Monday, September 20, 2010

Moira Rogers on Research, Wolves & Sex

I have been wanting to interview Bree and Donna, who write under the name Moira Rogers, since last spring. I finally got the chance this month, and hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. Before I begin, I want to share a paragraph from their bio that gives you glimpse at their unique personalities and writing style:

How do you make a Moira Rogers? Take a former forensic science and nursing student obsessed with paranormal romance and add a computer programmer with a passion for gritty urban fantasy. Toss in a dash of whimsy and a lot of caffeine, and enjoy with a side of chocolate by the light of the full moon.

My first two questions pertain to their new series, Building Sanctuary, which takes place during the 1930's. It features bootlegging werewolves and former debutantes who join together to start a safe place for shifters and their families. I've reviewed the series below the interview here.

Brenda: How the long was this idea in your heads, and did you think people would like it immediately?

Bree: It evolved while we were working on Sanctuary's Price and getting ready to start plotting Sanctuary Unbound. A big part of that was considering Adam's backstory, and the more we talked about it, the more I liked the idea of writing that story. Then I think I started in on Donna, trying to convince her. :D I can't remember, Donna--was it difficult?

Donna: Not really. The biggest hurdle we faced, I think, was figuring out how we could convince our editor to let us write it. Then it turned out not to be a problem at all, because she was like, "Hey, go for it."

Bree: We hoped people would like it, of course, but we were aware that it was a risk. 1930s historicals are not exactly an in demand commodity, but our editor gave us her support and so far I've been thrilled with the response!

Brenda: Was there a lot of research involved to write about that time period, or did you wing some of it? (It was such a fascinating era.)

Donna: There's a ton of research involved, even if it's stuff that never shows up on the page. In a lot of ways, it was harder than writing a book set further in the past, because there are a lot of things that aren't entirely different now. It becomes this balancing act, really, where you try to find a way to let the readers know that yes, you did research this, you didn't just pull it out of your--yeah. LOL

Bree: It was tough, and more tough because a big part of this universe has always been that our wolves live off the beaten path. In Undertow, especially, our characters are so far removed from the world and conveniences of their time that we were essentially writing 1930s characters living a frontier-style life. We didn't set ourselves up for an easy time, that's for sure.

Brenda: I've been dying to ask you a question since reading your books for the first time. I find your love scenes very steamy, as I'm sure all your fans do, but I also find myself giggling at the banter between the couples during sex. Did you always write the love scenes this way...or did it develop with time? I picture you gals going over the scenes, snickering and saying things like "OMG, yeah, yeah, he should say that when he's doing this..." "Come on, they can't do that, can they?". Please 'fess up on the process you go through to write those scorching scenes. I know others must wonder about this too.

Bree: Best. Question. Ever. Because really, our process for writing sex scenes is moderately hysterical, I think. You wouldn't believe how many times I have to IM Donna with, "Choreography check!"

Donna: I'm not going to lie--sometimes I have to pause mid-scene to go find some streaming porn, JUST to figure out if people can really bend that way.

Bree: And then there's all the frantic conversations that go something like this:

Donna: Doooooo it.
Me: No! OMG. I can't!
Donna: Do it now!
Me: *cry*

Donna: Or, "OMG [HERO'S NAME] IS SO DIIIIIIRTY!!" We do that a lot too.

Bree: Or the question so inevitable it has become our standing joke for how silly our job can be at times: "What color are [character]'s panties?!?"

Donna: Seriously, though. Beyond the choreography and panties, each scene is different. Whether it's sweet or spicy or both is all dependent on who's getting it on. Some couples talk more, or dirtier, than others. They all have a distinct dynamic, and that's what leads the scenes more than anything else.

Bree: And in between the jokes and the laughing, we do spend endless hours discussing those dynamics. (Sometimes over the dinner table, much to our husbands' unending consternation.) We want our characters to be changed by the sex they have, and that means we have to go into each scene knowing what they need to learn or give. That takes planning!

Brenda: Do you both see yourself writing when your sitting on the porch, rocking in your favorite chair, at 80 years old, or do you think a time will come when you'll say "Hey, I'm all written out, it's time to give it a rest?"

Donna: Nope. I hope I can come up with some awesome stories to tell when I've been around that long.

Bree: I figure some day, we'll probably run out of ideas. Maybe. But they are always stacking up faster than we could possibly write them, so I guess after we run out of ideas we can work our way through the backlog. Then take a break. ;) (Of course, chances are good we'll come up with more ideas in the meantime!)

