Q: Who does your cover artwork?
A: Renee at http://www.thecovercounts.com
Q: Who does your website?
A: The website is designed and maintained by my Personal Assistant and jack-of-all-trades, Joe Scholes, at jdsliteraryservices.com.
Q: Who does your copyediting and proofreading?
A: Again, Joe Scholes at jdsliteraryservices.com.
Q: Did you always have a plan for the other
worldly to come into play in what seems at first to
simply be a vampire/werewolf series?
A: The short answer is yes. The first books I wrote were
about the Saa Thalarr, so they were already going in
that direction. When I sat down to write Lissa's story,
I always knew the two worlds would intersect.
Q: I was wondering about the stories that
happened pre Lissa. I am talking about Saxom and his
war against the Council. How Adam met Kiarra and how
things developed between them. What about when
Griffin and Merrill first met? While reading your
books I found that there was maybe some back story I
was missing and I was wondering if you will ever
publish those stories too?
A: Yes, there is quite a backstory to all of Lissa's
books. I wrote several books pre-Lissa, and all of
them are about the Saa Thalarr. Sadly, they all need a
rewrite or two. I am currently working on an updated
version of the very first book, which tells Kiarra and
Adam's story and how Saxom was destroyed. I hope to
get back to it soon. The original title was Hope and
Vengeance, which is the English translation of Saa
Thalarr. I've tentatively titled the rewrite Enforcer.
I may go back to the original title when it's
Q: What sparked you to take the books to different
A: Again, it was because that was what the premise was
for the Saa Thalarr books - they worked on all those
worlds, and Lissa was drawn into it through her
Q: Do you see yourself and Lissa to be similar
A: In many ways. However, there are parts of her that
definitely belong to other people. There is a little
bit of my younger sisters in her. And a little bit of
a friend or two - I borrowed character traits, etc.,
from others. The foul language and sense of humor?
Definitely me, LOL.
Q: How long does it usually take you to write
A: A lot depends on the book. The first draft of Blood
Wager was written in ten days. Of course, it took a
lot of time to edit, revise and rewrite. If I showed
you the original manuscript for the book, you would
barely recognize it as the book you've read. Other
books have taken longer. On an average, I'd say
between one and two months to finish a first draft.
Q: Which books/authors are your favorites?
A: I have a lot of favorites, and they cross many
genres, but most of them are in the fantasy or
paranormal realm. This list will be updated as I think
of more to add!
Anne Bishop: Black Jewels trilogy. I've re-read these
books so many times, I'm surprised they still have
covers. Daemon Sadi still scares the bejeezus out of
me. Love Lucivar, though!
Charlaine Harris: I've read all the Southern Vampire
Mysteries series, plus the Lily Bard mysteries and the
Grave series (Grave Sight, etc.) My favorite of all
those? Shakespeare's Champion, no doubt about it. Love
the closet scene with Jack!
Mary Janice Davidson: Betsy the vampire (of course)
and the Alaska Royals. The books about the Alaska
Royals made me laugh so hard I cried.
Patricia Briggs: Mercy Thompson, absolutely, but she
wrote other things before that. I love Dragon Bones
and Dragon Blood.
J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings. Probably the
trilogy I'd take with me if I were stuck on a deserted
island. My favorites of all time!
Karen Marie Moning: Fever series. I wanted to cry
after I read the last book and I still didn't know
what Barrons was.
Robin Hobb: I love the Farseer trilogy (fantasy) and
everything else she's written. I have two of her books
on my shelf that I haven't read yet, and they're like
forbidden chocolate. I stare at them sometimes,
knowing if I start reading, I won't stop until they're
Mercedes Lackey: Love the Valdemar series.
Brandon Sanderson: If you like fantasy, check out
Elantris or Mistborn.
Patrick Rothfuss: Another fantasy author. The Name of
the Wind is amazing.
Patricia McKillip: The Riddlemaster series is my
favorite, but I love her books.
Roberta MacAvoy: Tea with the Black Dragon. It's
dated, now, but still a favorite.
Anne McCaffrey: Restoree is also a dated book but
still one of my favorites.
Dean Koontz: Odd Thomas series.
Brian Lumley: I loved Necroscope. Later books in the
series (classified as horror) scared me so much I
needed a night light to sleep!
