Thursday, October 8, 2020

Q&A about Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #SILVERDAGGERBOOKTOURS


  ·          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.


Jacqui the Cat Mysteries Book 1
by Alexis Duran
Genre: Gay M/M Paranormal Romance Mystery

Jacqui Corleone is a fashion designer, a yoga-instructor and a concerned citizen who selflessly helps the police solve crimes. Oh, and he occasionally turns into a small wild cat. Probably due to a wizard's curse or an evil government plot to create super warriors.
Or, he's a cat cursed to turn into a human and only the bite of a sexy alpha lion will allow him to remain in his superior form of Cat.
Jacqui does not have a split personality, but sometimes his cat personality can get rather loud.
Jacqui Corleone is a cat shifter who doesn't know why or how he turns into a cat. He lives a solitary life in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. He's not afraid of intimacy (yes, he is) but sensibly refrains from potentially awkward entanglements. Unfortunately, the sexy new deputy sheriff just moved in across the street and Jacqui's vow not to get mixed up with island dudes is sorely challenged.
When the mysterious disappearance of three blue pots draws Jacqui to investigate, he prowls ever deeper into danger--and into the arms of Deputy Wyatt West (he wishes).

Jacqui the Cat Mysteries Book 2

Half-cat, half-human, all-awesome, Jacqui has spent his life avoiding getting too close to anyone. But despite his best intentions, he just can’t stay away from the sexy deputy sheriff, Wyatt West, especially after Jacqui is the victim of a local band of thieves and turns to the police for help. When the call of curiosity grows too insistent, Jacqui does a little prying around on his own, an activity that quickly leads him into danger. Is this the end for our Furry Fashionista, or will the heroic and altogether too handsome Wyatt save the day? And more importantly, will they finally have sex?? Read Pounce, Book 2 in the Jacqui the Mysteries, to find out.

Jacqui the Cat Mysteries Book 3 

Being half-cat isn’t easy in a human world, and Jacqui’s life has just gotten a lot more complicated now that he’s dating the hot deputy sheriff who lives across the street. Wyatt’s brain might explode if he finds out his lover turns into a cat sometimes. And even more unthinkable, Wyatt might REJECT Jacqui if he discovers that his boyfriend and Satan the feral wild cat are one and the same! As if Jacqui doesn’t have enough to worry about, he becomes the unwilling foster parent of a drooling dog, and soon discovers a nefarious plot involving marauding Rottweilers with a taste for Cat. Follow Jacqui into trouble in his most exciting misadventure yet!

Jacqui the Cat Mysteries Book 4 

Cat Shifter Jacqui Corleone has finally met his fated mate, but unlike in a romance novel, reality has other plans. For one thing, Wyatt doesn't know Jacqui is a shifter. For another thing, the dog men are back, and along with their slobber and their bad breath they bring a new level of danger to Jacqui's life, and to Wyatt's. When Jacqui meets other cat shifters for the first time, he's tantalized by a glimpse into their strange new world, but cats aren't much nicer than dogs, and soon Jacqui must choose if he's going to run again, or stand and fight against an enemy more powerful than he ever imagined.

Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She has worked in museums, in fashion, in finance and film production. Her favorite job so far was Administrative Assistant in a haunted Victorian Mansion. She's had several short stories published in the mystery, horror and literary genres, and one contemporary fantasy novel. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She's thrilled to enter the realm of erotic romance with the publication of her novels Touch of Salar, Blood of Salar and To Catch A Threeve. She's is currently working on the next in the Masters and Mages series and several other m/m erotic novellas.

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