Okay I am prolly going to go alittle stalker-ish here. She is one of my favorite authors. And she reminds me that you should never underestimate a person, especially how they look. If you have not read any of my other post that mention her, I describle her as a nice prim Librarian looking lady with the imagination of a Courtesean or was it something from the Red LIght Disctict, I can never be sure. The more I read of her the more my image of her morphed into a very naughty lady. OKay back to this segment…
“5 Minutes with…” is a section of the blog that is a a set of questions that are pretty much the same give or take a few. That are meant for us to get to know our favorite authors a little bit more. Some are funny, some have nothing to do with their books; while others hopefully get to the “nitty-gritty” of what the author is thinking. And as with all of our 5 minutes we have a contest to honor our writers. Stay tuned at the end to find out how to enter. Now let’s give a Naughty Chick welcome to Joey W. Hill.
5 Minutes with Joey W. Hill:
What project are you currently working on? (C’mon give us a hint!) Place you most want to visit.
Right now I have two projects ongoing. The first is the fifth book in the Vampire Queen series, titled Vampire Mistress (May 2010). This is the story of Gideon, Jacob’s brother (Jacob was the hero of the first two books in the series). Gideon is a bitter, burned out vampire hunter who crosses paths with the Mistress of a BDSM club right before she’s attacked and forcibly turned by a psychopathic vampire. She also has a silent partner in her club, a mysterious vampire named Daegan Rei. Daegan and Gideon have to work together to help her with a volatile transition process, and somewhere along the way the three of them start bonding together in a way that suggests the impossible – that Gideon may find himself serving the needs and desires of two vampires. Writing this one was a challenge because a ménage has three points of view. Plus all the typical complexity that goes into a paranormal plot in my vampire world – politics, battles, etc.—gave me a lot of layers to juggle. I hope the readers will be pleased with the results, though!
The place I most want to visit is the Grand Canyon. I know, it may not sound so exotic, but I don’t travel much or feel the need to do so. I’m good at imagining things just from documentaries and Internet research, but this is one place I’ve always wanted to actually go. Not the tourist viewing areas. I want to go with someone who really knows the area. Go down into the Canyon, see the river and the rock strata, have him/her point out all the amazing small things that most people might miss. See a sunrise and a sunset from the best vantage points. Take a lazy river ride down the middle.
Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?
It’s always possible. None of us would have believed that digital downloads would replace our beloved vinyl, cassette or CD music mediums, but I don’t remember the last time I popped in a CD, versus hitting a favored writing playlist on my Nano. The factors that stand in the way of digital books, that music has more fully resolved, are accessibility (any book title being as readily available digitally as in print), standard format and the device. Kindles, Sonys, etc are really gaining ground, but a lot of people still wince at the idea of paying $200-$300 for something that primarily only reads a book. However, now that you can read on your IPhones or other mediums, I can see the idea of electronic reading gaining ground. The problem of ebook piracy and standard formats still remains, but those are just glitches. It’ll be quite a few years I’m sure, but as long as technology continues to integrate itself into all aspects of our lives, I can see it happening in the long run. Though there will likely always be a market for having a hardcopy of our classic favorites on the shelf.
If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?
This is always a difficult question for me, because I get a lot of joy out of standing in the shadows and watching my characters become who they are. I probably overanalyze this, but I also think about the courage, intelligence and integrity it takes to be one of my characters and know I’d fall so woefully short. For instance, Jessica, the latest heroine in Beloved Vampire, was brutalized by a terrible vampire master for five years. I nearly go into cardiac arrest when I have to go to the doctor for an annual check up and they pull out a finger pricker (lol). Anna, in Mermaid’s Kiss, risks her life to hide a wounded Jonah from these scary evil creatures called the Dark Ones. I look under my bed after reading Stephen King novels.
However, if I could briefly step into a heroine’s shoes to enjoy her hero (just briefly, mind you)…now, that I’d be willing to do with any of my heroines.
Who or what influences you when you write?
Inspirations and influences tend to overlap in my mind, but I’ll try to stick to influences. My favorite stories always influence how I write – Nora Roberts’ older work, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant Chronicles, Jennifer Robeson’s Tiger and Del series…these books keep me focused on what makes a story a keeper – unforgettable characters you actually fall in love with, to the point that when they hurt, you hurt, and when they laugh or cry, you laugh and cry with them.
When you have writer’s block how do you break free?
I keep writing to get through it. When you’re writing four books a year, allowing four months for each book, you don’t have time to indulge artistic constipation. You just keep writing, and if you need to tear it apart and put it back together on the subsequent edits to fix it, you do.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Jamie from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Brave beyond belief, but not invincible. Capable of anything, particularly if it’s for the protection and his love of Claire. Absolutely astounding integrity and strength of character. He’s interesting, intelligent, and charismatic to the point he’d make any woman’s knees weak. And of course, in Jamie’s case, he’s proven to be overwhelming to both sexes, through no fault of his stolidly straight Scottish Catholic heart (laughter).
