You can find out more about Mary at her website www.marycampisi.com but please come back and get to know Mary and her four-legged writing consultant, Cooper!
AND. . .Mary is giving away a e-copy of TASTE OF SEDUCTION to one lucky commentator! (pdf version: no e-reader needed)
Thanks so much for being her today, Mary.
Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a painful jog over hot coals?
Umm, I would say it was more like a scorching crawl out of a roaring fire that left open wounds that would begin to heal only to be ripped open with subsequent rejections. That sounds horrible, doesn’t it? It wasn’t really that bad, but it was difficult. As long as I was writing, I was in a blissful state of ignorance and oblivion, caught up in my character’s lives and circumstances. I loved it there. Once I finished the book and edited and re-edited, well the next logical step was submission. Each time I sent that first book to a publisher or editor, I cringed but then I acknowledged this was all part of the process, even and maybe especially, the rejections. The first book I wrote was a Regency historical, (single-spaced because I didn’t know any better), and though the energy and passion were there, the story was all over the place with a gazillion points of view. After several rejections, I wrote another Regency historical which was a sequel to the first. By then I had discovered RWA and my local RWA which guided me along. I entered a Regency contest only because the top three writers were promised reads with the late Kate Duffy at Kensington. I found out about the contest five days before the deadline and hurried to get my proposal ready. Imagine my surprise when a few months later I received notification that INNOCENT BETRAYAL received an honorable mention. What helped me most was the handwritten note of encouragement from the coordinator telling me to keep writing because my work was good. This note boosted my courage and along with quite a bit of positive self talk, I decided to send a partial to Kate Duffy with a letter telling her I was an honorable mention winner in a contest where she was the prize and though technically I hadn’t won a right to send her anything, was she interested? At the time, I had not met Kate and figured what did I have to lose? Three months later, I received a phone call from Amy Garvey at Kensington asking for the complete manuscript. I wasn’t even home to get the call! I had taken my youngest to have preadmission testing for the removal of two suspicious looking moles. Children have a way of putting life in perspective. I called Amy back and told her I would have the manuscript in the mail the next day. I stayed up all night to proof and edit the book. I hadn’t worried about editing before because it wasn’t like everyone was asking for the manuscript- how could they when they didn’t even know it existed? I sent the book in and a few weeks later Amy called with an offer. It was a wonderful, delightful, unforgettable day. I am thrilled to announce that when I received the rights back to INNOCENT BETRAYAL a few months ago, The Wild Rose Press bought it! It has a smoking hot cover thanks to Rae Monet and I’m working on edits now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to announce a release date soon! I’ve published several books since that first one and my latest is A TASTE OF SEDUCTION which was a March release with The Wild Rose Press.
Where is your favorite place to write?
In my study, surrounded by pictures of my family, (lots and lots of pictures!), mini cards with words of inspiration and positive thinking plastered on my desk, books and more books lining the bookshelf, hanging glass globes and wooden chimes. An exercise ball that I sit on when I get tired of the chair. Oh, and my dog, Cooper, who usually is beside me, waiting for lunch . . . My sister informed me the next time she visits, (she lives in Virginia), she is going to clean out this room so it improves my chi – Now how can I get rid of that painted gourd my middle daughter made me or the pencil holder my dad made in 1970 somethingJ ???
Do you have a critique partner?
I used to- I loved working with her. She drove two hours every other week so we could talk about plot, characters, and what did and didn’t work for us. Then she got a high pressure job and had great success which meant more pressure and less time to write. The critique meetings were the first thing to go. We are still friends and if I have something really big I’m working on or getting ready to send to my agent, I ask her opinion – mainly, did I forget something – and she gives me her ten cents – because she catches some hole or other every time!
Tell us what’s next for you-
I can tell you exactly what I have planned – I’m editing INNOCENT BETRAYAL for The Wild Rose Press and I’m also in the middle of the first in a Regency historical series with a very fun concept that an editor wants to see once I’m finished. After that I have a sequel to write for THE SWEETEST DEAL which is a novella out with Carina Press. And once I get through all of this, I have a big contemporary series I’ve been planning for a long time and am very anxious to write!
If you had to pick just one of your heroes to date, which would it be?
This is a hard question because I LOVE all of my heroes, but I think I would say Anthony Weston in A TASTE OF SEDUCTION. He’s such a wounded hero and he relies on order and properness in his life to protect him from anything resembling an emotion. Of course, Meriel Linton is anything but orderly and proper! I love this guy - he’s got some great lines and he’s incredibly sexy too. J
Blurb for A TASTE OF SEDUCTION:
A young woman of noble blood, raised as a peasant girl
An orphaned stable boy, now grown and the surrogate son of a powerful earl – the same earl who just so happens to be the young woman’s father . . .
Meriel and Anthony have nothing in common – she runs barefoot and talks to animals, he won’t loosen his cravat unless the bedroom door is firmly closed. Meriel believes in love, hope, and happily ever after. Anthony believes in keeping a safe distance from anything resembling an emotion. They have nothing in common but an undeniable, burning desire for one another they can’t ignore or understand, and an ailing ‘father’ who will do anything to see them together. Unfortunately, there are others, who will stop at nothing, willing even to kill, to keep them apart.
Excerpt for TASTE OF SEDUCTION
"Thank you, Anthony," she said, a small smile lighting her face. "You’re very kind." She leaned over and planted a chaste kiss on his cheek.
Kind? He wondered if she would still think him kind if he told her that right now all he could think about was tasting her lips, touching her breasts, feeling her bare skin. Kind? Hardly.
He cleared his throat and met her gaze. He had to set her straight before she started imagining all sorts of other crazy things about him. "Kind? That’s not a term that’s usually associated with me."
She laughed, a tinkling sound that ran through his body like fire. "That’s because you want everyone to think you are some sort of cruel beast. You even had me fooled for a while." Her voice dipped to a low purr. "But you aren’t a beast, Anthony, not at all. No beast would eat my bread just so he wouldn’t hurt my feelings."
He frowned, hoping his scar stuck out white and ugly. "You should be afraid of me." Men twice her size couldn’t look him in the eye.
"How can I be afraid of you when you’ve got butter on the side of your mouth?" She reached out to brush it away with her forefinger. "And all over your lips," she murmured, tracing her finger over first his upper and then his lower lip.
Anthony caught her hand. She was playing a dangerous game and she didn’t even know it. He opened his mouth and flicked his tongue along the tip of her finger. He heard the small catch in her throat. His tongue traced another finger, and then another. Sweet Jesus, but he wanted her.
"Come to me, Meriel," he whispered, planting a kiss on the inside of her palm. "Let me taste you."