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Kathy Garbera interview!


Howdy, Peeps! I’ve known Kathy for years and just had dinner with her in Atlanta when we did RWA. She writes for Harlequin and Kensington. Keeps a gal busy!
Sooo, here’s Kathy!
Dianne

From Jennifer:

1) What do you like to read?
I like to read romance, of course! But also outside the genre I have a few favorites. Nelson Demille who writes these big thrillers with real characters, he also always has a really nice romance in each of his books.

Nick Hornby who writes relationship books from a guy’s point-of-view. I love seeing the other side of the coin and his books are great for doing that. Plus he’s not afraid to go to really dark places in his characters.

2) Did your reading habits/preferences change when you became a writer?
Yes, they did. I used to read all romance and that was it. Mainly just series books, but since I sold I’ve branched out to read other genres and other types of books. For once thing a lot of the series lines I used to read are no longer being published–Harlequin Temptation and Bantam Loveswept.

3) How do you relax?
By spending time with my family. I love to cook so when I’m on deadline I save up recipes I want to try and when I finish a book I spend a couple of weeks trying out new dishes! I love shopping for clothes and new things for my house. It doesn’t stress me out at all and I love nothing more than a day at the mall trying on clothes.

From Diana:

1) Kathy, do you have a favorite hero and heroine from the books that you’ve written?

It’s so hard to pick one hero and heroine as my favorite. I think each one is my favorite in the moment of writing the book. Right now, I’m working on a ‘mistress’ themed book for Desire and I love my hero and heroine. She’s an heiress with a penchant for scandal and he’s her family’s business rival with a taste for revenge. It’s so juicy and fun to be in their world!

From Amy:

1) Do you do any research for your books?
Yes, I do. It depends on the subject matter how much research I do. I tend to research as I’m writing a book instead of doing it in advance. I like to be totally immersed in whatever book I’m writing. For one of my Bombshells–The Amazon Strain–I interviewed this college professor who’s been going down to the Amazon for twenty years. He’d written a book about Jungle Survival which I really enjoyed but I wanted to get specifics that would fit my scenario. That was great fun and he was a very fascinating man.

2) From your books, who is your favorite hero?
I have to say I love all my heroes. But I have a special place in my heart Rafe Santini–the hero from my first Desire.

3) Have you ever wrote a character based on someone you know?
Not really. Sometimes a situation with someone I know will make me start thinking of a story idea but it’s never really based on them.

From Barb Smith:

1) In what ways is your Brava writing different from your category writing.
That’s a great question. The Brava writing is different because I’m able to go a lot deeper emotionally with my characters. The Bravas are also more complex and I can really develop my secondary characters.
2) With the demise of the BOMBSHELL line in Silhouette will you still be writing that type of book for one of the other series lines?
I’m really going to miss the Bombshell line! I don’t have any plans to write suspense for any of the other category lines. I am going to be writing one of the Harlequin-NASCAR books. I’m also going to be adding a little more suspense to my Brava books.

3) Any thoughts you would like to share with readers about the demise of the BOMBSHELL line?
I loved the line. I like the fact that women were kicking butt and falling in love. I thought the heroines really embodied the struggles that all women face and I’m so sad we never found the readership we needed to continue.

From Emma:

1) ARE ANY OF YOUR BOOKS A SERIES?
Yes! For Desire I’ve written a couple of series as well as for Bombshell.

Desire:
The Tycoon’s Lady and Tycoon for Auction are spin-off books not really a series but they are set in the same world.

I did five books in a series called The King of Hearts about a mob capo (boss) who asks for forgiveness with his dying breath. He is given a chance to redeem himself by matchmaking. He has to unit in love as many couples as people he murdered in life to get into heaven. Those titles are In Bed with Beauty, Cinderella’s Christmas Affair, Let It Ride, Mistress Minded, and Rock Me All Night.

Then I did a series set in Vegas called What Happens in Vegas. This is a spin-off from Let It Ride. Those titles are His Wedding-Night Wager, Her High-Stakes Affair, and Their Million-Dollar Night.

For Bombshell I wrote two books in the Athena Force series Exposed and Exclusive. These books have the same hero and heroine.

For Brava I’m writing another book featuring a member of the O’Roarke family that you first met in Body Heat. This book will be about Andi’s brother Liam.

