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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Author Interview & Contest with M.R. Sellars

This week my guest is author M.R. Sellars. A friend suggested I read his Rowan Gant series and I absolutely loved the first book and have been on the search for the rest ever since.

Next up for me is 'All Acts of Pleasure' which is the 7th book in the series. However I am sure some of you out there haven't even heard of the books at all. So I hope that this interview will get you all adding this amazing series to your wishlist. If you already know and love this series then I know you will enjoy this lovely in-depth interview.

Oh and keep on to till the bottom and enter the contest! You could win some Rowan Gant books! Plus if you have a question for the author please ask it in your contest entry. Murv has said he will pop by and answer as many as he can!

My Rowan Gant reviews


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Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! You have written nine books in the Rowan Gant series so far. Maybe you can start things off by telling my readers a bit about Mr. Gant?

Murv – Thank you so much for inviting me! :)

Let’s see… I think the best way to describe Rowan is that he’s a real piece of work. (LOL)

But seriously, in a minor sense of the phrase, I think he could be considered a bit of an anti-hero. Really not so much like what you would think of with a traditional anti-hero who has conflicting motivations, but more along the line of the “reluctant” protagonist archetype. He’s a guy who has been thrust into a situation he’d rather not be in, but who deals with it as best he can and is passionate about seeing it through to a conclusion. Pretty much like John McClane (Bruce Willis) in the Die Hard movies. To steal a quote from the 4th flick in that franchise, “it’s what makes him that guy.”

To give folks a bit of background, in everyday life Rowan is a freelance computer consultant who just happens to also be a practicing Witch. He follows the basic tenants of Wicca, a fairly young religion, but one that has ties to traditional Witchcraft, and “Paganism”. Because of this, the stories actually deal with some of the trials, tribulations, and concepts associated with Paganism and the modern day practice of Witchcraft and “magick”. Rather than limit him to a particular “tradition,” however, I made his religious path a generic amalgam of the different paths and belief systems found within the various offshoots of Wicca, which makes him fairly eclectic in his faith. So, what it all comes down to is that he is a fairly average guy who practices a not quite mainstream religion, that even he is pressed to question at times, which allows for a pretty intense internal struggle on his part.

However, looking beyond his “averageness” he does have a couple of quirks, one of which is that he has a deep interest in all forms of spirituality and therefore is somewhat of an armchair scholar on several religions besides his own. He never claims to know it all and he’s always interested in learning more, but by the same token he is willing to share what he has learned thus far if asked, or if the situation warrants.

But, the quirk that gets Rowan into the most trouble is that he has unwittingly developed a sixth sense he’d rather not have – that being, he channels the spirits of murder victims without even trying. This unwanted ability often puts him into the middle of murder investigations, especially those that have some manner of occult element involved. Unfortunately, it also places him at odds with the a good portion of the local law enforcement agencies, even though he has a core group of cops and federal agents who are more than accepting of his bizarre facility and are perfectly willing to exploit it in order to solve a case.

Amber - Rowan isn't on his own in the books. He has an amazing, if not fiery, wife and a best friend who is a detective with the local police. How important are the two support characters in the books?

Murv – Incredibly important, or at least, I think they are. The truth is, without his wife, Felicity, Rowan would probably either be dead or living in an institution under heavy sedation. She is the force that grounds him and keeps him sane, for the most part. This is not to say that Felicity hasn’t been directly responsible for some of Rowan’s plague of problems, however, I don’t want to give away any major spoilers, so you’ll have to read the books to find out about that (LOL). Still, the simple fact of the matter is Rowan and Felicity are so in love with one another that their relationship is for all intents and purposes a character unto itself. Almost a force majeure in some ways. A little more about Felicity – She’s a much sought after freelance photographer, and she’s a petite, Irish-American with stereotypical red hair. Felicity is also a practicing Witch, and in many senses far more centered than Rowan. Still, since she “plays in the same ballpark” she has a deeper understanding of what he feels, what he sees, and how he copes with it, which makes her an anchor in this world, and the only person who truly “gets it”, so to speak.

Detective Benjamin Storm is Rowan’s reality check. He is also one of Rowan’s primary conduits into the law enforcement community. They have been friends practically forever, and purely by chance Ben was responsible for drawing Rowan into his first murder investigation. This not only awakened Rowan’s unwanted ability, but also opened Ben’s eyes to a world outside the physically tangible. Ben has his own personal and anti-religion skeletons in the closet, which can leave you wondering about him at times. Compounding that is the fact that he is Native American and has a history with alternative forms of spirituality, although for reasons yet unrevealed he eschews that portion of his heritage. Therefore, dealing with Rowan’s abilities has been an on again, off again struggle for him. Still, he is loyal and sticks by his friend in every possible way, going to bat for him against the higher ups and protecting him when necessary. This, however, doesn’t preclude them from having a bit of an adversarial relationship on occasion. After all, no one gets along 100% of the time, and there are instances where Ben is torn between protecting his friend, and pushing him to do more in order to stop a killer.

