Interview with P.J. MacLayne

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I was born and raised in the hills of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Now I live among the in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. I’ve gone through a variety of careers, but am currently employed in the Information technology field. Writing, however, is my dream career and I wish I could do it full time.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

“Adventure with a Touch of Romance” I discovered I’m better at writing action scenes than emotional ones, but my main characters also have to deal with the adventures of the heart.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I’ve always been a reader. During my grade school and high school years, I typically read a book a day. I may not read as much as I used to, but that’s because I’m busy writing.

I also do needlepoint and other forms of yarn art in my spare time. I’m actually pretty good at it.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Usually, I have the barest sketch of a plot in my head when I start writing. More of a story concept, really. And I have the barest idea  of my characters. But because I listen to them as I write their stories, I often find that I didn’t know them as well as I thought I did.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Freestyle. I write by the seat of my pants. I frequently find myself taking the storyline somewhere different than what I’d planned. In fact,  I was well into writing a different book when the main character in my current release, Wolves’ Knight, demanded I tell her story.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I listen to a wide variety of music. But my most frequently chosen for writing are classic rock and John Denver. I have an extensive collection of John Denver.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

My stories are mostly set in in the states around Pennsylvania. But because I used to travel extensively in a previous job, I could set my books almost anywhere in the US and say I’d been there!

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

I start editing. Going back and trying to clean up what I’ve written already will often help me clarify what’s going on in the story so I can start writing again.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

I have to stop using the word “giggle.” Most of my characters are in their late twenties, and they don’t giggle!

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

I write in the evenings after getting home from work and having supper. Depending upon what else needs done—paying bills, washing clothes, etc—I may have a couple of hours free. If I get a thousand words down in one evening, I consider it a good writing day.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

I also write mysteries. My current releases are the Oak Grove Mystery series. I’m currently working on the third book in the series.

In what genre do you read?

You throw a book at me, give me the time, and I’ll read it. I’ve even ventured into the dinosaur erotic romance sub-genre—once. Yes, it exists.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

I try to make sure my names aren’t real people, so I do a google search to see what I can find, and change the spelling of my preferred name if I need to. I also make use of a variety of baby-naming sites when I have a concept for a character but no idea what to name them.

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Tasha Roeper knows what it means to protect your own. So when her friend, Dot Lapahie, CEO of Lapahie Enterprises, suspects that the Free Wolves are under attack, Tasha immediately signs on to lead the investigation and guard Dot.

But Tasha’s not convinced it’s the Free Wolves that are the target. She fears that her own pack—the Fairwood Pack—are the actual quarry and Dot is only a decoy.

The deeper Tasha digs, the more puzzles she uncovers.

Torn between tradition and a changing world, will Tasha risk everything to save a friend—including her own life—when old enemies arise?



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Tasha had time for another run—this one in human form. There was a distinct difference in the experiences, and sometimes Tasha craved the adrenalin rush that came with running on two feet instead of four.

She set a hard pace as soon as she hit the street and kept it up as she ran through the open field just past the last of the Victorian-style houses. She kept the punishing stride as she followed the well-worn path to the shooting range. By the time she reached the fence marking the boundary of the Fairwood holdings, she had to slow down, not only to dodge the trees and brambles, but to ease her labored breathing.

But still she kept running. Endurance was as important in human form as it was to her wolf form. She might not be able to outrun a wolf, but there weren’t many humans who could match her for the combination of speed and distance.

Even when she reached the point where forward movement was more instinct that conscious thought, she didn’t stop. At some point she met the pack members on patrol, acknowledging their presence with a quick nod and a brief wave of one hand.

When she turned the corner to trace the southern border, her mind noted her heavy breathing and the rapid pounding of her heart. And still she kept running, pushing herself. Sweat poured down her face, but she didn’t break her concentration long enough to wipe it away.

A dim part of her knew when a wolf started following her, but it didn’t speak to her, just ran in her wake, so she ignored it. She slowed somewhat when she could no longer breathe correctly, but kept going, one foot in front of the other. When she stumbled on a root, she lucked out and caught herself before falling.

“Enough,” sent the wolf.

“Not yet,” she answered. And kept going.

Her lungs screamed from the lack of oxygen, her eyes burned from the sweat streaming into them, and she could no longer feel her legs. She was past pain and moving from sheer force of will. But she wanted to go farther. Her goal was the meeting of the southern and western borders. And past that if she could hold on that long.


Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscapes. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. In addition to the Free Wolves’ stories, she is also the author of the Oak Grove series.

P.J. MacLayne can be reached on:



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