After taking a break from Writer Wednesday for several months, I’m rebooting it with a new format. From now on, we’ll interview the main characters of the book and then follow up with a few questions for the author. I saw this done elsewhere recently and it really helped me know right away if I’d be interested in the book or not–much more so than a traditional author interview. Hopefully, you guys will also enjoy this change up!
Today I’ll be interviewing the main characters from Cris Anson’s book Mercy and Redemption.
What are your names? And tell us a little about yourselves?
Thanks for asking us here today, Leta. My name is Mercy Howe and I’m a Boston TV chef specializing in colonial cooking. It helps that I live in a mashup of a 1735 kitchen and an 1800s carriage house, because I test my recipes in my walk-in fireplace. I was trekking through an old cemetery in central Massachusetts looking for interesting gravestones to illustrate a book when I heard these two guys raising a ruckus around a gravesite. Turns out they found a common ancestor, so we started a conversation about the past.
Hey there, I’m Adam Connolly, a locally famous sculptor. In a recent issue, Improper New England Magazine named me Most Eligible Bachelor. When I saw Mercy, I wanted to have a horizontal conversation right away, know what I mean? There we were, Seth and me, high-fiving that we found the actual grave of a great-great-great whoever back in the 1700s and this blonde angel comes down the hill and says Hi, guys, what are you doing? And I wanted to, you know, get to know her.
Yeah, we got that. Hi, Leta. Thanks for the warm welcome. Adam and I met at an online genealogical research site. I’m his long-lost cousin, Seth Maddox, an architect near Philadelphia specializing in historic restorations. I’m not as in-your-face as he is. I believe it’s slow and steady that wins the race, if you’ve ever heard of Aesop’s Fables. Which Adam probably hasn’t, he’s so busy bedding every woman within reach. I believe in quality, not quantity.
How did you meet? Was it love at first sight?
It’s Mercy again, and I’ll be answering the rest of your questions, because these guys would just bicker all day long. No, not at first sight, but I was certainly intrigued. I mean, hunks with a capital H, both of them. And such different personalities. Can you keep a secret? The day we met, Adam and I shared more than just a kiss *blushing*. Then the next day Seth researched where I live and visited me, and darned if we didn’t share an itch-scratching as well. So yes, I guess it was love (or at least lust) at first sight—with both of them, except I couldn’t choose between them.
If it wasn’t love at first sight, what changed?
I kept getting flashbacks of a previous life, and I realized that I had known both of them back in the 1690s. That’s right, more than 300 years ago. I was intrigued by the possibility of reincarnation so I kept pushing them both, recreating scenes from my past that I remembered, hoping they’d remember it as well. And yes, that included bedroom scenes *big grin*.
What do you believe is your worst or most frustrating quality? What about his/hers?
*laughs* The guys would probably say my most frustrating quality is my inability to choose between them. Although when I approached them with the idea of a ménage, they both agreed it was a capital idea.
Let’s see, Adam’s worst quality…do you have any idea how frustrating it is to be his date at a black-tie event and see all the groupies swarming around him without even acknowledging that I’m there? And he just stands there and absorbs it without pushing them away. Seth, well, Seth needs a more-than-gentle push. He’s a quiet kind of guy and sometimes a girl just needs to take things into her own hands.
What is your best quality? What about his/hers?
Since my TV cooking show is filmed before a live audience, I have to say it’s my ability to roll with the punches. If I make a blooper, I kind of joke my way out of it. It helps in my personal life, too, such as when I shift between one man and the other and still keep my head. Never once did I mix up their names, even when I was almost out of my mind with—um, never mind. *blushes*
Seth’s best quality is his ability to have fun and find the bright side no matter the situation. Adam’s is the overwhelming force of his personality; you can’t help but be intrigued by him.
If you could have one wish come true, what would it be and why?
