Wednesday, September 16, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Ann Macela!

IMHO is pleased to welcome Medallion Press author Ann Macela today. Ann says she has been blessed with a number of careers: public school and university teacher (three degrees in history); writer of history (the kind bristling with footnotes); sales, marketing and PR person writing everything from ads to annual reports; consultant and computer manual writer; and now romance author.

A native Texan, she spent most of her life on the Gulf Coast until her and her husband’s business took them first to Minneapolis and then to the Chicago area. It didn’t take her long to learn how to survive in The Frozen North--just wear her entire wardrobe at one time. All of this, some travels here and abroad, and her computer-and-accounting savvy husband have given her inspiration and details for her stories.

In Chicagoland, she finally had the time to do what she has always wanted to: write fiction. She writes both contemporary and contemporary paranormal romance stories. Ann will be putting her Medallion Press release Your Magic or Mine? (the third in The Magic series about magic practitioners brought together by an ancient force, an irresistible compulsion, called the soulmate imperative) into the “Back to School” tote bag of love.

Your Magic or Mine? won the CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Romances of 2008 for the Single Title category. Her non-Magic release, Windswept, won RT BOOKReviews Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Romance, Small Press in 2008, as well as the Lories Best (published division) for Single Title Romance. Both books were multi-finalists in several Romance Writers of America contests in 2008.

Ann’s next book in the series, Wild Magic, will be released October 2009. Wild Magic looks at the world of magic practitioners called Defenders and Swords. Their purpose: to find and destroy items of evil magic. A quick preview:

Irenee Sabel is a Sword, new to her blade and anxious to prove herself. On her first mission to recover a powerful crystal of ancient evil from its practitioner users, she encounters DEA Agent Jim Tylan. Part of a law-enforcement task force but also for personal reasons, Jim is after the same people for drugs and weapons trafficking.

Determined to learn the identity of the mysterious woman who can open a glowing safe with a wave of her hand, Jim is surprised to find himself in the company of people who can actually cast magic spells. He is astonished when they inform him that he is a “wild talent,” someone in whom magic abilities spontaneously occur, and then absolutely astounded when he proves it by casting his own spells.

If that weren’t enough, the practitioner soul-mate imperative is lurking, waiting to bring Jim and Irenee together, ready or not.

Ann hopes her readers enjoy her magic practitioners. As she says, “We all need a little magic in our lives.”

IMHO: Welcome to IMHO, Ann. Great to have a fellow Medallion Press author visiting. What is something surprising you’ve learned from writing and/or reading romance?

AM: Thanks, TJ. One thing I’ve learned is that romance is totally universal. We all want to find that special someone. Now, I should have known this, of course, but when you get tied up with all the messes and heartaches and just plain boring bits of life, it’s hard to keep that in mind. I read mostly mysteries before I found romance—lots of mayhem and dead bodies and precious little romance. I won’t go so far as to say that there IS a special someone out there for every person, and sometimes you have to work really hard at it, but you have to keep looking.

There IS a romance STORY out there for everyone. No matter your beliefs, persuasion, attitude, whatever, there are romance novels that can appeal to you and be a lot of fun to read.

Reading is really subjective. I may like one book, and somebody else will hate it. And nothing will persuade either of us differently. Now, you may say, “Duh, of course,” but when you’ve been with a bunch of people who don’t discuss or argue over books on a regular basis, this is news. Or maybe it’s my ego talking: If I like it, then everybody else must. Unlearned that one in a hurry.

Romance readers and writers alike must not pay any attention to those who would bad-mouth the genre. Those people often have not read it. When I give a talk, I usually introduce myself by saying, “I do not read or write what some consider ‘good literature.’ I read and write genre fiction, specifically romance. And you’d be surprised how many of your friends read romance, too.”

I now find myself reading books on several levels at once. The first is that of reader, enjoying the story, the characters, wanting to know what happens next. The second is that of writer, dissecting and deconstructing what the author has done with the story and how she has done it. The third is that of writer who’s “rewriting” the story in my head as I would have written it. If an author can immerse me in her story, keep me reading, wanting to get back to it if I’m interrupted, and close off the other two levels, I’m her fan for life. Unfortunately, that happens very seldom these days. I don’t know why, except to say that reading is so subjective. It’s like food. Some people dislike what I love to eat, and I dislike what others like. See point number two above.

I have also learned about cooking in the Middle Ages, wardrobe considerations in Regency times, the existence of a large variety of vampires, shape-shifters, gods, demons, and wizards with varying powers and abilities. I have learned how important shoes are to some women and various weapons are to some men. I have vicariously traveled to distant times and distant galaxies, driven fancy sports cars and ridden dragons.

Don’t you just love books!

