Myra Nour Romance Author

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Have you ever wondered what you'd do if you were to find a monster in the closet? Or just run across a monster? Many varieties come to mind - the very scary alien from Aliens, the boogeyman, a werewolf, the list is endless...

For some reason I thought about this one day. I mean, how many of us watch a horror movie and the classic scene comes up where the character is about to open a closet door, and we know there is something really creepy hiding inside. We, the audience, go "Don't open that door stupid!"

But they always do. And many times get killed or eaten. But, what would you do? I'm pretty sure I would open the door. Not that I've ever had the occasion to hunt for killers or monsters hiding in my house, but close enough to show me what I would probably do.

Let me time I was awakened from a sound sleep by a loud noise. I lived by myself with two little kids. My heart was racing, but I got up and checked the house. Did I open closet doors? You betcha. I ran across the cause in the bathroom, where the rod had fallen into the tub.

Once, I came home from work and my daughter, Chris, was running out of the house, her eyes huge. She told me she heard a noise in the house. We lived in a Victorian mansion we'd bought and were remodeling. I'm talking 3 floors and a basement, with over 8,000 sq feet!! I didn't really think it was anything...maybe a rat chewing something. But I got Simon's 45 and went from room to room, looking.

Most of the rooms were large and not scary at all. No problem. Closets are always questionable. But the huge basement was dark, and always creepy. The last place I checked was the 3rd floor, which was big, and had two small, very dark rooms. They were too big to be closets and oddly shaped, so we always thought they were servant quarters back at the turn of the century. Now, those were a bit nerve-wracking to open and check out, but I did. Found nothing.

It wasn't to later Chris told me she had heard very loud footsteps coming down the long staircase. When she looked, there was no one. She was alone supposedly. Anyhoo, we put it down to a ghost who wanted to scare her. I have other stories about that house, and it did seem as though it was haunted.

My bravery? Stupidity? started when I was little. I used to have very vivid, scary dreams quite a bit. Starting when I was 2 or 3. Who knew the mind of a creative writer was in the making! My most typical dream was about skeletons. They were usually under my bed, waiting to stick a long, bony finger into my chest.

Did I cower beneath my covers and hope it went away. For a minute, but I couldn't stand not knowing. So I would take my tiny bit of courage, jump out of bed, and run turn the lights on. Then I'd look under the bed. No skeleton. I remember doing this when I was four. Seems I haven't changed much.



Sunday, November 02, 2008

Get ready to blast off with my exciting month long contest!! My brother, Eddie, has made quite a few updates and changes to my website. So, I wanted to share this with my readers, and get new readers to check my website out.

Just click on the cool logo Eddie created for the contest on my home page and see all the contests I'm running. I'm sure you'll find something to your tastes.:)

Updates - I am finally finishing tweaking the Pirates' Wench story. Hopefully I'll be done soon with it, and will be off to New Concepts Publishing. This will be the 3rd short story in the River of Dream series.



Friday, June 29, 2007

Hi everyone,

Well, thought it was about time I blogged again.:) Finally got over my cold & bronchitis.

I thought of the subject that I've gotten asked a lot - Where do you get your ideas for stories?

I get inspirations or ideas from basically three areas. One is just a spontaneous thing - perhaps I see something and it gives me an inkling of an idea. It's similar to what Stephen King did for "The Shining". He knew about, stayed at, or drove by (can't remember which) the hotel used in his story. And it gave him the inspiration for creating this creepy tale.

The best example I can think of, was an unpublished short story I got inspired to write by noticing an old man in my community. This was in Arkansas, back some years ago (I'm dating myself), when people used to pick up glass bottles for refund. He wasn't a bum, but probably did it to add to his income. He was a very old man, and he'd seemed old to me all the times I'd seen him. Almost like he'd been an old man forever!

I decided that I wanted to write a story using him for inspiration and make it into something scary. I don't want to give the plot away because one day I may dust it off and try to get it published.:) But he was the soul collector for the devil. The punch was of course, this sweet looking elderly man being such an evil being, which the main character discovers at the end of the story.

Part 2 coming soon - Getting story ideas from dreams.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Correction to blog on First Book, concerning K. Morgan. Sentence should have been:

I'll never forget that I sent a letter to Kathleen Morgan, who wrote the Cat books, like Hearts Surrender.


I saw this question on Karenfindsoutaboutbooks. She has some interesting questions, and I want to address this one. It's fun to revisit old friends.

What was your first published book and when did it come out?

My first published book was Love's Captive, out as an ebook in 2000 with New Concepts Publishing. Then put into print in 2001. This book is what started it all for me. I hadn't really thought about being a writer in any concrete way. It was kinda of a far-a-way dream thought.