Other than world peace? I wish people would have more of an appreciation of the past. We have so much to learn from what our forefathers and foremothers went through, how they struggled, what they fought for. What would that forefather that Adam and Seth found think of flush toilets? Jet planes? Cell phones? So many things we take for granted, like freedom and automatic washing machines and the simple act of reading a book. Do you know there are folks in America who think hamburger comes from a machine? Who have never seen a tomato ripening on a vine? There’s a saying that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Wouldn’t it be awful if we had to go back to living like it was 1694?
If, after reading this character interview, you’re interested in Mercy & Redemption, you can pick it up here!
Now tell us a little about you, the writer!
I’m an old broad with a young (dirty) mind. Married twice, loved them both, buried them both, wouldn’t mind someone else to love but he’d better be young enough to keep up with me. I dance like no one is watching because it’s a lifetime habit with me. I remember dancing the polka with my Dad at weddings way back when I was a kid. In fact, he and I won a polka contest at a country club one Octoberfest when it was open to guests. I met my first husband at a singles’ dance during the mini-skirt era. My second husband used to take me dancing to Big Band music with a live 12-piece band. I still jiggle everything at the writers’ conferences I attend, most notably Romanticon. Except now I have to sit down after every two or three songs to catch my breath.
It took me over a dozen years from the time I started writing in earnest to being published. Mercy and Redemption is my 12th release with Ellora’s Cave and I hope to continue writing erotic romance for many years to come. And it would be nice to have some up close and personal inspiration for those love scenes instead of just memories.
From your back catalogue, do you have a secret favorite? If so which book and why?
Of course it would be Dance of the Seven Veils. Not because it was my first Ellora’s Cave book, which by the way just celebrated its eighth anniversary of publication. Not even because it sparked a four-book series. But because it was the coming-of-age story of a 39-year-old woman, a journey to the discovery of her own sensuality. In many ways it’s my story. Because now I’m immersing myself in the BDSM lifestyle so as to write more authoritatively about it. I’m meeting so many interesting people and learning so many things about myself.
Gotta put in a plug here for my blog, Cris Anson’s Passions (http://crisansonspassions.blogspot.com/), where you can read my four-part series on the BDSM for Writers weekend I participated in, including two visits to Paddles, the longest-running BDSM club in New York, and what I experienced there.
What’s next for you?
I don’t want to give away any secrets to those who haven’t yet read Mercy and Redemption, but some of the characters from that book are being featured in the third book of that series. Tentatively entitled Redemption and Glory, it’s a doozy! As a matter of fact, the first scene takes place in a BDSM dungeon, as will a number of subsequent scenes. The characters are exploring their own heretofore dormant tendencies—which one will be the Dominant? the submissive? Or will one or both be a switch? How can they let go of all their conditioned responses and be themselves? It’s fascinating to me as I go along for the ride to uncover their true natures. And honestly? I have no clue how it’s going to turn out. That’s part of the fun.
Lastly, provide me with covers, blurbs, buy links, and where you can be found on the web! 🙂
Here’s the blurb for Mercy and Redemption:
While searching an old cemetery for likely gravestones to illustrate her colonial cookbook, Mercy Howe meets two hunks who are tracing their ancestry, and sparks fly. Literally.
When Mercy casually touches Seth and Adam, her vividly erotic vision involving all three of them feels like a memory, not a dream, and awakens long-dormant sexual urges. Their kisses are achingly familiar, and she welcomes each in turn into her body. Then she spends a no-holds-barred weekend with both men in her bed and discovers an intimacy—and a past—that blows her mind.
As memories resurface from three hundred years ago, Mercy will have to choose whether to relive the experiences from their joint past or forge a new bond with either Seth or Adam. Or both.
Inside Scoop: Contains m/m/f ménage and one doubly satisfied heroine!
Mercy and Redemption and all my books are available at Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other digital venues. You can also learn more about me at my website (http://www.crisanson.com/), my blog, and my Facebook page.
Thank you for inviting me here, Leta. It was fun chatting with you!
Thanks for being here, Cris!