2) WHICH OF YOUR BOOKS WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT TO WRITE AND WHY?
The first Bombshell I wrote was the most difficult. All the books are hard in different ways but Exposed was one I really struggled with. Mainly because the line hadn’t launched yet and the editors and powers-that-be kept trying to decide what the books should be like. So they were dialing the romance up and down.
3) HAVE TO EVER ATTENDED ANY OF THE R.T CONFERENCES?
No I’ve never been to RT but I am planning to go to Houston next year!
4) HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?
I started writing in ’93 and sold my first book in ’96. So a long time! More than 10 years!
5) HOW SUPPORTIVE ARE FAMILY AND FRIENDS WITH YOUR WRITING?
My family is very supportive. My husband talks about me and my writing to everyone he knows. And he’s a great supporter of me at home. Helping me out with the kids and protecting my writing time. My parents are the same way.
6) WHAT 5 WORDS MOST SUM YOU UP AND WHY?
The five words that sum me up are friendly, funny, compassionate, passionate, and driven. Why? Well, I think that life is too short to be mean and not get along with others. I think humor is the only thing that keeps us sane and that if you’re bored by something it’s not something you should be doing.
7) HOW HARD IS IT TO KEEP PLOTS AND DIALOGUE FRESH AND INTERESTING?
Once I get the characters hammered out its not hard at all. Each of my characters are so different. They are really the ones who drive the plot and the dialogue so each time it’s different.
8) WHEN DESCRIBING YOUR HERO / HEROINE WHERE DO YOU START…………HAIR, EYES, BUILD?
I actually don’t give too much physical description unless it affects the scene. If they are standing close together I’m probably going to mention his height and build. I’ll mention eyes when they make eye contact at some point.
9) HOW DO YOU RELAX AND UNWIND AT THE END OF THE DAY?
At the end of my work day, I spend time with my family. We go on a walk or play games with each other. Then after the kids are in bed my husband and I spend time together. I usually read for 15-30 minutes before I turn off my light for the night!
10) WHICH AUTHORS PAST / PRESENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET AND WHY, IF YOU COULD?
I’d love to meet Baroness Orczy who wrote the Scarlet Pimpernel series. She was writing smart empowered heroines way before anyone else.

>From: “KimW”
What is the one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the courage to try?

Sky-diver or deep-sea diving. I love the thought of both of these activities but am pretty sure that the fear in my gut would keep me from attempting them!

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I’m going to break Sunny’s interview up into two parts, one today, and the rest will be posted next week. Sunny has offered two signed copies of The Hard Stuff anthology as a prize. I’ll select a winner from each day.
How do you win?
Comment. Question. I’ll draw the winners. HOWEVER, you have to check back on the blog to see if you win. I’ll draw a winner and if you don’t email me back within three days of me posting the winner’s name, you forfeit your prize. SO CHECK BACK.
:o) I’ved read by Mona Lisa Awakening and her novella in The Hard Stuff both are excellent.
And on to the interview….
What does your writing space look like?

Well, that’s a hard question because we just moved, and my new writing space hasn’t been set up yet. I’m in limbo waiting for my desk and new computer to arrive. When they finally do, I can settle into this little 8X12’ sitting room just off the master bedroom. It has a tiny, high, side window, but is very quiet, very private. In our old house, I wrote in our bedroom, my desk facing out two large windows into our backyard.
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a story that immediately has to be written?
In my early writing days, yes. I’d wake up with my characters “talking” and I’d get up and work for a couple of hours. But then I’d be too tired to do any writing the next day. I’ve found that the most productive lifestyle is a boring and stable, consistent one. Good solid sleep the most essential, getting up around 10am, then writing while fresh for the next 4 hours, until around 2 pm. 1,500 – 2,500 words a day. Then it’s time to play chauffer for my kids, driving them to and from their after-school classes.

Tell us where the idea for the Mona Lisa books came from.

Where most of my ideas come from. My husband. He grew up in China, and he’s always telling me these fascinating stories from our Chinese culture. Like the one about the Moon Festival, which just passed, on October 6th. To celebrate this holiday, the people in China make these round moon cakes and eat them to give thanks for the autumn harvest, and to honor the Moon Goddess, a deity that they believe resides in Paradisal Heaven. When humans sleep, she flows down to Earth and binds two lover’s hearts together with a silk sash. When they awake, the bound hearts will find each other. Something about the moon seems to fascinate Asian people, myself no exception. This gave birth to the concept of “Children of the Moon,” supernatural creatures that are the truth of what the legends of werewolves and vampires are based upon. Beautiful abused warriors suffering under the rule of cruel Queens, with kidnapping rogues, a dark and danger Demon Prince, and Mona Lisa, a young human Mixed Blood Queen discovering who and what she is. Discovering love…more than one…for the very first time.

I know you didn’t start writing until recently. Had you always thought about doing it? What made you start when you did?
Becoming an author, especially the hot and spicy kind, is a total, unexpected, surprise. Chinese parents don’t encourage their children to become writers. They encourage them to become doctors. So I grew up and became a family practice physician.
had tried writing a short romance in college, twenty years ago, as part of English 101 homework…and had failed miserably. Then after my husband sold his memoir eight years ago, I tried writing about my own childhood. The writers’ group I read it at ripped it apart. Critiqued it harshly enough that I did not write again for the next seven years. So, I’d tried twice and failed both times. I told myself I was a reader, not a writer, and devoted myself to doing what I seemed to do best…developing other people’s talent. I edited my husband’s books, and watched my kids flourish, getting small acting roles on Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live, and a Fuji commercial.

Then, one day when my son was six, he was listing everyone’s talents. When he came to me, he had to pause and think for a long time. He finally said, “Mommy drives really well.” It was a wake-up call for me. I realized at that moment that my kids didn’t really appreciate me. And they wouldn’t respect me unless I developed my own talents, instead of focusing solely on theirs. I set out to see, once again, if I had any. Talent, that is. In particular, writing talent. Nothing short of that kick in the pants would have motivated me to try writing again.
But this time around, I’d learned some important things. My husband had dragged me to Robert McGee’s 3-day screenwriting seminar in Manhattan, on “The Art of the Story.” Before, when I tried to write, it had been with vague ideas, and even vaguer\n characters, in mind. The writing seminar, my first, taught me to define my characters, define my world, to do my homework and write down a composition book full of physical details, character strengths and flaws. Even go so far as to create a back story for each of them, so that you knew who they were by where they came from, what they’d gone through. Then box this group of people into tight situations and let them creatively wriggle out of them. And go from turning point to turning point, or rather, situation to situation until you reach the end of the book.