IMHO: You KNOW I do, Ann. That’s why IMHO is here! Now, for all you IMHO readers, speaking of romance, how about you tell Ann the one most romantic gesture either you or someone you know has experienced. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win the “Back to School” tote bag of love filled with two signed books by Gerry Bartlett, Annette McCleave’s autographed debut novel, Ann Macela’s Your Magic or Mine, and signed books by our September hostesses yet-to-come, multi-published authors Heather MacAllister and Vicki Hinze.

In addition, if you are the lucky winner, you’ll also receive a $20 gift card from Barnes and Noble and a Magnetic Poetry Kit featuring “Mixed-up Romance Novel” phrases that you can use to express your inner romance novelist. And remember, the more authors whose posts you comment on during the month, the more chance of winning. Contest rules are on my website. USA addresses only, please.



Bridget said...

Nice interview! No need to enter me -- just posted about this on Win A Book.

Ann Macela said...

I'll be around most of the day and from time to time. Despite major computer problems on our big desktop machine. One things I learned from reading romance is to keep a positive outlook--definitely needed in my present situation. Yea for laptops!


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Great interview. I'm fog brained right now, so the only romantic thing that's popped into my head is something my very unromantic husband did way, way back when I was pregnant. We were at the mall and my shoe laces came untied. He knelt down in the middle of the mall and tied my shoe for me. Now, for him, it was probably something more practical, he didn't want the pregnant lady falling. But I just think how it looked to others and I'm sure a few people smiled at this sweet gesture.

Okay, I find romantic gustures wherever I can! LOL

Nina Johnson said...

Wonderful interview. Well my husband opens doors for me and helps me on with my coat and the like so it is hard to think of a most romantic thing. I do feel something special when he sees a hair out of place or that my hair is in the way and gently with a light touch moves it. It is something intimate and for some reason it moves me.
Thanks Ann for being such a wonderful writer and making my day better.

Ann Macela said...

IMHO (really not so humble), I suggest that romantic things, gestures, statements are in the mind of the beholder. If you think it's romantic, it is.

My husband jokes that he doesn't have a romantic bone in his body, but he's always there to give me a backrub after a long day at the computer.

The really funny thing is: We BOTH forget our anniversary! Not the big 5-year ones, but the ones in the middle. So we celebrate when we remember. That works for us!

Nina Johnson said...

Ann that is so cute. We also are pretty much like that. We have spent many an anniversay in an airport on a work trip munching whatever was available. We don't mind as long as we are together. You are right the romance is all in how you look at it. You have a great way of getting that across in your books too.

Chris F said...

IMHO someone who will make a meal, take over a chore, or pick up the dry cleaning is being very thoughtful...if it comes with an "I know you're swamped" that's enough to show that someone loves you.

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview, I'd like to be included!

Anonymous said...

fun interview! My husband can be clueless much of the time but he has come up with some real winners! One year he got me a topiary rosemary plant for Valentine's Day, which really touched me. I love to grow herbs and cook with them, but in February my garden is under snow. He also planned and did take me to see a wonderfully romantic movie, I forgot which, but something like Emma, with beautiful costumes and classic love story! This was much better than bringing me flowers.
I can relate to tying shoes for a pregnant wife, I'm recuperating from spinal surgery so my husband has to trim my toenails for me since I can't reach them yet. That's true love!

Ann, I do love the way you manage to combine your magic world with a strong romance, and especially love the hot scenes!

mrsshukra said...

So nice to meet another new author for me! I love that romance and magic combo in novels, where have I been, why haven't I heard of Ann Macela? Nice, interview!


Ann Macela said...

Thanks, Sherry and Chris!


The Scarf Princess said...

I'm not one that needs grand gestures. I much prefer the daily ones like holding a door for you, cleaning up without being asked, or offering to cook a meal when they know you're tired.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Ann Macela said...

Hi, Delilah,

I recommend you read the books in order if you're interested in watching the magic develop, as well as the different kinds of soul-mate connections. They stand alone, but I think you get more out of them if you do.

In order:
WILD MAGIC, October 2009
UNEXPECTED MAGIC, September 2010

I'm working on LEGENDARY MAGIC right now.

All of my books are still available and can be ordered online if your local bookstore doesn't carry them.

WINDSWEPT isn't part of the Magic Series and is a contemporary with a historical twist.

If you do read any of them, please let me know what you think. I love to hear from my readers.


Marie Donovan said...

Hi Ann,

Great to read your interesting post, and I heartily recommend your magical romances!

I have to tell you this great story. I just met a woman Monday who came over from Europe several years ago, and she told me that she learned English by reading lots of Danielle Steel novels. She said they were good stories and used simple words that she could understand as she learned to read English.

