Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Guest Blogger Maureen O. Betita - Map? I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Map!

Thanks to you ladies for inviting me to visit! I will strive to be entertaining. And if I’m not terribly entertaining, I do work as a bartender on the Romance Writer’s Revenge, so I can always get you all merrily drunk.

I strive to please. Generally.

I’m presenting laboring in the editing process for my second full length book, The Chameleon Goggles, the second in my Kraken’s Caribbean trilogy. And I don’t always please my editor… Yet, somehow, we do come to agreement and yes, she’s usually, mostly, always right. Damn it.

We made it work with the first book, The Kraken’s Mirror and will do so with the this one and the third, The Pirate Circus.

I didn’t set out to write a trilogy. Then again, I seldom set out to write anything with a broad future in mind. I am the consummate pantser. In fact, I’m more the throw-myself-off-a-cliff-and-hope-the-rocket-pants-fire-up-before-I-hit-the-ground-in-a-big-messy-blot type of writer. My flight patterns likely resemble one of those annoying dotted lines in cartoons where the characters set out for Albuquerque and end up in Timbuktu.

But it’s one hell of a fun trip! (I see the most amazing things!)

For example, one of my beta readers for The Kraken’s Mirror e-mailed me about three chapters into the book and asked… “Do you really need the vampires and werewolves?”


I mean, come on! Do I really need them? Well, duh! (Okay, not particularly, but I liked having a world where creatures like this are simply part of the background. They don’t really feature in the storyline (of book number one) as muy importante, but…they are colorful.) And haven’t we all dreamt of the practical uses these creatures could have?

(I even wrote a short called the One Night Diet about a fat sucking vampire. Man, he’d be soooooo popular! But I digress.) (I do that a lot. Might be all the rum…) (It’s here http://gotromancemusings.blogspot.com/2011/01/one-night-diet.html if you’d like to read it…) ;-)

I wanted my alternate pirate world of Tortuga to present a home away from home for all that I love and even find annoying about the present world of fiction. Hence…vampires as the primary defense against invasion. Werewolves that live in the forest and get along with everyone. (The vampires have a castle, high up on the hills, btw.) Zombies? Well, they live in the swamp. They don’t eat brains, but live on lichens and mosses. They collect ingredients for the local magic woman and are harmless, being lost souls who head to the swamp when tired of life.

Tortuga has portals to other worlds, so it isn’t unusual for a pair of sightseeing steampunk garbed people to wander through or jump-suited humans from the future. And the refuse from other worlds wash up on these shores. My main character, a woman who fell through a portal from present day San Francisco, is astounded to find working blenders at the bar and jugglers using rubix cubes in their acts.

Yes, I did make up some rules, so it doesn’t totally slide into anarchy. But they are pirates, so there is always some anarchy. ;-)

My pièce-de-résistance is my Great Albino Kraken…a monstrous beast of legend who protects the Caribbean from the more nefarious things that could slip through those portals. He’s also a bit of a romantic. He sets the trilogy in motion by bringing Emily to Tortuga, where she meets up with the cursed pirate, Captain Silvestri. They were such fun to write. Passionate, sexy, daring… I could go on and on and on. (Did I mention she’s 53 and he’s 65? Yup, me…the big rule breaker of the romance list of rules about what will sell.)

Yes, on the Revenge I’m known as the writing pirate who often ends up dangling from tangled plotlines high above the deck. Usually upside down.

This may be why I drink.

But it always ends up working out. I slip a knife, cut what is creating the tangle and weave a nice tight story out of what is left. And nothing is ever really wasted. (I also recycle. I am a Californian!)

What rules do you like to break with crossing the genre lines? Or even better, like to see broken? Let’s run amok!

Stealing…errr…liberating the critters from one world and tossing them together like me? (I’ve given up on a genre classification and am calling myself the mother of Piratepunk.) Join me in the rebellion and sail the seas of romance with an eye ta takin’ what ya likes and makin’ it yer own!

(For those do-gooders out there…all during the month of Jane, The Kraken’s Mirror is the Read for the Cure title at Decadent Publishing. This means all proceeds from the on-site sales for June go toward fighting cancer. So do good! Buy the book!)

Maureen lives along the lovely Monterey Bay and finds great inspiration in being

so near the Pacific Ocean. She shares her home with Stephen, her high school

sweetheart, married for over 30 years; a cat named Isabeau and a dog named

Bonnie. She travels miles and miles to attend pirate festivals, renaissance fairs,

scifi/fantasy conventions, steampunk cons, writing conferences and the occasional

NASCAR race.

