R.C. Murphy spends her nights writing urban fantasy novels and a slew of short stories for her blog, The Path of a Struggling Writer. By day she is a not so mild-mannered housewife, wrangling vampires, demons, and various other nasty creatures. R.C. has joined forces with fellow writers, artists, and actors to form the Zombie Survival Crew where she reviews movies, TV shows, as well as penning articles on important survival skills. Her articles on survival in the zombie apocalypse are featured in the ZSC anthology Undead is Not an Option. Readers can find visit her at her web site, her Facebook Fan Page, and Twitter.

PonyTails (PT): First off, congratulations on your debut novel! Be Ours Forever started life as a blog serial, why did you decide to publish it?

R.C. Murphy (RCM): Thank you! Be Ours Forever was a very long, draining process. I’m just glad it is out finally.

I realized after the third chapter of BOF went up that I had something going for me. It took over a year to do the serial story and my very few, yet devoted blog readers loved it. I decided to go back over the manuscript and do a complete re-edit. There is also a chapter that never went public. I added it in to give readers a vital scene they’d clamored for on the blog. Yeah, I’m mean. I held back the really fun part.

PT: What was your inspiration for Be Ours Forever ?

RCM: My best friend, who the book is dedicated to, is to blame. Occasionally we give each other writing challenges. His was to write a sex scene between two men and a woman where the men weren’t afraid to touch each other. The challenge was supposed to be a 5000 word scene to toss up on the blog. Once I got going, it became apparent that it’d be something far more complicated than the original challenge.

PT: I know you love monsters and paranormal creatures. Why do you like writing and reading about them?

RCM: I always root for the monster. Growing up, my family was very into late-night horror movies. My parents helped organize a haunted house for my school. Stuff like that tends to stick with a kid and bled over to the types of books I read.

I grew up reading crime novels. Humans are the real monsters in our world. Putting a vampire or werewolf face on a character gives writers license to delve deep into human nature while giving readers a false sense of, “This is okay because it is fiction.” Hate to tell them, but most of the horrors in my writing comes from real life atrocities.

PT: You recently started another blog serial, Breakfast With a Werewolf. Do you like writing serials over full stories?

RCM: Breakfast With a Werewolf, the current serial, was finished over a year ago. Originally I was going to pair it with Be Ours Forever as a bonus story. My friend and editor, Jinxie, and I discussed the idea, but sidelined it because the worlds didn’t mesh well enough. Since I love BwaW so much, I broke it into chunks for the blog. It isn’t nearly as long as BOF.

Overall, I prefer full stories. It flows better for the reader. One issue with BOF is that it took a year to finish. You can tell the difference in writing style from the beginning to the end, despite all of our editing.

PT: What is on the horizon for you in regards to your writing?

RCM: I am working on a full length novel, Enslaved. There is a sneak peek of it in the back of BOF. It should be done by the end of the year. After that, I am planning to write a prequel novella in the BOF universe with Jarlan and Meghan. That’s about as far out as I’ve planned right now. Any further and I’d end up crying from the workload.

PT: How do you have time to do your writing, stuff for Zombie Survival Crew, make things for your Etsy Shop (Murphy’s Miscreations), and raise a well-rounded little boy?

RCM: Coffee is my best friend.

I micromanage my schedule hardcore. It is rare for me to sit and do absolutely nothing. If I can’t work on fiction, I write for the ZSC. If there is nothing I need to do there, I make jewelry.

My kiddo is awesome. He knows when I’m at my desk that I’m busy. I make time to spend with him, teaching him how to cook and other important skills for a boy to have, such as sword fighting. What? Don’t all mothers teach their boys how to be knights? I know you prefer cowboys, but I’m stuck in the renaissance.

PT: While it is true that I love my cowboys. I do love my Renaissance Kilted Scotsmen as well. Both are just YUM!

PT: You have a wonderful collection of cows (we need pictures), have you ever thought of writing a story about their adventures?

RCM: My cows are my companions. Ask anyone that I travel to conventions with, there is always at least one stuffed cow in my luggage.

I haven’t considered writing stories for them. Sometimes they try to sneak into my books and I have to kick them out. Not many vampires collect stuffed animals. (The Anita Blake series is an anomaly. That’s also where I got the name Sigmund for one of my companions.)

PT: Do you plan your stories or do you just put pen to paper and see what happens?

RCM: Most of my stories start as random ideas I chase down a dark alley and bludgeon with a keyboard. That being said, the new novel, Enslaved, is different. I’m taking the time to plot it out and finding the actual writing goes a lot smoother with an outline to work off of. I guess you could say I’m a hybrid writer.

PT: What are your go to resources when you write? Favorite books, websites, technology, etc?

RCM: I fully admit to abusing Wikipedia when researching stuff for my books. Be Ours Forever involved quite a bit of research on torture devices. Good ol’ Googling dug up pictures of stuff that will be ingrained on my brain until the day I kick the bucket. If I can’t find anything on those sites, I ask friends. They’re an odd bunch.

PT: Being a newly published author, what advice would you give aspiring authors?

RCM: I don’t like the word aspiring. For a lot of people, they tack it on to give meaning to a hobby. If you want to publish, you will. There are too many avenues open to writers nowadays to hold them back.

Look at me, I published a vampire book in a market that wouldn’t touch vampires with a ten foot pole right now. Countless agents and publishers have said, “No more vampires!” That didn’t stop me. I did it on my own, with a little help from friends, namely Jinxie.

I guess what I’m saying is, if writing is your passion, you will make it happen. Keep writing. Continue making forward progress on your manuscripts. Learn to love editing, especially if you are going to self-publish. Don’t stop doing what you love because it feels hard. You’re giving birth to a new world, new people, there will be pain involved.

Thank you for inviting me onto your blog, Jenn. All of the support you’ve given me in the last year really means a lot. It reminds me why I decided to continue writing–for those that believe in what I am capable of.

Thank you to R.C. for visiting PonyTails. I love supporting new authors and seeing them succeed. I can’t wait to read Enslaved. Good luck on all your endeavors.

I am doing a giveaway of 2 ebook copies of Be Ours Forever . This giveaway is open to everyone. Please fill out the form at the end of the post. I will close the sign up on Friday August 24, 2012 at 11:59pm EDT. I will use Random.org to select the winner and will announce the winner here on Monday August 27, 2012!

About Be Ours Forever:

To die a slow, painful death, or become one of the blood-sucking undead?

For Brenda Verga, there’s no choice. She can’t fathom leaving her husband, Nico. Nor can she ignore the allure of her husband’s best friend, Rich, when he offers to help turn her. Together, the three of them explore what it means to be part of a triad—three souls brought together by an unbreakable bond forged in blood.

However, happily ever after isn’t in the cards . . . yet. The trio must answer to the Elder’s Counsel—a group of vampires burdened with keeping tabs on their kind. Brenda must convince them that her blood bond with Nico and Rich won’t be a danger to mankind. And failure will come at an extremely high cost.

If you click the book image it will take you to my review of Be Ours Forever.

Be Ours Forever is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions.