Hi, we'd like to welcome Jennifer Lyon to the blog today. She's the award winning author of Soul Magic, the latest in a fantastic series from Ballantine Books. While she's here, Jennifer has graciously offered to answer any questions we may have (we'll try to be gentle).
Can you tell us a little bit about Soul Magic?
It's the second book in the Magic series after BLOOD MAGIC.
Sutton West knows he's close to giving into the curse and going rogue. If that happens, he'll start killing innocent witches to harvest the power in their blood and lose his soul. Worse, Sutton has touched the blood of a witch, Dr. Carla Fisk, and the memory haunts him. He's torn between duel hungers; the deep desire for the woman and the dark craving for her witch blood.
Carla is haunted too-by her murdered twin sister. When she discovers that her sister's soul is trapped in a knife, she goes to Sutton for help in finding the knife so she can free Keri's soul to go onto Summerland.
Together as they battle a dangerous psychic, Sutton and Carla discover that Keri's twin bond with Carla is keeping her soul alive. And they soon realize that one of them is Sutton's soul mirror-but which one? Carla, the witch who is alive and that he already loves? Or Keri, the dead witch whose soul they are trying to free?
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
With this series, I know which witch hunter's story I want to tell next, so character comes first. But when I started the series, I had a premise in mind of witches and witch hunters who once worked together to fight evil and then they were torn apart by a curse, giving demons a foothold on earth. So it just depends…sometimes character sometimes plot!
What made you decide to write paranormal romance?
I have always loved witches! I was hooked from the time I saw my first BEWITCHED rerun when I was a little girl. Back in my unpublished days, I wrote a witch story that never sold, but I always wanted to try it again. Then one day, I just decided to go for it and write a story about witches the way that I always envisioned them..
What is the best writing advice you ever received?
When I was unpublished, it was to finish the book and keep going forward. Don't get stuck on revising the same three chapters, or don't get stuck on revising the same book over and over. Revising a book a couple times can be a great learning experience. But then start something new, keep writing forward. I can't credit anyone person for this advice, it's just what I heard over and over.
As a published author, it'd have to be from Maureen Child: "You know how to write a book. Now go do it." In other words, quit belly aching and get to work! (I need that advice, like, every day!)
How does your family feel about your career as a romance author?
My husband and kids are 110 percept supportive! My sister is my biggest fan and never tires of talking plots.
I dedicated my first published book to my mom who always told me, "You never know what you can do until you try. So get out there and try." She believed in my dream through eight years of rejections. She was very sick by the time I got my first contract offer, but she was thrilled, telling all the doctors and nurses and anyone she could get to listen. She didn't get to see my first book on the shelves, but when I held that first book in my hands, I knew it was her belief that helped create it.
As for others who might not be as supportive, I don't worry about it.
What are some of your influences/favorite books and authors?
So many! In high school, I read Stephen King and Rosemary Rogers, well actually, I read voraciously but those are the two I can think of off the top of my head. Out of high school, the names that come to mind are Dean Koontz, Julie Garwood and Jude Deveraux as the ones that really inspired me to write. I've always read a mix of genres, with romance being the dominate one.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I'm reading RED HOT LIES by Laura Caldwell. And I have Roxanne St. Claire's MAKE HER PAY and John Saul's FACES OF FEAR next in line. That's an unusual line up for me, I usually read more paranormal which I just can't get enough of.
What is next in the series? For you as a writer?
Next will be Phoenix's story. I'm super excited about this book, tentatively titled, BLIND MAGIC. I'm still working on it, but I'll tell you this much: The heroine, Ailish is a blind witch handfasted to a demon and must find a way to break the handfast or she will die. Phoenix gets drawn into this unwillingly at first, but he's soon fighting to save the woman he loves from a fate he doesn't know how to stop.
I'm also working on a fun Brava Novella about a wizard with fried powers and a heroine who blackmails him into helping her find her missing grandmother. It's a fun book! It will be out fall of 2010 and sadly, I haven't even asked about the title yet!
How can readers find out more about you and your work?
Go to my blog at www.jenniferlyonbooks.com I keep that updated as much as possible.
Thank you Angie! It's been fun!
No problem, Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by.
Jennifer Lyon always wanted to be a witch. When her witch-powers didn't materialize, she turned to creating magic in her books. SOUL MAGIC is the second book in an enchanting, passionate and supernatural series. Jen's also has a super secret alter ego known as Jennifer Apodaca, the author of the award winning Samantha Shaw Mystery Series.