Saturday, November 15, 2008
An Interview with Margaret L. Carter and A Contest for Love Unleashed!
Please welcome Margaret L. Carter to my blog today!
Alisha: Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?
Margaret: I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, where my father was also born and lived most of his life. From early childhood to the age of eight, I was the only child in a house full of adults (my father and his family). That experience doubtless shaped me into an avid book lover. When my father remarried, I acquired two sisters close to my own age, and we also have a younger sister. I married young, going to the College of William and Mary with my husband after we’d spent a year in Albuquerque at his first job. After graduation he became an officer in the Navy, of which he made a career. We have four sons and a bunch of grandchildren. My first published book was an anthology of vampire stories I edited, CURSE OF THE UNDEAD (Fawcett, 1970). I have a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Irvine.
Favorite childhood memories? Spending several days during Christmas week each year at my grandmother’s house (not over the river and through the woods—just on the other side of Norfolk).
Alisha: Oooh, I'd love to read your vampire anthology. Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.
Margaret: In "Tall, Dark, and Deadly" (in the Pocket Books anthology MIDNIGHT TREAT) Claude Darvell is a horror actor and also a real vampire. He hides in plain sight by using his screen roles as camouflage. Eloise Kern is a writer of fiction and nonfiction in the same field (a lot like me). She meets Claude when they decide to work together on a movie adaptation of the notorious Victorian novel VARNEY THE VAMPYRE.
Alisha: Great title and I love the premise of this book! If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?
Margaret: Assuming you mean personal wishes, not things like world peace, ending hunger, and universal health care: For our children to be happy and securely settled in life; a long, fulfilling, healthy retirement for my husband and me; success in our writing careers.
Alisha: If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Margaret: Instantaneously, without all the hassle of actually traveling? Probably to England. I loved it when we visited the first time, but there's so much more we didn't get to see.
Alisha: If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?
Margaret: C. S. Lewis, if I could attend one of his lectures.
Alisha: That would be spectacular! If you could choose six people to spend one week on a desert island, who would it be and why?
Margaret: My husband, of course, plus our youngest son and his best friend, so we might finally have time to finish the Dungeons and Dragons campaign we've been playing together for more than a year. Irish folk singer Seamus Kennedy and filk singer Michael Longcor, for entertainment. If it's a truly deserted island, I suppose the sixth person should be a doctor from the Navy clinic where we get our medical care.
Alisha: What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?
Margaret: "Payment on acceptance."
Alisha: That is VERY SEXY! LOL! I have to agree, those three words do it for me too!If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?
Margaret: In this fantasy, everyone else has gone away and taken the dog with them. I'd wake up naturally whenever I felt like it instead of being constrained by having to go somewhere on time or get up to let the dog out. (As you may guess, because I've lived with kids and/or pets my entire adult life, uninterrupted sleep figures heavily in my fantasies of self-indulgence.) I'd read the paper with coffee and some kind of sweet breakfast treat. I'd spend all day reading novels. If the weather was nice enough that I wouldn't mind getting in the car and driving for a few minutes, I'd spend lunchtime in the coffee shop around the corner and order a mocha frappe. I'd have a pasta dinner delivered from an Italian restaurant. In the evening I'd watch favorite DVDs, with ice cream and probably a dessert wine. I would go to sleep between eleven-thirty and midnight (assuming I didn’t have to get up early the next morning).
Alisha: Sigh....you and I have the same alarm clocks....it's those meows and barks for food and then there's my kids too. What a wonderful fantasy. Well, we can dream, can't we? What’s the sexiest thing a man has ever done for you or said to you or both?
Margaret: When my husband returned from one of his several-months absences as a naval officer, we spent the first night in a hotel, and he surprised me with champagne along with a new pair of crystal goblets from which to drink it.
Contest: Leave a comment today and you'll be entered into a drawing for a PDF of Margaret's recent erotic shapeshifter romance, LOVE UNLEASHED (Ellora's Cave), about a modern wizard cursed into the form of a St. Bernard.
Here’s the opening scene from “Tall, Dark, and Deadly” in MIDNIGHT TREAT. It takes place at a science fiction and horror convention:
The air hummed with rapt attention from dozens of human minds, most of them female. "Oh, lady bright! Can it be right—This window open to the night?" Claude paused in his recitation to savor the shallow breaths and rapid heartbeats of his audience, inaudible to human ears but plain to his. He had performed this reading of Poe's "The Sleeper" so often that it required only a fraction of his attention. He knew just what phrases to linger over to coax the most intense emotions from the listeners.
Their fascination perfumed the air like a cloud of incense. He could almost taste it, a delicious appetizer for the more substantial feast he anticipated enjoying later that night. For the black-clad young women he half-affectionately thought of as "vampire groupies," he knew his hypnotic delivery transformed the drab hotel function room into a boudoir "beneath the mystic moon" with an "opiate vapour, dewy, dim". While he didn't believe Poe had written "The Sleeper" with a vampire's nocturnal visit in mind, doubtless the "window open to the night" conjured up just that image for most of the audience, a reaction that suited Claude very well.
His eyes swept over the group while he intoned, "Oh, lady, dear, hast thou no fear? Why and what art thou dreaming here?" Locking glances briefly with each female in the first couple of rows, he savored the way a blush blossomed on each one's face at the fantasy that he addressed the lines to her alone. About midway to the back of the room though, he captured the eyes of one person who watched him with peculiar intensity, a woman of about thirty, with mahogany hair pulled back in a braid. From her he sensed a hunger that answered his own with a more complicated need than the yearning for a fantasy vampire's bite.
Dang it! I want more! I'm jotting this down on my Christmas Wish List! Thanks for being my guest of honor today, Margaret!~Alisha