But, in 1978 I had this vivid dream about a strange, exotic planet, later to be named Volarn. It was as if a video played in my head, an amazing experience. I saw much of the action that happened, met some of the characters, and even "overheard" some of the conversations. Luckily, I jotted down the things I could remember, then started writing the story by hand, ending up eventually with about a third of it done. Before I had this dream, I had never written anything, other than a few poems.

I got busy going to college, working my way through, and looking after 2 small kids. So the story got stuck in a drawer, and collected dust for many, many years. I had told the story to my husband and kids, and occasionally they would say, "when are you going to write that story?"

While in college, I had started dabbling with writing short stories, and my family loved them. So they felt I had talent and tried to encourage me. I remember a pivotal point for me concerning writing novels. I had a new idea for a werewolf story that was really exciting (which I'm planning on finally working on this year), so I wrote a few chapters. I was really pleased with it. But we moved and it got lost.

I was so aggravated, I told my family I wasn't working on any more novels until I had a computer. I had written and then typed the chapters. Anyone who started like I did, knows how frustrating using a typewriter could be. I'm dating myself, but that was before typewriters had correcting ribbons, so making mistakes was a pain. And I had researched the publishing industry enough to know that you better not correct more than a few mistakes per page to pass muster. Which meant a lot of retyping.
In 1994 Simon bought a computer, then he and Chris started plugging me about writing that book. I kept making excuses - I'm too busy. Which I was, and I kept putting them off for several years. I finally realized I did not want to be 80 years old one day and look back with regret. At least I wanted to say I had tried to write the book, even if I didn't finish it, or get it published if I did complet it.

In 1996, we were stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, and I was working as a college counselor. Sometimes my job was stressful and busy, and sometimes it was smooth. We bought a house, so we were busy doing things around it too, planting flowers and such. So I was really busy. But I made a decision to really try and write "that book". I knew that I would not get it accomplished it if I didn't prioritize, organize, schedule, and make a goal.

Simon and I talked about it first. He volunteered to take over more household duties, such as always doing the dishes so I could have time to write. I still cooked because he doesn't know how, but it really helped free up my time in the evening. I made a schedule that I would try to write a certain amount of time in the evening, with a goal of 2 pages per night.

I soon found I had to redo my schedule and came up with something that worked very well. I made it a goal that I would complete a chapter by the end of the week, which my typed pages were from 20-25 pages per chapter. This worked great, because on nights I couldn't write or did little, I had other days in which the muse struck and I wrote more. I always met my goal of finishing a chapter a week, except for times when I was very sick, just too darn tired from work, or a surgery time that interfered. Other than that, I stuck to my goal.

I found that most nights I could write with no problem. But as many authors experience, I had nights when the muse was dead and I sat looking at the computer. I discovered though, that if I just started writing, my muse would kick in. What I had written might not be that great, but the point was to start the juices flowing, and I could go back and change or delete.

Writing Love's Captive was quite the experience. I had never taken a writing course, other than Journalism in college. Had not read any books on writing, nor joined any groups. After I got most of it written, I started buying books on writing to see if I was doing things right. I discovered that I was doing most things right, though of course you can always improve. How I knew to find my voice, get the tempo correct with scenes and dialogue, make characters real, etc.- I don't know how I knew these things, other than maybe a natural talent.

That's not meant in a bragging way. My brother is a fantastic artist and started drawing really good, good pictures from a little kid, almost from when he could hold a pencil. Mom always told me he drew an amazing spaceship when he was 5. I wished they had kept the picture. Point being, I do think most artists and authors are naturally talented.

If I could redo things, I would have studied books first, perhaps taken a creative writing course, and joined a writer's group. I would have still gotten Love's Captive written, but it would have been a far less difficult journey. I learned how to write a novel the hard way. But I guess that has its points too.

Anyway, it took me about a year to write, with I figure about 8 months of actual writing, counting other weeks as nonwriting times. I started researching how to get published, sending off to publishers and agents. I'll never forget that I sent a letter to Katherine Morgan, who wrote . She sent me a very nice letter back, seems like a really sweet person. Anyhoo, I had asked if she minded telling me who her agent was, and she did.

I wrote this agent about my book, and her response was - write something else, that Futuristic Romances were dead. Well, I listened to my heart, which wanted to really finish this story. By the time Love's Captive was published, Futuristics were on the upswing again.

For any aspiring authors, you can see that quite a bit of time went by before I was published. I wrote the book in 1996, and it took most of 1997 to get it edited. I think it was one of the smartest things I've ever done, to find someone to help me with the book. A friend told me about a friend of hers, who was an editor at the local newspaper, who might be interested in helping me.

Her name was Mary Ann. She was dynamic and smart, and I was impressed with her. She was excited about editing her first novel. Since we lived close, I would give her 3 chapters at a time, then we'd meet for lunch, and she would give me the chapters, and I'd give her new ones. She warned me that the pages would be covered with red marks, and she was right!

