Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday's Writer ~ @MollyMcLain #MollyMcLain #CantShakeYou

Today I’d like to welcome a fabulous debut author, Molly McLain. Molly and I met in our common critique group and she’s brought many new insights with her to the group. She’s happy, she’s bubbly and like I said, a new author. And she's giving things away! She wanted to let me know that she's giving away some gift certificates and some copies of her ebooks...don't forget to sign up with the rafflecopter at the bottom of her interview!

Her debut book Can’t Shake You was published this week and I can’t be more happy for her. Join me in welcoming her to Wednesday’s Writer. Welcome, Molly!

Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?  My debut novel, Can’t Shake You, is a steamy, contemporary romance, set in the small town of River Bend, Nebraska. It’s slightly new adult-ish, but not intentionally so. I’ve had a good response from both adult romance readers and those who prefer new adult, as well.

What can we expect from you in the future?  Can’t Shake You (CSY) is the first book in the River Bend series. Right now, I have four more books planned (there may be more), following different characters from the quaint, but sexy little town. Can’t Hold Back will be out, probably in April, and Can’t Get Enough sometime in the summer.

How do we find out about you and your books?  My website is the most static place to check out what’s going on with me and my books, but I’m really all over the place. If you’re looking for the real scoop on my books, Goodreads is the place to be. Can’t Shake You has lots of awesome (and a couple not so awesome) reviews, straight from the readers’ perspective.

How many readers/fans contact you?  I’m always up for chatting with readers and fans on Facebook or via email at

Do your fans' comments and letters influence you in any way?  I haven’t received any fan mail yet, but fans’ comments in their reviews definitely make me smile. I love hearing about how the book made them feel and I love it even more when they pinpoint a certain scene that did a little something special for them.

Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?  Not so much a favorite comment, but I really like the reviews that include images and gifs of how the reader envisions the characters or certain scenes. It’s fun to see the story through someone else’s eyes. And, of course, my favorite question is ‘when’s the next book coming out?’. Music to an author’s ears.

Why did you decide to write romance novels?  I love love and relationships. Plain and simple. I can’t really explain it beyond that, ya know?

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?  I’m sharp-tongued in real life, just like my characters are. As far as life experiences, I haven’t intentionally written something with my own life in mind, but I know it’s in everything I write, in some shape or form. For example, I don’t have a good relationship with my dad and both Carissa and Josh have strained ones with their fathers. Our situations are completely different, but the emotions are similar.

Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?  How fast I write depends on how passionate I am about a story. I can whip out a draft pretty quickly if I’m “feeling it”, but then I always slow down when it comes to revisions. I like to mull over things a bit and really bond with the characters before I add layers to them. You don’t even want to know how long it took me to write Can’t Shake You. Suffice to say, I know them quite well.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?  Life is far too crazy for a schedule, but I dream of having one someday. lol

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?  I dig in and write as much as I can before I hit a roadblock. Then I sit down and figure out how to get over the hump and through the next bit of the story. Usually this results in a pretty decent outline. I don’t plot, per se, but I do have a general vision for where the story is going. What happens along the way is almost always just as much a surprise to me as it is for my poor characters.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?  My family is great about giving me plenty of writing time on the weekends, but during the week it’s a crapshoot. Mostly it’s the kids arguing amongst each other that is the most intrusive, so thank goodness for headphones, iTunes, and Youtube!

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?  Read, read, read. I don’t even watch TV anymore. My TBR pile doesn’t allow it. Oh, and I like camping. With books, of course.

What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?  I like to succeed and I’m always looking ahead to ‘what next’. I also like to do things differently than everyone else, at least with my family and friends. I live in a really tiny, culturally-challenged town where most people don’t even read, let alone write. When they find out I’m a writer, the expressions on their faces is priceless. I love those moments. That might make me sound a bit uppity, but I’m definitely not—I think it’s more my enjoyment of their surprise at something unexpected. I hope my books bring about similar reactions.

How do you come up with ideas?  Music is, by far, my biggest inspiration. And I have eclectic taste, so some of my ideas are pretty out there! lol

Do you feel humor is important in fiction and why?  Humor is important in life, so absolutely it’s important in books, including fiction. My books are about true-to-life characters, where not everything is perfect or serious. Also, I enjoy a good laugh when I read, so it’s natural I’d write with a similar preference.

What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels? Do you find them difficult to write?  Love the steamy scenes. Can’t get enough of them. Definitely find them hard to write. I can generally picture them well (little porn scenes playing in my mind, bow chicka wow wow), but getting them down is never that easy. I have to take one sense at a time and layer it in throughout a scene that usually starts out as ol’ Tab A and Slot B. Hopefully the mish-mash at the end is something more workable. I would love to write even more sensual than I do and I think that’ll come in time.

