Update: We have WINNERS! Congrats to Leann, who’ll receive Zoe’s LADY X’S COWBOY, and Denise Chase, who’ll receive my MAIDENSONG!
If you haven’t read this fabulous author who mixes plenty of adventure with her romance, you are in for such a treat! Zoë and I first met back when we were both debut authors for Dorchester in 2006. We’ve each moved on since then, but have always kept in touch. Here’s your chance to listen in on our latest gabfest:
Mia: From the looks of your website, you’ve got some great books coming up. Tell us about your newest hero.
Zoë: On October 9th, my steampunk romance SKIES OF STEEL will be released by Avon Impulse. The hero is Captain Mikhail Mikhailovich Denisov, a rogue Man O’ War. A Man O’ War is a man who has been enhanced through technology to be stronger and faster than a normal man, plus he is able to power and fly and airship. Several years ago, Mikhail left the Tsar’s Imperial Aerial Navy in disgrace, and now he’s a mercenary, hiring himself and his airship out to the highest bidder. He’s definitely a bad boy complete with attitude and a Mohawk. Which makes him a perfect foil for Daphne Carlisle, a seemingly straight-laced anthropologist who hires Mikhail to help her rescue her kidnapped parents. Mikhail thinks he has the prim professor all figured out, just like she thinks she understands just who this scoundrel Man O’ War is, but they’re both in for some surprises during their adventure.
Also out right now is LADY X’S COWBOY, my debut romance which I’m now self-pubbing as an ebook. The hero of LADY X’S COWBOY is Will Coffin, a Colorado cowboy who comes to London in search of his long-lost family. Will is an awesome hero! He’s honorable, funny, and tough as nails. And he falls hard and fast for Lady Olivia Xavier, a wealthy Society widow trying to fend off an aristocratic rival from her brewery. Olivia happens to be a secret reader of penny dreadful novels, her favorites being stories about cowboys. Olivia offers Will an unusual proposition: in exchange for helping her protect her brewery, she’ll help him find his family. And he’ll be staying under her roof during all the while. As the danger grows to Olivia and her business, society is soon all abuzz with the scandal of the lady and the cowboy.
I guess you could say I’ve got a thing for opposites attracting!
Mia: I’m so glad to hear that Lady X’s Cowboy is now available as an ebook. Welcome to the ranks of the self-published. What’s been the biggest surprise for you so far?
Zoë: There’s a lot of hard work involved, even if the book is already written. When you self publish, you’re responsible for EVERYTHING, from the editing, the proofreading, the formatting and the marketing. And it’s up to you to make sure the book looks as clean and professional as anything published by a digital or New York publisher. It’s all on your shoulders. I think there’s a misconception that self publishing is fast, easy money, but nothing could be further from the truth. You have to work ten times as hard to make sure your book gets into readers’ hands.
Mia: Unless you’re James Patterson, that’s very true. I’d so love to see a romance author–any romance author–get that kind of publisher support.
One of the things I love about your writing is that you’re so versatile. You dabble in paranormal, steam punk and sci-fi. If you could write any story you wanted and knew for certain it would become an international bestseller, what sort of story would it be?
Zoë: I’d really like to get back into writing historical fiction. I have several ideas for novels that I want to work on. I do love romance, and have no plans to leave it, but I have other stories that aren’t romance I’d like to tell, also.
Mia: Six years have passed since you and I were debut authors together. What do you wish you’d known then that you know now?
Zoë: The road isn’t straight. Be prepared for bumps, detours, and unexpected changes in direction. This isn’t the line of work if you want job security!
Mia: Tell us about your ever expanding boot collection.
Zoë: The sad thing is that summer comes late in Southern California, so I haven’t been able to wear any boots for a while now. One of these days, I’ll do a count of my boots, but it would take a long time and involve some serious closet ripping-apart. Yes, I have a problem. But if loving boots is wrong, I don’t want to be right!
Mia: I hear you. I feel the same way about my art. There’s no need for me to paint my walls because the paintings and prints I’ve collected pretty much cover them all. Just for fun: Who’s your favorite actor?
Zoë: I’m weird in that I don’t go to the movies or watch a lot of scripted television, so there are actors I like to look at, but as much as I enjoy looking at Liam Neeson or Hugh Jackman, their presence in a film isn’t enough to make me go see it unless I’m already interested in the movie. I’ll be seeing The Hobbit because I love the world of The Lord of the Rings, not because Richard Armitage is in it (though that doesn’t hurt!). I’ve always been a sucker for British/Irish/Scottish actors–not just because of their accents, but because most of them are theatrically trained, so they tend to be a little more intellectual than American actors. The geek girl in me can’t resist a thoughtful, well-spoken man. The fact that Tom Hiddleston can talk at length about Loki’s internal motivations, and also play Henry V, makes a fellow like him very appealing.
P.S. I love you, Nico (my husband)!
Mia: Thanks for dropping by today, Zoë. Can’t wait for SKIES OF STEEL!