Welcome back to Breathless Monday where we talk with Liana Brooks about romance and all things writing...
1. How did you start writing romance?
I started writing and the characters started falling in love. I think, at the end of the day, I really believe in Happily Ever After and true love so it sneaks into my writing even if I don't plan on romance for those characters.
2. Plotter or pantster?
Pantster by nature. Plotter by necessity. I don't like outlines but they're crucial for writing on a schedule and meeting deadlines. I sometimes revise the outline after I start writing, but I do plot the basics before I write chapter four. The first three chapters I pants just to see if the story is worth writing more of.
3. What are three things you have on your writing desk?
Computer, phone, reference books.... and an unholy amount of pens in baskets.
4. Favorite food?
5. Tell us a little about your new release. What character in the book really spoke to you?
Even Villains Go To The Movies was my first foray into what I would call Traditional Romance. The other books I'd written before had established couples and were either about getting back together after a separation or about revitalizing a marriage. MOVIES was the first time I really wrote about characters meeting for the first time with no prior knowledge of each other. It was so much fun!
Angela is probably my favorite character in the book. She's the typical Southern-girl-next-door which means she's sassy, and strong, and very opinionated. In the scene where she first meets Arktos he knocks her to the ground and says he's there to rescue her. Angela brushes him off, takes control of the situation, and kind of pats the boy on the head as she sashays away.
I love women who don't trip over their feet when they meet a hot guy. They do it all the time in books, but I don't think a real woman would. We'd look, yes. We might might fangrrl! a little. But if you or I were knocked down in a dark alley by a masked man our first reaction wouldn't be too swoon, we'd hit him! You wouldn't think he was a romantic lead or your True Love, you'd think he was attacking you.
Later on Angela falls in love with Arktos, but it's a gradual process.
6. I write because ...
Do you want the feel good answer or the real answer?
I love writing. I've always made up stories and I scribbled out stories in my notebooks in school, but I never planned on being an author. It's a good outlet for my creativity, but if I was banned from writing I'd probably be okay. The main reason I write is because it's something I can do from home. And that's the Facts Of Life answer.
When I graduated college I had a two-year-old daughter and was pregnant with our second. I planned on taking a year off and then going back to grad school. During that year my oldest was diagnosed with a speech disorder (later determined to be Audio Processing Disorder and severe speech apraxia). Suddenly we were going to two or three therapy appointments a week and going back to school stopped being an option. There wasn't a job that would allow me to take care of my girls and get paid enough to work. I hadn't written fiction during college, but I started again to give myself something that was purely mine.
It's been ten years, and I'm grateful I've been able to turn something I love doing into a career that lets me stay at home and be there for my kids.
This past year was the first time I found myself casually introducing myself to strangers as an author. But it works. There's a very supportive and open community created by readers and writers and I love being part of that.
7. What is your favorite type of character to write about?
I love the active characters who aren't afraid to shoot things up, set off the explosives, or kick butt. They aren't all I write, but they are fun!
8. What is the sexiest scene you ever wrote?
There was a scene where an assassin goes to a hotel and the mark seduces him. Sexy, sexy scene. It was written for Heroes and Villains Book 4 (which does not have a release date) and I don't think it will actually make the final cut. In print, the basketball scene in Even Villains Have Interns is hot, but the kiss in the alley in Even Villains Have Movies is probably hotter.
9. What advice would you give new authors in the erotica/romance field?
Don't quit. Keep writing. Write what you love and what you find romantic, don't chase the trends. If you try to write something that isn't your kink the scene will fall flat. The readers will know. So don't bother. Write what you love instead.
10. What is next on your writerly horizon?
Obviously the print editions of Even Villains Go To The Movies and Even Villains Have Interns (debuting January 16th) are the big news. I'm very excited to see the villains in print. Book 4 will probably be out by the end of the year. It still needs a title so feel free to suggest some in the comments! And then I've signed a contract for a sci-fi novel with romantic elements with Harper Voyager and that may have a 2015 release date as well. It's still officially TBA.
