...and now for something a little different...
I had the pleasure of interviewing fellow blogger Joann. Grab your favorite snack and dig in.
SS: Tell me a little about yourself. How long have you been writing?
JHS: First, I’d like to say thanks for having me and I know we’ll have a good time.
My first writing project was a greeting card for my parents. My sisters made out on that deal – they never bought another card! I made them all, and loved it. *grins* My mom would read them aloud, over and over. She was so supportive, she always gave me her books when she finished reading. I did a book report in the 6th grade on East of Eden that caused quite a stir. Seems a girl my age wasn’t supposed to be reading such ‘literature’ As for major event…hmmm, had to be Atlas Shrugged. Wow! Was I hooked on what I thought was a romance. You know it wasn’t until a few years ago I read it was also considered a Science Fiction story. What a surprise that was for me. But the love of my life for years was John Galt. Still is. No one will ever measure up to him.
SS: What is your favorite genre to write?
JHS: Paranormal. My favorite genre mixed with erotic. I’ve tried my hand at a few contemporary and I like them, but nothing like the vampyres and the shifters. They are so dang exciting to me. There are so many things you can do with them as far as story line and character. I have a ball pushing the envelope. Like with my Kind. They’re cats infected with vampyre blood. Some of them refuse to recognize the gift of vampyrism, some embrace it wholeheartedly. So I’ve ended up with two factions that are so different. They are a lot of fun to write.
SS: Is it difficult for you to get into the writing mood?
JHS: I think I’m always in writing mode LOL. Really though, not hard at all. I get up early, feed the cats, put coffee on and start wading through emails so I can hurry up and get to the writing part. I don’t often let something pull me from it. Edits will, occasionally my sisters make me get away from my house, otherwise, the ‘mode’ is on.
SS: Where do you do your best work?
JHS: I’ve got a bar-height table with my laptop, printer and my CDs. Usually my calico lady, Patches, sits in my lap and my big boy, Grey, sits at the bottom of my chair and sleeps while I work. My other two cats are more outgoing and surf the neighborhood seeing what they can get into. The CDs are whatever music I’m listening to at the moment and that depends on what I’m writing. If it’s a sex scene, you can bet Tango of some sort, by somebody, is playing. Since I write erotic stories, that’s often. I’m chuckling to myself because my baby sister, Barbara, who is such a rock in my life, comes in and hears the music. If it’s tango, she’ll say “I’ll come back.” I laugh, but she can pretty well tell what kind of scene I’m on because of the music. In my house there is always music playing when I’m writing. Otherwise, I’m watching TV or reading.
SS: Did any one person influence your writing style?
JHS: I’m not so sure. I’d love to say Ayn Rand but there’s nothing philosophical about my stories unless you count the fact that I bash humans for their treatment of animals. Jeez, I guess in some way I’m making a statement there about the human condition and what they’ve done with all God’s creatures. Kerrelyn Sparks – I love her comedic ability but my guys usually come off more sarcastic. If I could write half as good these two ladies, I’d be ecstatic because to me they are both awesome. So, there you have it: Ayn Rand and Kerrelyn Sparks have both influenced me tremendously.
SS: How do you find ideas for your books?
JHS: Gosh, everywhere. I tell all my friends be careful, I’ll use that. *smiles* Really, I’m always finding stuff in the weirdest places. A cookout, talking to a stranger in line at the grocery store and they say something that turns on my ‘idea’ switch. And once that’s on, I’m done. I start digging for a scrap of paper, my phone to record a message about the latest idea. It’s crazy! Some nights I wake up and reach for a tablet I keep beside me. My last idea came from watching ballroom dancing – Rhythm of Love was born, and my editor at Ellora’s Cave liked it for the Dance of Desire Theme. Everywhere, I find ideas everywhere.
SS: So, tell me about your new book.
JHS: Hot Tin Roof – It’s being released by Changeling Press August 28th .and is, in fact a companion piece to With Extra Cream. I love the title and yes, I was thinking about Liz and Paul in the movie based on Tennessee Williams’ book. They were hot! My characters are hot too. Leron is a jaguar infected with vamp blood and he uses his abilities to his advantage. He’s kind of broody. Cory is running from an overbearing father and other indiscretions - she shot someone. When the two of them come together, the sparks fly.
