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Currently Browsing: Author Interview
Sep
15

Author Interview: Piper J. Drake (Contracted Defense)

Author Interview: Piper J. Drake (Contracted Defense) Today we are having a big PARTY with Piper J. Drake who is celebrating both her newest title, Contracted Defense, and her own birthday! Woo hoo!  Hello Piper and welcome back to That’s What I’m Talking About! First of all: Happy Book Birthday for Contracted Defense! and Happy Birthday to you! Are you doing anything special to celebrate either/both events? [PJD] Super happy to be back! Thank you! I’ve got quite the online celebration going on for the release of Contracted Defense this week, including our chat here and other fun blog stops. Even my puppy, Corbin, posed for some shots with Contracted Defense on my mini iPad to celebrate. 😛 For my birthday, though, we’re not doing anything huge on the day of my birthday. Instead, Matthew J. Drake tends to make little gestures every day of September to make my whole birthday month special. It might be a new pack of sticky notes one day or a bar of dark chocolate another day. It’s always thoughtful and makes me feel really cherished. Awww… big shout out to MJD and his sweetness! If you could celebrate your birthday doing anything, anywhere in the world, what would you do and where would you go? [PJD] Wow, huge scope there. I think if it were anything, I’d take the entire month of September and rent a flat somewhere inspirational. Perhaps Hawaii or the UK or maybe Copenhagen in Denmark or Tallinn in Estonia. I’d immerse myself in that new place and write all the stories! That sounds like a great idea! Contracted Defense is the third novel in your Safeguard series. Can you share with us a little about the main characters, Adam and Victoria, and how it fits into the larger Safeguard world? [PJD] Adam is a man who has had to make difficult choices. He’s come a long way, carrying the weight of those consequences with him, and he’s done a lot of soul searching with his family in New Zealand prior to joining the Safeguard team. He might be the rookie, but he brings a lot of prior experience with him. He’s not going to be satisfied with any sort of “just do this” role and will apply critical thinking to his contribution to their mission. Victoria has been with our original Safeguard team since the beginning with Hidden Impact. She’s incredibly professional and detail oriented, maybe a bit of a control freak. And that’s okay. She owns it. There’ve been people in her...
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Feb
6

Interview + Review: Embers by Kate Sherwood

Interview + Review: Embers by Kate Sherwood Embers Author: Kate Sherwood Reviewer: B. Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Now that he’s temporarily relocated back home to Mosely, Montana, Jericho Crewe has a lot to sort out. Between working for his old friend and former lover at the sheriff’s office, dealing with the family he didn’t know he had, and recovering from a recent gunshot wound, he’s been busy. His inability to keep his mind off his other former lover, Wade Granger, isn’t helping matters, either—especially when buildings start exploding and bodies begin turning up. While I liked this story very much, I did have a little more difficulty connecting with Jericho. Having been a patrol cop in LA for five years, and a marine for eight years before that, Jericho’s clearly no fool. That he had the determination to reinvent himself after escaping from Mosely also speaks to a strong will and notable resourcefulness. But, he always seems to be a step or two behind here, and his ongoing confusion wasn’t as understandable to me now that he’s been back home for a while. Regardless, it was extremely interesting to watch him try to balance between his own past and present, and Jericho is likable enough that I was pulling for him all the way through. Wade, on the other hand, is still my favorite character, and his role as a “mastermind” is the best part of this series to me so far. Now that Jericho is back home, Wade seems to be shifting gears on the fly and the suspense that’s constantly generated by his actions kept me glued to every scene. It looks as if Wade had shaped his life around a missing puzzle piece, only to discover that that same piece had somehow changed its shape during its absence. Now, things are different in his world, too, and I couldn’t help but appreciate both Wade’s aptitude, as well as his frustrations. Another thing I thoroughly enjoyed about Embers is that the author has taken the traditional notion of the “prodigal returned” and turned it into something else entirely. Jericho didn’t just leave home. He changed. But, not as much as he thinks he did, which is pretty entertaining. Not really an outsider, he’s able to maintain a level of credibility with the “locals” that he’s very willing to use to help him solve the crimes being committed—even though he seems surprised that he still has any. One of the older deputies puts...
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Jun
14

