Wednesday, July 20, 2011


BIO: Born in Amarillo, Texas, J.S. Wayne has lived, worked, or traveled in approximately two thirds of the North American continent and has amassed a resume that could kindly be described as “eclectic.” He currently resides in the Texas Panhandle with his wife; Munchkin, a terrier puppy who believes socks are a threat to national security; and the newest addition to his mad little family, a border terrier/schnauzer mix puppy named Thor. In his laughably sparse spare time, he enjoys reading, scary movies, strategy games, and collecting obsolete weapons.

The Interview:

GRACIE: I’m excited to have you here at The G-Spot, J.S.! Please tell us a little about yourself (or a lot :) and how and when you got into writing?

J.S.: Hi, Gracie! It’s wonderful to be here today!

The first thing my readers should know about me is, I like to be unconventional. If someone puts up a “Keep Off The Grass” sign, and I see it, someone’s lawn’s likely to get trampled. It’s an odd thing, and this literally just occurred to me, but one way or another, all of my stories are about love, one way or the other. I’m a big fan of love, in all its expressions and incarnations, and I like to study it, try to figure it out, so that I can explain it to myself and thence, it is hoped, to my readers.

I got into writing early. My mother taught me to read starting around age three, and from there, I was a total information sponge. So it was kind of inevitable that sooner or later, I’d start trying to craft my own stories. My first several attempts were predictably terrible, but I learned a lot.

It wasn’t until I turned thirty and realized I had a manuscript with a lot of potential just lying around on my hard drive that I really got serious about my writing. I’ve come a long way in three years, and I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in another three!

GRACIE: I can’t wait either! Now, is there any one thing or person in your life that inspired your writing? Any one thing or person that influenced the genre in which you write?

J.S.: My mom got me started when I was eleven. She caught me reading a book that was definitely NOT age-appropriate. She could’ve cleaned my clock, and by all rights probably should have. But instead, she asked me what I thought about it. I told her, with all the considerable wisdom and experience of my eleven years, that I thought it was crap and that I could do better. She laughed, tousled my hair, and told me to do it.

Well, you show me an eleven-year-old boy who’ll turn down a dare like that, and I’ll show you a kid who goes hungry a lot at lunchtime. It took me twenty years to do it, and I’m still working on it, but I think I’m getting there.

As to what I write, there’s so much inspiration out there. A simple conversation between two people at a convenience store can breed a wealth of plot bunnies if you’re paying attention. But my favorite plot device is, and always has been, the supernatural. Anything from banshees to werewolves is fair game. (I’m not big on zombies, personally. How many different ways can you write a shambling, mindless corpse? And zombie romance? Urgh.)

GRACIE: I have to admit I don’t get the zombie romance craze either. So, when did you get “The Call” and what was your first published work?

J.S.: The Call came with a short story that I wrote as a one-off, kind of “cute” story for a writing contest. It wound up splitting first prize with a yarn about a mermaid. A few people pestered me about publishing it, and I said, “There is no way in Hell that anyone’s going to buy this. A free read? Okay. But as something people are actually going to buy? You need to up your dosage.” But, as the pressure mounted to quit screwing around and get serious about my writing, I decided to take a chance. So I sent off the story and a query to Noble Romance Publishing. They picked up the story on February 1st, 2011, and it was subsequently published on April 18th. The story was “Angels Would Fall,” and since then, it’s spawned a sequel, a novel, and a work-in-progress novel! More on this later.

GRACIE: What do you know now about writing and the publishing industry that you wish you’d known before you started?

J.S.: *Laughs.* Ah, youthful arrogance. (I say with a healthy dose of sarcasm, considering this was only a year and a half ago.) I had read all the literature, perused all the writing sites, and absorbed every single shred of information I could get. But the biggest thing that I’ve learned: It doesn’t matter how much you THINK you know about the publishing industry. Until you’ve actually been published, had to write and edit on a deadline, tried to juggle your family life, the Evil Day Job (emphasis on EVIL, in my case), and the other demands of modern life, you don’t know. You can get some great advice, but there is absolutely no substitute for experience. And once you’ve done it, you’ll look back and go, wow, I didn’t know CRAP!
Short answer? Everything!

