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Drifting where? Author interview

Adrift
Haven Island
Isabel Jolie
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: June 8th 2021

I can be your dream girl…for a price…

Ever heard of Only Fans? It’s not my ideal job, but it pays the bills.
It’s even made me somewhat of a celebrity. My subscribers love my provocative shots, and I’m oh-so-good at teasing them.
Then he shows up in my small town and complicates everything.
See, Mr. Green-Eyed Gazillionaire is so far out of my league it’s ridiculous. We’re polar opposites.
That doesn’t change the fact that even though I’m a fantasy to most men, I only want to be his reality.
But nothing real can ever happen between us. Logically, I know that.
Too bad logic and I have never had anything but a passing acquaintance.
Because now, if I’m not careful, I’m afraid this sexy billionaire will smash my poor, pathetic heart into oblivion…

A delicious hot billionaire romance featuring two polar opposites adrift on a resort island with a small-town atmosphere, right of the coast of North Carolina.

This is a steamy contemporary romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhanger, and no cheating.

 

AdriftTourBanner - Drifting where? Author interview

Isabel Says:

  • What is your favourite genre?

Contemporary romance. Next favorite would be Historical romance. Always, always, romance.

  • Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

I’d have to say Jewel E. Ann. Mainly because she has absolutely refused to follow a similar pattern for her plots and her storylines are each so unique. She doesn’t even write many series (which is almost shocking in the Indie romance space). I think because her books are so unique, I justified writing different subgenres in one series…because I felt like ‘hey, she did it…and she kicks ass doing it.’

  • I write in a series world, but because of her, I felt emboldened to write what I wanted to write. For example, in my first series I have both a rom com and a romantic suspense. Same friends. Very different stories. It’s not exactly what she does…and it’s not at all recommended by the “experts”. But, I think she kind of proves you can do things your own way. I’d like to be her when I grow up.
  • In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing.

Hands down Jana Aston.

  • If you could be any fictional character, which would you be? And why?

My old standby to this answer used to be Claire from Outlander.  Because I’d really love to be able to time travel and I’d really, really love to find Sam Heughan in this alternate reality.

But, I recently read Him and Us from Sarina Bowen….and I don’t know. Jamie Canning would be a damn good character to be…he’s got a great family and one hunk of a hockey husband. AND he’s a kick ass goalie spending his days coaching.

And there’s Becca from Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen…she marries Nate, who might be one of my all-time favorite book boyfriends. I *love* me a sexy nerd.

This question is a tough one. Because, then I think…I’d really love to be a rock star. So, I could be Nikki from Elle Greco’s Heartbreak Beat…leggy, gorgeous with an edge, jamming on the drums for not one but two bands with a hawt front man…. I’d bet she’s even wrinkle-free.

So many options…but I suppose the way I’m feeling this morning, I’m gonna go with Nikki and gain some musical chops.

  • If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

My husband and I often have these conversations. Our kids love North Carolina and I have to say, we live in a great area for a kid to grow up. There’s a lake in our backyard, the neighborhood is safe. It’s a good, easy life. That said, the day after we unload the youngest at college, we’re planning on relocating. So….where to? Top of our list includes Edinburgh Scotland, Dublin Ireland, Vancouver Canada, Seattle Washington and Santa Barbara California. Why? These are all places we’ve been that we absolutely love, with great vibes, proximity to the ocean, and enough of a city to feel alive but not such an enormous city that it feels dirty or claustrophobic.

There’s an island off the coast of North Carolina called Bald Head. My husband and I were married there and we visit almost every summer. You have to take a ferry, there are no cars, and even though it’s really close to the mainland, you feel like you’re in another country. It’s the inspiration for my Haven Island Series. And the next series…currently titled Twisted Vines…will take place in Napa Valley…another one of my favorite places to visit.

Author Bio

Isabel Jolie, or Izzy to her friends, is an Amazon bestselling indie author with an unquenchable thirst for a good, sexy love story. Izzy’s heart pumps faster for stories with strong heroines, down-to-earth realism, and an unexpected twist.

When she’s not writing or reading, she can often be found with a glass of wine in hand relaxing with her husband, daughters, and good friends lakeside.

