You’ve been good friends for a long time, what made you finally decide to write a book together?
Kele: It’s been something we’ve discussed for years and years and years. We wanted to see our names together on a book and honestly, this is terrible to say, but neither of us play well with others as far as writing goes. We’re both very blunt people, and sometimes other authors don’t deal well with that. So if we wanted to do a collaborative project, we were pretty much each other’s only hope. Of course, I shouldn’t say that. Laurann is much more agreeable than I am, but blunt, make no mistake about that. I’m the one who is difficult and territorial and she’s the one who puts up with me. HEH! Laurann is one of the few people I could have a book baby with because we know each other and our writing styles so well.
Laurann: It was time. Kele and I have talked about it forever and we both were like...”Let’s DO this!” and we did it. It’s been AWESOME! And yes, I’m the mellow one. We’ve worked together as critique partners for years so we are very familiar with our writing styles so we merge well together.
How does your collaboration work, do you take turns with chapters or characters?
Kele: This particular series is different. Laurann had written it years ago (I believe around the same time she was doing New Species) and I loved it. I loved the characters, the universe, etc. . . One unique thing was that it was missing most of the male point of view in the first book. So quite fortunately, in case people didn’t know this, I write stronger in male point of view. It’s my preferred point of view. So basically we pulled the first book out, worked together to dust it off, bringing it up to publishing standards and I added in a lot of the male POV. I think we more than doubled the word count. This first book in the series was originally a little vignette to introduce people to the world. We made it much longer. It’s still shorter than the other books in the series, but we’re proud of the end result.
Book 2 in the series is a different type of project, it’s more of a handing back and forth since we’re changing the story line from the original. Each book has its own tale to tell. There’s no one set method of creation, but luckily, we work well together (been critique partners for six years) so whatever we have to do to get it done. . .It’s fun.
Laurann: What Kele said but she really downplayed her part with the first book. My old stuff is a MESS. Kele went in there and tore that book up, breathed new life into it, and fixed the many things wrong with it. We spent a lot time with her sending it to me, me sending it back, but she did the heavy lifting. My hat is off to her. We talk on the phone a lot and bounce ideas off each other so it’s really fun. We’ll say...this part doesn’t work and yeah...talk it out until we both agree how to fix it. It’s been amazing to work with Kele.
Did you find it hard to critique each other’s work or is it something that you’ve always done?
Kele: No. We became critique partners early on in our friendship, I’d say within two or three weeks of talking to each other. So it comes pretty naturally to us. Beating each other up is part of our friendship dynamic ::grins::
Laurann: It’s a pleasure having Kele as my CP. She doesn’t hold back. I appreciate that honesty. We just tell each other what works, what doesn’t, and what could use some more work when we CP for each other. I trust her without question. We don’t have to tiptoe around each other and that is priceless! We look out for each other.
Did you know what you were going to do with these characters when you started or did you play it by ear and make it up as you went along?
Kele: Well, it was born from a series Laurann started a long time ago. . . So we did know, but we’ve changed a lot. We’ve spent a lot of time on the phone hashing out the plots and I really adore what this series is blooming into. We’re working on the second book now and I’m madly in love with it.
Laurann: Kele rescued this series from a folder on my computer. I had written 54 books before I was published. Kele talked me into publishing New Species after she read them. She was right about that. That series would have just stayed on my computer FOREVER and I never would have done anything with it if it wasn’t for her. She pestered me to get the Nightwind series out too. I told her it needed too much work. We had this discussion...A LOT. Finally, we decided joint venture. We were going to get them out. She made me excited to dive back into the past and bring them into the future!
Can you tell us a little about the characters?
In the first book, we have Jason. . . He’s a werewolf enforcer for the Nightwind Pack. The pack lives in the woods of Northern California. He’s half human, but he shifts like other werewolves. His father left before he was born, and Jason was raised by his werewolf mother. He’s got a lot of issues with humans because of the abandonment. Being half human meant his childhood was a little difficult growing up in a wolf pack, but it made him an amazing fighter. He’s one of the Nightwind’s deadliest enforcers.
Brandi is divorced. She lives on her own and runs a successful business, but she’s also lonely. She’s curvy and her ex-husband left her with a lot of insecurities. Then, life unpleasantly dumps Brandi in Jason’s lap and things get interesting.
How many books are there going to be in the series and will each book be about different characters or a continuation of Brandi and Jason’s story?
Kele: We don’t know for sure yet. . . But at least seven that are plotted out and partially written.
Laurann: What she said but I’m sure we’ll add a few. I’m notorious for that. Kele knows me well so she won’t be surprised.
How long did it take you to write?
Kele: Hard to say, but it was something we were working on and discussing for a LONG time before we really set the plan into motion.
Laurann: Once we decided to do this...we got busy!
What are you working on now?
Kele: I’m working finishing Enforcer’s Revenge from my Untamed Hearts series and I’m working on alpha wolf Desmon’s story, book 2 from the Nightwind Pack series with Laurann.
Laurann: I write in chaos which means I work on multi projects. My muse is insane. I’m working on the next New Species book, a cyborg book, Veso from the VLG series, a Mating Heat book, and Desmon’s story with Kele.
What are your favourite genres to read?
Kele: Actually, I really like YA adventure to read recreationally. It’s so far removed from my own genre I can turn off my writer mind and enjoy it. Rick Riordan is currently my favorite author.
Laurann: I read a LOT of books with vampires. I like vampires.
Kele – What is your favourite book of Laurann’s? And why?
Hrmmmm. . . That’s really hard. . . I just recently re-read several of the New Species books and Justice still stands out as one of my favorites. Why? Because he’s my boyfriend, that’s why! I love him in all the books.
Laurann – What is your favourite book of Kele’s? And why?
That is REALLY tough. I love all her books. It’s tough to decide. She makes me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time, when I read her books. I’m going to have to say Crossing the Line - Battered Hearts book 3. Such a great story!
Kidnapped then released deep in the woods, Brandi is on a harrowing run for her life, hunted by beasts straight out of a horror movie. But there’s an even bigger, more vicious creature in the woods—the deadly werewolf who saves her life. Jason is much more than a man, dangerous and intimidating, and Brandi still finds herself wanting every unbelievably sexy inch of him.
When he investigates the desperate screams near his secluded cabin, Jason’s shocked to find his own kind hunting a human—but he ends up even more stunned when he accidentally triggers a mating heat in the beautifully lush woman he saved. Overwhelmed with lust, Jason takes her, bites her, binds her to him forever…
Now he just has to break the news to Brandi.
No, I didn't know that I always wanted to write. I inhaled books as a child. I read entire series (Pippi Longstocking, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, Trixie Beldon, The Borrowers, etc) in a matter of days. By the time I turned nine years old I had an adult library card where I visited often. I moved on to John Saul, Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Agatha Christie, and then found romance. I got hooked. I wrote poetry in my teens and then moved on to short stories. I started to write my first book after I read a real bomb of one that ticked me off with really horrible characters and a plot that was shabby at best. I thought...I could do better!
I wrote my first book which will probably never see the light of day in the early 90's. I wrote a series of books from it. I'm a series fan! I kept writing for fun, wrote MANY books and then in 2009 I decided to attempt to get published. I wrote my first Sci Fi romance and Ral's Woman came to be. I submitted it and with a little tweaking, Ellorascave sent me an acceptance letter. It was kind of a 'Cinderella' experience for me. It's been a terrific ride so far and I'm really happy. It's a dream come true.
So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who had infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts–They wouldn’t have it any other way.