I've had so many requests for interviews, I've had to start scheduling some on Thursdays. From now until the end of November, and even some in December, enjoy!
Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Thank you Molly for having me here! My name is Mahalia Levey. A good majority of people or ‘peeps’, as I call them address me as Hales, and it works! I began writing for publication just under a year ago. It’s been an insane process of learning the ins and outs of this craft turned profession. I wouldn’t trade a day of it though.
Merikano’s Fury is the first manuscript I ever wrote. I ended up putting it on hold to revamp it after taking self editing classes and learning some about GMC.
The story is centered on the heroine Krissy who is ready to leave small town living for the Big Apple to pursue her dreams and meet the family she’s not too fond of. The only problem is that what was safe in Dibble Oklahoma isn’t so safe in NYC.
For Safety reasons she’s put under surveillance by her boss and the handsome Shifter Dare. Battle of the wills ensues. Dare on the other hand is a player. Who takes nothing serious until he meets her and when he does the game of cat and mouse begins. The cheetah shifter will do whatever it takes to hold onto the wild and zany Krissy.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
Yes, really. I canned it. I wanted to see just how dark I could write. I achieved it and woke up a half demon/white angel from a long nap. I centered him around the Mayan Hell Realm and began a coven story. He was a nasty one. Sadistic, dark and into necrophilia. I honestly thought there was something wrong with me, but the people who read the short series of posts loved them. Not for publication though, necrophilia is on the no no list!
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
No not yet. Some of the stories heroines and hero’s have a tad bit of my personality. I’ve used how I see the towns I grew up in. I did move from Kansas to New York and the difference is mind blowing. Lots of what Krissy saw in the day to day action was actually what I saw riding the Metro North. However I didn’t have a sexy beast bump into me ordered to protect me. Damn! I think some of my humor is also in this story.
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
Research depends on what I’m researching. If I’m doing a specific time period, I’ll research everything in that culture and age from language to clothing and societal structure.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I want them to look for the hidden message inside the story. To enjoy reading for the sake of reading and to take something profound with them that maybe my words brought to mind for them. I like to think a story is one huge three dimensional puzzles. The kind you order on line and they can take any shape or form. I enjoy bringing words together to form that three dimensional picture.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I’m a little of both. I begin with a beginning, middle and end. But I storyboard as they write themselves. By that I mean. I don’t write them they write themselves. I found that edging them my way proved disastrous Anarchy in my brain via characters is not fun. I have post it notes everywhere, color coded incase I’m doing more than one story at a time. Sometimes it’s a thought other times really good dialogue I know I won’t remember!
How long did it take for you to be published?
That’s hard to answer. I began playing on a writing yahoo loop forum in 2006. And I met one of my now editors on that loop two years ago. She challenged me to try publishing. I thought she was absolutely nuts. I had no formal training or technique. I love a challenge. I wrote Merikano’s Fury then but, I chose to write off of a submission calling at Phaze. I was rejected the first time with a revise and resubmit and pushed toward a crit group and some technique classes to hone basic skills. I rewrote and resubmitted a few months later and was accepted. I guess the answer would have to be around six months or so.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
Take notes on advise people give you and make a hard copy of lessons you’ve learned to save time in scrolling email after email
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Laptop, post it notes. I copy edit and line edit by changing font and color.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Kate Douglas, Joey W. Hill, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurel K. Hamilton, Sue M. Kidd, Janet Evanovich, Johanna Lindsey, Nora Roberts, S. King, and all the classics from Shakespeare to the Odyssey and the Iliad to everything else. Books! Give me Books!
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
They’d be surprised that I didn’t grow up in a traditional Christian home but a Shaman medicine and Buddhist home. I’ve had quite a vast education in all the different religions.
Favorite Fourth of July tradition?
I love BBQ and Roman Candles although shooting them at my brothers is no longer fun
Mountains or Beach?
Beach, I love the sand and tide.
Favorite amusement park ride?
I love the ride that takes you up hundreds of feet and then drops you. I like that lurch in adrenaline and fear setting in, and then relief when you hit the bottom gently.
Any Summer Festivals you like to attend?
I attend Rock Fest every year. The Renaissance Festival, Arts and Crafts Festival.
If you’re writing a Christmas-themed story, how do you get ‘in the mood’?
I’ve never written one. I’m going to try too!
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
Thanks again Molly! Here are my publishers
My third party distributers range at diff places. Just google me to find if I’m there!
Beautiful Trouble Publishing
End of this year or beginning of next…
Liquid Silver Books
Merikano ‘Dare’ Varadi has finally met his match. The cheetah shifter assigned to protect and serve, falls for Krissy Shuemaker, the boss’ client. Protecting her from herself seems futile, yet he’s determined to do what it takes.
Trading the comfort of home for the journey of self-discovery, Krissy is ready to follow her dreams on a new path.
When unexpected danger finds her, can the man who ignites feelings best left dead save her from herself. Or will his dark secret shatter any hope for a relationship preventing them from joining for eternity.
