Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A World of Magick

Anyone who’s known me for a long time is aware I’m actually very shy. Ask me about myself and I sort of stare at the floor. I’m not trying to be difficult, but I can’t imagine anyone wants to know about me.

Ask me about my critters and I’ll talk your ear off. Ask me about my books and your other ear will follow ear number one. And you’ll be running for the hills.

I think it also has to do with something that happened in 1983 when I was still a newly published author with my third book just out. I was at a very large group signing and met an author who I’d enjoyed for some years. I was so excited to have a chance to meet her and tried to do my best not to gush. The minute the woman learned I wrote category romance I was suddenly relegated to the lowest of the low. She was so rude to me that I couldn’t believe anyone would act like that. I didn’t read her books after that. That could be why I feel better when my books speak for me.

Perhaps it’s because I’m an only child that my characters have always been real to me. I see them in 3-D inside my head and there are times when I’m positive Fluff and Puff the magick bunny slippers are roaming the house, Irma’s taken over the passenger seat in my SUV, or Maggie’s on duty if I’m running errands after dark. Who knows, maybe Lili’s around when I’m sick and Cleo’s crooning the Soft Kitty song.

Whether writing or reading, the characters are important to me. They are what rounds out the story.

I can sit here and talk about Lili, how she came about in my head (you have to admit it’s kind of funny to have a witch doctor heroine), what kind of man will enter her life, and what creature will be her sidekick.

Lili made her first appearance in 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover as wallmail correspondence between her and Jazz. I wasn’t entirely sure when her book would appear in the series. I have a file with notes, ideas of her story, and creature thoughts.

I also knew it meant deciding what historical facts I’d weave into the book. One I won’t mention since it has to do with the plot and one of the characters.

Creating an asylum as dark and disgusting as I did was actually easy. A movie I’ve watched more than once is Bedlam, starring Boris Karloff. A ‘hospital’ housing the mentally ill in ways no one would want to comprehend. A Demon Does It Better was the perfect background for an asylum and easy to create a demon hero who was literally branded a homicidal maniac. Especially, when you consider the hospital was ultra-modern and the dungeon was still back in the 1700s. Although there is the hospital greeter, a vulture perched over the hospital doorway announcing everyone will die. Yes, he’s a bit of sunshine.

Cleo was easy since I wanted a diva kitty and giving her Cleopatra’s heritage made it fun.

A Demon Does It Better is special for two very good reasons. It’s dedicated to my mom who passed away last fall and to a wonderful friend, Beverly Barton, who I also miss every day.

This is what I can talk about. Characters, families and friends who all seem to be intertwined.

What does it mean to you? Would you prefer knowing everything about the author (although please don’t ask my weight or how I lost my virginity! No joke. Someone did ask me that once!) or about the books themselves?


  1. I love to learn about my favorite authors, of course some of that may have to do with the fact that I write, too. I think I'd do the same as you if I encountered an author who treated people poorly, and I'd rather know who I'm giving my hard-earned money to. It's sad that even happened. I like to think writers are part of a tight-knit community. Most are extremely helpful and supportive of other writers.

    BTW, the asylum setting was a great idea! Love it <3

  2. Thanks Angela.

    No matter the professional community you have the good and the bad.

    I like to think I treat people the way I want to be treated.

    The asylum just seemed to be appropriate for the book.

  3. I like hearing more about both! I recently found an author that I adore on twitter. Once a month, she lets people ask her questions about the books and characters. It is great to get some confusing points cleared up and hear what other readers are thinking.

    And a big grrrrrr to whomever that author was. I used to be a huge Steven King fan. Then I heard him bashing the Twilight Series. Even if he hated it, I think it horrible that he would outright trash someone else's work. Very tacky. I've never given him another dime of my money.

    Loved Lili, Jared, Cleo and the whole gang. I just found your most recent book and read it in two days. I'm now downloading all the rest of the demon series. Would you have a reading list to follow for the series? It is great!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed the crew Heidi.

    Yes, you should never trash another author's work.

    The demon series is a continuation to the Hex series.

    I'm sort of clueless by what you mean by a reading list. Of other books?

    You can also find my older backlist books at www dot joyridebooks dot com

  5. I enjoy learning about the authors I enjoy and the worlds they have created. I recently found the Hex series, and just lived the two I read today.

    I was elated when I came here and found the characters were still here in the new Demon series.

    I've been reading your books since Harlequin...20 years worth now. (I'm aging myself)

    I was so sad to learn of Beverly Barton's passing. I loved her work as well. There are several authors I've been reading nearly 20 years.

  6. LOL Hope! Considering I started out with Silhouette in 1979 then Dell Ecstasy you have more to catch up with. A few of my backlist books are up as ebooks through Amazon, Nook, Smashwords, iTunes and there's more at www.joyridebooks.com

    It's been fun going through those books and seeing if I've grown as a writer.

    Beverly was a very special person. I miss her all the time.

  7. Hi Linda

    I realized today it's been 30 years, not 20. First romance I read was Fever by Elizabeth Lowell, and I was forever hooked.

    I'll definitely be reading your backlist.

    Are you still doing writing courses, by chance?

  8. I remember Fever!

    I don't have any writing courses planned as of now, but that can change.