"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Howl at the Moon
Spotlight on Shifter and Were Romance
J.J. Massa is a multi-published author of shapeshifter, vampire and various other paranormal books. She lives on the Jersey Shore with her husband, children and her constant companion and inspiration, her guide dog Cosmo.
Visit her website: www.jjmassa.com
An Interview with J.J. Massa
PNR: Did you always know you wanted to write; when did you begin?
J.J.: I always knew I wanted to write - but I didn't really get the chance to write more than a poem or article here and there until last year - when I was laid off from my teaching job at an adult school.
PNR: Do you have a strict writing schedule? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
J.J.: I don't really have a strict schedule. I usually start my writing day around ten in the morning and write on and off while I do other things. Sometimes I write into the evening. Some days I never get to focus. Other days, I can't think of anything but the book I'm working on 'okay, most days' I try to make sure at least one solid hour a day goes to writing. I type fast and think fast so that helps.
PNR: What do you enjoy most about writing? What is the most frustrating?
J.J.: I love the new people and the development of stories. I love having things unfold as I write. It's such an adventure. Research is a lot of fun and learning new things, answering questions, it’s like taking a trip. I don't want to leave even the smallest details out if I can help it.
It’s frustrating when I'm stressed and can't focus or when people think if you sit in front of the computer the words just flow. Also, I HATE endings. It's so hard knowing when the story ends. I know more things are happening to these people, but I just have to stop writing things down. I don't like saying good-bye to my characters.
PNR: Where do you get your story ideas?
J.J.: Story ideas come from all over. Sometimes I've read another author's work and been inspired even if my story has nothing in common with theirs. My Montgomery werewolves were inspired by a country song. My Cajuns came from an old boyfriend or two. Vampires tend to be my sense of hope in a way. Recently I was hung up on a vampire story and couldn’t move forward. I mentioned it to a friend and he said something 'and off I went' he jumpstarted my muse. So, sometimes it's a phrase I hear or something my dog did… everywhere - in short, I get ideas from everywhere.
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
J.J.: Details and emotions are key to every story for me. I want to feel the air on my skin, hear the crash of the waves. I want to experience the stomach-drop of danger. Tears and belly laughs, I want to be a part of the story. I want to smell the food and see the grain in the wood. A story doesn’t have to have sex –but if the story goes that way, I’ll follow it.
PNR: What is your favorite genre to read?
J.J.: I really love to read paranormal fiction. That’s the most intriguing to me. The brush of natural with the unknown, the unbelievable. I love to see the usual and unusual together and watch what happens.
PNR: Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced your work?
J.J.: That is my least favorite question because there are so many talented authors. Through the years and genres I have many. Richard Bach, W.E.B. Griffin, E.A. Poe, Charles Dickens, Tom Clancy, Nix Winter, Kahlil Gibran, Piers Anthony, Emy Naso, Patricia Cornwell, Sir Thomas Moore, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Thomas Mallory, Rae Monet, George Orwell, Ayn Rand, Stephen King, Dean R. Koontz, Ken Baker, Sasha White, D.L. Taylor, more and more every day. And did I leave out J.K. Rowling? *gasp *
Each of those authors has given me hours of pleasure and each has impacted both my life views and writing styles.
PNR: Could you tell us about your plans for the Montgomery Werewolf Series?
J.J.: That's easier than telling you who else I read *grin*
There are six books in the original series, Acting Like Family, Family Harmony, A Family Portrait, Managing A Family, Family Doctor, and not sure of the last title. That one will be Myles and Ashley's story. That's the first generation and all of them will be available in ebook and print. The ebooks are available now and will be even as each book comes out in print. Check my website or stay with the newsletter to find out where and when each will be available. I don’t want to say much about each book except to say that Managing A Family, is Yancey's story, and Family Doctor is Marc's story. I have profiles of each character on my website.
If readers are still interested by the end of the sixth book, I do have plans for a second generation of the series – in fact, I've already started on some of it. I really love that family. My editor says those wolves are the meaner side of me coming out - well Lakon, for sure. She doesn't use those exact words, but you get my drift. I will be rewriting just a little of Family Harmony so that it will stand on its own better and more clearly show all sides of Lakon Montgomery. There were a lot of big events in that book and I intend to take a little time and develop it some more - so watch the newsletter for when I re-issue that one = If you're a Montgomery werewolf reader.
PNR: I find your characters to be very emotionally complex; could you tell us a little about their development?
J.J.: When I write, I really sort of climb into the character. It's hard to explain clearly, but I tend to 'become' that character and think with his or her mind, see from each point of view. I don't have to ask myself how Riker, for instance, or Renaud sees things. I am that person while I’m writing about them. It just happens. I really don't have to decide to “be” one or the other. I get SO into what's happening that I react on the page as each person would. Sometimes it feels like ghostwriting - for real ghosts.
PNR: I am very intrigued by your Weather Series, starting with Electric Rayne; could you tell us about it?
J.J.: The Weather Series takes place in Southern Louisiana and begins with the story of Remy Doucette and Rayne Deveau. Remy is a son of the small bayou parish and became sheriff after he returned home from a stint in the Marines. Rayne teaches holistic medicine to underprivileged people all over the world. She returns home when her beloved and irascible grandmother is threatened. Both Rayne and her grandmother and all of the Deveau family are gifted with knowledge of the earth and the ability to move natural matter in different ways. This gift is passed through the family in various forms – and makes for some unusual and exciting events. Rayne can levitate objects; that's her main gift. She and her family can also cast spells, Grand-meré Esmè being the most proficient. They can all communicate mentally but it’s not as simple as it sounds. The second book in the series is Ashes in the Wind, the story of Ashlynn Doucette, Remy and Rayne’s daughter. Ashlynn has power over soft breezes and fire. Her brother Storm can control the weather, namely storms. Angel's Forecast, Deke Doucette’s story, will be out early next year. That story along with the fourth book, Stormy Weather, about Ashlynn's brother Storm, has been postponed a little in respect for the ravages in that area due to recent hurricanes.
