1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
Well, as hard as it may be to believe, my name really is Mark Love. I’ve been married to my sweetheart for almost 30 years and we raised two incredible sons. When the situation works, I’ll often use a story from our family history as part of the background for a character.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy music, movies, the theater, exercising, hiking, cooking and most sports. The area we live in now has a lot of cultural events that we enjoy and we’re only an hour from Lake Michigan, which is a great place to hang out and relax.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
I work a full time job, so I don’t always get a chance to write every day. But I’ll often work on a scene or some dialogue while I’m hiking or driving, figuring out how to move the story along. Then when I can get to the computer, it flows easier.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Ideas come to me from anywhere and everywhere. It can be a conversation I’ve overheard or watching the way two people interact at a restaurant.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
So far I’d have to say “Desperate Measures” is my favorite. It’s the story about a struggling author who decides to write a book no one can put down. So he writes a ‘how to kill your wife and get away with it’ story. Three days after he sends it to a publisher, his wife disappears. It’s got a lot of twists and turns in it, along with a little romance to keep the mystery going. After my wife read that novel, she started sleeping with one eye open.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
I like a variety of music, but can’t dance to save my soul!
7. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
While real life can be intriguing, everything I’ve written to date is from my imagination. I often do research for the stories by interviewing people, but the foundations of the stories are all mine.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
(Laughs) Yes, I call her “PITA”, which stands for Pain in the Ass. She’s a mischievous sprite, always poking and prodding at me, especially when I haven’t been working on a story in a while.
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
I’ve done some short stories that could be either fantasy or horror, depending on your perspective. Think of the Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
I really enjoy some of the grand masters, like John D. MacDonald, Stephen King and Elmore Leonard. Robert Crais, Greg Iles, T. Jefferson Parker, M.S. Spencer and Morgan Wyatt are great story tellers.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
My favorite female is Jamie Richmond. She’s independent, a bit of a smart ass, with a mixture of brains, curiosity, stubbornness, uncertainty and daring that works well. She’s a fighter, especially if you mess with someone she cares about. The favorite male has got to be Malone. He’s Jamie’s lover, which is challenging enough in itself. But he’s a strong character, who knows how to keep her interested. He’s supportive of Jamie’s talents and he’s just mysterious enough to keep her on her toes.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
With the Jamie Richmond series, I’m writing from a woman’s perspective. That is never easy for a guy, no matter how many times you do it. So I’m always observing women, their conversations, their interactions. I have to think of everything coming from Jamie’s voice. That’s a challenge, but so far, it seems to work. Knowing when the story is finally done is also difficult.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Take a creative writing course, through continuing education or a community college. Check with your local library or bookstore and see if there are any writers groups you can join. If you can find others who like to write, who are wiling to workshop and give constructive criticism, that’s a great opportunity. I’ve been in a few of those that have worked well. But you need to be serious about writing. Don’t be discouraged with rejection, because every group or teacher will not immediately love your first draft. Writing takes time and patience and commitment. But stick with it. Tell me a story. Entertain me. Enlighten me. Make me care about your characters.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Cooking. I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, so I’d probably do that in the time that I use now for writing. Both are creative processes, but the results in the kitchen are much more immediate.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
I’d like to travel to Italy and stay in an old villa or hotel overlooking the Mediterranean. We would find a vineyard for a tour, discover the beauty and the history of the region and we wander around for days, enjoying the wine and the food, the stars and the moonlight.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
Jamie Richmond is still discovering her way in the romantic relationship with the mysterious Malone when her best friend Linda Davis comes home. The beautiful Linda suddenly finds herself swept up in a whirlwind romance of her own with an older man, Dr. Vincent Schulte. But not everything is all champagne and flowers for Linda. She realizes she’s become the target of a stalker. The problem escalates. Jamie is determined to protect her friend, but even she is at a loss when Linda suddenly disappears one cold, snowy day. The police are searching for clues. Despite Malone’s attempts to keep Jamie on the sidelines, she is driven to find out what happened to Linda and where she could be. Jamie has once again put herself in danger while trying to unravel the mystery.
