This week for #AuthorSpotlight we have the talented Mira Noire with us. Mira is the former president of the online RWA chapter, Passionate Ink. After dedicating the last two years of her life to ensuring erotic romance authors have a safe and productive forum she’s back in the writing game. She’s here today to tell us a bit about her last release, some upcoming projects we can look forward to, and to give us a peek into her life.
So let’s get to know Mira!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Howdy! Hmm, I usually expect someone to buy me a drink before we get this to this part, but oh oh lookee, a glass of wine just popped into my hand! 😀 Let’s see … so, I live in Northern California. I was born here, but grew up in abroad in Asia until I returned for college. I’ve got a BA in English but somehow fell into tech and the corporate life. The SF Bay Area is super diverse and speaks to me with great food, culture, and tech (I love technology and food, it’s a great place for both!) so I ended up just settling here, it felt right.
I have a sassy black cat, play video games (Playstation 4!), am right now suffering the woes of the dating app scene (it’s so bad, it’s soooo bad), love to travel internationally when I can, and I’m vain as hell and spend way too much time messing around with home spa treatments, exotic perfumes, and scented candles. My next big trip is Argentina this fall for my birthday in October! I’m hoping some handsome man with a sexy accent helps me make a scene for a future novel. 🙂 I’m also really good at making and eating grilled cheese sandwiches, love karaoke, and I’m a professional voiceover artist. I have been known to use my voice for sexy writing audio projects, too. 😉
2. Can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel? And what readers can expect when they open one of your books?
So my last release is “I Met a Boy,” about a thirty-something submissive woman in an unhappy marriage who is seduced by a naturally dominant — but immature — college boy. The sparks are hot, the love develops as a surprise, and the ending is tender and hopeful!
I’ve also been working on a historical fantasy set in a not-what-it-seems haunted house. We’ve got a tricky love triangle for our protagonists, and a crafty incubus and succubus fighting over their souls. Lots of sensual hijinks ensue, along with some falling in love — it’s my first time writing entirely from the male point of view, so it’s been a fun one to write.
For what to expect when you read me: I like to experiment, but in general, you can expect high drama and at least one character to be VERY dominant. I like my characters to be flawed and the atmosphere more on the serious side. I go for “cinematic,” whether I’m doing a contemporary or paranormal/fantasy piece. I’m working on splitting out my author lines so they’re not all under one umbrella. My characters work through their flaws, and while they may not end up with each other in traditional HEA relationships, they end up HFN at the very least. If you’ve been watching the new TNT show “Good Behavior” it’s something like that — people with issues who are trying to figure it out and they’re not always rational or likeable or good at figuring it out, but they’re interesting. That’s what fascinates me and what I try to explore.
You can also count on very explicit, high heat sex. Lol. I want people to feel that they’re in the room, that they can see it, smell it, taste it. I want to transport you, and that’s part of the high drama. What’s the point of reading, if not to escape? So I try to get you there. Ahem.
3. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as an erotic romance author?
When I first started, I’m sure this is a theme for other authors in the genre — I had to hide it. I personally wasn’t ashamed, I decided to start writing sexy at age 11 (we’ll talk about that next), but I understood as I got older that people were conservative about these things, so I hid it from everyone, and really struggled with publishing and how I wanted to engage as an author with sharing my work. Now, things are much easier, the internet and modern society are making things more accessible and sex-positive, although I do have to keep my persona separate from my corporate career. But I’m grateful the genre is getting real appreciation now.
Lastly — time. This is true, I think, for ANY genre of author! So many ideas, so little time, and trying to find a way to keep producing when you’ve got a day job, so you can get to a point where writing becomes your day job!
4. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
Two authors and sets of books:
• Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. I didn’t identify in the same way with Jane Austen; Austen was light and cerebral to me, in many ways. She is the epitome of the modern interpretation of our traditional romance novel — and for me that’s fun to watch and read, but not write. Jane Eyre triggered things in me, about who I am, about character analysis, about the flawed dark corners in people and how they can still be beautiful, still be loveable, still love. How learning to be loved and love is their path to redemption; to realizing their ideal selves. It was the first work I read, at age 9, where I understood the dark and dangerous capacities in a man, and was attracted to it but also afraid of it. Mr. Rochester was, undoubtedly, my first recognition of a dominant male and a submissive female, and the interplay between them. And so that imprinted in me at a young age — what I wanted to write about, what I wanted to read about! Also, who I wanted to have relationships with, ahem.
• Anne Rice’s Beauty Series. I didn’t know it was Anne Rice, though, she was writing under a pseudonym. I’m not gonna lie, as a kid I was very curious on the “relationships” stuff. I crawled all through the school library to find all the little snippets of sexytime that the librarians might have missed. It was less about sex and more about the powerful thing that happens between two people connecting romantically. And when I read everything I could find in the Fiction aisles, I went to local “swap” bookstores (this is a rare phenomenon in America, but it’s halfway between a used bookstore and a library where you can “check out” and buy and sell books) and found all the naughty stuff there. This series blew my mind. I knew then and there at 11 — this is who I am. This is what I need to write.
