You know a book online is good when you will do anything to get the next chapter, whether collecting free coins, watching ads, or paying for it. I definitely have that feeling reading the works of today’s featured author, Miri Googag. If you like strong female characters and shifters that are badass, you’ll definitely enjoy her books. Let’s get Up Close and Personal with the author behind Mate’s Gamble and the Guardian series.
Hi Miri! Welcome to Hearth and Home Buddies, and thank you for saying yes to an interview.
Hi! It’s nice to be here. Thank you for thinking of me.
Let me begin by asking, did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Yes! But I couldn’t think of anything I felt was awesome, so I went with a childhood nickname and my married last name. Not super original, but I save originality for my books.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
When I originally wrote my story, I knew I would be publishing in apps but had no idea the type of “setup” they would want. I’ve learned to write quick-paced but in-depth stories with lots of twists and turns to keep readers captivated. I’m still learning what works and trying to constantly evolve.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Honestly, I don’t usually do much research. That’s the beauty of writing paranormal/fantasy; a lot can be made up on the spot. That being said, I do research different species of plants and such and try to keep my “wolves” somewhat similar to the ones we know in our world.
So I will use plants and food that dogs/wolves can’t eat and incorporate that in my use of poisons along with the usual classic werewolf weaknesses.
I also research torture devices and tactics from medieval times since my wolves are usually a little more animalistic and barbaric in their tactics.
What is your favorite childhood book?
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. Absolutely love it to this day.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I strongly believe that names have meaning. So I search for strong names with a meaning that matches the personality of my characters.
What kind of scenes do you find difficult to write?
Anything sexual or spicy is hard for me. I write heavy on emotions and less physical touch, so ensuring spicy scenes are always different takes some serious creative power.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do! Every last one of them. How I deal with them varies. I love positive reviews, of course, but I also don’t mind a review that points out things I should improve on. I truly believe good critique is just as valuable as a great review. I want to keep growing as an author, and I can’t do that if all I get is positive feedback.
The Alpha’s Guardian
What (if anything) did you edit out of The Alpha’s Guardian?
In The Alpha’s Guardian, I had a line where Ali beats someone up in training, and they say her name wrong. And she says, “Ali, like “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” Muhammad Ali”. But I took that out because I didn’t know if I was allowed to put that in there due to copyrights. But a ton of people call her Ali (Allie). She’s definitely Ali (AH-li).
Favorite book you’ve written to date
My all-time favorite is Rebel Rising: The Lost Alpha’s Mate. I just really like Sebastian – he’s the main character – and Wren. For me, I just like their dynamic. She’s, like, all gunning for him. He’s like, “No, I need to be a good person. My best friend has a thing for you.”
Because you don’t know who your mate is until you look them in the eye and you touch them. So they don’t know until they both want to find out, and neither of them wants to find their mates.
They found their mate in a moment that was really hard. His best friend was trying to be with her, and he really cared about her a lot. So he’s like, “No, no. I don’t care if I’m your mate. We’ll stand off. We’re not telling anybody.” And so she refused his rejection and went after him.
The Mate’s Gamble
I tend to write very strong-minded female characters. Maybe not as snarky. I wanted to write someone who was a badass. She’s strong but not externally. She could use her internal strength as a weapon. She keeps going when many would have given up.
Matilda, the movie, inspired it, but there’s no magic in this book.
What part of the book (Mate’s Gamble) was the most fun to write?
The first five chapters. They were some of my favorites because writing a character who is blind is ridiculously hard but also hilariously easy at the same time. Because I can skip so much, I suddenly have to rely on her other senses.
So it’s no longer describing the trees look like this, or he’s so handsome. It’s, “Oh, he smells nice, or he’s tall. I’m struggling with what I am feeling. Oh, it’s his chest. I should be embarrassed, but I’m not because I’m blind. I don’t have to be embarrassed.”
For me, that was fun. I could really play up the snark of her not being aware that she’s talking back to the Alpha.
Who doesn’t love a snarky woman?
Right, even if it’s not the main (character). We’re women. We’re snarky in general. Strong women snark, I feel like. They know when to stand up. And sometimes they don’t know when to be quiet either, which Tilly (female lead of Mate’s Gamble) is learning.
What was your hardest scene to write in this book?
There’ve been several. The scene where she’s running and she’s blind. I would say that that one had me crying while writing it.
And then the discovery of her parents. I don’t want to give spoilers, but the discovery of all that stuff has been hard to write because I think it touches on things people don’t want to discuss.
It’s about how she receives the information; how suddenly, instead of hating her parents, it turns into self-hatred because of circumstances. So it’s just really emotional.
And a lot of the things I write, when I’m writing ’em for my characters, I imagine them happening to me or my kids. So writing them is really hard.
There’s a scene where she … again, I don’t want to spoil things – something awful happens. And it’s one of those things where if you’re watching a movie and seeing it happen, you’d be like, “Oh my God. Stop! Stop! Leave her alone. Oh my God. You’re a horrible person. Why can’t you just back off? Why can’t leave her alone? You guys are just so awful.” One of those moments. Writing it from her perspective was hard as heck because I knew no one was coming to help.
Lots of tears as I’m writing it. I’ve cried a lot in this book because she just pulls through it.
If I were a movie producer about to put your book on the big screen, who would you want me to cast as the lead for Mates Gamble?
I think her name is Jenna Malone. She’s kinda who would play her.
I can’t think of anybody who reminds me of Onyx. Onyx, I think, is pretty unique looking in my head. I feel like it would be whoever sounds like him at the moment. Obviously, he’s tall, dark, handsome, and he’s got tanned skin. Other than that, I guess it’s whoever auditions well.
Onyx is probably a mix between Nick Bateman and Henry Cavill.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Oh geez, at least four.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It depends on the scene. Anything that’s emotional, I’m drained. Anything that is battle scenes, I’m hyped up. I close the computer and say, “Okay. Who wants to go for a hike?”
What has influenced you the most as a writer?
My overactive imagination and my life as a mom of multiple kids. They keep my imagination going with their never-ending questions. And when I get stuck, I’ve been known to ask my five-year-old for advice. It’s always crazy, but somehow helpful.
Do you have any other projects in the works at this time?
I have two! One is book two in a series, and the other is a new story I’m mapping out.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
The hardest part is finishing the book. So don’t stop, even if you hate it. Finish it and then adjust. But giving up will make you feel like a failure, so chug along, and you’ll be just fine.
Whose book would you recommend?
I have a lot of authors I like, but I highly recommend Allie Carstens’ Pen Pal series and Emma Taylor’s Possessive Mates.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
I have a Facebook group called Miri’s Shifter Cafe, where I try to keep up with social media, writing, and life!
Miri Googag’s books are available on GoodNovel.
You can check out the following reviews from our sister website, slvrdlphn.com, to pique your interest. Click on the link in the image below to bring you directly to the review.