Welcome, Michal Scott!
What was your inspiration for Better To Marry Than To Burn?
Inspiration for Better To Marry Than To Burn came from an account of African-American mail-order brides coming to Arizona. In Black Women of the Old West, William Loren Katz shares how the married women of Arizona mining camps grew tired of unmarried men fighting over the wrong kind of women, i.e. prostitutes. They used churches and newspaper ads back East to find women willing to leave behind “lives of poverty, family problems or personal tragedy” for “the thrill of love, the warmth of family and a new life.” Women and girls responded. So did my heroine, Queen Esther Payne. I then transported Beatrice and Benedict from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing to Reconstruction Texas. What if Benedict an ex-slave in need of a wife and Beatrice a free-born Northerner in search of autonomy agree to a marriage of convenience but once they meet are too proud to admit they want love? Thus Better To Marry Than To Burn came into being.
How about an Excerpt (Note: PG-13, and this book is considered erotic romance):
“Our children?” She swiveled in her seat. “You made no mention of wanting children, just marital relations as necessary. I understood that to mean intercourse.”
“I wrote I wanted to leave a legacy.”
“A legacy. Not a dynasty.”
“Legacy. Dynasty. Is there really so sharp a distinction?”
“To my mind there is. I understood you meant to affect future generations—endow schools, found churches, create civic associations. I didn’t realize that meant children. I agreed to having sex, not having children.”
“Of course I want children.” His brows grew heavy as he frowned. “Doesn’t having sex lead to having children?”
“Not with the right precautions.”
His frown deepened. “Precautions?”
“There are many ways to prevent your seed from taking root, Mr. King.”
“I want children, Mrs. King.”
Her lips twisted and her brow furrowed, but she kept her silence.
“All right,” she said. “You can have children with any woman you like. I won’t stop you. I free you from any claim to fidelity.”
“Legacy—or dynasty if you will—means legitimacy. No bastard will carry my name, not when I have a wife to bear me children.”
Her tone signaled she didn’t.
Let’s find out a bit more about Michal with a Speed Dating Round!
Describe a perfect writing day.
Plugged in at a window seat on an Amtrak train going anywhere warm.
You have a time travel machine: past of future? Where/when?
Paris in the 1920's.
What do you like to do when not writing?
Watch '30's and '40's movie musicals.
Beach, lake, or mountains?
Beach. I love it hot.
What comes first, character or plot (or other)?
Plot. I could play “What if” all day.
Favorite childhood book?
The Borrowers. Little people using thread spools for tables. How cool.
Michal Scott is the pen name of Anna Taylor Sweringen, an ordained United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA minister. Inspired by the love mystics of Begijn, Audre Lourde and Bell Hooks, Rev. Anna writes erotica and erotic romance with a faith arc, hoping to build a bridge between the sacred and secular, spirituality and sexuality, erotica and Christ, you and a well-written spiritually-stimulating and erotically-arousing story. Her story settings also seek to give insight into the African American experience in the US. She also writes inspirational romance as Anna Taylor and gothic romance as Anna M. Taylor.
Also by Michal:
One Breath Away
Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. She’s never been courted, cuddled or spooned, and now no man could want her, not when sexual satisfaction comes only with the thought of asphyxiation. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.
Wealthy, freeborn-Black, Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing the mysteriously exotic woman was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.
Hope ignites along with lust until the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…