Izzy fills her Instagram feed with funnies, inspirational “brain candy”, and anything that meshes with her mood of the day. #mood.

Isabel - Drifting where? Author interview
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19801964.Isabel_Jolie

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To Purchase:

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/adrift/id1552590364

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/adrift-77

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Isabel_Jolie_Adrift?id=v1MmEAAAQBAJ


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Surprise! Author Interview.

Twin - Surprise! Author Interview. The Pediatrician’s Twin Bombshell
Juliette Hyland
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Harlequin Medical Romance
Publication date: May 25th 2021

The wrong time… …to meet Mr. Right? Why is pediatrician Tessa all work and no play? Well, she’s far too used to people not believing in her. Still, Tessa can’t resist one—incredible!—night in nurse Gabe’s arms…and the chance to feel wanted. But it’s not just Tessa who is battling her past. Widower Gabe has his own scars to heal. So when Tessa discovers she’s pregnant, he’s determined to look after her! But is Tess ready to trust Gabe?

ThePediatriciansTwinBombshellTourBanner - Surprise! Author Interview.

The Author Speaks:

Twins? Why?

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
    1. I started writing this book during the initial Covid-19 lockdown. I was home and all travel for the foreseeable future had been cancelled. So, I picked Dallas, Texas as the location as a way to sort of go home, while that was impossible. I grew up in one of Dallas’ many suburbs and went to Trinity High School and worked at the Tinseltown Theatre with many of my high school friends. (All of whom were super excited it made an appearance.) The location came first and then I wanted to play with a doctor heroine and nurse hero – which I think should be more normalized. After that it was just letting Tessa and Gabe speak to me (or forcing them to speak to me, depending on the day. 
  2. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
    1. Rejection! Oh, what a word. The truth is that it happens to everyone! The first story I was brave enough to send to a publisher was a Regency romance. I actually went through two rounds of revisions with Harlequin before they gently passed. I got excellent feedback and started taking as many craft classes and reading as many craft books as possible. Then I wrote a contemporary small town that is just to off the beaten path for the genre and was rejected by several publishers before an agent I sent it to kindly told me she didn’t think the story was sellable due to the way I had set up the hero and heroine. So, it now lives under my bed with the regency too. When Harlequin announced the medical blitz in the spring of 2019, I decided to go for it. It sold several months later and became Unlocking the Ex-Army Doc’s Heart.
  3. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
    1. I did not need to self-publish before I sold to a trad publisher. However, I know many hybrid authors who mix their work with independent publishing and traditional publishing. I think whatever works best for you as an author is great and never say never. I have seen Indie author switch to trad and trad authors move to Indie.
  4. Do you have any pets? I do! My co-authors are two giant dogs. My golden retriever Abby and my giant mutt, Domino. They rarely pull their weight when asked to plot but do demand treats for effort (which usually works).
  5. Do you people watch to find characters for your books? How do you do this? What is the funniest thing you have seen that you have incorporated into a book? Or do you add some traits from your family and friends into your characters?
    1. I love to people watch. It’s one thing that I have missed this year. A presenter said once that the best way to learn dialogue is to sit in coffee shops, bus stops, airports or really just anywhere you were at and listen. It is amazing what you hear! I have heard the highest of highs, from proposals and upcoming births, to the lowest of lows with marriage breakups and devastating medical diagnoses. You also hear the funny and just mundane. The truth is that people everywhere are living their lives and often forget that others are around. I have also learned that even though it may happen in real life, it may seem to out there for fiction.
  6. Do you prefer doctors or nurses as your hero/heroine? Why?
    1. Both! I love doctors and nurses – obviously I write medical romance! I have mixed both in all my stories. In my first book, Unlocking the Ex-Army Doc’s Heart, both my characters are general practitioners. I have what some might consider the more “traditional” pairing of female nurse and ER doctor hero in Falling Again for the Single Dad. In this story Tessa is the physician and Gabe is the nurse and I love the pairing.
  7. Is it easy to write humour?
    1. No! And anyone who says it is, is just ridiculously talented. I have a writer in the writer group I run every Thursday can write comedy that is so funny in our five-minute sprints. I can do it, but it takes a lot of time. It’s a true talent.
image 17 1024x1024 - Surprise! Author Interview.
To Purchase:

iBook: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/the-pediatricians-twin-bombshell/id1540752737
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-pediatrician-s-twin-bombshell
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Juliette_Hyland_The_Pediatrician_s_Twin_Bombshell?id=so0JEAAAQBAJ

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juliette - Surprise! Author Interview.

