Archive for the ‘interviews’ Category

Hey guys!  We’ve got a guest with us today…Michelle Lauren.  Michelle has a book coming out from Liquid Silver in the near future and she’s also a finalist in the AMERICAN TITLE V.

Hope you enjoy her visit with us!

V&S: Okay…standard questions all us writers get asked.  😉  Which came first…oh, wait.  Wrong question.  When did you first start writing?

Michelle Lauren: I first started writing professionally six years ago as a freelancer. At that point, I wasn’t sure what facet of the publishing world I wanted to go into, but I knew it needed to be challenging yet allow me to flex my creative muscle.

My big break came in an amusing way. I’d been trying (unsuccessfully) to get one of my articles published. On a fluke, I interviewed an literary agent who was also a member of my RWA Yahoo group. When the editor of Romance Writers Report, the monthly magazine for Romance Writers of America, passed on my article, I offered to provide my literary agent interview on spec. She accepted and that’s how I got my recurring gig as the Agent Spotlight columnist.

At the time, I thought “on spec” meant pro bono; so getting the first check in the mail was a BIG surprise! But it was a welcome one. After that, I worked as an editor at Cobblestone Press, which was so fun and educational. Working as an editor helped me hone my writing skills and I’ll be forever grateful to the wonderful staff for taking a chance on me.

V&S: Is there any story that you wish you hadn’t written? Is there any story that someone else wrote that you wish you’d thought of first?

Michelle Lauren:

To the first question: Absolutely not. Every story – even the duds – taught me something. Not to say that I’ll publish everything I write (some of my early novels make me cringe in hindsight). It’s like that adage: you have to go through the hard times (in this case, the dud manuscripts) to appreciate the good times.

To the second question:

This is a tie for me. It’s between A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket and L.A. Banks’ The Vampire Huntress stories. Both books are so unique and creative; they pushed boundaries on what was expected from stories in those respective genres – children’s/intermediate fiction and paranormal fiction. That’s what made them memorable and so enjoyable.

V&S: What kind of stories do you write?

Michelle Lauren: I write multicultural urban fantasies. I adore this genre because it allows me to blend my favorite things: the fantastical elements and action of comic books with the happily ever after of romances.

Two of the books I’m most proud of are Starstruck and How to Tame a Harpy. Starstruck (coming in 2009 from Liquid Silver Books) is about a love shy celestial star that crash lands on earth, where her kind are hunted for their life-prolonging energy. Rescue comes in the form of a jaded hero whose touch melts her resistance, but whose past threatens to destroy them both.

How to Tame a Harpy (a story about a love shy harpy with a temper that has a mind of its own, and a genetically-enhanced bad boy with the ability to shapeshift into stone) is a finalist in Romantic Times magazine’s American Title V competition, a contest based on the popular show American Idol. Except instead of winning a record deal, the winner receives a book contract with Dorchester Publishing.

It’s a really cool contest because it gets readers involved in voting for their favorite book. Each round of voting is themed. Round 3 (Best Story Summary) starts January 19th – February 1st, 2009. To learn more, visit my site: www.michellelaurenbooks.com.

V&S: What is one thing about you that surprises people?

Michelle Lauren: I think I’m most surprised when people behave cruelly or do vindictive things.
V&S: Name five books you think every romance reader should read.

Michelle Lauren:

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. This is an unconventional love story that delivers in every aspect: passion (the exchanges between Teacake and Janie are both steamy and cathartic); humor; voice; and making a social statement. This is a December-May romance, with Teacake being the younger man and Janie being a woman twice married but never divorced (ponder that for a moment; yeah, she was ahead of her time).

Shakespeare. So many modern stories and movies rehash his tales that it pays to know them well.

A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland: No matter how many times I read this book (and it’s been many), I never get tired of this. It’s a time travel romance where a contemporary woman travels back in time to Scotland and falls in love with the cranky but gorgeous Highland laird. This is a PG romance, and one of my favorite stories.

This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland: Ms. Kurland has a knack for sweet romances that keep you coming back for more. This book features an unconventional romance between the Dragon of Blackmour and his unlikely bride. I’m a sucker for jaded men and heroines with inner strength. I also loved that the hero of this book is blind. And he still kicks butt in an utterly believable way

The Taming of Jessi Rose by Beverly Jenkins: What can I say about Ms. Jenkins except that she knows her craft and never disappoints? This book is a Western and isn’t exactly a May-December pairing; the indomitable Jessi Rose is 32 to Griffin’s 25, but I liked that aspect of their relationship. Both are fighters and their chemistry is undeniable.