SS: How did the inspiration for this work come to you?
JHS: Basically, after writing Jag’s story and mating him to Barbara, I felt sorry for Leron and his being without his partner. Do not laugh at me. After I finish a book, the characters stay with me. They’re a part of me and I feel like their life goes on and I hear them talking away in my head. Leron got very loud about wanting his own story, so, Hot Tin Roof was born. You’ll have to read it to see who’s screaming for attention now. *grins*
SS: You have several books out. Do you have a favorite?
JHS: Oh, my favorite hasn’t been published yet, but it’s contracted to Ellora’s Cave. It’s Hope in Love. The story is about an archangel sent to earth to put man back on the path to righteousness. Why? Ramiel is HOT, and sexy. Lord, I’d love to be Yael, the heroine in that story. I think quite a bit of me sneaked into her character.
Hmm, but my favorite could be Leron who doesn’t take no for an answer. Or Jag who is just so playful, and sexy too. Wait, it might be Purple P. Rose. She’s one kick ass lady. Some of me in there too. Lordy, I love ‘em all, Sandi! My fav, fav is still in my head, quiet and deadly, which is why I love him so much, but he’ll be let out soon. This guy will be the best of the best. Yes, he drinks blood, yes he’s a cat and yes there’s another animal involved in his makeup. That’s all I’ll say about him.
SS: You’ve just sold another book. Dish the details.
JHS: Well, just sold the 7th and 8th and I talked about one in favorite characters. It’s the archangel series I just contracted to Ellora’s Cave. Ramiel’s story, Hope in Love, will be first in the series. The 8th sold, Rhythm Of Love, was just contracted for Ellora’s Dance of Desire theme coming in February. No solid release dates for either yet, but as soon as I know, I’ll let you know.
SS: What do you love about your editor and/or publishers?
JHS: I’ve got 3 editors and publishers. I have been so lucky in getting the best. Eirelander Publishing was the first I contracted with and had no idea what to expect. My editor over there is super. The lady taught me things I’d never heard about. Changeling Press, my second editor and publishing company gave me the same good treatment. She took time with me and helped me understand so much. My editor at Ellora’s Cave has been awesome, just so helpful every step of the way. Between the three, I’ve grown in leaps and bounds. They’ve each given me something that I’ll carry with me always – excellence. And I hope each one can tolerate me, LOL, because I intend to be around for awhile.
SS: If you could interview any of the characters in your books, which one would it be, and why? What shocking thing might that character say?
JHS: Actually, I let two of my favorite characters take over my blog. Jag and Leron. Needless to say, there was a brawl of epic proportions LOL. Who would I like to interview? Phoenix. He doesn’t say much, he’s more of an action guy. He appeared briefly in With Extra Cream. What shocking thing would he say? Most of what Phoenix says couldn’t be printed here. Ahh, there is one line I can think of: “If you even breathe the air she expels, I’ll smell it on you. Start moving *expletive*.” He’s rather possessive, meaner than Satan himself, whom he knows personally. And, dayam! the sexiest thing walking this earth and beyond. That’s my opinion. I’m 40K+ into his story. It’s my favorite and I’m treating him like the ‘favored’ son. He’ll be perfect when I let him out.
SS: Thanks Joann, for taking the time to drop in for an awesome interview. Kids, here's the blurb for Hot Tin Roof:
Leron Wilder feels like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Nothing has gone right since his best friend mated. Not something Leron looks forward to. He loves his freedom. But his life is out of sync. Stuck training a new cat who's a badass wannabe, he stops by the Coffee Swirl to talk with his ex-partner. The minute he licks the new waitress, his life goes to hell.
Corinne Nelson is on the run. She likes her new home and her job. She hopes she won't be found again. Life's looking up until the hottest man ever licks her hand.
You can be purchase this book at: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1221
Readers can find Joann at http://www.jhalisteele.com or www.sovereignkind.com
Also here on Fridays: http://www.paranormalromantics.blogspot.com and monthly at http://www.trampyvamps.com
Or, look her up on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/purpleprose
Sandi, thank you for having me in, it was fun. I enjoyed sharing some of myself with the readers.