I AM considering a fifth book in that series - again, only if the readers are interested. Does anyone else wonder what Esmè's story is? Does anyone else wonder what kind of man could handle Rayne's Grand-meré? Hmmm…
PNR: There were many intense scenes between your hero and heroine, Remy and Rayne, where do you get your inspiration?
J.J.: Life is intense and there's nothing more intense than being in love - worse when you know - or believe - that you aren't going to get what you want. I know I'm not the only one who has bargained with myself or my deity - swearing I'll do or be whatever I need to for the happiness or love, or even safety of another. I draw on the deep feelings of urgency, euphoria, even hopelessness that love brings with it. It really is the little things that make all the difference - one little moment at a time.
PNR: Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on.
J.J.: Oh, my 'my projects'. I did hint at a vampire book I'm working on, based on a smart and handsome friend of mine. More on that one later this month *grin* After that, I have another male/male book coming out soon - how soon ?, I'm not sure. It's about a spy and a chemist and I confess - gender has NOTHING to do with how deeply I get into a character. I was and am totally in love with Rusty Chemistry and I can't wait to release it. I'm working on a book with Nix Winter that follows her (our - I wrote the end) All Hallow's Eve book, Storm Whispers. Storm View is the book I'm talking about and it picks up the tale of Valentine the vampire sometime during the twenty-first century. It will include a character from my last book, Love Like Blood – also a vampire tale and that one was quite personal for me. I write one character in Nix/s series The Pet – he was introduced in The Pet 4: Tristan’s Loss and will be in The Pet 5. I have a ghost story called Belonging To MacGregor in the Shadows From Beyond Anthology at Venus Press in mid October. The short vampire story, Rubies, Sapphires, and Ivory comes out this month from Liquid Silver Books. The sequel to my first book Everyone Has A Weak Spot should be out with Liquid Silver Books in a month or so, as well. That book is called Everybody Has A Pet Peeve. After all that, I have a few paranormal children's stories and non-erotic stories, both paranormal and suspense, coming out with Titan Press. Those will be written using my full name, Joan Joyce Massa – just so there's no confusion. We don't want our little ones picking up Electric Rayne, now do we? *blush*
PNR: Where can readers find your novels, and how can they contact you?
J.J.: Readers can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I write for Venus Press, www.venuspress.com , and Liquid Silver Books, www.liquidsilverbooks.com , and Titan Press, www.titanpress.net . You can find all my books at those sites, at www.jjmassa.com -- www.joanjoycemassa.com isn't live yet. Also, those of my books that are available in print can be purchased through Venus Press or through www.Amazon.com , as well as any Barnes and Nobel or Borders stores. If you don't see them on the shelf, just ask and they will order them and have them for you within days.
ACTING LIKE FAMILY - Riker Montgomery, a famous actor and werewolf, finds yet another uninvited woman asleep in his hotel bed. Used to encountering many of these fans, Riker is prepared to send this one on her way, but soon realizes that she is his mate. Finally finding the one woman who can make his life complete, Riker falls asleep with her in his arms, only to wake the next day to find her gone. Desperate to find Bet, Riker begins an endless search, which continually comes up futile.
Bethany Black, a writer, has never met a man like Riker before. When she learns that he is a famous actor who is always finding women in his bed, she is embarrassed and ashamed and runs away. Before long she realizes her mistake and tries to contact Riker. When she finds out she's pregnant, she tries again to reach him. Her letters are intercepted by Riker's lawyer and jealous cousin, August Livingston. Auggie believes that only pureblood werewolves should be Alphas and will do whatever it takes to bring Riker down and assume what he believes to be his rightful position as pack leader. When he learns that Bethany Black, a human, has given birth to Riker's pups, he's determined to use her to obtain his goals.
The fates of the pack and the lives of their pups lie in the hands of Riker and Bethany. But will they be reunited before it is too late for them all?Liquid Silver Books
March 1, 2005
FAMILY HARMONY - Lakon Montgomery tried to avoid Mya Brooks, the beautiful Englishwoman who had the voice of an angel, but he can't resist her. She was destined to be his mate and he is powerless to stop himself. Just when he's getting closer to Mya, his brother and his own primal instincts scare her away. What will Lakon have to do to get her back? Will her family, and his, keep them apart forever? With Mya out of reach, how will Lakon protect Mya from the evil that stalks her?Liquid Silver Books
July 4, 2005
FAMILY PORTRAIT - Tavist Darke lost his mate and pup years ago and never expected to have a family. He no longer looked for happiness in life. He didn’t expect to find another mate. The love of his adopted pack was more than he ever expected. When he met beautiful Tracey West and her enchanting children he knew his secret prayers had been answered.
Tracey West had a family and she would keep them safe at all costs. She didn’t want another mate. She’d been married for almost a decade and had three beautiful and special children as a result. Living in and getting out of that marriage had been a nightmare. All she wanted now was peace and safety for herself and her kids. Why couldn’t her sexy neighbor understand that?
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