Amber - Serial Killers, Magick, Witchcraft, Voodoo and Sex are the words that jump out on your website. How did you end up writing about these terms? How did Rowan Gant come to life?

Murv – Serial Killers fascinate me. I suppose it is one of those train wreck sort of things. I’m repulsed by what they do, but by the same token I am fascinated by the psychopathology behind what makes them do it. So, I don’t really have one of those morbid fascinations where I want their autographs, or memorabilia, or anything like that. I have a curiosity about what makes them tick. I suppose, in a way, it is kind of like a big chess game – figuring out the psychology of the opponent or some such. I suppose if I’d chosen a different career path it might well have been psychology, and quite possibly the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis program if I could have made the cut.

Magick, Witchcraft, and even the Voodoo stem from my own fascination with different spiritual paths. Much like Rowan I have a tendency to devour knowledge on this subject, although I don’t even begin to consider myself a scholar, armchair or otherwise. I actually suffer from the proverbial, “knowing a little bit about a lot of things” syndrome. Of course, I also practiced Wicca for several years myself, I harbor a belief that magick really does work – whether it be something on a quantum level or in a more inexplicable sense – and at one time considered myself Pagan. While I certainly haven’t renounced Paganism by any stretch of the imagination, I actually self-identify more as a secular humanist than anything else. Still – and I think this probably addresses the question of “how Rowan came to be” – because of my long and extremely diverse background in Paganism and an offshoot tradition of Wicca, I thought it would be fun to have a Witch as the “good guy” for a change, but without the storyline being too terribly fantastic. I certainly push the envelope where the psychic abilities and practicality of magick are concerned, but that’s pretty much it. The stories themselves are rooted in reality as opposed to total urban fantasy. And please don’t misinterpret what I just said, (LOL)… Urban fantasy is great. It just isn’t the direction I took with my writing, even though the RGI books are classified as “dark fantasy”.

As to sex… Well, admittedly it’s one of my favorite activities. LOL. Still, it really didn’t blossom in the series until “The Miranda Trilogy” which was a sub-arc within the overall story arc.

Amber - All these terms are also not exactly things your average person comes across everyday. Did you have to do a lot of research for the books so far? Did you always know how to curse in Irish?

Murv – Research is one of my absolute loves. As I mentioned before I have the same affliction as Rowan where a thirst for knowledge is concerned – (fortunately, that’s the only affliction we share because I don’t have dead people using me as a conduit – LOL). So, I will get heavily into researching a subject, a religion, or procedure whenever I write a story. Therefore, I suppose the answer is a resounding YES. I’ve done quite a bit of research – in reality, much more than has ever been necessary for any given story, but I’m much the better for it because of all that I learned.

On the note of Irish Gaelic – the sad truth is that I cannot speak a word of it. I actually have a dear friend who speaks several languages, Irish Gaelic being one of them, and she does the translating for me. I do use a few traditional Irish curses that I have noted in my “Big Book of Felicity” (Each major character in the series has his or her own binder titled “Big Book of ____“ so that I can keep info about them organized.) – However, other than the few I pull from those notes I usually tend to contact Anastasia and say, “I need Felicity to say the following in Gaelic: ____“… Soon afterwards I receive a reply that gives me all of the possible options complete with Irish colloquialisms, translations, and her suggestions. If I try to do it on my own with an English to Gaelic dictionary – which I occasionally do – I only get it right about half the time, and she is quick to correct me. (LOL)… Of course, that’s a good thing. And, having her own Irish heritage, she advises me on some of Felicity’s speech patterns and references as well.

Amber - So far there have been nine books in the series. Are there going to be more Rowan Gant books? Do you see an end in sight?

Murv – Number ten, “Miranda” comes out later this year (2009)… At this point I have plans for more, but that will of course depend upon continued sales and whether or not the publisher continues to contract RGI books. I do actually have an ending in mind for the series, but where it is on the horizon I can’t really say, suffice it to say I don’t see it looming just yet. ;-)

Amber - The 'Miranda Trilogy' are three books in the series that got their own special name. What made them so special?