GRACIE: Please give us a little story behind the story and what inspired your novel, SHADOWPHOENIX: REQUIEM.

J.S.: Requiem started off as something very different than what it ultimately became. I started it when I was seventeen, inspired by “anti-heroes” like the Crow and some of the darker iterations of Batman. After fifteen drafts, half a dozen name changes, and a couple of major paradigm shifts in the story, I finally called it done and self-published it.

The basic theme hasn’t changed, though: How far will you go to protect the ones you love? What happens if you can’t protect them? Where is the line between justice and revenge, and are the two concepts mutually exclusive?

Pretty heavy mental lifting for a seventeen-year-old, but I never claimed to be normal. It started off as a way to explain the concept of justice as defined by law and the apparent dichotomy between the law and “true” justice. I believe there are some crimes so horrifying that the criminal is completely irredeemable, but I also believe that there is a universal balance that will always demand a reckoning. Maybe not today. Maybe not in ten years. But sooner or later, the guilty always pay for what they’ve done. If I didn’t believe that, I probably wouldn’t sleep as well as I do!

GRACIE: In trying to live a “normal” life with his human wife, what do you think is vampire Markus Latimore’s Achilles’ heel and how do you go about stomping it?

J.S.: The biggest and most obvious problem is that Markus has to ingest a certain amount of blood every day. Clearly, keeping Robyn from discovering that his dietary requirements aren’t limited to Mexican food is a constant strain. The less overt but more sinister problem is that if the Vampire Council learns that Robyn has discovered Mark’s secret, they’re both dead.

I got around the blood problem by giving Mark the ability to subsist off rat blood. Since rat blood is very similar to human, it serves the purpose, but it’s kind of like a human living on nothing but oatmeal. If you’ve never had anything else, you won’t miss it, but if Mark tastes human blood, well, if you’ve been living on oatmeal and just discovered cheeseburgers, Quaker Oats probably aren’t going to do it for you anymore.

And since Mark usually eats his “breakfast” while Robyn’s in the shower, the odds of him getting caught are very slim. He’s gotten fairly cagey about disposing of the evidence, but he lives in constant fear that Robyn will learn the one secret about him he doesn’t dare reveal.

GRACIE: Aside from dark paranormal elements, characters in flux and the erotic romance genre, your novel and short stories so far also seem to share a common focus of duty and redemption. What do you find appealing about these author themes and why?

J.S.: I think the biggest appeal for me is the idea that my characters’ moral compasses don’t always point to “true” north by society’s lights. The duties that my characters assume are not duties that are thrust upon them by someone else; they choose to take up their mantles. They make their own rules, their own codes of ethical conduct, and once they do, they follow them. MOST of the time. That’s where some of my best internal conflicts come from in my stories, I think. When you bend or break your own rule either because of circumstances or convenience, where do you draw your lines?

GRACIE: Of all the stories you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?

J.S.: “Angels Would Fall” is probably my favorite story overall to date. And it’s because I think I wrote one of the coolest endings I’ll ever pen in it. This is Moradiel, the Soulbearer, speaking to Ariel, his human lover:

“. . .It is no tragedy, love. For this, for you, I will take damnation and shed no tear for what I’ve left behind.”

This may seem a little egocentric, but I actually had tears in my eyes when I wrote that. What person wouldn’t love to have someone show that level of devotion to them? When I write something that makes me feel that profoundly, it tells me that I’m doing something right. If you’re a writer, you know that feeling that only comes when you’ve truly written something magical.

GRACIE: I know this is like asking a father which is his favorite child, but which of your characters is your favorite and why?

J.S.: My favorite still has to be Markus Latimore. He’s kind of a weird cross between avenging angel and wounded human. Sure, he’s got some cool abilities and talents, but he’s also, in a lot of ways, the most “human” character I’ve ever created. The choices he makes and the consequences of his decisions haunt him to an almost crippling degree, and they drive him to sometimes extreme lengths to atone for his own, often-undeserved guilt. He’s capable of being tender in one moment, lethal the next, but once he commits himself to a course of action, the only thing that will stop him is the one rule he absolutely will not break: He will NEVER harm an innocent knowingly.

GRACIE: What about your characters makes them unique?

