Exclusive releases September 4th! It’s getting closer and closer. :boobie:
Today I’m so pleased to present the interview with Lisa Renee Jones, another fantastically talented author who’s also participating in the EXCLUSIVE anthology. Please give Lisa a big welcome and check out all her books!
And don’t forget there’s an excerpt from Lisa’s novella, PURPLE MAGIC, following the interview.
Interview and excerpt after the jump
Tell me a little bit about yourself as a writer. What was your road to publication? How long did it take and what is your first published book?
Not long after I started writing in 2003 I went to an RT convention hoping to figure out how to put my desire into action. I’d completed a book and entered the RT Aspiring authors contest. At RT I remember walking into the opening night event, seeing all those strangers, and going right back to my room. I wondered why I had spent that money. The next morning I forced myself to a breakfast and met wonderful people who took me under their wing and became friends. The rest of the convention was a blast and the best part was winning the contest. It was like validation that I was on the right path. After leaving a corporate career behind that had gone well for me, a lot of people thought I was insane. Let’s see – why would I do that? 80 hour weeks and doing something I hate for a paycheck….I was in my late thirties and I felt like if I was going to follow my dreams, I had to do it fast.
Though that contest win didn’t bring immediate publication, it did give me the boost to keep moving forward. It didn’t quiet the people around me who didn’t believe in my path but it gave me something to use as armor. I sold that story to Five Star, a major library publisher. However, I quickly found that market was small and as my writing got hotter, I became a poor match. That was when I found the e-world and soon after Ellora’s Cave. I truly believe e-publishing was a blessing. It encourages you to write a lot fast and that presses you to practice your craft. It also puts you in contact with other aspiring authors who are gifted and full of great input. I think my path to New York would have been much longer without the epublishing experience and Ellora’s Cave is a great place to write. It was 2006 when I finally sold four novellas to NYC. It began to feel a bit like an evil trick. I could sell a novella but never a book. But finally it did happen. You just have to hang in there and believe even when hear declines. It’s hard but it pays off in the end. I know authors who were told books were horrible by an editor or agent, and that very same book became a HUGE success. I once read where Sandra Bullock said she was told she wasn’t pretty enough to be a big star. She says she still sees those people and always has a secret smile over those comments. I have a stone on the corner of my desk etched with the word BELIEVE.
What do you think is easier about writing novellas for an anthology versus writing a single title? What’s harder about it?
I find the experience of writing a novella different based on genre. I LOVE writing paranormal stories but in novella form it’s hard to get the world building in without weighting down the romance. Writing a sexy novella allows you to cut straight to the relationship and focus on the exciting, sensual time of when you first meet a new lover.
We like to talk about books here on my blog, and about what everyone’s reading? So what are you reading right now, and what upcoming books are you looking forward to grabbing as soon as they’re released?
I try to read in the genre I am writing in at the time though its hard sometimes. I am writing contemporary now so I try to read contemporary. The timing was great though because I love Shannon McKenna and she just had a new release. I am loving Edge of Midnight. I devoured Hot Night and couldn’t wait for this one. Next up is Kelly Armstrong’s No Humans Involved. It’s a beautiful hardcover and I can’t wait to dig in! And of course, gotta have your next Demon Hunter book! I loved the first one!
Note from Jaci: Isn’t she sweet? :giggle:
What do you do when you’re not writing? I know, we’re always writing, right? Heh. But seriously, what do you do during the downtime, when you need to step away from the computer?
Lately, I haven’t done much but write. I had back to back deadlines that really had me in crunch time. I even worked through my birthday despite my families arguments. But, that said, I am a workout fanatic and I do go to the gym pretty much daily. As crazy as it might sound, I often figure out what comes next while running! I think I just let go of the forced thought and it somehow pops in my head.
I am also a movie fanatic and I am so very behind seeing the movies I want to see. I finally saw Bourne tonight! Loved it! There was never a dull moment. I still need to see Harry Potter, Transformers, Skinwalkers (though I heard its not so good – anyone have any opinions please share them!), The Nanny Diaries, Invasion, oh gosh, I’ll never catch up! All these things came out when I was in a crunch time!
What’s your typical writing day like? Do you do a certain number of pages a day, do you set goals, or do you just sit down at the computer and whatever happens…happens?
