NOTE: Before I get started I'd like to announce the winner of Kelley's contest from yesterday is flchen 1. YAY!!!! Congrats! Please drop Kelley a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your looooovely prize!
One of my most 'funner than fun' friends is author Fran Lee! I'm not kidding people, this woman is a hoot. Not only is she fun but she is amazingly talented and one of the most generous people I know. So please help me welcome her today.
I've always thought it was important for authors to support each other and I've seldom been disappointed in the generosity of those I come in contact with on a daily basis. As for Fran, she is quick to post an impromptu review or host us on her Examiner blog or any of her other 'fun spots'. Sometimes I wonder how she finds time to pen her steamy stuff because usually she's coming up with another spectacular way to help her fellow authors and friends. Lately, she has been in 'trailer-making-mode' and we have all reaped the benefits. She has done three trailers for me, including Feral Moon, Highland Beast, and my upcoming Lone Star Lycan.
Her first Ellora's Cave title is Out of Her Dreams. Just came out a few weeks ago so please stop by Jasmine Jade and pick up a copy HERE!
The following question and answer session is my meager attempt to give something back to a generous and talented friend. I highly recommend her work which includes not only her current release but her upcoming titles available through both Ellora's Cave and Resplendence Publishing. So please help me welcome the outrageous Fran Lee!
When did you decide you wanted to write, Fran? Was it something that was always with you or did it hit like a bolt of lightning?
I have been writing for pleasure since I was 8…just little Halloween stories or Christmas ones. In the 6th grade I tried a Tolstoy-ish composition that I figured would make me a writer, but gave up after about 10 pages. I knew absolutely nothing about the subject I wrote about, and decided to quit while I was ahead. :PAt fourteen, I would be walking along and suddenly a thought would strike from nowhere, and I would find myself composing scenes between H/H’s in my mind. I often spoke the scenes aloud (which got me some very weird looks). Then I would go home and write a few pages down. Later on, I picked up the “starts” and continued writing on them, adding to them bit by bit. I never tossed anything away. I still find bits and pieces of short stories and 25-page epics in storage. LOL!
What authors inspired you to write your OWN book of your heart?
When I was twelve, I found my mom’s ancient, dog-eared copy of “The Sheikh”, by E.M. Hull. When my mom told me E.M. Hull was a lady, I was ecstatic. After that, I read any romance book I could find. I sneaked my aunt’s Georgette Heyer books and always put them back (she knew I was borrowing them, I found out later). Then I found Barbara Cartland. (You can tell how old I am by these books, right?)Then I graduated to Harlequins. Then to erotic romance novels. I found a whole passel of hot paperback romances by Jude Deveraux, Kathleen Woodiwiss, and others. The list goes on and on.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Oh, wow…I thought I’d escaped that one! :P Okay…I’m officially “old”. I passed the mark quite a while back after turning 39 and starting to count backwards. That means I am now about 15.I had a mad passion for horses when I was a kid, and over the years, I have been honored to own a few of the noble beasties. Now I satisfy my passion by collecting antique and vintage metal horse statues and old Marx toys with horses in them. They are easier to feed and there’s absolutely no upkeep cost. JI own over 1,000 paper and ink books. I own over 1,000 movies on VHS and DVD. I hold a second-degree black belt in Kenpo. I used to travel the martial arts tournament circuits and do photo-journalist work, and write up karate tournaments for an international karate league’s magazine. I also submitted articles to the big glossy MA magazines, and had a few printed. I still do a bit of teaching.I have three adult kids, one adult grandchild, five younger grandkids, and a ball python, a leopard gecko, a 20-year-old fluffy tabby cat, and I still live in the 52 year old house my folks bought new. Um…I’ll shut up now.
What is a day like in "Fran's World"?
Oh, Lordy! No day is exactly like any other, I’m afraid. Right now I have my younger son and his family living with me until they scrape up the down payment for a home. I also have an older grandson living with me. It’s just a tad bit crowded, but it’s been fun.I get up as soon as I’ve had my 5-7 hours of sleep, so if I don’t get to bed until 7 a.m., I get up at noon. I turn on my computer. I check my 200-500 e-mails. Chat on my loops a bit. Check out all my loops and blogsites and websites to see what’s happened. Check my Examiner.com site to make comments. Yogurt time. Do some laundry. Chocolate time. Sweep a floor to get all the cookie crumbs up. Sit down at the computer. Soup and sandwich time. Work on promos for my books. Yell at the little ones to stop running through the house like cavalry. Go help the littlest one to fix something he broke. (He’s three.) Sit down to write a bit. Go put the laundry in the dryer. Enjoy whatever wonderful meal my son and daughter-in-law have prepared for me while I’m buried behind my door.By 9 p.m. the kids are in bed, and I sit down to work edits, connect with people, answer e-mails again, and chat on my loops a bit so people will know I’m still alive. Upload my Examiner column at midnight. Write some more. Discuss things with my editor who lives in Australia (it’s daytime over there). I fall asleep at the keyboard, hit my nose on the monitor, and shut it down to start all over again tomorrow.
