We are really happy to have Author Jory Strong here today. Her new Ghostland Novel Healer’s Choice is released today (Woot! Congrats!) and she is here to talk about her books and to celebrate her new releases. Be sure to stay tuned till the end of the post. Jory has a surprise for one lucky commenter in her bag. Please give her a warm welcome.
Book Lovers Inc: Jory can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in Northern California and am a full time author. My passion, besides writing, is riding horses. I’m lucky enough to live out in the country, where my horses are just a short walk away, and where all I have to do is put a saddle on one of them and I can trail ride for hours. I’ve been married for 20+ years. We don’t have children of our own, though over the years we’ve had foreign exchange students and other young people come into our lives who we remain in contact with. We share our home with dogs, cats and birds.
Book Lovers Inc: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Jory Strong: A typical day for me starts at about 6 am. I’m not really functional until I’ve had my coffee and read my email. After I’ve done both, I get to the writing and work until around 8 am when the animal chores kick in (feeding dogs, cats, horses). After they’re done I work for another couple of hours before breaking to ride one of my horses (weather permitting). I then come back and write again until evening animal chores kick in. My goal is to been “done” by then, so I can put my own characters and story worlds aside and spend the evening reading what someone else has created, though when I’m close to typing THE END, or in the edit phase, I’ll often work until my brain fogs and I have to go to bed.
I started out as a total “seat of the pants” writer. Now I’m a hard core planner, though there’s a fine line there. I need to know what is going to happen in each scene, but not in too much detail, that ideally comes as I’m actually writing.
Book Lovers Inc: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Jory Strong: I’d categorize most of the readers I know as book lovers (they almost have to be given all the other ways to spend spare time). They read because it gives them pleasure rather than because it’s required either by school or their jobs. Some love to post reviews or talk about books, while others might pass on a recommendation, or say nothing but go on to consume everything written by an author they’ve just fallen in love with. Some are voracious, while others cram reading in where they can. But all are book lovers.
Book Lovers Inc: Your new book Healer’s Touch is book 3 in your Ghostland series. What makes your Urban Fantasy Series special?
Jory Strong: Well as you allude to in your next question, its urban fantasy romance as opposed to straight urban fantasy which tends to center on one character through multiple books and is often written in the first person POV, where the books in the Ghostland series are told in third person POV and follow different main characters. The series is also set in a post-apocalyptic world, as in, what’s it like generations after zealots plunged the entire world into a war that was then followed by anarchy when the supernaturals make their existence known.
Life for the humans is very much defined by where they live and who rules. San Francisco, for instance, is controlled by vampires, while Oakland (across the bay) is ruled by humans without supernatural gifts, and the Were territories of Healer’s Choice are places where generally no humans are allowed.
Book Lovers Inc: The Ghostland series is not like most UF books. It’s also label as romance and your books center on a different character in each book which is usually more typical for romance. Are you a romantic at heart or are there others reason why you added these elements to your books?
Jory Strong: Romance is the genre I’ve been reading since I was a kid, back in the days when the heroines were usually 18 year old “waifs” and the heroes 35 year old, wiser, wealthy men–now thankfully recognized as pervs and rejected as such by today’s women!
Book Lovers Inc: Why did you decide for a post apocalyptic setting? How are your characters coping with this situation?
Jory Strong: I wanted to write something different, something that lent itself to creating worlds within worlds so I could further explore them. Healer’s Choice, for example, concentrates on the Were, where reality for the outcasts who live in the brothels is so much different than the pure Weres who claim territory by species and have little to do with each other.
It’s a harsh world, but the mortal characters grew up in it (what they call The Last War took place before they were born), so they know how to navigate it and what it takes to survive in it.
Book Lovers Inc: The names of your characters are really unique. How did you come up with them? Intense research or more your own creativity?
Jory Strong: I love the web! A lot of my names come from visiting baby naming sites. I often go with unique names because they don’t come with any “baggage”. They’re ripe with possibilities.
Book Lovers Inc: What can we expect of Healer’s Choice?
Jory Strong: It’s gritty and intense. There are important revelations and glimpses into the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the Djinn and the angels allied with them.
Book Lovers Inc: Your heroine Rebekka was born and raised in an environment of violence and in essence the worst of society. She’s foretold to be a healer for the outcast weres. What kind of character is she with a life like that and how do you think this prophecy changed the direction for her life?
Jory Strong: It’s more than just a prophecy, it’s a shaping. She was created for this purpose and Healer’s Choice is the story of her testing by the Djinn, to see if she’s worthy, and in the case that she is, then the prophecy will be fulfilled. Her life has been preparation for this testing and has served her well. She’s compassionate, emotionally strong, and has a strong internal compass guiding her actions, all of which she needs in order to not only to survive and succeed, but to find happiness.
Book Lovers Inc: You hero Aryck is a jaguar enforcer. I personally adore “kitty shiftes”. What do you like most about them?
Jory Strong: Cats are the ultimate predators. They’re the ultimate survivors. Mix those qualities with an alpha male who is also fiercely loyal and it’s a potent combination.
Book Lovers Inc: And please tell us a bit about Aryck! I can imagine the ladies highly intrigued. What is he like?
Jory Strong: Dominant. Possessive. And at war with himself over Rebekka because Weres have three souls: animal, human, and the eternal one anchored in the shadowlands where their ancestors live. The minute the Jaguar sees Rebekka it thinks “mate” but the man rejects the possibility of it for fear of what it’ll mean for his eternal soul, and his existence in this life.
Book Lovers Inc: Will there be more books in this series?
Jory Strong: I hope so! None are contracted right now, but I’d love to tell Levi’s story (he’s a Lion Were) as well as Saril’s, who is a Finder, and also the daughter of the fallen angel Rimmon. Both were first introduced in Spider-Touched.
Book Lovers Inc: Is there something else planned we should keep our eyes open for?
Jory Strong: February 1, 2011, is the release date for the Primal anthology. I’m in it, along with Lora Leigh, Ava Gray & Michelle Rowen. Angel-Claimed is the angel Addai’s story. He was first introduced at the end of Spider-Touched and is a POV character in Healer’s Choice.
There will be upcoming Ellora’s Cave stories as well, as I write them and get them turned in. I’m currently waiting for a release date on my latest erotic romance story, Ride to Ecstasy.
Book Lovers Inc: Now on to the mean questions:
Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
1. I’d like to think they’re thought provoking as well as entertaining.
2. They’re different, a blend of genres, including, where the story calls for it, elements of erotic romance.
3. Publishing is a tough business and the series needs an audience if it’s to survive!
Book Lovers Inc: Can you summarize your Ghostland novels for us twitter style (140 characters tops)?
Ghostland: Powerful forces threaten their worlds leaving Aisling and Zurael to follow their hearts or stay true to their honor and risk losing an eternity of pleasure.
Spider-Touched: Powerful forces brought Araña and Tir together, but learning the truth of what they are will destroy them—unless their love is strong enough to overcome a dark legacy.
Healer’s Choice: War is coming and neutrality isn’t an option. For Were shapeshifters, a healer’s gift holds the key to their survival.
Angel-Claimed: In a novella of the Djinn comes the story of an angel who crosses the boundaries of desire after committing the ultimate sin—falling in love with a mortal female.
Thanks to Jory we have a SIGNED copy of Healer’s Choice to offer for one lucky commenter.
All you have to do is ask Jory a question or just leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
Please leave us a way to contact you
(email in blogger profile or twitter name is okay- no way to contact – no way to win).
This giveaway is International!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, September 18th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.