Michelle, thanks for coming by! For the readers, you can read more about Michelle at her site

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Interview with Marjorie M. Liu

Vamps and Scamps Blog Interview with Marjorie M. Liu:

V&S: What were some of your favorite t.v. shows/cartoons growing up? Did any influence your imagination to write the wildly creative stories you come up with?

Marjorie M. Liu: Oh, my. I had (and still have) a serious love for TRANSFORMERS, THUNDERCATS, DANGER MOUSE, DIAPER BOY, GI JOE, and later, GARGOYLES. And while I can’t say for sure what influence those cartoons have had over me, I’m certain that there wasn’t any harm done to my imagination – or my love for the wild and crazy. It’s all good, man. My one regret is that I don’t see the same quality of animated television on the networks anymore.

V&S: Was there anything in particular that inspired the Dirk and Steele books?

Marjorie M. Liu: At its most basic level, TIGER EYE is what started it all, and that book began – as they usually do – with a first line that I could not turn away from. I wrote those words, and simply had to keep going – and going, and going – until a month later, I had a book. It was like my brain had caught on fire. I ate, breathed, and dreamed that book – with little thought to the future, or whether it would make a good series. Though, admittedly, at the end it did cross my mind, and I marketed it as such when I began submitting to the slush piles.

So, TIGER EYE was the root. But the inspiration for the entire series was the characters, the desire to explore the idea of family and trust and friendship, all of which are tremendously important to me.

V&S: What type of research have you done for your books?

Marjorie M. Liu: When it comes to researching settings, I’ve traveled a lot, which has helped in some instances, but in others, I rely heavily on interviews, books, local newspapers, the internet, documentaries, and so on. Every little bit helps when striving for the soul of a place. As for other types of research, I use the same strategy. You do the best you can.

V&S: What is one thing about you that surprises people?

Marjorie M. Liu: I’m the wrong person to ask! I’m the most boring person I know.

V&S: Name three books that you’ve read recently.

Marjorie M. Liu:

KILLING FLOOR by Lee Child (this is my third reading of that book)

HELL AND BACK by Frank Miller (second reading)

THE KNIFE THROWER by Steven Millhauser

V&S: Name three books that you want to read soon.

Marjorie M. Liu:

HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE by Diana Wynne Jones



V&S: I’ve heard you have a serious love for Wolverine. Is this true?

Marjorie M. Liu: Is that a trick question? Ha! Yes, Wolverine will always have a special place in my heart. Right alongside Batman, Superman, Captain Malcom Reynolds, Dr. Who, Vincent (from Beauty and the Beast), and many others.

V&S: What are you working on right now?

Marjorie M. Liu: THE IRON HUNT, which is the first book in my new Urban Fantasy series about a woman covered in living tattoos – her own demonic army. Set for release, I believe, in July 2008. You can find out more at my website.

Marjorie is giving away a Dirk & Steele tote bag. To enter, all you have to do is join in the conversation… FYI, comment as much and as often as you like, however, you’ll only be entered in the drawing once. Sadly, I feel the need to point out that wordpress does log IPs and that’s how your name will be drawn, so please don’t try posting under separate names. Yes, ladies, it’s sad, but it’s happened several times with my contests. Thanks for understanding! Contest will run from now until… oh… hmmmm… Sunday afternoon because I’m heading out of town.  Marjorie will try to drop by to ask questions, so ask away!~Shi

Marjorie, thanks for joining us and for offering such a cool prize. BTW, I just finished Tiger Eye and I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. Talk about… goooooooodddd…….

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Today’s interview is with Alison Kent and as always, the questions were ones I collected from readers.

V&S: What type of research did you have to do for your SG-5 series?

AK: That would depend on each book. For The Bane Affair, I did a lot of research into upstate New York, and had a reader tell me that she lived in the area and felt as if she was reading about her home turf. That was nice. I did the same for The Samms Agenda, learning about the Everglades and Miami.

For The Perfect Stranger, I had to figure helicopter speed, helicopter make/model, and flight time between the northern coast of South America to the U.S. I had maps of Mexico spread out while writing The McKenzie Artifact, and the same for West Texas when writing Larger Than Life. For LTL, I also read a lot about Warren Jeffs and his polygamous followers.

I also research weapons, and am lucky enough to have a source for computer information in both my husband and stepson. Sometimes it can be something as small as the abacus I put into the hands of the villain in The Bane Affair who also suffered from a disease I based on ALS. Once the research is done, I don’t mind taking literary license to fit the story!

V&S: Regarding the SG-5 series, are you sad to see the end of those Hunky guys? Are you going to do another similar series?

