ML Buchman: Author Interview and Giveaway
Hello again readers! I promised you a big week at Book Savvy Babe, and today I have another guest author. Romantic Suspense author ML Buchman is here with a great interview and a giveaway of his new release, The Night is Mine. I rated The Night is Mine 4 of 5 stars (read my review). Check out this interview, comment away, and enter to win this hot new read!
ML: I’ve always loved a good love story. I was raised on Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant and Broadway musicals. Not that I am so old, but that’s what my parents watched and listened to. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic (well, until I met my lady who turned me into a happily hopeful romantic about 15 years ago). Also, the more I wrote, the more I was attracted to that thriller/suspense pacing. It pushes characters, it drives them by robbing them of every chance to collect their thoughts, sometimes their breath, and eventually even their emotions. To combine my romantic heart with that driving story line became natural. I recently reconnected with a friend who I haven’t seen in a half dozen years, since before I wrote “The Night is Mine,” and she reminded me, “You’ve been talking about writing a romance since forever.” I’d forgotten it had been a stated goal, but it’s always been there waiting for me.
BSB: The Night is Mine is pretty heavy on military speak, as far as descriptions of aircraft and various segments of the military go. Did writing The Night is Mine require a lot of research?
ML: An immense amount. I’m pretty fair mechanically and I have my private pilot’s license, which is about like saying, “I worked backstage in a school play once, so I could direct a Broadway musical easy!” I have no military background. Not in the mechanics of it or the thinking or feel of it. That was the real challenge. For each book I read on helicopters, I read 4 about people’s recollections, stories, feelings. I wanted to strike a balance between realism and story. The story is a love story and two people fighting against their own past and their external circumstances. The setting is military. The challenge was discovering what would be unique to a trained warrior’s way of thinking and interacting that I would have no experience with.
BSB: The Night is Mine is part of a series, will the next book in the series have the same characters and continue Mark and Emily’s story? Can you tell us a little about your plans for the series?
ML: Mark and Emily are now Happily Ever After, but the series is just taking flight. The DAP Black Hawk, the nastiest helicopter ever thrown into the night sky, has four seats. One-by-one, they’ll be taken by the first women of SOAR. Captain Emily Beale is the anchor. I had so much fun writing my book #2 heroine Kee Smith, she’s the gunner and she’s a fighter. She’s a street kid and to her everything is a battle. When she hooks up with calm, centered, upper-class, co-pilot Archie, the fight is definitely on. For both of them! Connie Davis, book 3, is the mechanic’s mechanic. Quiet, resolute, and surprisingly passionate (at least to me, I found her quite as surprising as Chief Mechanic Big John Wallace did). And now I’m just starting to discover the female co-pilot of book #4, Lola LaRue, “Like my dad wanted me to grow up to be a stripper or something with that name.” Very sassy and kinda wild. I can’t wait!
BSB: As a male author in the romance genre, do you think you have a different take on romance?
ML: I’d have to say, less than you might expect. I look at the variety of romance writing by women from cozy to erotica, from Brockman’s SEALs to Nora’s Chesapeake fisherman and I don’t fall outside that span by any stretch. But there is a difference. I step forward to protect. I saw this when my step-daughter received her first credit card solicitation call at 8 years old. I see this when I come up against an angry street person, I’ll step to the fore to shield others with me. Somehow it seems to be inherent in my nature and I know it carries into my writing. A woman will protect by withdrawing, I’ll do it by stepping forward. It’s a thought-provoking question, I’ll have to think about my military heroines, most of them step forward, but not all. Hmm…
BSB: What would you say to those people who often perceive romance novels as “fluff?” Do you cringe if you come across terms such as “throbbing manhood?”
ML: First I point out that romance constitutes about 50% of the fiction market. I ask if they ever watch romance movies. After they say no, I ask about “Sleepless in Seattle, Pride and Prejudice, Sound of Music, almost anything with Jennifer Aniston, etc.” I’ll point out the difference between pulp science fiction and “2001: A Space Odyssey” or between “Married with Children” and “Modern Family.” Some of it is fluff, some of it’s fantastic.
