Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lisa Marie Rice Interview! You bet this is an *EXCLUSIVE*

I was blind sided last week when an author wrote to me personally to ask if I would like to do an interview with her. This was not just any author, but one I have been trolling the internet, looking everywhere, for any information on her. She doesn’t have a website and is still very much a mystery, but writes books I have glommed since the moment I read her when she was published under Ellora’s Cave. She is Lisa Marie Rice and one author I have great respect for. As I said in my recent review of Dangerous Secrets, Lisa was one of the first authors I read under an electronic publishing house, and also helped ease me into the world of erotic romance. (again, she writes the hottest missionary sex scenes around)

Katie: What is Dangerous Secrets, your release for July about?

Lisa: Dangerous Secrets is a bit of a departure for me, which is very good. A writer needs to broaden her horizon, sharpen her chops, don’t you think?

At first, Dangerous Secrets was really hard to write and I struggled with it. The hero, Nick Ireland, undercover as Nicholas Ames, is essentially tasked with seducing the heroine under false pretences, as she is a conduit to what his agency suspects is the head of the Russian Mafiya in America and, worse, about to strike a deal with terrorists. This isn’t a spoiler because I tell the reader this right at the beginning. Anyone who has read me knows I love my heroes, and I love for my heroes to be honourable. So at first I struggled mightily against Nick lying to Charity. BUT – he is also a patriot and a man who believes in what he’s doing and what he’s doing will save lives. So he has to betray the one woman he comes to love.

It’s real interesting. I’m looking forward to reader reactions.

Katie: Ellora's Cave has some of the most sought after read authors in the electronic publishing world. Can you tell us how you started writing for Ellora's Cave?

Lisa: Ellora’s Cave is one of the finest publishing houses in the world, from a writer’s point of view. It’s not big enough to be a huge corporation, soulless and loyal only to the bottom line. Yet. If they continue being as successful as they are, they might lose their soul. Though I doubt it.

I spent a billion years (not really, only it felt like it) trying to break into Harlequin and I nearly made it a couple of times. The old clichés – close, but no cigar. Always a godmother, never a god.

I had a story I absolutely loved, intended for Harlequin. I decided to just let myself go and write it exactly as I felt it and it turned into Midnight Man. Not Harlequin material. Just as I was finishing it, I discovered Ellora’s Cave. I thought – why not? I sent it by email, expecting to wait a year and a half, and about a week later I got an email from Marty Klopfenstein saying she loved it and wanted to buy it. Do you hear that? Not—I love it bu t lift it and turn it 180°. Or turn the hero into a hedgehog. Or—I love the tone, now change it. Or:

**Mitchell and Webb - Write this..or that..or maybe**

All her suggestions for minor changes made perfect sense. She bought it and that’s how I started publishing with Ellora’s Cave. My new editor is Kelli Kwiatowski and she is fantastic, too. Very modern and hip and understanding.

Katie: How is writing under an electronic publishing house different from writing for a mainstream publishing house like Avon Red?

Lisa: If you’re writing for a good electronic publishing house, there really is no difference. An editor is an editor. I’ve only ever written for EC, so I’m not the best person to ask. Technically, an electronic publishing house tends (I’m speaking in general) to not give an advance but to give a slightly bigger royalty. The book is available earlier. But these are minor differences. To a writer, the important thing is your editor and I love both my editors, at EC and at Avon Red. I seem to have lucked out.

Katie: Erotic romance breaks many boundaries with the intimacies shared between the main couple. How far would you stretch these boundaries with a sex scene? Are there certain acts that may be too kinky or risqué for your tastes?

Lisa: Oh wow, yes there are TONS of sex scenes I won’t/can’t write about. Sex toys, for one. My books are sex toy-free zones. Kink. No swinging from the chandeliers for me. The point is that all those games that people who are jaded and a little bored invent for themselves to keep themselves interested in sex aren’t what I write about. My men and women are really really interested in sex with the person they’re falling in love with. They’re not bored and they don’t need role playing or spanking or props.

I know this sounds weird, but my books, though categorized as erotic romance, aren’t really about the sex. They are about the extremely tight bond being formed under the readers’ eyes between a man and a woman. My job is to ensure that the reader come away from the book with the certainly that the hero and heroine are bonded for life. Sex alone can’t do that.

Katie: Dangerous Lover was one of my favorite reads from 2007. Your character of Jack Prescott was so tortured yet so very loving and protective of Caroline Lake, the woman he loves and worships. How do you come up with these incredible men that puts all other heroes in romance to shame? *G*

Lisa: My heroes are men who are men. They aren’t children and they aren’t teenagers. They’re not neurotic. They fall in love once and when they do they don’t play games. They are not ambiguous or half-hearted in their feelings. I think that’s why readers love them so much. Jack Prescott is committed to Caroline, heart, body and soul.

