Author Spotlight: Azure Boone and the MotherFugnWriters

I’ve mentioned my friend and critique partner, Azure Boone, several times here on the blog. I’ve told you she’s an amazing writer, and a wonderful person. Well, today, you get to meet the lady herself! I know you’ll be as crazy about her as I am. Please join me in welcoming Azure Boone, in her guise as the…

MOTHERFUGNWRITER!

Kenra: So, Azure, readers have to know – what the hell *is* a motherfugnwriter?

Azure: Well, it’s a title for the Mother and Wife Writer. The –fugn- part (which I’ve told my husband is German for love and pronounced few-gen, LOL) represents two things to me: that thing we do as “wives”, and the bad-ass women we actually ARE. The original phrase was “Mother Fucking Writer”. But, virgin ears and all….

Kenra: Let’s all hope Azure’s hubby never gets curious enough to look that word up! Or mention it to someone who knows German… Azure, what made you start motherfugnwriters?

Azure: Umm, well, mainly to form a cyber-place where mom/wife writers could relax and meet other women they could relate to. Motherfugnwriters often feel alone, despite having children. We’re behind the scenes doing all the necessary shit nobody else wants to do. I thought it would be nice to have a place where we could let our hair down – maybe even cuss a lot, since we play a saint all day long.

We talk about the things we don’t have anyone else to talk to about. Which is one of the reasons my posts are often of a “wifely/writerly” nature, as well as motherly.

Kenra: Tell us about this Zazzle store you’ve been burning the midnight oil to set up.

Azure: I create products that would make great gifts for writers – T-shirts, mugs, hats and shit with funny writer slogans that highlight the secret and alien life of Writers. So I decided to set them up in an online store.

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Kenra: What inspires your posts? Some of them are a bit… ahem… unique.

Azure: Gosh, my posts seem to be PMS inspired I think. Like a random stream of conscious, wherever my life takes me, that’s what’s getting posted. I usually keep it geared to Writing, which is easy, since it’s what I love doing and studying.

Kenra: What do you do in real life? What’s your day-in-the-life of a MFW?

Azure: Well it’s LOUD, for one thing. I have 8 kids, 9 if I count my grandson.  But don’t panic, 3 of them take care of themselves, so that leaves me with… err 5, sometimes 6. I home school 3, soon to be 4, of the 5 right now. The challenge, which I’ve kinda overcome, was juggling it all.

We all work together. My kids do laundry – yes, washing, drying, and folding – they do dishes, everything except mop the floors and clean the toilets, in fact.

Kenra: What 3 of your posts would you most like to share with readers here?

Azure: I’m partial to the last one I did, Killing The Erotic Muse, and I liked Getting Wet And Ready about getting in the mood… Oh, and I liked Naked Bare Back Muse Riders For Hire. I know, I love these wacky titles.

Kenra: Where else can we find you online?

Azure: Here’s my author blog, Google Plus, Facebook Page, and Twitter.

Kenra: One final thing. Azure’s Paranormal Romance, Devil Wants A China Doll, will soon be available. Her main character, Rone, is possessed by the demon of Lust and Rage. He manages to live life because he has a  psychic shield that prevents the demon from contaminating anyone he has contact with – important because the demon can make a person commit suicide by sex. Then he meets Sheeku, with big problems of her own. Sheeku bypasses Rone’s shields and lives to tell the tale. For a while, anyway.

Azure, will you share a little with us?

Azure: You know I will! This is a make-up scene, after Sheeku thinks Rone cheated on her with another woman.

I kissed her teary cheek softly.

Her hand was suddenly in my hair, sliding on my face.

Oh God, no, please… don’t do that.  Not now, I won’t stop…

            She slowly turned her face to me and no force in Heaven could move me away.  And there she was, staring up at me with glittery blue eyes, offering a chance to redeem myself.  Make it better, please do it.  Make it better.

            The burning stab in my chest combined with the fire in my groin.  I closed my eyes.  Shield was on tight, but what if this was the demon’s doing?

            She slowly sat up and my body matched her every move, magnetized, trapped in her pull.  So much need to fill, and pain to erase.  And she wanted me to do it.  The nice guy with the soul-eating devil.

            I could only watch as she put her hands on my shoulders and climbed into my lap, facing me.  My hands clamped on her waist as heat bolts shot through my groin.  I wrapped her in a hard embrace, wanting to feel her completely, no, prevent her from doing more, prevent me from ripping her clothes off.

I pressed my face to her chest, listening to the frantic life calling for me.  I embraced her closer, wanting her to be real.  Fuck, she was, she was so real.

