Author Spotlight: Kate McMurray

Since yesterday was a holiday, I took the day off. Well, not really. I was finishing a manuscript, and blogging was the last thing on my mind. But today, I’m back, and I interviewed Madame President! Kate is the President of my RWA chapter, and she’s pretty badass. Just sayin’ #bestchaptereveryoushouldjoin #RWANYC #nopressure #butjoin #forreal #doit #wwwdotrwanycdotcom #ipromoforfree #butyoucanpaymeifyouwant

Take it away Kate!

I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail about you would they enjoy revealing to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

I don’t have a driver’s license and I’ve never owned a car. Not for any real reason. I failed the road test when I was 19 and just never got around to taking it again, so here we are almost 20 years later and I still don’t drive. My parents make fun of me about this fact. There’s actually a pool going on who will get a license first, me or my 1-year-old nephew. I’ll get to it eventually, but I live in Brooklyn. Nobody in NYC drives.

You’ve been working in the publishing world for quite some time. You have insight that many of us could only dream of. What’s one thing about the publishing industry you wish more people knew, but really haven’t the slightest idea about?

A big thing is that everything takes much longer than you expect. That is, in part, because the process takes time, but it’s also because everyone who works in publishing is working on several projects simultaneously. So the author is probably thinking, “Why does it take 8 months to make my book?” but the editors are thinking, “We only have 8 months?!”  

I could talk for quite a while about what people misunderstand about the editorial process, but I’ll say this: I think a lot of authors take an adversarial relationship with editorial, but editors genuinely want to make your book as good as it can be. They’re not trying to tear you down. Editors are also trained professionals—I took classes on copyediting and proofreading at NYU in addition to my on-the-job training—and they don’t get paid very well generally. I see self-pub authors who balk at freelance editor rates, but it takes me 15–30 hours to edit a novel (depending on how long it is/how much work it needs) and I should make more than fast food wages to edit it. (Um, not to rant.) 

You’re the heroine in a bodice ripper. Who’s your hero?

My favorite historical trope is bluestocking/rake, and since I am something of a bookish bluestocking anyway, I think you can see where this is going. My favorite historical heroes are generally smart and confident and used to getting what they want (so it’s all the more delicious when the heroine takes him down a peg). Basically: Rochester, but less of a dick, with fewer wives hidden in the attic. 

Favorite movie?

I’m not a movie person (I rarely go to see them) so my answers are not classy. But, like, I can quote all of Wayne’s World from beginning to end. And I love Top Gun to an irrational degree. And I’ve seen the original Star Wars trilogy about 387 times. 

Every time I see you, you’re wearing a super cute dress, but for this question I’m going to attack your inner fashionista. If a camera crew and a fashion team were to raid your closet, what embarrassing piece of clothing would they find?

Well, I moved last year and got rid of a lot of stuff I never wear. I like to think Clinton and Stacy from What Not to Wear would let me keep most of my clothes. I do own some random Halloween costume bits (which may or may not include a Hogwarts uniform) and a handful of things that don’t fit but that I can’t bring myself to part with. (Example: When I was in college, I bought this really cute plaid skirt at the Gap in the World Trade Center and then wore it on my first date with a guy I ended up dating for almost ten years, so it’s got some sentimental value, and even though it’s, like, two sizes too small now, there’s a burn mark from an iron near the waist, and the guy in question is married to somebody else, I just can’t throw it away.) Also, true story, I work from home and don’t dress up on days when just my cats are seeing me, so I own A LOT of leggings and sweatpants. 

Tell me about your first celebrity crush.

Tom Cruise. But, look, he was hot in the 80s, when I was starting to have crushes. There’s a reason Top Gun remains among my favorite movies. (Also A Few Good Men, which I think was kind of his acting peak? That’s another movie I’ve seen a zillion times but still will sit and watch if I catch it on TV, even though I own it on Blu Ray.) (Also Dirty Dancing-era Patrick Swayze. That was the first R-rated movie my parents let me watch. It, um, made an impression.)

What personality trait do you wish more people possessed?

Patience. I feel like if we all took a step back and took a deep breath before we acted sometimes, we’d defuse a lot of conflicts. 