She speaks wonderful English and is currently working on her college degree.

Marie Donovan


Tracey Devlyn said...

Hi Ann,
Fun post! My husband does little things almost every day. What I love most is when he brings nourishment to my office after I've been cooped up for several hours. Isn't that romantic?

Can't wait til your next release, Ann. I love all your Magic books!

Anonymous said...

I guess the most romantic thing my husband has done for me is...

I was really sick one night and I just wanted to go to bed but I was in the middle of reading a chapter in a book. My husband knows that I hate to put down a book in the middle of a chapter, so when my husband came it to check on me he took the book from me, crawled in bed with me and finished reading the last ten pages or so of my chapter for me. This is really sweet because he hates reading especially reading aloud. I thought that it was really romantic.


Ann Macela said...

Hi, Tracey and Marie,

Thanks for the good words.

Speaking of romantic things your husband does for you, I'm about to use mine as my "research assistant." I finally worked out the magic in Legendary Magic, which involves the hero and heroine having their arms around each other, and I need to know exactly where their hands are! LOLOLOL I love writing these stories.


Unknown said...

Welcome Ann, your books really sound like an awesome read. I think the covers are really cool and I would love to read one. Do you spend a lot of time on research? Thanks for sharing your books with us.

Ann Macela said...


That husband of yours is truly special. What a wonderful and loving thing to do!


Ann Macela said...

Hi, Virginia,

I made up my magic and the way my world works out of my total imagination. No research required. I do talk about how it works with my husband, who reads a lot of sci-fi and fantasy. It all grew from a simple idea that there are people in the world who use magic to do their everyday jobs. We've all known somebody who is sooooo good at what they do and we ourselves could never do it. Well, what's to say there isn't a little magic involved?

My world got so complicated that I wrote down how it works and put it in an article on my website. The title is "A Theory of Magic." I haven't put in all the ins and outs of how magic is developing in Wild Magic and its successors yet. I want to keep some things as a surprise. But the basics are there for you to read.

I might mention that my magic world has nothing to do with gods, goddesses, any religion or any other kind of magic that I've read about. But there are rules and limits to my magic.

If you could cast a spell to help you with your everyday job, what would it be?


Anonymous said...

Our first daughter's birth didn't really go smoothly. My water broke before I had any contractions. I was in labor for 24 hours, but that wasn't working right. It is kind of pathetic when the nurse has to put her hand on your abdomen and tell you you are having a contraction. (I appreciated that when our second daughter and son were born). Anyway, after she was born, I'd not had anything to eat for over 24 hours and the kitchen was closed. We were on an Air Base in the middle of nowhere. My DH went to the snack bar at base ops, about the only place open. He brought back a cheeseburger and an orange soda/vanilla ice cream soda. I don't think anything has ever tasted so good!

Mint said...

What a nice interview. My son-in-law brings flowers home to my daughter for no reason. He will just show up with some.I think that is romantic.

Linda Henderson

Ann Macela said...

Good Morning!

Thanks to everyone for your comments and wonderful romantic stories. I really enjoyed my time here on TJ's blog.

If you have any questions or comments, please write me at I always answer my mail.

If you would like to read some excerpts of my stories, visit

Everyone, keep reading and writing!


TJ Bennett said...

Thanks to Ann for stopping in and telling us all about her wonderful MAGIC series! Whoot Whoot! I know folks will continue to stop by and say hello to Ann for the rest of the week, so don't forget to leave your comments here and for our other hosts for Sept as well.

Speaking of which, be sure to come back NEXT Wednesday for our next guest host, Heather MacAllister, three-time RITA nominee in category romance!


jcp said...

Great interview!

Anonymous said...

I am finding I like Paranormals in the vein of magic...will have to take a look at you series!

CherylS22 said...

My husband always comes up with romantic gestures - roses for no reason, cooking dinner for me after a long day at work.

throuthehaze said...

The most romantic gesture was when my BF cooked dinner for me (I didn't even think he COULD cook) and brought me flowers.
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Doreen said...

Great interview!! I don't know of anyone that has had any romantic gestures. I'm not involved with anyone so I don't have any romantic things to say. *sighs* :)

Carol L. said...

Hi Ann,
I'm a week late but had PC problems. But I am definitely going to read your books. I love the magic theme and have heard some great things about your books.
Whenever my daughter sounds the least bit stressed or worried when her and her husband talk on the phone from work he will meet her at home after work and bring her flowers, a book or whatever he hopes will make her feel better. He truly is one of a kind. They recently had their first baby and he lets her sleep through the night and tends to the baby.
Carol L.

penney said...

Sounds like a great book thanks
luvhistoricalromance at gmail dot com