What makes a book exciting? Is it the story? The way it’s written? It could be a mixture of everything. That’s the way I feel about M.L. Newman and her writing. She writes great stories, she has a great writing style and she really turns out books worth reading.
Her previous books have been bestsellers– her new one “Far, Far Away” is looking likely to match that high level of success. If you missed her previous books– you won’t want to miss this one! Why don’t you check out her latest interview!
What is your new book about, and where did you get the idea?
The story is continuing Lauren’s journey as a Sanguis Bellator. We watched her struggle with who she had become in the first book and even reject it entirely. Her choices will have consequences for all involved.
As soon as the first book ended, I knew where the sequel would lead. We watched Lauren interact with humans before and after the change. There was a need for her to not only “come home,” but to be able to see what was really going on inside the Bellator nest.
It’s always nice as a reader to watch a character learn and grow. Lauren will be doing exactly that, however, you know what they say about the best laid plans…
What makes this story one that you want to tell? Is there something about the story that grabbed you?
A great deal of the paranormal romances that I’ve read are of female humans falling in love with a nonhuman counterpart. I wanted to tell a different story, something off the beaten path with struggles not foreseen in other stories. Not just about what is lost, but what is gained from the experience.
Lauren has lost more than even she has realized. This is a turning point for her to see that even though some doors have been closed, there is another way. And it doesn’t have to be someone else’s way. She can make her own.
Why do you think readers will enjoy it?
The enjoyment of this story is the uniqueness of it. Readers look for excitement, a thrill of circumstances where a character does the unexpected.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Absolutely. Emotions are basic, primal. Everyone has felt emotion at some point in their life, and even if the writer hasn’t, readers who have can feel it.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
The Fade Away Series is a body of work with connections between each. Sure, readers can pick up one out of order and be engaged with what is happening, but the overall message and arc of the characters will surprise the reader. The reader could be filled in quickly about the night of Lauren’s assault, but watching her grow from book to book would be lost without reading the full series. The changes that happen wouldn’t touch them as deeply.
If you could tell anything to your younger writing self, what would it be?
I would tell myself to write. Don’t think or worry about where the story goes. Just write. Details, edits, etc. can be added afterward. Tell the story that is in your heart, and don’t cheat yourself the opportunity by taking the easy path out.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
After publishing Glimmer of Hope, I felt the fire in my veins to continue. It wasn’t just typing on a laptop and having a friend or two read it. I felt the passion to write the stories that were in the back of my mind. I let all my worries go and took to outlining, drafting, sketching (horrifically), daydreaming and writing it all out.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have upwards of 30-plus stories in all different states in the writing process. I have a few at the cusp of being complete and ready for publishing. They should be getting released between now and next year.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yes, I leave a few breadcrumbs for my friends and family in my books. Certain memories that fit so perfectly into the story, that express my love and gratitude in regards to our experiences together.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The hardest scene to write for Far, Far Away was Lauren’s first training experience. The scene offers the readers a small glimpse at the past while watching Lauren do what she does best.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Writing a book could range anywhere from three months to three years. The reason is that the story itself is mostly set and outlined for writing. All I have to do is make the story happen fluently. It takes longer to detail, perfect, bring to life my creation after getting the storyline down on paper.
How long did this new one take to write?
Far, Far Away took about ten months to write after plotting, outlining and detailing what the focus was going to be on.
How do you feel about editing? Is it important?
Editing is very important. Not just for grammatical errors, but for the entire storyline to flow consistently. Having an editor to advise of any content that will be shared publicly is a benefit to the writer as much as it is for the reader.
Where can we find the new book?
Far, Far Away can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here.
Can we have a sample of it for our readers?
I would love to!
The tinted sunlight only barely lit the room. The walls were textured in coarse material that resembled dull marble, while the floor was a dark wood that creaked from time to time. Noises echoed easily through the walls from heavy footsteps to loud whispers. Even the door that kept her locked within couldn’t hinder the noises from slipping through the cracks like it was part of their master plan all along.
Lauren lay on the makeshift bed, the mattress filled with too little cotton and too much hay that she felt stab her when she moved too much. Her leg, propped up above the blankets, felt extra dry and itchy from Bellator remedies to help it to heal.
She couldn’t stop thinking about the night that they’d kidnapped her. Her mind had been clouded with preparing for finals, ignoring the pain she felt in her heart from being rejected by her best friend—and one-time lover—Taylor. Needless to say, she had been distracted when Quinn, her ex-boyfriend and current Bellator ‘doctor,’ had called her cell phone a few times in the middle of the night. When she called him back and he hadn’t answered, she’d gone to check on him only to find their dilapidated Science Building, and occasional experiment headquarters, engulfed in flames.
Timing had been on her side. She had managed to get Quinn free from debris that had collapsed on him with the help of his current girlfriend, Fallon. They had been able to get out with his Bellator research data safely intact. Unfortunately, “Mousey,’’ a lab mouse on which Quinn experimented with Lauren’s Bellator blood, had been caught inside the building, and with her heart in her mouth, she went back into the building to find her furry friend. She had only managed to get him safely out just in the nick of time, wounding her leg in the process, as the integrity of the building buckled.
That was when Elijah had snatched her.
The only hint of company was a soft shuffle she could just barely hear before the locks released and the door opened, wafting in cooler air from the hallway.
“It is only me. Barbara,” the female said, coming to Lauren’s side only to gently push her back down onto the bed. “There’s no need to excite yourself.”
