Hello Esmerelda Bishop. I am honored to have you here at Sizzling Hot Books.
Thanks so much for having me!
To start of can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
I’m a boring subject. Trust me; my characters led a much more interesting life than I do. LOL. But let’s see… I work from home. I’m the mother to six-year-old twins. My daughter is smarter than I am. Don’t laugh, I’m not joking. She’s a vexing creature, but I love her dearly. My son…*chuckles* could charm the devil himself and he knows it. I’m in trouble when he gets older. Right now, I spend a lot of time working and spending time with my twinkies. Mundane, I know, but it’s a good life.
Your newest release is The Panther’s Lair, what can you tell us about it that we haven’t heard/seen before?
Wow. Good question. One thing I think is different about my shifter world is men are the only shifters. I don’t have female shifters in my stories. I don’t really know why I chose it to be that way, but I was intrigued by the idea. So far it’s worked and has given me ideas for future WIPs (Work In Progress).
Where did the idea of The Panther’s Lair first come from? Were you inspired or influenced by anything?
I can’t say any one thing inspired me to write this story. I just had the idea of having a heroine out prowling the bars, instead of the man, pop into my head. Now that was four years ago, LOL. This is an old WIP that I started but never finished. I needed a break from a current WIP I was working on, but didn’t want start something new, so I dug around in my older files and found it. Of course, it sucked, I’d grown a lot as a writer in those four years, but I could see the potential. Moral of the story: Dig out those old stories, authors, you can look at it completely different years later.
What scene did you have the most fun writing for The Panther’s Lair?
My favorite scene is when Raimond, my hero, reveals his shifting ability to Sydney, my heroine. There are a lot of emotions running amuck in that scene: rage, terror, shock then submission. All the emotions had to come into play at the appropriate moment without overwhelming the reader. It was a challenge, but I was extremely pleased with the final outcome. I still go back and read that scene at times. My heart still stutters when Raimond submits in front of Syndey.
Esmeralda, please, tell us about your other published works?
I have another novella out with Lyrical Press titled The Feline Fugitive. It’s definitely a tongue-in-cheek paranormal romance. I didn’t go for the powerful panther type with this story. Luca, my hero, shifts into a black kitty-cat. Yes, a swats-at-your-feet-as-you-walk-by cat. This was a challenging story. By giving Luca such an anti-alpha counterpart, I had to work really hard to make him alpha even when he was in kitty form. One thing I can say about the story is you will never look at your cat the same way again. LOL.
I have three short stories out with Freya’s Bower. Prince Henry’s Secret is a stand alone micro-read. I wrote this for my babies. It’s a fairy tale about a prince who is cursed and the princess who loves him.
My two other stories are part of anthologies. A Love Rewritten (the first story I ever sold) is in Dream by the Fire: A Winter Anthology. This is a time-travel story where my heroine wakes up in medieval Scotland. After some serious déjà vu, she realizes she’s living inside her favorite romance novel and comes face to face with the hero of her dreams. Haven’t we all wished that at some point?
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? Was your family and friends supportive?
I hadn’t written a word until five years ago. Heck, I couldn’t even keep a diary. I tried, numerous times, but writing just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t grow up dreaming of being an author. A part of me is still shocked that I’m sitting here today as an one.
I loved to read and was quite happy being only a reader. About six years ago, something switched and I found myself re-writing stories I was reading in my head. Now I’ve never had a creative bone in my body, people. But suddenly, just like that, I wanted to write a book. Sound familiar to anyone? My friends and family were supportive, but in the beginning I was mostly dabbling with writing. So they let me talk. It wasn’t until I sold my first story that we, myself included, realized ‘damn she’s serious.’
Who inspired you the most to follow your dreams of being a writer?
I don’t want this to come across as egotistical, because that’s not my intention. But I inspired myself. I decided I wanted to be a writer, not because I had a history with it, but because it was something I wanted to do. I pushed myself to take every class I could about the difference between showing verses telling, POV and deep POV, and all that other jazz you don’t have a clue about when you’re starting out. My writing sucked when I first started. Sucked! But I’d found I loved to write—fiction that is, still can’t keep a diary—and it was in finding that passion that kept me determined to succeed.
What is the writing process like for you? Do you have a particular writing process or any writing rituals?
No rituals really. I’m a pantser. I’ve never outlined a day in my life. I don’t have a specific time to write because my life is a bit to chaotic for that kind of structure. The way I write has changed over the years. I used to agonize over every word, which created way too much rewriting. I’ve learned to write through to the end. I can make changes later. As a pantser, I have no idea what the end is going to be anyway, so why agonize over it if it’s probable it will have to change as the story progresses anyways?
In your free time what can you be found doing?
It depends. If I have my kids, I’m doing something with them. I love amusement parks, so we spend a lot of time at Carowinds. If I don’t, then I do try to grab some Esme time with my wonderful friends. That could be anywhere from watching a movie together or playing a drinking game, or sitting around a fire pit talking.
Many of our viewers are writers, do you have any writing tips to pass along?
I’m sure this has been said before, but if writing is what you love to do then do it. The only person who can stop you is yourself. If you believe in your story, don’t allow negative feedback to sway you from your vision. I’ve had that happen to me. It’s an awful feeling, but stick to your guns. However, don’t be so close-minded not to hear what they are saying. If the feedback has you in tears (been there, done that, own the shirt) step away for a few days and let your emotions calm then go back. You’d be surprised that even if you disagree, there can be something in that person’s opinion that can bring a new angle to the story. If you find nothing, then shake it off and proceed.
What are you currently working on? Anything you can share regarding your current Work in Progress?
I’m in the process of working on a romantic comedy. I like humor. Even in my darker stuff, I throw some in. I’m also toying with bringing out a vampire novella I started a few years ago. It has the potential to be a great story, but I got stuck and shelved it. Maybe with a few years to stew, I can work myself out of my corner. Sometimes it sucks being a pantser.
Esme thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop by. It was nice to have you here.
Thanks so much for having me! You can visit my website at www.esmereldabishop.com
Esmerelda is giving away a ebook copy of The Panther’s Lair. To be entered into the giveaway, please leave a question for Esmerelda with your email address. Enter until June 17th at noon. The winner will be picked using random.org, and announced Saturday evening.