Q & A + ARC #Giveaway with Piper J. Drake

Q & A + ARC #Giveaway with Piper J. Drake Today we are celebrating the upcoming release of Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake (July 26, 2016 by Forever Publishing) with an awesome ARC (advance review copy) GIVEAWAY of Piper’s book! Plus, Piper stopped by to answer a couple questions about her True Heroes series. Woo hoo! Keep reading for more about the book and giveaway. Jen: Dogs and military heroes… what a wonderful combination. Isn’t there something extra sexy about a man who loves animals? Was there any specific event or situation that inspired you to write the True Heroes series? Piper: A man who loves and has a good understanding of animals with a care for their well-being is incredibly sexy! The True Heroes series actually grew out of a brainstorming conversation with my agent, though. She’s amazing. We were chatting in general and I started to share my experiences with my rescued German Shepherd Dog, Kaiser, as well as my Chelsea, and a dog staying in my care, Mozart. She listened to me tell her about how smart these dogs were, especially Kaiser with his Schutzhund training and Mozart with his military explosives detection training. Right in the middle of one of many anecdotes about the shenanigans my dogs would get up to, my agent looked at me and told me this was it. This was the next series I should focus on writing. And she was right. The True Heroes series has been my favorite to write to date. Jen: What kinds of research have you done for the series? What was the most interesting thing you learned about working with dogs? Drawing on my interactions with Kaiser and Mozart provides the foundation for the canine personalities in the series, especially Kaiser. When I first rescued him, I worked closely with a Schutzhund trainer to rehabilitate Kaiser from being an outdoor guard dog with barely any socialization to a personal companion safely living in a suburban home. With Kaiser, I also worked with at least two former K9 policemen in both formal and informal training. I read several books on the training of military working dogs, particularly the multi-purpose canines of Special Operations. Most recently, Christopher Baity, executive director of Semper K9 (http://www.semperk9.org/) has been kind enough to answer my ongoing questions about training military working dogs and also training service dogs to partner with veterans after active duty. I learned that working with dogs–these brilliant and loving dogs with such dauntless personalities–changes you fundametally....
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Feb
3

Author Interview: Lisa Shearin

Author Interview: Lisa Shearin In celebration of her newest release, The Brimstone Deception, urban fantasy author Lisa Shearin stopped in for a brief interview. Please help me welcome her to That’s What I’m Talking About. TWITA: Welcome to That’s What I’m Talking About! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. We are here to celebrate the release of The Brimstone Deception, the third title in your SPI Files series. Can you share with us a little bit about the book and series? LS: Thank you so much for inviting me! Yes, I had a great holiday season—family, friends, and lots of writing. The SPI Files series is a bit like the movie Men In Black; that is, if MIB featured supernatural creatures instead of space aliens. Makenna Fraser is a small-town girl from the mountains of North Carolina. She’s a seer, meaning that she can see through any glamour, veil, shield, or ward supernatural criminals can use to disguise themselves. It’s a rare talent, and one that gets her a job at SPI (Supernatural Protection & Investigations). They’re the people who protect humans and law-abiding supernaturals from supernatural criminals—and keep all of it hidden. Basically battling the creatures of the night while keeping humans in the dark. In The Brimstone Deception, there’s a new designer drug on the streets called Brimstone. The drug enables users to do what Mac does, namely being able to see every supernatural creature sharing the sidewalk, train, or office with them—sights your average human simply can’t handle without going off the deep end. Drug cartels (supernatural and otherwise) are battling for control of the drug and its production pipeline—a pipeline that leads straight to Hell itself. The active ingredient is molten brimstone fresh from Hell, meaning a rift to the underworld must be open somewhere in New York. And when—not if—the cartel loses control of it, the denizens of Hell will be surging through that rift to take a big bite out of the Big Apple. TWITA: I absolutely love the idea of a vast supernatural population living unknown among the humans. I also love that your heroine, Makenna, isn’t some superstar, kicka$$ warrior, yet she holds her own. What were your inspirations for creating such an immensely detailed world? What type of research do you do to bring to life some of your more unique characters? LS: SPI is a worldwide organization, but it headquartered in New York in a subterranean complex beneath Washington Square Park....
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Apr
29

