Welcome to our very first guest blog of 2011, as well as our very first guest blog at the redesigned WIPs and Chains! Because of circumstances beyond Mistress Heidi‘s control (I know—can you imagine such a thing?! :whhhat ) we had to put the guest blog feature on the back burner there for a while. But we are back, bay-bee, & ready to rumble.
We’ve made a few structural changes to the guest blog set-up (mainly trimming them down to a single’s day’s visit) but they are still going to be a total blast. And we are dee-lighted that our very first guest author of the New Year—as well as of the new & improved Dungeon—is the one & only JOSS WARE!
Joss Ware has been an avid reader—and writer—since she was very young. Beginning with the Little House books, moving on to Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, and then as she grew older finding her mother’s romance novels, followed by historical fiction, mysteries, and thrillers, Joss has always required one element to be part of any book she enjoys: a good romance.
While Joss has written everything from medieval romances (unpublished) to female action/adventure novels (unpublished) to contemporary paranormal romances (also unpublished), she never thought about writing a series set in the future.
And then one day, while sitting at Olive Garden, a friend said to her, “Why don’t you write a post-apocalyptic romance?” She thought about it, and the next thing she knew, Joss had the kernel of an idea that soon exploded into something she was really excited about. Then her agent got excited about it, and then an editor at HarperCollins got excited about it…and the rest is history.
After working for years in sales and marketing, owning her own business, and working briefly for an international import/export company, Joss is now blessed to do what she loves and writes full-time.
She lives in Michigan with her husband, children and two big dogs. She’s currently working on her next project and still hopes that someday, those other unpublished works might find a home.
And now, Mistress Heidi puts Joss to the test with a few of her famous (or would that be infamous?) interview questions:
What is your favorite color? Black
Favorite song? “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” by Jeff Buckley
Favorite movie? When Harry Met Sally…
And of course, favorite book? Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters
What was the first book in your chosen genre that you remember reading, or that made you want to write the same? Hm…tough question, as I’ve never read a post-apocalyptic novel. Ever. Which means…any mistakes are my own. :winkwink
What do you think of Heidi? She’s great, right? Except for those horns coming out of the top of her head… (Ah, but those horns are what make Mistress Heidi so very, very naughty. And you know what they say… When she was bad, she was better.)
How did you get started writing? I couldn’t shut up the voices in my head.
Tell us a little bit about your first (or most memorable, if you prefer) sale. I describe my first “Call” as The Reason It’s Okay to Play Hookey On Occasion.
I was away on a week-long training session for a company I was doing consulting with. As often happens when one is away from home on business, the night ended in the bar. I am the poster child for not overdoing it in a work situation, never missed class or conferences in my entire life…I always made sure I got up the next morning no matter how late I was out and how much fun I’d had the night before. I’m anal that way.
Well, this time, I didn’t. I woke up, looked at the clock, thought to myself…shit, I’m not going down there and sitting in class when I feel like this (tired, a little hungover, and bored)…so I didn’t get up.
And about an hour later, just as I was rolling out of bed and getting ready to go down to the class I was supposed to be in, my cell phone rang. It was a 212 area code (New York) and I didn’t know anyone in NYC except…my agent.
I answered the phone and she said, “Are you sitting down?”
And that was how I got The Call that I’d made my first sale. I realize in retrospect that if I had gotten up and gone down to class, I would have missed her call, then probably played phone tag with her all day while I was supposed to be sitting in class, learning stuff. I would have gone crazy.
Fill in the blank—If you like [blank], you’ll love Joss Ware! If you like Suzanne Brockmann, you’ll love Joss Ware!