“Throbbing member” “fisted her” “pulsing manhood” “her wet…” yep, they definitely make me cringe. Not because they are so graphic, but rather because there are so many possibilities in the crazy thing that has grown into the English language. I find such phrases just a little too easy an out, at least for me.
BSB: Do you finish every book you start? If not, what’s your cutoff? Do you give it a certain number of pages to capture your attention, or are there certain plot developments that make you give up on a story?
ML: I used to. If you had me on page 1, you had me on page 431. I don’t have time for that any more. If I’m flagging in the 40-50s, you’re at a deep risk of losing me. And book 1 doesn’t necessarily lead me into book #2. A series is a huge commitment, and I have 5 or 6 on my shelf right now that I know want to read end-to-end. Yet, I write in series because I love them so much. I love the continuing story in the background and the new one in the foreground. Clearly I’m torn here. There are certain, heave-at-the-wall limits that press my buttons and I’ll cast the book down and not pick it up again. If a character is too stupid to live, or the hero/heroine is intentionally cruel (at least not with some deep motivation), I’m done.
BSB: On the flip side, what criteria do you have for a great book? Any examples?
ML: One that I can’t put down. But beyond that, I read so widely that it’s hard to pin down. Lee Child’s storytelling and pacing doesn’t let me put down a book once I pick it up. James Lee Burke is such a master of language that I love to wallow in his use of it, even though I’m not enamored of the setting or the violence. Stephenson’s “Anathem” I absolutely loved and on that basis alone I’m working my way through his other books. Nora’s “Born in” and Chesapeake series I’ll gladly reread any time, they’re just so rich and comfortable, definitely old friends. My two “island” books? “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand and “The Annotated Adventures of Alice.”
Okay, onto a little bit of fun. I always love my authors to play a little game of Would You Rather, have fun with the questions and please explain your answers:
BSB: Would you rather always lose or never play?
ML: I’ll always play. Back in my teen years I hit that proverbial hard bump in the road that threw all my understanding of humanity into doubt. At that time I made a conscious choice to always step forward in trust, because if I didn’t play, I couldn’t win. It’s set me up for a few seriously daunting sucker punches, but in turn I have some truly fabulous people in both my past and my present that I wouldn’t trade for all the world.
BSB: Would you rather be an unknown minor league basketball player or a famous professional badminton star?
ML: Easy: hate basketball, love badminton! Not even a choice there. I’ve never understood the attraction of “big” sports. It’s like sex, would you rather watch or play? I don’t care about the size of the game, I care about the fun of it.
BSB: Would you rather forget who you were or who everyone else was?
ML: A friend of my sister’s once said, “If I’m ever bored, I’ll just give you a piece of string and sit back to watch.” We both have very strong internal lives, ones that seek expression, but starts from self. I’d far rather remember myself… if I can put in a hedge on remembering my lady and my step-kid, life wouldn’t be 1/100th as fun without them in my life.
Thank you so much for being here, I really appreciate your answers. I know that I am looking forward to the next installment of the series, I’m looking forward to meeting Kee Smith!
NAME: Emily Beale RANK: Captain MISSION: Fly undercover to prevent the assassination of the First Lady, posing as her executive pilot. NAME: Mark Henderson, code name Viper RANK: Major MISSION: Undercover role of wealthy, ex-mercenary boyfriend to Emily
Their jobs are high risk, high reward:
Protect the lives of the powerful and the elite at all cost. Neither expected that one kiss could distract them from their mission. But as the passion mounts between them, their lives and their hearts will both be risked…and the reward this time may well be worth it.
M. L. Buchman has worked in fast food, theater, computers, publishing, and light manufacturing. It’s amazing what you can do with a degree in geophysics. At one point he sold everything and spent 18-months riding a bicycle around the world. In 11,000 miles, he touched 15 countries and hundreds of amazing people. Since then, he has acquired a loving lady, the coolest kid on the planet, and lives in Portland, Oregon. For more information, please visit http://www.matthewlieberbuchman.com/.
Sourcebooks is providing 2 COPIES of The Night is Mine for a giveaway! Since the publisher is providing this contest, the contest is open to entries in the US/CAN only. To enter, just leave a meaningful comment on this blog post and fill out the rafflecopter below. Happy reading!