Lauren grit her teeth. Speaking was a waste of breath; no one had listened to her anyway. She could feel the cool gelatinous substance against her skin. All she could do was sigh and wait for Barbara to leave.
“Hmmm… Are you hungry, dear?”
Lauren shook her head.
“It would be best if you fed anyway. You’re not healing very well,” Barbara advised, gently pulling off the blindfold. “Just a snack if you’re not ready for a whole meal then.”
The room was blurry as Lauren’s eyes adjusted again. She had to cherish what little amount of time she had with the blindfold removed; she only got this chance twice a day. Her eyes swept the room, noting a strange new addition against the wall. She squinted until it came into focus.
Light green eyes stared back hidden behind bushy dark brown eyebrows. His arms were thick with muscles protruding within his dutiful stance. He refused to speak, like a natural statue to be discovered by tourists. His stare took in her every breath like he’d be tested on it later. Maybe he would.
Barbara came back in dressed as usual in her business casual slacks and blazer; only today it was with a leash in her hand. When she tugged on it, a young man on was the other end. He could have been a peer, but she didn’t recognize him. His hands were bound in front of him with the leash hooked into it. His frantic brown eyes searched the room as Barbara grabbed a handful of his dark hair, shoving him to the ground. His clothing wasn’t expensive, but he appeared to be well taken care of, or at least as much as a human drinking fountain could be.
“Take as much as you need,” Barbara encouraged, standing behind him.
“I’m not hungry,” Lauren rasped.
“You haven’t had anything since you’ve been here. Of course you are,” Barbara stated, grabbing the man’s arm as an offering. “No need to be modest.”
“Don’t be stubborn,” Elijah stated, grabbing the young man’s arm roughly, almost ripping it from his arm socket. The young man cried out in pain and fear. Lauren shrieked in reaction, trying to scramble from the bed, only to fall to the floor with her injured leg. Her hands, too, were bound before her as she used her good leg to push away from them.
Elijah easily grabbed her up as her shrieks hit another pitch higher. “Stop it. Calm down.”
“No!” she hollered, thrashing within his arms until she began to choke.
He held her right side up, almost cradling her like a small child as she continued to cough until dark life force smeared her lips.
“Calm yourself. Lauren, relax,” he said, trying to settle her back on the bed.
Lauren managed to get her coughing under control only to dry sob. “Please leave me alone to fade away on my own.”
Barbara stopped, completely horrified by Lauren’s words. Elijah frowned severely, grabbing the young man by the back of the shirt on his way out. Lauren could hear the soft shuffle of Barbara’s feet before she heard the door shut and the lock engage.
“She is unmanageable,” a raspy voice declared. “Her instincts are non-existent.”
Lauren checked the door but no one had come in. No one was talking to her directly, but clearly someone was talking about her. As far as she could tell, she and Barbara were the only ones there. She couldn’t be sure who was speaking in the hall but had a guess.
“No, she is dishonorable. Has no—” The silence lengthened for a short time. “I understand. When will you arrive?”
Panic bubbled up as she sensed a change coming. Whatever happened, she certainly wasn’t in a good place. She looked around the room, thankful that Barbara had forgotten to put the blindfold back on, trying to think of a way out of the binding on her hands. The room itself was scarce of furniture other than the bed she lay on. There were no mirrors or dresser, not even a closet. She pulled herself up from the bed, careful not to send any jolts of pain through the injured leg as she went over to the window.
She couldn’t see much through the warped tint and could imagine it would only get worse throughout the winter season. The latches to lock and unlock the window were missing, leaving her to believe that it was never meant to open at all. She banged her bound wrists to the glass as if it would easily give way. No such luck. How could she possibly leave a room with only one way in and one way out?
“You’re supposed to be in bed,” Elijah stated.
Lauren hung her head, allowing it to press against the cool of the glass. “No, I’m supposed to be in class.”
His heavy boots sounded behind her. “Are you going to get back in bed, or do I have to put you there?”
“I’m not a rag doll. I can take care of myself,” she groused.
Silence echoed behind her. His presence alone was loud enough to eclipse her vocal complaints. With her lips smashed together, keeping in her protests, she took her time getting back on the bed. Taking care to prop her leg back up as per usual, she was well aware of being watched closely. He kept his distance of at least a few feet as his eyes scanned her thoroughly. Maybe he had a mental checklist he was going through.
“Do you understand what you’re doing here? Why you’re here at all?”
“You kidnapped me.” She glared at him.
Elijah scoffed at the accusation. “Your place is here with the rest of the Bellator family.”
“Family?! If this is how you treat each other then I want no part of it. In fact, consider me gone,” she said, looking towards the door.
“Your place is here,” he repeated firmly. “You’re not going anywhere.”
“My place is with kidnappers and stalkers?”
“Raeffe would have no qualms about grabbing someone you cared about to make a point. He is ruthless and determined. Remember that the next time you even think to spout off at him,” he warned. “You’re in enough trouble as it is.”
Lauren eyed the door longingly until he blocked it from view. “The king is coming—”
“King?” Lauren interrupted.
Elijah nodded. “Yes, King Erebus, and he is here to see you.”
Her eyes refused to blink as she stared into his green eyes, fear filling her again. “To see me?”
“The last time he came was to execute a traitor. Trust me when I say this is highly unusual.”
Elijah went to the door, throwing her one last look as she frantically tried to gain her thoughts. “He can be your savior or your enemy.”
You can download your copy of “Far, Far Away” by clicking here!