Dare followed at a distant pace, watching her move along the people crowding the paved walkway. He watched her flutter around with her fuzzy hood, taking pictures of any and everything. Damned crazy woman. He froze his gonads off while following her.
He picked up his cell and got the voicemail for the CEO. “You so owe me, you lucky bastard. Next time you wish a tail on someone, make it someone who uses a car and has enough sense to stay out of the elements instead of some quirky crazy chick that’s snapping pictures of people she doesn’t know.” He slammed his phone shut and weaved through the people. He couldn’t wait to catch up to her and grill her for her inept way of placing herself in danger.
His wish came true as she turned and boarded the A-Train. Finally, he shook his head. He had a way to confront her without causing a stir, a way to talk with her and not give away his position. Deryck and his damned ideas! He blew warm air on his hands and rubbed them together. For damn sure he’d be wearing a full-length leather trench tomorrow, provided he couldn’t sway her to stay indoors.
He leaned against a pole in the fifth car. The jam-packed car made it hard to move at this time of day. He watched through the glass, using his hawk’s eye, where she stood three cars up, her camera poised as she snapped pictures of the train’s occupants. He wondered when someone would take her camera and shove it up her ass. She’d been riding the same car all week, taking pictures of the same people. Of course, they could think that she was some freak stalker. He heaved his lean body off the stationary metal pole and walked, holding onto the hand straps as he went from train-car to train-car. He stopped in her car and just watched her watching others. “A watcher of people, not birds,” he whispered, a hairsbreadth from behind her.
Krissy turned around, mace out and ready. “Excuse me?”
“If you watch them or take any more pictures, they might mob you.” He then motioned to the annoyed faces and tense bodies of the train’s inhabitants.
Krissy looked at him and narrowed her eyes. “I know you…” She frowned, as if trying to place where she knew him.
“Dare,” he replied, trying to help her to remember.
“Ohh, you look different with clothes on.” She laughed out loud, oblivious to the questioning gazes of the fellow passengers whose attention was now riveted on the tall, dark man looming over the petite brunette who’d been invading their privacy.
“Do I now?” Dare laughed and then plucked a broken branch from the fur surrounding her face. “Warm enough there, Eskimo?”
Krissy laughed. “Well, you were in nothing but a sheet last time I saw you and then you dropped it.” She blushed.
“Was it so bad?” He couldn’t help but to egg her on.
“You’re the perfect image of the man my ma said to stay away from. You know, you and Truth had a lot of fun making fun of my innocence when you both double teamed me at the shoot.” She shook her head and moved a step away from him.
“We didn’t tag team you, per say. We just persuaded you to try and think of new things.”
Krissy choked. “I had on the most God awful ensemble for the shoot, Mr. Romance Novel model,” she pushed.
“Like you said, I’m every woman’s dream,” he quipped back.
“You’re ruining my project,” she replied with a frown.
“You’re project isn’t safe.” He couldn’t help but gaze into her eyes and take in her flushed face.
“It’s safe enough that I’m not harming anything.” She was becoming exasperated.
“Okay, tell me that running in Central Park or going through Battery Park at dusk is a safe thing for a lone female to do?”
“Spying on me, Dare?” She raised a brow, the mace container still primed and aimed for his face. She smirked, obviously certain he couldn’t see her little device in the palm of her gloved hand.
Dare’s reflexes were quick—lightning quick, to be exact. He took her off balance and pulled her small body against his lean one. Her back hit his chest as his arms wrapped around her wrist. Krissy turned inward to break his hold, but encountered his thighs, preventing her from moving, the steel pole and seats preventing her from going elsewhere. The occupants seemed to be enjoying her folly. She stepped on the instep of his foot and jabbed back with her elbow, encountering rock hard abs.
“Okay,” she grumbled.
Dare didn’t fall for her mechanisms. As he let her loose, he gripped the hold on her wrist so that the tube cylinder would roll out onto the floor. He caught it with the instep of his boot and launched it upward into his palm before handing it back to her. “You don’t need to be spied on. You do the most insane things that are apparent. If you want to live long, then blend in. If you don’t, then keep doing what you are doing and you’ll end up raped and mutilated before you can say help,” he enunciated.
“I have mace,” she said.
“That would be the same mace I just disarmed you with. In a public setting full of people,” he vocalized. “Mace won’t help you against beasts of the night, sweetheart.”
“Quit following me. What are you, a stalker?” she shrieked and gathered her things closer to her.
Dare looked at her. “Look, I’m not stalking you, Krissy. I just have been in the neighborhood and witnessed for myself the way you innocently place yourself in harm’s way.”
Krissy flushed red with annoyance. “I’m not changing my schedule for a what if. The chances of someone attacking me are zilch. I’m perfectly safe with my own safety devices and besides, I know self-defense.” She crossed her arms in defiance.
“Suit yourself, sweetheart. Just don’t get mad when I say I told you so.” He tapped his finger on the tip of her nose and jaunted past her to make his way out of the subway. They were a block away from her apartment building—a building he’d moved into recently.