Author Interviews

Ever wanted to ask an author questions about their books, where the inspiration came from, what they like to read, who they fangirl over, where they want to travel to? I know I have, I hope you enjoy these chats with some of my favourite authors...


Carmen Jenner

1. I know the week before release is always crazy so thanks for taking time out to answer a few questions for me.  You’ve had a lot of a careers over the years, from make up artist to singer – what made you venture in writing?

I've been writing on and off since I was a kid. In high school I used to write erotic short stories for my friends, as well as poetry. As an adult I turned to songwriting. I used to keep these big A4 workbooks that were full of every random, rambling thought I had while riding on public transport. After I had my daughter seven years ago I was really isolated and struggling with the "stay home mum" thing. I would devour books and talk my non-husband's ear off when he came home. I remember reading twilight and being devastated when the series ended, but I was sad because I'd also wanted more. I'd wanted a darker Twilight. I'd wanted a gritter version, with blood and guts and an even more broken Edward. My partner suggested I write my own, so I did. It was terrible, but it was the spark I needed to reignite my passion for the written word.

2. What’s your favourite thing to write? What kind of scene can you lose yourself in?

Anything gritty. If you've read my books you'll know that I love me some angst. I love twisted and tortured characters, I love blood and guts and violence, I love writing no holds barred sex scenes, and I adore writing scenes that rip your heart right out of your chest, throw it on the ground, stomp it into an unrecognizable pulp and then hand it back to you. Oddly enough, I'm also a big fan of slapstick humour and witty banter. I guess I like writing it all. Jeez, Carmen, pick a favourite already. ;)

3. You’ve written about blood thirsty bikers, feisty redheads, cutters, sexy country boys, firemen and foul mouthed rockers, what’s next for Carmen Jenner?

Well there's definitely more blood thirsty bikers and foul mouthed rockers on the way. I have another four books in the Savage Saints MC series planned and and three more books planned for my new rock star series,Taint. I'd like to shake things up little before that's all done though. I have a YA Paranormal Romance series that I'd begun way before Sugartown, that I'd like to get back to working on someday soon, and we may see a little erotica action in the not too distant future too.

4. You’ve amassed quite a few signings under your belt in the last 2 years, what draws you to events like these?

I just love to get out and meet the readers. There's nothing quite like knowing that your words connect with someone on some level, even if it's just from an entertainment perspective. Getting to meet the people who read my books face to face is a crazy mad rush. Plus the exotic locales are always fun. I'm headed to Hawaii later this year and then Melbourne, Birmingham and Dublin in 2016. Hopefully I can squeeze in a few more Aussie signings in that time too.

5. Cowritten books have become all the rage, is it something you would consider, and who would be your ultimate writing partner?

Yeah they're crazy big and great if you find an author whose writing style matches your own the end result can be amazing. My ultimate writing partner would probably be Anne Rice, though I'd likely just be sitting beside her gawking in awe and too afraid to type anything because I'm afraid it might pale in comparison. Realistically though, I'd have to have a writing partner who wasn't afraid of pushing the envelope and someone who shared my whacked-out sense of humour.

6. Before becoming an author you were a singer in a band… soooo give me the good stuff… how much of revelry was art imitating life ;)

Um ... no comment? :P I've been in a lot of duos over the years, but nothing quite compared to the dynamic we had in Blow. When you're the only girl in a band of five boys things are bound to get ... interesting. The characters in REVELRY are very different from my old band mates, but there's a lot of their personality traits in my Taint boys. Sadly, there were no circle jerks in our history though given time I guess anything might have been possible.

7. So lets get to the most important question…. Fave lipstick colour?

Don't make me choose! *stamps foot* Okay, It's a tie between Damn Glamorous and Flat Out Fabulous, both by MAC. I'm usually happy with any blue-based red by MAC though. I have about one hundred of them.

