The Geeky Lover: I thought it would be nice to ask a few other things, that will give us a deep look into your soul *snort* so here are a few bullet questions:
Tea or coffee? Always coffee!
Pepsi or Coke? Coke
Cat or dog? Dog (we’d love to have cats too but Middle Monster and my Dad are allergic)
Sunny beach or winter wonderland? Winter wonderland (love the mountains, a snug cabin, and a roaring fire with a good book on my lap or loaded on my iPhone)
Werewolf or vampire? Vampire or a were-cat of some kind. I’ve never really cared for wolves much.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek
Cinema or home-movie? Home (with kids, it’s just too hard to get out to the movies)
Weighted Companion Cube or cake? cake
The Geeky Lover: Tell us a bit about Dear Sir, I’m Yours.
Joely: I’d be happy to!
*This professor’s final exam includes a spanking.*
There’s no house restoration too challenging for Rae Jackson, a.k.a. “The Fix-It Lady”. There’s no fixing the past, though. Like the day she left college. A semester of flirting with her English professor ended when he spanked her to the best orgasm of her life. Afraid of her own eager willingness to comply with the sexy dom’s commands—no matter what—she fled.
Yet not even five years can dim her memory of his masterful touch. Conn never forgot the one student who gave him a big fat “F” on the greatest test of his life. After all these years, he’s still haunted by his uncharacteristic loss of control. When he finds the very object of his shame—and desire—crawling around under his grandmother’s house, he swears to do anything to win Rae’s trust.
Rae finds herself helpless against Conn’s slow seduction. Exactly the way she likes it. Instead of poetry, this time she learns the erotic pleasure to be found in bondage…and submission to the sexiest professor alive.
*Warning: Explicit sex, spanking, light bondage, a crazy old lady who talks to ghosts, and one lethal pink parasol.*
The Geeky Lover: Why did you decide to write to contemporary after mostly concentrating on fantasy before? Why did it appeal to you?
Joely: One of my “flaws” is that I really want to dabble in everything, and I especially love contests and challenges. I don’t want to limit myself to only one genre, even though I know that’s a smart thing to do for a lot of reasons. Dear Sir had a couple of false starts before I really knew what I was doing.
First: Years ago, Dorchester was running the American Title contest with a call for contemporary romance. I made the mistake of reading about it – and immediately got an idea with an English professor hero named Conn. I didn’t even come close to finishing the book in time for that contest, and I was still a really young writer. I set the story aside and continued with fantasy.
Second: A few years passed and I saw the Brava contest that Kate Duffy judged. If you’re wondering why Conn and Rae had a past five years ago, well, that’s the reason, because the theme was reunited lovers! By the time I finished the first draft, the contest was over and it was waaaaay too long for a novella. I made my first sale to Drollerie soon after and I was just too busy with fantasy to really finish Dear Sir, but I couldn’t forget Conn. I finally FINALLY had him right, and I really wanted to write his story.
Finally, I cleared my plate of a few projects and dedicated myself to finishing Dear Sir, and I was so thrilled with Angela James contracted it for Samhain!
The Geeky Lover: I loved to read all the letters in DSIY. Why did you choose to insert them? Do you like to write letters in real life?
Joely: Years ago, a mentor taught me to write first-person letters to help me figure out my characters better. It helps me get their voices down pat and really dig into their past dark secrets and fears. I wrote the first letters from Rae to Conn as character building, but they were so strong, so powerful, I just kept writing more. Then I realized I had a really good thing going, and I deliberately wrote more to include in the book.
I do write in a journal but I don’t really write real letters. As Conn says, true letter writing is a dying art.
The Geeky Lover: Why did you choose literature professor as Conn’s job?
Joely: When Conn came into my head, he was an English professor from the very beginning. I just knew it, like I knew Gregar was an assassin when he showed up. Oops, wrong book…
The Geeky Lover: I never was much of a lyric lover in school but I enjoyed every snippet in your book. Do you enjoy poetry in real life or did you just come up with it for the book?
Joely: I love poetry but I don’t really write much myself. I love to mimic poetry — e.g. take a song or famous poem and twist it into something else entirely, but keep the rhythm and beats so it’s recognizable. It’s sort of a hobby, I guess, that started years ago when I was in a small writing group. We wrote parodies for fun.
Even though I’m a math major and computer programmer in real life, I did take a lot of English classes in college (enough to have a minor but I never applied for it). One of my favorite classes was a Romantic Period poetry class, but NO, Conn is not real. Sadly. :-)
The Geeky Lover: I loved that Rae is rather inexperienced in the BDSM scene and Conn has to show her how it works. Why did you chose a situation like that?
Joely: In the first incarnation of this book, it wasn’t erotic at all and had no elements of BDSM. When I finally decided to finish the contemporary romance, I decided to challenge myself and write my first deliberate BDSM story. I’ve flirted with those elements in the past (e.g. The Horse Master, a free story I have on my website, or Gregar, who’s a total sadist), but I hadn’t deliberately and consciously chosen to write BDSM until Conn. In many ways, he was teaching me as he taught Rae.
The Geeky Lover: I know you are already working on the other Connagher Siblings books. What can we expect from Victor(Hurt Me So Good) and Vicki?
Joely: Victor, Conn’s oldest brother, is a very reluctant Dominant. More, he’s a sadist, and he’s terribly afraid he’ll go too far and hurt the woman he loves. He has to learn to trust himself, and to trust that his submissive can and will tell him to stop when she’s had enough. This book has been contracted by Samhain but I don’t have an official release yet.
Vicki’s book (untitled) is in progress. Me and my silly challenges…for this one, I challenged myself to write a real-life menage a trois where all three people end up happy and committed together. I’ve written a menage before (in the fantasy Shanhasson trilogy), but I wanted to find a believable set up in the modern world and see if I could pull it off. I guess we’ll see once I finish the book!
The Geeky Lover: So hands down: Which of the three siblings is your favorite?(I know that one is evil)
Joely: Oh, dear, you are very very evil. I’d have to say that Victor is probably my favorite, although he was terribly hard to write. It was really hard to get into his head and figure out what pain did for him, why he needed it, and what he was really afraid of, deep down. But I’d be miserable if Conn ever quit showing up in my head (yes, the characters do still come back to visit me, even after their books are done), and I’m loving Vicki’s story, too.
The Geeky Lover: What is up next in your schedule? Return to Shanhasson? Hurt Me So Good? Something new?
Joely: The Bloodgate Guardian will be released by Carina Press in June. Return to Shanhasson (book 3) and Hurt Me So Good will be out sometime this year (I’ll update the Coming Soon page on my website as soon as I have solid dates). Once I finish Vicki’s book, I plan to shift my focus to a science fiction romance world I’ve been building for over a year, as well as a follow-up story to The Bloodgate Guardian.
The Geeky Lover: Last question: what would you ask yourself if you were in my position? And please feel free to answer!
Joely: Who are some of my favorite authors who influenced my writing? Before I committed seriously to writing, I read. A LOT! My favorite fantasy authors are Robert Jordan, George RR Martin, and Guy Gavriel Kay. I was devastated when RJ passed away before he finished his Eye of the World series. :-( Laurell K. Hamilton is like crack for me (although I haven’t read since The Harlequin–when I started researching BDSM and realized how many things she’d gotten wrong). I’m actually not as well read in romance, but when I first started writing, my favorite romance authors were Amanda Quick and Christina Dodd. My all-time favorite romance is Son of the Morning by Linda Howard.
The Geeky Lover: Thanks so much for coming over and answering my questions!*
Joely: Thank you so much for having me!
Joely has offered to give away a signed copy of Dear Sir, I’m Yours
Ask Joely a question or just leave a comment about the interview to be entered to win a copy of Dear Sir, I’m Yours.
The contest will end on Saturday April 10, 2010
Open to anyone on the planet
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