AK: I have 3 more books contracted with Brava, and 2 of those will be SG-5 related featuring Simon Baptiste and Finn McClain who both appeared in Deep Breath. After those two, I’m not sure if I’ll do a story for Gideon Martel (another operative who got screen time in Beyond a Shadow and was mentioned briefly in The Samms Agenda), or if I’ll do something new. I’ll figure that out (with the help of my editor) later this year!

V&S: As an avid (rabid?) fan, I’m wondering what role, if any, do your readers play in your writing? Do they motivate you? Drive you crazy? Do you remember comments they make about particular books and/or characters that inspire the molding or development of future books/characters?

AK: I love hearing from fans, but I can’t say I’ve changed anything or molded anything based on reader feedback. I did ask readers if they’d like to read about Finn or Simon next, but then since Simon’s story came to me first, I had to honor the muse! Still, I listen to all of the comments readers make, and probably at some subliminal level do stress the parts of the stories they’ve told me they like, and maybe back off on others!

V&S: What makes a scene sexy?

AK: The unknown. The tension. The waiting. I’ve read a couple of things lately that have just knocked my socks off and given me that bottom-dropped-out-of-the-stomach sensation. Love that!

V&S: What was the inspiration for the SG-5 series?

AK: Oh, the TV show Alias, totally! Fun adventure that’s so far out there it requires a huge suspension of disbelief. But that’s what’s so much fun, making it all about the characters even when the situations might seem implausible. My adventures are pure fantasy just as are vampires and werewolves!

V&S: What are you reading right now?

AK: I’m reading a Silhouette Desire by new author Tessa Radley. I’ll probably grab Holly Black’s Tithe next, then maybe Tami Hoag’s The Alibi Man. I read all over the place!

Thank you, Alison! Guys, Alison is going to drop by the blog at some point on Thursday, so if you have questions of your own…have at it!

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On thursday!


We’ll be posting questions selected by readers from the ScampsVampsandSpicyRomance loop and Alison will also drop by and maybe answer some questions from the blogger.

:o) Hope to see you.


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This and That

I totally forgot I was blogging today.

So we’ll just do a hodge podge kind of thing.

Karen Scott is posting her results from her racism in publishing survey.

I’m still running the contest for Alison Kent’s The Perfect Stranger. And there’s the BOMContest running thru my blog as well.

Speaking of Alison Kent, she’s agreed to do an interview here on the blog and we’ll be posting that probably next week. I’ll try to remember to post ahead of time when I get a firm date. And…(pardon me while I have a fangirl moment… SQUEAL) Okay, that’s done. Lynn Viehl is doing an interview for us, too! For those who don’t know me, I’m a total groupie when it comes to anything written by Lynn Viehl, no matter what name she is writing under, SL Viehl, Lynn Viehl, Jessica Hall, Gena Hale… I love them all. But I promise I’ll try to let you all have a shot at asking her questions, too. No guarantees.

Spring Break is coming up here and next week, we’re heading to Gatlinburg for a few days. I love Gatlinburg, all the touristy trappy stuff, and I love the mountains. It’s been a while since we went and we haven’t gone any place that far away with the baby bratlet so this oughta be interesting. To say the least.

Had a few books out the past few weeks, released early but hey, I don’t care. I don’t see me hitting the best seller lists, so I don’t care if they hit the shelves early or not at this point. Hunters: Heart and Soul is selling at BN.com and Lover From Another World is selling at all the online places.

Okay… did I ramble on enough? Lol. Y’all have a good week…I gotta get to work!

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Alison Kent!

Hey guys!

Alison Kent is going to be joining us for the release of her upcoming book, The Perfect Stranger. Not sure of the day yet, but I’ll post it when I know.

Should be in the next week or two.

Hope you can join us~

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Interview with Bad Barb

The infamous Bad Barb, even…

I would have had this posted earlier, but my server through me off for some reason. I’m really starting to dislike them…. gggrrrr….

Onto the interview~

For those not familiar with Bad Barb, she’s a reviewer who likes to lock authors in closets. I had the wonderful idea to turn the tables on her and lock HER up. OKAY… Okay… I didn’t really lock her up but if she threatens me with that closet, I dunno what I might do. ;o) On the Scamps and Vamps look, and other place… I’ve seen people ask Barb where she got her nickname from, how she gets all the ARCs she gets, who she has locked up and more. So today, we’re asking her!