8. You’re stranded on an island… what 3 items are in your bag?

A picture of my kids, red lipstick, because ... duh! I never leave home without it, and my James Deen vibrating dildo, because ... well, it's pretty self explanatory, but also that thing is weighty. If thrown correctly, you could totally knock someone out with that shit. If some random creepy bug-eyed dude showed up out of nowhere like on Lost, I'd want something ridiculously weighty to throw at him.

9. You thanked the King himself James Deen in your acknowledgments in Revelry… we both share a fascination his…body of work shall we say…you see him walking down the street…what do you say to him??

​Sign my dildo? No, just kidding, ​I'd more than likely fan girl his arse and kiss him for the hours of inspiration he gives me for my sex scenes. Then I'd likely back away slowly because I'm completely socially awkward. Yeah, you can't tell from this interview, but I'm a complete freak.

LH Cosway

1. Was writing something you always wanted to do?

No, actually, I wanted to be many other things before I fell into writing. I started writing properly in my early twenties and my love for it grew from there.

2. How did the idea for Painted Faces and subsequently Killer Queen come to you?

I’ve always been strangely obsessed with androgynous characters, men who look like women and women who look like men. I also wanted to tell the kind of love story that hasn’t been told before, and that’s where Painted Faces came from. Originally, I had never planned to write a follow up story, but I get the most emails from people wanting to hear more from Fred & Viv, so when I was approached to write a novella for an anthology, I thought they were who I’d write about. Then the story just kept growing bigger and bigger until it wasn’t going to fit with an anthology anymore and became a standalone novel.

3. How did you come up with the names Freda & Nicholas and his alter ego Viv? Did the characters literally stampede their way into your mind?

Character names come to me literally in an instant. There’s not a lot of thinking that goes into it. It was only after I came up with them that I realised Fred was a boy’s name, which complemented Nicholas and his gender bending nature. Vivica was an easy choice. She’s a glamorous persona and that’s always felt like the ultimate glam name to me.

4. Which character came to you first in this story? Who's voice was the first you heard wanting you to tell their story?

Definitely Fred’s. The first day I sat down to write the story, I literally sat by my laptop all day and wrote 10k words. Her character just came pouring out of me and that’s never happened in quite the same way with any of my other heroines.

5. Most recently you've had Six of Hearts, and now Killer Queen, what else is on the horizon for you?

At the moment I’m writing a romantic comedy with Penny Reid. It’s called The Hooker & the Hermit and is set in New York. After that I’ll be writing a Six of Hearts spin-off set in a travelling circus, so watch out for that one.

6. You've got a following here in Australia, any plans to make it Down Under for a signing at any stage.
No immediate plans, but I would LOVE to go! It’s all about having the time and the resources to make the trip, but I’m definitely open to the idea for the future.

7. You've addressed some really heavy topics with such sensitivity, do you feel like there's pressure on you when writing those scenes?
Yes, definitely. When I was writing the scene in Painted Faces where Nicholas reveals the abuse he suffered in the past to Freda, I spent a lot of time trying to get it just right. I wanted to make it clear how his experience had shaped him to be who he is now and why he does what he does.

8. If you weren't writing what else would you be doing?

I’d probably be editing other people’s books for them, or something else within the publishing industry. Or a striptease artist. You know, the usual.

9. Ultimate holiday destinations - if money and time were no object - what would be your ultimate travel destination?
There’s this island in Normandy in France called Mont Saint-Michel where I’ve always planned on visiting. In fact, it’s probably going to be next year’s holiday destination. Look up the pictures, it’s just magical. I’d also love to go on a cruise of the Norwegian fjords.

10. If you could sit down and chat about books with any author living it dead - who would you choose?
I’d choose Ezra Pound. He’s one of my favourite poets and if you look at the younger pictures, was actually kind of sexy (if you’re into moustaches.) He also had this really pretentious hairdo which makes me imagine him as the hipster of his day.

K. Bromberg

1. Was writing something you always wanted to do?

Writing is something I’ve always done, but it’s not something I expected to do as a career. Writing is how I’ve always expressed myself best and sure, I’ve started and stopped numerous stories during my life but I haven’t seriously applied myself to writing until June 2012 when I started outlining the trilogy on a whim.
2. How did the idea for the Driven series come up you?

I can’t really tell you to be honest because it was just there….swimming around in my head so I decided to write it down and see where it took me…and here I am on this crazy ride.
3. How did you come up with the names Colton and Rylee? Did the characters literally stampede their way into your mind?

Colton and Rylee were the (2) names for my son and daughter that were front runners but that we didn’t use. My husband didn’t like Rylee and Colton was very close to being my son’s name.

The characters formed in my mind and the more I thought about them, the more I couldn’t get them out. When writing three books, you live with the characters for quite a while so I still see things and think ‘oh that’s so Colton’ or ‘I can see Rylee saying that’ … So I think the longer I outlined, the more ingrained they became so now they are almost like family members….only they live in my head. ☺

4. Which character came to you first? Who's voice was the first you heard wanting you to tell their story?
I heard both of them. There was never one without the other. Colton was probably the loudest because he was the most damaged with the most to say but Rylee wasn’t exactly a wallflower either. I think Colton had the strongest presence while Ry was more subtle…but that’s their natures so it makes sense.

5. You have Raced and Slow Burn up next, what else is on the horizon for you?

Yes. Raced releases September 15th and Slow Burn (Becks and Haddie’s story) releases March 3rd. I have one additional self-published Driven novella planned (touching on something in the 10 year gap between Crashed’s last chapter and the epilogue) as well as I’ve just started writing my second book in my deal with Penguin books, titled Sweet Ache (about Quinlan (Colton’s sister) and rocker Hawkin Play). It will be released June 2015. And of course I have a few other ideas in the works as well.

6. You have such as huge following in Australia, we would love to see you out here - any plans to make it down under for a signing?
I would love to come visit everyone in Australia. Here’s the thing, I don’t do a lot of signings. I have three young children (4, 5, and 8) and it’s hard to leave for long bouts of time (even for 3-4 days at a time) for signings. I have been invited to a lot of signings in the next two years and I’m trying to make sure that I hit the UK and Australia in my travels. I really want to see and meet you all so I promise I will….

7. You've addressed some really heavy topics with such sensitivity, do you feel like there's pressure on you when writing those scenes?
I always fear how those scenes are going to be taken because while I do address them with sensitivity, I also don’t sugar coat them in the least. There is a scene in Crashed (at the track where Colton tells of his past) that is raw and gritty and uncomfortable. Because Colton is speaking I use adjectives and words a guy would – and they’re not always pretty…and I did fear that readers might be a little taken back by it…but I think that’s important. I also think it’s important that readers feel what the characters feel and in order to do that you need them to step in your characters’ shoes…if you don’t, then the journey of the reader feeling the character overcome an obstacle isn’t as profound.

There is this preconception that erotic romance novels have to be 100% about sex, sex, sex…and while my books do have explicit scenes, I also feel that a story is way more important than the heat factor. A good story creates good chemistry which creates the steamy stuff. I feel that even though I’m descriptive in the telling of my sex scenes, it’s important to have at least one thing that is relatable, that is super realistic, that grounds both the reader and the characters and ties them to the story. I want readers to walk away with something that resonates with them weeks later besides the memory of a hot sex scene….so no, I don’t shy away from serious issues despite the genre I write.

I address abuse and miscarriage in the Driven series and in Slow Burn I address another big issue that will resonate possibly more so with readers.

8. If you weren't writing what else would you be doing?

Getting a lot more sleep. Ha. It’s true but seriously, I’d be working. In February, I quit my job as a bookkeeper so I would probably still be there. It was a great job for me because it allowed me a lot of flexibility having little ones and so it was hard to leave and take that leap into writing ‘author’ under job description on applications.

9. Ultimate holiday destinations - if money and time were no object - what would be your ultimate travel destination? 
Hm. That’s a hard one because there are so many places I’d love to visit. I’ve always been drawn to Ireland for some reason so I’d say the UK. I’d love to visit your country and New Zealand. Fiji. The Seychelles. Greece. Can I keep going?

10. If you could sit down and chat about books with any author living or dead - who would you choose?
If I could chat books with any author…wow, that’s a hard one. There are way too many authors whose brains I’d want to pick so I’m going to take the easy way out and say that there isn’t one. ☺

Leisa Rayven

Kristine: Firstly I want to thank you for taking time out to answer these questions for Glass Paper Ink Leisa, how are you feeling with Wicked Heart hitting e-readers and bookshelves worldwide?
Leisa: Well, every time I have a new book coming out, I feel like a new parent. Authors have a habit of referring to their novels as 'book babies' and that's exactly how it feels. It's like you gestate the story for ages, and then you write and rewrite and pour your heart and soul onto the pages, then finally, you give birth to the finished version of your world and your characters, and you hold up your new baby for the whole world to see. And you desperately want the rest of the world to love your words as much as you do and tell you its pretty. So yeah, I'm excited and nervous. I hope readers like it.

K: Ethan Holt is such a beloved hero, how do you think fans will react to Liam Quinn? 

L: You know, I was sooooo nervous about that when I started sending Wicked Heart to pre-readers. Readers were so passionate about Ethan, and he has such a huge evolution during Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet, that I wasn't sure how readers would respond to Liam, considering he's a much simpler man who isn't tortured by all of Ethan's issues and insecurities. To my great relief, the reaction to Liam has been staggeringly positive. He's a man who knows what he wants and is confident enough to go after it, one hundred percent. In fact readers have been loving him so much he has his own hashtag on social media - #LiamFuckingQuinn. Also, one well-known book blogger (who you may know) started the hashtag #EthanWho. It makes me laugh.

K: Contemporary romance heroes quite often tend to fall into the bad boy/man-whore category, coming off as the stereotype, Ethan, Connor, Liam and Josh all are such multilayered characters, they aren't just one part of their personalities nor are they the quintessential bad boy waiting for the good girl to save them, how did they come about for you? 

L: Well, first of all, thank you so much for saying that. It's a huge compliment to hear. Character creation is a very organic process for me. I really try to get into the heads of my characters well before I start writing them. I do a lot of character studies, diary entries, and inner monologues related to their lives; just trying to make them a fully rounded person with their good point as well as their flaws. I find I have to really understand a character's motivations in order to write them convincingly, and whether they're the hero or the villain, I need to like them on some level. Ethan, Connor, Liam, and Josh are they way they are because I like writing male characters I'd like to hang out with.

K: Cassie Taylor and now Elissa Holt are such strong female leads, showing that it's possible to be both sassy, strong, independent, whilst also being unsure, reflective and real. It's quite a feat to showcase a heroine who's not afraid to have those moments of doubt, to be upset, heartbroken even without coming off as whiny. Who or what if anything was your inspiration for your female leads?
L: I've been blessed in my life to be surrounded by a whole host of incredible women, not only in my private life, but also in my professional life. And even though none of them are perfect, (and really, who of us is?) they all have their remarkable qualities, and so many things about them, including their determination and passion, make me adore them unhealthy amounts. Just like my male characters, I write female leads who I'd like to be my friends. They're not based on any one person, but rather a conglomeration of many women I've known throughout my life.

K: The Starcrossed series now spans three books, what has been your favourite scene to write so far?

L: Oh, wow. Why don't you ask me which of my kids I like the best. Lol! Um … that's a very hard question. Some of my favourite scenes to write in any book are the ones in which characters share their first kiss. Everything leading up to the first time two people cross the line from friends into something else is fascinating to me, filled with so much tension, passion, and anticipation. It's a full-body experience like no other, and there's always that moment when lips touch for the first time that's heavy with both extreme relief, and sudden, unfathomable hunger. It's an enigmatic dichotomy that mesmerizes me.

K: What I've adored so much has been that this series hasn't just focused on your leads, I've loved getting to know your greater ensemble, Elissa had intrigued me so much in Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet, was Wicked Heart always part of the plan or did that come about afterwards? 

