Friday, 16 November 2012

Author Hot Seat - M.S. Spencer

The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know some of todays popular and up and coming authors a little better. The questions are broken into four sections - About your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, other may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering. Still, they all answer.
Well it's Friday again and that means an author is in the hot seat today. Meredith Spencer was eager to take up the challenge, answer the difficult questions and share some an excerpt from her latest release Artful Dodging. Please welcome Meredith to the Hot Seat.

About your writing:

How did you get started as a writer?

The kindergarten teacher handed me a crayon. If it weren’t for fires, floods and about thirty moves I’d be one of those people found buried under reams of paper by the K-9 unit.

Why do you write?

Because I have to!

Have you ever had a day you wanted to quit and never write again?

No. There are times when my heart isn’t in it, and the writing is poor, but I relax and wait for inspiration to reappear.

Do you feel lucky to be doing what you are doing?

Totally, absolutely, fabulously lucky. I have the luxury (retired, on pension) of being able to write anytime I want to and the good fortune to have others like my work.

Tell me how you got to where you are today?

One step at a time? I’ve lived every day as an adventure and worked hard at whatever project I have. I’ve traveled and tried new things and listened to anyone who will talk to me. As a result I’ve got a stockyard full of stories upon which to draw.

How do your family/spouses react to your work as an author? Do they know what you write? 

My children are in their 20s and, while proud of their mother, wouldn’t ever, ever consider reading my books. Ick, Mom J.

About you:

What are you passionate about in life?

Real (as in blind) justice, freedom, the liberty to pursue your own dreams without Big Brother telling you how to live and believe, respect for others and their opinions, my children. Not necessarily in that order.

If you had to give a thank-you speech at the Oscars, who would you thank and what would you say?

I’d first thank my late parents—Mother for her intrepid spirit and love of reading, Father for his love of writing, open-mindedness, and constant desire to learn. Then my late husband for his steady support, my children for existing, and my best friend Sandy who has lived through the sturm und drang of my life with a cheerful smile and optimistic attitude.

What are the three most important life lessons you’ve learned that might make life easier for others?

1)Do not talk yourself out of helping someone in need; 2)Always remember there are 2 sides to every issue (at least) and to respect the person who disagrees with you; 3)Look for the connection between you and the person you meet. It sets a common ground so you can enjoy your differences.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. Whom would it be and why?

Benjamin Franklin. Most celebrities lead pretty awful lives, and most people don’t really appreciate life while they’re living it no matter how beautiful it seems to others, but Franklin seemed to really love life and living.

What's the worst thing you did as a kid?

Where do I begin? I once stepped on an anthill and spent the night terrified the relatives of the dead ants were coming to get me. I once stole a candy bar, but returned it. I once skipped school only to have the school close for snow, and then I got caught anyway.

What do you do to have fun?

Besides write? I love to watch birds, cook, swim, kayak, eat, drink, read, needlepoint, watch C-Span, talk, travel, meet people in line at the grocery store who tell you odd things, check out what other people in the grocery line have in their carts and make up stories about them, go to the grocery store and indulge myself with one special item. I’d better stop now—oh will you look at the time! Off to the grocery store.

 Share a funny incident in your life.

 Strange, usually I’m a mine of humorous anecdotes, but I had to leave this question till last. I guess I might as well relate my latest misadventure, one both odd and funny. By way of background, I inherited a bungalow on a barrier island on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and when there I walk the beach every day. Each day is different and this one particularly so. That morning I had reached an isolated spot on the beach at the peak of low tide. The waves wash over a huge swath of sandbar, exposing very soft sand. I saw an old man kneeling about twenty feet out. Something about the way he moved told me he was in trouble. I leapt across the tidal pool to him. Sure enough, he was stuck in the clinging sand. Still, he seemed unusually helpless, and as I held out a hand I realized why: one arm had been cut off at the shoulder. Worse, the man had put on quite a bit of weight, perhaps to stave off the lean years. So here I am, trying to clutch a half-naked (bathing suit-clad) total stranger and lift all 200 pounds without actually touching him. It wasn’t working. I looked down the beach to see a tall, wide-shouldered, slim-hipped, blond hunk in a speedo and waved at him.  He loped toward me like a male “ten,” but when he reached us, out of his mouth spewed a slew of unintelligible words. Oh great, I thought, he’s Polish or Czech or…anyway, a language with which I am not familiar. Luckily he seemed to grasp the situation and lifted the old man with ease. I got to pull his pants up (the old man, not the hunk).

But that’s not the funny part. As the old man trudged off whistling, I tossed my hair and threw Hunk a come-hither smile. Not because I wanted to flirt, but because I’d sunk up to my thigh in quicksand. As he obligingly pulled me out, his (expletive deleted) girlfriend—yet another ten—appeared and gently dragged him off.