Social and buy links
Breathless Press - http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=15&products_id=499
Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/even-villains-go-to-the-movies-liana-brooks/1117497205?ean=2940045447195
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/377840
All Romance eBooks - https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-evenvillainsgotothemovies-1345033-149.html
Twitter - https://twitter.com/lianabrooks
Website – http://www.lianabrooks.com
Liana Brooks is a full time mom, part time author, who would rather slay dragons than budget the checkbook any day. Alas, Adventuring Hero is not a recognized course of study in American universities so Liana was forced to do the next best thing. She graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, a husband, and no job prospects in her field. To fill the free time she started writing. Now her books are read all over the world (she says she’s big in Canada) and she’s free to explore the universe one page at a time.
You can find Liana on the web at www.lianabrooks.com, on Twitter as @LianaBrooks, or on Face Book under the same name.
When your mother is America’s Superhero Sweetheart and your daddy’s the Number One Super Villain, you grow up feeling a little conflicted.
Angela Smith has superpowers—nothing that will ever make her comic-book famous—but her ability to psychically sense and manipulate the emotions of people around her has drawn unwanted government attention. Forced to choose between her quiet life as a teacher under constant surveillance or the life of a rogue, she chooses the latter. She plans to hide out in sunny Los Angeles where being a blue-eyed blonde won’t make anyone bat a false eyelash.
Silver screen star by day, superhero by night, Arktos is a triple-threat. He can fly, freeze anything, and see glimpses of the future, all of which he needs to keep the city of Los Angeles safe, but which does nothing for his social life. When a frightening vision of an explosion leads him to rescue a damsel in distress, he finds himself trading Shakespearean insults with a rogue.
Angela knows just how dangerous well-intentioned superheroes can be: one tried to kill her family when she was young. Arktos knows he should hand the rogue over to Company justice; it’s not safe for someone like her to be in the middle of a fight.
But they can’t seem to stay apart. And together, they just might be able to melt all the obstacles standing between true love for a hero and a villain.
Angela tossed the red curls of her wig and parked Luiz's bike in the alley behind the conference center. She hadn't put on her Rage getup since arriving in L.A., but tonight the mental screams of terror echoing from the center warranted the kind of investigation that would attract questionable attention.
Tight black jeans, a bright red tank top that matched her hair, and a leather duster that was too heavy for the L.A. heat were a start. She'd added a black domino mask that obscured the shape of her nose and cheekbones when she'd moved to New York, because no one needed to see their favorite school teacher beating down the local thugs. The heart and star pendant around her neck— a little invention of her Daddy's that would shield her from most things—completed the outfit.
The "most" still worried her some days.
Terror radiated from the building, escalating until the headache tearing into her brain was a living fire. Whatever was happening, she would hit back. Hard.
Checking to make sure the alley was empty, Angela sauntered toward the back door and hoped someone inside had been kind enough to leave it open. More often than not the people hired to cater at these places would stick a rock in the door to keep it from locking every time they slipped out for fresh air.
If not she could always pick the lock. Angela sighed. The whole point of moving away from her sisters was to avoid a life filled with crime and superheroes.
Angela reached for the door and someone hit her. A breeze ruffled her wig and she found herself on her back in the alleyway, staring up at a masked man. No hate tainted the aura around him, nothing that suggested that he was dangerous except that he was bigger than her.
She raised an eyebrow. "Hello?"
The man took a deep breath. "Hi." He smelled like mint.
"I'm new to the area, so I'm not familiar with the protocol when you're jumped by a masked man in an alleyway. Is there a secret handshake or something?" she asked, sarcastically.
"I'm here to save your life."
Angela looked around for signs of danger. The man was the only thing in the alley, and he was cradling her, hand cushioning her head, muscular arms suspending him in a pushup so his body weight wasn't resting on her.
"Right. What danger am I in, exactly?"
"The door is going to explode and kill you," he said in a very serious tone.
She lifted her head to peer over his shoulder at the door. It was a mistake. The movement meant gyrating under him in his spandex suit, and she caught a whiff of cologne, soap, and clean sweat. His emotions shifted, becoming tinged with desire and arousal.
Angela cleared her throat and lay back down, trying to put space between herself and her captor. "Mm hmm. Tell you what, let me up and I'll help you find your doctor. I bet someone is very worried about you missing your medicine."