Juliette Hyland believes in caffeine, hot drinks and happily ever afters! She lives in Ohio, USA, with her prince charming, who has patiently listened to many rants regarding characters failing to follow the outline. When not working on fun and flirty happily ever afters, Juliette can be found spending time with her beautiful daughters, giant dogs or sewing uneven stitches with her sewing machine.

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Scorned: Author Interview

Scorn 1 - Scorned: Author Interview Scorn of Secrets
B. Truly
Genres: Coming of Age, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: April 27th 2021

 

I must keep it locked away—the memory of my darkest secret…. When the rising tides of my life peak, I’m left struggling with the currents of the storm. The first dilemma is my dad’s gambling debt. Mama bounces back quickly from the ramifications it causes. She proves this by getting a new man. Her Rico Suave is just the tip of the iceberg—she moves us across state to live with him and his two sons. My outgoing, older sister fits right in—she’s the total opposite of me. I am Madison Guillory, the shy, quiet type. Taught to make the best of even the worst situations, I contemplate giving my new family a chance. Living with my future stepbrothers is interesting, to say the least. They’re like night and day. I have more in common with the laid-back brother, and we become instant friends. I’m adjusting to Taylor High, and the arrogant brother is even starting to grow on me. Maybe everything will work out after all. My life finally seems to be falling into place until a dreadful night shatters my dreams. My world is flipped upside down because of the consequences I must now bear. The memories of that night lurk in the shadows to torment me. If I think of what happened, I’ll succumb to my fear. His face has scorned me. No one will believe me if I confess, not even my own sister. I hold the key to my darkest secret, desperate to keep it locked away.

image 8 - Scorned: Author Interview

The Author Answers

  • Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
    • I was a fan of V.C Andrews as a teen. I read the Heaven, Ruby, and Dawn series and My Sweet Audrina. Those books sparked the idea for Scorn of Secrets.
  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
    • I don’t have a set time frame to think about a topic. Normally an idea springs to life and I may turn over the ideas for a day or two before I start writing an outline—sometimes it’s the same day. I usually make a detailed outline of the scenes the story is telling me. It depends on how much of the story has presented itself and the inspiration behind it on when I write it. The are no set parameters on when the inspiration hits. Once I have made a detailed outline, I may continue to write scenes for that book. Or I may work on another story until I feel the time is right to complete that story.
  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
    • There is no set time frame for research. As I’m writing a story, I research what topics come up as I go along.
  • How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
    • Thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing none of my novels have been rejected. I didn’t have to worry about the gruelling process of becoming traditional published since I as self-published.
  • Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
    • The 1st novel I published was e-book and paperback through Kindle Direct and CreateSpace.
  • Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
    • I feel self-publishing is a great option because you don’t have to worry about submission objection, and you can get your work out there. But I do feel that you need to find promotional services like blog blitzes, tours, book giveaways, and sites to market your book to get the word out. With millions of books on the market it is very difficult for your book to be recognized without having advertising for it.
  • What do you read when you are ill in bed?
    • I do like reading in bed at night. But if I am in the mood for reading, then I will read when I’m off or after work if I get quiet time.
  • What is your favourite genre?
    • Dystopian, Sci-fi, Psychological thrillers, Urban, and Paranormal Romance are among my favourites.
  • If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?
    • V. C Andrews, Ruby Dixon, Jennifer Armentrout, Jamie McGuire, Tarryn Fisher, Emmy Chandlier, Abel Regine, Susan Trombley, Nicholas Sparks, and Stephen King.
  • Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?
    • V. C Andrews, Ruby Dixon, Jennifer Armentrout, Jamie McGuire.
  • In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
    • Ruby Dixon is freaking hilarious.
  • Which of your books are you most proud of?
    • My latest novel, Scorn of Secrets because it’s the 1st novel I ever wrote when I was fifteen. It was 350 pages handwritten. I pulled it out in 2015, dusted off the cobwebs, and then I revamped the story keeping the bones. I’ve worked the hardest the make Scorn the best it can be. Since it is the 1st novel I’ve written and finally gotten out there, I am the proudest of this accomplishment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Logo - Scorned: Author Interview

B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old. She is grateful to have accomplished this dream. B. Truly has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of suspense and sci-fi. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, sci-fi, dystopian, and paranormal genres.

