as Monette Michaels for a Canadian publisher that did not publish erotic romance and I had a U.S. publisher, Atlantic Bridge Publishing, that wanted me to write a launch book for its new erotic romance line Liquid Silver Books. This was back in 2001. So, I created Rae Morgan and wrote Destiny’s Magick, which sold well. 🙂 When LTDBooks closed its doors at the end of 2005, I was basically writing romance with open-door and explicit sex under my Monette name as well, so I just decided to write all future books as Monette Michaels. Monette is my real first name.
Q: What is your favorite book you’ve written as Rae Morgan?
Enchantress, followed by Evanescence. They are both stand-alone novellas. Not sure why they are my favorite Rae Morgan books, they just are. One is a contemporary erotic romance and the other is a paranormal romance.