L: I'd never actually planned to give Elissa her own story even though I adored writing her, but when my editor Rose Hilliard suggested it, I was like, "Oh my God, YES! Let's do that!"
Elissa is really close to my heart, because when I was in drama school, my best friend was a stage manager, so I gave her a lot of my friend's qualities. Not only that, as an actor, I have an unending respect for stage managers and their backstage crews. Actors are the showponies of the theatre world and always get all the glory, while the stage manager and crew are the ones that hold the whole production together and work twice as hard. They're always in the theatre for HOURS before the actors swan in, slap on their make-up and costumes, and prance out onto stage. I'm glad Elissa gets her turn in the spotlight in this book.

K: Your love of the stage is evident in the Starcrossed series, was there a defining moment that made you decide to swap stage for writing? 
L: Yes. Being a woman over the age of twenty-five in the entertainment industry. Hah! It sounds like a joke, but it's really not. So much in acting is based on looks. I mean, look at Hollywood. Male actors are allowed to stay active and virile in movies well into their fifties and even sixties, but do you know what doesn't change? The age of their love interests. You'll rarely see a woman over thirty playing opposite a male lead, no matter how old he is. So, yeah. As a female actor, roles start drying up the moment you get your first wrinkle. As it happens, my love for writing has always been with me, simmering in the background. And even though I didn't expect to have such a definite career change at this point in my life, I'm sooooo very glad I did. Instead of primping and preening for hours before schlepping around to auditions and screentests these days, I stay in my pajamas and write all day. I mean, how cool is that? Plus, I've gotten to meet some of the most incredible, talented, intelligent, inspirational women in the whole world, and I'm talking about fellow authors, book bloggers, and readers. I'm so grateful that my writing has brought these incredible ladies into my life.

K: The #BadRomeoFilm is garnering a lot of interest, and I for one can't wait to see it in its entirety. What's the process been like so far, can you tell me a little of how it came about?

L: I've had so much fun making this film, and it's one of those situations that was both surreal and wonderful. I was contacted by someone from a small independent production company who asked if they could make a book trailer for Bad Romeo. One of the directors had read the book and fell in love with it, so when they offered to cast and shoot a custom-made trailer, I was all in. They brought me on-board to write the screenplay, and even convinced me to play hard-ass acting coach, Erika Eden, and then we all got so enthusiastic about the project, it ballooned from a three-minute trailer into a half-hour extravaganza.
The thing that blew me away the most, (apart from everyone in the cast and crew donating their time for free,) was seeing the actors bringing my words and scenes to life. I mean, as an actor I've interpreted someone else's words countless times, but suddenly, the shoe was on the other foot, and I'll admit, I had a quiet tear at our first table read when Cassie and Ethan were coming to life right in front of me. It was one of the most special and amazing moments ever.

K: Connor Baine is without a doubt the iconic good guy - sweet, loyal, sexy, and unfortunately relegated to the friend zone. Is this the last we'll see of him or will we get a chance to find out if nice guys really do finish last?

L: Funny you should ask, because heaps of readers have asked me about a Connor book and are dying to see the poor guy get the happy ending they believe he so richly deserves. I've actually started writing Connor's story even though I have no idea if I'll ever have an avenue of getting it published. Rest assured, if my publisher ever asks for Connor's book, I'd be all over that in record time.

K: What's next for Leisa Rayven, I know you recently attended RT in Vegas, and will be signing in the States again in August before making your way back to Sydney for SAE2016. With a packed touring schedule and filming commitments, what's next in terms of writing? 

L: I actually have two books I'm working on right now and about five more outlined, so I could happily lock myself away in a cabin in the woods for about twelve months and still have more books to write. I feel like my head is so full of stories and characters right now, it might explode. I need some quality time alone with my laptop so I can purge everything onto paper.
Hopefully I'll more news about what's coming up in late 2016/early 2017 soon. :)

K: Thanks for indulging me in my rambling and stopping by today Leisa

L: Thanks for the chat!


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