B. Truly likes to explore conflicted plots of romance with thrilling twists. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.

B. Truly has three wonderful children, and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.

https://www.facebook.com/BTrulysFantasies

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276631.B_Truly

https://www.instagram.com/brandytruly/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandy-truly-a917a9b3/

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Ohh a Kidnap?

Catnapped - Ohh a Kidnap? Catnapped
(Magical Romantic Comedies, #14)
R.J. Blain
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: May 11th 2021

When someone steals Diana’s cat, a former lab animal rescued from death’s door, she calls on one of the most dangerous beings in the universe for help. Cutting a deal with the devil isn’t the smartest move, but there’s no way in hell she’ll abandon Mr. Flooferson the Magnificent to his fate.

Teaming up with the son of a demon, an angel, and one hell of a woman might push Diana to the limits of her courage and sanity. Unless she wants to sell her soul to the devil, she must cope with her new partner, make the most of a bad situation, and find out who stole her cat and why.

What she learns will forever change humanity–and lead to a battle destined to forever change the heavens and the devil’s many hells.

CatnappedTourBanner - Ohh a Kidnap?

Answers from the Author!

Thank you so much for hosting me!

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

Like many of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) novels, I usually take a theme or a trope that I’m interested in writing, and I run with it. I really enjoy writing about shenanigans involving cats, so I rolled with it. And a catnapping featuring a crazy-cat lady?

There is just so much fun to be had there.

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

It really depends. Some books, I will spend 2-3 weeks just planning and outlining. The more complex the concept, the longer it takes to prepare. Catnapped took all of five minutes, as it is a ‘go and have fun’ sort of book. Now, there is complexity in this one, but I would stop and work out the kinks as I wrote the book and went back and fix anything I broke… rather than go in fully prepared.

It really depends on the book. I do whatever is needed to get the book finished.

How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

It really depends on the book. Catnapped needed very little research because I had already done the research for it on other books. I did have to brush up on some mythology and lore from a few religions, but it only took a few minutes with Google because I knew what I was looking for.

What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Once again, it really depends on the book. If Wikipedia has what I need, I cross-check references and use that. If I need something more thorough, I contact someone who knows what they’re doing in their field, or I hit up the library for resources.

If you need specialist knowledge to write a book, how do you obtain it? For instance, do you interview people? Go to the location? Use Google Earth? Apps?

All of the above, really! Everything I research often needs a different approach. I’ve done interviews in the past, but I find interviews to be less useful for urban fantasy/paranormal than visiting locations and doing book studying. But I do what’s needed to get the book written.

Research can be a major time-waste if you don’t set up a plan and research with the goal of getting specific data. My suggestion for anyone who needs to research is to learn to pull to plug on researching, else all you do is research rather than write.

Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Yes, I earn enough from my writing to live on. It took five years from my first self-published book to when I started making a living wage. I became fairly aggressive about advertising three years in, which made a huge difference.

What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I’ve had a lot of that lately, unfortunately! We just moved, and my allergies/asthma have been really bad, so there has been a lot of staying in bed while whining. Honestly… I re-read my own books because I wasn’t up for reading anything new. I was too sick!

What is your favourite genre?

Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance. I just love stepping out of the real world for a while. Bonus points if the books contain humour and non-abusive male leads.

Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?

I have two cats! One is a tortie, and one is a calico. They are both terror goblins.

And what are they called?

Zazzle the Beguiling Tyrant is the calico, and Princess the Understudy is the tortie.

image 4 1024x768 - Ohh a Kidnap?

Do they help you write?

Absolutely. They are paid in treats. They refuse to work for free.

What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing?

Once… I was preparing a book for publication. It was in the final formatting stages. Princess got onto my keyboard and helpfully insert some characters, which made it into the live version. Fortunately, readers were really kind about it, because rando stray characters is not the norm in my books. It definitely caught their attention, though.

