Lynsay, thank you so much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to chat with us. I really appreciate it.
Could you please tell us a bit about BORN TO BITE (8-31) and HUNGRY FOR YOU (11-30)?
Born To Bite is Armand’s story. It resolves the matter of how his wives died, and also clears up the matter of Nicholas and what happened the night he was found with a dead mortal. Unfortunately, I couldn’t explain what happened at the end of Nicholas’s story, The Renegade Hunter, without giving away all of Armand’s story so had to leave his story just saying he was innocent. I actually wrote and finished Armand’s story exactly a month after Nicholas’s and was hoping they would be pubbed back to back like Vampires are Forever and Vampire, Interrupted were. However, it didn’t happen that way and they held onto it for an entire year! I have been apologizing to my readers ever since as I too, would be desperate to know what happened. Had I known the publishing dates, I would have skipped those two stories or done them differently.
The next story, Hungry For You, is the story of the last Willan sister, Alex. Sam’s biggest wish finally comes true, her last sister is a lifemate to an immortal. The problem is, in the middle of trying to expand her business, and finding the endeavor riddled with problems and setbacks, the last thing Alex is interested in is meeting another one of those weird guys her sister keeps introducing her to. But when the chef at her original restaurant unexpectedly quits, leaving her in the lurch, and Sam says the latest guy she wants her to meet is a chef, he seems to be the answer to a prayer. At least he is when it comes to business. The problem is avoiding getting personally involved. The last thing she needs on top of all her other problems is a sexual harassment suit. As for Cale, he’s been alive a long time with no sign of a lifemate until now. But getting Alex’s attention away from her business troubles seems to be next to impossible. When the troubles and setbacks turn deadly, things get even stickier. Now he not only needs to help keep her business afloat, but keep her alive as well while trying to gain her frazzled attention long enough for her to see that he’s more than just the answer to her business needs.
They sound so good, I can barely wait! The fella on the cover has some eyes, doesn’t he?
Do you have a writing routine or strike while the creative juices are flowing? Anything special you need to get those juices flowing or to jump start them?
Hmm… mostly the creative juices flow when necessity hits, as in a deadline can be pretty darned inspiring. I think it’s the adrenaline rush of terror at failing to meet it, lol.
Actually, it can take me a week or two of writing and rewriting the same first chapters to get into the flow of writing after time away with edits and promo and so on. I’m not sure if that’s working out my writing muscle and getting it back into shape, or me trying to get a handle on my characters. Because if I don’t know my characters, who they are and how they’ll react to situations and things . . . well, I will end up scrapping the story pretty quickly.
As for routine, I definitely don’t have a normal one. I seem to need to compartmentalize myself and the parts of my life. When I’m writing, I’m writing. You’re heard of method actors? Well, I think I’m a method writer. I’m in that story from the minute I get up until the minute I go to bed. I do not leave it until the story is done, at least not willingly, and I find it impossible to concentrate on other things until I finish. I think it helps me stay in the story, maybe, and complete them more quickly, because once I get past the first week or so of rewrites and into the flow of the book I can write a book in two weeks to a month. If I follow it up with a second book I can usually bypass the rewrite phase altogether on that one.
The first book I read by you was SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE. I immediately fell in love & laughed my way through it. I also have the 3 original covers, the 3 brothers that Dorchester printed out of the order you intended. How did the Argeneau family come into being?
Honestly the idea came while MSNing with some writer friends. One of them suggested doing a vampire anthology with each of us doing our own take. I snorted and said if I did one, my vamp would have to faint at the sight of blood or something silly like that. We all laughed and I threw out a couple more ideas before the conversation moved on to something else. We never did the anthology but those ideas stayed with me and new ideas kept coming. Still, I hesitated about writing the stories because I didn’t like the whole dead and soulless mythology of vampires. I found it hard to imagine a dead soulless person could love anyone, so I needed to create a reason why my characters would be recognizable as vampires and would require a regular blood intake for sustenance and yet still be living, breathing people who were not too much different from the rest of us. Nanos was my answer.
Which comes first, the character or the story?
The infamous chicken or egg question… LOL.
The character usually comes first as they end up being introduced in someone else’s story as a secondary character so there is always some character development first well before I start writing their story. Although, I will say that often an idea strikes first. A scene, or scenario, a story I want to tell, and then I see who would fit it character wise.
As a writer do you think it’s easier to write the shorter stories for anthologies or the full length books?
Definitely it’s easier to write full length novels. As you can see by my answers I’m wordy as all get out at the best of times. Someone I know once said if you ask me the time, I’ll first explain how time works and how I came to my conclusion of what time it was. (Grimace) I’m not quite that bad, but I really have trouble doing anthologies and find it easier to write full length books. (Side note: Even the full-length novels are getting shorter and shorter so at times I even find it hard to limit a story, like Nicholas’s. His was very hard to write in the 90,000 words my publisher now gives me.)
Do you prefer to write the historicals or the Argeneau series, or does it just depend on your mood?
Hmm… I started with Historicals so I do have a soft spot for my origins but the Argeneaus are like my children so it would be hard to choose either one or the other genre as my favorite. The one thing that can be a bit tricky at times is keeping the facts straight when writing a series as one story can be so interconnected to another. I have found this to be much harder with the Argeneaus as each story just builds more complexity and more facts for me to remember and keep straight into this series. I have the most horrible memory too, which doesn’t help. Although now that many of my latest Historicals are part of a series, this is starting to happen in this genre too.
Do you have a favorite character or story?
Hmm… my favorite male character would likely be Lucian. He has such a crusty coating but a soft center for his loved ones. He is a protector and would do anything for his family. Lucian is often judged a little harshly by others, as one person stated he’s ‘Captain Crabby’ but this has a lot to do with the responsibility he has. As head of the North American Council, he must make hard decisions on a regular basis to protect both immortals and mortals alike. Decisions that others would not be able to make.
And my favorite female character would likely be Marguerite. She loves her family, and not just her children and relatives, but anyone who comes into her sphere of influence will be adopted into her family. She is strong and withstood a lot while being married to Jean Claude, but she has a huge capacity to love not to mention a little extra sensory perception, immortal style! She also, despite all she’s suffered, has hope and a basic optimism. While she suffered a lot while married to Jean Claude, she chooses to focus on the good she gained, her four children. To her, they are worth the suffering, and it’s over now so not worth worrying about in her mind.
I’ve heard that the markets in England are really a must see, that you can find anything, and it’s just flat out fun. Having lived by one was that the case for you? I loved the pic of the Arcade in Leeds on your site. I’d love to visit England and definitely Scotland. Did you ever make it there while living in England?
The Arcade in Leeds was awesome. It’s beautiful. And there was a market right by our flat and I used to wake to the bustle and sounds from it. Mind you, when I was working until 4 AM, being woken by it at 6 or 7 AM as the vendors set up wasn’t that cool, lol. But I did like it. As for getting to Scotland, unfortunately no. Wouldn’t you just know that would be the case? LOL. I was never really interested in England as a destination to visit, Scotland always held my interest more as 3/4s of our ancestry is Scottish, but I never got there. I shall have to make a trip there some day I guess.
I read somewhere that you’d had a close encounter with a bat. I’ve had one of those too, they’re bad here. Would you mind sharing the story with us?
A little over two years ago, just a couple of days before Christmas, I needed to go shopping. I was living in an old century home and the interior trim, doors, stairs and bookshelves were all this dark, cherry-stained wood. This house was a fine example of ornate woodworking at it’s best but on an overcast day, it was dark! So as I was saying, I needed to go shopping. So my purse, which also happened to be a very dark color, was on top of my bookcase in the corner and had been sitting there since the day before. I threw on my shoes and grabbed my purse to leave. Ouch! I felt a sharp pain on the fleshy part between my thumb and forefinger. Letting go of the purse, I shouted and shook my hand frantically and a small black object hit the floor a few feet away. I stood there for a good three seconds as my brain calculated what I was looking at and what had just happened.
-There was a small, stunned black mass on the floor that looked like a mouse with wings.
– It was a bat, I deduced with surprise. A bat had been perched on my purse and I’d picked it up with the purse. . . and it had bit or scratched me in retaliation
– I looked at my hand and sure enough, there were puncture marks between my thumb and forefinger. He bit me.
– And everyone knows that Bat bites mean Rabies shots!
I began to screech, not in terror at the bat who was really rather cute, but in outraged horror at the possibility that I might need rabies shots. I DETEST shots of any kind. There, now you know, I’m a big wussy girl when it comes to needles. I howled and shrieked and the bat began to flap its little wings weakly.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… oh the irony that a writer that writes a vampire series would get bitten by a bat. But really, I don’t have batty vamps. I have nano vamps. Shouldn’t the damned bat have bit someone else, someone who actually incorporates bats in their vamp stories? (I thought this was highly unfair, myself.) And while it’s a good laugh now to think about it, it certainly wasn’t at the time as I waited in the ER with my bite and the bat in a box to see someone. Anyway, the bat was sent for testing and I was sent home to spend the entire Christmas holidays fretting over whether I’d have to get rabies shots. You know the really painful shots that they give you in the deltoid muscle of your arm on four separate occasions. . . shudder.
In the end I didn’t need rabies shots and NO, I am not a vampire now. . . LOL.
Too funny. I’m sure it wasn’t at the time (nor was mine and I didn’t get bit, Thank God!) but it gives you a great story to tell later!
Do you have favorite authors and genres you read? Care to share your current or latest read?
Horror (Dean Koontz and J. F. Lewis) and Romance (Terri Garey, Suzanne Enoch, Stephanie Laurens and Sandra Hill). Such a contradiction huh? LOL.
My latest read would be Terri Garey’s book Silent Night, Haunted Night, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I’m with you on the romance writers, SNHN is on the top of my TBR mountain. I do have some Brother Odd’s to give Koontz another go….he lost me years ago with THE BAD PLACE.
Thanks again so much for visiting today Lynsay. I’m looking forward to reading the latest Argeneau stories…..