When I did this, defined my characters in minute details and exact specificity, and did the same with their world—defined their specific powers, their set rules—and boxed them into nasty, tight situations…well, suddenly, the stories just came easily, because I knew them so well, I knew how each would react. And when I hit the love scenes…the words just would not stop pouring. I was like stopped-up syrup that suddenly became unplugged. Things…words…emotions…just kept gushing out. And I went from writing a romance…what I’d originally intended…to suddenly finding myself writing erotic romance. Oops.

And that’s it for this week. You can read the rest next week. If you want to read more about Sunny and her books, check out her website. http://sunnyhotromance.com/
Ciao~
Shi
the cover pic above was found at Sunny‘s website.

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Interview with Toni Blake


Hi! I’d like to thank the Scamps and Vamps ladies for inviting
me for an interview! If you frequent the Scamps and Vamps chat loop, you already know me, but time issues have kept me from taking part here on the blog, so it’s great to be included in this way : )

My current release, SWEPT AWAY, is the first full-length novel
in Avon’s steamy new Red line and came out in early September, so I hope you’ll check it out. An excerpt and contest can be found on my website at http://www.ToniBlake.com.

I’d also like to say a special thanks to Dianne for coming up
with these great questions for me! I enjoyed answering them, and hope
readers will enjoy the interview!

Toni Blake

Questions:

1) What are you working on next?

I’m just about to turn in my next book for Avon Red, called
TEMPT ME
TONIGHT, to be released in June 2007.

2) What is your favorite type of story to write?

Beyond super sexy and very emotional – which I try to make all
my books – I guess I’d have to say I love reunion stories. Both my current book, SWEPT AWAY, and the upcoming TEMPT ME TONIGHT fall into that category, as did my first single title, THE RED DIARY.

3) Who do you read when you have time?

I really read all across the board – whatever looks good to me
at the time. But I love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, and I know I can always rely on Barbara Samuels, Teresa Medeiros, and Rachel Gibson for books I’ll enjoy.

4) What is the big advantate of writing for Avon?

Avon is known as one of the top romance publishers, and they’ve
given my first book for them tremendous support and enthusiasm, both of
which are things I deeply appreciate! I also feel like I’ve had contact with a lot more of the Avon folks than at any other publisher I’ve worked with. At Avon, you deal directly with publicity and other departments, and it’s made me feel very “in the loop” in terms of what’s happening with my book.

5) What do you like best about having an agent?

Oh wow, lots of things. My agent is my sounding board, my
negotiator, my advisor, and much more. I guess I like knowing I have someone behind me who knows the industry extremely well and is out there working for my best interests in all facets of the business.

6) What is the best part of being a writer?

I know this has become cliché by now, but it’s true: being able
to work in your pajamas : )

In a bigger sense, though, it’s beyond gratifying to get up and
do something you truly love every day – AND get paid for it!

7) Of all your heroes who is your favorite? Favorite heroine?

Hmm, tough question, given that I pretty much get attached to
ALL my heroes and heroines. But I guess I’d have to pick Jake from IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS, and probably Lauren from THE RED DIARY. Jake is
actually a finalist for Best Hero in the Anne Bonney Readers’ Choice Awards right now – so I guess I’m not the only one who liked him : )

I would say both Brock and Kat from SWEPT AWAY are close seconds
in each category – simply because they’re the most fun, the people you’d most want to hang out with : )

8) What kind of book would you never write?

A horror novel or anything with a great deal of violence or
gore. I sometimes include some suspense elements in my books, and
occasionally that takes me in a violent or gory direction – but I don’t think I could write that kind of stuff on a continuing basis. I like putting a lot of emotion in my books, and sometimes some angst – but I don’t want to stay in those super-dark places for very long ; )

9) Do you have any desire to write something completely
different than the stories you already write?

Oh yeah, all the time! I’d adore writing historicals – in fact,
I have a few old, unsold ones from years back – and I also have an
interest in women’s fiction.

Thanks again, Dianne, for a fun interview!

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Lacey Alexander writes the uber steamy erotica with what she calls a “touch of romance.” She’s graciously agreed to answer a few questions from our Vamps & Scamps. Enjoy!

What inspired you to be a writer? Did you always want to write?

I’m not sure what inspired me, but the desire to write has always been inside me. I’ve written off and on my whole life – and the “off” times were mainly due to having been told by naysayers that I would never succeed. Now that I’ve found some measure of success, I can’t imagine I’ll ever stop writing again.

What is the best part of being a writer? The worst?

The best part: the flexibility. For instance, I’m wearing pajamas as I do this interview. The worst: the uncertainty. A writer never knows how her work will be perceived, if her next book will be bought, etc.