Author Interview & Giveaway with Jennifer Estep

Author Interview & Giveaway with Jennifer Estep Jennifer Estep is back at That’s What I’m Talking About today to celebrate the release of her brand new book, Cold Burn of Magic, which kicks off her new Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series.  I think everybody who reads this blog knows how much we adore Ms. Estep and her work here at That’s What I’m Talking About, and we are thrilled to have her back again today. Welcome Jennifer! Jennifer:  Thanks for hosting me on your blog again. I appreciate it and all the nice words about my books! Jen: As I mentioned earlier, we are celebrating your newest release, Cold Burn of Magic. Will you share with us a little about your new series? Jennifer: Cold Burn of Magic is the first book in my Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series. The book focuses on Lila Merriweather, a 17-year-old thief who lives in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia, a town dubbed “the most magical place in America.” Tourists come from around the world to tour all the magic-themed shops and attractions, as well as see monsters like tree trolls, copper crushers, and more in their natural habitats. Lila does her best to stay off the grid and avoid the Families — mobs — who control the town. But when she saves a member of the Sinclair Family during an attack, Lila finds herself caught in the middle of a brewing war between the Sinclairs and the Draconis, the two most powerful Families in town. So basically, the book is about magic, monsters, and mobsters. I hope that readers enjoy getting to know Lila and following her adventures in Cloudburst Falls. Jen: So your protagonist is a thief?! (And in your Elemental Assassin series, the protagonist is an assassin.) What do you find appealing about a dark heroine? What challenges do you face trying to write such a character? Jennifer: Lila is a thief and a very good one, according to her. She is definitely very sassy, snarky, and confident in her skills. LOL. I like writing dark heroines like Lila and Gin, who are really sort of antiheroes. They do bad things, like steal, but many times, it’s to protect themselves or their friends and family. The worlds that Lila and Gin live in are definitely dangerous places, and I like writing heroines that can handle anything that’s thrown at them. Plus, I love writing fight scenes and having dark heroines lets me put a lot of action and adventure into my...
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Nov
18

Author Interview + Giveaway: Jennifer Estep

Author Interview + Giveaway: Jennifer Estep Jen: Today I have the honor of interviewing one of my favorite authors, Ms. Jennifer Estep. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Estep a few times at various cons, and she a wonderful person with whom to hang out and visit . Welcome to That’s What I’m Talking About, Jennifer! Jennifer: Thanks for hosting me on your blog again. I appreciate it! And it’s always fun to hang out with you and talk about books, whether it’s online or in person. 🙂 Jen: We are here celebrating the upcoming release of Black Widow, the twelfth title in your amazing Elemental Assassin series. Will you share with us a little about the latest happenings for Gin and her gang? Jennifer: My Elemental Assassin series focuses on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. At the beginning of Black Widow, Gin is waiting for her new nemesis, Madeline Monroe, to strike. Gin expects Madeline to send assassins after her, but Madeline has a different, dastardly plan in mind for Gin. So Gin is trying to play catch-up and figure out what Madeline’s endgame really is for much of the book. And, of course, since this is an Elemental Assassin book, there is a lot of action, adventure, danger, and magic, along with some romance. Jen: As you know, I fretted over reading this one, worried that Gin’s world was coming to an end. But now we know there will be more books in your Elemental Assassin series. Can you share with readers (without spoilers) what is up next for Gin? Do you have a set number of books planned for the series? Jennifer: I’m happy to say that I will be writing at least two more books after Black Widow. That will bring the series total up to 14 books. Spider’s Trap, the 13th book, is tentatively scheduled to be published in August 2015, with the 14th book tentatively scheduled for January 2016. In Spider’s Trap, Gin will be dealing with the fallout of what happens in Black Widow. I don’t really have a set number of books planned at this time. I tend to think in terms of...
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Nov
13