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what’s the last song you listened to while working on a story?

I almost always have some kind of noise going in the background, and it really varies by my mood and how much difficulty I have focusing. (Sometimes playing music with lyrics leads to spontaneous living room karaoke parties, which are not conducive to writing.) According to Spotify, the last thing I listened to when I was writing the other day was the first Led Zeppelin album (last song: “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”) which is a pretty aggressive choice for me. (For writing, I generally like what a friend of mine calls “sad bastard music”; a lot of whiney singer-songwriters with guitars. But I have a background in music—classically trained violinist—and I like almost everything.)  

Finish this sentence: I believe romance should _______.

Make people feel good. 

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

No. I’m probably the most vanilla person who has ever written erotic romance. I’ve read some really hot BDSM romance novels—I’m not knocking it—it’s just not my thing. 


Kate McMurray writes smart romantic fiction. She likes creating stories that are brainy, funny, and of course sexy, with regular guy characters and urban sensibilities. She advocates for romance stories by and for everyone. When she’s not writing, she edits textbooks, watches baseball, plays violin, crafts things out of yarn, and wears a lot of cute dresses. She’s active in Romance Writers of America, serving for two years on the board of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter, and three—including two as president—on the board of the New York City chapter. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with two cats and too many books.





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Author Spotlight: Jennifer L. Armentrout

I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail about you would they enjoy revealing to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?♪♪It’s just another Manic Monday♪♪

Good God, I love the Bangles. 

It’s an unseasonably cold and rainy day in New York City, but hopefully, I can offer those of you who are also experiencing crappy weather a little dose of sunshine with my Author Spotlight. 

Today, you’ll learn a little about Jennifer L. Armentrout. After she signed my copy of her novella Dream of You, we indulged in some unfiltered conversation, and I had a blast! Most folks might’ve gone for the hard-hitting questions, LOL I fall somewhere in between. Can’t ever take yourself too seriously, ya know? 

Soooo without further ado… heeeere’s Jennifer!

I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail about you would they enjoy revealing to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

Well, my evil doppelganger would probably tell me that I have a tendency to laugh at the worse things. You know, the kind of things when you laugh and immediately think “I’m going to hell for this.” 

We met for the first time at Liberty States Create Something Magical Conference. You were a keynote speaker. Do you ever get stage fright when it comes to speaking to crowds? Especially if the group is filled with your peers?

I get a little nervous and probably had a bit of stage fright in the beginning, but now I’m kind of used to talking in front of crowds. If I can get people to laugh, then I know I’m going to do okay. If everyone just stares at me, then I’m in trouble.

Think of all the musicians you love and adore. If you could have two people collaborate and make the perfect song together, who would you choose and why?

Hmm. Maybe The Chainsmokers and Rag’n’Bone Man. I think that would be interesting. 

How old were you when you went on your first date? Do you remember the guy? Did he make a good impression? Did you give him a date number 2? 

Oh man, maybe 15? I can’t remember his name. We dated for a little while though.   

Favorite food?


You’re stranded on a deserted island. Somehow in order to make it off this island, you have to play a game of marry, kiss, kill. Your choices are Henry Cavill, Franggy Yanez, and Idris Elba. Who are you marrying? Who are you killing? And who are you kissing? **Bonus** You have to tell us in what manner you’re doing all of the above. Be descriptive and flex those writer muscles! 

Well, this just got awkward because I know Franggy. Marry Franggy, kiss Idris, and kill Henry (kill him after I kiss him… and stuff) 

You’re married. Tell us about your meet-cute with your husband. 

He was friends with the husband of one of my friends. I refused to date cops, because I saw first-hand w/ my friend how hard it is. But he was persistent, and I ended going out with him. 

Your write in a variety of subgenres. What’s your favorite and why? 

Paranormal will always be my favorite. Creating different worlds and beings is just so much fun. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received since being in this business?

 Keep your head down and write. 

 Finish this sentence: If I could rule the world I would _____. 

 Clean House. 

 **Bonus Question** 

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

Not exactly, but I would.