J.S.: I think all of my main characters are complex, conflicted individuals. I don’t like cardboard cutouts or Mary Sues. No matter how much personal power any of my characters may wield, they also have a dark side. I can’t relate to a character like Superman as readily as I can, say, the Crow. Which probably says a lot about me, not all of it entirely flattering, but once you understand that, you can more readily understand how my characters are drawn.

GRACIE: Gotta love those complex, conflicted characters! What is your favorite aspect of the writing process? Your least favorite?

J.S.: My favorite aspect is crafting a story that I know, down to the smallest fiber of my being, that people will want to read. It’s gratifying to sit down and write 8600 words in one sitting, read it over, and go, “DAMN I’m good!”

My least favorite part is the fact that writing, at its heart, consists of a LOT of waiting. Waiting for the muse to feel like inspiring you. Waiting for the yea or nay on the manuscript. Waiting for the contract. Waiting for the edits. Waiting for release day. Waiting to hear if you’ve covered your advance yet. Waiting, waiting, waiting. I’m good at it, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

GRACIE: Are you a pantser or do you outline?

J.S.: It depends on the story, to be honest. When I wrote Wail, my paranormal horror novel, I was a total outline Nazi. “Ze outline sez zat you vill be here at zis time doing zis! FOCUS!” But then I wrote Angels Cry from no outline whatsoever. I had a list of major points I wanted to hit, and it almost wrote itself. (I vacillate a lot.)

GRACIE: If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you have chosen to pursue?

J.S.: If my eyes were worth a damn, I’d’ve loved to be a fighter pilot. Too bad they don’t take guys who have to wear glasses. But that also requires college, since only officers are allowed to fly fifty-million-dollar war birds. Thirteen years of “education” was more than enough for an autodidact like me!

GRACIE: Who are some of your favorite authors and why? Name some of your favorite books and why they’re your favorites.

J.S.: Dean Koontz has been the top of my list for 22 years. He has a great gift for weaving together seemingly totally disparate threads of narrative and putting them all together in a way that makes perfect sense, but you’ll never see the twists coming. Lightning is my favorite ever book by him. Time traveling Nazis, a great action story, and a chance for love? How can you miss?

Jim Butcher’s the top of my charts right now, though. His Dresden Files series is a fast-moving magical cinema noir. Take Sam Spade and put him in a blender with Merlin. Add in a dash of Sam Witwicky (from Transformers) and a cast of mobsters, faeries, demons, spirits, vampires, and supernatural you name it.

I’ve also acquired a lot of new favorites whom I’m eagerly awaiting new releases from: K.B. Cutter, H.C. Brown, Margie Church, Elaina Lee, R. Renee Vickers, Shen Hart, and others. Each one of these authors has one thing in common: An ability to weave an incredible story with believable characters and amazing atmosphere. Many of these people I’m proud to call my friends, colleagues, and mentors, and every one of them deserves thanks I’ll never be able to adequately give them.

GRACIE: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

J.S.: Things move fast in my world, but as I’m writing this, I’ve just completed two short stories: “Dancing On Flames,” a male-male werewolf romance that holds the title of “Most Challenging Story I’ve Ever Attempted;” and “Make A Wish. . .” which is a lesbian supernatural erotica story. Angels Cry was picked up by Noble Romance and should be coming out in mid-August if nothing goes horribly wrong. I’m working on a fantasy erotic romance comedy entitled Once A Knight’s Enough that I’m pretty excited about. Think Monte Python meets Shrek meets Fractured Fairy Tales, with lots of sex in every conceivable ménage combination. That project kind of took over my desk, but I’ve also got Aquus, a novel about the new Sea God falling in love with a human woman; Sinner, a dark erotic romance featuring a succubus assassin and a cop; Angel of Death, the sequel to Angels Cry; and I’m trying very hard to carve out a little time to work on Requiescat, the second novel in the Shadowphoenix trilogy.
So as you can see, I’m not doing anything much! *Laughs*

GRACIE: Do you have a website and/or how can readers contact you?

J.S.: I actually have a fairly large Internet presence. I maintain a website at that is primarily devoted to my horror and urban fantasy writing. You can find me on Facebook (Author.JSWayne), on Twitter (@jswayne702), at my blog at, or you can just drop me an email. I love hearing from my readers, so don’t be shy! My email address is

GRACIE: Where and how can readers purchase and/or read samples of your work?