Author Interview: M.L. Brennan

Author Interview: M.L. Brennan Today M.L. Brennan, author of the American Vampire series, is back for an interview. Tainted Blood (ROC, November 4, 2014) is the third book in this original urban fantasy series. Links to reviews for all three of the American Vampire books are listed below. Big thanks to review team members Gikany and Una (who LOVE this series) for coming up with some awesome questions. Please welcome M.L. to That’s What I’m Talking About. TWITA: Welcome back to our blog! We enjoy your American Vampire series here at That’s What I’m Talking About. Can you share with us a little about the series and Tainted Blood, the third title, which just came out this month? ML: Thanks so much! The series is about Fortitude Scott, who starts out in the first book as a complete underachiever and slacker vampire, working minimum-wage jobs and trying to stay as far away from his family and the supernatural as possible. My vampires are also a bit different than the norm – they’re biologically driven, with a life cycle and a reproductive process – so, no immortality, just a really long life and an extensive maturation process. And Fort is your average 26-year-old guy, trying to figure out his place in the world with a completely useless degree and a biological destiny that terrifies him. By the third book, Fort is starting to really find his place and his direction. He’s grown up a bit – emotionally and in a physical sense, but he’s holding onto his values with both hands. He gets tugged further into the family machine when he has to take over some duties for his brother, whose human wife (#19) has just died. And, of course, Fort is accompanied by his best friend and kickass partner, kitsune shapeshifter Suzume Hollis. TWITA: The mythology you have created for your American Vampire series is very different from most mainstream vampire mythologies and yet it is very rich and detailed. What was your inspiration? What type of research do you do? ML: Most of my research for the vampires in my series was biologically driven. I actually didn’t do much research into the mythology of vampires – I felt fairly familiar with it already, but what I was primarily interested in was how to give vampires a life cycle that made sense both as an apex predator which had developed to only have a single prey animal, and as an obligate sanguivore that had parasitic...
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Oct
30

Author Interview + Book Tour: LA Witt

Author Interview + Book Tour: LA Witt Authors L.A. Witt, Alexis Hall, and Cornelia Grey come together on a Steampunk book tour to celebrate the releases of Precious Metals, Prosperity, and Circus of the Damned. Join us on adventures through the lawless, untamed, kraken-infested skies! Trek the snowy wilds of the Klondike in the company of a Mountie! Visit a soul-stealing circus where entertainment is at your own risk! Riptide’s Gaslamp Fortnight will tempt you with the steampunk and gaslamp worlds of Cornelia Grey, Alexis Hall, and L.A. Witt. And Gaslamp Fortnight is featuring a fabulous giveaway! Comment on the tour stops for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to Harlots and Angels Steampunk Corsetry and get your own custom corset or personalized steampunk gear. To celebrate, That’s What I’m Talking About has as its special guest, author L.A. Witt here today. Please help me welcome Ms. Witt to TWITA! TWITA: What drew you to Steampunk to begin with, and what’s your favorite thing about it? Will there be more stories in the Metals series? Any chance for a Steampunk m/m anthology? Steampunk was something I’d never written before, so I wanted to give it a go, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. My favorite thing is creating cool technology, and using it to make the characters’ lives even harder. (Author = sadist)  I don’t have any steampunk stories in the work at the moment, but more Metals series or an anthology are definitely possible in the future. TWITA: Most authors like to torture their characters to varying degrees. Which of your characters have you particularly enjoyed torturing, and why? Pretty much all of them. LOL It’s just fun to take a person, throw them into an awful situation, and see if they have what it takes to get through that situation. And of course, make them fall in love with the worst possible person (their boss, their enemy, etc). It’s fun. As far as my favorites? I’m probably always going to be partial to whichever characters I’m working on at the moment. In this case, I’m rather enjoying tormenting my small town homophobic preacher (Lead Me Not), as well as some particular characters on loan to me from Aleksandr Voinov (Dark Soul 6). TWITA: It seems like you’ve worked on a lot of collaborative projects in the last couple of years. Do you have to alternate working on the collaborations with your other (individually written) stories? Or, are you able to slip...
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Sep
29