Now, as far as my own work, Tyler Winterman of Ice Queen / Mirror of My Soul continues to be one of my personal favorites, because he rescued my most troubled, yet ironically strongest, heroine. He had an amazing self-possession and confidence, loving Marguerite too much to doubt himself or what he needed to do to help her. A close second would be Jacob of Vampire Queen’s Servant, because he was willing to be anything Lyssa needed to help her meet her goals. He agreed to be her servant and sexual slave, but at his core remained the same alpha warrior, always at her back. There’s something about that combination – a male who can be what the heroine needs (even if she doesn’t know exactly what that is) and yet remains true to himself.
What do you do for inspiration?
Listening to music that provokes an emotional response relevant to the book/scene I’m writing, or reading passages from a favorite book, both help get the creative juices going. Re-reading some of my own past works helps as well. If I go back and read some of my earlier works that really flowed the way I wanted them to do, it helps keep me on track with my current work because it tells me “Hey, you did this before. You can do it again, really!”
Finally, struggling through all those edits, and putting in the time and effort to make the story the best it can be, is inspirational as well. Because then I have something that I’m proud to share with the readers. I’m at the point now where I have a wonderful fan base that is consistently encouraging, challenging me to do better with every book.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?
I’ve done a wide variety of romance genres – contemporary, paranormal, historical, erotic, sensual, mainstream, and all mixes in between. For me, the love story is critical to what interests me about any set of characters or plot line, so I expect I’ll always write within that boundary – whether or not they call it a romance (laughter). However, I do have an epic fantasy romance series I began years ago that I would like to revisit, update and market again. It’s a very cool series which mixes many genres/mediums under the paranormal umbrella – high fantasy, contemporary paranormal, historical romance, even dragons and vampires.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
The type of research depends on the storyline. Right now, I’ve been researching wild cats, because my next vampire book takes place at a wild cat sanctuary. For Beloved Vampire, I researched the Sahara desert and did a much-too-brief investigation of the Bedouin culture, because Mason’s background included a long lost love who was a Bedouin sheikh’s daughter. Thanks to a marvelous high school world history teacher, I love history, and yet I’ll rarely go out and read a non-fiction work for my own enjoyment. However, if there’s something I need to research for a book, I love doing it and get fascinated by the things I uncover. Vampire’s Claim took place in 1950s Australia, and I devoured a variety of sources, fiction and non-fiction, to put my brain into that place/setting.
What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?
I have two of them. Armageddon and Serenity. They’re my comfort food. A good movie can also be as inspiring to me as a good book when I’m trying to give my creativity a charge. The characterization of these two movies inspires me every time, because there are no boring characters in either one of them, down to the most minor side characters.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you? *mind you, you do have a strong hunky man to help you with things* *grins*
Back to Eden, a compendium that identifies edible plants (I’m a vegetarian), a complete survivalist’s guide (to help me and the hunky guy handle the basics like romantic fires at night and homemade bug repellant, as well as making ourselves a tree house), a wi-fi connection and my e-reader so I can download as many books as I need (the survivalist guide would help me figure out a solar power system so I can keep the reader charged)… That’s four, right? Okay, and a few cases of chocolate I can bury in the ground to keep cool and have for emergencies (smile).
What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?
If I can find a book that will turn off my internal editor and let me just enjoy the story, that’s my way to unwind. Between writing, edits and promo, as well as home/family issues, I don’t have a lot of spare time, but I do exercise about 60-90 minutes each day, and like to watch DVR’ed reruns of ER and Criminal Minds, or favorite movies, to get myself to relax. That’s another way I relax with my husband – watching TV series we both like. Current favorites are Life, Burn Notice, Castle, Warehouse 13, Eureka and Royal Pains.
What is the one era you would love to go visit and why?
I’d like to be here when the Native American cultures were in full bloom and see what the world here looked like then. All the open space, no cities, just hunter/gatherer societies. I know it was a hard way of life, but in other ways, it would be interesting to see what life was like, living so simply. Alternatively, I’d settle for going to spend the summer with Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond.
Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?
Mirror of My Soul. As mentioned above about Tyler, this book was both emotionally draining and yet very fulfilling to write, because Marguerite’s journey toward love was so difficult. Therefore, reaching the happily ever after felt so well-earned, I cry even now when I re-read her wedding scene.
What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
That’s a tough one, because I’ve written twenty books over a nine year period, and I think many of the characters have some traits similar to mine, for whatever particular time period they were written. Probably the closest match (during the relevant time period) was Meg of Make Her Dreams Come True, though I’m glad to say I’ve grown a great deal since then (as has Meg as well, I’m sure!).
Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book come out?
Every single time. Until I start hearing from reviewers and readers that the book met or exceeded expectations, I always worry that I’ve lost the creative spark and it’s time to scurry back into the ground or go back to a day job (laughter). I think that’s essential to my creative process, however. If I thought a book was going to be really great, something would be wrong.
How much does reader response mean to you over your books?
A great deal. Constructive, thoughtful feedback from readers is always invaluable, for a variety of reasons. The positive kind absolutely keeps you going – knowing the readers appreciate what you’re giving them and they want more – there’s nothing as priceless as that, aside from the joy of the writing process itself. As far as the negative feedback, it helps to keep you on point. It doesn’t mean that you’ll change how you write – sometimes a reader’s perspective is a style or personal issue that you know you can’t change. However, if you hear a craft issue mentioned consistently related to a book – the middle drags, or this particular hero was too remote, etc, it gives you something to which you can pay closer attention in the future. This business is very output vs. quality focused, so it’s easy to lose perspective when you’re racing to meet deadlines. Reader feedback helps remind you why you do it, and it’s not the royalty/advance checks (though those are always lovely!).
What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?
I want them to feel like they’ve connected to my characters, were immersed in the story and felt it was worth every moment they gave to the book.
If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast as the h/h?
I’d love to see any of them made into a movie. The only one I’ve been able to cast in my mind has been Rough Canvas, however. I can see Hugh Jackman as Marcus (think smoothness of Leopold in Kate and Leopold), and Colin Farrell (think of his appearance in SWAT). And if anyone pictures them differently, don’t get upset – you’re completely allowed to imagine them however you want! (smile) That’s the nice thing about books – every reader can put the faces and personalities that most attract her/him onto the characters.
What is the weirdest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?
The gist of the review was, “I don’t like BDSM, and I hated this book.” Ahem. Hello?! That would be like saying “I hate Civil War epic romances, and I hated Gone With the Wind.” It did make me wonder if the person was a little bit of a masochist. Does she just like reading genres she hates? Chuckle. It was a strange one. But to each her own.
What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?
Oh, so many of them have been positively delightful, it would be hard to choose. Every time I hear that they feel I’ve surpassed my previous book (and they rated that previous one highly), or that I’ve immersed them so deeply they never wanted the story to end, it makes every moment worth it. I keep all my reviews and reader feedback, because second only to that inexplicable drive to put pen to paper, nothing does more to keep me writing than seeing this evidence that my stories have made an impact on someone’s heart or mind in a significant way.
Here’s a wonderful example from Sarah Silversmith at ParaNormal Romance Reviews, when she reviewed A Mermaid’s Kiss: “Wow! I know that is not the most eloquent of expressions, but…..wow! I am almost speechless after reading A MERMAID’S KISS. I am so stunned, and overwhelmed by the story and the writing I do not truly know where to begin this review. I have read Ms. Hill’s books, going back to the beginning of her Ellora’s Cave offerings and I have always enjoyed the style and depth of her stories. She has always taken chances, written about differences and ideas that are not necessarily easy to grasp, but I think she’s outdone herself with this one.”
I like this kind of review, because it suggests the reviewer felt I dug deep for that extra quality in my stories. And I hope I always give readers that.
If any of the above inspires you to learn more about my work, you can visit my website, www.storywitch.com and find blurbs and free excerpts on all my books. You can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter there, or visit my blog or fan group to read ongoing serialized vignettes featuring characters from my full length works. Thanks so much!
That was awesome if I say so myself. Thanks Joey and good luck with Gideon’s book, I can not wait to read that one. Now up for grabs today is Beloved Vampire. And all you have to do is a few simple things.
First, spread the word. Second, comment. and Finally, you could buy her new books. But I will tell you, a PURCHASE is not NECESSARY to enter the contest. And purchasing does not guarentee you to win. We as that comments be respectful and not hateful. And absoluelty no spamming your own stuff on someone elses post. I hate that and you would too if it was your post. If you want to have some time with us on a post or a guest blog contact us via email not on a post. Contest Ends September 30th at 11:59pm EST.
Now there are three ways to ente.r in to the contest and there is NO purchase necessary to enter the contest:
1. To buy one of Any of Joey’s works (email the receipt) at our Amazon bookstore. Good for and extra 5 entries.
2. Comment. If you comment you get 1 entries.
3. Add us to your Facebook , Twitter or your own blog if you have one, and retweet and/or repost will be eligible for the drawing.
Good for 5 extra entries on top of your comment. DONT FORGET TO LET US KNOW YOU DID. In twitter when you retweet keep our name in.
As with all our “5 Minutes…” spots, they run for a week this contest will end September 30, 2009 at 11:59 EST. A winner will be picked then and emailed accordingly. Good Luck!