If one of your books was made into a movie or tv series, what book would you want it to be and who would you pick to play the hero and heroine?

This question made me laugh – because my books are so very much ABOUT sex that any movie made from them would be, um, of a strictly “adult” nature, if you know what I mean. Based on that, I, unfortunately, don’t really have an answer.

What is your favorite cartoon character?

Aladdin, from the Disney movie. I thought that for an animated guy he was hot ; )

What is the hardest part about writing?

Well, for me, writing is mostly a joy. I guess the hard part for me is the business aspect of being a writer. I don’t enjoy it and it takes time from what I love to do – which is telling stories.

Do you have any habits, good or bad, or weird or funny that you do when you write your books?

Not really. I always hear authors talk about listening to certain kinds of music or lighting candles or taping up scene and character pictures around their work area, but I don’t do any of that, I’m afraid. I just write ; )

Describe what your work area/desk looks like?

Standard brown desk with a laptop – which has never been in my lap ; ) I bought it for the flexibility, but I’m so used to writing at my desk that I’ve never moved it. And I’m surrounded by lots of books, and two big windows that let the sun in.

Is there a genre/them/series that you haven’t written yet, that you’d like to try writing about? Can you tell us about it?

I would love to try my hand at historical erotica.

For your Hot in the City series, did you travel to each city to do research for the book?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. I loved being able to provide a level of detail I could not have otherwise. Of course, some of the places I mentioned in the books were imaginary, but many were quite real!

Who is your sexiest hero to date and why?

That’s a toughie, but I guess I’ll go with Jack Wade from FRENCH QUARTER. It’s that Cajun thing ; ) Plus he was such a “protector.”

As above but female?

Wow, another hard one, but I’ll say Diana from SIN CITY. From a personal standpoint, Diana was the hardest heroine for me to relate to, because she was SO very wild. But that’s what I like about her – that she had the capability to be a total wild child yet she was also mature, confident, dependable, and likable. Being wild came naturally to her and she was comfortable in her own skin.

Which of your works is your “fave” to date and why?

You know, I remain really fond of FRENCH QUARTER, even though it was my first. I wrote it without ever reading any other erotica – I had this idea of what I thought “romantic erotica” should be, this goal of taking the reader on the ultimate erotic journey – and I decided if it didn’t sell, then I wasn’t meant to write erotica. So I’m very pleased that my “vision” turned out to be one that worked for so many people.

That said, I’m also really excited about the upcoming release of VOYEUR from Penguin Books next May. While I see most of my books as “erotic fantasies,” with VOYEUR I feel I’ve taken a step closer to a story that could really happen in real life and I hope readers will relate to that and to the heroine, Laura, who is kind of an “everywoman” who just happens into an extremely erotic situation purely by happenstance.

Do you ever go to the RT Conventions?

No, afraid not. Just not really my scene … I keep a low profile.

But readers can learn more about me and my books by visiting http://www.laceyalexander.net/.

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Well, here it is…an interview with our own Shiloh Walker.
Enjoy!

1) What’s the most challenging part of writing for you: creating characters or coming up with an intriguing and complex plot?

Oh, the plotting… easy. I can create characters all day long, but the actual plotting part is hard for me. I generally am a ‘seat of the pants’ writer, but I’m learning that isn’t always the most time efficient way to write. Actually plotting it out before hand… hard work.

2) Do you ever see yourself writing a non-romance?

Oh yeah… I love sci fi and fantasy. Although I suspect anything I write will always have romantic undertones or romance elements, I have all sorts of ideas that aren’t strictly romance.

3) Would you/have you ever collaborated with another writer to tell a story?

Haven’t ever, but I would, depending on the other writer. A friend of mine, Mary Wine and I have tossed ideas around. Lora Leigh and I both mentioned it at one time, but she’d want to the tell the male POV if we ever did… and so I would. *G* so that won’t work.

4) What are you most proud of achieving in your career?

Just getting published for me is a big deal. What I’m the most proud of, though, has nothing to do with my career. Writing, while it can be a pain at times, is easy for me, mostly. The story usually comes easy enough, the characters come easy…doesn’t feel right have that much pride in something that comes easy. Now ask me about what I’m proud of in my life… *G* I’d say my kids.

5) If you could be any of your characters for just a day (or longer), who would you choose?

MY characters? None of them. Haven’t you seen some of the crap I do to my characters? I kill their husbands, I have them beaten, I give them guilty secrets to hide and agonize over… nope. I know what kind of things I do to my characters and I’m not into suffering.

6) Where do you see the Hunters series going?

Hunting the Hunter is going to be a big turn in the series. I’m looking to make the series deeper, more intense. I want to appeal to a wider range of readers, not just the lovers of erotic romance.

7) can you give any explaination for the following?
FIRSTLY PICTURE THE SCENE…YOUR BEING CHASED BY AN AlIEN / MADMAN / MURDERER…ETC, YOUR IN A BUILDING / CASTLE / ROOF…AND YOU HEAR THE FOLLOWING:
1)”don’t look down”
2)”don’t open the door”
3)”don’t answer the phone”
and my “fave”
4)”don’t look back”
Why when watching film / reading book / listening to the radio, etc…when hearing any one of the above
saying “DON’T”…that we automatically “DO”??

