Thursday, September 06, 2007
Ask Five with....JULIE LETO!!!
I remember reading Julie way back when she wrote for Harlequin Temptation. She had a reputation of pushing the envelope, and readers loved her for it!
She's has some witch stories out now and I can highly recommend them.
If you haven't read Julie, then head out to your nearest bookstore and pick up one (or more!) of her books!
1. What is the title of your latest release and what’s it about?
I actually have two releases right now that are overlapping. STRIPPED is an August release from Blaze and WITCHY BUSINESS is a Harlequin novella collection. Both of these books are part of my St. Lyon Witch series that I’m doing for Harlequin. STRIPPED is the story of Lilith St. Lyon, a witch who has used her psychic abilities to seduce Mac Mancusi, the chief of detectives in Chicago. Prior to the story starting, Mac and Lilith have an ugly breakup when he realized she was using her powers to become his perfect woman. They’re very firmly split until he needs her help with a difficult case. Trouble is, Lilith has had her powers stripped by the Guardian Witch, who happens to be her sister, Regina, for using her powers in selfish ways. She wants to help him anyway, because she sees it as a way to get her powers back. WITCHY BUSINESS is much more paranormal. Brock Aegis is a witch hunter who seduced the Guardian Witch in order to kill her and steal the names of all the witches in North America, but she caught on and banished him to the underworld. But he's back and so is his super-nasty boss. They have to join forces in order to survive and protect all the witches everywhere.
2. Which authors have influenced you over the years, whether for their writing or for their friendship?
This is easy...first and foremost, my first ever critique partner, Susan Kearney. Sue and I have been working together now for 15 years. We were both unpublished when we met. She's a career partner. She's been with me through thick and thin. Then, of course, the Plotmonkeys. Janelle Denison, Leslie Kelly and Carly Phillips. They're my bestest friends in the universe. They keep me sane. So many others...as for influence on my writing, I have to say Virginia Henley, first and foremost--she's a great friend and the first writer who really wrote HOT. And she writes such strong heroines. That was a big influence on me, too.
3. When did you first consider writing as a career and what prompted you to submit your first manuscript?
Writing as a career? Interesting question. I'm not really sure. I was a Creative Writing major in college, but even then, I don't think I really considered writing as a career. It wasn't until graduate school when a very good friend suggested we write a romance novel together. Previously, I'd been writing mostly short fiction and science fiction--none of it published. So, over drinks with my friend (a LOT of drinks, btw!) we plotted out our first novel. When we sobered up, we actually wrote it. We were shopping at a bookstore one day and met a woman who was a member of RWA. From that point on, my fate was cast.
4. What comes first for you when you begin the writing process...characters or plot?
It's never the same. Sometimes, it's character. My Marisela books, for instance. My Blaze, THE DOMINO EFFECT. Sometimes it's plot. My first book, SEDUCING SULLIVAN and my second book, PRIVATE LESSONS, both came from the plot. My third book, GOOD GIRLS DO! actually came from the title! My first Blaze, EXPOSED, came out of the setting (San Francisco) and a dream I'd had years ago that I'd written in a journal. I keep my mind open. Anything can be turned into a story idea.
5. Finally, what's coming out from you in the near future?
Most exciting for me is the PHANTOM series I'm doing to NAL. The first book, PHANTOM PLEASURES, will be out in April, 2008. It's about a 18th century man who is trapped by a gypsy curse and the hotel heiress who saves him (think Ivanka Trump, not Paris Hilton!) And lest anyone think I'm jumping on the paranormal bandwagon, I actually wrote the first version of this book 13 years ago, submitted it to Silhouette Shadows and was rejected about a week before the line folded. But the characters and setting stayed with me over all these years, though the plot changed a lot. I didn't revise, I completely rewrote. Didn't even look at the original, my voice had changed so much. It's a bigger story now, too...part of a series. The second book, tentatively titled PHANTOM'S TOUCH, will be out in October, 2008. I'm writing it now.
I'm also writing the third book in my St. Lyon Witches series for Blaze. This book will feature Josie, who was a secondary character in STRIPPED. I don't have a title yet.
And yes, I'm writing two books at once. I'm crazy.
Thanks so much for the interview!!!
Julie has a website, but it's not currently updated. :D www.julieleto.com
However, you can catch Julie at the Plot Monkeys blog! www.plotmonkeys.com
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