Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I'm a gorgeous blonde, 5 foot 11, receives gifts daily from Adrian Paul, Sean Connery (he's so sweet!), and Jet Li. My children are going to save the planet and cure cancer respectively. And.hm??? Oh you meant the REAL me? You want to know I'm a dumpy looking half Chinese with two teenage daughters that can't manage to pick up their laundry? Why ever would you want to know THAT????
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Xiao Fei from Seduced by Crimson. That's my contemporary paranormal story that's from the Crimson City anthology. Xiao Fei has magic blood that can cure people if she bleeds on them. Yes, yes, I know. Her greatest threat to someone is that if they beat her up she'll bleed on them. Well, sure, she's got some kick-ass martial arts moves, can shoot a gun when needed, but mostly the planet needs her to restore some balance to the planetary energies, to heal where needed, and to love. Mostly, yeah, in my mind, it's to bring love and health to the world Plus, since her unique blood characteristics are hereditary, her children will also be highly valuable to the world. And right now, like I said, my teens' greatest contribution to the world is that they love their cats. Hopefully that will change one day. One day really, really soon. My critique partner points out that they also do vast amounts to support the teen fashion and cosmetic industry.
What's your favorite genre to read?
I read all across the board. Right now I'm on a paranormal romance kick. Specifically light, funny urban fantasy romance. But soon, I'll hop back to historicals-regency and victcorian. Have also been doing contemporary sexy-Blazes and some Mira books.
Who or what influences you when you write?
Can't write without being a awake. If I drink enough, I can sometimes induce a
jittery hallucination which may or may not pertain to my book, but usually that
doesn't happen unless I use an IV straight into my bloodstream.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Get out of bed and slam back a latte. Isn't that enough? Oh well, then I meet a friend - Elizabeth Hoyt, the aforementioned critique partner-at a coffee shop where we.um.discuss relevant changes in our industry (gossip) and drink coffee, eat calories, and discuss the key decisions in our lives (how we aren't going to kill our teenagers or husbands), and then we open our laptops and begin typing right away (on our e-mail). Somehow, eventually, the stories get written. I'd tell you how, but it's usually part of the aforementioned caffeine high.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
Hallucinogens. No actually, like I said earlier, I start with copious amounts of caffeine. If that doesn't work, I go rollerblading. If that doesn't' work, I play A LOT of computer games.which never works, but maybe some day it will. In the end, I just have to sit down and gut my way through it. And then, after a lot of revision time, I wake up one morning (okay, my husband prods me until I groggily open my eyes) and I realize I've been writing for a while now and it's okay.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I've got a ton coming out next year. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but there you go. I have an Extreme Blaze coming out in Jan called THE TAO OF SEX. It's light, it's funny, and it's very sexy. The tigress series pulled contemporary, and guess what? I get to use my contemporary voice which.as you can tell from this interview.is..um.highly serious and professional.NOT!
Then, I'm really excited because my fantasy romance - DRAGONBORN - is coming out in March. It's a straight fantasy world, but it's got romance, adventure, sex, dragons, and sex, and lots and lots of fun! The heroine is incubating a dragon egg in order to overthrow the evil emperor. The hero is the greatest dragon hunter/killer alive, and he has got to find the last egg and kill it along with the human who has bonded with it. Yes, hero hell bent on killing the heroine. And about halfway through, he has the horrible realization that he likes her. Oh crap! Worse, it might be more than like, which means he's really, really screwed. I just LOVE this book!
Then in September and December I'll release the first two books of a new regency era historical series. Think Jet Li in the ballrooms. Cool, huh?
Please tell us what you have planned next?
Caffeine! Lots and lots of it! Right now I'm revising and polishing the Tao of Sex and Dragonborn. Both need to be perfect before I let them out into the world. Which, of course, means I need another latte, right?
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? In general and in you're writing career.
In Adrian Paul's arms? A jittery caffeine junky who can barely type because her hands spasm too much? Oh wait.I know.Hugh Jackman is serving me coffee while offering to be my love slave. Oh yes!!!!! Excuse me, I'm having a fantasy moment. Okay, I'm back. Happy sigh. Where were we? Oh yes, my writing career in 5 years. Still writing. Still selling. Honestly, I've aimed at lists, I've obsessed over numbers and sales and what will hit in the market better. At this point.I just want to be writing what I love to write and selling well enough to get the teenagers out of my house and in college.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Any man who pays for my coffee. Honestly, my husband is the best ever. He doesn't look the part. That's what an imagination is for-putting Jet Li's body on my sweet, wonderful husband. Dave loves me through my neurotic moments (which, let's face it, is most of my life), he helps me contain the teenagers, will pay for my coffee, and will send the teens to college. What more could a woman ask?