In one push, the buried man inside me broke free.  I dug hungry fingers into firm muscle at the junction of her jeaned thighs.  Her breath drew in sharp and the sound struck the demon’s cell.  The demon struck back hard, and I strained my mind, solidifying the quiver in his cell while sliding my hands slowly and firmly up, feeling her body beneath the light t-shirt.

I wanted that satiny skin beneath it more than ever.  “Sheeku.” My fingertips pressed on their way back down.  Down, until I filled my hands with her perfect ass.  I squeezed hard and pressed her tight to my stomach.

            “Rone.”

The desire in her voice slammed me with terror.  I waited for her to call my demon’s name next.

She didn’t.

            My hands surged back up her body, the man in me knowing the time was short.  He hurried to take before being locked away, one hand pressing those perfectly shaped breasts into my chest, those bite-me nipples driving me to the point of orgasm. Hunger purred up my throat as I wrapped the base of her hair with trembling fingers.

            I pulled her head back and stared at her slender neck.  Her nails dug into my shoulder blades and desire raced on fiery currents through my veins.  I studied the creamy column.  She was life and I would die if I didn’t taste her.  Just once.

            I opened my mouth and leaned with a groan.  I licked the satin, slow and hard.  Salty… sweet… fucking delicious. “Sheeeeeku,” I breathed into her neck.

            Then it was there, bitter and biting into my gut.  Her fear.

“Stop, please,” she gasped.

Keep checking back here for updates on Azure’s work!

Giving Thanks for Writing

I like to think I’m always thankful for all the blessings in my life, but this time of year, I tend to be more conscious of it. I’m fortunate to have many things to be thankful for – a husband who truly loves me and is supportive of all my harebrained ideas, a daughter I’m close to and is mostly healthy, 3 happy healthy grandsons, a stepfather who makes my mother truly happy, a mother who’s still healthy, a couple of really good friends, and that we all have enough to eat and good shelter.

My health isn’t all that great, but even that I’m kinda grateful for. It could be, and has been, much worse. And it forces me to slow down and appreciate the good things in life. Most people don’t get that in their early 40s, busy with family and career and social stuff. I get to focus on spending all my time on things that make me happy, like my grandsons and husband, and writing.

When I first got sick, it looked like I would never be able to write, or do anything really meaningful again. Over the years, thanks to a fantastic group of doctors, I’ve recovered enough that, with hard work, I can write again. Probably won’t ride horses or do any serious hiking again, but I can write.

Before I got sick, in the midst of a career that I loved, I still wanted to write. That’s all I ever really wanted to do, from very early in childhood. When real life kicked in and I had to help pay the bills, I turned to something with a steady paycheck. While I dabbled around with short stories, in the back of my mind, dozens of novels sat unwritten because I didn’t have the time.

Now, life has forced me to have the time to write, and I’m enjoying it to the fullest. So, that’s why I’m thankful for writing.

Is there something special about your journey as a writer that makes you especially grateful for it?

 

Meet Me Monday Blog Hop

I’m taking part in my very first blog hop! Thanks to Rachel Firasek for starting the Meet Me Monday Blog Hop!  Rachel Firasek’s Meet-Me-Monday Blog Hop Sign Up

I’ll post something about myself, that maybe everyone doesn’t already know, and hopefully, you’ll share something about yourself in comments. Please link to your own blog or site in your comment, so everyone can drop by and say hey.

So, the whole something about me thing now. Hmmm. Okay, here goes.

I grew up on a farm, and tobacco was our main crop, though we also had beef and dairy cattle, and raised corn and hay as well. My mother worked the fields alongside my father, and took me with her. I spent many days in my playpen under a tree while they worked not far away.

At around 3 or 4 years, I started working, too. Then it was my job to “pig-tail”, or follow the tobacco setter to fill in any plant spaces the machine missed. I had a little curved stick, or “peg”, to poke the hole for the plant. The setter took care of the water, so I just had to put the plant in the ground.

As I got older, I graduated to harder, more dangerous work. My parents were over-protective, so I was in my mid-teens before I was allowed to use the crazy-sharp knives to cut the grown plants, or climb up into the barn to hang the cut tobacco.

Other than occasionally helping out while we were home on leave, I haven’t worked the fields since leaving home for college. And I miss it terribly – even the aching-burning-sore muscles, blistering sunburns, cuts-scrapes-bruises, bleeding blistered hands, ass dragging tired, before daylight ’til long after dark, and the danger of lifting 40lbs from below my feet to above my head while I balanced with each foot on two inch poles three feet apart while 30 feet off the ground.

So now you know. I’m not the brightest, or sanest, person – who in their right mind misses that kind of work? I do think maybe all those years of hard physical work that didn’t require a great deal of thought or interaction with others allowed me to develop the imagination necessary to become a writer, though. To me, that makes all that work worthwhile in more ways than the obvious.