Murv - Basically, I had hatched an idea about a mentally unstable dominatrix turned serial killer. Not that I think doms are inherently serial killers, or anything of that sort, because I don’t. However, since I’m a bit dark in the brainpan, one day I was musing over some ideas and I thought to myself, “what better way for a woman to have physical control over a man than if he has already submitted to being trussed up?” Then, after doing some research about female serial killers, and discovering that “Sexual Predator” is an almost unheard of classification for the gender, the wheels started turning. In reality, Love Is The Bond (the first book in the trilogy) was intended as a single novel, however, as I started writing it the story grew to encompass a three-book arc. I went to the publisher and said, “Hey, I screwed up. I can’t end this story without two more books in which to do it.” Fortunately they liked the arc so much that it was dubbed “The Miranda Trilogy” and I was allowed to run with it. So, All Acts Of Pleasure and The End Of Desire were born. Of course, even though the arc reached a conclusion, it has some major leftover ripples – actually, more like waves – that are still causing Rowan and the gang much consternation, some of which was briefly addressed in Blood Moon, the most recent novel in the series. The upcoming book, aptly titled “Miranda”, is meant to smooth the waters so to speak. Whether or not it will… Well, I’m not really allowed to say since it doesn’t come out until later in 2009. (Evil Grin)

Amber - Are you working on any other projects? Or is Rowan enough to keep you busy?

Murv – Rowan keeps me pretty busy. Between all of my travel on tours, and desperately trying to maintain a normal home life, I am only able to crank out one novel per year. I suppose I’m just not as prolific as some of the other writers out there, either that or I have a time management problem (LOL). So, since the demand for RGI novels is high enough, I haven’t deviated from that course just yet.

That said, I do have some other ideas and irons in the fire. When I will be able to get to them remains to be seen. I do, however, have a short in an upcoming anthology. The short is a psychological horror piece using characters from the RGI series, but without deviating from canon. The anthology is titled, Courting Morpheus, and is due out late 2009.

Amber - What books do you like to read when you have time? Do you have any favourite authors or series that you enjoy?

Murv – These days I don’t have as much time to read as I would like – unfortunately, I have to fit sleep into my day somewhere (LOL)… But, we do family reads every evening – as in, reading aloud. Since our daughter is 9 we usually go with something she picks, although we have worked in a few classics such as To Kill A Mockingbird – That one raised a lot of questions, obviously, but it also allowed for some serious discourse. Since the munchkin is in the Gifted & Talented program, it worked out well. We’ve also ready Dewey, and a few others, but usually it is YA stuff such as the Children of the Lamp series, and quite a few Newberry winners.

When I get a chance to read for myself, it is usually a non-fiction book about psychology, police procedure, or serial killers as one might suspect… But, I do occasionally sneak in a pure pleasure read when time allows. Some of my favorite authors are John Sandford and Garrison Keillor. I know, pretty odd mix, but then, I’m a pretty odd guy (ROFL).

Amber - Alot of authors have playlists to accompany their books. If you had to choose some music for the Rowan Gant series what would you pick?

Murv – My playlists for writing have a tendency to vary depending upon the scene. I pretty much use the music as background noise when I’m at the keyboard. For quite a bit of the Miranda trilogy it was Ozzie Osbourne/Black Sabbath, Metallica, some Iron Butterfly, and even a dash of White Zombie. When I was writing Perfect Trust (book 3 in the series) since it was set during the holidays, I listened to Christmas music – kind of odd since it was May when I was writing the manuscript, but it helped me stay in the right frame of mind for the tone of the book.

Generally, I will listen to some soundtrack cuts from the movie Manhunter, the TV series Millennium, and a bit of classical.

I suspect if someone were to actually score the books, it would be a mix of the above – well… that’s how *I* would do it anyway (LOL).

Amber - If the Rowan Gant series was going to be made into a TV Series or film which actor/actress do you think would fit to the main characters?

Murv – Funny you should mention that. I was recently contacted by a website called storycasting.com, and they have my books listed there so that people can surf by and create their own “fantasy cast” for them. They asked me if I would be willing to create an “Authoritative” cast list – I thought that was pretty funny, but then I happen to like puns – so I picked:

Rowan Gant – John Corbett
Felicity O’Brien – Lea Thompson
Det. Ben Storm – Jimmy Smits
Agent Constance Mandalay – Sarah-Jane Redmond

That list certainly isn’t definitive on my part, and I could change my mind at any given moment. I’ve just always seen John Corbett as Rowan Gant for some reason. I picked Jimmy Smits as Ben for the simple fact that I am not really up on Native American actors, so I wouldn’t know who among them has the versatility to play the part. Smits, however, could probably pull it off given the right circumstances. I think Lea Thompson is just as cute as she can get, and she’s pretty versatile. But, many other actresses have been brought to my attention by fans, so to be honest, Felicity is probably the hardest for me to cast and would be one of the characters where I would go flitting from actress to actress very easily. Sarah-Jane Redmond is a fantastic actress in her own right, and I can really see her bringing a lot of depth to Agent Mandalay.