Here's a list of other authors, and I'll try to expand
on them at a later date:
Carrie Vaughn, Rachel Vincent, Lynsay Sands, Tamora
Pierce, Elizabeth Moon, Jeanne C. Stein, Mary Stewart,
Steve Cash, Michele Bardsley, Karen Chance, Dawn Cook,
Diana Wynn Jones, Megan Whalen Turner, Tanith Lee,
Steven Gould, Meg Cabot, J.K. Rowling, Sherwood Smith,
Robin McKinley, Rob Thurman, Chloe Neill, Ilona
This list is not inclusive, and I've probably left
lots of people out. I'll add to it as things progress.
Q: Did you always want to be an author? If
not, what made you decide to go in the writing
A: I can't say that I always wanted to be an author.
What I can say is that I've been making stories up in
my head since I was young. I seldom wrote anything
down in the early days, though. My MFA is in Film
Production and Animation, which taps into that part of
my brain. I taught those subjects at the college level
for a few years and then, after working at a bookstore
for eleven years while I wrote more stories and built
characters in my head, I decided (finally) to do
something about it.
Q: When did you start writing your first book?
A: Somewhere, there is a novel (handwritten) that is
probably half done. I haven't seen it in years. There
are also a handful of short stories (some I also
haven't seen in years). My first completed novel was
finished in 2008.
Q: If you could give aspiring writers
everywhere one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: Don't give up. Don't stop writing, if that is what
you really want to do. Write. Keep writing. Don't quit
until you write "The End" at the bottom of a
manuscript. And then go back and revise and rewrite.
Start the next novel. Read. Read. Read. I know that's
not really one piece of advice, but I look at it this
way-all sorts of ingredients make up a cookie recipe.
You get a single product at the end-cookies. Writing
is like that for me. All sorts of things go into it. A
completed novel is the result.
Q: Are any of your characters inspired by
someone in your life or was your imagination your
A: My imagination was mostly my guide. I've taken
mannerisms and character strengths/weaknesses from
observations through my life, but no single person
served as a model for any complete character.
Q: Do you have a favorite character? One you
don't like at all?
A: My favorite female character is Lissa,
hands down. My favorite male character is someone only
now coming on deck: Ashe Evans, from The Legend of the
Ir'Indicti series. As to characters I don't like,
well, Saxom and Xenides were despicable, but there are
other characters coming, both in Blood Destiny and the
High Demon series that are just nasty and evil, with
no redeeming qualities at all.
Q: Did you originally intend Blood Wager to be
part of a series?
A: Yes. But I considered ending it at five or six
books. When I reached that point, I realized there was
more story to write.
Q: Are you definitely going to end the Blood
Destiny series at book 9?
A: At the moment there are no plans to write more, but
if an idea hits me for another book, I'll write it.
(Addendum January 2013. Book 10, Blood Reunion,
was published some time ago and is available for
purchase at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com; see
links on the Books
page. Additional plot lines with Blood Destiny
characters will be continued in a new series, The
God Wars, beginning in May 2013. For a brief
description of the God Wars Series, check
the God Wars Books
Q: Do you have the ending planned?
A: The word "ending" isn't one I prefer to use. Lissa
makes appearances in the High Demon series. When Demon
Lost is published, you'll see how closely the two
series are connected.
Q: Did your books require much research?
A: I had to research locations, languages, all sorts
of things. In fact, I probably spent too much time
making sure there were French chateaux with plenty of
uninhabited land surrounding them for Blood Royal. I
was really worried that the FBI would show up at my
doorstep as I was researching explosives, floor plans
for the White House and the type of security provided
for Senators and the Secretary of State (Please don't
arrest me, I'm only writing a book). I did miss one
thing-a fan pointed out that in Blood Passage, when
Lissa is driving with Gavin, she says she is watching
kilometers per hour on Gavin's speedometer. English
cars have miles per hour. My excuse (and I'm holding
to it) was that Gavin purchased his Mercedes in
Germany. My apologies to all my English fans for that
Q: Do you listen to music while
A: At times I listen to music, to help set the mood or
get me through a scene. When I wrote the scene in
Blood Queen where Lissa meets the Ra'Ak Prince (if
you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about)
I cranked up Major Tom by Peter Schilling and started
Q: Do you have a specific writing routine?
A: I always get up early to feed the cats. And then I
have a choice-turn to the right and go to the bedroom
to get dressed, or turn left and go into my office. My
office wins 85% of the time and I find myself still in
my PJs, writing or editing at lunchtime. (Pathetic, I
Q: Has publishing your books changed your life
in any great way?
A: Only that my priorities have changed somewhat. I
not only write, but I also work at marketing, pay more
attention to editing/revising, worry about hitting my
deadlines and best of all, I get email and messages