Larissa, thank you so much for joining us at Hooked On Romance! We are so excited to have you here as our first
Can you tell us a little about your journey? How long did it take you from the sale of your first book to now?
Thanks for the welcome and the congratulations! I’m happy to be here! Let’s see....to answer your question, well, I sold my first story to Red Sage almost 3 years ago, so...almost three years! Sales to Bantam Dell and then Warner Books (now Grand Central Publishing) followed months after that. The first book in my Demonica series sold 2 1/2 years ago.
WOW! 10 books sales and releases and making it to the
You have such sexy covers for your books. How much input does your publisher ask you for before they work on the cover concepts?
I have to say, Grand Central Publishing is FABULOUS when it comes to asking for input! They ask for character descriptions, of course, and for special touches...for example, the chains on DESIRE UNCHAINED, and the necklace on the heroine of PASSION UNLEASHED. They even asked about clothes. I just love them!
I have both of your Demonica books, PLEASURE UNBOUND and DESIRE UNCHAINED sitting here on my desk begging for me to read them. I will be digging into them as soon as I strike off a few more tasks on the To Do List. Can you give everyone some insight into how these books came to be? Where did you get the idea and inspiration for them?
Well, one day while I was watching an episode of Angel, I was struck by an idea when Angel (a vampire, for anyone unfamiliar with the brilliant Joss Whedon show,) was badly injured. He needed to go to a hospital, but, well, he was a vampire. I’ve always had a love of the paranormal and of emergency medicine — in fact, I actually went to school to become an emergency medical technician — so an intriguing idea came to me. What if there was a hospital created just for supernatural beings who need help? And what if it was run by other supernatural beings? I immediately started working up the idea, populating the world and building the medical center, and within a week,
You also write as Sydney Croft (and) with Stephanie Tyler. Can you tell us what it’s like for you to manage the demands of different personalities? What made you choose to take multiple names and what can readers expect from your different personalities?
You know strangely, managing the different personalities isn’t all that difficult as far as writing goes. It’s easy to switch “voices.” My Ione voice/writing is rather dark and detailed, while the Croft voice is lighter, less detailed, and a little more over-the-top.
The reason we took multiple names is that when Stephanie and I sold the Croft ACRO series, our publisher, Random House, wanted one unifying name instead of two. So we agonized for days over names until we finally came up with Sydney Croft, which is a combination of Sydney Bristow (Alias) and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider). A perfect name, since our Sydney Croft books are action-adventure mixed with suspense, paranormal, and science-fiction. Oh, and a liberal helping of erotic romance.
The Ione personality is just as bold, but much darker and grittier. The bad guys are REALLY bad, and the good guys can be pretty bad too. *g*
Now for fun, and this may be a tough question, if you were a color of nail polish what would you be? What would your color say about you?
I’d be dried-blood red. Doesn’t that sound nice? *g* No idea what it says about me, except that I’m incapable of coming up with a pleasant-sounding name for it, like Burgundy Dreams or something frilly. Oh, no, tell it like it is: dried-blood red.
And finally, do you have an excerpt from your next book that you can share with us? I hear that it’s going to be fabulous!!
You totally know how to butter me up! :) Okay, here’s a brief excerpt from PASSION UNLEASHED, which is Wraith’s book, and the third in the Demonica series:
As Wraith watched Serena flee down the hall, his body buzzed like he'd eaten a junkie, only this was way better. This was the really good shit running through a Wall Street executive or Hollywood star's veins. So, yeah, better...and worse. Because he wasn't going to be able to satisfy his body's needs. Not yet. What he'd assumed would be a smash and grab with Serena was turning out to be anything but. Although she sure as hell seemed to be affected by the incubus fuck-me pheromones that came standard-issue in his species, he had a feeling the poison was affecting their potency. Which sucked.
On the other hand, the toxin was also allowing him to get turned on without feeling the irreversible, driving need to have sex or suffer, which was always a concern for his breed. Seminus demons couldn't relieve their lust by their own hand, and once they were aroused, their lust must be slaked, or they'd suffer intense agony or even death.
Gods, she had fire. Fire and fight and she might very well be his match in every way. But his life was on the line, and he was going to fight until he won. Her resolve was strong, but with the Grim Reaper -- or one of his griminions -- on his heels, Wraith's resolve was just as strong. And right now, he had to make sure she believed he could be with her because he wanted to be with her, not because he wanted to pop her cherry.
Still, it was becoming clear that being sweet and charming wasn't going to work, not only because it just wasn't him, but because she didn't believe he was a choir boy. He'd have to be himself as much as possible if this had a shot in hell of working.
He just had to get through this without letting himself get attached, which shouldn't be a problem. The ability to care about anyone or anything had been tortured out of him long ago.
Sure, he'd reluctantly admit to caring for his brothers, and his mates-in-law weren't total wenches. And then there was Gem, who was pretty cool for being half human, but to say he actually cared about her...that would be an exaggeration. He continued to watch Serena as she let herself into her room. Wraith had no idea what was going through her head, but he knew what was pinging around in his. He'd enjoyed that kiss, and he wanted to kiss her again. He tried to tell himself the desire to do so came from necessity, the need to seduce her, but if that was true, why did his breath come a little faster and hotter in his throat when she turned to glare at him one last time?
He held her gaze, and even across the distance she got the message, the flare of her eyes giving her away as she caught his silent declaration of intent. Tomorrow, she was his.
I’ve read the Wraith excerpts you dole out and can hardly wait to sink into the book.
DESIRE UNCHAINED rocked the sales, and I’ll cross my fingers for PASSION UNLEASHED to do the same. I know that I’ll be doing my part to contribute to the sales. As a tip for our readers wanting to know how an author hits a bestselling list and what they can do to help, here is information on how USA Today compiles their best seller list.
From their website: "USA Today calculates a list of 300 best-selling books each week. The first 50 are published in the newspaper, and the top 150 are available online.
Reporting stores include: Amazon.com, B. Dalton Bookseller, Barnes & Noble.com, Barnes & Noble Inc., Books-A-Million.com, Books-A-Million and Bookland, Borders Books & Music, Bookstar, Bookstop, Brentano's, Davis Kidd Booksellers (Nashville, Jackson, Memphis in Tenn.), Doubleday Book Shops, Hudson Booksellers, Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Lexington, Ky.; Cincinnati, Cleveland), Powell's Books (Portland, Ore.), Powells.com, R.J. Julia Booksellers (Madison, Conn.), Schuler Books & Music (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Target, Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver), Waldenbooks."
So with that in mind, mark you calendars for TUESDAY, MARCH 31ST as the day to hit your local bookstores for Larissa’s latest book PASSION UNLEASHED!
For some fun, we’re doing a contest! The prize will be an autographed, winner’s choice of any Larissa Ione or Sydney Croft back listed book. The winner will be announced here on tomorrow’s blog (and yes, I’ll even notify them by email.)
In the meantime, Larissa will be with us throughout the day so chat it up! Pick her brain if you dare, but beware that she could go places others may not. I mean come on, you read her nail polish color. LOL
Larissa, thanks again for being here! I can’t begin to say how much fun it’s been getting to know you.