Join me today in welcoming author Lisa Renee Jones to the Preternatura blog! Award winning author Lisa Renee Jones has published more than fifteen novels in several different languages, spanning multiple genres of romance: contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction. Her awards include first place in the Romantic Times Aspiring Writers Contest. She currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she is working on her next Zodius novel, The Renegade Conquest (working title), to be released in November 2011. For more information, please visit www.lisareneejones.com/ and www.sourcebookscasablanca.com.
Lisa’s new book, a sci-fi romance called The Legend of Michael, was released by Sourcebooks Casablanca on May 1. It was so fun to read a science fiction-based paranormal romance! The nice folks at Sourcebooks will be giving away two copies so read through to the contest info at the end!
First, about The Legend of Michael: He’s a Lethal Weapon…One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate. He is her Enemy… And her Destiny…Cassandra holds the key to Michael’s power, and his pain. With loyalties divided and against insurmountable odds, Cassandra’s heart propels her to Michael’s side—but can her love do anything but destroy him…No ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one th ing is clear—the world will never be the same…
Welcome, Lisa! First, I loved The Legend of Michael―congratulations on its release! You tap into a genre we don’t see too often, which is science fiction-based romance. Can you give us the “elevator pitch” for Michael and his world?
Thank you so much on Michael. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. I am so bad at elevator pitches, and after years in sales, you’d think I would be great! For Michael I would say – dark, dangerous genetically enhanced Super Soldier who is as lethal in battle as he is in bed 🙂
Which came first–the world, or the characters?
The world for sure. I had been traveling to Vegas several times a year, which put Area 51 in my mind. There were several series with DNA-altered men, and even just men transformed into vamps and werewolves. So I was digging deep into ‘what is different?’ when it seemed so much had been done. I knew vamps and shapeshfters were out and I knew a hot military hero rocked my world. So, that’s how the idea began to take form. An interesting tidbit. I can’t say who, but someone who has passed away who was part of a military team, and took part of one of those supposed (Area 51) shipwrecks recovered, gave me some hints of information. Those men were all sworn to secrecy (and I mean SWORN TO SECRECY) but right before he passed away, he shared tiny tidbits. We could never drag the entire story from him (we being family) but boy we tried! He carried those secrets with him for decades and to his deathbed. Knowing this really made me begin thinking of what might be beneath Area 51, and inside the facility.
How did writing Michael differ from writing your previous romance titles?
My voice for my contemporary stories is light and fun. I enjoy the break from the dark side but often my Blaze editor gets me right after I wrote a dark story, and she says – just remember – light and fun, Lisa! My voice for paranormal tends to be dark – often very dark. I’d gotten to explore that dark side with my Nocturne Knights of White, and often found the 75k word count limiting and frustrating. With every single book, I reworked the story to stay at word count. It was nice with Michael, and the next two books in the series (already written) to remove that word-count limitation. Even an extra 10k leaves so much more room to fully tell a story. Also, with Nocturne, the hero must be alpha and the heroine can never be too alpha herself. I always had to remain cautious of that because I like to write a strong heroine. I love having the ability to play with the characters more.
How much research was required for this world–all the science / genetic testing sounded plausible. It felt like a cross between futuristic Area 51 research and some of the horrific government-sponsored testing done in the 1940s and ‘50s.
I read a number of non-fiction books about Las Vegas. I talked with the family member I mentioned. I spent hours on the net reading conspiracy theories about Area 51. And finally, I have a fiancé going to med school, who has talked to professors for me about some of the medical possibilities.
What’s on your nightstand–your current read?
I read all over the board. I just picked up Karen Moning’s Highlander Spell to re-read it. I just love her writing. I also loved her Fever urban fantasy series. LOVED. Such a rocking wonderful series. I’ve recently written an urban fantasy first-person proposal that is in my agent’s hand now, so that tells you I have an urban fantasy bug in me. I just love urban fantasy. However, sometimes I love a historical – like Gaelen Foley – who is a goddess of prose – just for the amazing escape. I can’t write historical, so I can just escape.
The chemistry between Michael and Cassandra was hot right from their first scene together! Do you “cast” your characters as you write? Who’d play Michael and Cassandra?
I tend to cast the male character and even print a picture. I tend to try and become the heroine, no matter how different she is from me. But with the hero cast, and a picture printed, then I experience him as her. For Michael, it was always Rob Aston, the former Mr. Romance, and there was one particular picture that just screamed MICHAEL to me. Sadly, Rob passed away a few years back at a very young age. His Romantic Times profile is at: http://old.romantictimes.com/resources_covermodels.php?article=185
What’s next in the Zodius world?
The Storm That is Sterling is out in November 2011. My hero picture for that story is Justin Harding who plays Green Arrow in Smallville. He is SO Sterling to me. Sterling personifies the song by Tim McGraw – I might be a real bad boy, but baby I’m a real good man, to me. He is wild and daring, and funny. I loved writing him.
Then in May 2012, The Danger That is Damion will be in stores. My hero picture for him is Channing Tatum. I so don’t think Channing can act, but dang he makes a perfect Damion! Damion is Mr. America. All about the rules and doing things by the books. It was fun to write a woman who could make him forget the rules!
Thank you so much for having me! This was a fun interview!
Thanks, Lisa–great to have you here!
Want to win a copy of The Legend of Michael? Leave a comment, and you know the rest of the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now…Go forth and comment!