· What is the hardest part of writing these books?
The hardest part about writing Jacqui is turning him off! I write in the mornings before I trundle off to the day job, and tearing myself away from the keyboard when Jacqui is in the middle of telling me something important is always a challenge. He and Cat keep on chattering during the whole 20 minute drive to work and sometimes right up to the door of my office. I often have to sit and my desk and write notes before I can possibly turn my mind to other things. This is actually a pretty fun problem to have.
· Who did your covers, and what was the design process like?
Robin Ludwig Design Inc. This is actually my first real foray into indie publishing and although scary and a huge amount of work, the ability to have final say over my covers is a true blessing. While I did like the covers from my previous publisher, Loose Id, they never quite captured the character or the essence of the book like I imagined (we writers spend a lot of time imagining our covers, let me tell you). So I did some research, discovered Robin and liked what I saw. She was great to work with, listened to my half-baked ideas, worked with the cover models that I found through hours of painstaking research (spending hours staring at photos of gorgeous guys is one of the many sacrifices I’ve had to make) and created covers that I love. It really helps with the whole marketing experience when you love the look of your books. Thanks, Robin!
· Are there darks secrets in your character’s past? Can you tell us about one of them?
Oh, lots and lots of secrets. Prowl, Book 1, is essentially an introduction to Jacqui and Cat, and Wyatt, of course. It’s short and sweet and hopefully enough of a taste to get readers interested in Jacqui’s situation and the budding romance between him and his sexy neighbor. The arc of Jacqui’s life and story is much greater in scope than I could fit in one, or even four books. I already have book 5 planned, and over the course of the next "set" of four, we learn a lot more about the world of shifters and Jacqui’s place (or lack thereof) among them. So I don’t want to reveal any big secrets, but I can tell you that Jacqui, in his quest to remain hidden from the world, has left behind a lot of wreckage that will return to bite him in the ass. And then there’s Wyatt, who at first glance seems like a rather straight-forward, easy-going fellow. Well, that’s not entirely true. Wyatt’s family history is also interesting and will play a role as the story develops.
· Did a character cause trouble because you weren’t listening and missed something important about them?
I wouldn’t say he caused me trouble, but I had one character who I was trying to get to act one way, and it just didn’t work and felt a little off. Casey, the cute vet, who I thought would make a nice rival for Jacqui to worry about, turned out to be a lot more complicated and interesting than either Jacqui or I first suspected. He surprised me and made me rethink the way the plot of Roam, Book 3, developed. And then in Wild, he's back and we really get to see what makes him tick.
· What inspired you to write this particular story? What were the challenges in bringing it to life?
As with most of my books, there’s a sort of creative composting that goes on. As I move through life, I gather threads of stories from here and there. In this case, I live with six cats and spend more time than I should be wondering what’s going on their demented little minds. As soon as I started thinking about what it would be like to be half-cat, Jacqui sprang to life and started arguing with his inner feline. The challenge with writing Jacqui is to keep him real, and lovable, and deeply human. There’s a temptation for both of us to go a little wild, but I want Jacqui to be very relatable. He might be a cat shifter, but he’s also one of us; vulnerable, insecure, and questing to find his place in the world, preferably in the hunky arms of a gorgeous dude like Wyatt.
· What secondary character would you like to explore more? Tell me about him or her.
It’s interesting that the question is phrased that way because Jacqui’s best friend Zee is a classical musician who chooses not to gender identity. Zee leads an exciting, globe-trotting sort of life, and is the only person who knows anything about Jacqui’s past. I could definitely write a book about the two of them, and I do have a story planned in which Zee is being stalked by an overzealous fan. I was personally gender fluid in my youth (didn’t have the words or the realization though) and would love the opportunity to explore that reality through the eyes of one of my characters.