Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pirate Punk Erotic Romance Author Maureen Betita Discusses Her Newest Work, "The Kraken's Mirror."

Scribal Love Welcomes Maureen O. Betita!

Maureen O. Betita is an author of The Kraken’s Mirror. This debut book will be available from Decadent Publishing in early 2011. 

How did you come up with the title?

Well, the kraken is an integral part of my book. In fact, the kraken in question is the Great Albino Kraken, who plays matchmaker for the two main characters. The mirror is the device he uses to transport Emily Pawes to the pirate’s paradise of Tortuga and into the arms of Captain Alan Silvestri.

What is this book about? And what genre is this book in?

The book is about a woman’s search for a life once she’s past the point the modern world considers prime. Emily is a widow at 53 who learns there is still fire down below when there is silver on the top. And the man who teaches her this is a pirate in a topsy turvy Tortuga, where pirates have ipods and every tavern has a blender, even if it is 1690. Alan Silvestri is cursed, with good luck, and Emily holds the key to not only unlocking that curse but also his heart.

Genre is a tough one! There is steamy sex and romance. So, we’re going with erotic romance. But I like to think of my book as the first of its kind. Piratepunk.
Who are the main characters? And why did you choose them?

Emily Pawes is a modern woman, widowed a year. She is pragmatic, has experience as a bartender and curses like a sailor when aroused. ;-)

Alan Silvestri is a very successful pirate who calls Tortuga his home. He has decades of experience with women, though Emily challenges him in ways he never thought possible.
I wanted to write a book with a couple older than the average romance novel couple. It’s important to me that not every story be about the perfect 20 or 30 something, but how about a couple for the babyboomers? I tend create characters near the 40 mark, generally. I like pushing the envelope.
What is the coolest or best part about your book? 

Hee, hee. I loved tossing in the elements from the modern world into the historical Tortuga. I also adored throwing the conventions to the wind. My book totally disregards accuracy and remakes the Caribbean. My Tortuga encompasses a great deal of Cuba. Also, adding blenders, rubix cubes and ice makers was amusing, and tossing in the assorted paranormal characters was fun. Such as waltzing vampires, a forest full of werewolves and a swamp full of zombies. All done with love and appreciation!

Do you have a favorite character in the book? If so, why?

I am in serious lust with Captain Silvestri. A man of infinite experience and patience who will not let Emily give up on herself…sigh. What else could a woman ask for?

Is this book part of a series? If so? What can we expect in future books?

I’ve written a sequel, featuring another couple from The Kraken’s Mirror, Captain Jezebel and Mick March. I again toyed with convention and slipped some steampunk elements into my piratepunk. Call me the mad chef! I hope to entice Decadent into looking at this sequel and perhaps, just maybe, a third book. Featuring the pirate circus.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Good question! Wow. Well, I might make my zombie magic woman a man. No particular reason, but it did cross my mind.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Break rules often and with aplomb! If someone says no one will buy this, prove them wrong.

Do you have a publisher? And if so, why did you choose them?

Decadent Publishing and they chose me, but once the offer was made and I looked into them, I don’t think there could be a better marriage. The support for a debut author has been wonderful and I adore my cover. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Well, I aspire to be the next Edgar Rice Burroughs… Not sure he’d be a mentor, but he’d be top of the list of who inspires me.

What books are you reading now?

An erotic collection put together by Allison Tyler.

What are the current writing projects that you are working on?

I have a short little erotic piece I’m polishing up, along with the sequel to The Kraken’s Mirror. I usually work on more than one project at a time.

Do you write full time?

I’m a woman of leisure and write whenever the fancy takes me. Full time? Well, between that and blogging, websurfing, e-mailing, walking the dog and avoiding housework, life is full!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I think when I began imagining myself swinging in the trees next to Tarzan. Or fighting alongside Fahfrd and the Gray Mouser from Fritz Leiber’s books. Or was it debating the vagaries of alternate universes with Elric of Melnibone from Michael Moorcocks’s series…? So many choices!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Untangling plot lines. I’m murder on myself with side stories. I am the consummate pantser and so get myself in trouble, often.

Do you have any advice for other writers seeking to get published for the first time?

There are worse things than rejection, so hang tough and believe. (I nearly died in 2007. Trust me, there are so many scarier things than rejection.)

Thanks Maureen for Dropping by!  You can find her on the web at: (every Sunday) (every other Tuesday) (every Friday as 2nd Chance) 

I’m also available on Facebook and Twitter


  1. Great post, Maureen! So excited to see THE KRAKEN'S MIRROR available and way to go on creating a new genre: PIRATEPUNK!!

  2. Pirate Punk! What a fantastic genre... and I'm loving the description, "Emily is a widow at 53 who learns there is still fire down below when there is silver on the top." I've been hearing how 'hot' your pirates are, and what a unique book this is. So of course, to-read has met up with Kraken's Mirror :)
    GOOD LUCK with your debut release, Maureen xx

    And yes, there are much worse things in the word. Rejection is just a learning curve. A stepping stone. Good words of advice!

  3. Hi Maureen! I love the genre "piratepunk" that you've created. Sounds like so much fun. I'm really looking forward to reading The Kraken's Mirror and hope to hear good news about a sequel soon!

    As always, you are a wonderful interview. Any suggestions you can offer to people who have never been interviewed before?

  4. Sari! Think I should trademark the word? ;-)

    Jo-Anne - I know at one point I didn't think so! Thought I would shrivel up and die at the very first one. HA!

  5. Pirate punk.... the term just shivers me timbers! Great interview!!!

  6. Denise - Have fun with an interview. Be yourself, even if that self is silly. And if that self is a little serious, lighten up a little. Be twisted...commenters seem to like twisted! ;-)

  7. Loved the interview. I'm with you Maureen on the full time writer gig. And figure anything fun I do outside writing feeds my muse and, so, I'm working my fingers to the bone--and loving it. : )

  8. Maureen, I love how you didn't go for the typical age of most heroes and heroines. It's refreshing to see an older woman portrayed in a vibrant, sensual way - the way real women in their 50's are! Cheers to you!

  9. Go PiratePunk! Congrats on finally seeing your book out in the world!

  10. Sweater - I find the phrase 'full time writer' an interesting idea. Full time employment means 40 hours a week. No, I don't write 40 hours a week...usually. Unless I'm really nuts.

    Deena - I'm a firm believer that a love of sex and wanting sex never ends.

  11. Who said younger women have all the fun? No way! It only gets better.

    I love the way you describe how your writing originated. What an imagination, Maureen! It pays to be different.

    All the best with The Kraken's Mirror.

  12. Yeah, thanks, Kathleen... I had an imaginary playmate as a child and think I never really grew out of the idea... I go to sleep dreaming of walking in the stories I love.


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