Ladies, welcome back to Debbie's Book Bag!
DEB: Lydia Dare, tell us what you’ve been up to since you were here last? Lydia (Jodie) – Well, since we were last here we have completed a new series on Regency vampyres and the witches who love them. We’re currently working on another wolfish trilogy, featuring a trio of brothers connected to Dashiel Thorpe from The Taming of the Wolf.
Lydia (Tammy) – We’re looking forward to having the two newest vampyre books out in 2011, and then the next three Lycan books will be out in 2012!
DEB: Tell us a little about your latest book, It Happened One Bite. Is this book a single title or part of a new series?
Lydia (Jodie) – It Happened One Bite is the first in our latest series about Regency Vampyres. Readers may remember fireball throwing, battle-born witch Blaire Lindsay from our Westfield Wolves series. In this book, Blaire travels to the Highlands with her brothers to see a castle her older brother has inherited. She doesn’t expect to find a vampyre trapped in the dungeon once she arrives however.
Lydia (Tammy) – Trapped by their by her own mother and the former generation of the coven, Blaire has to set him free. But once he wakes, some vampyres show up. One is his maker, a former knight in shining armor, and the other is a vampyre bent on revenge. So, James is forced to protect the battle born witch while keeping himself from partaking of her charms. He’s a gentleman through and through, but without a beating heart, he’s doomed to live a loveless existence.
DEB: I know that one of you tends to write the historical parts of your novels and the other writes the paranormal aspects of the book. Who writes which parts and what inspired you to put the two together?
Lydia (Jodie) – I brought the history to our books and Tammy is responsible for the paranormal. At this point, we’ve gotten more comfortable in the other’s domain and we each can and do write both. Tammy is responsible for the idea of blending our preferred genres.
Lydia (Tammy) – I know for me, the parts of the book that seemed foreign when we started writing are not as foreign anymore. The furniture, the clothing, the mannerisms – it all seems like second nature now. So, what used to be only my domain or only Jodie’s domain we often sneak into and out of when it’s our turn with the pages.
DEB: When you are researching for a particular book, what kinds of resources do you use and what is most helpful to you in finding out what you need to know for your novel?
Lydia (Jodie) – Well, it depends on the book. For Tall, Dark and Wolfish, where we first introduced our Scottish coven, I bought a number of books on witchcraft and magical ingredients. This was a completely new terrain for me and I wanted to make certain our witches were using the right ingredients in any potions they might create. Now after writing 6 books that feature witches in one way or another, those books have gotten a little worn. For the book we’re thiiis close to finishing for next year, I started with the year 1820 and just began combing through the events of the year to be more familiar with what would be happening in the background. And what a year it was. We think we have the Trial of the Century every year, but that particular year – the new King George IV was doing everything in his power to rid himself of his inconvenient wife. There was a very salacious trial, witnesses after witnesses paraded before parliament to discredit the Queen, with the ultimate goal of annulling his marriage. And though he had the votes in parliament, the action was so unpopular with the people, the King did not press forward. I have a ton of books on the period and often ideas for stories will pop up just from browsing through my research books.
DEB: A lot of my readers are writers and they are interested in how you first got started writing. What gave you the confidence to try to sell your manuscript?
Lydia (Jodie) – I’ve been writing since I was in the 2nd grade. I’ve written a little bit of everything. Short stories, news articles, stage plays, and screenplays. In fact I had been actively screenwriting for many years when an exec at Disney suggested to my then husband that I try my hand at writing romance. I had considered the idea when I was in 7th grade, so it wasn’t a new one, but I hadn’t thought about it for many, many years. But I decided to give it a shot. Joined my local RWA chapter and met some of the most amazing, talented, and helpful women ever. Tammy and I met at the local chapter as well, and became fast friends.
Lydia (Tammy) – We were sitting at a workshop not paying attention, and we started talking about this idea I had for a Regency paranormal novel. And Jodie started telling me all the reasons why it didn’t work history-wise. So, by the time she told me all the ways it could work, the story wasn’t mine anymore. It was ours. And has been every since!
DEB: Do you have advice for new writers?
Lydia (Jodie) – If you’re not part of an organization for writers, join one. The support you get is amazing. And it is so helpful to surround yourself with creative people who “get” that part of your life.
Lydia (Tammy) – RWA and our local chapter of RWA, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, has been a tremendous help to me. Just knowing that there are other people who juggle life, family, kids, jobs, and writing is a huge help. And being able to tap into their collective knowledge is wonderful. I can’t think of all the times I’ve sat down with one or another of them and said, “Can I ask you a question?” They’ve never turned me down.
DEB: My readers are also interested in you as a people. Name one pet peeve that each of you have?
Lydia (Jodie) – Just one? How will I ever narrow it down? How about this… I hate it when writers think there is only one way to go about something, namely theirs. I’ve sat in sessions where presenters have said – and I’m not kidding – things like “The most stupid thing you can do as an author is be a pantser”. That drives me insane. There are so many ways to do so many things. We each have our own methods that might not work for anyone else in the world. And that’s fine. You have to find your own path. Discover what works for you and be able to shut out all the helpful advice that is really someone else’s arrogance being thrust on you. Many writers are introverted and when starting out look for any morsel of advice that will help them be successful. And that’s great. Listen to everything, because you need to discover what works for you. But have enough faith in your own vision, your own method, to do whatever works for you. Just because a NYT bestseller says there’s one way to do something, doesn’t make it true. And it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. … There. Aren’t you glad you only asked for one pet peeve now?
Lydia (Tammy) – I’m glad they only asked you for one pet peeve, Jodie. We could be here all day… My big pet peeve – Jodie’s list of pet peeves. JUST KIDDING! I’m not a physically demonstrative person, so people who hug and stuff always make me a little uncomfortable. Does that count?
DEB: Tell us one thing that readers may not know about each of you?
Lydia (Jodie) – This is so hard for me. My life is an open book and I tell everyone everything. How about this – I’m not a fan of music. Not any kind by anyone. I find it messes the area of my mind that is creative and drives me a little crazy as it wars for my attention. I honestly could never hear another song for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t miss it. And, yes, I do know how strange that makes me. Believe me everyone in my life thinks I’m a little nuts.
Lydia (Tammy) – I am a mom of two boys, ages 16 and 7 and I am a sports mom. Does the word cow bell mean anything to you? If so, you may be one, too.
DEB: If you could travel to any time period when and where would it be?
Lydia (Jodie) – I’d have to go to Regency England, wouldn’t I? That would open so many doors on research.
Lydia (Tammy) – ANYWHERE! But if I have to pick, I’d probably visit the same time period, just to see how accurate our books are. How much of what we use is what we assume to have happened? And how much did? I’d love to find out.
DEB: What books by other authors are you most interested in that are coming out in 2011?
Lydia (Jodie) – I’m looking forward to Deb Marlowe’s How to Marry a Rake. And I’m looking forward to Sabrina Jeffries’ To Wed a Wild Lord.
Lydia (Tammy) – I’m waiting for the same. And in 2012, Claudia Welch’s Sorority Sisters. And all the great authors at HCRW -- love them all and can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
GIVEAWAY DETAILSSourcebooks has generously offered two copies of It Happened One Bite for giveaway to two winners here at Debbie's Book Bag! Follow these simple rules to be entered.
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