Juliet told me that when she starts a story, she doesn't start with either characters or plot. Instead, a scene will pop into her mind. In the case of Cry of the Wolf, she imagined the wolf, who was also a man, sitting on the hillside looking down at a little farmhouse. He was thinking about the woman who lived there, yearning for her with all his heart.
As the alpha wolf, Michael is big, powerful, and dangerous. He's spent years giving in to his animal instincts; avoiding the call to become human again. But when he sees a beautiful, shy farmer, his manly urges quickly take over.
Laura is content living the rural life, preferring her chickens and farm to human interaction. When her abusive neighbors attack her and a wolf comes to her rescue, she's shocked to discover the wild creature transforming into a man-a sexy man with hair the color of a wolf's coat. Instantly she's overwhelmed by her desire for him, but she's too timid to reveal her feelings for the rugged man-wolf who saved her life.
Though the heat between Michael and Laura burns hot, unless they summon the courage to open their hearts to one another, they risk losing each other forever.
"I wrote that down," she explained, "and then the characters and the plot sort of grew from there."
And…that's how she writes her stories. She sits down at the computer and, if she's lucky, she starts writing and everything flows.
"When I'm not so lucky, which is mostly, I sit down and try to come up with brilliant ideas which don't usually come to me, so I fool around with less brilliant ideas and just keep doggedly at them and quite often they turn out to be pretty good after all," she said.
She told me she's trying valiantly to be a plotter but knows she's a pantser at heart.
"I just never really know exactly where my stories are going until I've written them. The most frequent problem with that is that I find myself writing some marvelous stuff that goes absolutely nowhere and ends up not fitting in the story at all."
"What is your work schedule like when you are writing?" I asked.
"I get up early and go for a short walk. Then I take my breakfast to the computer and try to write something fresh and new for a couple of hours. I do that on a desktop computer. Then a snack and a quick nap after which put my feet up somewhere and work on my laptop revising or editing—usually a different story. I just keep going until it's evening and time to go and work out or do some yoga or dance. Often I get in extra hour or two after dinner."
Juliet has completed one full-length mystery and six romance novellas. Two of the novellas, Cry of the Wolf and The Captain and the Courtesan, have already been published, with two more under contract.
"My favorite is the one I just finished for Breathless Press, For Love of a Gypsy Lass, the second in my Gypsy Lovers series," she told me. "I've learned so much from writing the others about how to tell a story well and I seem to be coming up with more in depth plots."
The Gypsy Lovers series are sexy novellas, set in the Regency period about the Gypsies and the English men and women who love them. The first book, A Proper Lady's Gypsy Lover, will be coming out on April 13 from Breathless Press.
"What started your interest in Gypsies?" I wondered.
"I became fascinated by Gypsies-- Roma, as they call themselves--when I was a small child in Africa. One evening my dad was driving somewhere with me and we passed a little Gypsy fair, a few lights in the darkness, music, some horses, a little merry-go-round. Very enticing to a small child who lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I wanted desperately to go to the fair, but my dad said we couldn't and that Gypsies were thieves," she said. "Indeed the next morning all out chickens were gone, every single one and the dogs hadn't barked and no one had heard a thing. If you know anything about chickens you know you can't just pick them up and tip toe away because they'd start squawking and pecking you like mad. My parents weren't pleased, but I was relieved to see those chickens gone as it was often my job to feed them and I was rather scared of them. But mostly I was awed. How had the gypsies done that? It seemed magical to me."
"If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?"
"I do prefer flush toilets, but how that could be managed on a desert island I can't begin to imagine. (For some reason it makes me think of a urinal I saw on a wall in a field in Pakistan. My boyfriend, much relieved to see this sign of civilization, used it only to find there was no plumbing, it simply emptied on the other side of the wall,)" she said. "If it were a desert island with coconut trees and pineapples growing here and there and the occasional bottle of rum floated in, all I'd need would be a blender to make pina coladas to help me enjoy my solitude—and not worry about the absence of flush toilets or any other amenities. Of course it would be awfully nice if my favorite modern convenience of all, my boyfriend, could be there sharing those drinks!"
About the Author:
Ever since she wrote a tragic tale of two kittens back in sixth grade, Juliet has had a yen to write. Now that she's put down her camera, she indulges herself by writing short steamy romances with models, er, heroes, like a passionate sea captain, a sweet-natured hunk of a werewolf, and the devil's own sexy-as-hell grandson—every one of them ready to fulfill his lady's deepest desires.
You can learn more about Juliet and her collection of out-of-the-ordinary heroes at JulietChastain.com, and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out her two short books: The Captain and the Courtesan and The Cry of the Wolf.
A Proper Lady's Gypsy Lover, the first in a series called Gypsy Lovers will be released in April.
Dragged off to London kicking and screaming, Lucy-Ann Spencer refuses to become a proper young lady. Despite her aunts' insistence, she spurns the suitably titled and wealthy men who court her, longing instead for the Gypsy lad and the freedom she once loved.
Liberty Wood never forgot the girl he adored years ago, but now that she has become a proper, silk-clad member of high society while he lives by his wits, he knows that they can never breach the gulf between them. Can Lucy-Ann convince him otherwise?