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?

Murv – You know, I’ve never really given that much thought. But, given my bizarre sense of humor and tendency to go off on tangents (i.e. the “oh look, a chicken!” syndrome), I’d probably have to say Werechicken would be a good one. ;-)

Amber - Thank you so much for answering my questions. I hope you will come back and visit.

Murv – Thank you so much for having me. I’ll definitely be back to visit. :)






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Contest Time!

Murv has very kindly donated 3 autographed books for this weeks contest! That means there will be three winners picked and each one will get to choose one of the Rowan Gant books as their prize! So if you haven't read any of the books yet you can start off with Harm None or if you are missing one in your collection you can pick that!

How do you enter? This week all you have to do to enter the contest is leave a question for the author. There is no guarntee that all questions will be answered but you should try your best not to ask something that someone has already asked. The question you ask can be simple eg. What is your favourite colour? so you don't need to know anything about the series to think of something to ask!

No Question = No entry!

Earn another entry for each place you link this contest on the net. Make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest or by using the Amberkatze's Book Blog Amazon links to buy some M.R. Sellars books. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

The contest will stay open until Sunday 10th of May 2009 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.

If you are claiming a prize, have emailed me and have not heard back before the 7 day limit is up then post a comment here on the blog. Your email may get sucked into my spam filter.

Have fun!

73 comments:

Gina said...

Question for M.R.Sellars: Hi, Murv! Been dying to ask this one. You and Rowan both have (well, had, before the haircut) similar physical characteristics, backgrounds in computer science and the Wiccan religion, and a spitfire redhead former cheerleader (ok, drill team) spouse. Exactly how autobiographical is Rowan's story? And have you ever had any experience in investigations of the sort Rowan got involved in? ... Gina, your newest stalker...

bridget3420 said...

Hi - I was wondering what you would consider worse, having to wear neon pink dress or run around nude?

Indigo said...

My question is eventually the Rowan series will come to an end - all things do in good time. Do you already have an idea what you want to write about for your next series or book? Thanks! Indigo

mrsellars said...

than just graffiti?" That said, some of the conversations you read between Ben and Rowan are drawn from real life. One of my absolute best friends is a cop with the city of St. Louis, and the two of us have spent many a night on my front porch with a bottle of scotch and some cigars. :)

MRSellars said...

@bridget3420 -

That's actually a fairly hard question. Before I can answer I need to know the following:

1) Will I have matching pumps?
2) Will I have time to shave my legs first?

;-)

mrsellars said...

Hmmmm... Don't know what happened to that first answer there, so let's try it again:

@gina -

Yes and no. I've never been in the same predicaments as Rowan, however I have done some minor consulting for the police in the past. As noted in the above "half answer" it usually took the form of deciphering symbols left behind as graffiti and telling them whether or not it was merely kids playing, or something more serious.

mrsellars said...

@Indigo -

Rowan will continue for as long as there are enough fans to support the habit (LOL), but you are correct. All things come to an end at some point.

And, to answer your question, yes I do have a few ideas. I have a couple of other irons in the fire and could very well launch a different series. In fact, I may even give Rowan a year off and start a different series at some point in the future.

Still, something I would absolutely love to do is write observational humor. I already do that on my blog, Brainpan Leakage, (www.mrsellars.com/mrblog), but I think it would be a hoot to write an Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry sort of book.

However, I suspect I will always keep a finger in the paranormal thriller arena. :)

dee said...

I would like to get a little personal. You've written quite a bit about various BDSM elements, fetishes and various sexual aspects "normal" people might consider deviations from the norm. Being a person with quite an interest in unusual sexual practices, do you have any of these fetishes/proclivities yourself?

MRSellars said...

@Dee...

Hmmmm... Well, I have done quite a bit of research in order to make sure I had things "right"... Not just correct, but "right" if you know what I mean.

As to the personal note, let's just say I like it when my wife wears heels and I don't mind letting her be in control. ;-)

dee said...

Nice! thanks for answering such a personal question.

And, have you ever had to deal with mystical type events? (such as the talking to the dead Rowan does, but not specifically that...)if so, what kind?

donnas said...