Fun Stuff:

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Rosalind Russell—no question. She was fearless, adventuresome, a true lady, and had the most marvelous jaw line.

f you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?

Didn’t someone once say, “Wine is food?” If that counts, I’d be a bottle of Bollinger Brut. If it doesn’t, I’d be the perfect raspberry, tart and sweet and soft and prickly.

What is your favorite color- food- song- movie?

Color: coral pink. 

Food: it’s easier to say what I don’t like (blanched almonds, coconut). Otherwise, if it’s not moving, I’ll eat it.

Song(s): Nessun Dorma (from the opera Turandot), and Cole Porter’s I Love Paris.

Movie(s): Ninotchka—it still makes me laugh. Or Auntie Mame.

What's the funniest pick up line ever used on you?

I don’t remember any of them being very funny. J

What's the one thing you can't live without?


And finally:

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it's raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:
                       -An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
                       -An old friend who once saved your life.
                       -The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
You can only fit one person in your car, who would you choose to offer a ride to?

Not a problem: one in the car, one on the roof rack, and one strapped to the bumper. Guess which goes where.

M. S. Spencer’s latest release is Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders.

Secret Cravings Publishing (April 2012); eBook and Print
Contemporary romantic suspense/Murder mystery, M/F, 2 flames

I’d like to introduce you to Milo Everhart and her merry band of artists. Milo makes beautiful needlepoint and her friend Tekla Spirikova makes large metal cones. Together they fight City Hall (literally) when it wants to give their beloved Torpedo Factory Art Center away. Things get complicated when their greatest adversary turns out to be the man Milo loves, and even more complicated when too many murder victims turn up.

Buy Links:


Waiting out the rain, Milo Everhart takes stock of her widowhood and the handsome man standing in the door to the bar.  Little does she know she will meet that man again and again under both passionate and terrifying circumstances.

Tristram Brody waits for his date, too conscious of the beautiful woman sitting by the door. Little does he know that she will hate him for trying to destroy her beloved art center, and even suspect him of murder. Nor that she will be drawn inevitably into his arms.

Little does either of them suspect they will be embroiled in not one, but two murders, in which the fate of the Torpedo Factory, an art center housed in an old munitions factory on the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria, will be decided.

Excerpt (PG): The First Date

The sleet had tapered off, and the moon began its stroll across the cumulus highway as Milo entered the restaurant. She passed through the dining room to the cozy bar in the back. Tristram sat in one of the overstuffed club chairs. He saw her and waved to the bartender.

“Jack Daniels?”


He ordered drinks and a plate of assorted cheeses.

Three hours, four more rounds, and two more cheese plates later, Milo figured she’d better start asking Tristram some questions. But she didn’t really feel like it. She felt like she knew enough already, so she settled for gazing into his deep green eyes and smiling inanely. Which was okay because apparently that’s what Tristram had settled for too. Milo realized with a jolt that no one had said anything for at least five minutes. Come on, Milo. You’re too old for crushes.

“I really must be going. It’s been very…”

He reached across the table, put a gentle hand on her neck, and brought her into blissful contact with his lips. “Nice.”

She realigned her jaw and her heart and rose a little shakily. “Um.”

He jumped up. “I’ll walk you to your car.”


They walked stiffly out of the bar, stumbling only once on the threshold. Tristram steadied her. A few minutes later they broke apart to take a breath. The sidewalk had cleared during the evening, and they were alone. He took her back into his arms and kissed her, moving his tongue around the inside of her lips and making slurping noises as though she tasted like a chocolate milkshake.

He pulled away but held onto her hand. “Let’s go home.”

She let him lead her down King Street to a black Jaguar, and they drove in silence the few blocks to Lee Street. The moon rode high over a little terraced park. They watched it float a minute, then Tristram took her hand again and they went inside.

Ms. Spencer has published four contemporary romance novels. Lost in His Arms is set in the spinning world of 1991 when countries fell like flies and a CIA fixer had his hands full. In Lost and Found we follow a desperate wife searching the wilds of Maine for the husband who disappeared. Losers Keepers is a tale of love, lust and treachery set on the island of Chincoteague. Triptych, tells of jealousy and intrigue high above the Potomac River. Her latest release is Artful Dodging. Coming in January 2013 is Mai Tais & Mayhem: a Sarasota Romance.

Buy Links:
Lost in His Arms:

Lost and Found: www.redrosepublishing/books/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=282&products_id=654

Losers Keepers:


To find out more about Meredith or to contact her check out these links.

Facebook Author Page:


1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for having me here today Jan! I hope your readers enjoy the interview. M. S. Spencer