Do you set daily writing goals or just write when the spirit moves you?
What keeps you motivated? Goals? Spell that, please. Oh, yeah! Goals…hmmm. Nope. No goals. Most of my stuff was written long ago. All I try to keep up on is the edits, the rewrites when I need to, and those are my priority. Once these edits are finished and those books are in the can, then I will polish up another old one and send it off. I am not a person who sets goals. If I set one, it gets destroyed. I get far more done by the “seat of the pants” method of working. I do what I gotta do, and I do it fast. Motivation? Spell that please…
Are there any writing genres you haven't tried yet but would like to?
What is your favorite genre to read? First, let me address the one about reading. I adore reading paranormal romance, shape shifter and werewolf and vampire and all that. I love to read erotic romance where the author handles the “erotic” part with flair and class. I love a great “story” with my erotic romance. If it’s just gratuitous sex with more “C’ words and “P” words than plot, I sigh and set it aside, and reach for the next book. “Erotic” does not have to equate with smut and plotless porn.I love writing erotic contemporary, but my “contemporary” almost always has a paranormal twist tossed in. Like Out of Her Dreams, where H/H both have dreamed about someone to fill their “gaps” as Rocky would say. And Dictated by Fate, where the hero’s mom’s spirit whispers in his ear telling him what a schmuck he is. It’s always something that pops into my writing.I loved writing Hallie’s Cats, (which, BTW, I wrote in less than an hour and as a hoot) just to try my hand at shape shifters. Again, once I sat down to write, the words just poured out and next thing I knew it was 2 a.m. I edited the next day, added some background stuff, and submitted.
What kinds of promotion do you like to pursue?
Anything I can get my hands on! LOL! I have several blogs and a website (Non-professionally done) and I have joined with other authors in their collaborative blogs. I started the Examiner.com thing to help other authors, but once in a while I do a shameless self-promotion on there. :PI saw some book teasers on YouTube, and worked until I found a way to make my own. Then I started making them for other authors who didn’t have one anywhere. I have my own channel on YouTube and do what I can to promote everyone’s trailers on that site. (Google “dragonlady10”)I stay connected with hundreds of authors and dozens of groups and even set up a loop of my own on Yahoo Groups just for fun. JI had bookmarks made up using my book covers, and had calendar magnets done too. T-shirts…baseball caps, you name it! I even had a few shopping bags made up, and people in stores look at them and I can see them writing down the URLs. I ran a contest on my website during the promotion of my new release, and was shocked to find 400 hits on the website in two days.But the best thing you can do to promote yourself is to promote others. I am a firm believer in Karma. What you put out into the cosmos comes back at you. So be darned careful what you toss out there. LOL!
Tell us about your next project. When does it release and what is it about?
My next release is Hallie’s Cats. Coming out July 31 from Ellora’s Cave. I made a teaser before I got a cover.
You can see it here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GiBJo6aGt4
Here’s a blurb:
Hallie James loves cats – she just never realized she was one, herself. Not until she met the delicious brothers, Gar and Cal, one sinfully dark, the other beautifully golden. Moving to Rutledge NE was a desperate move to escape from an ugly divorce and to start a new life. But just how new, she had never imagined!Her car dead – her money as low as her spirits – Hallie is struggling to keep a roof over her head. Then one terrifying meeting with a runaway pit bull lands her on her butt on the sidewalk, crying over spilled milk – literally! But when the dog's owner appears out of nowhere, and asks if she's all right, Hallie has the most shocking reaction to his nearness.Gar and his little brother Cal have lived safely and comfortably in the big estate house left them by someone they helped long ago. Cal is getting restless…he’s passing into his sexual prime and there’s not a female leopard to be had. Gar is worried that he’ll start setting his sights on human females…specifically, Hallie James. And Gar has his own plans in that direction… he doesn’t mind sharing, but he won’t settle for anything less than the alpha share.