Monday, May 16, 2011

Author Talk: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Many thanks to Lee Ann for taking the time to chat with us about her book, Love Tattoo.


V- First off, I liked Love Tattoo, and I found the interaction between the characters quite interesting. Where did you get the inspiration to write this story? And please, tell us about each of the main characters.

L- I like paranormal things and Ive always thought vampires were, well, sexy. So I was thinking about writing a novel with a vampire hero anyway and was driving down a dark, two lane highway one night. I noticed that almost all of the other traffic was big trucks and I thought, well, hey, a vampire could be a truck driver. The rest just kind of fell into place after that, especially after Caras voice showed up in my head as a sassy Texas gal to tell the story.
V- The story is mainly set in Memphis and you appear to know the setting quite well. Are you native to that area?

L- I wish! Memphis is one of my favorite cities on earth. I first visited as a kid and I keep going back because I love the entire atmosphere. It’s a very cool place with a distinct personality. I do have a few relatives who call - or did – that area home, though.

V- I found your writing style almost lyrical. How would you describe your writing style and voice?

L- I think I have a lot of influences and they all come together into one style. I grew up listening to my Granny tell stories. She had the cadences of an Irish accent without really having one, the lilt and the unconscious alliteration but her dad was English, born in Derbyshire, so she had that too. I’m sure that influenced my style and writing voice to some extent. I had another writer once tell me that he liked my style and he called it “blue jeans prose”. I don’t know if it really describes my work but I like it.

V- I know you have the next book in this series coming out. Was it planned when you were writing the first one, or did the idea for it come later?
L- Actually, no, I thought when I finished Love Tattoo that was it for Will and Cara but my editor at Evernight liked Caras voice. She suggested that there might be more and at first I didnt think so. Then I let my mind play with the idea and I started writing Love Scars very soon.
V- Wed love it if you provided us with a brief excerpt from Love Tattoo.
L- Sure!
'Darkness softens all the rough edges, erases any ugliness, and creates
a mood that evokes imagination. Nighttime Memphis delivers magic
and so when we boarded that vintage trolley car, I didn’t mind so
much that we were elbow to elbow with John Q. Public and his brood
because I sensed that our ride would be spectacular. With the moon
swollen to almost full, silver light bathed the city with an enchanted
charm. I loved it all but most of all, I adored the views of Old Man
River. The Mississippi impresses at any time with such wide water
and so much power. That river pulses with energy but except for a
few stray glances from one of the bridges in passing, I never saw it
under moonlight until that night.

With the Memphis Bridge lit up like Christmas time, that lunar
light cloaked the water with luminous radiance. A few clouds
scudded across the face of the moon and the stars sparkled looking
like gemstones flung out by a careless child, spilled like toys. The
bright lights of the city detracted a little from the overall effect but it
remained magnificent. I peered out from the trolley window, my
fingers laced through Will’s, with wonder and awe.
He caught my admiration and it pleased him.

“You find it beautiful, don’t you, Cara?” he asked in a voice
as silken and soft as the night that surrounded us beyond the windows
of the trolley car.

“I do.”

Then he quoted Byron, moving me to the very bottom layer of
my soul. Although I chose song over literature, once the classic
poets rivaled pop stars for my attention. As a teenager, I mooned over
Shakespeare, Byron, Marlowe, Milton, Tennyson, and John Donne so
his quotation impressed me even as it pleased me.

“Most glorious night!” Will intoned. “Thou wert not sent for

“Lord Byron.” I returned and he nodded, his lips curling
upward in approval. “Aren’t the stars lovely?” '

V- Whats up next for you?

L- Love Scars, sequel or next in the series after Love Tattoo should be out sometime in June. I have a contemporary romance, Love Never Fails that was due out from Rebel Ink Press in September but the publisher would like to release it sooner so we’re debating between early June and August. Then I have a romantic suspense due out from Champagne Books in July.

There is a third book, Love Knots that will continue Will and Cara’s story that I haven’t submitted yet and then I have a new WIP too.

V- Sounds good. Again, thanks for taking the time to do this chat.

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