I used to take a 6am flight from Austin to Dallas which seems like someone else’s life. I get up around 9am now and read email, drink coffee, visit Jaci’s blog!:) Then I edit what I wrote the day before starting around 11. Once I finish editing I try to dig into new pages. I always find the scenes I drafted the day before fill in with the new days edits. About 3 I take off and go to the gym to beat the after work crowd. Then I hit the computer again around 7 and dig into new pages. I always set page count goals but I have learned the front and back of the book go fast for me. The middle is much much slower as I pull together the plot ties and character arcs. Even though I know this, I tend to panic a little when it’s going slow.
I also find if I get stuck at some point that I know I have a plot hole or character arc issue and I later realize this when I finally write through it. It’s like my brain won’t let me move forward until I see what is broke.
Tell us about your story in the EXCLUSIVE anthology. What’s it about?
My story is a paranormal anthology where Vampires are known to humans and the races intermingle. The heroine is hunting for a friend who has disappeared after forming an obsession with the Underground vampire sex clubs. The human police don’t like to delve into the vampire world and she is struggling for help so she goes underground herself. It’s there where danger and sensual exploration collide. Fortunately, there is a hero to rescue her and he’s not so bad at the sexual exploration part either.
What other books of yours would you like to tell us about? What do you currently have released or what’s coming up for you?
I am super excited about my KNIGHTS OF WHITE series launching in November with book two in March and book three in July. While some of the Nocturnes have been tame on the sensual side, mine is a super sexy series with hot alpha males.
The tag line for book one is:
Only Passion Can Sooth the Beast Within…
The series website is
Where can readers find you? Please provide urls to your website, blog, chat group, myspace?
Thanks Jaci for inviting me to visit!
Jolene’s legs trembled as she eased her knees to the mattress, her back to Drago. She felt uncertain and exposed, her body displayed for any who wished to see. Being free to touch Drago, to be with him, was one thing. To exposure herself to all those watching felt quite different.
She squeezed her eyes shut, fighting the wild array of emotions filling her. Hating that she actually felt a bit aroused by this. Telling herself the burn of desire came from Drago, not from knowing they were being watched. Her stomach fluttered as she faced what felt like some darker side of herself. The part that seemed to revel in the erotic nature of her exposure. Was this what had happened to Carrie? Had she gotten lost in the erotic high and couldn’t find her way back home?
“Bend over. Palms in front of you.”
Drago’s voice, deep and commanding, came from closer than she’d expected. She started to turn, and his hand pressed in between her shoulder blades. His touch felt like an electric charge. She shivered with reaction.
Suddenly, his body pressed against hers, hips fit to her backside. “You shouldn’t have come here.”
“Don’t speak,” he said, planting a firm hand on her ass. “You’re here now and you have to pay.”
Drago cut her off by palming her ass again. Hard. Not so much that it caused pain, but she damn sure knew it was meant as a warning. “Don’t speak,” he said.
She swallowed the words of explanation she wanted to speak, biting her bottom lip as she waited for what came next. For whatever “pay” meant. Why did he suddenly seem so angry with her? She reached for him with her mind and found he’d shut her out.
Before she could consider reasons, he was gone. It was the last thing she’d expected, and she didn’t know how to react. With a sideways glance, she saw him moving to the end of the bed.
“Get in the center of the mattress,” he ordered, pointing.
She scooted forward, doing as he said. A mixture of sexual heat and dark menace radiated from him like a second skin. Electric. Potent. He wanted to take her. Jolene felt it. Knew it. Hell, she wanted it. Yet, there was more to his mood than lust. Drago had an animalistic quality, primal and not quite human or vampire. The ancient Slayer in him brought with it an element of danger and command. She’d felt it before, but now, it oozed from his presence, filling the room with its dark quality. And as crazy as she knew it to be, this quality turned her on.
Drago stood at the foot of the king-sized bed. Tall, broad, gorgeous, his long hair a bit wild, he looked more sex warrior than Slayer right now. And lord help her, as her eyes slid over that broad chest, and rock-hard cock, she wanted to be claimed. She swallowed, thinking of what it would feel like to have him touch her again. To touch him.
When her eyes lifted to his, she found him looking at her with a narrowed gaze. For long moments, they simply stared at one another. And though he said nothing, the anger from before was gone. Instead, she found warmth. Heat. A silent promise…of what, she wasn’t sure. Though his mixed signals were confusing, Drago made her feel she could get through this.
He broke the silence, his voice holding authority. Cold almost. Not at all matching the warmth in his eyes. “If you truly mean to surrender, I need proof.”
“O…kay.” Jolene swallowed against the dryness in her throat. Then in a stronger voice. “How?”