But then that is the point of a romance – to be romantic, no?

Katie: Who were your favorite hero and heroine to write?

Lisa: My favourites, mmm. Maybe John and Suzanne from Midnight Man and Jack and Caroline from Dangerous Lover. But by a hair. I love them all. Wait until you read about Nick and Charity. You’ll love them.

Katie: I gave one of my guy friends Dangerous Lover and all of your Midnight Series books to read and he didn't come up for air and wanted more! How does it feel to know that men enjoy your books just as well as women?

Lisa: How great to know that men enjoy my books! I write my heroines thinking—I want to be this woman. But why can’t a man think—I want to be this man? My men are great, if I do say so myself. They’re smart and tough and won’t bow down, ever. They fall in love with smart, savvy women. So maybe male readers like identifying with the heroes, who are anything but sappy.

Katie: If you could explain a Lisa Marie Rice novel in one word, what would that word be?

Lisa: A Lisa Marie Rice novel – romantic.

Katie: To most of your fans you are still quite a mystery. What was the funniest rumor you heard about yourself.

Lisa: I have heard a number of rumors – first of all, that I am a man, because I write men so well. And second, that I am Shannon McKenna. This is great because Shannon McKenna is a wonderful writer and a fantastic friend. She gets similar email – that she is Lisa Marie Rice.

Katie: You are stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you to survive?

Lisa: Stranded on a desert isle – water, sunscreen, and though I don’t have one, a Kindle with a thousand books inside. Oh, and one of my heroes because he will know how to find food and build a shelter, and make sure I survive, in style.

Katiebabs (KB) who wishes the best for Lisa and anxiously awaits her next book release!


MaryKate said...

Awesome interview, Kate! LMR was one of my great "finds" last year too, so I totally relate to loving everything she's written!

Jill D. said...

Oh wow! What a nice treat! I really enjoyed Dangerous Lover. I remember the scene where it's Christmas and Jack is standing outside looking in at Caroline with her family. That was such a touching scene and it was so vivid.

LOL, I rememeber when I heard the rumor that you were a man. I just bet that cracked you up. Is it true that you are Elizabeth Jennings, or is that another rumor?

Great review, Katie!

kmont said...

First off - great interview!

It is so wonderful to read about an author in this way, especially one like Rice that has no website. How cool for her to contact you.

Lisa, looking forward to your next book! While kinks and such don't bother me, they're not always what I want in an erotic romance either. It's great to open one of your books and just experience the love unfolding.

Ana said...
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Tracy said...

Great interview! Thank you! I have to say I've not read LMR's books - yet. (I said that to KB on the phone and yes, she actually gasped!) I will remedy this soon. Especially after hearing about how romantic the books are and how wonderful your men are. I'm sold! :)

lisabea said...

Wonderful insights to electronic publishing for, er, those of us praying to be published. Heh.

Great job. And Lisa~Very happy for your success. I loved what you said about your books being not about the sex, but about the bond between two people.

little alys said...

OMG, awesome interview for both Kate and Lisa Marie Rice! Woohoo! New author from KB's crack stash. Guess I'll be adding more books to my wishlist. :D

Thank you!

Brie said...

Thanks for the interview, Katie! I had never heard of Lisa Rice but I will be looking her up now.

Ana said...

Great interview! I am yet to read any of your books, Lisa. Dangerous Lover has been on my TBB list forever.
I must admit that the fact that you say that your books are not all about the sex made me even more interested in them.

Kristie (J) said...

Lisa: I adore your books. I have all three of the Midnight books and Dangerous Lover. What I enjoy so much about them is the hero is really wrecked for the heroine. I do enjoy that in a hero!
Also, I appreciate the fact that you don't have a lot of kinky stuff. They are hot and romantic and that's enough for me. I often skim the sex scenes, but not in a Lisa Marie Rice book.
I'm anxiously waiting for Nick and Charity's story.

Christine said...

Wonderful interview.

My job is to ensure that the reader come away from the book with the certainly that the hero and heroine are bonded for life. Sex alone can’t do that.

That statement right there is what makes me want to pick up one of your erotic romance novels, Lisa. Well, that, and Kate always reminding me I need to read your books! ;)

Carolyn Jean said...

Wow, what a great interview! Thanks KB and Lisa Marie!

LMR, I love your thoughts on your heroes, and that's so interesting about your struggle with the honorability of this one. I'll be looking forward to it!

Julia said...

Awesome interview! I haven't yet read LMR books, but I've heard GREAT things about her and books. So she was already on my Must buy books to add to my TBR piles. Can't wait to read them!

Katie Reus said...

Great interview Katie! Thanks for sending me the link! Dangerous Lover is definitely a story that will stay with you. *sigh* I just purchased Dangerous Secrets and can't wait to start it :)