Thursday, December 24, 2009

Welcome to J. Hali Steele's guest blog!

Welcome J. Hali Steele to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.

Did you always want to become a writer?

No, funny thing—I wanted to be a veterinarian! I was the neighborhood pied piper of dogs and cats and any critter that I found injured. But my father didn’t think that was an appropriate calling for a woman. Yes, that’s his picture under male chauvinist in most prehistoric dictionaries. *grins* I love him though. I guess that would be the reason I write about cats. I’m very passionate when it comes to the subject of animals. It was later I came to writing when I wrote a poem for a boy I liked which morphed into greeting cards for my family and the rest, as they say, is history.

What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?

Most interesting: reading and learning all the differences regarding the lives and habits of felines around the world. I’m amazed by all the material you can find on the internet. I remember going to the library when I was in school and lugging around pounds of books to find one answer.

Least interesting: haven’t found one yet. The whole business of writing is a complete joy to me. I’m not crazy about promotion, but I could never say it’s not interesting.

How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?

My first sale was A Panther’s Flight to Eirelander Publishing. I called my sisters yelling into the phone that I’d sold a story. They both said we’re coming right over. They did. Guess who cooked? Yes, I cooked my own celebratory dinner. I was so psyched I didn’t care.

How did your family react to the fact that you write romance novels? Have your family read your book?

My sisters love my books! In fact, they often chime in with suggestions for some of the stories. Here’s an interesting bit of information—they each wanted to be a heroine in a story. So, they are!

Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?

I voraciously read paranormals especially vamp and shifter stories with heat, lots of heat! Favorites? Let me see, these are in no particular order: Christine Feehan, Kerrelyn Sparks, Lynsay Sands to name a few.

Who influenced me? That would have to be Ayn Rand. I’d love to meet that woman. Her ability to tell a story, at least for me, was phenomenal. I still am amazed at her world building in Atlas Shrugged and who couldn’t fall in love with John Galt?

Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?

*Laughing* ALL my characters live with me, they’re like children who won’t leave home! Sometimes when I’m telling their story, they do take over a part of my life. After I’m finished, they pop in now and then like old friends. Since I write mostly stand-alone series, they often show up in new stories. It’s safe to say they continue to live with me. Now, if I could figure out a way to make them pay rent!

Where do you get the inspirations for your books?

I don’t know! I’d have to say it’s usually a situation more than a person that will grab me. Sometimes I’ll be shopping or walking, even working, and an idea pops into my head. After that, it’s hard to shake and I start writing the synopsis which sits on my desktop for a while before I get to it, but I do get to them.

Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?

No, I don’t have problems writing love scenes and since I write erotica, thank goodness for that. Physical love is a part of life. Sometimes we experience that part of life pretty quickly, other times it takes longer. I think it has a place in romance. In my writing it just has a bigger place than other romance stories.

Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writer’s block?

As far as deadlines, I’ve never missed one. I haven’t suffered writer’s block yet. I remember something a very prolific writer said at a convention I attended. Can’t quote her word-for-word but the gist of it was that some days your character might only have one sentence to say—make it a good one.

Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer) ?

Definitely stand-alones, and with happily ever after endings. I don’t like series that go on and on and I don’t enjoy happy for now. I like the characters reappearing, it’s fun to see them return and find out how they progressed. But their story has to end with their book.

If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?

That would be Yael from Hope in Love. She arrived in heaven as an exulted, a being who helped someone on earth and got to live out her days among angels. Well, needless to say, she fell for an angel who loved her just as much. That story is one of my favorites. And, wow, to live all my days as the love interest of Ramiel, the angel of hope—yeah, Yael is who I’d want to be.

What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine, and why?

Right up there for favorite hero is Fane from A Panther’s Flight. He’s one of my first characters and he holds a very high place in my mind, always will. Heroine? Don’t think I have a fav—the hero always stands out more for me. Well, there is Purple P. Rose from Screwed, but that’s another story!

Would you like to give another genre a try?

