Fiction Vixen is pleased to welcome author Lisa Renee Jones. Jen recently read If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones and promptly emailed me to see if we could arrange an interview. Lisa graciously agreed to chat with Jen today.
Take it away ladies.
Jen: First let me say thank you for chatting with us! I am excited to talk with you after reading If I Were You!
Q: Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? Family? Hobbies?
I write full time and have for many years. My family is in Texas but my fiancee and I moved to Colorado for him to go to med school and we love it here. This is where we want to stay. Together we love books, movies and marathon nights to catch up on our fav television shows. I’m also a gym rat and fortunately he is dedicated to a regular gym routine too so he doesn’t mind.
Q: You have a large backlist- is this your first foray into self-publication?
I spent a lot of years in the corporate world and I think that helped me see inside some of the changes happening in the industry. I didn’t know if self publishing would be a short term or long term part of the market but I knew I didn’t want to ignore the changing landscape. Opportunity often comes to those who dare to delve inside what is fresh and new before it is no longer fresh and new.
Q: What made you want to go that route? Were you nervous taking that big step?
I wasn’t nervous about trying it but I also wasn’t very knowledgeable about how to make it work. I knew to make it work I had to research what worked for others and learn about success. I didn’t start out doing well with self publishing. I learned to make it work for me.
Q: I adore the show Storage Wars. Do you watch it and is that where you got the storage locker idea?
Before the shows existed my fiancee and I use to buy and sell units and every time my fiancee watches the shows he gets so frustrated about how inaccurate they are. (And grumbles loudly!) Every unit does not have a jewel in it and he worries the shows encourage people to spend hard earned family money on things that will never make them money. The journal in THE INSIDE OUT trilogy came about because we found a journal in a unit that sucked my fiancee in and he bugged me for years to write a story inspired by it.
Q: Erotic/BDSM books seem to be all the rage now. How did you try to make your book different or stand out in a market that has been saturated with them recently?
I don’t think the story can be about sex. It has to be about the people and why they are inside that lifestyle. There were tons of erotic stories before Shades of Grey. I think that series is successful because its really about a wounded man who is healed by a woman. The deep roots of who he is and how they come together is what becomes core to the story.
Q: What has been the most unusual resource you’ve used for research in your writing career?
I’d say the storage unit finds. Not only did the journal we found influence this story but so did a dresser filled with very erotic items. I actually wrote this story a long time ago.It sat on a New York editors desk a year. In the meantime, Shades came along and so did the storage war shows. It actually worked for me. It gave me a marketing angle and I think that year long wait was the best thing for this series I could have ever had. It made timing better for release.
Q: How did you begin to research the lifestyle? Were there things you found that you didn’t expect?
I spend a lot of time on line researching and yes there were things I didn’t expect. But the most important thing I found in the research was the importance of trust and I feel that becomes key to this story. You have to trust someone to let them have control. In Sara’s case, while she is finding herself in this new world — will she trust the wrong person? I felt like, and I still do, especially in book 2, that becomes part of her (and the reader’s) journey.
Q: Let’s talk about Mark and Chris. They are both over the top yummy and I couldn’t get enough of either of them. This caused some serious internal conflict! Did you mean for your readers to favor one over the other? Who are you most drawn too? Clearly her relationship is with Chris but Sara is still drawn to Mark on a very elemental level. I am dying to know how it will be resolved especially with what could be a third alpha male entering the picture?!
If I tell who I favor I might give away something I’m not ready to. I will say my fiancee is TEAM MARK. He has NO idea what happens. He wants to know but I won’t tell him! He is always guessing and telling me what SHOULD happen! After all, he pushed me to write this story. Both Mark and Chris will be a big part of story 2 so lots more of them to come.
Q: I am also curious about Rebecca. Will the resolution of her story surprise readers?
You will get a resolution to Rebecca in story 2 and will it surprise readers? It surprises many of the characters in the book and I think it will the readers as well.
Q: What do you have coming up for us readers? Anything special or exciting? And why do I have to wait until 2013 for the next book in The Inside Out trilogy??! Can you tell us anything about the second book?
I have some huge news about The Inside Out Trilogy this week and that will define what is coming soon for me. I’ll be updating my release schedule.
What I will say about book 2 is that you get lots of resolution but it does lead to a whole new scenario that will be part of book 3. Book 3 is not a fluff book at all just to have a book 3. It is absolutely part of the journey and still packed with a the mystery and discover central to the series.
Lisa Renee Jones has made an announcement regarding this series on her website.
Thank you so much for being here at Fiction Vixen today.