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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interview: Leontine goes one on one with Lora Leigh

I’m waiting in the hall as we are all so psyched to have an awesome author with us today. Pearl was the first of the ROOB Posse to read a Breed novel and infected us with her enthusiasm. Read all her Breed reviews here We even shocked a small town village with Breed talk in a restaurant, but that a story for a different time. I take a final peek in the “naughty chick parlor” if all is set when the door bell rings, I open with a big grin on my face; Hello Lora Leigh, welcome in the ROOB mansion.

I take a deep breath, let the fan girl anxiety exit my body and guide Lora Leigh to the parlor, asking her if she want anything to drink or eat.

LL: Hello Leontine, thank you so much for the invitation and for allowing me to visit with you and yours for a while. And I would love a shot of Crown Royal and a Bud light if you have both on hand. 

I hope you’re comfy enough to get this interview kickin’:)

LL: (Settles back in an exquisitely comfortable parlor chair and smiles back) I’m perfectly comfortable, ask away.

ROOB Q 1: These are exciting times for you. First of all, last month was your annual RAW fundraiser. Where did you get the idea to hold a convention where authors bundle their forces to raise money for two causes: abused children and wildlife preserve? And perhaps you can share a funny or heartwarming anecdote with us?

LL: Yes, these are very exciting times, and I hope the readers are still sharing in the excitement. RAW, the Readers Appreciation Weekend has been an amazing venture for me. The idea came about after several years of traveling to other author events. I noticed I hadn’t heard of an event that was completely reader specific. In other words, one that focused entirely on the reader and the appreciation we as authors have for those readers. I wanted an event where I could socialize in a more relaxed atmosphere without stressing over appointments, workshops, etc.

From there, the Readers Appreciation Weekend was born. An event that caters to the readers, that gives us as authors the chance to show our readers how important they are to us, in a controlled number that gives us the chance and the time to focus on each one. To listen to their love of the books, discuss the plots and characters, and just have a damn good time.

The parties were something I had to research, because I’d never thrown or attended a party in my life.

That first year, I decided to have a slumber party on Friday night. I’d always wanted to go to or have a slumber party, but never had. I was always really shy when I was younger and didn’t have a lot of friends, so I hadn’t attended a slumber party myself. So this was my chance to not just attend one, but to host one as well.

That first weekend, on Saturday we had the 80’s dance night, the idea of a costume party came later. We dressed as though it were 1983 all over again, listened to our favorite music hits during a pig roast picnic and later danced to those favored tunes.

The raffle baskets from authors, I’m not certain when that came in. I believe the raffle baskets came in that first year as well as the idea of contributing in some way to a school or children.

ROOB Q 2: Second, October is the month of another BREED release titled; STYX’S STORM. Can you tell us what it’s like to write such an extensive, long-running series? What are the pros and cons and who are the characters most near and dear to you?

LL: Pros? Hmm, you always get to revisit favorite characters, locations and even in some cases, favorite villains. It’s comforting I think, like visiting with friends and sharing a good cup of coffee. It’s building a world, characters and relationships and sharing that world that once, only you saw. Now, I get to live in it with my readers as well, and that’s the most exciting thing I believe I’ve ever known.

The Cons? *sigh* You forget eye color sometimes, height, age, etc. The little details get mixed up and sometimes you mistake one friend for another. Or rather character. 

ROOB Q 3: In extension of the previous question. What are the essential ingredients to keep the Breed overall story arc going and to keep it intriguing without making it overwhelming?

LL: The love of the series, the characters and the world you’re building. If I didn’t love it, if I didn’t crave being a part of that world, then it would have definitely become overwhelming long ago. Not that certain books aren’t overwhelming on their own, because they are. Some of the books have had me screaming because the characters aren’t talking to me, or I can’t seem to get into their heads as I need to.

There’s a lot of components that go into series such as this, and sometimes, I forget things. Well, often I would forget things until I begin making cards for each series I’m doing. Now, I’ve found I have over 1200 characters in all the series, and that doesn’t count the characters I’ve killed off. LOL

ROOB Q 4: Do you do any research for your Breed novels?

LL: I’ve had to do tons of research, especially on genetic mutations and testing. I’ve had to do considerable research on certain types of military and guerrilla training as well as hours upon hours of research on test tube conception and all the risks and steps involved in it, just so I would kinda sorta understand as much as I could.

I’m not a science person, but when this series came to mind, I couldn’t put it aside. I had to write it.

ROOB Q 5: We book-addicts are curios as can be and the cover summary of STYX’S STORM is torturing short. Can you tell us a bit more about Storme Montague, Wolf Breed Styx and their story?

LL: Unfortunately, the story completely changed between the blurb being written and the book being written. I’m several months behind on deadlines, and trying desperately to catch up due to the past two years and the changes that have taken place in my life.

A divorce, a move. Learning to live as my own boss and to raise a teenage son who’s going through all that teenage angst that marks those years between fifteen and eighteen. I’ve become a grandmother, and I’m finally learning what being happy and being independent really means. I’m learning who I am, and as fun as it can be at times, it can also be painful, exhausting, and mind numbing.

And now back to your question. LOL Storme is having to learn lessons that mirror mine in some ways. She’s run for years from the breeds, hating them, wishing them all to disappear and even sometimes working in small ways with the purist societies that have risen up against them.

But what she’s never done is reveal the information her father gave her for safekeeping. Information that in the breeds hands could potentially save them. But in their enemies hands, it could destroy them.

Jonas has known she’s had this all along, and wanted her to have the opportunity to grow up, to realize on her own that the breeds that killed her family were everyone’s enemy, but the breed society would never be her enemy.