(I swear I wanted to ask a follow-up question here but I LET IT GO. Folks, it was hard not to say, “OH? REEEEALLY? DO TELL!” LOL!)


# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award nominee. 

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.





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Author Spotlight: Bey Deckard

Happy Monday Folks!

If my life had taken a different path, I have no doubt I would have been an entertainment correspondent or an MTV VJ. I’d pop up on your television screen during red carpet events with a microphone shoved in some celebrities face hell bent on getting them to spill semi-exclusive dirt. I WAS MADE FOR THAT LIFE. Hey, if things ever take off with this writing gig, TMZ, call me!

Since it’s highly likely my dream has been deferred, I’ve decided to carve out my own space. Today, I’m introducing a new segment that casts a spotlight on individuals in the romance industry. The spotlights will feature authors, bloggers, PA’s, reviewers, editors, etc. 

Kicking off the inaugural spotlight is Bey Deckard. I couldn’t have chosen a better person to start this thing off. Get to know Bey; he’s a fun guy! 

I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail about you would they enjoy revealing to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

do have a doppelganger but he’s nice. He buys me cool t-shirts and DVDs and recently signed me up for classes at a film school. But there was that time he booked a trip to Cuba that I had to cancel because… what the hell, dude?

An evil doppelganger would have a lot of material to work with, I’m afraid. Hm… how about this? I was a thief and a total juvenile delinquent. 

Call it boredom, poverty, or overly strict parents, but I was constantly getting up to no good. From around the age of thirteen I began stealing things. Shoplifting, breaking into rich peoples’ houses to steal stuff—I can pick locks with ease and I have a nose for finding valuables—but sometimes just to use their pool or simply snoop around. I broke into a lot of places: a church, an old theatre, a few um… tourist buildings here in Montreal, some neighbourhood civic centres and swimming pools… my high school on the weekends. I made amazing fake IDs that I sold… plus, I did all the shitty little things juvenile delinquents do: property damage, like graffiti and lighting fires, but once I also dumped half a carton of raw eggs into some dude’s Beemer because he left the sunroof open. Oy and not to mention all the copious underage drinking and drugs and the partying with nefarious people and members of a certain organized crime syndicate. And this was all before the age of sixteen and I was never caught (welll… I was suspended a few times for minor things, like for smoking in the locker room at school… Hey, it was raining out.) 

It was mostly petty stuff, and running away from the cops was funny, and I felt like I wasn’t actually hurting anyone. But… two things happened. The first, and most important, was that my kid brother was caught shoplifting. Now, I love my brother. He was my best friend in the whole world back then and I protected the shit out of the kid… and here he was, doing the kind of stupid crap I was doing? That really shook me up. The second thing was that I had a few very wise teachers who were tired of my bullshit (because despite all the above and only showing up a few days a week, I was still in the top 5% of my classes) who worked together to find things for me to focus all this unrestrained criminal mania into. Mainly, art.

So, I was a bad kid. I’m still not very good with rules, but I have changed a lot since then. Heh… I still own a very nice lock-pick set, but these days I just pick my own locks and leave everyone else’s alone :)

What’s the most outrageous job you’ve ever held?

Outrageous? I don’t think I’ve had an outrageous job… except maybe “writer”. I’ve worked at, in chron order: a die-cutting plant, a local newspaper, a home renovation store, a luggage import place, an alternative/punk clothing and boots shop, a web hosting company, an Apple retailer, and a big software company. And I’ve been doing freelance graphic and UI design throughout most of that… since ‘97-98.

If you could co-write with any author (living or deceased) who would you choose and why?

Hmm… co-writing is hard. I don’t always play nice with others. But, I do have something lined up in the future with another author, if I ever get my act together, but there’s no way to tell if it’s going to work until we give it a go. Let’s see… I’d love to co-write something with Donatien Alphonse François aka the Marquis de Sade just because I think we’d pull off something so completely offensive together. Maybe Poppy Z Brite (Billy Martin)? I think our styles might mesh?

But, I don’t know… see, if I really admire an author’s work, my very last instinct would be to say “let’s write together” because why would I want to change what I enjoy about their writing by muxing styles in collaboration? And, if I don’t admire an author’s work… why would I want to write with them? Know what I mean? 