Do you want to add a photo of them to this Q&A? [please add a separate file, not embedded into document]

Please see the attached picture(s)!

Who is your favourite pirate and why?

I’m going with Edward Teach/Blackbeard. The guy was a freaking genius of a lunatic. Everything about his exploits were phenomenal. He definitely wasn’t a good guy. Most pirates simply weren’t, but there was a lot to learn about Teach’s exploits and the golden age of piracy.

Drake was also a really interesting privateer/pirate, but Teach’s exploits sparked a special sort of magic, especially for us.

Do you enjoy sailing? On a lake or the sea? And what about tall masted ships- are they better than engines or?

I absolutely adore sailing. Both lake and sea. In school, we got to sail the Lady Baltimore, which was just a fantastic experience. Ever since, Ships of the Line have captivated me. (For those who aren’t into naval history, a Ship of the Line is a sailed battle ship used during the golden age of sail for naval combat. They would battle in lines. A First-rate Ship of the Line is the first ships to engaged, and are considered to be the best of the best.)

My husband and I watch a lot of naval history documentaries.

Has the pandemic inspired you with any new stories to write? If so, what is the story premise?

The pandemic has been so hard. But yes, it absolutely has inspired books… and it has forced me to step back on some books because of too many people embracing hate. (The Jesse Alexander series and the Seeking the Zodiacs series are both on hold due to the pandemic; I’m hoping I can return to writing them in 2022, but we shall see.)

When I was picking my birthday book for this year (Which is Catnapped), the pandemic was just starting to roll through, so I decided I wanted something that was more fun than anything else. We all need fun right now.

The hardest part of the pandemic, for me, is the awareness that a lot of people are reading to escape right now, and I want to make sure my readers have a wonderful time getting lost in a book.

We all need to get a little lost right now.

Do you prefer doctors or nurses as your hero/heroine? Why?

Nurses. Without nurses, doctors can’t operate, they can’t keep patients alive… really, medical care is a joint effort. Nurses are often neglected because they don’t have the label of ‘doctor’, but it’s not the doctors who are there every hour making sure the patients get through the tough spots. It’s the nurses. They’re the ones inserting the IV lines, monitoring the equipment, and making it so the doctors can do their jobs.

Doctors are important, but nobody is getting out of an operation alive without the hard work of the nurses.

What about ‘snark’? is it good or bad?

I love it, as long as it isn’t malicious. Snark that’s malicious is just another jerk, and we have enough jerks… snark needs to be moderated. There’s a time and a place for malicious snark in fiction, though. So, it really depends on the skill of the author writing the snark.

Is it easy to write humour?

Nope. Just nope. It’s a lot of fine lines to dance through, over, and on. And every joke has the potential of doing more harm than good. With time and practice, it’s ‘easy’ to write, in that it’s a learned and practice skill.

That said, I love writing humour. It’s a good challenge.

How many of the accidents – funny or otherwise, or bad experiences in your stories are based on your own experiences? Or those of your friends?

Honestly, very few. Sometimes, I lift something particularly amusing. A character in a book I wrote under a pen name had salmonella poisoning that went into her bloodstream from a raw chicken nuggets from a fast-food establishment.

No research necessary. I’d lived that one. It’s definitely not an experience I’d like to repeat!

To Purchase:

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/catnapped-9

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/catnapped/id1513416935

About the Author

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.

RJ - Ohh a Kidnap?

Author links:

https://www.thesneakykittycritic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/rjblain.author/

https://www.instagram.com/rj.blain/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7190903.R_J_Blain

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What’s a Wave between? Author Interview

wave - What's a Wave between? Author Interview Rogue Wave
(Haven Island, #1)
Isabel Jolie
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 13th 2021

Tate I sailed every ocean, saw the worst that humanity had to offer, and accomplished… nothing. The world is just as screwed up now as it was when I set out to save it. The futility of it all left me disillusioned. Numb. Then an idealistic beauty burst into my world, shining a light into all the dark corners of my soul. The last thing she needs is a summer romance with a burned-out wreck like me. I shouldn’t want her. But I do…

Luna When I look at Tate, I see a legend. He’s done it all, seen it all — lived my dream. Too bad he doesn’t see what I see. He thinks he’s all wrong for me. Too old. But age is just a number. In our souls, where we’re both one with the sea, we’re the same. He says I shouldn’t want him. But I do… They clash in every sexy, dangerous way imaginable. But is attraction — and maybe even love — enough to overcome all that stands between them? Or will their happily ever after remain elusive?  

