Monday, December 12, 2011

Q&A with Debra Mullins!

1.Tell us about your newest release.

ONCE A MISTRESS is an homage to the swashbuckler movies of Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power. It's full of derring-do and pirates and swordfights, and it's just a little over the top like those old favorites from Hollywood's golden age. I used to watch those movies on Sundays growing up.

Here's the quick summary: In 1680 Jamaica, Diana Covington is the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. Even though she knows someday she'll be promised in marriage to some noble gentleman, she dreams of the adventures to be found with the pirates she hears so much about. But then she is jolted to the reality of what a pirate really is when she is abducted by the villainous Marcus to be held as part of a blackmail scheme against her father. She is rescued from Marcus's clutches by El Moreno, the Black Spaniard, a pirate who'd featured in some of her fantasies. But El Moreno has no intention of letting her go, and she wonders if she has jumped from the pan into the fire...

El Moreno is really Alex Rawnsley, a man with a personal grudge against Marcus. When he first started this masquerade, he'd only had one goal--find Marcus and bring him to justice. But now that beautiful, passionate Diana is on his ship and close under hand, he finds his focus wavering between desire for revenge on Marcus and desire for the temptress in his bed.

This book is one of my favorites because it was the very first book I ever wrote. It was published in print back in 1999 by Avon Books and is now finding new life as in e-book form from Samhain's new Retro Romance line.

2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

One of my favorite scenes is when Alex walks in on a cat fight between Diana and his ex-mistress, Rosana. For all that Diana is gently bred, she's no wimp living in Jamaica. The city of Port Royal was pirate central for many years, and my girl had to learn to handle herself in that kind of environment!

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think it started in first grade when we had to re-tell one of Aesop's fables, and I kept changing the ending. I consciously got the writing bug about ten years later in junior high. A few years after that, as an adult, I decided to truly give writing a shot with the goal of publication.

4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

Ideas for stories are everywhere. Writers are like sponges, absorbing everything around them and then presenting things back to the world with a different spin. I get a lot of ideas from current headlines, even for historicals.

5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Just one? Most writers have a few quirks, but one for me is that I get great ideas if I am doing something with water. Washing the dishes, taking a shower--these are when stories start to fall into place in my head.

6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I tend to have the same sorts of recurring themes in my books. I love secret identities (see pirate hero above). Also, unless the plot dictates otherwise, my characters tend to only have one living parent. Beats me why!

7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

Nora Roberts was a huge influence for me. I was lucky enough to join Romance Writers of America early on, and I had a lot of support from the other writers I met there.

8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?

They're very supportive and tell all their friends when I have a new book out. Many of my family members are readers as well.

9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

Most of what interests me has to do with stories, like TV and movies. I've also taken on the hobby of tracing my family tree. I'm really into it, and I think it's because I can imagine the stories around the people I am finding.

10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?

I have two more Retro Romances coming out: DONOVAN'S BED in February and THE LAWMAN'S SURRENDER in April. Those are both humorous Westerns. I also have a new contemporary paranormal series coming out in late 2012 from Tor Paranormal Romance about the descendents of the survivors of Atlantis and their cool psychic powers. I'm very excited about all of them!

11. How can readers connect with you online?

I am very active on Twitter ( ). I have a Facebook page and am trying to be more active over there. They can also email me through my website: .


Thank you, Debra! Readers, learn more about purchasing ONCE A MISTRESS at Samhain Publishing.


Laurie G said...

This sounds perfect for me!

Maria said...

Intriguing interview Debra! I'm really looking forward to the re-release of all three of your "Retro" romances and your upcoming paranormal series sounds fantastic!

Susan said...

Your books are always wonderful!

Can't wait to read this one.

susan meier

Gail said...

I loved this book the first time it was out and can't wait to re-read it.

Maria Powers said...

I am so with you on imagining the stories around the people on my family tree. They are so interesting.

Lelah said...

Thanks for this Q&A. I'm looking forward to reading the book!

Debra Mullins said...

Thanks to all of you for commenting. Hope you enjoy my pirates :)

Laurie Ryan said...

How cool that your stories are coming back out for sale! Congratulations. And I know what you mean about researching family stories. I scrap-booked heritage albums for my siblings because I wanted to tell the stories, not just show the dates and places.

Jenna Kernan said...

Looks like a fabulous tale. I can't wait to read this.

Irene said...

Hey, I thought "nobody writes about pirates any more" was somebody's mantra way back when.

Congratulations, good interview Deb! That cover is beautiful!

Susan Wingate said...

From one "sponge" to another, lovely interview. -Susan.

Debra Mullins said...

Glad there are so many pirate lovers still out there. We should stage a coup or something!