I have not had the chance to read this series yet but it is on my wishlist and I do hope to get to it soon. My question is - There are 9 books so far, do you have an ending point in mind or a set number of books you plan to have in this series before it concludes?

Llehn said...

If someone were to make your Rowan Gant series into a movie, who would you pick to play the characters?

mrsellars said...

@Dee -

Well, I think we all have dealt with things that SEEM to defy explanation. Whether or not they REALLY DO defy explanation could very well be a matter of a lack of knowledge, or a trick of the mind.

That said, I've had my moments. I am convinced that an apartment where my wife and I lived our first year together was haunted by a spirit. Either that, or my wife was simply trying to drive me insane (LOL)... I also believe that I have had conversations with departed relatives. Both my mother and my father, specifically. Of course, these conversations had nothing to do with a murder or anything of that sort, but they were cryptic and somewhat symbolic, much like the visions Rowan experiences.

There a simply too many things in this universe that we don't - and may never - understand. :)

mrsellars said...

@DonnaS -

I know how I WANT it to end, but whether or not the characters allow that to happen remains to be seen. :) They have a tendency to take the wheel whenever I am writing, so things don't always go the way I plan. However, as to an actual ending point, like a specific number of novels or something of that sort, I don't actually have one. I think it will all come down to if and when I start running out of ideas, or the publisher stops contracting them. Then I'll have to convince them to contract just one more so I can wrap everything up. :)

MRSellars said...

@Llehn -

I haven't had much coffee yet this morning, so my brain isn't really awake yet. Therefore, just to make it easy on myself I would probably pick the same people I picked in the interview :) -

Rowan Gant – John Corbett
Felicity O’Brien – Lea Thompson
Det. Ben Storm – Jimmy Smits
Agent Constance Mandalay – Sarah-Jane Redmond

LuAnn said...

How do you keep coming up with new ideas for the series?

mrsellars said...

@LuAnn -

New ideas for the series... Well, I think it's probably because I have a really warped mind (LOL)... But, honestly, I look at what is going on in the news on any given day, then mix it in with my nightmares. When I pour it out, I usually have something to work with.

I've always been of the opinion that good fiction has to have an element of reality to it, so with the horrors on the evening news, I'm really never at a loss for story fodder (unfortunately in some respects)...

babygirlG said...

What are some of the things that surprised you the most about the publishing industry when you first got into it?

dee said...

How did the Miranda "trilogy" end up with five books, and are there more coming in relation to her?

mrsellars said...

@babygirlG -

"What are some of the things that surprised you the most about the publishing industry when you first got into it?"

I suppose my biggest surprise was the number of editors who are frustrated writers themselves. While I don't guess that is a surprise in and of itself, the fact that some of them try to be so controlling that you would think they wrote the manuscript and not you. Not all editors are like that. The one I have now is great. However, early on when I was contracted by a different publisher I was paired up with an editor who more or less wanted to have me ghostwrite his ideas rather than edit what I had already written.

Other than that it was just pretty minor stuff, like chargebacks against returns on your royalties and such. Not that those are really a minor issue, but they aren't something that affects the creative process.

All in all, however, the publishing game is pretty cutthroat. I can think of much easier ways to make a living - but, I just love writing too much. :-)

mrsellars said...

@dee -

"How did the Miranda "trilogy" end up with five books, and are there more coming in relation to her?"

I think it probably happened a lot like Douglas Adams Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy or Asimov's Foundation Trilogy outgrew the boundaries of a mere three books.

Miranda's escapades as a serial killer were covered in that three book arc, from beginning to end. However, she is such a dynamic antagonist that there is more story to tell. So, even though the trilogy itself had a conclusion, Miranda did not, leaving things open for her to cause more trouble.

Apparently, if the email and letters I receive are to be believed, Miranda has her own following among the readership. In fact, I have had several young ladies show up at book signings in "Miranda" Costumes. There are even some pictures on my blog...

Still, "Miranda" - the upcoming book in the series - will hopefully put some things to rest for folks in her regard. That's all I can really say without tossing out spoilers :-)

mrsellars said...

Just a quick apology for the rambling sentence structure in some of my answers - especially the most recent two. I should know better than to try answering questions at 5 in the morning and before I've had my first cup of coffee. (LOL) ;-)

shartyrant said...

I posted here before, but can't see my comment so I am going to try to repost. If my original pops up, I apologize for dupes. I was wondering if these books are in other e-book format other than through kindle (which I don't have...bummer). Not the illegal kind either dudes. Legal!

MRSellars said...

@Shartyrant -

"I was wondering if these books are in other e-book format other than through kindle (which I don't have...bummer). Not the illegal kind either dudes. Legal!"