Which of your books would you like to pimp today? Tell us about it and why we’ll love every word. My latest release is the fourth book in the “Envy Chronicles,” which have been described as Lost meets I Am Legend meets Heroes. Or, Suzanne Brockmann’s “Troubleshooters” in the world of The Walking Dead. (Intrusive note from Heidi: Okay, you totally got me with the Suzanne Brockmann/Walking Dead thing. But when it comes to the I Am Legend aspect of the stories, can you please not kill the dog or any other adorable animals? :stinky )
The books are sexy, fast-paced romances with a strong paranormal element…but they’re not gory or horror novels. The title of the book is NIGHT BETRAYED and it’s actually a good one to start with if you’re coming in in the middle of the series.
Imagine a world that’s overgrown and empty: jungle-like ghost towns, destroyed highways, empty shopping malls with scavengeable items still wrapped in plastic, pockets of settlements, and the law is every man for himself—not so different from the Wild West. No infrastructure, little technology, and the dangers of flesh-eating zombies and other wild animals in the night. (Further intrusive note from Heidi: Oooh, you got me again wtih “flesh-eating zombies”!)
NIGHT BETRAYED is about Theo Waxnicki, a computer geek who lived through what is called The Change—i.e., the mass destruction of the earth and most of the population. In the last fifty years, he’s seen the world try to recover from its catastrophe and he and his brother are spearheading an underground “resistance” against the people they believe caused the Change.
The thing about Theo is that something happened to him during the events of the Change, and he hasn’t aged for fifty years. He still looks like a thirty-year old, buff geek. (No, that’s not an oxymoron on my world…a buff geek. :winkwink )
When Theo is on his deathbed, he’s brought to the woman known as the Death Lady. Selena is a post-apocalyptic version of a hospice doctor…she has a special ability to help people move on to “the other side.” This is in part due to the fact that she was born during the Change, and something happened to her as well. But she’s somehow able to do something she’s never done before: to bring a man back to life.
Selena also has other secrets, which Theo is bound to discover, and which could change the way the world is forever.
You also write historical vampire romance under the name Colleen Gleason. Why did you take a pseudonym for the “Envy Chronicles”? Mainly because historical vampires are a world apart from post-apocalyptic paranormal romance…I can’t imagine any more different subgenres. Also, I write the “Envy” books for Avon and I’m writing historical vampire books for MIRA, so it helps to keep those series separate by publisher and brand.
If your plane crashed in the Andes, would you convince the other survivors to eat Heidi first or last? We’d send Heidi out for help and eat the Abominable snowman instead.
If you could write anything—whether in the same genre/sub-genre as you’re writing now or another—what would it be? Wow. Good question. I really love the two series that I’m currently writing—they’re so different—that the variety really keeps me motivated and interested. I can’t think of anything else right now that I’d rather be writing, except maybe something with a steampunk element. That sort of fits in with both of the genres I’m writing…but in a different way: that melding of technology with historical settings.
What are you currently working on? I just finished the fifth “Envy” book and will soon start on the 6th. I have three vampire romances, historical, being released in March, April, and May…and may soon be working on more in that series as well.
Leather or Lace? Leather
Devil or Angel? Angel
Angel Food or Devil’s Food? Devil’s Food
Hemlock or Arsenic? Absinthe.
Blood, Sweat, or Tears? Me, or my cabana boy?
Cowgirl or Missionary? (Hey, get your mind out of the gutter. I was simply asking what you wanted to be when you were growing up. :-p) Riiiight. I’ll never tell. :winkwink
And to celebrate the release of NIGHT BETRAYED, Joss has generously offered to give away an autographed copy of one of her first books in the “Envy” series to one lucky Dungeon blogger. Winner gets her choice of Book 1: Beyond the Night, Book 2: Embrace the Night Eternal, or Book 3: Abandon the Night. (Check out all three titles & make your advance pick—just in case *g*—at Joss’s website JossWareBooks.com.)
To be entered in the drawing, simply ask a question or leave a comment for Joss during her visit today. (U.S. residents only, please.) A winner will be chosen & announced on January 23rd during our regular Happy Sunday post, so be sure to stop back to see if you’ve won! (Otherwise, I’m keeping the prize to myself, I swear. :angel )
Good luck & happy blogging!
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