Apparently Malone wanted to take advantage of the fact that I was so close. I was already in his lap and he had his arms around me. Even through the fabric of his jeans, I could feel his body responding to mine. Malone’s kisses were slowly driving me crazy. With one hand pressing me close, he pulled my robe open, drawing the sash free once more. Turning, Malone eased me onto the bed, moving me closer to the headboard. My body was on fire. I wanted to shed my robe and nightgown and feel Malone’s skin on mine. But he had other ideas.
His kisses were incredible. He started out slowly, tenderly kissing his way around my face. On this night he started with my eyes, lightly kissing the lids. Then he moved across my cheekbones with a little more pressure. Then his warm breath and lips were on the shell of my ear. He barely whispered my name at this point. Then he was nuzzling behind my ear, touching with his lips a spot so sensitive that I thought my heart might explode. It was as if Malone had discovered yet another level of passion and was ready to introduce me to it. I moaned as he pushed my arms up above my head. It took me a moment to realize what he was doing.
Last week, after a particularly intense session of sex, I had been pressed up against him, dripping with sweat, gasping for breath. He held me then, kissing me tenderly, coaxing my heart back into a normal rhythm. Somehow the notion of Linda having her fantasies fulfilled by Vince jumped to mind. I told Malone what we shared was like fantasy sex, that he always seemed to know how to take me to the edge and beyond.
“We all have fantasies, Jamie,” he had whispered softly, still cradling my body against his.
“What are yours, Antonio?” I asked when my voice was working.
He shook his head. “I get to live out different fantasies every night we’re together, Jamie.”
“I’ll tell you mine, Malone.” As soon as the words jumped out of my mouth, I wanted to call them back. What if my desires were too crazy? I didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary, but then, I made a living using my imagination.
He must have sensed my discomfort. “You don’t have to tell me, Jay. We can just discover them together.”
But since I’d ventured into the subject, I felt the need to at least reveal one fantasy. It was probably one many women have at one time or another. So I admitted that I’d always been curious about what it would be like to be tied up. Not with handcuffs or chains, but maybe a silk tie. Malone distracted me with his hands and lips after that so I thought we’d moved on to safer grounds. And I hadn’t thought about it again, until tonight.
He was still kissing me, moving his lips over to mine now, toying with me. I could feel his hands sliding up and down my arms, stretching me out on the bed. And then I realized I couldn’t move my arms. My eyes snapped open. Malone had a devilish grin on his face as he pulled back.
“Dexter, what are you doing?” My voice was a throaty rasp.
“I’m just fulfilling a fantasy or two.”
He had used the satin sash from my robe to bind my wrists to the wooden headboard. I squirmed beneath him as the realization sunk in.
“Somehow I always pictured myself naked or wearing some sexy lingerie when I thought of this, Dexter. Not dressed in a flannel nightgown.”
Malone gave me one of those low voltage smiles and shook his head. Then he rolled off the bed and began to undress. He took his time, carefully folding his jeans and sweater and placing them on the dresser. Then he turned and walked naked out of the room. I couldn’t believe it! He just left me there. And I couldn’t get my hands free.
“Malone, this would be a lot more fun if you were here with me.”
“Patience, Jamie. I just had to get something to drink.”
He sprawled beside me on the bed. Then with one hand, he slowly began to pull my nightgown up. I felt his hands everywhere. As he raised it above my hips, Malone resumed kissing me. And I sensed this was one fantasy I’d want to revisit. Now he moved the nightgown higher. Just the idea of him taking advantage of me this way was a rush. My body was thrumming like a guitar string. And Malone was a master musician.
“Jamie,” he whispered in my ear. He was beside me now, lightly kissing my face while his hands continued their explorations. “How long should I keep you tied up?”
“A minute,” I gasped “or for an hour or two.” In my wildest fantasies, this is the part where I would make a feeble attempt at escaping. But that wasn’t happening.
“I wonder how close I can get you,” he said as he drew patterns on my thighs with his fingertips, long slow circles and ovals.
“I’m already going to peak, Dexter. The question is, how many times?”
Malone raised his head to look deeply into my eyes. “How many times would you like to peak, Jamie?”
“More than half a dozen will probably put me in the hospital, Dexter.”
“Then you’d better keep count,” he said. Malone pressed his lips to mine as his fingers worked their magic. I could only hope that my body remembered to breathe on its own. Malone’s hands were busy. His lips moved down my body, pausing at certain spots. At that point, all I could do was give myself up to him.
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