Of course you want to know, what is LLC 2013? It is short for Autoren Love Letter Convention 2013, which takes place in Berlin, Germany, on May 25 and 26, 2013. Lisa Marie Rice is one of the American romance authors attending. We had a blast this summer, so we immediately bought the tickets once they became available for next year’s convention.
Our guest is Lisa Marie Rice, author of numerous erotic/romantic suspense novels. To be honest, romantica or erotica is not my genre, so I have not read any of your books yet. But Maia has, and she enjoyed them very much.
Lisa Marie Rice was a guest author last year as well, and her interviews and workshops were a lot of fun!
Aurian: Welcome to Utrecht, the Netherlands, Lisa Marie. Have some hot chocolate and some Dutch cookies.
Lisa Marie: Why thanks, I do believe I will! I lived in Belgium for many years and would certainly love some Speculaas!
Maia: Can you tell our readers who might not yet know you or your books, a little about yourself? Something that is not in your official bio (which is at the bottom of this post).
Lisa Marie: Well, as you can tell from my official bio, I am someone quite separate from Lisa Marie Rice, who is a fantasy woman. I am not tall and willowy and eternally 30 years old. And if men dropped like ripe pears at my feet, my husband would definitely have something to say about that! One interesting fact—I live in Italy, which is nice. The bureaucracy is horrendous but the food more than compensates! For many years I was a simultaneous interpreter and I travelled a lot. Now I travel much less and am happier. Writing my books provides quite a lot of excitement!
LL Convention questions
Aurian: Could you tell us why you are attending the convention in Berlin, Germany, Europe, again? I know we had a blast last year, but how was it for you as an author? What are some of the differences with American conventions?
Lisa Marie: It was fabulous being at the convention in Berlin! I loved every minute of it. I have been to a lot of writers conferences, but haven’t been to the RT Convention, which is America’s premier readers’ conference, so I can’t compare the two.
Maia: The convention is in Berlin, a beautiful city. Are you planning to do some sightseeing? In Berlin or even in the rest of Europe?
Lisa Marie: I’ve been to Berlin before. As an interpreter, I used to work sometimes at CEDEFOP, a European agency (it has since been moved to Thessaloniki). I even worked in the Reichstag! As a matter of fact, once when I worked in Berlin I was able to see the Reichstag wrapped in silver material, which was gorgeous!
Aurian: There is a lovely group of authors coming this year. Last year you came with your friend and fellow author Shannon McKenna, who has only very recently been added to the list. Do you personally know any of the new authors present?
Lisa Marie: Cherry Adair!! A good friend! I'm delighted she's coming! Don't personally know the others...
Maia: The convention promo and books are in German. Will it be possible for you to bring some English books and/or swag?
Lisa Marie: I’ll see what I can do! You know what the airline rules are for weight, though and paper books are heavy! But I will try to bring something.
Maia: Your first books were written for Ellora’s Cave. My first ebooks were bought from Ellora’s Cave, so this brings back good memories. For instance, among the first I bought was the Midnight Man series, which I enjoyed very much.
Lisa Marie: Thanks. I loved writing Midnight Man. It was my first full length erotic romance novel and I knew, writing it, that I could never go back to pulling my punches. And Ellora’s Cave in the beginning was just a hotbed of creativity. Before Ellora’s Cave and some of the other digital presses, romance writing had a ton of ‘rules’. Don’t write this and don’t write that. Imagine—traditional publishers absolutely forbade fantasy and paranormal books because ---here insert snigger—there was no market for them. So EC and others just unleashed a tidal wave of creativity in romance authors who had been stifled for years.
Aurian: You’ve switched from Ellora’s Cave to Avon. How does this work, did they offer you a contract you could not refuse, or did you or your agent propose something to them they liked?
Lisa Marie: Actually I didn’t stop writing completely for Ellora’s Cave. For example, I published a novella that came out in December, the Italian. Avon, and other traditional publishing houses, offered something that EC and the other digital presses could not—widespread paper distribution. I was fairly well-known in the (then small) digital world but unknown in bookstores. Avon has been very good about paperback distribution. Of course nowadays, ebooks outnumber print books.
Maia: Your hero’s are military men, or policemen. Why are you attracted to them in particular, and how about writing about a hot firefighter hero?
Lisa Marie: I love writing military men and cops because right there, you know that the hero is capable of being dedicated to something outside himself. In general, this is a very attractive trait to a woman. I have written two stories about very sexy very rich men but I don’t think I could ever write a book about a rich banker or a CEO. It just feels narcissistic. My heroes must be serious, and must be good guys. And having them be soldiers and cops is a signifier of that.
Firefighters? Hmmm. Without detracting in any way from the sheer bravery (and sexiness!) of firefighters, their job keeps them literally close to home. They operate within about a 5 mile radius and this is limiting for a novelist. You need for your hero to have a wide range of action!
Maia: You have also written books under the pseudonym Elizabeth Jennings, and Darkness at Dawn was actually your first book I’ve read. I loved it. Both the hero and the heroine are strong characters, but they worked very well together in solving an interesting case. Do you often write characters who can work together well as a team?
Lisa Marie: Certainly in my Elizabeth Jennings books, the main theme was the hero and heroine working together as a team in the suspense plot. But also in my Lisa Marie Rice books, the couple becomes a team. And, like in all good teams, each plays to his or her strengths. I don’t particularly like kick-ass heroines who have to be better shots than the hero, and enter into competition with him. The heroines have their own, very solid strengths.