 

Isabel - What's a Wave between? Author Interview

RogueWaveTourBanner - What's a Wave between? Author Interview

Our Author Tells Us:

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about?

 I read The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina and I couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s a nonfiction account of the tremendous environmental and human rights issues related to the ocean. Ian Urbina, a New York Times journalist, has covered the ocean for over ten years, and his story stuck with me. I envisioned what it would be like to spend your life fighting for the ocean, for our planet, out on these ships in third world ports of call, and then I thought about the adjustment of coming home. In a way, Tate’s entire story came about just thinking about youthful naivete that the issues can be resolved, and then how soul-crushing it would be to lose hope.

Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I’m not sure marine biology is a common career for characters in romance, so I suppose that makes it unique. But, in terms of age gap, the fact that it’s more than just an age gap, it’s also a philosophical and world view gap, makes it unique. She’s filled with hope, and they meet at a time when he’s given up. He remembers being like her, and that makes the age gap feel far more cavernous.

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it?

It really depends. I tend to mull over ideas and daydream for quite a while. Once I pick a topic, I spend about a month doing research and plotting.

Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I have an idea file, and I jot notes down in a notes app too, and I have a file on my remarkable. It’s unorganized. It’s not a system I would recommend.

What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

For research, I’ll spend time in our local Barnes and Noble, on Google, blogs and I’ll read related nonfiction.  If I can find people to interview, I will.

Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher?

My recommendation would be genre dependent. It’s a numbers game.

For example, romance readers are so heavily ebook (over 90% by some accounts), it’s hard to justify going the traditional publishing route to start (in my mind). Conversely, children’s books, for example, are still largely sold in paperback/hardback form in-store, so I imagine it would be well worth a writer’s time to pitch a children’s book, to find an agent and a publisher before ever attempting to build an audience, as publishers can be tremendously helpful in gaining in-store distribution.

To me, it comes down to what will a publisher bring to an author, and will they earn the 50-75% royalty share? Because contrary to what many agents and publishers might have authors believe, it’s not that hard in an e-book heavy genre to do it on your own. Furthermore, you’re pretty much cut off at the knees if you go with a publisher, meaning you can’t afford to advertise on your slim royalty share after taking on an agent/publisher. So, you’re completely dependent on that publisher advertising for you. For the big named authors, publishers will put weight behind the marketing. But, for the smaller titles, those authors could be taking a gamble, depending on their publishing contract. If an author maintains rights, they can adjust cover/blurb, do sales, explore marketing tactics at will. If a book falls flat on release, some publishers might just fulfil minimum contract requirements and move on to other titles in the stable.

In terms of building an audience and then approaching a publisher-

I don’t know. I’m not there yet. But, the same numbers game premise would hold true. The best business relationships are those where both partners benefit. So, if by building an audience an author is a lower risk for a publisher, and if the author gets to a point where they need a publisher’s contacts and expertise to continue to grow, then it would be reasonable for a developing author to approach a publisher.

Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

I’m in my second year of publishing, and it absolutely does not provide enough to live on. I’m still investing in my business, so I’d say I’m barely breaking even.

What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I love romance, and that’s mostly what I read. If I’m not feeling well, I might read an old favourite, but there’s a good chance I’ll work through my TBR.

What is your favourite genre?

Contemporary romance. I especially love second chance romance, friends to lovers romance, and the fake marriage trope.

In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

Jana Aston

What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I can safely say anything I wrote as a student is long gone. I’ve moved around so much, and not to give away my age, but a lot of what I wrote in school was on paper. In college, I had it on a disk- but even if I found those disks I don’t have a computer that could take them. I won’t find them anyway because I’m positive I tossed them. I’m not much of a saver. I don’t like clutter. I tried to save my mixed tapes (cassettes)- but one summer in an attic did those in. 

What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

Raising my daughters – they are truly amazing kids. I don’t think it’s anything I’ve done per se- we’ve just been lucky. But, without a doubt, spending time with them and watching them grow into strong, young women is the most important thing I’ve done.

Which is your favourite place to visit? Do you incorporate it into your books?

We visit Bald Head Island in North Carolina at least once a year, and it’s the inspiration for Haven Island. I changed the name, because, well, I didn’t want to repeat Bald Head over and over and I wanted a more appealing name. But, for me, that island feels like another land. The absence of cars makes it feel like it’s another country, rather than merely 15 minutes by ferry away from the mainland.

If you could be any fictional character, which would you be? And why?

Claire from Outlander. She’s a kick-ass medical doctor…and, why? Jamie. Duh.

Do you write at home or away from home? If at home, what does your space look like? Are you a tidy person?  

I suppose almost everyone writes from home these days, right? When Covid hit, my husband took over my home office, so I now work in a hallway between the playroom and the room over the garage. The walls are painted dark and there are walnut doors behind me. I usually have a fairly messy desk. I do try at times to organize, but little post-its, and index cards and books, and glasses clutter the space within hours of my cleaning it.

Do you keep a timeline and character traits pinned up on your wall? On post-its?

If not how do you remember important items about your characters like height, weight, colouring, likes and dislikes etc?

I use character outlines in Scrivener, and I have notes in my Remarkable. I’ll use index cards for plot points and they go up on a wall. But in general, it’s easiest for me to check a file on Scrivener for forgotten details. Anything on my wall requires I put on my glasses in order for me to see it.

Should monsters /criminals be given a second chance? Can they be reformed? What is the best type of prison for them? (you can include paranormals here)

I believe criminals can be reformed. I don’t write paranormal but I’ll assume the ability to reform a monster depends on the laws of the universe. In terms of prison, I’m not sure I buy that’s a great avenue to reform any person. To me, prison’s most useful attribute is in its undesirability working as a deterrent to crime. But, that said, I suppose the best type of prison would be one that emphasized building job skills for life after prison.

Do you enjoy sailing? On a lake or the sea?

And what about tall masted ships- are they better than engines or? I do enjoy sailing. I don’t love the smell of gasoline engines, so yes, I do love sails, and there’s a romantic aesthetic to tall masted ships- although I’m not a skilled or knowledgeable sailor. I’d be better off in a kayak or paddleboard.

How many books did you write during Covid19/Lockdown?

From March 2020 to March 2021 I wrote four books. I pretty much stayed on schedule through Covid, and if anything, I found it easier to stay on schedule because other aspects of my life slowed down (ie kids sports, activities, family vacations).

What about ‘snark’? is it good or bad?

I like snark. But I do find in terms of beta feedback, I often have to curb it a bit.

How easy is it to write a good sex scene? And do you have to have experienced these things do you think, to write about them successfully?

Elle Greco has a podcast, SteamScenes, where you can hear authors answer this question. And the answers almost always vary to some degree. (I love her podcast btw & recommend it). Anyway, I think on some days it’s easier to write sex scenes than others (that’s my pov). And, I have to really focus on the characters and their situation and where they are in the relationship. It’s not just sex – it’s character development and relationship development.

And do I think you have to experience it? I’d say that you probably have to have had sex – but you don’t need to do all the stuff in a story – it just takes imagination, and maybe a little porn surfing. For example, I just listened to Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. It’s a male male romance and the sex scenes are off the charts hot. I don’t actually know those two women – they might have been male previously for all I know. But, my guess would be they haven’t ACTUALLY done everything those two men do in the book- and they did a damn good job writing it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Isabel - What's a Wave between? Author Interview

Isabel Jolie, or Izzy to her friends, is an Amazon bestselling indie author with an unquenchable thirst for a good, sexy love story. Izzy’s heart pumps faster for stories with strong heroines, down-to-earth realism, and an unexpected twist.

When she’s not writing or reading, she can often be found with a glass of wine in hand relaxing with her husband, daughters, and good friends lakeside.

Izzy fills her Instagram feed with funnies, inspirational “brain candy”, and anything that meshes with her mood of the day. #mood.

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