How about you? Is there something about you that most people don’t know? Come on, you know there is.

What’s In A Name?

The names of characters in novels has been a topic of discussion among some writers recently, so I decided to give my $0.02 worth, and get yours.

For decades, ever since I started reading romance novels as a kid, the names of heroes and heroines, particularly in romance novels, has been a subject of some derision. Other genres were guilty to a certain extent, but not as pervasively as romance. Historical romances were the worst back then, but the new historicals I’ve read recently have seemed to have more appropriate names for the time period. These days, the odd names are running amuck in paranormal romances.

I’m not beyond guilt myself with the paranormal names. The hero in BLOOD DRAGON is named, Kiellen – not exactly an everyday name for an adult currently, at least to my knowledge, but I know of several children with that name. The heroine’s name is Jaden, which also isn’t exactly common, but not terribly unusual either.

As a vampire, Jaden changes her identity every few years to maintain her secret, and so she chose her name. Kiellen, with an incredibly long lifespan as a weredragon, also changes his identity, but he stubbornly clings to his given name. His father’s name was also Kiellen, and since his father died before he was born, he desperately holds on to that connection with his family.

When odd names are justified – a parent’s obsession, a family name passed down, a name given later in life for a characteristic – I can accept them more easily. I’ve personally known many parents who gave their children names that seemed absolutely insane. Using a word that the parent likes the sound of, regardless of it’s definition, is fairly common. Passing down a name from several generations ago is also fairly common.

I completely revised my opinion about names in historical romances, though, when I began researching my own family history. During the 18th and 19th centuries, I found the following names in my own family: Prudia, Lonia, Honor, Comfort, Obedience, and Zipporah (pronounced Zippry) were all females. Zandle, Carliss, Xeno, and Bater were males. Those are just the ones I can remember  off-hand, so there may have been others. With names like those in my family, I suddenly no longer felt qualified to judge character names too harshly. 🙂

I try not to give my characters terribly unusual names, partly because I want to avoid the stereotype of odd names in romance novels. But I can partly forgive the authors who do use out-of-the-ordinary names. Such names weren’t completely unheard of in the past, and they certainly aren’t uncommon now. If our characters are extra-ordinary, the impulse, maybe instinct, is to give them names as special as they are.

What do you think of the prevalence of unusual names in romance novels? Have you come across any that you particularly loved, or hated? What’s your favorite?

Writer Wednesday: You Write WHAT!?!?!

Okay, so a while back, I mentioned something about new features here. Since then, I’ve done absolutely nothing about it. Until now.

Starting today, on Wednesdays, I’ll post something related to writing. I have several topics in mind, from networking, writing queries, to writing craft and adverbs. If there’s something in particular you’d like to see, leave a comment. Some of these topics will hopefully be of interest to readers as well as fellow writers.

Now, on to Writer Wednesday:

You Write WHAT!?!?!

When I tell people who’ve known me for a while that I write fiction, they’re usually not too surprised. After all, I’ve been writing since elementary school, one way or another. Then comes the ‘What kind of books do you write’ line of questioning. Depending when a person first became acquainted with me, they expect different things: western, horror, YA, fantasy, picture books, and some even seem to expect literary of me. But they almost NEVER expect the real answer.

Their surprise when I say paranormal romance runs the gamut from the fascinated ‘Oh?’ to the outraged ‘WHAT?’ with boggled eyes. The next question almost always seems to be about whether sex scenes are included. Apparently that sort of thing is entirely unexpected of me. Maybe because all through school, my primary interests outside school mainly involved horses, and then I became a preschool teacher. If I add that my most recent work is erotic paranormal romance, I get anything from stunned silence to moral outrage that I’m writing ‘porn’.

If I can get them to listen, I try to explain the differences between erotic romance, erotica, and porn. Sometimes it all falls on deaf ears, but not always. I’m offering my explanation here, in the event any of you need to use it. Not that I’m an expert, or anything, but this is what works for me. Sometimes it even convinces people that I’m not a social pariah to be kept away from civilized people. Oh, and this is pretty much just my opinion, not hard and fast rules, but at least some other erotic romance authors share similar opinions.  Even if you don’t write any sort of erotica or romance, maybe it’ll clear up some misconceptions for you, or someone you know.

First of all, porn is just sex. There are no relationships, or if there is, it isn’t the central focus. There is no story. No emotion. Just one sex scene after another. If there is some sort of story, it is very rudimentary, and only serves to connect the sex scenes. There is little or no character development. The words used are often crude, and the sex acts might not even be physically possible. Let’s face it, readers of porn are not looking for great story or character growth. They’re looking to get off.

