J.R. Ward

Read more about J.R. Ward.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: September 01, 2005

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Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you are up to.

Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you are up to.

To be honest, I'm not really that interesting! J I'm first and foremost a writer which means that the stories in my head and the characters that wake me up at night are the most vivid thing about me, at least in my opinion. Other than that I'm a wife, a daughter, and the proud owner (mother?) of a golden retriever. I'm also an athlete and an antique collector.

Can you tell our readers about your new vampire series - The Black Dagger Brotherhood?

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a secret society of warrior vampires that protect their species against their enemies, the Lessening Society. The books are erotic romances set within a dark paranormal world.

I've recently read your book Dark Lover. I loved the book and I'm looking forward to this being a series. Can you tell us about the next books in the series and when you expect they will come out?

Thanks! LOVER ETERNAL, Rhage's story, is coming out in March, 2006 with Zsadist's book scheduled for September, 2006. There are a total of ten books in my head at this point. If I'm lucky, I'll get to write them all!

Where did you come up with the idea for the Black Dagger Brotherhood? What was your trigger?

This might sound really odd, but they found me. Here's how it happened: I was in a book store and saw these paranormals on a display and thought... huh, you don't suppose someone would actually be open to a romance where the vampire is the hero? I've always been a huge vampire fan, but have been frustrated that they always had to be the bad guys. I was at a point with my writing where I was looking for a change so I went home and stared at the screen. I thought, okay, there's a high probability that no one is going to publish this so I'm just going to write the book the way I see it, no matter how outrageous it turns out.

Well, the Brotherhood just came slamming through my head and onto the page. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't think about anything else. The first three books just came to me bang, bang, bang. The world was fully formed, it just revealed itself. The characters were the same way. It was just really... weird the way it happened.

Each of your characters has a strong personality - Can you tell us about each of these really cute bad boys?

I am always happy to talk about the brothers! There are currently six warrior vampires in the Brotherhood currently and they include:

Wrath: the last purebred vampire on the planet and the vampire race's king. Essentially blind, he is the leader who is not willing to lead until he is forced to care for a half-breed he falls in love with.

Rhage: the strongest of the brothers and the best fighter. Cursed by the ScribeVirgin, he is possessed by a dark side which is a danger to everyone. Ultimately, though, he is gentled by a very special human woman.

Zsadist: the most lethal of the brothers. A former blood slave who was mercilessly tortured during the first hundred years of his life, Z is the one who has fallen farthest from grace. But he is utterly worthy of redemption.

Phury: the loyal one, the one who sacrifices himself for others. Phury is Zsadist's twin brother and a celibate who cannot truly live because of everything his biological brother has lost. Used to giving rather than receiving, he needs love coming back at him to bring him alive.

Vishous: the most intelligent and the one who is specially gifted. His curse is his ability to prognosticate: he sees the future, though not the 'when' of events so he is tortured by his inability to save those he loves from danger. His love puts him at odds with a secret about himself he did not know and could never have guessed.

Tohrment: the steady one, the calm one. He is the one whose betrayal by fate will cut the deepest.

How did you decided how many men would complete your brotherhood? How did you decide how each of them would interact with each other?

Again, they told me who they were and what their personalities were like. I didn't construct them with rules in mind or something. They just popped up and said. alright woman, here I am, this is my deal, these are my strengths, my weaknesses, my curse. As for the way they interact, they do what they want, I have no little or no control over them.

How did you go from a law degree and working in a hospital to having a career in romance writing?

I was a writer before I was lawyer in the sense that I've always had stories in my head and wanted to get them on the page. After I started working as a lawyer, writing was a good break, a way to unwind. My husband and my mother always encouraged me to send something in to an agent or a publisher, but I thought they were nuts. One day, I'm not even sure what made me do it, I sent some material off in the mail. I got an agent and I was kind of off and rolling. I did both the corporate law thing and the writing for a number of years and now I'm doing the writing full time.

Is writing your main career or is it a side project?

It's my career. I'm still admitted to practice in two states, but I really love what I'm doing now and hope that I'll be lucky enough to keep it up for a very long time.

I've been viewing you website http://www.jrward.com - Can you tell us about your website and what we can expect to see on your website in the coming months. Excerpts - interviews - helpful writing tips - etc.

With the publication of every book, there will be a new set of interviews with the old ones archived so folks can measure the change of the brothers over the course of the series. I'm also going to start posting diary entries, kind of like a blog but not every day. I'm also hoping to find some time to write short stories about the brothers which will be posted only on the website. And at some point, I'll add message boards.

What advice would you give our readers about writing a romance book?

I encourage them to start one today! And if they're in the middle of one- they should finish it! There's nothing better for a writer than sitting in front of a computer and just giving a story room to breathe. I wrote many, many partials and complete manuscripts before I was published, and with each one I attempted, I learned and refined my craft.

My other piece of advice for folks is to consider joining the Romance Writers of America. RWA offers great resources for writers and I've met almost all of my writer friends through the organization.

Where do you get your ideas and how much research do you do?

As I intimated, I have no idea where my ideas about the brothers come from. They just appear. As for the research, I usually start by reading about the subject and then cast a net over friends and family to try and find someone with direct, relevant experience. It's great to find books and internet resources on a subject, but nothing beats someone with a personal perspective.

Do you have any plans for other romance books - series - etc? Do you have anything in the works?

Right now, the Brotherhood is my obsession. There are many books in my head that feature the brothers and characters who you meet along the way. I am, however, also writing contemporary romances under Jessica Bird (www.jessicabird.com ). The two sub-genres compliment each other well because they are so different.

I'm sure there are many more questions that I could ask. What would you like to tell our readers?

Please continue to support romance and women's fiction! J Thanks again for letting me interview you. After reading your first book I'm ready for the second, the third, etc. etc.

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