Shay MacLean is a multi-published author of Erotic Romance. Shay is a proud member of Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of several special interest chapters, Passionate Ink (of which she currently holds the position of Workshop Coordinator), RWA Online , Hearts Through History and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal. Shay is also a member of Savvy Authors and Romance Divas. When Shay isn’t immersed in her writing projects she enjoys photography, graphic/web design in addition to spending time with her wonderful husband and four amazing children.
I welcome to Shay MacLean, here with us today.
1. Why did you choose to write ménage? What intrigues you about this particular genre?
That’s an interesting question. I hadn’t planned to write ménage at all. I was working on a piece for a submission call where I was going to have my heroine, Kiana, choose between her lover, Mateo, and Tiaki, the hero of the book. Only Mateo wasn’t having any of that. He kept insisting he was meant to be a part of the relationship. My muse, Lucien, wholeheartedly agreed with him so I listened and was very surprised and pleased with the result. (BTW, that particular story has recently been contracted to Loose Id.)
What intrigues me about this genre are the dynamics involved in the relationship and the feelings the characters have to come to terms with to be together.
2. Tell us about your latest ménage release: what’s it all about? Where did you find the inspiration?
My latest ménage is “Falling Star”, released today actually. It’s the story of Willa and Schyler Brock and Keenan Fergason and the journey they go through to find out if they can live together in a polyamorous relationship.
The inspiration for “Falling Star” came to me when I was writing my first book “Shooting Stars”. In that one, Keenan discovers her tramp stamp and she has to explain the story behind it. I was surprised when Schy gave me the opening for this story at the end of that one. When I typed the last scene in it, I knew these three weren’t done telling me their story.
3. Who is your favorite ménage character(s) and why?
Hmm… that’s a tough one. I love all my characters. However, I think Tiaki, Mateo and Kiana will always hold a very special place in my heart, because they were the first ones that opened up to me and helped me learn more about love and even a little more about myself as well.
4. In your opinion, what makes a good ménage novel?
I think to write a good ménage novel you really have to make sure all the characters are on the same page. So there’s no jealousy between anyone in the relationship.
5. What do you think of ménage romance in general? Do you think numbers are important in ménage stories? The more the better or maybe not?
I love ménage romances. They give everyone a place to explore fantasies that you may never get the chance to actually live out. As to numbers, I don’t think it really matters all that much as long as everyone is happy. For me, I don’t think it’s a matter of the more the better or not. I listen to my characters, because in the end they will tell me what is best for them.
6. What sparks your ménage imagination to the point of writing one? Is there a particular source of inspiration for your ménage stories?
I’ve gotten an image of a trio just from a picture I took or a song I listened to before. So I really have no control over what sparks my ménage imagination. I get inspiration from everywhere. Sometimes a single word will do it for me. LOL. I think I’ve actually seen my husband roll his eyes when we’re out and I reach for my phone to jot down some notes so I don’t forget them before we get home. Whether or not it turns into a ménage is left up to the characters. Lucien is a little overactive at times. I have a list of projects about a mile long to prove it. Quite a few of them will be ménages.
7. What is your favorite gender combination in ménage? More men than women? No women all men? Why?
I don’t have a favorite gender combination. Although I do like to have at least one of the opposite sex in the mix. I do also write ménage with two women and one man. I think I’m partial to bisexual characters, but I won’t say that I’ll never write one with all men or women. Case in point, as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t set out to write ménage when I started writing.
8. Do you prefer to use straight, gay or bisexual male character? Why? What influences your choice?
I prefer to use bisexual male characters, because I like it when the characters are all open to the feelings and sensations that can come with a ménage relationship.
In my opinion, I think that bisexuality (especially in men) gets swept to the side or is treated like a dirty secret. I think that needs to change. So writing about characters that are openly bi whether they are male or female will hopefully bring more awareness and acceptance to bisexuality.
9. In your opinion, do ménage stories work better with straight, gay or bisexual characters? Please elaborate.
I’m not sure that any one works better than another. There are instances where each type of character would be best for a given situation. Again, I would listen to my characters to learn what they feel about it.
10. In your opinion, inside a ménage with more than one man, is the woman character condemned to a passive role? Or can she be portrayed as dominant? Is she just a toy, a doll in the men’s hands, or can she assert herself as a woman and an individual?
Absolutely not. A woman in a ménage relationship has a lot of power at her disposal. She can definitely be portrayed as a dominant. I can honestly say that all of my female characters know how much power they hold over their men. They all assert themselves as women and individuals. In fact, in a couple of my books they are literally Dommes. *wicked evil grin*
11. In your opinion, can a true ménage work in real life? Why or why not?
I believe a true ménage could work in real life as long as everyone involved is completely open and honest. If there’s not good communication between the people in the relationship, then there is a good possibility that it won’t last.
12. Do you think there is a difference between ménage sex and ménage relationship? Are the two one and the same? Or can one be without the other?
There is a difference between ménage sex and ménage relationship. Ménage sex can be a one time or occasional happening, but if you’re in a ménage relationship you’re involved with every aspect of the other people’s lives. You can have one without the other, but again you have to be completely open with your partner(s) no matter what.
13. What do you think of reviews on ménage books? Do you find they capture the essence of your work? If yes, why? If no, why not?
Oh that’s a tough question. I think if someone is going to review a ménage book they really need to either love the genre or at least be open to new ideas and concepts. If the reviewer is in one of those categories, they are more likely to capture the essence of my work and what I’m trying to convey to my readers.
14. Tell us about your future projects. Do you have a new ménage romance coming out soon?
Falling Star is out today. I’m working on Branded Souls, the second in my Branded Series, at the moment and it’s an M/M/F ménage with BDSM(there is one more in this series after that). I also have two other books planned in the Wish Upon a Star series which Falling Star is a part of. Oh and the first book of my Rift Hunter Series, Untamed Hawaiian Heat (this is the one I mentioned earlier), is in the works with Loose Id.J
15. Where can the fans find you and find your books?
They can find me at www.shaymaclean.com . Links to all my books are up there.
16. Please tell us where readers and fans can find you on the net.
17. Is there anything you wish to share with the readers?
I hope you enjoy reading my books. Don’t be strangers either. I’d love to hear from you. Oh and you can also find the link to sign up for my newsletter on my website.
Thank you so much Shay for this wonderful interview! I just discovered you and I cannot wait to read your Falling Star!
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