What do you do for inspiration?
TV. Books. Naps. Caffeine. Rollerblading. Truthfully, getting ideas is not a problem. It's that execution thing. For some reason, nobody wants to pay me for stuff hanging out in the empty space between my ears. They actually want to have a written story. Go figure. I have to write that stuff down. Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I have a contemporary ghost story that is just DYING to get out. Haven't had a moment to write it yet. It's a romance, it's funny, and I sooooo want to write it! What type of book have you always wanted to write?
Fantasy romance. And finally, with Dragonborn, I have!!!! Yippee!!! What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
To all of you out there who say you get lost in the research.e-mail me and I'll hire you to do it for me. Okay, maybe not since I still have to get college tuition money together to get my teens out of my house. I do research in short bursts. I've got books, wander the internet, but mostly, I do it for specific moments in my story. One day I'm going to write a book set in the Forbidden City. I've been there (and yes, TRAVEL is the only research "tool" I love) but I've got to do more than just visit to pull off a romance inside the FC. One day. Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I have to have deadlines or I'll watch tv, read books, and stare at my toes all day long. If I'm not under deadline (which hasn't happened in some years), then I create them for myself. Otherwise, honestly, I'd never get anything done except get really, really good at playing Zuma.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I failed miserably at being a screenwriter. I started out in film, actually have a Masters in Professional Writing from USC, with my focus in screenwriting. But then we moved to central Illinois, I started having kids, and for some reason, my film opportunities just dried up. Hmmm, go figure. It couldn't possibly be that I was MILES away from any film industry? So.I switched to novels which is where I really learned my craft. It's actually harder, IMO, to write short and abbreviated. So it wasn't until I wrote a few novels that I realized how little I'd understood about the writing process. I didn't know then that no one-not even the most successful writers-really understands the writing process. We all have our secret weapons, our magic dances and elixirs, but in the end, the human creative process is magic. Hence my daily offering of caffeine to the muse. My muse also likes chocolate and cheesecake.
Did that answer the question? Oh wait.you wanted to know what encouraged me to take the big submission step. Guilt. I'd been NOT getting a job because I was WRITING. So.um.gotta submit or go apply at McDonalds. So.I submitted. And submitted. And submitted. Eventually, I got my first yes! What would you like to tell your readers?
E-mail me. Seriously. firstname.lastname@example.org I want to know what you think of my books even if you hate them. I'm not writing for my own entertainment. Well, actually I am, but also for yours. If I don't know what you want.how can I deliver it? What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
ABCD. Apply Butt to Chair Daily. BTTTH! Apparently, writing has to be a daily habit. That includes weekends, btw. At least for me, a little writing every day. Or, as is more often the case, a LOT of writing because you're on deadline, moron. Get your ass in gear. As in NOW!!!! Yes, that is the little pep talk I give myself every day. It really is. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
OUTLINE. MANY MANY OUTLINES. And then.um.I start writing and invariably wander off the path. So I RE-OUTLINE. And um.within about 3 chapters, I've wandered away again. Fortunately, I know the big high points in every book and will eventually get there. Just on a new and special route from how I usually plan. Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
Elizabeth Hoyt and I share/critique each other's pages. After the hysterical laughing is over, we actually help each other. I also get a lot of help from my best friend, Cindy Dees. She's a plotter. She is actually quite Machiavellian in her thought process. She helps me find plot twists where I had only.um.a blank page. Thank God for Cindy! (And read her books too, they're awesome!) What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first book Oracle was a futuristic romance that came out from a small press before futuristics existed. It make quite the news inside the industry. Then, I switched to a major press-Leisure Books (Dorchester publishing)-and have loved it there ever since. My first books were light historical romances in the regency era under the name Katherine Greyle. But then the dark sensual Asian thing happened as Jade Lee, and that's where my writing has flourished. What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
My website has basic information. The book store has my books! Beyond that, just e-mail me. I'll talk to you. Honest!
Thank you for this opportunity!