Erotica has a lot of sex scenes, too. The language may not be as crude, and the sex scenes might be a bit more physically possible. There may be a relationship, or not. There is a story, with fully developed characters. Maybe the main character is female executive sleeping her way to the top. Maybe she finally realizes that she could have gotten to the top without spreading her legs. There may be some emotion. She could be angry that she chose sleeping her way to the top. In well-written erotica, the story is complex and the sex is woven intricately into it, and the characters are fully developed.

In erotic romance, most of the sex is between the characters involved in the relationship that is central to the story, though there may be scenes involving other characters. Like any romance, the main focus of the story is the relationship and its progression to a Happily Ever After, or Happily For Now, ending. The sex scenes must move the story forward, or show character development. The emotional aspect of the sex is shown, and the scenes may range from violent desperation to achingly sweet. The words used are more often the slang of the time period of the story. An erotic romance has all the elements of any other romance, and it explores the sexual activity between the characters in a more graphic and explicit way than other romances.

My first two paranormal romances had a pretty high heat level, but they didn’t quite cross the line into erotica. As I wrote them, it was a struggle to keep them on the right side of the tracks. Currently, as I contemplate rewriting them, one of the things I plan to change is to allow the characters free rein with their sex lives. If I don’t like the results, there’s always DELETE.

There were a couple of reasons for keeping my earlier books on this side of the erotic line. First and foremost, I live in a very small, very conservative community. I don’t want my family members being looked down upon because of what I write, and that would absolutely be the least of the consequences. I was also uncomfortable with writing sex scenes. But the books and characters kept insisting they needed more heat.

After a long conversation with hubby, I decided to give it a try anyway. I practiced writing sex scenes until I was able to do more than Tab A goes into Slot B scenes. Finally, I concluded I could write erotic romance, and BLOOD DRAGON was born.

What about you? Does your writing ever offend the sensibilities or morals of others? Because you write about sex, or violence, or mythical beings, or something else?

© Copyright Kenra Daniels 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hoping all the mothers out there are having a wonderful day! I spent the morning fingerpainting with my little grandsons. This afternoon, if everything goes as planned, I get to spend the afternoon writing and editing. That could always change, of course, but so far, so good. The perfect day, as far as I’m concerned.

I was thinking this morning of all my mother has done for me during my life. A very significant thing, at least in my view, is that she encouraged me to read and learn, from as early as I can remember. I didn’t go to preschool/headstart or kindergarten. Instead, my mom taught me. I could spell and write simple words around 3 1/2, and by the time I started first grade, I could do quite a lot.

All through school, she and my dad insisted on good grades, simply because I was capable of it. Mom instilled a love of reading in me, even though she didn’t read a great deal herself. Library day was my favorite day of school.

The fact that I’m a writer now goes back to my mom in part, I think. When I was really little, she would give me a pencil and the tablet she used for letter writing, etc., for the farm. I filled line after line, page after page, with my version of cursive writing. She patiently taught me to write each and every letter as I asked for them.

I used to dictate stories for her to write down, then I would illustrate them. Later, she showed me how to fold paper in half and staple it together to make a ‘book’. I wrote my stories myself by then. She always listened patiently as I read them to her.

My school library had a one-book-a-week policy. By the time I was 9, I had read all the “good” books – the rest were “childish” or about sports, neither of which appealed to me. Mom started taking me to the public library then, and opened a whole new world to me. In eighth grade, I checked out on average a dozen books a week, and read every one of them. Our library still has many books with my name on the check out card – nothing was too obscure for me to read.

Mom made sure I had time to read, and it came first, after homework and taking care of my horse. I didn’t have household chores except for keeping my room clean. During summer, I would check out 2-3 dozen books a week. The only exception was during the weeks that tobacco needed “hands on” care, like setting and topping. Then I helped my uncle and earned money for school clothes, at 10c/hr.

My reading material was never censored, never limited. No subject was off limits. (With the exception of pornography, of course, but that wasn’t accessible in our town anyway.) As a result, my tastes in subject matter were broad – horses to world religion to witchcraft to abnormal psychology to… you name it. Today, there are very few things I won’t read – memoirs, sports, and anything related to celebrities.

While I was doing all that reading, I was also writing. My mom still patiently read my stories and listened to the details. Lest you get the wrong idea, my dad was also very supportive of my reading and writing. He bought me the electric typewriter my first novel was written on.

Today, my mom still supports my writing efforts. She doesn’t read them any longer, because what I write now isn’t to her taste. And, to be honest, since I write erotic romance, I really don’t want her to read my work ;-D When I started writing seriously again, she asked what I was writing about. I told her romances between vampires and people who could turn into dragons. She sort of grimaced and said, “Why don’t you write something nice?”

The point of all this is to say, “Thanks, Mom! Without you, I wouldn’t be the person I am now.”