Do you sing in the shower?

Yes! All the time. My repertoire includes Jeremy by Pearl Jam, Reveille by Zachary Richard, Red Right Hand - the Arctic Monkeys version, Bank Robber by the Clash, and Glory and Gore by Lorde.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship at the moment. This question falls under the umbrella of “make believe/what if.” If you could go on a date with one celebrity, who would you choose and why?

Um. Hm. I don’t really want to go on a date with any celebrity in particular. Hell, I don’t really like dates in general. But, maybe I’d go have a beer with Mads Mikkelsen and practice my Danish. Does that work? I’m much more interested in the characters they play or the music they make than the actual people themselves. Sorry that’s a bit of a boring answer.

What’s one thing you do to get over writer’s block?

Usually I get blocked when I can’t decide which story to work on. Other times, I have too much on my mind to write so I wait for my mind to clear a bit and then I’m fine. Also, there is something that happens to me when I’m close to finishing a book… it’s like I don’t want it to end. I’ll procrastinate and do everything I can to avoid writing and when I am writing it’s like pulling teeth. I know what’s going to happen and I don’t want to make it real, because once I’ve made it real, it means it’s the end and I no longer get to live in their world. In all cases, it just takes time and acceptance that I can’t force a process. Normally I play video games or binge-watch a show to get over it. 

Peanut butter: Crunchy or smooth?

Haitian mamba… crunchy and hot or medium-hot. :)

What song best describes your personality?

You ask hard questions. I like it. After much contemplation I’m going to have to go with these three: I Can’t Give Everything Away by David Bowie, Black Leaf by The Cave Singers, and Gimme Danger by Iggy Pop & The Stooges. 

If you could choose to live your life in between the pages of a book, what book would you insert yourself into?

Is it okay if I pick my own Baal’s Heart series? Otherwise… I have no idea. A lot of my favourite books aren’t exactly cheerful or comfortable to live in. Take a gander of my “favourites” shelf on Goodreads (not complete):

Favorite TV show?

If I had to pick one, just one… I think Taboo (FX) is it. At least right at this moment. I have about thirty favourite shows, but right now, right at the zenith of that list, is Taboo and I hate that it’ll be a while before season 2. 

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you? 

I would say that BDSM has been my default since my teens, but I’ll accommodate partners who aren’t into it. :) I’m into varying degrees of D/s from “sort of silly” all the way to TPE. I like stuff like breath control, rape fantasy, edgeplay… impact, knife, electro… it’s all good, but I’m super low protocol and I chafe at overly-strict structure. I just like everyone to have a good time and feel like it’s a-ok to like what we like.


Canadian indie author Bey Deckard wanted to be many things when he grew up: veterinarian, vampire, paleontologist, crane operator, sniper, ophthalmologist, brain surgeon, marine biologist, lawyer, forensic anthropologist, set designer, underwater archaeologist, mortician, rock star, philanthropist… but writer was not on the list. Artist wasn’t there either because he’d been drawing and paintings since he was a tot and figured that made him one already. 

Freelance graphic design paid the bills while Bey levelled up with a BFA in Art History (minor in Anthro). However, he landed in the tech world where the degree was worth FA, and stayed there for over a decade before leaving, thoroughly sick of working for The Man. That’s when the writing started, and Bey still can’t believe it wasn’t on that list above because he absolutely loves doing it and can’t really imagine doing anything else. 

Bey’s books aren’t quite romance and aren’t quite erotica, and they jump from genre to genre, but they’re all character driven and he likes to think they’re interesting. 

These days, if Bey’s not writing or working on graphics, you’ll find him posting pics of his best buddy and constant canine companion Murphy, cooking up some tasty vegetarian eats, hanging out on facebook, or sitting back to watch a movie with a drink (or many). 

As a reader, Bey’s usual staples are biographical works, medical research papers, all sorts of history books (nautical, medieval, and medical being his favourites), science fiction, fantasy, horror, KGB/CIA thrillers, and graphic novels. 


Artist, Writer, Dog Lover -


Exposed is Bey’s most recent release. Activate your one-click finger!

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