My guest today is Mina Carter, renowned for her beautifully produced book covers [I still get a bit of a lump in my throat when I look at the one she made for On A Lee Shore] and for her many romance series. She is here today to publicise the latest instalment of her Lyric Hounds series, Sex, Wolves and Rock and Roll, which has a strong M/M pairing at the heart of it.
Welcome, Mina, and thank you for answering my questions.
Elin: Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?
Mina: Nope, no ‘day’ job as in going out to work for someone else, but in addition to writing I’m also a cover-artist and a photographer, so at any given time I can be wearing one of three hats 🙂 Other than that I’m a married mother of one with a bad reading habit and far too little respect for correct amounts of sleep 🙂 I’m also addicted to coffee.
Elin: Normally at this point I would be asking about your other creative outlets but since I first got to know you through your fantastic cover art, I’d like to ask some questions about that. In view of the highly imaginative works produced by artists such as Nathie, Ann Cain, Paul Richmond and yourself, do you think the day of the stock photo nude torso on MM romances may be drawing to its close? Where do you start in designing a cover? The characters? The overall tone of the work? Do you accept commissions?
Mina: Hmmm, it’s possible. I’m getting a lot of requests for more than just a torso. While I understand the thinking behind it (so the reader can imagine the perfect hero), it’s a creative challenge to take the information from the cover art form and create a cover that tells a story in itself.
Generally I start by reading through the form and the information provided by the author. I’ll also go and have a look at their website to see any previous covers, and have a look around the stock sites. Different genres have different requirements so then it’s a case of picking the stock that matches both the characters and the genre. Sometimes if I know I need something specific in advance, I’ll organise a photoshoot with the intent of getting that image.
I do occasionally accept commissions, but it very much depends on my writing schedule 🙂
Elin: What are you reading? Can you recommend something that you wished you’d written yourself?
Mina: Currently I’m reading City of Bones, the Mortal Instruments series. I can heartily recommend Zero Dog War by Keith Melton, which I would love to have written. (But he wrote it WAY better than I could have)
Elin: In that crucial inspiration stage of a new story which comes first? Plot, situation or character?
Mina: Any and all of the above. Sometimes it’s a line of a song, an image in a film, or my brain idly playing ‘what if?’. It’s more a case of trying to turn the ideas off before they drive me mad
Elin: Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them? Do you have a crisp mental picture of them or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?
Mina: Some are pretty much fully-fledged, like Sav in the Lyric Hounds series, but he still had a surprise for me in that he used to be a cage fighter. Others are just a thought and a feeling so I need to chip away at their story to reveal their full potential.
Elin: I know that you have written a successful series of books with paranormal theme combined with crime combined with het romance, but that your latest book is M/M. What inspired you to make the change from het sex to same sex?
Mina: Love is love, a heart is a heart. Same emotion whether it’s MF or MM or FF. Sav arrived and told me his story was with Karlan, so I sat down and wrote it as I saw it.
Elin: Do you find there to be a lot of structural differences between a relationship driven story and one where the romance is a sub plot?
Mina: All stories for me follow a certain ebb and flow. I always write romance or stories with a romance somewhere in it, so early on I need to make the choice whether the romance or the action is predominant. Action-heavy stories tend to be longer for me, and more complex in planning to ensure all the players on the board so to speak are in the right places at the right time.
Elin: Put together your ideal team of men/women – drawing from all and any walks of life, fictional or non-fictional – who you would want to come to your rescue if menaced by muggers/alligators/fundamentalists?
Mina: Ohh, this is an interesting one. How many do I get? I think I’d want Andy from Reaper (nothing gets past a woman who is basically Death personified), Darce from Blood Mate because he can talk his way out of anything and perhaps Calcite from Hard as a Rock/Between a Rock and a Hard Place because a Gargoyle would put a serious crimp in any muggers day.
Elin: What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.
Mina: I’m currently working on the next PPA story, which will be Duke’s story. All I’ll say is that this story will open up a whole new area of the PPA world, and potentially launch a new sub-series.
Elin: Could we please have an excerpt of something?
Mina: Oh, go on then. It’s a tiny, unedited snippet of my next release, Reaper and the Cop.
Death is inevitable. For most that means worrying about the how, and more importantly, when. It’s an obsession the marketing industry has latched into like a leech and from one person to the next ranges from the absent worry about leaving loved ones behind through to narcissistic panic at leaving this mortal coil.
For some of us though, death is a job. I would say it’s a nine to five daily grind, but really it’s more of a 24/7/365 deal. Let me introduce myself. I’m Laney Larson, and I’m a Reaper. Yeah, you heard me right. I said Reaper. As in the big, bad dude with the robes and scythe…looks like he could do with a few extra squares in his life? That guy.
Well, not quite.
It’s probably more accurate to say that I’m his great-god knows how many-great grand-daughter. Hard to tell really since no one has seen his Grimness since the middle ages, but each and every Reaper carries a piece of him, their Grimm, inside us. It’s what gives us our abilities and lets us see things that others can’t. Without a Grimm, a Reaper is just a standard human with an interesting family tree. Nothing more, nothing less. With a Grimm? Yeah, even I don’t know everything we’re capable of. I don’t want to think what we’re capable of. Not with how many of us there are.
It’s a bit like the Santa deal, but instead of presents, there are lots of souls to be reaped on a daily basis all over the world. I have no clue how the big dude in red manages it (yeah, he’s real too. And the Easter Bunny? Don’t get me started on that asshole) but us Reapers spread the load.
Mina’s latest release is available NOW from all the usual ebook outlets.
Sex, Wolves and Rock ‘n Roll
He’d loved Karlan forever. Now he must face forever without him…
Karlan Rixx is the epitome of the playboy rocker. Sexy and gorgeous, with that feral edge that marked a werewolf, Sav’s been in love with him for years. The trouble is, Karlan’s Mr. New girl every night, as straight as they come, and Sav doesn’t stand a chance. Unable to bear it anymore, he makes plans to leave the band, even though it will break his heart in the process. But anything’s better than seeing the man he loves and not being able to touch. Ever.
K loves being a Lyric Hound. The only time he truly feels alive is on stage, a guitar in his hand and the beat of Sav’s drums flowing through his veins. Despite his image as a womaniser, it’s the other wolf who makes his heart pound and his body ache. Before K can admit his feelings though, Sav leaves and rips his world apart.
Enter Madam Eve and a very special 1NS date. Can she succeed where so many investigators have failed and find K’s lost wolf?
You can follow Mina at her:
Website – http://mina-carter.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/minacarterauthor
GR – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2920063.Mina_Carter
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/minacarter77
Twitter – http://twitter.com/minacarter
Amazon author page – http://www.amazon.com/Mina-Carter/e/B002BOH5R4/