FYI, if you have questions for Barb, related to things like reading or reviewing or authors, feel free to ask. To make it more fun, I’m giving away a prize to one reader that participates today. BTW, I define participation as joining into the discussion… asking questions, offering opinions…something like… Hey, How ya doing… isn’t going to quite make the drawing. So ask away. Ask as many questions as you like, however, names only go into the drawing one time.

First questions and Barbs answers are below!

V&S) What author that you have not met would you like to meet?

BB)There are two, Carole Mortimer who writes for Harlequin Presents, and Miranda Lee who lives in Australia and also writes for HP.

V&S) Where did you get tne name “Bad Barb” from?

BB) I actually got the nickname from Stella Cameron. I met her on the Writerspace email loop back when it started and there was a contest at Diana Palmer’s web site that I wanted to win, and someone else did too (Janey) and we kept going back and forth saying what we would do to get the prize and I can’t remember what I said but after that comment Stella said, your bad, your bad Barb and it stuck. 🙂

V&S) Do you really own a pair of handcuffs?

BB) I will never tell. hehe

V&S) How did you get started reading romances? How about reviewing them?

BB)Started reading Harlequins when I was 14, although there were a few books I picked up in the library that had some romance in it when I was ten. I would read the book while waiting to meet my mom for lunch and there was a book rack in front of lunch counter. 🙂

Lori Foster actually got me started, I had met her at the WS email loop and she asked me if I had read everything she had written so far and I said yes, ( I have been reading her since the very beginning) and she sent me In Too Deep and I reviewed it at Amazon and BN and a few other authors liked what I did and they started sending me stuff.

V&S)If you could get any author locked up in your closet, who and why?

BB) I couldn’t lock up just one author, I would lock up all my favorites and keep them in there so they can keep writing.

Got more questions? Ask away. Come on… you know you want to get back at her for how often she teased you about those ARCs….


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Interview with Angela Knight! Those of you that like hot romance might be familiar with AK’s work. She’s one of the authors that led me to EC and she’s got some of the best vamps around.

Angela will drop by to answer questions, so if you have any, ask away. I’ll also be drawing a winner for a signed book from Angela. To enter, just join into today’s discussion. Everybody that participates will be entered in the drawing.

On to the questions.

V&S) What is your favorite part of writing?

AK) FINISHING!! LOL! Seriously, I love it when I discover something about the story I wasn’t expecting. Surprising myself is always fun. So is making myself cry or laugh or get horny. :>

* * * * *

V&S) Have you ever based a character from a family member or a friend?

AK) Well, yeah. Caroline in “Galahad” is based on Dakota Cassidy, my buddy the romance writer/former beauty queen. And every hero I write has some of my husband in him.

* * * * *

V&S) If one of your books was made into a movie, who would you pick to play the hero and heroine?

AK) Tough question. Angelina Jolie could play Faith Weston with George Clooney as Jim London in MASTER OF WOLVES. LOL! As if…

* * * * *

V&S) I just have to say that Jane’s Warlord was one of my all-time favorite stories by you – hot and sexy. I also adore your vamps. Do you or will you ever write under a different name, maybe for young adult or sweeter romances?

AK) Nah. I couldn’t do sweet if my life depended on it. If I used another pen name, it would be to go DIRTIER.

* * * * *

V&S) How do you think your vision has changed since you started writing? Do you see yourself as always writing romance?

AK) I’ll write romance as long as publishers continue to buy it for me. But my work is getting more epic fantasy. If I could interest an SF publisher, I’d probably give that a shot. I love science fiction and fantasy

* * * * *
V&S) You have written about some very strong, independent women who are not afraid to go after what they want – do you have any real life inspiration for your female characters?
AK) Yep. My sister, the real Angela. She’s intelligent, determined, yet compassionate. She’s not afraid to stand up for herself, unlike me, and if she decides to rip you a new one, you’d better run.
* * * * *
V&S) What inspired you to make Vampires out of the knights of the Round table? Will there be more books in this series? (I really hope so)
AK) Oh, absolutely. I love the Mageverse series, and I’m not done with them yet. When my editor asked me to do a vampire series, I knew I wanted to do something different than what everybody else was doing. I loved Arthurian legend, so that’s what immediately leaped to mind.
* * * * *
If you haven’t read Angela before and want to check her books out, be sure to visit her website
Any questions? Ask away….

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interview Lucy Monroe!!

Hey Peeps! Merry Christmas Eve!!!!!!!!!
Hope you all enjoying family and friends. I want to wish you all a terrific Christmas season and thank you all for the wonderful support. Your enthusiasm for my O’Fallon series overwhelms me. Thanks a bunch!