5. Does/has anything in real life influence your writing? (Life experiences, films, books, celebrities, music, places, etc.)
Travel has been the biggest. I can’t be a bigger supporter of getting out of your town, your state, your country. It can be hard financially and timewise, but hey, the Brexit has made London far more affordable than it’s been in decades! 😀 Seriously, though, meeting and engaging with people from other cultures and backgrounds has given me so much fodder. For scene settings, for character development, creating environments and making them believable. One story that I’ve been working on for a long time is based on my time living in Southeast Asia personally; but it was inspired to some extent by the movie “The Lover,” based on Marguerite Duras’ autobiography.
6. Of all your stories do you have a chapter, or scene, or character that you enjoyed writing the most?
Oh no that’s just an impossible question! Lol, all the babies mean something to me! I can say some favorites are: When our hero and heroine have their first sexual moment in “I Met a Boy.” It’s really shocking and fulfilling for our heroine but also a sweet scene.
I can’t go into too much detail about this next one since I haven’t published it yet, but one novel set in Asia has our heroine in a non-sexual, passionate scene involving paint, a brush, and her lover’s body. And lastly, the fantasy novel I have in development features a really fascinating character I may create a new series for — a mysterious and haughty succubus operating as a successful madame who is clearly hot as a volcano underneath her chilly surface. She has an uncanny way of figuring out your best and worst desires before you’ve even exchanged words!
EXCERPT: I MET A BOY
“Mrs. Russo,” he begins, and I raise my hand.
“Stop right there. I already told you … I am married.”
“So? You don’t love him.”
I laugh, shocked.
“How on earth would you know whether I love my husband or not?”
“He treats you like a piece of property.”
In the silence I become aware of the sound of his breathing, harsh and sullen, and the obstinate look on his face, full of youthful arrogance and something far more dangerous. He wants me, so badly that he is not hiding it, and he may be too young to hide it. Before, the staring had simply seemed rude and random, but now it’s very clear what’s behind it.
“Whether he does or not, the question is, do I want you?”
I seem to shake him with that, and his brows crease down hard together, sharply angled black stalks. There is a gleam to his skin, to the full flesh of his cheeks. It reminds me of my skin as a girl, when I hadn’t dreamed of anything but old books and ancient castle libraries.
“That didn’t occur to you, did it? You men are all the same. You think because you want something, you should have it.” I shrug my shoulders, straighten myself out, and step out from between him and the car door.
“All I want –“ He reaches out, hand going for my arm, but I pull it away, wary. He finishes weakly.
“I just want to know you.”
“You want to have me. There’s a difference.”
“I’m not like him.” He says it like an oath.
Our breaths mingle, twin puffs of carbon dioxide condensing in the air, and it is not lost on me how beautiful he is, how innocent and selfish and young, and I wonder what I would have done as a girl his age, faced with all that hunger. I probably would have given in to it. He is large and thick in his warm wool jacket, he is at least a few inches taller than me, and I’m in heels. I could reach out, slip into that jacket with him, burrow myself into his youth and maleness, find out what he tastes like.
Instead, I stick my key in the door and unlock it.
“Nicolas, you’re a … you seem like a nice boy. But it’s really … it’s really mean of you to do this, you know? It’s just flat out disrespectful …”
I feel his fingers, sudden and light, trailing my jaw, and I freeze. But they do nothing else, sliding only lightly against my skin, and I turn to look at him, and the look on his face is lost and intense, dark in the shadows and full of so much longing that I forget how to breathe.
“I want to touch you, Danielle, the way he touches you seems so wrong,” he breathes, and I stare at him intently, waiting for him to finish. “You’re a person, God you’re beautiful, and I just want to …”
His arms slide down, around me, and it makes no sense to me, how I am in them, and his breath fans against my face, hotly slips up into the cold crevices against my neck, and his mouth, young and firm, finds mine, and he tastes sweet and hot and his tongue, slick and moist, moves against mine so surely I fall back against the car again.
This time, his fingers on my wrist are gentle, and they guide my hands to the inside of his jacket where I didn’t dare go a minute ago, and inside of it I find his waist, and the belt loops on his jeans, and I tug on them.
He makes a raw sound, that echoes up into my throat, and kisses me harder. I don’t know where I am anymore, he feels that good, and the kissing becomes deep, perversely deep, and in my brain flashes the image of Marcus, in bed, at home.
“Stop, stop.” I fumble, pushing him away, wiping at my mouth, trying not to look at his face, which is so naked I can’t bear it and I hope that no one heard or saw us and start trying to find my way inside the car.
“Wait a minute,” he begins, but I pull away, plop inside, and I slam the door shut, but not before hearing the way his breath catches, as if I have wounded him.
Resolute, determined, I start the car, and refuse to look at him, and refuse all the way home to look in the rear-view mirror.