My guest today is Joann Lee, a long time writer who has stepped up her production since the Millenium.
Writing mostly lesbian romantic fiction, Joann has a new release, Unbroken, to celebrate.
Elin : Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?
Joann : I attend a local college and I’m majoring in Child Development and Criminal Justice. I’m also a photographer and website designer. I’ve always been fascinated by anything that allows me to express some form of creativity. One of these days I do hope to put my studies to good use and work in law enforcement.
Elin : When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?
Joann : I love photography. I have since I was a teenager. My mom raised dairy goats and I would always dress them up in children’s clothes or pet costumes to take photos. I like to dress the dogs up for cute pictures too. The dogs don’t try to eat the clothes usually like the goats did, lol. I’ve never actually incorporated photography into one of my stories though.
Elin : What are you reading? Fiction or non-fiction? Can you recommend something that you wished you’d written yourself?
Joann : I’m currently reading a fiction story titled Represented. I haven’t read nearly as much this year as I normally do; however, I’ve made time to at least catch up on a few stories. One of my favorite books is BL Miller’s ‘Accidental Love.’ I also love anything by Gerri Hill. I’m looking forward to her upcoming release. I’ve never been disappointed by any of her books.
Elin : In that crucial inspiration stage of a new story which comes first? Plot, situation or character?
Joann : I usually start with my characters and then I work on the plot. I like to have my characters in mind and an image of them before I get to work on fleshing out the plot. It helps me to picture them better in my mind.
Elin : Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them?
Do you have a crisp mental picture of them or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?
Joann : I generally have a clear picture of the characters in my mind. I tend to base the looks off my characters on real life people a good portion of the time. The characters in Broken Star were based on a British actress and a real life musician, appearance wise. If anyone can guess who their looks are based from, I’ll be more than happy to give them a copy of both books. 😉
Elin : Is there any genre you would love to write, ditto one you would avoid like a rattlesnake? What inspired you to write about romance?
Joann : I would love to write in the paranormal genre. I’m also fascinated by all things that are unexplainable. If I did venture into paranormal, it would still be a romance. I do have one short story that has a vampire in it. As far as a genre I would avoid, westerns. I don’t think I could ever write in that category nor would I want to.
Romance is my favorite genre. I don’t know if I would ever write a story that did not include a romance plot. I highly doubt it. These days the world is so dark on many levels. I like to write stories with happy endings and characters who find their true love. Life is not always perfect, but having someone who loves you unconditionally makes it seem that way sometimes.
Elin : Put together your ideal team of men/women – drawing from all and any walks of life, fictional or non-fictional – who you would want to come to your rescue if menaced by muggers/alligators/fundamentalists?
Joann : Selene from Underworld! She would no doubt be at the top of my list. That character could totally kick their ass. Damon from the Vampire Diaries would also be on my list. Elliot Stabler from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Kate Beckett from Castle would also be in the team. Finally the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler.
Elin : What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.
Joann : I’m currently working on a novel in which my protagonist hits rock bottom and loses everything. It’s going to be a bit darker than most stuff I’ve written. I can’t really say too much right now about it, but so far the writing process is going well.
Elin : Could we please have an excerpt of something?
Joann : Of course. Here is an excerpt from my latest novel,Unbreakable, a sequel to Broken Star.
Alexis sighed, turning towards Lynn with a lopsided grin. “I’m starting to believe that you my darling are a bad influence.”
Lynn leaned forward to pop a plump strawberry into her mouth with a grin. “I’m innocent until proven guilty, babe.” Lynn crinkled her nose, realizing her own odd behavior. Normally, Lynn was not at all fond of strawberries. Therefore, it was strange that she’d already gone through two pints over the past couple of days. She claimed another strawberry and dipped it into a container of chocolate cake icing, talking with her mouth full. “By the way, we’re nearly out of strawberries.”
“Since we did you start eating strawberries so much?” Lenora cocked her head, watching as Lynn crammed the last strawberry into her mouth.
“I don’t know.” Lynn shrugged. “I just have a taste for strawberries. We should really go to the store. I wonder what bacon would taste like dipped in this?” She looked down at the container of icing while licking her lips.
“Ew,” Lenora shrieked. “You’re seriously considering eating bacon and chocolate cake icing?” She looked at Alexis with a grin. “I think that’s a good sign. Either that or your wife has clearly lost her mind.”