J.S.: Most of my current work is available through,, Barnes and Noble online, and Bookstrand. Shadowphoenix: Requiem can be purchased at For samples and excerpts of my work, or are your best bets.

GRACIE: What advice do you have for beginning writers?

J.S.: Believe in yourself. Don’t listen to the haters and the naysayers. You’re not going to start out as Hemingway or Shakespeare, so don’t even make the mistake of thinking you will. It’s okay; don’t let that discourage you either. Do what you can do to the best of your ability, and sooner or later, you WILL be where you want to be. If you can, find someone who’s been there and ask them to read your stuff. If you’re going to do that, LISTEN to what they tell you; they’ve been through the landmines and can get you through them as well. Writing’s a tough game, but it’s very rewarding if you do it right.

GRACIE: Anything else about yourself or your writing you’d like to share with your readers?

J.S.: I believe in magic. And magick. I have personally seen love elevate me to Heaven or drag me through Hell. Every time, I’ve become a stronger person. I try to bring that magic to my writing and pass it on. Love can be scary, even outright destructive. Love can heal or it can hurt. But love is always worth pursuing. There is always hope for a happily ever after, but you have to make it for yourself.

If one person can find hope or rekindle a dwindling spark of love because of my work, or if one person remembers the story I wrote after they’ve forgotten other stories entirely, then I’m a happy man.

Thank you for letting me come by and hang out, folks! I’ve enjoyed it. Come on by my places and see me!

GRACIE: J.S., thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share yourself and your work with us at The G-Spot and giving us a little insight into your writing and the writing process! We’ll let you get back to writing those wonderful books you write! All the best!

Author's Bio
Daisy Harris lives in Seattle with her husband, daughters, and way too many pets. When she isn't writing, she's tweeting. And when she isn't doing that, she's camping, biking, reading, spending time with kids, or gardening.
Daisy loves to hear from readers, and looks forward to receiving your emails and feedback!

The Interview:

GRACIE: I’m excited to have you here at The G-Spot, Daisy! Please tell us a little about yourself (or a lot J) and how and when you got into writing?

DAISY: Thanks for having me, Gracie! A little about myself? Hmmm, I'm a mom. I live in Seattle with my kids, husband, and way too many pets. I'm a recovering technical/medical writer, so it's safe to say that I'm not actually capable of doing anything other than writing for a living. It took me a long time to get into writing fiction, though. I've always loved reading and wanted to write fiction when I was a kid, but it took me almost 30 years to get up the courage to try my hand.

GRACIE: Is there any one thing or person in your life that inspired your writing? Any one thing or person that influenced the genre you write in?

DAISY: Sydney Croft's ACRO series set something off in me. After reading those, I was like, "I GOTTA try this!" I LOVE that series. It combined my greatest joys: scifi/fantasy, comic book premises, and sex. I'd read very little romance when I began writing. Instead, I'd come to paranormal romance by way of urban fantasy. Larissa Ione's Demonica series inspired me as well, as did her story as a writer. I bet Kresley Cole's Demons After Dark would have inspired me if I'd read it at the time. I didn't hear of Kresley Cole until I found my first critique partners and started reading their recommendations. :)

GRACIE: Ah yes, I love the ACRO series myself! Kind of like The X-Men with hot sex ;) So, when did you get The Call and what was your first published work?

DAISY: Ha! The Call is such a misnomer. Does anyone call anybody anymore? I got The Email from Siren about Mere Passion when I was a few thousand words into Shark Bait. In fact, I was such a newbie that I subbed Mere Passion without first subbing Mere Temptation (the first book in the series.) I won't even go into why I didn't sub them in order...I was so incredibly green and uninformed. It's a wonder I've made it as far as I have!

GRACIE: What do you know now about writing and the publishing industry that you wish you’d known before you started?

DAISY: Egads! Everything! But honestly, I've always been a learn-as-you-go type. Sure, I started out clueless, but I didn't stay that way. But if there was one thing I wish I'd known? ...Ach, if I'd known any more, I would have been too scared to try. I'm glad I was too clueless to know any better. :)

GRACIE: Please, give us a little story behind the story and what inspired the fascinating world behind your Siren Publishing Ocean Shifters series.

