Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Q& A with J.T. Geissinger

1.   Tell us about your newest release.

Shadow’s Edge is the first installation of the Night Prowler Novels, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy series about the Ikati, an ancient race of shape shifters that originated in Africa and spawned the cat-worship culture that thrived there thousands of years ago. They’ve settled in small, secret colonies around the world and have a system of iron-clad laws that punish traitors and deserters with death. In Shadow’s Edge, we follow Jenna Moore—and daughter of one of the tribe’s most notorious deserters who’s been raised in ignorance about her past—as she discovers the truth about her roots and is plunged head-first into a world she had no idea existed when a handsome stranger shows up offering her answers about her mysterious past.

The story is a blend of fantasy, suspense, mystery and of course romance.

2.      Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

Well, there’s a very hot sex scene that takes place in a tree and was a lot of fun to write, but I’ll leave that to the readers to discover.

3.      Does your cover represent what is between the pages?

The cover was a challenge because I was adamant about not having the traditional bare-chested man/swooning woman scene that so many romance novels depict. My publisher, Montlake Romance, was so supportive of my ideas they even had the cover artist make me over half a dozen samples until I got that edgy, sensual, mysterious vibe I felt embodied the tone of the book. I’m very happy with it.

4.      How much research does there go into your stories?

For Shadow’s Edge I did about two months of research and character development before I began writing. Half of the story takes place in Venice Beach, CA near where I live but the other half takes place in the primeval forests of southern England. There are several actual places mentioned in the book, though I took some poetic license and changed some details to better fit the needs of the story. For instance, the New Forest in Hampshire, England isn’t actually all forest, it’s pastureland and heathland as well, but for the story it became all forest. The second installation in the series, Edge of Oblivion, is set in Rome and I drew on a recent trip I’d taken there along with many hours of online research to develop the setting.

5.      When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Being a writer was the farthest thing from my mind during my 20s and 30s. It wasn’t until I read Twilight and fell in love with Edward Cullen that I was seized with the need to write a book. I didn’t have a story, though, until one day the most beautiful black stray cat wandered into my store (I own a flower shop). She has the most amazing ability to vanish into thin air and is always looking at me as if she’s just about to say something—it got me to thinking about how mysterious and interesting and misunderstood cats are, which led to a bunch of research on the cat worship cultures of ancient Egypt and how cats have otherwise been maligned throughout history, which led to the idea of a race of secretive shape-shifters that live among us. (I made them panthers instead of housecats, though. Much more dangerous.) Once I had the idea I wrote the manuscript in under four months and that was that.

6.      What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

My writing space has to be perfectly silent or I go crazy. My husband has taken to wearing wireless headphones when he watches TV in the other part of the house because I find it completely distracting to hear voices, music or sounds when I write.

7.      What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

How many people long to be authors. As soon as you tell someone you’ve written a book, the first question they ask is, “What’s it about?” The second thing they say is, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” And I tell them that if I can do it, so can they.

8.      Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

Reading is my number one hobby. I am a book addict. I also collect wine, which is a silly, pretentious hobby and one I am devoted to. Wine makes me happy, therefore I drink a lot of it. I also love to travel, watch movies and ride my motorcycle through the canyons of Malibu.

9.   Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?

I’m currently working on the third installation of the Night Prowler series which is set in Paris but doesn’t yet have a title. It picks up where book #2 left off. After that I may write more in the series or go off in a completely different direction, I’m not sure yet!

10.   How can readers connect with you online?
My website is www.jtgeissinger.com. Facebook is www.facebook.com/JTGeissinger and twitter is www.twitter.com/jtgeissinger. I’m also on Goodreads, or you can send me an email at jtgeissinger@yahoo.com.

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