That’s easy… I can sum it up in two words. Human nature. It’s the same reason when mama told us not to touch the cookies yet cuz they were too hot, we still did it. Humans are generally just nosy by nature and when there’s something down, back, behind, above… we want to know. Even if it means it’s going to hurt to do it.

For more fun visit: ShilohWalker.com

Thanks, Shi, for answering our questions.
Can’t wait for more of the Hunter series and best of luck with your career.
Hugs, Dianne

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Kate Angell Interview

Howdy all!
We have an interview with author Kate Angell. Her newest release, Squeeze Play, is out this month. She’s a terrific writer and a wonderful person and she’s my and Shi’s agent! We are so very lucky to have her in our lives.
Enjoy!
Dianne

Jennifer – If Squeeze Play was made into a movie, I’d love to see Matthew Fox from LOST play center fielder Risk Kincaid and Heather Locklear play coffee shop owner, Jacy Grayson. They are a bit older than my characters. Yet have ‘the look’ that I’d imagined when creating the two. If I was to date a Richmond Rogue, it would be Cody ‘Psycho’ McMillan, coming up in my next book Curveball. He’s wild, fun. and daring. A true bad boy.

Stacy – Twenty years ago, I tried my hand at writing for New York. It took me that many years to get published. In the early stages of writing, I tried category, romantic suspense, historicals, futuristics, but nothing sold. I then played with romantic comedy, and Calder’s Rose was released in 2002. I doubt I’ll ever write anything dark or edgy. I love a lighter tone to a story, a book that makes a reader smile or laugh.

Writers shouldn’t write for trends. It’s a waste of time and energy. By the time a writer would finish a book, the trend could be long gone. I believe an author should write the book of her heart…and make it marketable. You can write a tried-and-true plot, yet give it your own unique twist. Push the envelope. I read a lot of erotica. I love sexy stories.

I’ve been an agent for twelve years. I was an aspiring author long before that. I knew many of the authors I presently represent today when we were all trying to get a New York contract. I believe I’m good at what I do simply because I’m very empathetic. Being an author as well as an agent, I oftentimes feel worse than my writer when she gets a decline from an editor. I take each rejection very personally. What frustrates me a bit when reading submissions, is coming across a promising story line, yet the writing has no punch. Lots of passive verbs. It reads like vanilla ice cream and I’d like to add some sprinkles.
I love baseball, and follow both the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees.

Emma – If I could write a cameo-role for myself in one of my books, I’d own a sports bar where the athletes hung out after a game and in-between road trips. A place with class, yet casual enough to relax. This cameo role could run through all the books. Most definitely I’d have a love interest!

Judy – I designed the cover for Squeeze Play. It was very visual to me from the onset of the book. I had a friend who does graphic design put it together for me, and Dorchester thought it worked perfectly. Baseball is my favorite sport. I took a chance in proposing the trilogy to Alicia Condon, my editor. At this time, I don’t think there’s another author writing about the Boys of Summer. I wanted to break in with something new.

1.) Of your books that you have published, which is your favorite and why? Every book I’ve written sticks with me after I’ve typed ‘The End’. It takes me eight to nine months to produce a book. That’s a long time to be at the same setting and live with the same characters. I tend to bond with my books. Squeeze Play was truly fun to write. I love summer, baseball, and romance. Risk Kincaid was a very Alpha hero. I took the Most Valuable Player of the World Series and returned him to his hometown of Frostproof, Florida. The most important person in his life was coffee shop owner, Jacy Grayson. I went with the contrast of the major league player and the small town girl. They had a history, and by the end of the book, a future together as well.

Dianne – I’m single and have an animal house. Twelve dogs and six cats. I live on three acres, fenced in, so the dogs have lots of room to run. All the dogs came to me abandoned or abused. I couldn’t turn them away. A female cat wandered in my driveway years ago, skinny and starving. I took her in. Two months later she had five kittens. All stayed. I live in a stilt house, so the dogs live upstairs, and the cats also live inside, within the latticework lower level. Between treats, toys, and doggy beds, my pet food grocery bill is probably as high as a household with eight growing boys! We’re a very happy family.

If you’ve read Squeeze Play, go to my website – http://www.kateangell.com – and enter the contest to win a Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

Thanks, Kate Angell!

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She really is fabulous. JoAnn Ross is one of my very favorite people, not to mention a fantastically talented and prolific author. I was so happy when she agreed to do a blog interview for us and I agree with her…readers on the Scamps, Vamps & Spicy Romance loop asked a ton of wonderful qeustions, but I think JoAnn selected some really great ones to answer.

Without further ado…I give you…JoAnn Ross…

Wow, what a lot of great questions!! I want to stress that it was extremely difficult to choose, so my selection process was mostly random. Which pretty much describes everything about my writing. 🙂

1) Is Emma Quinlan’s friend Roxi from Cajun Heat getting her own story? Or Bobby Jefferson from Blaze? ~ Judy F

I’m so glad you asked that, Judy! ::g:: Because it gives me a chance to tell you that Love Potion #9, my novella in the BAD BOYS SOUTHERN STYLE anthology, will be out the first of July. After Katrina blew away her shop, Roxi moved Hex Appeal to Savannah, another of my favorite cities. Emma and Gabriel also make an appearance. You can see the cover, read an excerpt, AND even watch a hot Bad Boys Southern Style video on my website at http://www.joannross.com/. As for Bobby, I haven’t planned a story for him, however, I’ve learned never to say never!