This touches upon another element of a romance novel. For me, anyway, I am describing the beginning of a love story that will last the rest of the protagonist’s lives. My job is to make you believe that this couple will survive and thrive. In the books, the menace they face can be that ticking close of a suspense subplot, but I want you to know that in the more mundane future, that love will survive illness, will survive economic setbacks, will survive all those million problems life throws at you. My couple is strong. They have each other’s backs. They will provide a strong and loving framework for their children. That love will never weaken and die. And that only happens when the man and the woman work together as a team.
Aurian: What is next on your writing schedule?
Lisa Marie: Well, right now I am writing the third in my slightly paranormal futuristic series Ghost Ops. I left the second book I DREAM OF DANGER (out in June 2013) on a real cliffhanger. I am also working on a fourth Midnight book (tentative title MIDNIGHT VENGEANCE) and I am about to self publish a backlist book, WOMAN ON THE RUN. So I’ve got a busy schedule!
Maia: We both have enormous TBR mountain ranges, how big is yours? And what do you plan on reading next?
Lisa Marie: My TBR read pile is mainly on my Kindle, so it’s not a mountain it’s gigabytes! I do a lot of thriller reading—right now am reading Thomas Perry’s The Boyfriend and right after is Ghostman. I also read a lot of apocalyptic/zombie stuff, and have just downloaded Scourges. I’m anxiously awaiting Maya Banks’ next KGI book! I have about 700 books on my Kindle and I’ve read about 500. I’ll never catch up because that oneclick shopping is like a drug!
Aurian: What would you be if you could not be an author?
Lisa Marie: What I was before—an interpreter and translator. Well, more a translator, since I hate travelling for work. I love literary translations, it’s exacting, satisfying work. I was just offered a translation of a fabulous book but I turned it down, sorrowfully though. I’m now a full time writer but I do love translating.
Aurian: Who are some of your favourite authors? Do you still have the books you loved reading as a young girl?
Lisa Marie: My favourite authors? Shannon McKenna, Maya Banks, Nora Roberts. I really like Sylvia Day. I’ll read anything by them. Then: Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Jeffrey Deaver, Stephen Hunter, Robert Crais, Le Carrè. Some science fiction: Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Bear, Stephen King.
And now for some fun quick questions:
Are you left-handed or right-handed?
What is your favourite movie, and which is the last one you saw in the theater?
I love movies but would have difficulty in naming my favourite. Last movie—Les Miserables, loved it! Cried my eyes out!
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
DEFINITELY a morning person. A lark.
What famous author, dead or alive, would you love to meet and why?
Of all the authors I love to read, I think I’d most like to meet Stephen King because he thinks long and hard about writing and always has interesting observations. His book ON WRITING is one of the best I’ve ever read. Plus I like his political ideas. I think we’d be on the same wavelength.
Lisa Marie Rice is eternally 30 years old and will never age. She is tall and willowy and beautiful. Men drop at her feet like ripe pears. She has won every major book prize in the world. She is a black belt with advanced degrees in archaeology, nuclear physics, and Tibetan literature. She is a concert pianist. Did I mention her Nobel Prize? Of course, Lisa Marie Rice is a virtual woman and exists only at the keyboard when writing erotic romance. She disappears when the monitor winks off.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Now isn’t that an interesting bio to have? Isn’t that a thousand times better than saying that I’m a middle-aged, er…woman, no longer in the very, very first flush of youth, who basically sits in front of a computer screen all day in her pajamas?
I am so lucky to be Lisa Marie Rice! There is no literary genre anywhere remotely as exciting and thrilling as erotic romantic suspense. It has absolutely everything: red-hot passion, danger, adventure, heart-stopping love. I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoy sitting down to the keyboard and bleeding…er, writing my heart out, falling in love with my men over and over and over again.
Well, why not? My men are brave and smart and built. And boy do they love their women! Their women are much more interesting than new weaponry, sports cars, and even plasma TVs in their eyes, and the fascination will last their entire lifetimes, I promise. It’s sex, of course, but also a whole lot more. My heroes genuinely like and admire their women, though in the beginning this is sometimes obscured by blinding lust. Once that first sharp edge of desire is over and they settle down a little—and that will take several years and a kid or two—they’re so bonded with their women that they couldn’t live without them.
And it is so much fun “being” my heroines while writing about them. You may have noticed that most, if not all, of my heroines are artsy in some way, just like me. It just sort of comes out that way. There’s not much calculation when creating my characters: They literally become alive for me and when my character says—I’m a singer or a designer or I love books—well, that’s that.
It’s fabulous sitting here in my not-perfect body and becoming the beautiful young woman that that ornery alpha male is glomming on to. Of course, my heroines are also in dire peril, which is not so much fun. And which is why I’m the writer and not the heroine (give or take a few years and a few pounds).
One true fact: Looking out of my study across my wonderful terrace I see a bright blue line which is the Ionian Sea. And if I had a powerful enough telescope I could see the Greek temple where Pythagoras taught.
Where to find Lisa Marie?
Lisa Marie’s latest book is Heart of Danger, the first in the new Ghost Op series.
The second book will be published in July 2013, and is called I Dream of Danger.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian