By Trish Milburn
Today, we welcome author MJ Fredrick back to the Lair to talk about her million...oh, sorry, I got a little carried away...her two new book releases.
You have two new titles out this summer. First, let's talk about Midnight Sun. Tell us about this story.
Oh, Midnight Sun. The book that took me YEARS to figure out. Midnight Sun is the story of a cruise chef who’s running away from her problems who encounters a man who’s been exiled because of his. They have a one-night stand, and she discovers his family owns the cruise line where she works! She tries to stay professional, and almost manages, before the ship is overrun by pirates in the isolated waters of the Southern Ocean. Then she has to depend on this man with his bad-boy reputation to keep her and the other passengers safe.
I loved writing Marcus, my bad boy former Olympic snowboarder with no ambition. He had to grow up fast on this cruise, when he realizes he’s the guy in charge. Brylie was fun, too, because she was kinda uptight. I love when an uptight character falls for one who’s so laid back.
The book is set in Antarctica, which I find fascinating. What drew you to this setting?
I was watching the Travel Channel late one night and saw a show about cruises to Antarctica. I was absolutely fascinated, but I’m also a big chicken and knew I’d never go. I started doing research, thinking about how I could work a romance into this setting. I started it several times, even finished another version of it, but nothing worked for me. One of my critique partners said she envisioned it as “Die Hard on a ship.” And that fired me up.
You write wonderful action adventure romances. Are you a fan of them as a reader as well? If so, who are some of your favorite action adventure romance authors?
Aww, thanks! Yes, they’re my favorite genre to read. I loved Fight or Flight by Natalie Damschroder, and Evelyn Vaughn’s Bombshells, and Cherry Adair, and Cindy Gerard, and I’d say Nora’s last couple were as much action-adventure as suspense.
What action adventure romance movies have you enjoyed?
Romancing the Stone, of course, and Zorro. Old ones like The African Queen really show the characters overcoming their travails together. I was one of the few who liked Knight and Day, which was kind of like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which I also loved. I loved the romantic element in Speed and Last of the Mohicans. I would have loved to see Fool’s Gold be—better, and Sahara, too. I would have loved more romance in Die Hard and the Tomb Raider movies. I mean, yeah, Gerard Butler, but that ending, come on!
Your other new title this summer is Something to Talk About, a different type of story. Tell us about it.
When I was writing this book, I called it The Book That I Love. It was my first straight romance in ages. I was high on my Jeffrey Dean Morgan crush, and I’d been reading the Virgin River series and watching a lot of Gilmore Girls, so I wanted a small town love story. The story of Ellie, the small-town waitress who falls in love with her best friend’s somber widower, just flowed. I had a few misfires and had to backtrack, then I wrote it too long and had to cut it down, then added more depth, but I loved every minute of writing it. It’s different, though. One of my critique partners wrote that she was waiting for the gun ships to come over the cliff.
You write different kinds of stories. We writers sometimes hear that we should pick a type of story and stick with it, but I personally find that difficult because I have story ideas for lots of different types of stories. Are you the same? Do you think this actually benefits you as a writer?
I don’t know about benefits. For example, if you enjoyed my historical, Sunrise Over Texas, and you go looking for more of my historicals, well, I haven’t written any yet. (I have ideas, though, boy howdy.) I wrote one little paranormal novella, but my mind just doesn’t bend that way. I love writing for different genres, though. It makes the writing feel fun and fresh.
You're one of the busiest and most prolific writers I know. What releases do you have coming up next?
August 8, A Ghostly Charm, my one and only paranormal novella, will come out from The Wild Rose Press.
October 24, 3 Days, 2 Nights, a contemporary novella about an estranged couple stranded on a deserted island, will be out from Carina Press.
December 6 (I think), my next novel, Guarded Hearts, about a Texas Congresswoman whose life is threatened so her father hires her a hot bodyguard, will be out from Lyrical Press. 2011 has been a good year for me!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on book 2 of my first trilogy, about a dying resort town trying to find its way out of the recession, and the romances that spring up as they figure things out. I just got back from Minnesota, where I was inspired to write this last summer. This time I did more research. I’m loving this series, but book 2 has been quite the challenge. I hope it pays off.
Thanks for being with us here in the Lair today, MJ. Okay, everyone, MJ writes lots of different types of books -- action adventure romance, straight contemporary romance, paranormal. She's even done an award-winning historical set in frontier Texas. What is your favorite type of romance? And are you a fan of action adventure romances? If so, what are some of your favorites.