Firstly I'd like to say thank you for mentioning the legal aspect. :) Too much pirating goes on these days. But, I won't go off on a rant about that, especially since, even though it bothers me, it doesn't bother me to the extent of a raving rant. ;-)

Now, to answer your question, not yet. HOWEVER, I know the publisher is working on that. What format does your reader take? I can pass that info along to them and maybe that will influence their next electronic release. :)

PamThurlow said...

Hi ya Sellars!!
I need to know if cutting your hair has changed your writing style, how has it affected your home life and how are you dealing with it?? Pam T

MRSellars said...

@PamThurlow -

"I need to know if cutting your hair has changed your writing style, how has it affected your home life and how are you dealing with it??"

LOL - Well, sure it has. I no longer have to deal with that unruly mop getting into my eyes, so my style is to now type with both hands and hold my head up straight instead of trying to cock it to the side to see around the hair. :-)

As to affecting my home life, well, EK likes it if that's what you mean. Although she doesn't have a handle anymore, so I can get away from her much easier. (LOL)

As to dealing with it, I am actually enjoying the freedom of the wash, comb, and go kind of do. :)

PamThurlow said...

Thanks for the quick answer! When are you going to post a new picture so we can all see it and get used to it? I know you said you would, but I must have missed it.

MRSellars said...

@PamThurlow -

There's a whole blog entry about it, complete with before, during, and after pictures. :)

http://mrsellars.com/mrblog/?p=2403

Amberkatze said...

Such great questions! Keep them coming!

Michelle M. said...

Since I've never read the books (but after this I'm putting them on my wish list) Is it best to read them in order?

Michelle M. said...

Like, I'm really hoping to win one of these books, so here's the link to my book blog for my second entry.

http://meanderingwithmiche.blogspot.com/2009/05/contest-at-amberkatze-blog.html

MRSellars said...

@Michelle M. -

Well, I think it's best to read them in order. But, that's just me (LOL)... In all honesty, they do have a flow, and once you get past the third book they become so incredibly interconnected that reading them out of order would leave you scratching your head.

That said, Harm None, the first book in the series is not my best work. Don't get me wrong, it's still a good book (or, at least *I* think so -LOL-)... But, like any first novel it's a... well... First novel. And, like any author, I like to think I've grown and honed my skills a bit. Not that I don't have plenty of learning to do still, but rumor has it the books get better as the series progresses. If they didn't, well then I'd be worried. LOL! :)

HockeyVampiress said...

My question is since the lead, Rowan, has similarities to yourself does that mean that the Miranda character takes after EK? Does she like to make men beg and cry?????

MRSellars said...

@HockeyVampiress -

Well, not cry so much. She doesn't have patience for that. Begging, however... I've seen her make that happen on more than one occasion, yes indeed (and I'm not talking about me, either). True story. I can even produce witnesses. ;-)

She's also a smokin' hot redhead, if that counts for anything.

In reality, EK is much more like Felicity - Only she's not quite as excitable and she doesn't speak any Gaelic. She is, however, my best friend as well as my wife, gorgeous, intelligent, a great mom, and just plain amazing. But, I'd better stop there, because I can brag about EK and the offspring endlessly. ;-)

MRSellars said...

Oh, and there are plenty of stories about E Kay's Evil, "Dominatrixesque" keeping me in line over at my blog. (LOL)

http://www.mrsellars.com/mrblog

Nancy said...

I'm opting out of the contest as I was lucky enough to win HARM NONE recently. I've barely started the book, but am into it!

Just wanted to tell you I enjoyed the interview, Murv!

Light,
Nancy Haddock

purple_leprachauns said...

Hmm... I always love to ask this one to authors. Who's your favorite author/s, if you have any? :)

babygirlG said...

Thanks for answering my first question about the surprises in the publishing industry. You mentioned in your answer that you've had editors who were a nightmare to work with. How did you deal with them?

HeatherMarie said...

First of all. I've gotta say I LOVE the Rowan Gant books. I still need to catch up on the more recent ones (though I do own all but the last one). My question is going to deviate from books completely since there are already so many book questions.

I'm a total animal person so....Do you have any pets? What kind? Names?

LadyVampire2u said...

My question is: Are you the first author in your family?

MRSellars said...

@Nancy -

Thanks! Glad you are enjoying it. :)

MRSellars said...

@purple_leprachauns -

Favorite author(s)...

Well, I think it depends on what type of books I am reading.

For research Douglas and Ressler (Former FBI BAU guys)... And, Dorothy Morrison. She writes on witchcraft, and she's also a good friend.

