Your Questions Answered

I noticed that several of you had questions for me about Something About You and Practice Makes Perfect in my previous blog about reading guides/discussion questions.  So I thought I’d go ahead and answer a few of those:

Q. I was wondering what inspired you to include more sex in Something About You?

A. Lots of wine.  Just kidding.  (Well, sort of.)  Something About You was steamier than my first two books because it felt like the right thing to do.  By adding a suspense subplot, there was a little more “grit” to the book, and the higher sensuality seemed a better fit for that.  Plus, there was such a build up of sexual tension between Cameron and Jack, I thought readers might kill me if I didn’t show the culmination of that.  : )

Q.  Do your characters take over – meaning have a mind of their own and if so, do they take you to a very surprising journey?

A.  Yes and no.  Sometimes I set out to write a certain scene and I write and rewrite and rewrite it again and it just doesn’t work, and usually that’s because I’m trying to get the characters to do something that would be, no pun intended, out of character.  And what also happens is that, as I get into the book, the characters will become so vivid in my mind that I can “hear” their voices and the back-and-forth dialogue really begins to flow.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been completely surprised by any character’s actions, though.

Q.  I am curious as to how your ‘past life’ as a lawyer pushed your books ahead and have you had to do more research as you write new books?

A.  Being a lawyer has certainly been a plus in writing lawyer heroines, I can say that.  : )  Although I did have to do more research for Something About You, since I was a civil litigator and Cameron is a criminal prosecutor.  So I emailed a friend who is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for help.  I suspect he thought that I was going to have all these sexy, thought-provoking questions about his job and then instead I asked him things like, “How many people do you share a secretary with?”  “When you meet with FBI agents, do you meet at your office or theirs?”  I knew the big-picture aspects of the job, I just needed help with the details.

With respect to Book 4, the upcoming A Lot Like Love, I had to do a lot of research.  Neither the heroine nor the hero is a lawyer–imagine that!  The heroine owns a wine store, so I shadowed the owner of my local wine shop for a day, I took a wine appreciation course (not exactly a hardship), and I read a couple books on wine.  Plus I took a trip to Napa Valley last year, and I was able to draw on that experience.

Q.  While writing the one book, did you start to get ideas for the next book and if so, are you able you write more than one book at a time?

A.  Not with my first three books.  Those were written entirely as stand-alone books, without any cross over in the characters.  But with A Lot Like Love, not only do I bring back characters from Something About You, but a supporting character in ALLL will be the hero in Book 5.  So when writing A Lot Like Love, yes–I definitely began to get ideas for the next book, because I already know who the hero will be.   That being said, I don’t actually write more than one book at a time.  I get very entrenched in the book I’m writing and need to focus only on that.

There were more questions, and I’ll get to those next time.  I think I like this Q&A idea!  So if you have questions you’d like answered in a future blog, feel free to post them below.

On an entirely different note, I started the first book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and I’m enjoying it so far. For those of you who have read the BDB books–and I know there are many of you–what did you think?  (No spoilers please!)

Happy reading!

9 thoughts on “Your Questions Answered

  1. Kim says:

    I post on another author’s website and her readers love the BDB series, so I decided to give it a try. While the brotherhood is interesting and the books worth reading, I didn’t love the series. Many of the fans seem to prefer the first four books in the series because they’re more romance than urban fantasy.

    Without going into any spoilers, my biggest criticism is the weakness of the villains. While pathetic, they’re not that scary. JR Ward has painted a one note lessening society. Since they never have any redeeming qualities, you’re not invested in the outcome. For example, in the Star Wars series, Darth Vader was never able to kill Luke. Due to this, the audience kept wondering if Darth Vader could be redeemed. You never get this dilemma with the BDB series. By having such weak villains, many readers often say they skip the “lesser” scenes entirely. I can understand why.

    Finally, if you like JR Ward’s writing try her straight contemporary romance books written as Jessica Bird. She wrote three full-length novels and several Silhouette romances. All are excellent and well-worth reading.

  2. Nicole Mc says:

    I’ve read all of the BDB books except for the most recent release. {The whole switching over to hardback releases first really annoys me!) There are many things I love about this series. First off, they are addictive. These guys are just about every females inner fantasy…seriously. But there are things that bug…like the strong urban slang. I mean…what?? It’s bordering cheesy to me sometimes, not so much that I cant handle it…but a friend and i sometimes joke at it and then say “omg, you just sounded like the brothers!”. It’s that distinctive. Also, I agree with the previous poster…the lessers are BORING. I usually skim right thru their parts. I just dont care. I’d be fine if there was no turmoil….just relationships. There are definitely certain books that are not as good in the series, but you cant skip. They all move the entire story along and build upon each other. Overall, I’ve enjoyed this world she has created. I’m riding it out to see where it goes…it’s worth it. There are story lines that I’m dying to find out the outcome of. If nothing else, it makes for good fantasies!!! haha! I also love hearing JR talk about these books. She is absolutely passionate about it and I love how animated she gets when she talks about these characters. They are obviously very real to her. I love that. Please update your thoughts on Wrath and Beth…they are one of my favs!!

  3. Kim says:

    If you go to the author’s website, she has posted a deleted scene from Dark Lover and she also posted several “interviews” with the brothers. While readers all have different brothers that they favor, I thought Books 3 and 7(although the hero in #7 isn’t a brother) were particularly well done.

  4. tennismom mary g says:

    Hi Julie
    I readly enjoyed the Q & A too. Thanks for answering my question. LOL on the wine research.

  5. Tracey D says:

    I’ve read the BDB series except for the last two books (just haven’t had the time to read them, yet). I just love the series and fell in love with Wrath!

    What part are on in the book?

  6. Julie says:

    I’m at the part where Rhage and Wrath got into a fight with some lessers and we saw Rhage’s inner “beast.” A very interesting scene. : )

  7. Romance Reviewer says:

    Haaa, for some reason it was so gratifying to hear of wine consumption while writing those love scenes. I always wondered if authors approach it like any other scene and write it in the carpool lane of if you had to be the right…ahem…mindset. Thanks for sharing!

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