Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
I was born a writer and have done it since I learned to make letters. My parents say that I began telling stories long before I could write, and as a child I wrote all kinds of little tales for friends and cousins. I was in the 8th grade when I wrote my first "real" story. It was a historical western about a woman from the east who travels to the wild, Wild West to teach school in a small town and falls in love with the sheriff. I wish I still had it because I'd love to see how my 13 year old brain worked out the romance!
Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer?
I think it's been some of the classic authors like Theroux, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and many others. Modern authors like James Patterson, Stephen King, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Karen Marie Moning are great influences. As far as people I know, Jill Noble, (Noble Romance Publishing), has been one of the biggest influences I've had. She has literally taught me the business of writing. I also have a great group of author friends who are not only great authors in their own right, but also the ones I can go to with questions and get honest answers--sometimes too honest, but that's what I love about them!
Your work is very popular with readers and reviewers; how does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?
Is it? lol That's flattering. I just hope I can provide a few hours of enjoyment for people, take them away from real life for a while and drop them into a fantasy that will leave them feeling a little better than they did when they began.
What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
That depends on genre of course, but basically, the story line has to be intriguing, moving, and one the reader can relate to. Also, it never hurts to have a hunky-dunky hero and a fiesty, beautiful heroine!
Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
My characters tend to write themselves. The voices in my head begin and the characters come to life, as real as any actual person I know and that makes it very easy to write them. A fave character? That's like asking me which of my children is my favorite. I don't really have favorites, but if I had to pick one, it would be Lucian in Deadly Dreams. He was also the most challenging. Lucian is gorgeous, but he's also the bad guy. I wanted to make the readers understand him, but also hate him. And I think I succeeded because I've been told he gives everyone nightmares!
Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on; what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Oh my. Ancient Blood, as you know this is a werewolf story and the sequel to Blood Line, which comes out May 31, 2010 from Noble Romance Publishing. On June 15, 2010 I have a short story called Winter's Night coming from Untreed Reads, and I'm excited about this because this is my first non-romance story. On July 26, 2010 the second book in the My Soul To Keep Trilogy, Caleb, is coming from Noble Romance Publishing, followed in August with the third book, Arion, and on September 10, 2010 Closure is coming from Champagne Books. In the meantime, I am contributing to The Wine Diaries by William Maltese. My husband, Nathan and I will be touring local Oklahoma wineries, sampling and writing about the wines made here. Most people aren't aware Oklahoma produces wine, but they are my favorite wines and I've wanted to write a book about them for some time, so when this opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it!
I also write two monthly columns for The Pagan & The Pen. The first is called The Eggshell Effect and is about domestic violence. The other is called What Women Want/What Men Need and deals with the many nuances of the battle of the sexes.
Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?
Everyone is always welcome to drop by my website and leave a comment or question on the guestbook. http://www.riemcgaha.com If anyone would like to email me, (I always answer my email), email@example.com
What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?
There's quite a few actually. My all time fave has to be It's A Wonderful Life, the b&w version of course. There's an old western called China 9, Liberty 37 that I can watch over and over, but I think it's out of circulation or the title changed, I haven't been able to find it anywhere, or at least not the original version. I found the G version and it's just not the same. But I can watch the romantic comedies over and over and never tire of them!
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you?
My husband. My laptop. Rum. Rum. Rum.
What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?
Refer to last three items on previous question! LOL
What is the one era you would love to go visit and why?
I am a huge American history buff and I would love to see this country before the white man arrived. I would also love to visit ancient Egypt, Scotland, and Ireland.
Abraham Lincoln. I have always loved American history and Mr. Lincoln is a man who made a real difference in this country and I'd love to pick his brain! I'd also love to chat with the founding Fathers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Hadrian, Mary Queen of Scots, and my list goes on.
What is one historical figure you would love to chat with and why?
Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?
Yes, I have a favorite and it's currently in the hands of a publisher as I wait to see if it's going to be picked up. It's called Cross The Line, and it's set right after the Civil War.
What is coming from you in 2010? Anything you want to do a shout out about?
Right now I'm concentrating on Ancient Blood since it's next up for release. I have a contest going on and everyone who enters wins a copy of Blood Line, and I'm also giving away an Ancient Blood T-shirt and a poster signed by me! This contest is very easy to enter, and readers can go to my website and click on the Ancient Blood tab, or the direct link is www.riemcgaha.com/ancientblood.htmEXCERPT: (http://www.nobleromance.com/BrowseListing.aspx?author=8)
Ancient Blood by Rie McGaha
Ireland was her destination, where she would visit her beloved Colin's final resting place—the last place she'd been before making the choice to remain in human form. Now that she'd decided to live again, she would begin here, as well.
Ganda traveled by ship. She wasn't up to giving flying a try. Not just yet.
As the Irish coast came into view, her hands shook. She took a deep breath as she took in the stunning sight. The rocky shores, the lush, green valleys shrouded in mist—shimmers of rainbows formed by etches of sunlight gave the land an otherworldly, magical quality.
Although, all those thousands of years ago, the land hadn’t been called Ireland and hadn’t been populated either. She and Colin had loved the place for that very reason. The island had been their paradise where they were alone and in love. As Ganda disembarked from the ship and stepped onto the dock, a pang of loss filled her. Though the island had changed, there was a familiarity to this place that felt welcoming.
Thoughts of Jessie filled Ganda’s mind. What would she have done without her dear friends who had helped with the travel arrangements? The ticket for the ship, the hotel, all the reservations made from Jessie's laptop computer, everything had been set up for Ganda before she left the states. She checked into her hotel, staying only long enough to shower and change. When she’d finished dressing, she returned to the lobby, where the doorman hailed a cab for her. She handed the driver the address and settled into the seat, gazing out at the passing landscape as they sped toward the country.
The cabbie pulled into the cemetery drive and stopped. Ganda asked him to wait. Hesitantly, she emerged from the cab and walked across the grass, a gentle breeze caressing her face. Her hands shook violently; she slowed her pace. Inhaling deeply, she held her breath for a moment, then exhaled slowly as she stood before the gravestone and read the inscription. Her husband's name, Colin . . . next, the eulogy, Beloved husband of Ganda . . . the date of his death but not his birth was carved into the stone. So old, she thought, and weathered by centuries of rain and wind. Kneeling, she placed her hand on the stone, tears rolling down her face.
"Oh, Colin, I've missed you so very much. So many years have passed, but I feel as if you left me only yesterday. I tried to join you my love, but . . . ." She sighed. "I guess I didn't have the strength. I hope you know how much I love you. Then and now."She rose, kissed her fingertips, then pressed them to the stone. "Till we meet again, my love." She turned away and returned to the waiting cab.