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‘Blood Magic’ author’s tips on writing paranormal romance March 12, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.
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jpeg-blood-magicHow did you start? How many times a day do you write? And how do you come up with those sizzling sex scenes? For aspiring novelists — and readers who just wanna know — I asked Jennifer Lyon, who just released her first paranormal romance BLOOD MAGIC, to give tips and ideas about the writing process. To read Part One of the interview, which is about BLOOD MAGIC, CLICK HERE. desk

(And coming next week: Shana Abe talks about her new book and the world of the Drak’ons. Send in a comment, and we’ll do a drawing for a signed copy of her next book THE TREASURE KEEPER.)

Now, onto Jennifer Lyon’s world of writing!

Q. Do you write every day or go in spurts?

A. I try to write everyday, at least Monday through Friday. I have to get deep into the story, and writing every day helps me do that. But of course, life can intrude. So I just do the best I can.

Q. How do you craft all of those love scenes? Does your editor tone them down or spice them up?

A. The love scenes are an integral part of the story and really driven by the characters. Sex is very powerful, a deep human drive for procreation and connection. It creates emotional bonds that drive people to extremes. Sex also tends to reveal characters in a very vulnerable state, and often intimate details about their lives are shared, creating more intimacy. Generally, if the book is working, the love scenes flow pretty easily. My editor hasn’t asked me to tone them down or spice them up.

Q. Do you write with music on or do you need quiet?

A. Most of the time I like quiet so I can hear the characters dialogue and such in my head. I do listen to music sometimes. Now when I go for walks, I have to have my iPod!

Q. Do you outline or write from the top down?

Photo credit: Eric Cwiertny

Photo credit: Eric Cwiertny

A. I write a synopsis and then I start on page one. I make notes as I go along. And when I get stuck, then I start doing some outlining to find the problem. It’s a messy, horrible process that can give me pounding headaches, but it works for me!

Q. How did you get your first manuscript noticed?

A. I sent a query letter to an editor at Kensington Publishing, and she asked to see the full. I sent it, and the editor told me she was really interested. Then she left Kensington and I thought it was over. I was surprised when another editor there read it and loved it, then offered me a two- book deal. I think it was the right time, at the right place, with the right project. Luck plays a big part in getting published that first time.

Q. Why choose separate pen names?

A. It’s not a simple decision, and it was made between my publisher, my agent and me. But in the end, my reason was clear: I didn’t want my mystery/romance readers to pick up a book by Jennifer Apodaca and be rudely surprised by paranormal. I wanted them to know that a Jennifer Lyon book is very different from a Jennifer Apodaca book. I’m very up front about the name change, and in fact, I’ve had a lot of fun with the Jennifer Lyon persona on the www.jenniferlyonbooks.com blog, where she’s portrayed as a witch who loves appletinis and hunks. It’s sort of an ongoing joke and a lot of fun! From my email, I’m so pleased to learn that a lot of my mystery fans are reading the paranormal and enjoying it!

Q. Any other advice? jpeg-blood-magic

A. This is the same advice I usually give. First, show up at the computer each day and give it your best. It’s perfectly fine to write five bad pages. You will learn something from those pages, maybe a secret desire that your heroine has, or a new clue to the murder, it could be anything that suddenly turns the story back on track. And there’s always the possibility that the next day, those pages might look a whole lot better. And second, the business will have its ups and downs; trends will come and go, but the only way we can get published and build a successful, long- term career is if we keep writing. Writing the books is the only thing that we can control.

Q. Last — but not least — think you’ll ever try your hand at a historical romance!!??

A. I don’t know … I wrote four historical romances (and a partial) that I never sold. But life is all about change, so who knows!

For more on Jennifer’s novels, you have to check out her blog — it has lots of hunky Wing Slayer candidates!

FEEDBACK??!!! Please let me know if you have a question or fave author you’d like me to interview. Or other paranormal romance topic. I’m still developing the blog, so please send your suggestions. Just leave me a note in the comment section. Also, if you attend book signings or conferences, I’m always looking for pics and guest posts on events! Thanks! — Diana

Comments»

1. LWright - March 12, 2009

Jennifer, I loved Blood Magic, and the Wing Slayers rock! Axel was such a great character. You write guys so well. How do you do that? Any good tips?

2. Maureen Child - March 12, 2009

Jen, BLOOD MAGIC was a fabulous read!! The characters were so rich and well developed, I just slid right into their world!

And hey, historicals might be a very fun thing……..=)

Tell me when SOUL MAGIC comes out so I can get in line!!

3. Laura2 - March 12, 2009

JENNIFER,

Loved Blood Magic, and Axel… wow! So, how do you write such great guys? Any tips?

