Guest: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Hello and welcome Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy to my site. She/He has so graciously agreed to be interviewed. 
So lets begin…

1) First, tell us a little about yourself so the readers know who you are?

I am now a full time writer and author, mom of three, living in the Missouri Ozarks.  I’m married (17 years) and before I wrote full time, I worked in radio and as a substitute teacher in the local district.  I studied journalism, history, and English in college.  Because I had a dual major (English and History) I was the first at Missouri Southern State University to qualify for two honour societies – Pi Gamma Mu for Social Sciences and Sigma Tau Delta for English studies.

My fifth novel is jus out this month and I have contracts for seven more with publication dates stretching into summer 2012.
SC: It is nice to know more about you. 

2) What made you decide to write? Was it something you accidentally began? Or what you wanted to do? Or annoying character who refused to leave until their story was told?  

I always loved stories and made up my own before I could hold a pencil to print.  By 5th grade, I was writing a novel during class in the back of my binder.  I focused on writing and English studies in both high school and college.  After working for seven years in broadcast radio (and writing on the side) I began to get serious about writing.
SC: I’ve always wanted to write but never thought it was possible 🙂

3) I love hearing about first acceptances as an aspiring writer and now that I am e-published, I still love hearing about them. So tell us about that first acceptance.  

I’ve begun my writing career twice; first time around I worked in radio and wrote on my own time.  I sold several short fiction stories and the most prestigious was to Twilight Zone Magazine which then folded before they could ever run my piece.  My broadcast job got eliminated and when I started writing again, the cyber age had arrived.  I had to learn everything over again and start from scratch.   My first short fiction acceptance of any importance was to Country Woman in late 2008.  My first novel sale – an eBook – was in July 2011.

SC: I started writing, got a few rejections and then I decided I would give it another shot this year. It seems to have worked 🙂

4) Tell us about your current release? Where can readers buy it from?

My current release is actually the first eBook that I sold – “Kinfolk” from Champagne Books.  It’s a romantic suspense novel set in Northwest Arkansas.  The heroine is a California widowed writer who returns home to Arkansas when her late husband’s drug dealers come after her for his debt.  Her love interest is Ben Hatfield, a former Navy SEAL.
It is available at Champagne Books, Amazon.com (also UK and Germany), Bookstrand, Manic Readers, Coffee Time Romance and All Romance Ebooks.
SC: Sounds great. 

5) What are you currently writing? 

I have just begun the fourth of my paranormal vampire series novels for Evernight Publishing.  The first two, Love Tattoo and Love Scars, are both out.  The third novel in the series will be out in August – Love Knots.  The new one is called “Love Crusade”.  I’m also trying to finish a Christmas themed romance novel for one of my other publishers, Rebel Ink Press, with the deadline looming!
SC: It sounds exciting. 

6) What inspires you most when you write? 

In the beginning, it was realization of a dream, to make it happen.  Now that I have five novels out and more on the way, I think it’s the readers.  I love their feedback and I want to give them more stories.  Little these days makes me any happier than to get positive reader feedback.
SC: I’ve had some feedback off readers and I agree with you. I like knowing people enjoy reading my work. 

7) What experiences have you had working with your publisher/s?

My publishers – I currently am writing for four (Evernight Publishing, Champagne Books, Astraea Press, and Rebel Ink Press) and they have all been wonderful, easy to work with.   Right now, I’m very partial to Rebel Ink Press because they go the extra mile for their writers in so many different ways.
SC: 🙂

8) What are you reading now?

I am reading my way through Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake vampire hunter series.
SC: I loved this series and I’ve gotten a little disappointed with the recent books but at least the first 15 books are great 🙂

9) What are your guilty pleasures? 

I’m fond of a wee drop of John Jameson’s Irish whiskey or a glass of fine wine on the occasional evening.  I also am addicted to chocolate. 

10) What would be your advice, if any, for other aspiring authors? 

Never give up.  If I sat down and counted how many times my work was rejected before it began to sell, it would be a high number.   I had to learn that sometimes rejection can mean that your work isn’t quite good enough yet but that it also may mean nothing more than that the publisher just bought a similar themed piece or yours wasn’t a fit for them.  I would add to the aspiring author to grow a thick skin.  Focus on the writing and learn to promote like crazy but balance it (and that is often the hard part)
SC: Excellent advice.
Thank you for being here today it has been a pleasure.

Lee Ann is also going to give a free copy of her e-book “Kinfolk” to one lucky commenter. Simply leave a comment for a chance to win. 

This is for you to talk more about yourself, leave your blogging details, site details and generally promote yourself. 

My main blog is A Page In The Life at http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogspot.com

I ramble on about writing, have other authors as guests, and more.
I have another, Lee Ann’s Thoughts at http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot.com
It’s mostly excerpts from new or upcoming novels.
I’m on Facebook  – Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
On Twitter as @leeannwriter
I also have an Amazon Author Page – which since I’m still relatively new at being an author tickles my fancy to look at:

KINFOLK Blurb:

When Katherine Vaughn flees California, she returns home to her native Arkansas, a place she barely remembers. As she settles in at the family farm with her aunt, she finds herself growing closer to her late cousin’s husband, Ben Hatfield. Ben is a lot more than the country bumpkin she first takes him to be and when the men who threatened her follow her to Arkansas he will rely on his skills as a former Navy SEAL to protect her.
As their feelings toward one another grow, so does the danger and in the end, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen or if anyone will be safe.
Katherine’s life is in jeopardy as she wonders if there is any hope left in her heart.
Kinfolk is a novel about the power of love and the strength of family ties.