2) Will there be anymore trilogies in the future? ~ Chad

Yes. But that’s all I can say about it at this moment. ::g:: Oh, I can tell you that you just might be seeing more of Brendan, from my Irish trilogy and OUT OF THE STORM and BLAZE, and Father Mike, Joe’s brother from OUT OF THE STORM. (Both men are harboring dark and dangerous secrets from their pasts.) Stay tuned.

3) One of the things I like about your books is the Louisiana bayous are the setting of many of your books and in fact many of them have been set in the fabulous city of New Orleans. Why the fascination with this location? Has Katrina had any affect on your writing and do you plan to set future books in these locations? ~ Barbara

New Orleans is fabulous, isn’t it? Even now, with all its current challenges, it’s still like no other city in America. I fell in love with it back in the early 90s when we spent Christmas there. After that first visit, we’ve gone back every chance we get, including many visits to the bayou country where the Callahan Brothers trilogy, and BAYOU BAD BOYS is set.

And yes, Katrina had quite an effect. I was well into a book set in the city when Katrina hit. We’d been down in the Mississippi Gulf area for a library fund-raiser the Saturday of that weekend when the storm began to turn. We made it back to TN Sunday night, and I was glued to the television all Labor Day, watching the tragic destruction. I kept going back and forth on what to do since my book centered around crooked cops, corrupt politicians, the mob running gambling/prostitution boats in the Gulf, a battle between good and bad voodoo and — oops — a huge hurricane hitting the city. By late Monday night I’d come up with a new romantic suspense set in Wyoming about a serial killer (the man who was once the boy raised by wolves), which became IMPULSE.

I’m now back to work on the New Orleans book — and passing a good time with way sexy bad boy cop Nick Broussard — which will be out in February or March of 2007. (It no longer has a hurricane.) The title on the excerpt in the back of IMPULSE is FALLEN, but I just received word last week that may change. I’ll announce the new title on my website as soon as I know it myself. And wow, that ended up a long answer! LOL

4) Jo Ann, if you could meet any of the characters in one of your books, who would you want to meet? (and why?) ~ Erin the Innocent

Hey, Erin — One of my favorite heroines, of FAIR HAVEN, has the same name as you! As for meeting my characters. . . Wait! You mean they’re not real? Then who are all those people who’ve been hanging around my house for the past 23 years? 😉

5) How much research do you do? Patti

Tons. I changed majors five times in college, so each time I start a book, it’s like having someone actually pay me to change majors again. Remember, in Tootsie, where Dustin Hoffman tells his agent that he’s not merely any tomato, he’s a BEEFSTEAK tomato? We’ll that’s how I write; I’m sort of a “method” writer who has to be inside every character’s skin in order to write them. (Which, since I’ve had serial killer books due December 30th two years in a row, has made for some rather strange Christmas seasons! Even my dogs started acting edgy around me while I was writing the Flamemaster’s death row scenes in BLAZE.) Anyway, working this way means that I eat what they eat, listen to the music they listen to, and pretty much need to know everything they know. I read approximately 25 books on fire fighting and arson investigation for BLAZE, and even passed a written sample certification test.

6) What is the most fascinating thing you’ve learned about the writing process, and/or the most fascinating thing during your research for one of your stories? ~ Stacy

The most fascinating thing, to me, about the writing process is that twenty-three years and ninety-six books later, I still have no idea how I do it. I only know that some days it works. And others, like a baseball pitcher who loses his mechanics and doesn’t have the foggiest idea why, it doesn’t. Fortunately there have been more good days than bad.

Thanks for inviting me, Lucy, darlin’. I only wish we’d had room to answer everyone. These were all truly great questions!

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And the next interview we have is Lora Leigh. Lora writes seriously hot, erotic romance. Contemporary, paranormal, fantasy… I think she suffers that same short attention span thing I have a problem with.

Her current release is a paranormal, Megan’s Mark. This is a Breed book~the Breeds are genetically altered men and women. You can read more about them at her website.

Now, on to the interview….FYI, if you just stumbled across the blog, the interview questions are from readers of the Scamps loop. We have more authors on the schedule for interview so if you want join in… send an email to

ScampsVampsandSpicyRomance-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Or just visit the group on the web and sign up there.

1) From Pam K

I know you love to fish what is the biggest fish you’ve ever caught. That one is for my hubby. BTW He loves that I read your books. He says they have excellent fringe benefits for him rofl.

Lora~a 15 inch catfish that the hubby wouldn’t let me keep to eat. I love catfish.

2) From Lisa

If you could as your readers one question what would it be?

Lora~What were you thinking five seconds after you had sex the first time. LOL

3) From Christy

I’m not sure how to ask this question but how excited were you to see your first breed book that wasn’t ebook published or in an anthology?