“Huh,” Lynn looked up, clueless. “Good sign of…,” her eyes widened when she realized what Lenora meant. “But I… it hasn’t even been. It couldn’t be. Do you really think so?”
“Well why else would you be craving such weird combinations? You’re even eating strawberries, which by the way you normally hate. Now you’re thinking about dipping bacon in chocolate icing. Come on, Lynn. That isn’t normal.”
“That’s gross, momma.” Calista stuck out her tongue and shook her head.
“It sounds… good.” Lynn frowned when everyone stared at her with obvious disgust. Eating bacon with chocolate icing wasn’t really that strange, was it. She moved one hand to her stomach, releasing a slow breath when she repeated Lenora’s words inside her head. Could it be true? Could she really be craving such because she was pregnant? “No one starts experiencing cravings this early.”
“Actually,” Lenora said as she typed out something on her phone. “If you do a search online, a lot of women have cravings fairly early. It’s more common with IVF pregnancies since you would experience the signs earlier than someone who conceived naturally.”
“Maybe you should have been a doctor.” Lynn glanced down at the page Lenora pulled up on her phone. “I don’t want to get my hopes up. Oh but I really want that bacon. Is anyone up for a trip to the grocery store?”
“Me!” Calista grasped Lynn’s hand. “I want cookies.”
Alexis sighed, grabbing her keys from the countertop. “Okay. Grocery store run it is then. Do you want to come with us,” she asked when she turned to Lenora. “We’d love it if you stayed for dinner.”
“I need to go cram for a test,” Lenora groaned. “How about I go study and then I’ll come back for dinner in a couple hours? I know how slow Lynn is when she gets in the grocery store.”
“You’re right! She’s a big kid herself.”
“I heard that,” Lynn yelled from the other room.
* * * *
“Jelly Bean, what are you doing?” Lynn walked over to stand beside Calista with a puzzled expression. “Honey we don’t need dog food yet.”
“But you said you were going to get me a dog.” Calista frowned as she tugged the oversized bag of dog food, dropping it into the floor with a thud.
Lynn knelt in front of Calista, touching her hand. “We are, sweetie. Your mommy and I are looking, I promise. But let’s wait and get the food once we have a puppy okay?”
“Okay.” Calista shuffled her feet. Lynn pushed the bag back onto the shelf and grasped Calista’s hand, thankful she no longer had to endure bed rest. She stopped in the center of the aisle when her lower stomach started to cramp. “Are you okay, momma?”
“Yeah, baby. I’m fine.” Lynn released the breath she hadn’t even realized she was holding as the cramps faded. She glanced at Calista with a smile. In the back of her mind, she recalled how Doctor Rollins said if the IVF implanted she would feel some mild cramping. She roughly swallowed, unwilling to believe it could be true for fear of disappointment. Lynn looked up, stiffening when she saw a man walk past the aisle wearing a hoodie. Ever since that night at the bar, she’d found herself barely able to breathe when someone wearing a hoodie even got near her. “Let’s go find, mommy.” She tugged Calista’s hand, hurrying towards the next aisle over. Lynn laughed when Calista snatched a pack of Oreo cookies.
“Momma,” Calista looked up. “Do puppies eat Oreos?”
Lynn shook her head. “Puppies can’t have Oreos or any kind of chocolate because it will make their tummy hurt. When we get a puppy you can never feed her chocolate, okay?”
“Okay. Can we buy the puppy lots of toys? I’ll share mine too.”
“We’ll see, sweetie.” Lynn smiled when she looked down, amazed at how much Calista had grown up in such a short time. Proud did not even begin to describe how Lynn felt.
“Can we get this,” Calista held up a plush cow with a squeaky inside. “I think a puppy would like it when we get one.”
“You know what,” Lynn moved her palm to Calista’s shoulders. “I think a puppy would like that too.”
“I wondered where my girls ran off to.” Alexis pushed the cart to where Lynn and Calista stood. She looked down, arching one brow when she saw the toy in Calista’s hand.
“Momma said we could get this for the puppy.” Calista tossed the squeaky cow into the cart, along with the package of Oreo cookies.
