Interview Author Lauren Dane + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Interview , Lauren Dane , The Geeky Lover Posted on June 3, 2011 @ 6:03 am 38 comments
We are very happy to welcome national bestselling author Lauren Dane here at Book Lovers Inc again. Her next novel, Goddess with a Blade will be released next week and today she is here to talk about her new book, her first urban fantasy, and what makes it so special to her. Please give Lauren a warm welcome and don’t miss you chance to win your own copy at the end of the interview.BLI: Welcome Lauren, it’s so great to have you here at Book Lovers Inc again. For all the new readers, could you please introduce yourself?

Lauren: Thanks for having me! Let’s see – I’m Lauren Dane and I contracted my first book in 2004. I realized just this last book that I’ve written 45 books with another five or six already contracted. I write contemporary romance both erotic and sensual for Berkley Heat, Samhain and Carina. I write paranormal romance both erotic and non for Berkley Sensation, Samhain and Carina and I write futuristic erotic romance for Berkley Heat.
BLI: Your new novel, Goddess with a Blade is rather different from you other books. It was, at least for me, more like an urban fantasy than a romance novel- even though the romance is actually there. Did you start this book trying to make it different- or did it just happen?
Lauren: I started out wanting to tell Rowan’s story. I knew she’d have issues with Clive given their relative differences and I knew they’d have some serious chemistry, but I have always wanted to make Goddess about her.
I did also know the story was different than those I’ve told before. I knew it was a risk and I went into the process understanding it would be a hard sell (and it totally was, LOL)
BLI: For me the setting in Vegas and the general feel of your paranormal world there really intriguing. Why did you choose Vegas and Vampires?
Lauren: Travel always inspires me. It’s where a lot of my ideas come from. And Las Vegas has been the setting for a few of my books because it’s such a fascinating mix of people and architecture. I love the juxtaposition of the parts people see and the parts people live in. It’s a hometown and a vacation destination and a place people deliberately go to be someone else. There’s a lot to it.
So I went to Las Vegas with some friends in the spring of 2006 and we went to a delightfully dreadful vampire show with the usual spate of acrobats, fake boobs, sparkly costumes and other fun stuff. And I sat at the airport waiting for my flight to board to go home and I started thinking about the way there are always so many layers to Las Vegas and began to sketch a Las Vegas where there was a whole, vibrant and secret world just beneath the surface.
I love writing vampires and I wanted this time to choose vampires who were not emo. Not broody and worried over what they were. I wanted to write vampires who were predators. It seemed to me that a place like Las Vegas was a perfect setting for a book with vampires in it. After all, the population is largely transient. One week the hotels burgeon with people to be replaced by a whole new crop of people from all sorts of other places. Lots of humans to feed on. There’s enough chaos and glitter that unusual things aren’t really so very unusual there. The combo just really made sense to me.
BLI: The name of your heroine, Rowan Summerwaite, is pretty inventive, at least for me. How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Lauren: Rowan is the tree that is sacred to Brigid, the goddess who inhabits Rowan’s body. And I love the name. It’s a strong name. The name of a capable person. Because she’s hard and because her job takes a lot of doing things most won’t do, I wanted her to have a strong, and yet beautiful name because she’s also got her soft side. Summerwaite to me anyway, has a fairy tale/mythological feel. Together it worked for her.
Generally when I name main characters I try to think about who they are. What they come from. Where they come from and what they do. Sometimes it’s easier than others, and sometimes I have to change names for one reason or another. But usually the names I use mean something about the characters in some way.
BLI: The vampires in your novel have a strong connection to Germany. Why Germany instead of for let’s say the usual Transylvania?
Lauren: I think it started a long time ago when I first saw the German coat of arms, LOL. It’s badass, striking, clearly a powerful image. The region has a long history – you’ve got Germanic tribes, Frankish history and Roman elements. It’s an old culture with some pretty amazing history and mythology.
When I thought about Theo, about a hard as nails warrior predator who had to rule tens of thousands of vampires with unquestioned leadership, I always saw him in a keep in Germany. A place with a rich history. A really old Vampire would find himself at home there. At least in my imagination.
BLI: Tell us a bit about your book. What is Goddess with a Blade in a nutshell?
Lauren: There’s a world just beneath the surface and that world is populated by creatures of myth. Only they’re not just made up stories, they’re real. These paranormal beings generally want to be left alone by humanity. Because of that most of them are willing to keep their existence quiet to avoid detection by humans.
Sometimes it takes some law enforcement of a sort to keep certain elements in line. And that’s Rowan’s job. So she’s come back to town after hassling for the last year over her legal execution of the last Vampire Scion and she meets Clive Stewart, the new Scion.
They don’t like each other much, though there’s a sort of instant push and pull attraction between them. All this becomes far more complicated by the appearance of the first body of a dead woman bearing all the hallmarks of a Vampire killing and Rowan has to find the killer while not exposing their world to the human authorities.
More bodies show up as Rowan tries to balance her job of finding the Vampire serial killer on her hands as well as her duty to the corporation that employs her, the righteous path she’s been given by the goddess and her dangerously compelling affair with Clive Stewart.