Excerpt from “Kinfolk” 

He forked pork chop to his mouth and sighed as the sweet, succulent

taste filled his mouth. Whatever else Katy Vaughn could do, she could cook.

He savored each bite despite a nagging pain in his hip and down his left leg.

Damp weather aggravated the old injury but he tried to focus on the good

food. Eating at the scarred kitchen table, he yearned for the kind of

companionship he had seldom had. His mother probably cooked but he could

barely remember her, and Pop’s kitchen skills had been rudimentary, heavy

on beans and hamburger.

When Katherine produced an apple pie, he groaned in mock protest

but ate two pieces before pushing back his plate.

“That was the best meal I’ve had in a long time.”

“I’m glad you liked it.”

A cigarette would finish the meal to perfection and he had a Camel

halfway to his mouth before he remembered his manners. “Do you mind if I

smoke?”

“No.” Katherine placed an ashtray near his place at the table.

He smoked, the rich tang of the tobacco pleasant on his tongue, and

watched her clear away the dishes. She moved with such grace and easy

mobility that he envied her. Despite his increasing pain, he felt comfortable

in the warm kitchen where the aroma of the meal lingered. As she scrubbed

the dishes, she talked a little, about the rain and the farm. He listened, her

voice easy in his ears, and offered to dry the dishes, surprised at his own

chivalry.

With a quick shake of her head, she turned down his offer. “I can do

it; it’s no trouble. You look so tired.”

He was. Because of the rain, he had hurt throughout the night and

what little sleep he gained brought bad dreams. Her compassion was

welcome but he was hurting.

“I’m a little tired.” What an understatement that was. A sharp twinge

in his hip made him wince and shift position in the chair.

She put her hand on his shoulder. It felt heavy and although it was

more of a friendly gesture than an intimate one, he felt his body stir at her

touch. God, he craved such caring and he wished that he could have met her

before Jill, before he became crippled.

His knee ached and he rubbed it beneath the table. As much as he

enjoyed the comfortable cocoon the kitchen made, he needed to go home and

take something. Her hand moved from his shoulder to cup his cheek.

“You’re in pain.” Her eyes met his, more perceptive than he could

have imagined. Almost no one noticed when he hurt and he had not expected

her to. “What’s the matter?”

He would have ignored the question from anyone else but he

answered her with honesty. “My left leg—especially my knee and hip—

sometimes bother me when it’s damp. It’s an old injury from when I was in

the service.”

“It must really hurt. Would you be more comfortable in the living

room?”

Both embarrassed and pleased by her attention, he shook his head. “I

probably should go on home.”

“Won’t the rain make it hurt all the more?”

“Maybe, but once I’m home I can take some ibuprofen.”

She plucked a bottle from the collection of over-the-counter meds on

the shelf.

“Ruby has some. How many do you want?”

He didn’t want a fuss and her kindness embarrassed him. “Katy, you

don’t need to bother about me.”

“I’m not.”

A stubborn set in her face reminded him of her father, Joe, and he

held out his hand in surrender. “Give me four.”

She didn’t stop at administering a pain reliever but insisted that he sit

in the old rump sprung recliner in the living room. The echo of distant

thunder decided him to stay awhile. Settled into the chair he almost fell

asleep until she brought him a cup of something hot. He sniffed and sipped

tea that tasted of spice and oranges. To his surprise, he liked it.

“What is this?”

“A tea blend called Constant Comment. I thought a warm cup of tea

might help.”

“It’s good. Thank you.”

As the ibuprofen dulled the pain, the tea soothed some of the

uneasiness in his soul. He dozed in the recliner and lingered until after dark.

Although he hated to leave the warm house, the comfortable chair, and Katy,

he pulled himself out of the chair.

“You leaving, Ben?” Ruby called from across the room.

“Yeah, I am. I need to check the herd and head for home. Thank you

for the dinner, Katy.”

Lamp light fell on her face as she glanced up from the book in her

hands. He admired her small features, her fair complexion, and her dark eyes

that seemed alight from within. If he tried, he could still catch the faint

fragrance of her perfume, something sweet and full.

“I’ll get your jacket from the kitchen.”

He waited in the entry hall and she brought his denim jacket. When

she handed it to him, he held her hands a moment too long and he watched a

pink flush of pleasure cross her face. A question flickered in her eyes.

“I’m not hurting as bad now.”

“Good.”

Face to face they were close enough he could feel her breath. She

reached around his neck to straighten the collar of his jacket and he stood

still as she smoothed it down.

“I’m glad you came over, Ben.” With his collar in place, she

removed her hands, one brushing his cheek as it passed. Tenderness welled

up in him at her touch. Like a thirsty man in the desert, he sought more. He

bent and kissed her, his lips soft and gentle. Uncertain what to say afterward,

he took a step toward the door.

“Take care, Ben.”


8 thoughts on “Guest: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

  1. Lisa says:

    “Right now, I’m very partial to Rebel Ink Press because they go the extra mile for their writers in so many different ways.” What ways? I would love to know.

    • Rebel offers support that is hard to beat. From the first day I signed with them on my first release, they’re there to help promote your work. Ask any question and you’ll get a swift and complete answer – communication lines are ALWAYS open. You feel like you’re more than just another author on the list. I write for several other publishers and no one else offers the personal kind of interaction I get with Rebel

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