Brenda: Thanks for letting me pick your brains ladies. I knew you two would be a hoot to interview. Now, everyone go out and buy a Moira Rogers e-book so you can understand my question about their steamy sex scenes:) I promise it will be worth it.

Visit Bree and Donna, the team who make up Moira Rogers at the following places:
-Moira Rogers Website:
-Bree & Donna's Blog:
-Bree @ Twitter:
-Donna @ Twitter:


Building Sanctuary: Bootleggers & Debutantes

Building Sanctuary
-A Safe Harbor (July 2010)
-Undertow (October 2010)
Author: Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
A Safe Harbor is available for the Kindle
Undertow will be available in October

A Safe Harbor Summary: Joan Fuller enjoyed a privileged life-until her wealth and connections garnered her the wrong sort of attention. Her rejection of a textile heir-s proposal comes back to bite her when he turns out to be a werewolf on the prowl for a mate.

Former bootlegger Seamus Whelan has cleaned up his act, but when his old partner Gavin comes to him for help, he can-t say no-no matter how deadly the threat. Escorting some female wolves to safety should have been easy, except their leader is a prim ex-debutante with enough power to challenge Seamus himself.

A Safe Harbor takes place during The Depression, in the 1930's, a hard time for humans and shifters, especially those who are trying to stay safe. Joan Fuller is a strong wolf, a female alpha, who escapes a cruel pack with mostly women who have been abused and treated as whores. She was raised in a wealthy family, brought up to be proper and pampered. Nothing prepared her for a life of sacrifice and hardship as she becomes a leader to those who need her. Her needs can't be acknowledged, or given into, and she feels alone. Seamus is a smuggler and a bootlegger getting ready to start a new life with his men. He's called upon by a friend to help Joan and her charges, knowing nothing of their circumstances.

The authors have brought alive this period in history, and made the idea of retired bootleggers, homeless girls and former debutantes who are werewolves believable. The characters are rich and passionate. I was swept away by the danger, adventure and romance of A Safe Harbor. I read it twice before writing this review, and loved it even more the second time. The story is fast paced, the romance is heart wrenching and passionate, and the action keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

If you love shifter stories and paranormal romance, you will love A Safe Harbor. It's a story to be read again and again.

Undertow Summary: Victor left behind a life of crime to focus on a new vision--helping his alpha build an island sanctuary for werewolves. Harsh experiences prepared him for the hardships involved, except when it comes to dealing with the young female refugees of the brutal Boston pack--especially Simone, who rouses his inner wolf like no other.

Born to wealth and privilege, Simone lost everything when she fell for the seductive whispers of the textile heir who turned her. Once adrift, now she is fired by a new sense of purpose--the chance to broker peace between werewolves and European wizards. Yet even as Europe beckons, her instincts--the same ones that led to trouble before--keep drawing her back to Victor.
Undertow is the second novella in the Building Sanctuary series, and I requested a review copy after reading A Safe Harbor, which I purchased on Amazon. Once again, the authors have captured the character of a man raised during this difficult time in history when the instinct is to protect and to lead, often giving the impression of being controlling. Words don't come easy for some men, as we soon find out in Undertow.

I loved the character of Victor for many reasons. He isn't your typical sexy shifter. He's gruff, brooding, and stoic in many ways. The authors, as far as I'm concerned, nailed the type of man I can imagine living during this era. Simone, our heroine, is a fascinating character as well, opposite of Victor in so many ways. She's the comforting, warm influence in the pack, yet she suffers from guilt over choices she's made in the past. Both allow the guilt over their past and fear of getting into a relationship stand in the way of happiness. In Undertow, Victor and Simone are taken on an adventure that forces them to face their feelings and learn to deal with their past. Witty banter, a stubborn man and wolf instincts take the reader on a sexy adventure.
Undertow is a fast paced sexy read with steamy love scenes, fascinating characters and adventure during a tough era in our history. I loved it, and can't wait until the third installment.

The series takes place before the author's Red Rock Pass series. Both are historical paranormal romance with former bootlegging werewolves. Brilliant, sexy and adventurous come to mind when I think of this new series. If you have read any of the Moira Rogers books in this series, below is the order I suggest you do so:

Red Rock Pass
Becoming (free read)
Little Things (free read)
1. Cry Sanctuary
2. Sanctuary Lost
3. Sanctuary's Price
4. Sanctuary Unbound

Building Sanctuary
1. A Safe Harbor
2. Undertow

I have reviewed the Red Rock Pass series here. To learn more about Moira Rogers and Building Santuary visit their website here.