All through the story there are decision points Rowan meets and has to deal with. Choices she faces where she has to weigh everything she stands for to find the killer. Even as the ghosts of her past in the form of her foster father, Theo (the warrior predator I mention above) who comes to town to deal with the crisis they all face with the increasingly public and undeniably otherworldly treatment of the victims.
She’s got a lot of things to keep in order, a lot of responsibilities and more than a little confusion. But she never wavers from her job.
BLI: You heroine Rowan is the vessel of a goddess and was raised by the First- the vampire overlord so to say. Now she hunts the vamps for the Hunters. This is a really conflicting background. How did this form her as a person?
Lauren: She is a very conflicted person. Because while she has good reason to hate Theo and the Vampire Nation, she still has love for the only person she ever knew as a parent. This is not an easy thing for her to process and you see part of it in the book. She’s got alliances that are built into her DNA because of who both her parents were. In many ways she’s rootless, never truly at home with anyone. She has a lot of anger, but a lot of ambition and an unshakable sense of justice. She’s a person of contradictions and she’s trying to find a way to survive it all while making good choices. It certainly gave me a lot of material to write, LOL.
BLI: The new Scion of Las Vegas, Clive Stewart is not what Rowan expected. And he agitates her to no end. Why do those to clash so often? And do you believe in the saying that opposites attract each other?
Lauren: From the minute I put them both on the page at the same time they started bickering. I think they clash as often as they do because they are equals in many ways. He’s no real threat to her, she can handle herself. He doesn’t quite know what to make of that.
They threaten each other, but in a way totally novel (and safe in its own way) and I think that’s big part of their chemistry. And while they are opposites in some ways, I think they’re both very much alike, which is why they keep coming back for more.
BLI: I loved the wit and innuendos your characters threw around through the whole story. I always wonder if creating this quick-wittedness actually come that quick to the author?
Lauren: I like to include humor in my books here and there. Some people are harder to write and develop than others. Rowan’s sense of humor and her dialog was pretty fun to write. I only had to struggle to rein her in sometimes.
The book to me was dark, but you know oftentimes people with dark and heavy jobs use humor to process it. To me, that back and forth between them was a way to keep from losing their minds as well as to needle each other.
BLI: I always love how your characters interact with each other and how we can always find these wonderful connections. To see them form these bonds makes it easier for me to do the same. What do you think is essential to make the reader connect to the characters?
Lauren: To me, and this is just my perspective – but to me the heart of any story are its characters. I think showing your character through how she’s viewed by her loved ones and her enemies is an important glimpse into who they are. How do they deal with conflict? What are the little things that bind a friendship together? Authors (especially romance authors) often get criticized and accused of creating unrealistic expectations, but how someone on the page reacts when they’re confronted by adversity, by how they deal with the people in their lives says more about them than any amount of backstory I could write.
I have read the most technically and lyrically beautiful writing and left the book because I just didn’t care about the characters or worse, couldn’t understand why they had relationships with friends or loved ones that only harmed them. In the end I suppose I’d pick technically less flawless with great characters who connect with each other than the other way around.
BLI: The side-cast in Goddess with a Blade is very varied and special. I know it is mean to ask, but do you have a favorite? I swear we won’t tell them?
Lauren: Crazy Carl the taxi man is based on a real person who picked my husband and I up to take us to the other end of the strip. His name wasn’t Carl obviously, but he had the most bizarre stuffed menagerie animals in the cab I’ve ever seen. When we finally arrived and got inside the hotel, my husband and I both said he had to be put in the book. I had intended to just have his part in the story be a one time thing, but he was so big and fun to write I had to bring him back a few times.
BLI: We will stay mean for a bit: What is your favorite thing about this book? What makes it extra special for you?
Lauren: This book has been with me since 2006. I’ve pretty much accepted, more than once, that I’d never sell it. Not the first time, won’t be the last when a book I love just doesn’t sell for one reason or another. But I never let go of Rowan and her story. That after all this time I was able to not only find a home for the book but got to work with such an amazing editor who I totally trust made this a really special book for me.
BLI: Was there a character or part of this story that was harder than usual for you to write?
Lauren: While I connected with Rowan very early on, I wanted to always be sure her hard and sharp edges were blunted from time to time by certain people or places. Those scenes were pivotal and I took a lot of time to be sure they were paced write and that it was a different view of Rowan without being totally out of character.
BLI: Do you plan to write more books set in this world? Will we see Clive and Rowan again?
Lauren: I would like to write another in this universe definitely. It’s going to depend on sales and what my schedule looks like in the future, but I would love to revisit Rowan and Clive.
BLI: What’s next up your schedule?
Lauren: After Goddess comes out I’ll be finishing up CAPTIVATED, the last futuristic Phantom Corps book. I’ve got the next book set in Petal, Georgia out August 30, the last Brown siblings book, NEVER ENOUGH out September 6 and my first mass market paranormal romance HEART OF DARKNESS in November. Lots of stuff to wri te between now and then too!