As a real treat today…

Here is an interview by our own Lucy Monroe. Gives you a chance to see what makes Lucy tick and find out about her great family and faith. Lucy Monroe is a real inspiration and very neat author.

1.) What inspired you to start writing paranormal stories?

I had this scene in my head. It’s the final scene of Ty and Frankie’s story in UNLEASHED. And anyway, I couldn’t let it go. I knew I had to write their story. So, I carved some time out of my writing schedule and did it. Once I got going in their world I realized it was a place I wanted to spend a lot of time and pitched the idea of writing paranormal historical romance to Berkley and my editor was really keen for me to do so and that’s how MOON AWAKENING came about.

2.) Now that you have released books in three different genres, which is your favorite?

I really love them all. Each sub-genre of romance gives me an opportunity to explore different themes, characters and storylines. If I had to give one of them up I’d cry. I really would. LOL

3.) If you could switch places with one of your heroine who would it be and why?

Amanda from The Real Deal, because Simon reminds me so much of my dh and he’s the only man I want to be with. 😉

4.) What is the most fascinating paranormal creature for you and why?

Definitely the shapechanger because there’s this wonderful mix of human sophistication and the primitive. My alpha hero has a reason for being so instinctive and not always led by logic. My heroine can be stronger physically than normal and still vulnerable to her mate. It’s all just very delicious to me.

5) Lucy, are you going to write any more historicals?

My current plan is to write historical paranormals. However, I do have one last straight historical release to be published by a smaller press at the end of next year. Annabelle’s Courtship is about a feisty bluestocking and the rather clueless (but incredibly sexy) Scottish nobleman that decides she’ll make the perfect wife.

6) How do you juggle the diff genres that you write?

I try to take some time off between each book, though that doesn’t always work. The hardest thing to juggle is time spent promoting the books, not the writing itself. I’m always telling stories in my head and writing them is such a joy to me – but the business side of writing can overwhelm me sometimes.

7) How many hours a day do you write? How many hours do you devote to promo?

Not enough any more and too many. Not kidding.

8) What does your family think of your writing?

They’re very supportive and proud of me. It’s an absolute blessing!

9) What is the thing you love most about writing? What do you like least?

I love most spending time with my characters and seeing their stories unfold in my head. I like least not having enough hours in the day to write all the stories I want to.

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Sunny’s Interview, Part 2

and blogger is being screwy and I can’t post the pretty cover pic… oh well.

REMEMBER! Anybody that comments or has a question will have a chance at winning a signed book from Sunny!

On to the interview…

What do you have planned besides the Mona Lisa books?

Well, LOL, I’m going to be busy continuing Mona Lisa’s stories for a while. A short novella, Mona Lisa Three, comes out in the January 07 Berkley anthology, OVER THE MOON, headlined by Angela Knight and MaryJanice Davidson. MONA LISA BLOSSOMING will quickly follow in Feb 07. Then MONA LISA CRAVING in 08, and on down the alphabet, MONA LISA DARKENING, etc. Thinking for a title for Mona Lisa X will be quite the challenge, but that will be years from now, thank goodness.

Lucinda, Prince Halcyon’s sister, introduced in my two novellas (A second anthology with Patricia Briggs and Eileen Wilks will be out probably next summer) will spin off her own series next fall in LUCINDA, DARKLY, book one in the DEMON PRINCESS CHRONICLES. Please visit my website www.sunnyauthor.com for excerpts.

I’ve got to know… is it weird having two authors in the house? I know my husband and I would drive each other nuts if we both wrote. Well, I drive him nuts anyway… ;o)

Actually, it was what allowed me to write. A false belief that, hey, whatever I write, my acclaimed author husband, Da Chen, can “fix up” for me. A totally wrong misconception…what I write is pretty much it. But it allowed me to write out that first draft, blissfully, joyfully. And then I was done. AND I HAD WRITTEN A BOOK! And just doing that…actually writing a book when I’d believed all my life I’d never be able to…gave me the greatest confidence boost.
I’ve always edited Da’s books. And now he edits mine. And it’s great, although, I must confess, a little awkward in the beginning. After reading my first manuscript (Mona Lisa Awakening), he looked up with this dazed and shocked expression on his face and said, “Sunny, you are a naughty, naughty girl.”

LOL, I blushed, but thought it was great. First, because it told me that the love scenes were hot. Second, because I’d never been seen as a naughty girl before…kinda neat, now.

If you want to read more about Sunny’s books, check them out here.

I’ll post the winner later this week, so make sure you check back. You have to respond via email if your name is drawn. I’ll draw a random winner from the comments sometime this week.


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