What kind of research do you do?  I’m all about visual research. As in eye candy images on Pinterest. Yummy!

Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?  I’d love to put out a new adult series. My fall release, Fly, was intended to be a NA book, but I’m not so sure anymore. At any rate, I absolutely heart Cora Carmack and I’d love to write something like her Losing It and Faking It books someday.

What does your husband/wife/significant other think of your writing?  All my husband cares about is when I’m going to get paid. He fails to grasp the concept that I enjoy writing and would do it for free. He also has his moments of impatience with the amount of time I spend writing, but since Can’t Shake You started racking up the reviews—and now sales—he’s definitely more forgiving. lol

Do you ever ask him/her for advice?  Yep. I always try to disguise it in a subtle question and he always sees through me. I mean, come on, do husbands and wives not partake in dinnertime conversation about how male orgasms feel? And why is it not believable that I would want to know how a guy might feel walking on his crush giving his best friend a BJ?
J Yeah, he thinks I’m crazy and probably I am a little, but he married me and, far as I’m concerned, I get to ask all the bizarro questions I want. Tough luck, Mr. M—you’re stuck with me.

What are some of your favorite things to do?  Buy books, browse at B&N, drink caramel macchiatos, sing in the car, nosh on jellybeans and fountain soda…oh, and roadtrip!

Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?  I have about 10 favorite authors and books.

Are you a member of any author groups - RWA, critique groups, etc.?  I just joined a formal crit group at the beginning of the year and I’m part of an informal bunch of CPs, as well. No organized author groups just yet. I’m still weighing the benefits.

What do you think of critique groups in general?  They’re priceless. With CP groups, you really get to know each other’s style and that’s always helpful when critting. A certain trust tends to build too and I think it gets easier as you go along, to give better, more honest feedback and ultimately that’s what you want. It makes your writing so much stronger.

Where do you see yourself in five years?  On an Alaska cruise, sipping prickly pear margaritas. Still writing books.

After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?  Yep. I bought a copy of my own book, because I had this crazy fear that my preview version was somehow different than the version my readers were getting. Like, the formatting was jacked up or something. All was well and, um, I may have stopped and read a steamy scene or two while I checked it over. J

List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.  Jill Shalvis and Jaci Burton are two of my favorite authors right now.

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?  Characters and a little bit of their story simultaneously. Big gaps to fill in after that.

Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?  Both. Sometimes they get out of hand, so just hogtie them. Or better yet, not give them sex. That usually brings them back around to my way of thinking.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?  Keep writing! Don’t ever give up, if it’s something you love. Writing is hard for all writers, even those who’ve been writing for decades. I wish I could say it gets easier, but that’s not always a given. My own comfort waxes and wanes from day to day. Even on bad “I suck” days, power up your computer or grab a pad of paper…and write. Something. Anything. Or read. Just feed your inner writer…as often as you can.  

If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?  *snerk* What’s the maturity level of this blog again?

 Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?  Um, I’d probably be a dollar store or a megastore like Walmart, where you can buy a little bit of everything…cheap.

What is your secret guilty pleasure?  Tumblr and Pinterest. Typically the NSFW stuff. J

If you were stranded on a tropical island, who would it be with? You can choose any living, deceased or mythical figure.  OMG, I just had a palpitation. Channing Tatum, for sure. Or…Clay Matthews. No, no…Adam Levine. Hmm, I really like Randy Orton’s tattoos. They’d keep me busy for a while. Or at least my tongue…

If you were on a reality show, what one would it be?  A competition of some kind, probably cooking. And you’d better believe, I’d win. Or they’d have to drag me out, kicking and trash talkin’. 

Leather or lace? Lace
Black or red? Red
Satin sheets or Egyptian cotton? Cotton
Ocean or mountains? Ocean
City life or country life? Country
Hunky heroes or average Joe? Hunky heroes
Party life or quiet dinner for two? Quiet dinner
Dogs or cats? Cats

I love pizza with black and green olives.
I'm always ready for a good book.
When I'm alone, I write, write, write.
You'd never be able to tell, but I’m the most impatient person I know.
If I could make a living writing books, I’d quit my day job.