Paranormal, contemporary, and the angel story is a fantasy—that’s enough to satisfy me at the moment. I have done a couple ménages which I know is a sub genre and I look forward to writing more of them in each of the above genres. The contemporaries, boy, they were different for me, lol. Without my characters having the ability to mind read and vanish, I had to write them from a completely new perspective. I won’t say I’m not going to do other genres, but there are none I’m interested in exploring right now.

Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?

The easiest was one about a white lion, Hard Case. The hardest, hmm…a tiger vamp/shifter I just can’t seem to get right.

If you could choose one of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you choose as the cast?

I haven’t finished writing that book yet! But young Christopher Walken with long dark gray hair would have to be the hero and the heroine—don’t know, any up and coming actress will do.

If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?

Tarzan. I know, he’s fictional, but imagine living in the pristine jungle of Burrough’s story, seeing all the wildlife as well as being a part of one of the most feared animal’s family! That would be awesome.

Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?

I’m a big fan of Soundscapes. Relaxing, and without all the distracting words. Tango is another one I listen to and I always play it when I’m doing love scenes. The rhythm is…sexy.

Big congrats to your latest release, can you please tell us something about the book?

A Panther’s Flight which is out now from Eirelander Publishing. That is Fane’s story. He is one of my most angsty characters. He’s suffered a lot in dealing with both sides of what he is, a panther infected with the curse of vampyre blood. Here’s a bit about it:

When a mate is worth waiting for.

Fane Baron is a Reign warrior—a sanctioned killer charged with hunting down the rogue vampyre cats of the Sovereign Kind. Haunted by memories of stalking his best friend and afraid the same contagious addiction will consume him, Fane makes a drastic decision; he’ll stop taking blood. He knows the consequences of his decision, the problem is, can he live with himself once he meets her…?

Edy Adair is in a predicament of her uncle's making. A few days from her first change to a panther, already dealing with the clawing emotional turmoil of being in heat, she’s headed on a short flight to Arizona with the vampyre cat of her dreams. Only problem, he isn’t the mate chosen for her by her parents. The fact is he killed her cousin!

If you’d like to read more, here’s a link: EXCERPT

Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?

There are a couple projects I’m working on. One is a fantasy involving Stonehenge and a witch and I’m finishing up a few other stories, the second in the angel series. Mainly, there’s the cats, there will be a few more of them. *grins* Readers seem to enjoy their shifters with a little bite.

Thanks, Danny, for having me in today. I’ve enjoyed sharing a small part of my writing life with your readers and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone Happy Holidays! May there be only joy in your life.


J Hali said...

I want to take this opportunity to thank you and Loveromances and More for having me here.

If you need a last minute gift...visit Eirelander Publising. They have a wonderful selection!

Happy Holidays to everyone and may your New Year bring all that you wish for.

Dawn said...

Love the interview guys. I added this to my reading list to check out after the holidays.

Thanks for coming by. :)


Ari Thatcher said...

You HAVE to let me know when you finish the Stonehenge one. I love all your stories, but that spot is a favorite of mine.

J Hali said...

Dawn, I hope you get a chance to read it!

Happy Holidays!

J Hali said...

OH! Ari, I'm LOVING this story! 1 chapt from finishing 2nd in series then a little finessing...I think I can arrange for you to see it! *grins*

Sandy said...

Great interview, Joann. Your book is on my TBR pile. As soon as I get a spare minute I'm going to read. Grin.

Annie Nicholas said...

Wow Joann, I didn't know you wanted to be a vet. It makes sense now.

Charisma Knight said...

Hey Joann,

Nice interview. I need to tell you, Hope in Love is awesome, I will probably finish this one up tonight. I'm behind in the books, but I'll catch up.

Happy Holidays to you and your family and Best Wishes to you.


J Hali said...

Sandy, I hope you like it.

Merry Christmas!

J Hali said...

Annie, I'm such a lover of all animals...cats just happen to be my favs.

Merry Christmas!


Hope (pun intended) Ramiel makes you want to read the next one about Uri *grins*.

Merry Christmas!

Barb said...

Loved what you had to say. Hanging out for your second Angel book.