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Stephany Tullis

Small town charm, larger than life characters

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July 18, 2019

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Author P.J. MacLayne Shares Her Secrets

May 7, 2018

 

I am pleased to welcome fellow author P.J. MacLayne who shared her private thoughts on writing and the motivation behind her new release, Wolves' Gambit (The Free Wolves Book 3).

 

Ms. MacLayne describes herself as "a computer geek by day and a writer by night". She grew up in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and sets much of her writing in that landscape. She currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

 

Take a peek! Isn't this an impressive cover?

 

Wolf-shifter Lori Grenville was rescued from near-slavery and a brutal pack leader by the Free Wolves. To pay back the favor, she's dedicated her life to helping others in the same situation, leading shifters to safety and a new start, risking her life in the process. She's faced down alphas and has no qualms in undermining pack structure. 

Now she's challenged with the task of restoring an alpha to his rightful place. If she gets it right, she can stop a war from ripping apart two packs and spreading across an entire state. If she fails, she'll be among the first to die.

There's still the option of walking away and letting the Jaeger and Destin packs destroy each other. That means she'll fail in her original mission of rescuing the daughter of the Jaeger alpha before the girl is forced into marriage for political gain.

Lori hasn't failed in a mission yet. This one may be the exception.

Although this is the third book in the Free Wolves series, it can be read as a stand-alone. 

 

Pick up your copy here: AMAZON

 

Tell me what inspired you to write your new book.

I didn’t intend to make a series out of Wolves’ Pawn. But minor characters from the story keep bugging me to let them have a say. Lori Grenville, the main character in Wolves’ Gambit, the new book, was one of those. She was mentioned on all of a couple of pages in Wolves’ Pawn, but it turns out I’d barely scratched the surface with her. Shoot, I’m not sure she’s done with me yet, even after getting a whole book devoted to her.

 

How long did it take you to write your book? What was the most challenging part of writing it? How did you handle the challenges?

It took me about a year to write this book. Part of that was because my daughter and her family moved in with us temporarily, and I was spending a lot of time with the grandkids, and the other part was that I stopped in the middle to write a short story for a collection. The biggest challenge, as always, was editing it. I’d rushed the story, and needed to let more of Lori’s emotions to be shared with the reader. I had to go back, and fill in a lot of gaps to make Lori more ‘reachable.’

 

How did you select the names of your characters?

The name selection was different for this book than the process I normally follow. I wanted the majority of names to sound old-fashioned, as many of my characters had been somewhat isolated. What I ended up was using a lot of alternate spellings for Biblical sounding names. But there were other characters that had appeared in previous books in the Free Wolves series, and their names remained unchanged. I believed the contrast worked well to distinguish the different groups

 

What is your favorite part of the book?

There’s a scene where Lori sneaks into the bedroom of a fancy RV, the room being used by the head alpha of all the packs the Unites States. Not for the expected reason and not by the typical method. But the whole scene just fits her perfectly and it was fun to write.

 

What was your hardest scene to write?

There are several fight scenes in the book. One has a lot of people and/or wolves involved. Trying to write the scene without it being overly confusing took a lot of work. Luckily, the story is written entirely from Lori’s point-of-view, so I only had to describe what she was seeing. I just had to make sure she saw all the important parts.

 

How many hours a day do you write?

As many as I can get away with? Not enough? Realistically, maybe an hour a day. I’ve been writing late at night when the rest of the family has gone to bed. Now that my daughter and family have moved into a new place, maybe I’ll be able to up my time to two hours. (I can't support myself on my writing--I hold a full-time job.)

 

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Original. I have to write my books the way my characters want their stories to be told, and not in the popular style. That’s one reason I don’t write sex scenes. The stories don’t need the detailed description of sex to work. Sure, my characters are mature people who either do or don’t have sex, depending upon their circumstances, but when they do have sex, I close the bedroom door and let them have their privacy.

 

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yep, I read them. The good ones help keep me motivated. The bad ones I take with a grain of salt but I read them to see if there is truth to them. If so, I use them to make my writing better.

 

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning this book/a book?

I rarely do much research before starting a book. However, I often stop in the middle of a scene to figure out the details. I find myself writing about guns frequently, and I am not an authority on the subject. Luckily, between having access to folks who are knowledgeably on the subject and the internet, I think I get the details right most of the time.

 

How does your family support your writing? Do they read your books?

 They read the first few. Now I’m not so sure they are staying caught up. I suspect they thought I’d write a couple of books and be done with it. But Wolves’ Gambit is my sixth book, and I don’t think they’ve all bought a copy yet! My husband is supportive but not much of a reader. At least my sister, who is also my cover artist, still enjoys the books.

 

What else would you like to share with those who read this post?

Wolves’ Gambit is not your typical shifter book. No fated mates falling instantly in love (or lust).  The male alphas take a back seat to a female who isn’t an alpha but who is dedicated to a mission. Here’s the book blurb:

Wolf-shifter Lori Grenville was rescued from near-slavery and a brutal pack leader by the Free Wolves. To pay back the favor, she's dedicated her life to helping others in the same situation, leading shifters to safety and a new start, risking her life in the process. She's faced down alphas and has no qualms in undermining pack structure. 

Now she's challenged with the task of restoring an alpha to his rightful place. If she gets it right, she can stop a war from ripping apart two packs and spreading across an entire state. If she fails, she'll be among the first to die.

There's still the option of walking away and letting the Jaeger and Destin packs destroy each other. That means she'll fail in her original mission of rescuing the daughter of the Jaeger alpha before the girl is forced into marriage for political gain.

Lori hasn't failed in a mission yet. This one may be the exception.

 

 

Thank you P.J. for the great interview. Can't wait to see what readers think. Good luck with the new book!

 

Here's your chance to reach out to P.J.

 

FACEBOOK: https://facebook.com/pjmaclayne

 

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/pjmaclayne

 

GOOGLE+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PJMacLayne/posts

 

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/P.J.-MacLayne/e/B00HVE8WZI

 

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/p-j-maclayne

 

BLOGhttp://pjmaclayne.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

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