Lauren is offering 2 ebook copies of Goddess with a Blade to 2 lucky commenter

All you have to do is ask Lauren a question
or leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
 (You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please leave us a way to contact you
(email in blogger profile or twitter name-
no way to contact you – no entry).

This giveaway is International

Giveaway ends on Saturday, June 18th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • Jen B. June 3, 2011 at 7:24 am

    My first thought is, please don't stop the Brown Siblings series. I know you're out of siblings after Adrian's story but I will miss these characters so much.
    Ok, now to Goddess With A Blade. How did you decide to pick Birgit to inhabit Rowan's body? There are so many pantheon and so many Gods, I don't know how I would have narrowed it down.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • ClothDragon June 3, 2011 at 7:27 am

    You say she's inhabited by a goddess, but I'm not sure what that means. Is she possessed, a reincarnation, priestess, or a real person with powers of/by the goddess? Any of those sound interesting and I'm adding the book to my to-read list, but I'm not sure I understand the term "inhabited".


  • Bethany C. June 3, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I think if there were vampires that there would be a lot in Vegas- not only is there a constant flux of humans coming and going, but people are more inclined to write off something odd as just being another show. Smart location to choose.


  • Teril June 3, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Having never read any books from this author I have to say, wow! they look like fabulous reads. Thank you for coming on and talking about your reads. Here is summer almost around the corner and I cannot wait to pick a few up. Thank you!

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

  • Marie June 3, 2011 at 11:09 am

    The interview was amazing. It was nice to get that information on Vegas. Having lived there for almost two years recently, I am always happy to read about it.

    Vegas is THE opportune place for vampires and I am glad to see an author chose that city. THank you!

  • Beverly June 3, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Love Lauren Dane, I really like her writing style. Brown Siblings series, Chase Brothers are awesome and i'm looking forward to Godsess With A Blade.


