Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Jianne.
Thank you for having me, Ivy.
Could you share a bit about growing up on Trinidad?
Trinidad, back then, was your idyllic island paradise. As kids we played in our neighborhood, and wherever we were at lunchtime, some mother fed us, made sure our cuts and bruises were clean (we were four girls to twenty boys), and then sent us home to rest. A three-hour ‘rest’ period was enforced from one to four every day. Now, I know that the rest period was for the grownups, not the kids. 🙂 Truly, it was much like the ‘Happy Days’, but with kids of all colors and races. I am glad my children were able to experience that before we moved to Florida fourteen years ago.
It sounds delightful and aside from the rest period, very similar to growing up in the army.
Any other exotic locales you can write from personal experience?
You know,Ivy, when you grow up on a 60×40 island – the first thing you want to do is GET OFF. See the world, travel to every continent. While I haven’t quite met that goal, I’ve been in the depths of the Amazon jungle, climbed gorges in Crete, hiked in Basque country, boated on the Dordogne, and become hopelessly lost on some motorway in the UK. Add to that the fact my father believed you must know your corner of the world, there isn’t a Caribbean island I haven’t visited, and I know most of Central America.
Wow, Jianne, what a large time you’ve had!
What was it about the fairytale wedding at the Welsh castle that inspired you?
Actually, it was a combination of the fairytale setting and reading Christina Dodd’s Once a Knight. She made that period come to life for me. The whole weekend I kept picturing scenes from the book. And my dh snorted when I first told him I was going to write a book – you know – the kind of ‘yeah, yeah, it’s the champagne talking’ snort that makes you grit your teeth and show him.
My dh’s snorts can’t be attributed to champagne, but I know which one you mean. To give the devil his due, if he saw I was determined he’d back me completely.
If your first book was Manacled in Monaco, how did you make the leap from Welsh castle to Monaco?
After my dad died, my mother had been asking me to do a European trip with her for a couple of years. No conditions save two – she wanted to see Monaco and it had to be at least 2 weeks long. Two weeks of twenty-four hours with my mom. I imagined horrible fights, biting sarcasm, the worst. It turned out to be 28 – yep – 28 days of absolute fun. We had a blast and never – not once- quarreled even though I (I drove) managed to get lost every, single day.
Monaco, while lovely, was not what we expected. Fast forward two months, my bff is terminally ill and I take a leave of absence to go and nurse her in London for five weeks. Writing Manacled in Monaco kept me sane during that very difficult time.
I am so sorry about your BFF, but at least you could be there. I’m sure it meant the world to her. How wonderful for you and your mom that you could have that experience, especially when you expected to be miserable. Those times make for amazing memories.
Did you find it difficult to break into writing/get published?
I am truly blessed. I finished Manacled in Monaco, and two other books and submitted them to various publishers. All were accepted.
What about your newest release, MALICE STRIKER, the first in your Viking Vengeance series? Does this tie into your Viking Warriors or is it separate?
Definitely separate from the Viking Warriors. Malice Striker is a paranormal/fantasy Viking book and it is the first of a trilogy. These books take the Viking gods and goddesses to a different place.
Sounds interesting…love mythology that branches out.You write across genres, can you tell us about your different series?
White Wolf came about because Treva Harte, one of the founders of Loose-Id, invited me to write a book for the fourth anniversary of the company. The theme was red, white, and blue. I chose White and one day woke up with the opening scene in the lake in my head. Things took off after that.
The Hades Squad started with A Paratrooper in a Pear Tree – again a response to a call for books centered on Christmas songs. That line repeated in my brain like a refrain – know what I mean? And then I thought, ah heck, let’s have a paratrooper land in a pear tree and see how things work out. Somehow during the writing of that one, the Hades Squad was born, Sinner,Satan, Lucifer, Devil, and Demon…and they all demanded their own books.
Mediterranean Mambo was my first series and those books were inspired by our mother/daughter 28-day jaunt through Europe.
The Witchy Women were my first-written books. I’ve always loved time travel and everyone advised me – write what you know. I know the Caribbean.
But my first love has always been Viking tales. Probably because I’m married to a man who I think of as my personal Viking and because I believe that the Vikings are responsible for the modern world. No – before you snort your disbelief – think of this – would there have been a William the Conqueror if there weren’t Viking raids? Of course not. And would there have been an America without the British? There you go.
I only have one, Valentine Voodoo, and that may not be true for long. 🙂
Do you prefer to write series or standalones?
Series definitely. I love being able to explore the secondary characters who pop up in a book. But, like any good entertainment (TV show, etc.), you must know when to end and leave your audience wanting one more…
What’s your favorite part of writing?
Being able to shut out the world. I’ve begun to wonder if writing isn’t some form of psychotherapy as whenever things become ‘hairy’ in my day job, I immerse myself in a new book.
Makes sense to me and it’s cheaper than a therapist…
Ending the book. It’s like saying a final farewell to a friend.
Do you have a book or character(s) that are a personal favorite?
You do know that’s like asking – do you have a favorite child? The answer is yes – the characters and books I’m currently writing. And since I always have two manuscripts going, one contemporary and one historical, Konáll of Death Blow, and Torch of Torch Me are my current faves.
Who controls the story, you or the characters?
*snort* as if. They control everything. Sometimes I try to nudge them, but you’d be surprised how stubborn my characters are.
If you had to choose only one genre/sub-genre, what would it be?
Can warriors be a genre? Warriors…any kind of warrior.
Does your Mom ever make suggestions?
No, but she frequently asks – what’s taking you so long?
Well that sounds like a compliment to me..
What can we look forward to from you?
The beginning of a new paranormal SEAL series with Torch Me.
Death Blow and Vengeance Hammer, the last two novels of the new Viking Vengeance trilogy.
Sigh, Satan’sAngel, the last of the Hades Squad books.
Two more White Wolf tales, Chad and Lizzie’s story, and one other.
And then there are the six books started, but left hanging because of deadlines…one day…one day I’ll finish everything I’ve started…and if you believe that – there’s a cove in Tobago with your name written in the sand.
If you’re like me you’ll never finish what you’ve got started. Giving it a good try though!
Thanks for visiting Manic Readers, Jianne. I’ve enjoyed it.
Thank you Ivy, for taking the time to do the research and make this interesting and enjoyable – from my perspective anyway.