With: Shannon McKenna
Hi, Maureen! Thanks so much for having me on your awesome blog! I'm so pleased to be here, and chat about the marvelous Miles and his adventures.
1. Book #10! Do you make it a practice of counting book milestones?
Yeah, it's wild, isn't it? What a monster series. I never would have thought it would last so long, but I am cutting it off on the next book, which will be the very uncomfortably odd number 11. Sorry, to all you types who like things even and tidy with the strings snipped off, but it's time to wrap it up, and come up with some new characters and ideas. The backstory in this series has become just vast, about to topple over onto my head. But in answer to your question, I don't ever really think about milestones--they always take me by surprise! Hey, my whole life takes me by surprise, some days.
2) With 'series' writing, you have a chance to really make a character evolve over a span of time. Such is the case in FATAL STRIKE. Miles is hot!
I am thrilled that you think so! I agree, by the way. I never considered Miles as a hero, at the beginning of the series, not for about five books. I just saw him as a callow, vulnerable and lovable sidekick, a foil for the McCloud brothers. But then readers started to ask me, so when am I going to write his story? And I would say, all perplexed, but I already resolved Miles’s story! He’s with Cindy, see? They worked it out! He’s happy now! But the books kept coming, and Miles kept becoming more and more interesting to me, whereas Cindy didn’t. She was fluff, no gravitas. I was glad that he’d finally gotten laid, at least, but that was about as far as it went, and the feeling in me kept growing that Miles deserved more. He has by far the biggest growth arc of any of my heroes, since we’ve been hanging with him since he was decidedly unheroic—gawky, geeky, spotty, skinny, and living in his parents’ basement. But it’s wonderful to have the time to see someone grow and slowly work out their crap and their baggage. That’s one of the gifts of an eleven book series. I’m sorry for Cindy, but she never appreciated what she had from the beginning, so (making a shooing movement with my hands.) off she goes, to do whatever it is she does. I’m not going to watch.
3. When you started BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, did you ever anticipate the McClouds and Friends series would turn into ten books? Do your characters stand there with their hands on their hips and stare at you, demanding that they get their own book?
The answer is, no way! I had no idea this would grow into a ten book series! Jeez, if I’d known, I would have done so many things differently! (this series has taught me so much—I was a rank beginner when I started it!) And do my side characters demand their own books? Yes, they do, and sometimes they even threaten me physically. Tam brandished a poisoned earring post at me after I finished EXTREME DANGER, forcing me to write her story before writing the long-suffering Kev’s. I would never have written her book at all if she hadn't intimidated me into doing it. I've even had her as a heroine of her own book, and I'm STILL scared of her. Miles didn't do any of that strong-arm stuff to me, though--he's such a good, decent sort of guy. He just sort of looked at me with those big dark puppy dog eyes, and I was a goner. Fine, I said. Fine, whatever. True love for Miles is next on my agenda.
4. Can we expect more from the McClouds and Friends series? (Feel free to answer, that's none of your business, Maureen. Be patient, like the rest of the world. LOL.)
Aw, I would never say that to you, Maureen! And as I mentioned above, there will be just one more book in this series, Sveti and Sam's book, tentatively entitled IN FOR THE KILL, though that might well change. It is currently slated for publication in February of 2015. I'm having a great time with their story. And after that is turned in, I am not sure yet what comes next, because I can only seem to make my mind function on one thing at a time. One thing I can promise, though, is that I will put my heart and soul into it. I totally love this job, and I love all the readers who make it possible for me to do it, too. So thanks to you all.
And happy reading! Have a marvelous fall.
When Lara Kirk was abducted months ago, Miles Davenport vowed he'd bring her home. But the mission failed. Miles has become totally obsessed; he can practically hear Lara pleading for him to save her. Finding her after all this time will be next to impossible…
Lara Kirk lives in a shadowy world where reality and fantasy are one. Her captors have poisoned her body with concoctions that enhance psychic abilities–and they seem to be working. To escape, Lara has formed a deep attachment with a man whose virile, sensual presence in her mind is her only comfort. She's not even sure if he's real–until the six-foot-five-inch powerhouse bursts in to rescue her…
Once freed, Lara has no choice but to trust Miles with her life as they run from enemies too twisted to imagine. But they're also fighting a dangerous attraction that could kill–or save–them both. Either way, it's going to be a hell of a ride…
About The Author:
Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of over ten action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she'd ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments. She loves to hear from her readers. Contact her at her website, shannonmckenna.com