Lora~I was amazed. Excited. And terrified at the same time. Amazed that I was finally in print by a major NY publisher. Excited to see all the book stores the book was in at once. And terrified that no one would buy it. LOL. The emotions I felt were confusing and uncertain in a lot of ways. Its a big step I think for any writer. That first book released from a major publisher. The anticipation and the fears are really intense.

4) From Lucy

I’m SO glad you are writing Dawn’s story and Tanner’s story, but will you be writing Hawke’s story? And if yes…um…when? 🙂 I know I’m a baby, but I’m dying to find out what happens to him and his mate (Jessica) facing death.

Lora~Yes, Hawkes story is coming very soon I hope. I’m trying right now to get the time line in order between the original feline, the wolves and the NY Breeds. So definitely be expecting more coming soon.

*Note from Shi…FYI~I checked with Lora… the NY Breeds…these are the Breeds that are being written for Berkley Publishing.

5)From Jenny

If you can trade places with anyone for a day, who would you pick and why?

Lora~That’s a hard one, because I don’t think I want to trade places with anyone. LOL. I’ve kind of settled into who I am, and I’m enjoying the adventures that life brings me with my husband, my children and my writing. Trade lives with someone else, and I have to trade that part as well. I wouldn’t trade that part of me for anything.

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Erin McCarthy, author extraordinaire and very dear person, consented to answering questions from readers on the Vamps, Scamps & Spicy Romance loop. Here are the questions and her answers. Erin will drop in tomorrow (the 30th) to visit and comment on your comments. 🙂

Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would you cast? – Jennifer Y

Since my books are character drive and a bit thin on plot, I have a hard time picturing any of them as movies. 😉 But I think Heiress For Hire would work on ABC Family or something like that, and Houston, We Have a Problem could be done in an ER sort of way. We did have brief interest in A Date With The Other Side from a network, but alas it came to nothing. As for actors for the starring roles? I’d love to hear what you all think!

Which of your heroes is most resembles your husband and why do you feel this way? Also are you like any or your heroines and if so which one are you most like? – Barbara

Well, my husband is very loyal, very hard working, a perfectionist, a wonderful father, loving, has a slightly strange sense of humor, and evokes strong emotions in people, both negative and positive. 🙂 I’d say Damien from The Pregnancy Test is most like Heath, though I didn’t base Damien on him at all. Damien just has more similarities than any other hero. I finally put a picture of Heath and I up on my website on my fun page, though we’re about a speck tall in it. ::g:: Mostly the pic is meant to be the scenery behind us.

What is the strangest thing a reader has ever asked you? The scariest? The funniest? – Laurie

The woman who insisted I had based a hero on her ex-boyfriend, and accused me of sleeping with him. How else would I know *exactly* what he always said in bed? Umm… because men aren’t all that unique? LOL. I can’t remember which hero she was talking about though. The funniest thing a reader said to me was how she found my book in the bargain bin at the used book store. It was fifty cents, the cheapest one in the whole store, but she just decided to take a chance on it even though obviously no one else wanted it, and she loved it. That absolutely cracked me up. I don’t think she realized quite how that sounded.

If you could…which one of your heroines would you trade places with and why? – Cindy

If we’re talking for like a few hours or a day, I would take Amanda’s credit card and go shopping. Or be Reese and have the privilige of saying *exactly* what I’m thinkin, but in real life can’t. ::g:: Or I’d be Mandy, just so people would think my British accent was cool. But if we’re talking a permanent thing, not just for fun, I wouldn’t trade with anyone. I’ve got a great hubby, wonderful kids, and a career I adore. Life is good. 🙂

If you had to make a choice from all the books you’ve published and/or written, which story did you most enjoy writing and why? – Joni

Two books and a novella come to mind. “Hard Drive” from Bad Boys Online was written in a sort of glorious frenzy right before I was published, when I felt so close I could taste it, and I just closed my eyes and wrote that story completely on faith, exactly the way I wanted to. The first book is Heiress For Hire, because I love those characters, and the story came so easily to me, it was just all there, writing magic, and I enjoyed weaving both humor and a deeper emotion together.

The other book is one that I just finished writing and sold to Berkley. It’s called The Seduction of Sin (unless they change the title) and will hopefully be out in mid to late 2007. This is the most complex book I’ve ever written and is something I started about four years ago and abandoned when I sold my first book. It’s a darker paranormal with an immortal hero and it bounces back and forth between the past and the present. It was a personal triumph for me to come back to something I still loved and make time to write it, with no guarantee of a sale. This one’s not comedy, but I do hope readers will find it an intriguing and sensual story.

Where would you go for the “perfect” vacation? – Jodi

Jodi, this is such as easy question… anywhere it’s warm and sunny! But preferably the Carribean, where there is no glass in the windows, no air conditioning, no doors in the hallways, just warm tropical breezes blowing over me, a big fat sun overhead, a beach chair, and some fruity drink in my hand. Totally paradise! Second to sitting on my behind in the sun would be any large city. I love New York, Chicago, New Orleans. I like the pulse and crowds of the city and exploring all the nooks and crannies.