Dessert ~ Cheesecake
Season ~ Fall
Type of hero ~ A vulnerable, hunky alpha
Type of heroine ~ A sassy, take-no-shit woman

Buy Links:    Amazon
                        Barnes and Noble
Price: $3.99
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: 2/22/14

Book Excerpt
They really needed to talk, to figure out what the heck was going on with them, but Carissa could see the exhaustion in Josh’s eyes. That conversation was far too deep for tonight, given the day he’d had. And considering they’d waited three years for this, another day wouldn’t kill them.
“I’m sorry you had to go through what you did today,” she said as she led him into his bedroom. When she got him close to the bed, she turned and went to work, loosening his belt.
“You were confident I’d be home tonight and not tossed into lock-up.” He dropped his chin to his chest and watched her unfasten his button and then his zipper.
“You didn’t do anything wrong. I knew Mark would see that.” She tipped her head back and looked up at him, as she guided his shirt up and nudged him to finish. He whipped it off and dropped it to the floor and she held her breath at the powerful, unrelenting beauty of his body.
He clenched his jaw and held her gaze. “I’ve done plenty wrong, babe.”
She shook her head immediately. “This isn’t wrong.”
“It’s not right.”
“By whose standards? Reed’s? Maddie’s?” Dropping to her knees, she undid the laces of his boots, helped him out of them, and removed his socks. When she stood again, she tucked her fingers into the waistband of his jeans and gave a frustrated tug, her eyes pleading up to him. “This is about us, Josh. You and me.  And being here for you right now? It’s the rightest thing I’ve done in a long time.”
His Adam’s apple bobbled as he swallowed and the conflict brewing in his eyes paralleled the riot of emotions she felt whirling in her chest. Every rational part of her screamed that she was getting in over her head, but she’d been living safely for far too long. It was time to jump in and start taking chances again. For herself. For them.
Biting her lip, she slid her hands back and into his jeans, her fingers gliding over the hard, sculpted curve of his butt, still covered in black cotton boxer briefs. Guiding the denim over his hips and then completely off, she marveled again at the hard, sinewy lines of his body. Strong, taut thighs, perfectly muscled calves and just the right amount of dark, crisp hair. When she dragged her fingers along the bisecting lines of his abs, she felt him flinch and shiver, muscles jumping.
“What are you doing?” he croaked, his eyes turning dark and stormy.
“I’m touching you.”
“Because it’s how we communicate best.” She edged closer and kissed his chest, loving the light dusting of hair there and the scent of him, so real and masculine. She ran her hands over his pecs and down his arms, so thick and solid. She hadn’t intended to seduce him, but there was something innately erotic about undressing a man…undressing him. The prod of a growing erection against her belly only added to the arousal low in her pelvis.
“What are you trying to tell me?” he rasped, his voice tight and brusque.
She wet her lips and took in a careful breath. Being completely open on a non-physical level was still new to both of them. But she wanted to tell him. Didn’t want to hide anymore. “That I care,” she admitted. “That I’m not going to let you go through this alone. Times got tough for me and you held me up. I can’t make this go away, but I can be here. I can give you a safe place to fall.”
He pushed a hand back into her hair. “I really like it when you touch me,” he whispered.
So did she. And it scared the hell out of her just how much.

Where can your readers find you?

Where’s your favorite place to hang out online?  Facebook, for sure. I tweet and blog here and there, but I’m a bonafide FB addict.

Molly McLain has lived in Northern Wisconsin all of her life. She’s a proud fan of the Green Bay Packers, fountain soda, angsty rock ballads, and jellybeans. She also loves camping and binging on reality TV, but her favorite vice of all is road tripping with the radio cranked. Someday, she hopes to travel the country with her husband and her laptop, because nothing gets the plot bunnies hopping like the wind blowing through her hair.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank so much for having me here, Lynn! :)

  2. Fun interview, Molly!!

    I hardly watch TV now too! Too many books to read. :)

  3. Hi, Jennifer!

    I did give in and watch The Voice on Monday, but then I missed it last night. I'm a horrible TV watcher. I can't commit to anything. lol But the book I'm reading right now? Goes with me everywhere so I can sneak in five minutes here and there. :)

    Thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. The book looks fabulous! I've never had a prickly pear margarita (but I do have a prickly pear or two in my garden)- off to hunt down a recipe!

  5. Hi Molly! I really enjoyed Can't Shake You and am seriously awaiting the next books in the River Bend series.

    TV and I don't spend enough quality time together as of late! but I'm not much for reality television. I'm more of a crime or police show kind of girl like Rizzoli and Isles, which is my current fav.

    Many happy sales to you!

  6. Nina, they are SO yummy! And purple. :)

    Shiloh, I'm glad you liked the book! I love police shows too, mostly because there's always eye candy. ;)

    Thanks for dropping in, ladies! :)