Lynn laughed when she saw Alexis’s expression. “It was either that or the dog food. Did you get bacon?”
“Yes I did. Are you sure you want to eat bacon and icing,” Alexis asked with a giggle. “I could always fix you some eggs to go with it.”
“I’m positive! It sounds delish. I don’t want eggs.”
“Yuck.” Calista made a face. She looked up at her parents with a sneaky grin. When she thought neither was paying her any attention, she tossed a package of chocolate chip cookies into the cart.
Lynn held Alexis’s gaze, knowing she wasn’t the only one who had seen Calista’s sly placement of the cookies. Alexis grinned, signaling to Lynn to ignore it with a shake of her head, allowing Calista to believe she got away with being a cookie caper. “Oh! I want some macaroni and cheese too.” Lynn had never liked macaroni and cheese until she’d met Calista. The little girls’ love affair with the cheesy noodles slowly transferred over. She had a feeling when her tour started back up, she would be doing twice as much exercising. The tour was due to span over the summer months when Calista was already out of school. A couple dates were planned for late spring and early summer. It was only a couple months until the first date was scheduled. The studio executives were placing the final changes on her CD and the benefit concert would be her first chance to debut some of the new music.
“Let’s get fish sticks too,” Calista chimed in.
“If I left the shopping up to the two of you we would go home with the entire store.” Alexis groaned when Lynn tossed two bags of potato chips into the cart with an innocent grin.
“What? We’re out of chips?” Lynn dramatically sighed, adding in a container of sour cream and onion dip. “My personal trainer is going to murder me when I start training for the tour!”
Alexis grinned, her eyes lingering over Lynn’s figure. “I happen to like the added curves you’ve gained, especially in the rear.”
Lynn blushed, secretly pleased that Alexis continued to check out her butt. From the time they first begun trying the inseminations, she’d put on a few extra pounds due to the hormone shots. Most wouldn’t have noticed the added weight unless they looked closely since she still managed to squeeze herself into the same size clothes. Lynn fell behind, walking beside Alexis as Calista skipped in front of the squeaky cart. “Do you really think Lenora could be right? You know… about the IVF?” She was trying not to get her hopes up, but the lingering cramps prompted her nerves to escalate.
“Well you are experiencing some rather peculiar cravings. Have you had any cramps or spotting?”
Lynn nodded. “I’ve been having cramps a lot today. Earlier I noticed some light spotting but… I just thought it was probably…,” she exhaled slowly. “Oh, Lex, do you really think I might be pregnant?”
“Sweetie you need to relax and not worry so much. I have a good feeling about it this time, trust me. I had some of those same signs when I got pregnant with Calista.”
“Really,” Lynn squeaked.
“Yes,” Alexis squeezed Lynn’s hand, “really.”
“I’m so tempted to buy like a dozen home pregnancy tests.” Lynn laughed, feeling a rush of heat upon her cheeks. “I know it’s only a couple days till my appointment but…,” she groaned. “What do you think?”
Alexis slipped one arm around Lynn. “It’s been fourteen days. I think… I think if you want to try a home pregnancy test then… let’s do it.”
“YES!” Lynn squealed, causing several customers to turn around and look at her. She giggled, burying her face against Alexis when Calista looked towards them.
“Grownups are soooo strange sometimes.” Calista rolled her eyes, sneaking yet another package of cookies into the cart.
Blurb for Unbreakable:
Sequel to Broken Star
After finding happiness, Lynn Feoras was convinced life with Alexis and Calista would be perfect. But when she and Alexis begin the tedious journey of expanding their family, she soon comes to learn that money doesn’t buy everything.
In the midst of doctor’s visits, a move to New York, and a whirlwind tour, life remains chaotic for the Feoras family. New friends emerge, old ones return, and an unexpected reappearance of someone from Lynn’s past leaves her questioning her ability to be a parent.
Will Lynn and Alexis be able to overcome the obstacles placed before them? Will their relationship crumble under the strain or will they come out on top, stronger than before?
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unbreakable-Joann-Lee-ebook/dp/B00GRZ9A8A/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unbreakable-joann-lee/1117453782?ean=2940149021918
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Joann-Lee/e/B00B4SAVFG/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorJoannLee and https://twitter.com/EternalSelene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJoannLee and https://www.facebook.com/JoannLF