Visit Maureen at:





PG Forte said...

Nice post Maureen! It's nice to meet another member of Rule Breaker's Anonymous. I'll take that drink now, please. Your trilogy sounds fascinating and the covers are just gorgeous! I'm a sucker for covers.

Meg Benjamin said...

Hi Maureen, welcome to the Naughty Nine. What fun-sounding books! And, I'm with PG--gorgeous covers, too.

Drmgrl99 - Dawn said...

I'm with PG I a cover freak and this looks great! How can anyone not want to read this book you have it all it sounds like it - shifter, vamp, zombie, and pirates damn! :) sounds great and even better with the charity .

JeanMP said...

Enjoyed the post. Your books sound very entertaining and I agree the covers are gorgeous.

Maureen said...

PG - I am desperately in love with my cover artist. She listens and somehow pulls it all together in a divine fashion. I'm dying to see what she comes up with for The Pirate Circus! ;-)

Thanks for the invite, Meg. Sorry I was a bit late to check in... Dentist appointment. Sigh. And he's three hours away from me...yup, he's that good!

Maureen said...

Daydrmzzz - I try to entertain! I like the challenge of creating a book out of random ideas... ;-)

And yup, my publisher is quite serious about giving back!

Jean - Oh, I must pass on all these compliments to my cover artist, Dara England!

Terri Osburn said...

I just finished The Kraken's Mirror a couple nights ago and it really does have everything but the kitchen sink. You need to throw a kitchen sink into the next one so then you'll have it all. LOL!

Maureen said...

Terri - There were showers! Showers on a pirate ship ought to count toward the kitchen sink thing, doncha think?

kelly said...

Maureen!! Welcome to the Naughty Nine! I think you fit right in here, with Piratepunk rule breaking and drinking rum!!! Your stories sound amazing!

D L Jackson said...

Love your covers. Your stories sound like a lot of fun.

JoAnne Kenrick said...

That's it... I'm now wanting to read this One Night Diet, fat sucking vampire! OH. MY. GOD! Sounds like heaven!!! I could totally get down with a vampire, and loose a couple of stone while I'm at it? HECK YES! hehe

fab blog post, Maureen xxx Now my eReader is fixed, can't wait to dive in to your world of the Kraken! WOOT

Maureen said...

Kelly - I strive to be flexible and fit in wherever I go! If ya ever make this the Naughty Ten or need a fill in, I'm yer lass!

DL - I hope my stories are fun! I sure shoot for that!

JoAnne - You never ready my One Night Diet? ;-) Glad you enjoyed it! Do let me know what you think of The Kraken's Mirror.

Louisa Bacio said...


No wonder why I like you so much, from one pantster to another! Every now and then I'm asked questions about my stories, and it's something that the characters don't know. It's like, well, if they don't know, how am I supposed to? And then we have to figure it out together.

Maureen said...

Louisa - I'd like to think when I write a book, it's nearly as much an adventure as when I'm reading.

This happened? Oh, wow! I wasn't expecting that at all! ;-0

Stevie Carroll said...

I really want to read that book. We don't have anything like enough stories with older characters, never mind romances.

Maureen said...

Stevie - I certainly feel the same way! For the most part, every romance I write will feature people at least in their thirties...preferable in their forties and now and then, some real silver foxes.

And I don't write cougar stories, so it's both of them!

Stevie Carroll said...


That's great. Right now I'm finishing up the first draft of a fantasy story that's not quite a romance about a man in his fifties and a woman in her forties, and I'm always on the lookout for anyone else that challenges the accepted rules of how characters should be.

Maureen said...

Stevie - My blog mates thought I was really a bit bonkers to insist that my characters be at least in the their thirties.

Last year, at Nationals, there was a panel on Babyboomers and Sex that really rang a bell for me.

It's an ignored demographic that isn't ready to just retire to the rocking chair, so I say... GO FOR IT!

Yes, I fit into the babyboomer generation, though I recently read about Generation Jones. Which I found fit me so MUCH better. Check it out for some fascinating facts about those born between 1953 and 1964...basically.

Stevie Carroll said...

Generation Jones is a new term for me. Perhaps it hasn't made its way across the Atlantic.

Maureen said...

Look it up on wikipedia. They have a short explanation there. I think the man who penned the term also has a website.