I thought I'd share a little bit of my road to Changeling in this post. I'm proud to be a Changeling. Very proud. Here's how I got to be an almost four year veteran of Changeling Press.
In 2009, I'd gone to the Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together. It wasn't my first time, but hey, it's one of those things you've got to do. Anyway, I'm looking over the used books for the book trade (anyone remember when the RAGT was small enough we could still HAVE a book trade?) and talking to Flash. Now you can't miss Flash. I mean...she's very tall and very Flash. She kept prodding me. You've got to write for Changeling. You've got to join the dark side. I was flattered. I'd read almost all of the Hot Flash holiday stories for the last three years at that point. I liked the publisher.
But I had this odd notion I wasn't good enough to write for Changeling. That's where the big dawgs of publishing were. So, I waited. Now that same weekend, Marteeka Karland was at the RAGT, too. She stood with me and my best friend and we chatted about books and Changeling. She also told me, in her very Teeka voice, "DOOD, You've GOT to write for Changeling." (If you've ever heard her talk, I've typed it exactly how she sounds.). Again, I thought, I'm not cool enough for Changeling. She gave me a print copy of two of her books--one of which I gave to my best friend because it had wolves in it and at the time, I wasn't in to wolf shifters (shocking, I know)--and prodded me a little more.
Fast forward two years. It's 2011 and RAGT time again. My best friend wasn't with me at the event and neither was Teeka. But Flash. Oh, yes. Flash was there. She hunted me down and said, you have decided to write for Changeling, right?
I nodded. Yes, I'd thought about it. I had a story started, in fact. But as I'm known for, I hadn't finished it. I was still trying to get my name going in the publishing world. I floated the idea by her a bit and when she grinned, I thought, okay. I can do this. I also started emailing Teeka. By this point, I'm sure she was ready to drive up to where I live and kick my butt for procrastinating. (You wouldn't have guessed I'm a procrastinator...no...not me.) I talked to her about my idea, which was almost done, and how to impress the folks at Changeling. I mean, I didn't want to send them garbage, but every little extra point helps.
Finally, I took the leap. This story I had was supposed to focus on two siblings. The first story would be the sister's story and the second would be the brothers. Sister's story came first because I wanted to be sure I could get IN to Changeling first and because well, the sister dictated her story was first. I didn't usually write M/F, so it was a bit of a shift. The brother's story, an M/M story would be next. That's as far as I'd thought through the series. Two books.
It took some time--I'm still not sure why, but it did--and someone at Changeling read my short story about a girl who has the ability to burst into flame and kill the man she's making love to if he's not her mate. Have you heard of that story? Fire Woman? Yeah, that one. Someone read it and loved it enough to contract it. M contacted me and asked if there were more stories in the hopper. I said, why actually there were. The brother would have his story next. After that, well, I wasn't sure. She replied, 'you know, a series, with each band member featured, would be a great way to continue the stories. I'm sure the others have tales to tell.'
Now either I'm a sucker, or I really liked the Glow band, but I did what she said. I let the rest of the band talk. The guitarist, the drummer and even the record company gave me characters who wanted their stories told.
Eventually I branched out and started a series with black cat shifters. I added a Razor's Edge series featuring challenges and the occasional M/M story with bondage, for fun. I've even tackled faery tales. Now more than twenty-five stories on, I'm glad I made the leap and submitted to Changeling. I hope you're glad I went there, too.
Here's to ten more years of stories, heat and fun! Happy Birthday Changeling!!
* * * * * *
Here's a little bit about my latest Changeling release:
Cat Style (Stray Cats, bk 2) by Megan Slayer
Word Count: 10K
Genres: Erotic Romance, Novella, Paranormal
Themes: Shapehifters, Magic
He’s got cat style, but does he have what it takes to win her heart?
Penelope went to the witch’s house to look at the cats, not bring one home. The moment she spotted the tiny fur baby with huge green eyes, she lost her heart. But Hildegard’s cats aren’t all they seem. One skeptical owner plus one affectionate shifter equals love cat-style -- but will love prevail over the evil threatening to kill her furry best friend?
Available here: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2176
And a Hot Excerpt!
She knew that sound. “Fang! It’s Halloween. How in the name of God did you get out? I had you in the bedroom so you wouldn’t get loose.” She scooped the cat into her arms and flipped the switch to turn off the porch light. “You can be a real poop sometimes.” She nudged the door shut with her hip then engaged the lock. As per usual, the cat cuddled in her grasp and purred. She plunked him on the couch. “What am I going to do with you? Huh? I’ll get that bell I’ve threatened to put on you.”
Penelope sighed and closed her eyes. She rubbed her temple. As much as she loved the cat, he drove her crazy. “I should take you to the vet and have you fixed,” she grumbled. “That would teach you.”
“I suppose you could, but what fun is that?”
She opened her eyes. Instead of her black cat lounging on the couch, a dark-haired man with a hint of scruff on his cheeks and not a stitch of clothing on sat in his place.
“You’re not Fang.” Not her best response, but who in the hell was he? She balled her fists, ready to punch the intruder. “What did you do with my cat and how the hell did you get in?”
“Penn, it’s me, Fang. My mother called me Ascher, and I rather like it better.” He rose to his feet. “I don’t want to hurt you. I’d rather be back in your arms.”
Her brain misfired. A nude man, handsome at that, in her house and wanting to be in her arms? And he claimed to be her cat? She wobbled on her feet. The room went blurry, then black. When she opened her eyes, the man was crouching over her.
“Penn? Fuck.” His eyebrows crinkled and he smoothed her hair from her face. “I knew I should’ve told you yesterday but there wasn’t time.”
“You’re a strange man in my house.” She scrambled to an upright position. “Get the fuck out.” Where in the hell were her purse and her mace?
“You don’t know me.” She inched away from him. Instead of coming after her, the naked man sat still. “Now get out.”
“I do so know you, Penelope.” He pinched the bridge of his nose between his index finger and thumb. “Wait.” He grabbed a pillow to cover his crotch, then sat on the floor. “I know. Piss-poor timing to hide my junk. I’m sorry.” He sighed. “When you went to Hildegard’s to get a kitten, you were handed me. You didn’t know you wanted me until you saw the fluff on my ears. You loved that I had those funny tufts of fur.”
“No.” She shook her head. “No, no.” The man knew too much about her cat. What a lunatic! She grabbed her purse and rummaged for the bottle of mace -- all without moving her attention from his face.
“You wondered why I hadn’t been nabbed yet.”
Shit. Those were just about her words exactly.
“Hildegard said I’d be exactly what you needed. I can be, but you have to believe me and trust me.” He finally moved toward her. “Please?”
“I’m supposed to believe a naked man in my house is my cat? Not on your life.” And yet, somewhere in her brain his story made sense.
“I’ll show you.”
©Copyright Megan Slayer 2014
* * * * * *
When she's not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don't seem to mind.
When she’s not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school. She enjoys writing in all genres, but writing about men in love suits her fancy best. The cabana boys are willing to serve, unless she needs them. She always need them. So be nice to Javier or he will bite--on command.
She also masquerades under the name Wendi Zwaduk.
Megan’s site: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm
Megan’s blog: http://theauthormeganslayer.blogspot.com
Megan on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/meganslayer
Megan on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5330530.Megan_Slayer
Megan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theauthormeganslayer
Megan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/MeganSlayer