Long and Short Reviews welcomes RM Sotera, whose Cassadaga Moon is now out. I asked her to tell us a little bit about the book.
"I would love to tell you about my latest release. This is the book that was rejected 350 times from agents and publishers alike. Siren Publishing took a chance on this book, which was my first novel, and I am forever grateful to them for their belief in the book and me as an author," she said. "This book is about a good Catholic woman and a man who practices vampirism – not the mythical undead type of vampire - (drinking human blood) in his everyday life. It’s a book that takes the reader on a psychological journey through human behavior. It’s a book that asks the question, 'Can true love survive any circumstances?' It’s a wild ride that I hope entices the reader."
The author told me she writes under a pen name: R for her confirmation name of Rachel, M for her middle name, Marie, and Sotera means victory in Greek.
"Since I am a Greek/Italian Catholic woman, it just sounded like the right combination," she explained.
It took RM a total of seven years to do the research, write, revise, and edit Cassadaga Moon. Once she had it finished, she was ready to seek publication. After 350 rejection letters, she was ready to give up.
"Perhaps my idea of a hero who practiced real vampirism was truly way to dark for a reader to grasp. Now, as a new writer, I was tempted to quit at this juncture, however, I had friends in the business who advised me to not give up, put the manuscript aside, and write something new. I did this, and thus my Dirty series came to fruition."
She has written six books that have been published and have several more still on her hard drive.
The characters always come first for RM. She pictures the character and dialogue in her head long before she develops the plot of the story.
"I know this sounds bizarre, but it is how it happens for me," she told me. "My stories usually are dialogue and character driven."
"What was the most surprising thing you discovered since you've been writing?" I wondered.
"Probably the most surprising thing I’ve discovered is that I’m a pretty good investigator when I need to be. Cassadaga Moon showed me how to dig for information when it wasn’t forthcoming. I’ve also learned that people aren’t always as open-minded as they say they are."
She did a lot of her research online, but also used books. When she did the research for Cassadaga Moon, she delved into the subculture of real vampires.
"Many of them were very gracious to me with information, as well as, glances into their lives," she said. "I literally stepped into the world of ‘real vampires’, aka, sang and psy. I began to research the lifestyle or as some say subculture seven years ago. I was preparing to write my first romance novel, and wanted something different. I needed a great hook. I’d always heard about people, who’d believed they were vampiric, however, I thought it was a hoax that is until I started doing my research. I read every book I could get my hands on, specifically those written by Arlene Russo and Katherine Ramsland. Then I started sniffing around online. The vampire community, specifically the Atlanta Vampire Alliance, helped me in understanding the subculture through several different interviews. And then I was lucky enough to meet-up with a few sang vampires in the Las Vegas area who helped my understanding even further. They are a very private group, which is totally understandable, so I let them choose the times and places of our meetings. So, I took what I knew about the subculture and decided that I wanted to push the envelope further by bringing the fetish of bloodplay into my story. I learned through my research that there is a fine line between the two, and that many people confuse vampirism with bloodplay. They are not the same. However, many people who are vampires delve into that fetish on occasion."
RM is currently working on the second book in her Stiletto Sanction series, a novella titled Las Vegas Moon.
"This short read will concentrate on Cindi and Tristan and then another novella will come shortly after that, New Orleans Moon, that will concentrate on Jamison and Victoria’s relationship. And then a second novel titled, Bleeding Under A Cassadaga Moon, will follow Mia and Jordan once again."
During the week, RM gets up every morning at 3, writes for an hour, then gets ready for work. On the weekends, she writes between 5:00 and 8:00 AM.
"I do my best to at least write for one hour each day, but sometimes my work schedule and family life make that difficult, so I do the best I can with the circumstances I’m given," she said.
"Are you a plotter or a pantser?" I wondered.
"I am a little of both, but I lean more toward a panster. Since I am character and dialogue driven with my stories, I usually piece in the plot. I do use a storyboard when writing what I’d like to happen in the chapters; however, most of the time my characters squash my ideas and insert their own. They are ornery little critters, but it is their stories after all," she admitted with a smile.
RM writes in both urban paranormal fantasy and contemporary, so she finds it helpful to find a hook no one has thought about to keep her writing different, hence the road she chose with Cassadaga Moon.
"However, if an author decides to go down an obscure path they must realize that publication might be non-existent or that publication may take a ton of leg work until it finally happens," she warned. "On the upside, you may have an idea that knocks it out of the ballpark! Writers must always re-invent themselves and their writing; that’s a given in today’s market."
If RM were going to write another series, apart from the three she currently has going, she might try YA. Why?
"Simply because I work in the public education system, and you'd be amazed what I see on a daily basis."
Finally, I asked, "What was the scariest moment of your life?"
"Getting mugged in broad day light by teenage boys was probably one of the scariest moments of my life," she told me. "It left me afraid for quite some time."
About the Author: R.M. Sotera is a romance vixen stuck in the body of a prim and proper woman. A transplant to Las Vegas, by day she is a wife, mom, taxi driver, counselor, and psychologist to her wild and, at times, crazy friends. But when the family goes to bed and the house is dark, she seeks refuge in her office where her deepest desires take hold.
And…ultimately a story is born.
Find the author online at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/R.M.-Sotera/e/B004QSY9AO
Siren Bookstrand Author Page: http://www.bookstrand.com/r-m-sotera
Vice President - Las Vegas Romance Writers: http://lasvegasrwa.org/
Double D Ranch Tales Blogspot: http://doubledranchtales.blogspot.com/
Weary of existing by a moral compass, she is ready and waiting for a one-night stand. She’s twenty-something, and it’s about time. When Jordan De L’croix sets his sights on her, she finds out that her integrity isn’t the only thing she needs to worry about, especially from a man who gets, or takes, what he wants with ease.
And what he craves isn’t just her virginity. He craves her blood, redemption, and true love.
Note: Hero and heroine involved in acts of vampirism.
A Siren Erotic Romance