Mary Ann was amazing. At first we didn't click, and I remember we almost argued about one section of the book, because she didn't understand where I was going with the story. After that though, editing ran very smoothly, and we were on the same wavelength. The book took so long to edit because poor Mary Ann developed Lupus and was sick for weeks at a time. I did not feel like starting with someone else, and she had done such a good job for me so far too. I know that Love's Captive would not be the book it is today, if not for Mary Ann's excellent editing. We are still friends today.

After that, it took me several years to find NCP, who seemed to really like the story. Love's Captive has been my bestseller at New Concepts Publishing. It also was nominated for Love Romances Golden Rose 2002 Reader Choice Awards for Best Sci Fi/Fantasy.

My writing got on a roll after that, and I have 9 books and 2 short stories published. Course I'm now with Ellora's Cave too. I'm not a fast or prolific writer, wish I was, but I am proud of the ones I have produced. Everyone has to find their own way with writing and do it the way that works best for them.

Love's Captive will always be a special book to me. Naturally, because it's my first, but also because Serena and Rhamus's story is so unique. I receive fan letters, and have a large folder filled with them. But the book I have received the most fan letters about - is Love's Captive.


Sunday, January 14, 2007


I just got through reading Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair. Enjoyed it very much.

Trilby ran goods through the star routes, sometimes smuggled them too. She had a delapiated ship, and an old robot who talked too much, but she liked it that way. Independence. But then her world changed drastically when she set down on a desolate planet for repairs.

The man she dragged on board was tall and hunky. When he awoke, he also turned out to be very bossy, basically acting like he had a ram-rod up his butt. At first, Trilby questioned her judgement in rescuing him from the wrecked ship where she had found him. Maybe she should have left him as dinner for the vampire snakes?

But, while trying to keep her ship running, they began to become friends, and lovers.
Then the Imperial fleet interfered. They were involved in diplomatic drama, with spy activity and the scary Sko seemed set to overtake Imperial space. And somehow Trilby was right in the middle of the intrigue. Someone wanted her navigational charts and were willing to kill to obtain them.

To top it off, she found out Rhis was not who he said he was. She was pissed! She felt used. How could one of the highest ranking officers in the fleet be involved with a lowly trader captain? How could she have fallen in love again, after being recently betrayed?

Tivahr, known as Tivahr The Terrible was used to being treated with fear and respect. Then he ran across a bold, beautiful, sassy trader captain. Her ragged ship raised his eyebrows, and her ancient robot got on his nerves, but he was enchanted with Trilby. His guard slipped, and surprisingly, he found himself feeling emotions he wouldn't have thought himself capable of.
He hated using Trilby to help catch the traitor in their midst. As time passed, he found that he desired her arms about him as much, or perhaps more, than his Captaining the Fleet. But would she want him once she found out who he really was...or what he was?

If you like s/f romances, I highly recommend this book. My only problem was the many names of characters and the different factions involved. Maybe it's just me, but I kept having to flip around to remember who was who.

I met Linnea at RT last year, and she is a lovely lady, with a broad smile and sparkle in her eyes, which tell me she loves life!



Thursday, January 11, 2007

Interesting Capricorn Horoscope

I ran across an interesting Capricorn Horoscope for this week:

"This seems to be your lucky week for singles. Don't turn down any invitations that come your way. You may finally meet your soul mate."

Myra Nour

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Night at the Museum

Saw it last week. A cute movie, and definitely one I'd recommend for family & kids. Course, me, Simon and my brother are all way past childhood, but we still enjoyed it!!

I don't want to give any spoilers. But if you love the idea of things at a museum coming to life, like I did, you'll get off on watching this movie. We loved the T-rex acting like a dog. Cute.

THe 3 older guards who were retiring were a surprise element. Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney (man he's getting old, thought he had truly reited:), and Bill Cobbs.

The explanation for why the statues, etc., in the museum came alive, was adequate to me as a movie goer. The "rescue" scene of the tablet was very cool. Ben Stiller going from "I have to work here" attitude to loving it, was nice.

Hey, I would have loved working this job myself, even if the things didn't come alive. But that would have been too awesome. Being able to talk to Roosevelt, who Robin Williams played with his usual charm, and other historical figures would be too much.

Course, having the T-rex, a mammoth, and various safari creatures running amuck, would be tough. But if Ben had listened in the first place, he would have known how to handle them. He learned the hard way, but then was proud of himself for getting the characters in control, and also teaching them to get along with one another.

Sometimes we feel like we wasted our money going to a movie, few of them "wow" us like Jurassic Park, Nemo, Shrek, or Terminator II. This was one of those that we felt we did not blow our money, but was not a wow factor.

Myra Nour