DAISY: The first thing you need to know is that I was born in Miami. My mom loved to sail, and the house I lived in till age three was across the street from a marina. Then we moved to New York City and into an apartment, but I went to Miami several times a year to visit my grandmother. My husband is from Michigan and grew up spending summers on sailboats, and we live together in Seattle, with Lake Washington on one side and the Puget Sound on the other. The ocean is in my blood, and seaside communities are some of the most interesting places in the world!

GRACIE: The heroines in Ocean Shifters are all fiercely independent and strong. What do you think is Ismaelda, Alara and Sophie’s Achille’s heel, and how do you go about stomping it?

DAISY: Wow, good question! OK, let me see. My first heroine, Isa, was a commitment-phobe. Of all my heroines, I think she was the most like me, which made her the hardest to write. I stomped out her issues by putting her in a situation where she had no choice but to finally make a decision. What I liked about her story was that even after she decided to stay with Sidon, her life still had challenges. Her mom was still a hassle, the Key still had dragon problems. Without something to keep her occupied, Isa would certainly have started to second guess herself, so I'm glad I gave her new problems to solve.

Alara projected a tough, belligerent outer shell to hide her central core of fear. She conquered and fought so that she would never again have to feel helpless, and I really loved her for that. But in order to truly love, she needed to let down her defenses. Kai was the perfect guy to help her do that. He's the only true alpha male I've written to date, and though he was totally misguided at first, he had the strength to help Alara fight her demons. (Figuratively and literally.)

I loved Sophia so hard! On the outset, she seemed like a total pushover, a waif, a damsel in distress, but she had an inner core of self-preservation that bordered on conniving. It was that selfish underhandedness that really drew me to her. Her downfall, however, was that she didn't see herself as worthy. Granted, she had good reason. She'd been raised to believe she was unattractive, small, undesirable. So her challenge was to realize she was worth loving and that a male could love her without being tricked, and without her changing. Raider was precisely that male.

GRACIE: Which circumstance do you find most appealing and/or challenging to write about—the “cute meet” situation of characters encountering each other for the first time as with Kai and Alara in Mere Passion and Raider and Sophie in Shark Bait, or the situation of previous flames reuniting to rekindle their relationship as with Isa and Sidon in Mere Temptation?

DAISY: Oh, I love a good cute-meet. Every story I've ever written besides Mere Temptation involved a silly throwing together of characters. Part of that is because the longer I write, the more I realize I like writing comedy. Cute-meets are funny! For example, in my latest release Mercury Rising, the god Mercury hooks up with an event staff member in the loading dock of the conference he's organizing. Then the next day, he learns that his hook-up was assigned to be his personal assistant, and his arranged fiancee is showing up any minute.

I like to toss my characters into ridiculous and impossible situations right off, then watch them sink or swim.

GRACIE: What sort of research and motivation went into creating such compelling and distinctive yet vulnerable alpha heroes like Sidon, Kai and Raider?

DAISY: Research?? research!

Honestly, I started most of my heroes by taking a standard romance-novel type, or a "guy type" I know and hate and turning it on its ear. Normally I can't stand alpha heroes, so I wrote Kai in an attempt to see how a prejudiced, sexist, misguided alpha might be reformed. Raider, on the other hand, was very beauty and the beast. He was my beast!!

Sidon- he was my charmer, the guy every girl wanted, which is why I rejoiced in getting him on his knees. :)

GRACIE: Of all the stories you’ve written so far, which is your favorite and why?

DAISY: Hm. It's a tie between Mere Passion and Lust After Death which was just accepted by Ellora's Cave. Mere Passion was the story of my heart, but I was green when writing it. Kai and Alara were both so larger than life and I really hoped I did them justice.

Lust After Death...teeheehee. It's good. Really, really, horribly good. It's got all the mind-bendy weirdness y'all have come to expect from me, with a wicked-fun premise. My hero, Bane Connor, was my first attempt to write a "lost soul." I don't do that much because I do enjoy writing funny, and I hate heroes who are mopey. But I gave him a horrid past and a dismal future, then I gave him a way out when he meets the heroine, Josie.