For fiction, John Sandford and Garrison Keillor.

But, honestly, there are so many fantastic authors out there that it really is hard to choose favorites. :)

MRSellars said...

@babygirlG -

"You mentioned in your answer that you've had editors who were a nightmare to work with. How did you deal with them?"

Not very well, actually. So, don't take a page from MY playbook (LOL)... I had an acquisitions editor at a very large publishing house who adopted an attitude with me over a manuscript, then proceeded to attempt to rewrite it into something completely unrecognizable. Before all was said and done we ended up in a shouting match over the phone. It wasn't pretty.

Since then I have simply done an end run and requested a different editor, citing creative differences and personality clashes. Sometimes that works, sometimes not.

However, for the past several books I have had an absolutely wonderful editor. She's not a pushover by any means, and we do have debates, (which she usually wins *lol*), but she knows what she's doing and she understands that she is editing the work, not writing it herself. :)

MRSellars said...

@HeatherMarie -

Regarding pets... EK and I used to rescue cats. Actually, we used to rescue just about everything, but we definitely used to take in cats. Those for whom we couldn't find homes usually had some form of problem (chronic illness such as diabetes or seizures, etc.)

So... These days we still have 3 cats - Prince Valiant (22), Jasper AKA Meatlump (17), and Asphalt (we found him in the middle of the highway) (15)...

Due to my travel schedules, etc, we aren't really able to rescue like we once did.

Also - the animals mentioned in the books - The three cats for instance, are based on the personalities of several of the cats we have had throughout the years. And, the two dogs in the books are based on the two dogs we had for several years.

In fact - The English Setter's name was Benjamin, and that's where Detective Ben Storm got his name. Unfortunately, Benjamin left us shortly before Harm None was published, so he lives on in the books. Quigley, the Australian cattle dog succumbed to old age a few years ago.

MRSellars said...

@LadyVampire2u -

"Are you the first author in your family?"

To my knowledge, yes. There are several other "Sellars" out there, some of whom are authors, but they must be in very extended branches of the clan because I've never met them, nor have I heard any of my relatives speak of them.

So, as far as this branch of the Sellars, I am the first one crazy enough to try making a living with words *LOL*

ginnn7 said...

At what age will you let your daughter read your books?

MRSellars said...

@ginnn7 -

Well, the running joke is that we will discuss her possibly reading them when she hits 40... ;-)

In reality, she already wants to read them, but she's only 9. I think when she hits 16 I'll be willing to let her. Maybe a bit before then since she is absolutely brilliant, in the Gifted & Talented program at school, and reads about 3 or 4 grade levels ahead of where she should be.

Still, some of the imagery in the books is severe, so I am going to have to see what her emotional maturity is before I'm willing to hand them over. Of course, by the time she hits her early teens, if she really wants to read them badly enough, she'll probably sneak one of my desk reference copies off the shelf when I'm not looking. That's the kind of thing I did with books my parents didn't want me to read just yet. ;-)

js22 said...

Do you have a certain number of books you plan to write for this series?

MRSellars said...

@js22 -

"Do you have a certain number of books you plan to write for this series?"

Not really. I am leaving that fairly open ended at this point. If the popularity of the series wanes, then it will be time to tie up all the loose ends and put it to bed. :)

Meredith said...

Great giveaway.
meredycat*lycos*com

rmc1ra said...

I am a stickler for beginning at the beginning. Please enter me to win "Harm None", I think is a series I can really get into.

rmc1ra(at)aol(dot)com

MRSellars said...

Sounds good to me. Enter me to win Harm None too... I haven't read it yet. ;-)

binabug said...

my daughter and I would love to start reading this

buddyt said...

I find I often have trouble when reading a series that is new to me, in finding all the books. This is especially so when it is more than just a trilogy.

Are there any plans to package say three or four novels into a bumper issue ?

Then one could get the whole series in just 3 books.

M. R. Sellars said...

@buddyt-

The publisher has said nothing at all about this to me, so the only answer I can give is, I don't know about that one.

That said, all of the current novels are still in print and readily available via Amazon, etc, if you can't find them in your local brick and mortar bookstore.

toughturtles said...

For sombody who is new to your books how do you descibe yourself?

M. R. Sellars said...

@toughturtles -

"For sombody who is new to your books how do you descibe yourself?"

About 5' 6", greying, need to lose a few pounds. Basically, short, old, and fat. :)

That probably isn't what you wanted though. (LOL)

As to the books. Well, they are more or less police procedurals with a paranormal and thriller/horror element.