He can’t give her anymore time though. With the injection his daughter Amber was given, and the fear that one day it could endanger her life, Jonas sends Styx to capture her. The serum Amber was injected with was based on the work done by Storme’s father and brother. Jonas has to have that research, and Styx has to have the woman that’s haunted his fantasies for so many years.

Styx takes her back to Haven to convince her to give him that research as well to give her a chance to learn that the breeds aren’t the monsters she believes they are.

I like to think in Styx’s book that you see the depth of what the breeds and the mating heat can be. As in previous books, the mating heat is reacting differently, as it often will, on Styx and Storme versus other mates. It’s less violent in its intensity and less painful. But in slowing the heat down, two characters who had a lot of emotional growing to do, were given that chance. And I hope the reader sees that growth and perhaps in ways can identify with it.

Storme is learning who she is, and learning how wrong she was while Styx is realizing the pleasure, but most importantly the comfort from knowing that finally, he belongs.

ROOB Q 6: What surprised you most in writing STYX’S STORM and what did you do when you hit a rough patch?

LL: This was one of those books that can leave an author crying more nights than not. Styx fought me, Storme fought me and they fought each other. It was a book that I wondered if I would ever finish simply because the characters would become so difficult at times.

I think those rough patches surprised me the most, but running a close second to it, was seeing the changes in Haven, the Wolf Breed community. The sense of family that’s establishing, and how the wolf and coyote breeds are finally merging. I didn’t expect it this soon, and the advance has altered the future arcs in several small ways.

ROOB Q 7: Eroticism according to Lora Leigh is...?

love. More to the point, the sensual, physical expression of love. To me, it’s not erotic, its not even sensual if the love isn’t there. That is the ingredient that erotic can’t exist without for me. The love amplifies the pleasure and the eroticism that exists when two people, make love.

ROOB Q 8: I think this question may be one of the most frequent asked question asked but the children of the Breeds, will they ever receive a story of their own? Is that super secret Breed info not to be disclosed or can you speak up about certain details?

LL: I do have the breed children planned into upcoming arcs in the breeds.

Cassie, David, Amber, Sherra’s son, Tanner and Schemes children. I have stories in my head, but details rarely remain consistent when there’s more than a few months when the book is to be written, so I prefer not to give them. But the stories are planned, so hopefully the readers will continue to enjoy the books enough to ensure that the continued success of that world.

ROOB Q 9: What did you do to celebrate typing ‘The End’ for STYX’S STORM

LL: I began plotting my next book. LOL That’s how I celebrate the ending of most books. I go right into the next now, especially now with the deadlines on many of them having already passed.

Thank you so much for being here and answer all our questions!

For autographed books http://www.dreamsbynight.com/

my website http://www.loraleigh.com/

Readers Appreciation Weekend http://www.readerappreciationweekend.com/

Thanks Leontine for this opportunity to talk to you and your readers. I hope everyone enjoys Styx’s Storm, and the Breeds, and that you keep coming back to read more.

Giveaway: Three Lora Leigh sleep shirts (fits up to 2xl) :) Leave a comment and the winner will be announced on October 18th.


Linda Henderson said...

I really enjoyed the interview and I can't wait to read Styx's Storm.

seriousreader at live dot com

cories5 said...

Great interview! One of these days, I really should look into attending RAW; it sounds so fun and for such good causes.


susan said...

What a give away and a shirt that would fit me..so many times I can not find them large enough now if only I could win one. I just need to say this article was enjoyable and I feel like I know more about another special author of mine. Before I started coming in the web sites..an author on the cover of a book was just a name. Now I know the author more and the books have more meaning and they are more enjoyable. susan L. garysue@dejazzd.com

Natascha said...

I wish I was able to attend the RAW slumberparty!!! That would've been such a blast I think. I used to be the same. I was that shy girl in the back of a room - any room, classroom; party; birthdaybash; and wallflower at the bar. These days i like to think I'm a bit more open and forward but sometimes find myself trapped into that shy-girl quiet type stereotype state of mind.

I am probably one of the few who are still at book one of reading the breeds series. I swear everytime I pick up book one and am at a certain sensual scene one of my two cats sniffs I'm there and pops his head over the cover of my book. Ever since then, when I see that look in my cats eye.... I'm going to give it a third try in a couple of weeks because I loved the part up to where I got reading ;-).

I can imagine the flow-charts you much have hanging around to keep track of all the chars, their partners, kids etc. Like one of those frantic researchers deep into a problem -lol- have fun with Styx's release, it'll take me a while before I have read up in this series but it sounds like another great story!!!!

Enjoy the release and I loved reading the interview.

JoAnna said...

Finished Styx's Storm on Friday. It was great. I will have to look into RAW next year and see if it feasible.

Annemiek V said...

What a great interview,thanks Lora Leigh and the ladies from ROOB.

SiNn said...

what an awesome interview The book sounds amazing cant wait to read it im gla dto se ei found another awesome blog


Tanya said...

What a fantastic interview! I loved the realness of the answers, so thank you, Ms. Leigh! It's always so nice to see the person behind the author. The RAW weekend sounds exciting. I'll definitely need to check that out!


Aurian said...

I must confess, I have read Pearls reviews for years now, but I haven't really tried a book. I have read some short stories in anthologies, and I liked the writing style and characters. But it is the explicit love scenes that keep me from starting for real. But perhaps, one day, I will go for it. After all, all the books nowadays are more and more filled with lovescenes.

But ladies, a great interview with a great author!

JennJ said...

Fabulous interview! Loved learning more about Lora and the series! You all are awesome! :)

Ina said...

I just started with the series and I'm soooo happy that there are quite a lot books to read for me ;)
thanks for a great interview - I loved to get more information!
greetings, Ina

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