4. Jen Lyon - March 12, 2009

LWright, Thank you! I love to write guys, and I think that comes from growing up with two brothers, and from having three sons of my own. And as one of my editors, Kate Duffy, once said, I love torturing the guys in my books, LOL! But tips, hmm, I’m really serious when I say talk to guys. My husband is a great resource for me. He tells me how guys think and react without fear of hurting my feelings (because guys don’t think like us gals!).

5. Jen Lyon - March 12, 2009

Maureen, I’m delighted that you enjoyed the book! Soul Magic will be out November 24th, and I hope you like that one too!

I miss those rich and emotional historicals! I’m not sure when I stopped buying them, but I’m on the lookout for them now! Just so you know 🙂

6. Kate Carlisle - March 13, 2009

Jen, I really love reading about your process. It’s so interesting–and just a bit twisted. Which makes it somewhat like my own. 🙂

I’m halfway through BLOOD MAGIC and can’t put it down! What an incredible world you’ve created! I’m both jealous and thrilled to be reading it. Great job!!

7. Michele - March 13, 2009

Great interview!

I loved, loved, LOVED BLOOD MAGIC, Jen! You’ve done such a fantastic job in creating this world of witches and Wing Slayer Hunters… I still think about those characters and I finished the book a few weeks ago! That’s pretty darn cool. 🙂

Can’t wait for SOUL MAGIC!

This is a cool site! I’m looking forward to reading more interviews with other authors.

8. Jen Lyon - March 13, 2009

Laura2, thank you! Axel was fun to right, but at times, he drove my nuts too!

Jen Lyon - March 13, 2009

I meant “fun to write” not right. It’s been a long day!

9. Jen Lyon - March 13, 2009

Kate, twisted works, right? LOL! Thank you on BLOOD MAGIC! I know you’re on a killer deadline, so get the book done then read. Oh, and thanks for being jealous! I was so jealous of you after reading HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER!

10. Jen Lyon - March 13, 2009

Michele, that’s such a compliment that you are still thinking about the characters, thank you! I’m very touched by that!

This is a great site, Diana is doing a fabulous job!

11. Erika - March 13, 2009

Jen,

Congrats on a great book. I can’t wait for Soul Magic to come, not to mention the next two after that. No pressure!

12. Quilt Lady - March 13, 2009

Hi Jen, I haven’t read Blood Magic yet but have it on my wish list. Your are posting on the good luck day of the year. Friday the 13th. Now this is wing slayer worthy!

13. Jen Lyon - March 13, 2009

Erika, pressure? There’s pressure? LOL! I’m glad you enjoyed BLOOD MAGIC enough to care about the second book! I’m happy to deal with pressure!

14. Jen Lyon - March 13, 2009

Quilt Lady, that’s right! How did I forget that today is Friday the 13th! Thanks for pointing that out!

15. Jane - March 13, 2009

Hi Jen,
Congrats again on the book deal. Now that the Wing Slayer Hunter Series has four books, will you just be concentrating on writing paranormal or are you working on a Lyon book, too?

16. Sue - March 13, 2009

i loved the interview and the book not finished but what I have read it’s you

17. Jen Lyon - March 13, 2009

Jane, thanks so much! Right now, I’m putting all my concentration on the Wing Slayer Hunter Series. But things have a way of changing, so I’m not ruling anything out.

18. Jen Lyon - March 13, 2009

Sue, thank you! I hope you enjoy the ending of the book!

19. Silver James - March 13, 2009

Jen, you know how I feel about Blood Magic and I’m delighted that there will be MOREMOREMORE Wing Slayer books to come! I understand about the “name change”, too. It just makes sense.

I think we need to start a Twisted Sisters Society. You, Maureen, Kate and I can all be charter members. 😉

20. Dru - March 13, 2009

Great interview. Blood Magic is on my wish list and hopefully I’ll have it soon.

21. Jen Lyon - March 14, 2009

Silver, thanks so much! I’m so happy to have the chance to write more Wing Slayer Hunter books (especially in these economic times).

Twisted Sister Society souds perfect for us!

22. Jen Lyon - March 14, 2009

Dru thanks. I hope you get to read Blood Magic soon!

23. Pamk - March 14, 2009

sound like my type of book. I’m added to my amazon wish list.

24. Jen Lyon - March 14, 2009

PamK, thank you! I love being on a wish list!

25. Q&A: Author of dragon series talks about next book and its renegade lovers « Paranormal Romance - March 15, 2009

[…] ‘Blood Magic’ author’s tips on writing paranormal romance […]

26. Julie from Socal - April 15, 2009

Great book, Jen. Love it. Can’t wait for more!

27. Q&A: Vampire author on juggling full-time job with novel writing « Paranormal Romance - June 13, 2009

[…] LYON: ‘Blood Magic author talks about her hero and Hugh Jackman’ and CLICK HERE for her writing […]


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