  • holls June 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Great interview/ review. I want to know If Lauren ever gets tired of having to come up with new things to write. Does your mind just overflow with what you want to write or do you ever struggle with the story and ask why am I doing this? Thanks. Love ur work.

    Hollybwright at comcast dot net

  • carrie bernard June 3, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Hi Lauren! My one question was how do you get the characters names. You are terribly creative. Thank you for the chance at the giveaway & a great interview.

  • Victoria June 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I've only read one of the second Brown book but I loved it. I can't seem to be able to get my hands on Laid Bare. I keep trying. When I get my TBR pile down a bit I plan on trying another of your books. Any suggestions where to start since I loved COMING UNDONE?
    Thanks for the giveaway.


  • Anonymous June 3, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I've just read a small handful of Lauren's books, and I see that I'll have to read faster!Writing 45 books since 2004? I'm in awe.

    We all seem to be in agreement that Vegas and vampires go together. My take on it is that the city is so in your face and over the top that almost anything, even vampires, seem possible.

    Thanks for the review and the great interview. They did what they were supposed to – I really, really want to read Goddess with a Blade now!

    Mickie T
    mdturett @ juno . com

  • Danielle June 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I have been very weary of new vampire series and books. The instant mating and brooding vampires are just getting so old and so is the never-heard-of-vampire-please-dont-hurt-me virgin that is infatuated by said vampire so early in the story. I am excited to read this spin on your vampires and to start something fresh.

  • Estella June 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I enjoyed the interview.
    How do you keep all of your different publisher stories straight? I'd be so confused.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  • Lauren Dane June 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Jen – They won't go away entirely. The new contemporary erotic romance series I'm doing with Heat spins off from Never Enough. So in Tart (next book) you'll see Gillian and Adrian still because Jules (heroine) is best buds with Gillian.

    As for how I chose Bridid? I love all mythology really, but have a big soft spot for Celtic goddess mythology. Brigid is a personal favorite and of the triple goddesses, I thought she was best to embody the overall story direction

  • Lauren Dane June 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Marilou – In Rowan's case, she can feel another consciousness in the far background most of the time, but during a battle or times of fight/flight the full consciousness of the goddess rushes into her, fills her up and Brigid is also in charge. Rowan has her skills with her blade, and some of the goddess's other attributes (healing is another) Does that answer your question?

  • Lauren Dane June 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Holls – My problem is usually the opposite. I have all kinds of ideas and I have to settle on just a handful a year!

    And yes, there are times when I hit a wall or when I am not feeling the story I'm working on, or when something just isn't working when I think, why am I torturing myself. But that's just a woeful pity me moment because I have a great job and eventually I write my way out of that block or corner and find my way back to the story.

  • Sharon June 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I don't really have a question, just want to take a moment to thank Lauren Dane for many enjoyable hours of reading pleasure. I am so looking forward to the return to Petal, GA, and to Adrian's story.Goddess With a Blade looks phenomenal, can't wait to read it! Thank goodness you are so prolific!


  • Lauren Dane June 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Carrie – like I said in the interview, the names of my characters usually mean something as in Rowan's case with Rowan being the tree sacred to Brigid. Sometimes they're just names, but most of the time they do mean something, even if only to me, LOL

  • Lauren Dane June 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Victoria – Inside Out follows Coming Undone and I'm running a contest to win one today at my blog 🙂 If you like contemporary erotic, then Laid Bare would be good as well. The Chase Brothers books are also contemporary, small town romance, but they're not erotic.

  • Lauren Dane June 3, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Estella – I have a schedule I keep with my writing so I can keep to the voice and feel of that book. I get interrupted all the time though, LOL.

    Essentially I write the story I feel I need to write and if it's for Heat, I know what the sex scenes need to be like. If it's a Chase book I know it's got a sweeter voice and the sex won't be as graphic. My characters all have their own voices so that part helps too.

  • Lauren Dane June 3, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Bethany – thanks for stopping by to comment!

    Teril – thank you, I hope you like what you pick up 🙂

    Marie – thanks! And yes, I love Vegas love to make it a character in my books.

