Blog Guest: Meet Margaret L. Carter

Hello Dear Readers. I’m pleased to welcome my fellow RWA-FF&P chapter-mate, Margaret L. Carter to my blog today. She’s here to talk about her writing and share some fun facts about herself. Enjoy!

How long have you been writing, Margaret?
I started at the age of 13, inspired by reading Dracula. At that time (early 1960s), it didn’t take me long to read my way through the horror fiction easily findable in the library. I also bought as much paperback horror as I could afford (not much), but vampire stories in particular weren’t everywhere the way they are today. It was even less easy to find the kind of stories I wanted to read, sympathetic to the “monster” or told from a nonhuman point of view.

What interested me most were relationships between human and nonhuman beings. So I started writing my own vampire and other horror stories of that type. I began as a horror fan and writer. I went on to write literary criticism about the supernatural in literature, especially vampires.

I’ve also produced fantasy, including stories in some of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress anthologies and a trilogy in collaboration with my husband (Wild Sorceress, Besieged Adept, and Rogue Magess).

At present I write mostly paranormal romance, both nonerotic and erotic. Actually, it turns out I wanted to read and write that genre long before it was officially invented!

What’s on your bookshelf and/or in your To Be Read pile?
Bookshelf: Hundreds of vampire books (fiction and nonfiction) surround me in my writing space. The rest of the house overflows with horror, SF, fantasy, classics (my degrees are in English lit), romances (mostly paranormal), popular works on science and religion, and random samples of almost every genre.

TBR: An anthology of post-apocalyptic fiction, After, edited by Ellen Datlow; the latest House of Night novel by P. C. Cast and Kristen Cast; the latest Vampire Hunter D novel; a manga volume in the “Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya” series; plus several yet-unread books loaded up on the Kindle (e.g., a dog mystery, Drop Dead On Recall) and PDF book files on the computer (e.g., a manual for horror writers, Write Of The Living Dead). I’m currently rereading a couple of Diane Duane’s Star Trek novels.

Do you have a favorite author?
Lots! In my teens, H. P. Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, and the early Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson, and Theodore Sturgeon were my favorites, who shaped my concept of what horror should be. C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, Dorothy Sayers, Elizabeth Peters (aka Barbara Michaels), Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Jean Lorrah, Suzy McKee Charnas, Steven Pinker (for nonfiction), N. T. Wright (also nonfiction), Mercedes Lackey, Diane Duane, Diana Gabaldon, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sharyn McCrumb—it’s hard to avoid leaving out somebody.

What two authors would you love to chat with over a meal? Better yet, what two authors would you take on a writer’s retreat?
I would love to get C. S. Lewis and H. P. Lovecraft together for a chat. They were near contemporaries (except that Lovecraft died much earlier). Their mature worldviews were diametrically opposite, yet during his teens and early adulthood Lewis held the same hard-line atheist beliefs Lovecraft clung to throughout his life.

Most likely they never read each other’s work. Lewis loved fantastic fiction but found the subset of it in which Lovecraft worked unappealing. What would they have to say to each other from the perspective of the afterlife?

As for a writer’s retreat, I’d go with Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah, because they’re both excellent teachers as well as co-authors (so they would make a great team). In fact, I once had the privilege of taking a weekend workshop taught by Jacqueline.

If the Earth was about to be destroyed to make way for a Hyperspace Bypass (Hello, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and you have mere minutes to vacate, what book would you grab to take with you? In addition to your towel, of course.
The Complete Works of C. S. Lewis (if such a volume existed). I never get tired of rereading him, both fiction and nonfiction.

Favorite food:   Chicken curry.

Favorite color:   Turquoise blue.

Favorite music:   Folk and filk.

Favorite supernatural creature?   Vampire.

Favorite TV show?   Of all time? Probably Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Running now? Once Upon A Time.

Milk chocolate or Dark chocolate?   Dark chocolate.

Vampires or werewolves?  Vampires.

Sexy demons or sexy angels?  Sexy demons.

Dragons or witches?  Dragons.

Tell us about your work.
book cover In Calling Back Love, an erotic paranormal romance novella from Ellora’s Cave, Kirsten’s fiancé is missing and presumed dead in Afghanistan. She works a magic spell to get one last weekend with him, even though such meddling violates the laws of Nature. His return can be only temporary–or can it?

Within the past year I’ve had two trade paperback collections of my erotic paranormal romance novellas published, with three stories in each: Ardent Blood from Amber Quill (“Aquatic Ardor,” undine; “Allure of the Beast,” werewolf; and “Blood Hostage,” vampire) and Night Flames from Ellora’s Cave (“New Flame,” fire spirit; “Night Flight,” vampire; and “Sweeter Than Wine,” ghost).

And I have a new story, “Dusting Pixie,” in the November 2012 quarterly issue of Sorcerous Signals, a free online fantasy zine.

Book Cover Design / Image Credit:
Photos from Design by Dar Albert. Cover used here with permission of author.

Margaret L. Carter earned her Ph.D. in English with a dissertation that featured a chapter on Dracula. While moving frequently as a Navy wife and occasionally teaching college English, she had books and articles published on the supernatural in literature, including a vampire bibliography and, most recently, Different Blood: The Vampire as Alien. Every year she prepares a vampire fiction bibliography update. Her earliest professional fiction sales appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover anthologies. Her first novel, Shadow of the Beast, a werewolf tale, was followed by Eppie Award-winning vampire novel Dark Changeling and other horror and paranormal romance books, including a vampire romance, Embracing Darkness, published by Silhouette Intimate Moments, and numerous erotic paranormal stories.

In addition to writing, Margaret works part time as a legislative editor for the Maryland General Assembly. She enjoys reading, playing Dungeons and Dragons, attending science fiction conventions, and listening to folk music. She and her husband, a retired Navy Captain, live in Maryland near the setting of several of her novels.

Connect with Margaret
Web site | Facebook | Amazon

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