I really hate to compare myself to other writers, because we all have our own, unique styles, but a reviewer once said that fans of Hamilton (L. K.) and Lackey (Mercedes) would love my books.

That said - I write with a prosaic style that has drawn fire from two or three critics who subscribe to the Elmore Leonard school of writing. However, that same style has captured the attention of plenty of readers who enjoy a book which interacts with them instead of talks at them, if you know what I mean.

FYI to all - There are sample chapters from each book over at my blog, and those may give you a better idea.

www.mrsellars.com/mrblogJust look for the links in the menu down the right side of the screen.

Sunnyvale said...

How long does it take to get a book completed, from idea to publishing?

M. R. Sellars said...

@Sunnyvale -

Well, that really varies by author and by publisher. It largely depends on the type of book, etc.

In my case it is generally 12 to 18 months, depending upon my personal schedule and how many times I ask for an extension on my deadline (LOL)

4-6 months to complete a manuscript - research, writing, etc.

And, around 6 months to 1 year before it sees the bookstore shelves. This number varies, again, based on what has happened in my personal life that might require me to have an extension on the deadline for the manuscript.

shartyrant said...

<< What format does your reader take? I can pass that info along to them and maybe that will influence their next electronic release. :)>>

:) Whatever works! So far, I use Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader and Microsoft Reader. Usually the latter two as it is rare to get a "word doc". I prefer Microsoft Reader as I don't have to "scroll" so much, but I use whichever format the publishers allow. It is just an option to have to read books when I just have the laptop when I am out of town and such and can't bring my beloved books (paper books rule!). Kindle maybe one day. Do you have a preference on e-book readers?

M. R. Sellars said...

@shartyrant -

Actually, I don't own one, so I don't really have a pref. I've considered a Kindle, purely because of the wireless and web access aspect. Could come in handy in airports when I travel.

I'll pass the info along. I know they've been talking about doing other formats. :)

danosor said...

I am a subscriber.

linmoe@sympatico.ca

Deirdre said...

What's your favourite stone? Why?

Lady Roxi said...

Where did you get your inspiration for Rowan?

Thanks,

darkfyre1(at)gmail(dot)com

quelleheure4 said...

I saw your favorite authors but do you have a favorite book or two?

sherri419 said...

I am new to your books so it is hard for me to ask a writing related question so I will go with a get to know you one: What would you want to do or be if you weren't an author? Thanks!

sherri419 at gmail dot com

M. R. Sellars said...

@Deirdre -

Favorite stone... Hmmm. Never really thought about that. I am kind of fond of the sponge rocks we have out in the rock garden, mostly because they look interesting. :)

M. R. Sellars said...

@Lady Roxi -

"Where did you get your inspiration for Rowan?"

Pretty much from anyone who has ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time and felt compelled to do the right thing, no matter what the personal cost.

M. R. Sellars said...

@quelleheure4

"I saw your favorite authors but do you have a favorite book or two?"

Actually, yes. Sort of. And, they aren't even by the aforementioned authors. Books that I will pick up and read again for no apparent reason (lol) include -

Catcher in the Rye - Salinger
The Illustrated Man - Bradbury
October Country - Bradbury

M. R. Sellars said...

@sherri419 -

"What would you want to do or be if you weren't an author?"

Hmmmm... How about an internationally renowned millionaire playboy gigolo?

But, seriously, I have always wanted to write. From the time I could manage to wedge a crayon in my fist I have been trying to tell stories. One of these days I might just succeed. (ROFL)... However, prior to my first novel making it to the shelves (and actually, right up until my fifth novel was ready to come out) I worked as a field service engineer. Of course, that's just a fancy title for a fix-it guy.

As to what I fixed, I was a COMPtia certified electronics technician, and I worked on computers, networks, and peripherals. My specialty was printers, in particular high end laser, ink jet, and plotters.

But, I've been out of the biz for a few years now, and the way it changes I am behind the times in that regard. So, if I had to quit writing I'd probably go bag groceries somewhere. That, or finish my degree, get a teaching certificate, and go get a job as a curmudgeonly English/Lit teacher. ;-)

Amberkatze said...

This contest is now closed. You can find the winner announcement on the main blog page.

Thanks to everyone who entered and a special thanks to Murv!

thegoodforce said...

Sarah-Jane Redmond is not a fantastic actress. She slept with David Duchovny to get her hand in on the x-files, then he passed her onto Chris Carter as a plaything that he enjoyed for years. Hey, lo and behold she gets on every carter show he vomits up.

Just another cliche of an actress fucking who it takes to get there, dont bring talent into it.

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