Author Interview: Larissa Ione

Author Interview: Larissa Ione Jen: Today I have the honor of interviewing one of my all time favorite authors Ms. Larissa Ione. Welcome back to That’s What I’m Talking About, Larissa! Larissa: It’s always awesome to be here, Jen! Jen: We are here celebrating the release of Chained by Night, the second title in your wonderful MoonBound Clan Vampire series. Will you share with us a little about the latest tale in your dark vampire series? Larissa: Of course! Chained By Night focuses on Hunter, MoonBound Clan’s leader, and Aylin, second-born twin daughter of an enemy clan chief. In Bound By Night, Hunter agreed to mate Aylin’s sister, Rasha, in order to bring peace to the warring clans, but Aylin throws a huge wrench in those plans. She’s the polar opposite of Rasha…kind, quiet, and she has a physical disability that has made her life hell. But she’s definitely not weak, and Hunter is drawn to her inner strength. In Chained By Night, readers will learn a little more about vampire history, and there are some fun twists and turns. Jen: Can you share with readers what is up next for the MoonBound Clan? Do you have a set number of books you have planned for this series? Larissa: Up next will be Myne’s story. I can’t wait to get working on it! I’m not sure how many books will make up the MoonBound Clan series – I have a definite series arc in place for four books. Beyond that…we’ll have to see how readers like the first books! Jen: One of the things I loved about the first book in the series, Bound by Night, was the way you integrated science and biology into your mythology of the vampire. What inspired you and/or what kind of research did you do in the development of your own take on the vampire race? Larissa: Hmm…you know, what it comes down to is that I’m one of those people who needs everything to be explained logically and/or scientifically. I need an explanation for the origins of things that are out of the ordinary. Also, I wanted the MoonBound Clan books to be more contemporary and reality-based than the Demonica series, partly to differentiate the two series and partly to appeal to a different audience. So I made sure that even though vampires were originally created through supernatural means, the vampirism makes scientific sense. The research was actually fun, because I’m fascinated by how diseases work...
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Aug
12

Author Interview + Giveaway: Maya Banks

Author Interview + Giveaway: Maya Banks Today I’m excited to have romance author Maya Banks here at That’s What I’m Talking About. Our own Vampbard had the chance to ask Ms. Banks a few questions. Plus, stick around after the interview, for your chance to win a copy of Ms. Banks’ latest title, Taking It All. Welcome to the blog! Your new release, Taking It All, is the third title in your wonderful Surrender Trilogy. Can you share with us which of the three titles was your favorite to write? Which characters did you enjoy the most? Were there any that gave you grief during the writing process? Taking it All was definitely my favorite and I knew it would be going in because I adore the marriage in jeopardy trope. As far as enjoying characters, Jensen and Kylie were so fun to write but they were also the most difficult. You write a few different romance subgenres: historical, erotic, and suspense… Do you have a favorite subgenre you prefer to write? What about when you read romance, which is your favorite subgenre (if you have one), and why? I don’t have a favorite because getting to mix it up is what I love MOST about writing. I never get bored because I’m never writing the same thing back to back. It keeps each series fresh for me and I’m always excited and eager to get back to them when it’s their turn again. I don’t have a favorite genre. My tastes are eclectic. All I want is a YUMMY romance. If you give me that I don’t care what “genre” it’s in. I just want an emotionally compelling story. With several different books and series in motion at once, do you find it hard to keep them all separate? What methods do you use to keep help building each world and keep it all straight? I touch on this above. It’s not hard to keep them separate because they’re all very distinct characters and worlds to me. The best part about my job is the ability to write something different every time I sit down at my laptop. Some authors have boards on Pinterest for their various novels. I see inspiration for various characters, cars, locations pinned. It’s part of their writing process. Where do you find your inspiration (and if you use Pinterest or somesuch, are you willing to share the URL?)? I’m a social media failure. I don’t have pinterest or instagram. I’m also ignorant...
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