GRACIE: I know this is like asking a mother which is her favorite child, but which of your characters is your favorite and why?

DAISY: Oh lord! I love them all! I love Karon, my latent vampire from Mere Temptation and Mere Passion. I love Loki from Mercury Rising. Alara, my kick ass bitch, will always be one of my favs. Sophia, the littlest dragon. Josie, the newborn zombie. I can't choose!

GRACIE: What about your characters makes them unique?

DAISY: My characters always do something unexpected. My overachiever, immigrant hero Dillon had a wild and rebellious streak a mile wide. My gods are insecure. My zombies are the good guys. Yeah, I never, ever do what's expected. It's not in my genetic makeup!

GRACIE: What is your favorite aspect of the writing process? Your least favorite?

DAISY: My favorite part is a tie between the very beginning, when all possibilities are open, and that point in revisions, where the story finally "clicks." I approach revisions like a type of therapy. I think, "What was I really trying to say? What was I going through when I wrote this? What truth does the book convey?" The answers I find always blow me away. It's the greatest feeling in the world!

GRACIE: Are you a pantser or do you outline?

DAISY: I'm a little in-between, but probably more of a panster. I tend to map out what is going to happen in each scene, generally. But it often changes, new scenes get added. I never plan whose point of view I'll be in till I get there. But I can't seem to write without a degree of planning. I think, then write, then think again, playing it by ear and feel.

GRACIE: If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you have chosen to pursue?

DAISY: I'm not really capable of doing anything else. I would, however, like to do some science journalism at some point. That and be a sex-advice columnist. :)

GRACIE: Who are some of your favorite authors and why? Name some of your favorite books and why they’re your favorites.

DAISY: Larrissa Ione and Sydney Croft- because there's something truly irreverent in how they write, and their stuff has superheroes! Sexual superheroes!

Shelly Laurenston writing as G.A.Aiken- yes, I know I should probably just say Shelly Laurenston, but I really like her Dragon Kin stories better than her other shifters. Not sure why, but I like my shifters cold-blooded. I love Shelly for her humor. She was a big inspiration to me in developing a more comedic voice.

And I love Nalini Singh's psy-changeling series. Nalini's voice is so, so, so different than mine, but I love the control she has over her stories. Her storytelling is so smooth and satisfying.

Of course, the great Kresley Cole.

Recent discoveries include Charlotte Stein, whose scifi work I love, love, love; Cat Grant, who writes great male-male; Tiffany Reisz, up and coming erotica author; and Kelly Jamieson, whose reasoning always makes complete sense to me no matter what genre she's writing.

Ack, there are so many more!

GRACIE: Those are some nice choices and some of my favorites also! What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

DAISY: I'm writing a sequel to my most recent release, Mercury Rising. I'm also working on edits for Lust After Death. And yeah, I've got a zombie sequel in the works. So, gods and undead. What could be better, right?

GRACIE: Do you have a website and/or how can readers contact you?

DAISY: Of course! My website is
I'm also on twitter 24/7 as @thedaisyharris. You can email, but it's usually faster to catch me on the twittosphere!

GRACIE: Where and how can readers purchase and/or read samples of your work?

DAISY: Sign up for my mailing list, FREE SEX! You'll get updates, links, and free reads. My books are available on Amazon, B and N, and through the publisher's websites.

GRACIE: What advice do you have for beginning writers?

DAISY: Learn, learn, learn! I had an easy time breaking into this business because I came to it from technical/science writing. I started out with a pretty solid grasp of grammar and composition, and I'd developed the ability to learn any topic fast. Resources are available all over the internet. The best thing to do is to join some writers organizations, like Romance Writers of America (RWA.) Through them, you can meet folks who will critique your work and point you in the right direction. I know I'd be lost without the help of friends I met through RWA.

GRACIE: Anything else about yourself or your writing you’d like to share with your readers?

DAISY: Gosh, if any of you follow me on twitter you probably know too much about me already!

GRACIE: Daisy, thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share yourself and your work with us at The G-Spot and giving us a little insight into your writing and the writing process! We’ll let you get back to writing those wonderful books you write! All the best!