    Beverly – Thanks!

    Mickie – good to know it worked! Thanks for stopping over to comment

    Danielle – I grew up reading horror vampires, so I think I was imprinted on them being dark and unapologetic

  • Lauren Dane June 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Sharon – thank you! I'm pretty excited about the books I've got coming out this year. Back to Petal is always fun and Adrian finally gets his HEA too.

  • Melissa (Books and Things) June 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Okay… you have me at Las Vegas. I mean is there a more perfect setting for a paranormal book? I have to read it. 🙂

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Sullivan McPig June 4, 2011 at 6:55 am

    this sounds like a really cool story.
    And please tell me this book will also be available as a printbook as I fell in love with the cover and want to hug it!

  • Tore June 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I haven't read any books by you but I would like to. What other books have you wrote and what inspires you to be a writer. Please enter me in contest.

  • Victoria June 4, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Thanks Lauren. I'm still trying to get my hands on Laid Bare. After Coming Undone I'm sure I will enjoy the beginning of the story. Have a great weekend.

  • donnas June 4, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Lauren, Congrats on the release!

    It sounds like its going to be great. I hope it does well so you can write more in this line.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  • Beverly June 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Nice interview. I am sure there really are vampires in Vegas, we just don't realize it!
    Thanks for hosting.

  • elaing8 June 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Great interview ladies.I love Lauren's books so I know I'll love this one too.I can't wait to read it.

  • Robin June 5, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I like the setting in Las Vegas, it does make a lot of sense for a place for vampires to hunt! The character Rowan sounds very interesting and I would love to read the interactions between Rowan and Clive. I also love Rowan Summerwaite's name.

    Robin D
    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Michelle Bledsoe June 6, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Hi Lauren. I am new to your books. I just read the first Chase book and fell in love. I have the Brown siblings books coming in this week. I am looking forward to reading them. I have not gotten into UF books yet, but I think I will after reading your interview. Your characters sound wonderful. I like that you made your female character hard but loyal. I will be reading GWAB soon. Thank you for the interview.
    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  • Anonymous June 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

    i loved your chase brother series. your books are so good! cant wait to read this book.

  • Anonymous June 6, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I love your books! They are so good. My favorite is your Chase brother series. Cant wait to read this new book.

    shadow_kohler at att dot net

  • Lauren Dane June 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Melissa – thanks for stopping over to say hello!

    Sullivan – Not at this time. *some* Carina books have gone to print with other lines, but at this point it'll only be in digital.

    Tore – I've written over 40 books – The Chase Brothers, Cascadia Wolves, Brown Siblings, Federation Chronicles – pretty much everything from futuristic to small town contemporary romance. I'm inspired by pretty much everything – music, television, movies, what I see outside, things I read. Essentially the whole world all around

  • Lauren Dane June 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Victoria – wonderful, hope you like it when you get your hands on it!

    Donnas – thank you, me too!

    Beverly – if they were anywhere in the US, I bet they would be in Vegas.

    Elaing8 – thanks for stopping over!

    Robin – thank you!

    Michelle – thank you very much!

    Shadow – aw thanks!

  • Sarah June 8, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Congrats on your new book! Wow – I was so impressed when I read that you've had this book waiting in the wings for 5 years and persevered to get it published 🙂 Bravo!

    smaccall AT

  • Pamk June 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    love your books and just wondering if you have another book that you love like that would you be willing to try self publishing which I know is all the rage now. This book sounds great and I'd love to read it so I'm adding it to my wish list.

  • madsheepno1 June 14, 2011 at 6:15 am

    im now looking forward to getting hold of and reading all of the 45 books you have published im always looking for new authors and new series

  • Jolene and Family June 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Great interview. I have yet to read any of your work and I know I'm missing out on something amazing *hangs head in shame* I've heard such great things and I can't wait to dive in. I think it's amazing this book has been waiting in the wings for so long, makes me want to get a hold of it that much more. Thanks for the chance to win


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