Jo, thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us honey. I know you’re very busy.
Thank you so much for inviting me to visit! It seems I’m always on deadline, and chatting with readers gives me a much-needed break.
Congrats on being a finalist in the ARRA 2009!
Thank you, it was a thrill to be nominated and an honor to see my name up there with all of those talented authors. I was truly surprised and humbled.
Can you tell us anymore about the motion picture development for WHEN ALEX WAS BAD? Who would you cast in the various roles?
ALEX is in development with Mandalay Pictures (SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, DONNIE BRASCO, DEEP END OF THE OCEAN, etc) and the acquiring producer is Cathy Schulman (Best Picture, CRASH, 2006). It’s in the lineup to go into production, but there are never any guarantees. I can say that the experience of having a book opted for film with a major producer has been thrilling and mind-boggling. I got to speak with Cathy and David Zelon (CABLE GUY, THE NET, ENEMY AT THE GATES) on a conference call, and I thought I was going to pass out!
Hmm, for the role of Alex, I could definitely envision Mark Wahlberg or Jude Law! For Olivia, maybe Angelina Jolie? Or Megan Fox? A woman who has that dark, sultry look. For Jason, I’m not sure. But he’d have to be someone with the boy-next-door appeal, yet be able to play someone who is older than he appears, who harbors a couple of terrible secrets.
I haven’t yet read LINE OF FIRE so I may change my mind, the excerpt is very tantalizing, but my favorite is UNDER FIRE. I adore Zack. I can honestly say he’s the only contemporary hero possessing that special trait/attribute. He’s only the second I’ve ever read period. Why did you bless him in that way?
That’s just how Zack was when he introduced himself to me! <g> Zack, who possesses a genius IQ, has a certain innocence that is unique among my heroes. As a young boy, add that he was overweight in addition to being brilliant, and he was hounded unmercifully. He had no friends. As kids do, he grew into a beautiful man, but inside he’s still that fat little boy who’s unsure of himself and shy around gorgeous women—thus, he’s still a virgin. And along comes Cori, an exotic dancer putting herself through nursing school, and his mind is blown! In a great way.
I do hope you try LINE OF FIRE, Tommy Skyler’s story! He’s the youngest firefighter on the team, and is seriously questioning his decision to become a firefighter. He’s dealing with painful issues, not to mention trying to survive an arsonist’s deadly plot. Captain Sean Tanner’s slide to rock bottom also plays a big part in this story as he makes a mistake that will change everyone’s lives.
Love this cover, good gravy!
I SPY A WICKED SIN is the first in the Shado series and I really enjoyed it. I read that soon you’ll be working on I SPY A DARK OBSESSION, the LAST in the series? Only two? Why honey? I love that whole concept….
Actually, the SHADO Agency series is a trilogy. I SPY A NAUGHTY GAME (Blaze Kelly’s story) will be released on September 7, and then I SPY A DARK OBESSION (Michael Ross’s story) comes out in March 2011. I’m working on DARK OBSESSION now and should have it turned in to my editor next week to finish the series.
Bummer, I missed that memo obviously….
Who is in control of the story, you or the characters? If the latter are you ever surprised?
I believe the characters let me *think* I’m in control, and then every once in a while they misbehave to remind me that I’m not! I’m just their secretary, writing down their stories. I’m always surprised when they want to do their own thing, though I know I shouldn’t be. Kind of like raising teenagers, you know?
I understand all too well honey…*huge sigh*
Do you feel the workshops you conduct make you a better writer?
Both teaching and attending workshops definitely help hone my skills and serve to remind me of things I’d forgotten. Refreshers are always good, and as a former public school teacher, I can attest to the fact that nobody is ever so good that they don’t need them. Including me!
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Least favorite?
I’m an introvert at heart, so writing full-time is a dream job come true! There’s no boss popping in to my office, micromanaging and annoying me constantly. I can, and do, work in my pajamas. I can drink, scratch, and cuss, and there’s nobody around to know. Does a job get any better than that?
I’d have to say no…though w/ the exception of the jammies & scratching I do that at work anyway! *G*
However, since I write full-time and it’s a sedentary job, I have to make an effort to exercise—an activity I loathe with a passion. I can look at a carrot stick and gain five pounds. Not fun. If I was meant to exercise I would’ve been born Richard Simmons.
Why romantic suspense and erotica vs another genre?
Romantic suspense was my first love as a writer because I enjoy writing action scenes and putting my heroes in danger. With Erotica, I enjoyed reading it first, and then when I discovered I could write it as well I had the best of both worlds!
Recently, however, I sold a new paranormal romance series to my publisher, NAL, which will debut next year under a different pen name. We’re very excited about the new series, and I’ll be able to say more about it in the coming months.
Well hang, talk about teasing.. I’m looking forward to that…
Is there a book or character you’ve written that’s a particular favorite? If so, why?
My first love is Howard “Six-Pack” Paxton from TRIAL BY FIRE, the first book in my Station Five series. He’s strong, handsome, dependable, and fiercely protective of those he loves.
Do you have a favorite series that you follow as a reader?
I am wild about Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series! Harry Dresden is a handsome, sometimes bumbling, PI who is also a master wizard. He gets himself into all sorts of paranormal scrapes, and he’s just to die for.
I love the Dresden Files too…found it quite by accident and have done my part to spread the word. I know of at least 2 people I’ve gotten hooked on it.
What would you like to accomplish this year professionally? Personally?
Professionally, I’d love to make a major bestseller list. Who wouldn’t? Personally, I’d love to lose fifty pounds and morph into Paris Hilton’s physical clone, with all the money and none of the baggage. Anyone want to take bets over which one is likely to happen first? Right. LOL.
Jo I’ve really enjoyed talking and learning more about you and what’s in the future for those of us who love your books. Thanks so much for being with us!
Thank you for having me here! It’s been my pleasure.