What was the strangest thing you did in the name of research for a book? – Judy F

This wasn’t strange as much as humorous… I did have to have a home party for research purposes when Ashley became a Pleasure Party consultant. 🙂 And for those of you who know my friend Eddie, the two of us together while romance enhancing products are being discussed is not a quiet thing. We tend to egg each other on. We once got separated at an RWA chapter meeting when the prison expert guest kept saying things that sounded suggestive to Eddie and I. ::g:: For Heiress for Hire, I went to two different farms and it just wasn’t pretty. I am such a city girl, and for those of you who’ve met me, you might have noticed I don’t wear flat shoes. Ever. So I thought wedge sandals would work for the farm. I was wrong. Enough said. ::g::

As a writer do you have any other artistic talents…painting…playing musical instruments, etc.? – Emma

Can you hear me laughing? I have no artistic talent. None whatsoever. I did dance when I was younger, does that count for anything? I did ballet and then was on the dance team in high school (it was like being a Laker girl, but with more clothes).

Your last book that you wrote “An Heiress to Hire” was so funny, I was wondering were do you get your ideas from? – Danielle

My ideas tend to come from characters. I had written both Danny and Amanda into A Date With The Other Side with no intention of giving them their own story, but they both just leaped off the page for me. So once I have a character and want to do something with them, I play the What If? game. What If Amanda had to stay in town? What If Danny had a daughter he didn’t know about? And the idea grows from there.

What is one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you? – Jenny

That I’m not funny at all in person. 😀 Thanks for such great questions!! I had a lot of fun answering them.
Erin

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Blogger is apparently having PMS or something because every time I try to upload a picture, it times out on me. Finally got one up, although it’s not JR’s latest book. Ah well… it’s still an awesome cover.
Vamps and Scamps will be doing author interviews with various authors~some of the future victims include Lora Leigh, Sylvia Day, Toni Blake, & Erin McCarthy.
Today, the victim is JR Ward and JR has kindly agreed to give away a signed copy of Lover Eternal to some lucky poster. Yes… to win, you have to post.
Dark Lover, the first of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, appeared on shelves last fall and many, many paranormal fans fell in love.
With the author interviews we are doing, we are letting the readers ask the questions. For a week, readers are given the chance to post their questions to the yahoo group associated with the blog, ScampsVamps& SpicyRomance.
The readers who ask questions may be entered in a drawing for a prize, but that prize is only available to the participators, so if you want to increase your chances of winning, just visit the group’s home page or send an email to
And onto the interview…
1) Will there ever be any female warriors in this series?Or will they all stay male?

Absolutely. There is a female named Payne whom you’ll meet soon and she is… VERY cool. I like her and I believe I know who she ends up with. And the thing is, with a female coming into the Brotherhood, you’re going to see a lot of the essential social values of the race get skewed. Males are supposed to protect their counterparts. But Payne is not in need of protection. She’s going to shake up the scene, but in a good way. She’s also not one of those annoying, brash, in your face types. She is power. She is strength. She is as up front and direct as any male warrior so she doesn’t need theatrics. She just levels her weapon and gives you a choice: you either do it her way or you end up with a leaky hole. I like her because she’s really an amalgam of male and female characteristics…

Can you tell I’m into her? 😉

~*~

2)Which authors do you think influenced you most in the writer you became?

Ummmm… Stephen King for the horror aspect and the world building. He’s fabulous, a true genius. And I like his stripped down style of prose. Suzanne Brockmann for the romance. She’s incredible… she can create emotion in a reader in like, two sentences. I also like her style, very mainstream. Sue Grafton for craft. She has a great command of story fundamentals and she’s helped me a lot. She’s also very disciplined both in her prose and in her approach to business, so yeah, definitely Sue. Plus I dig her books. My CP, Jessica Andersen, without whom, I think I might be behind bars for a heinous crime against an inanimate object (the compy). Jess also has a great line by line, cleanliness to her work and she’s wonderful at suspense. And then I think of my friends… because other writers can influence not just what you put on the page but how you deal with this business of ours. So… Linda Francis Lee and Gaelen Foley and Tina St. John and Shi and Lora Leigh and I’m sure I’m leaving folks out. You need people to talk to, you know?
~*~
3)Who is your favorite brother and why?

Zsadist. Definitely. Without a doubt. He is violent and unpredictable and dangerous. He’s also… awkward and not a total savage. I like the darkness in him because it makes his redemption so much more vivid and engrossing. But I will say, that this dark side of his is grounded in what has happened to him- there’s a reason for why he is the way he is. I wouldn’t be in love with him if he were just a bastard. The fact that he’s suffered is the way I connect with him.

~*~
4) If your life had a theme song, what would it be and why?

Queen’s Under Pressure. Because I’m usually stressed out and over-focused and feeling like I wish I were doing things better.

~*~
5)If you were to describe each of the brothers as an ice-cream flavor,what would it be and why?

Ummmm… I can’t! I just don’t and can’t see them like that! LOLOL So much for the writer’s imagination… *hangs head in shame* See? This is my point about the song choice. I can’t answer this question and I think I failed the interview!
~*~
I don’t think you can fail this kind of interview, JR. 😉 Although I was wondering who was going to be Rocky Road. *G*
Okay…floor is open for comments and JR will pop in later if anybody has other questions.
You can learn more about the books at www.jrward.com and she has a reader group @
I’ll be posting who the next author interview is here in a few days, so if you want to get your shot at asking the questions, join the group!
Shi

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