The door opens and Jess Macallan appears with a large smile on her face.
“Hi and welcome to my humble abode.”
Jess is dressed casually in jeans and a yoga top under a long sleeve wrap. Her blonde hair bounces as she leads me into her living room. The room has bookshelves filled with books covering every spare inch of space along one wall. A piano that looks like it is actually played takes up prominent space in this light happy room. Jess motions towards the sofa and snuggles into a rocking chair with her bare feet gently pushing her back and forth. The windows let in tons of light and overlook a beautiful garden filled with flowers and vegetables.
I open the little tote I have with me and pull out my notepad, a pen, two martini glasses, a bottle of appletinis and a box of chocolate truffles in assorted flavors.
BLVR: “Appletini? Truffle? I find that I write better when I have a little help from my friends.” Wink, wink.
JM: “LOL.” Jess’s blue eyes twinkle when she laughs. “I feel the same way, except my drink of choice is usually hot chocolate, but I’d love a truffle. I have a serious chocolate addiction. It’s amazing what it does for my creativity. At least that’s what I tell myself.”
BLVR: “So tell me – what does it feel like to have your first novel published?”
JM: “It hasn’t really hit me yet. I’ve been busy enough with the second and third book in the series that I haven’t had time to process it. I’m excited right now, but I’ll be far more nervous for the last book in the series. As a reader, if I know I’m going to start a series, I have high hopes the author will keep his/her momentum going straight through the last book. So I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to make that happen. I’ll plan a big celebration when the last book is out.”
BLVR: “I love how we get to know different aspects of Elle throughout the first book. She literally has the rug pulled out from under her in this story and she handles it by being resilient and brave in every way. When developing the character of Elle – what were you looking for in your heroine? What was your motivation behind that?”
JM: “I’m an urban fantasy/paranormal junkie, and I love those tough-as-nails heroines. With Elle, that description never worked. She’s a regular, girl-next-door kind of personality. I rarely plot anything, so my characters develop themselves. I was surprised how Elle turned out, to be honest. I initially thought she’d be tough—or at least tougher. In the end, I like her because she’s vulnerable, yet still brave. I wish I could take credit for her personality, but she really took on a life of her own.”
Teryl’s head pops in behind the doorway. “Anyone need anything? I’m heading out to run some errands. Oh, hey I didn’t realize you had company. Sorry to interrupt.” Teryl is handsome in a Banana Republic way that is adorable!
Teryl sits next to you and offers his hand.
TERYL: “I’m Teryl. Wait, are those martinis? Do I get one?”
Jess shoos him away.
JM: “We’re trying to work here. Those are Believer’s friends…er…motivation. Hands off.”
He offers one last charming smile, and sneaks a truffle. “Okay, I’ll leave you to it.” He walks away, whistling.
JM: “Sorry about that. He has a sixth sense when it comes to food and drinks.”
BLVR: “Teryl has been Elle’s best friend since childhood. I have a feeling we’ve only just begun to understand the part he plays in everything that has happened to Elle. What role will Teryl play in the next two books?”
JM: “Teryl has always been a person Elle can count on, no matter what. He’s the best friend we all need. In Stone Cold Revenge (book 2), the tables turn, and he has to learn to count on her. He’ll have his own problems to deal with. In Stone Cold Destiny (book 3), he’ll be a key player. Without Teryl, Elle won’t be able to track down the souls and take her father down.”
Heavy footsteps sound in the hallway and Jax comes into the room. OMG! He really is that handsome in person! So Heathcliff! I take another sip from my martini to give my mouth something to do other than gape.
JAX: “Did Teryl just leave? I was hoping to catch him before he walked out.”
JM: “He had errands to run. But now that you’re here, let me introduce you to Believer. She’s interviewing me about the book.”
“Nice to meet you,” Jax says, and shakes your hand. He remains standing, looking a little uncomfortable.
BLVR: “Jax, how do you feel about this novel? By the end of the book, you weren’t exactly a knight in shining armor.”
Jax eyes the door, and rubs the back of his neck.
JAX: “The book is an unbiased version of the events. I wish Jess had given me a chance to explain more at the end of the first book. I hate how it ended. I’ve never been knight material. There’s a lot I still need to talk to Elle about. I know Jess is giving me the chance in the second book.”
BLVR: “Oh look the glasses need refilling! Let me take care of that right away!”
A sleek sports car pulls up in the driveway and MacLean steps out and heads towards the front door. Glory be! He is gorgeous! Lord – I need another sip of this martini!
Sound of front door opening and Maclean’s voice, “Anybody home?”
MACLEAN: “Looks like a party. What’s the occasion? Jess, don’t you have a happy ending to write for me?”
JM: “Yes, but I’m taking a break for an interview with Christine. Got anything to add?”
MACLEAN: “No, I’m going to have to leave that to the experts. I’m just a hunter.”
BLVR: “Maclean – I’m dying to ask you. Elle always mentions how well you dress and how gorgeous you are. Do you have any favorite designers or stores? Do you work at having a look?”
Maclean laughs, and tugs on the hem of his suit jacket.
MACLEAN: “This stuff? I have a tailor. I hate shopping, so he measures me, and makes the clothes. I leave the details up to him. He knows I need to look professional, and this is what I get. Teryl is the fashion diva. He’s the only guy I know who wears purple without a woman dressing him.”
Jax coughs, to hide his laugh.
Sound of back door opening and closing. Elle enters the room wearing a yoga outfit and carrying a mat. The tension in the room is so thick that I pop a truffle in my mouth to give me something to do. Gosh it is so awkward! Elle, Jax, Maclean and Jess just trying to act normal.
BLVR: “Elle! I’m so glad you came by! I’d love to get your thoughts on Stone Cold Seduction. Do you have a moment?”
Elle looks like a deer caught in the headlights.
ELLE: “Er…hey everyone. Um, sure.”
Jax and MacLean see their opportunity and quickly make excuses to leave. We all turn to admire the view as they walk out.
BLVR: “ Elle – how are you feeling these days? I mean you’ve been through so much these last few weeks. How are you dealing with all these changes and powers?”
ELLE: “I feel pretty good. The abilities are a little weird, especially the fire thing. I’ve been practicing, and managed to set some of my labels on fire yesterday. Not my best moment. Other than that, I’m trying to take it one day at a time. I don’t know if that’s dealing with it or coping.”
BLVR: “Jess – it is often said that a great hero/ine requires a great villain. Jedren Warlow is perhaps one of the top 5 villains I have ever encountered. And his status is easily secured because after all he is Elle’s father. The terrible abuse he has heaped upon Elle since childhood is horrific. The sadistic punishments carried out by his henchman, Luke, are pure torture. How did you get into the zone to create a team like Jedren & Luke?”
JM: “Those were the most difficult scenes to write.”
ELLE: “Yeah, try living it. But people need to know what a monster he is. He’s gotten away with it too long. I’m going to change that.” Elle stashes the mat in a corner and sits on the couch, folding her legs under her. She grabs a throw pillow and starts playing with the seam.
JM: “I’m the kind of person who struggles to watch the news because of the terrible things that go on in the world. I’d like to say Jedren and Luke’s actions were incomprehensible to me, but I had to get in their minds, at least a little, to write the scenes. I had to imagine people who didn’t care, who had no empathy or consideration for anyone else. These guys have no regard for life. The only thing that made it easier, was knowing Elle was a strong enough heroine to get through it.”
Speak of the devil; no sooner does Jess finish her answer than the evil duo appear. The room feels cold and oppressive. Jedren wears an impassive look but his eyes are wary. Luke can’t take his eyes of Elle. Jedren doesn’t even acknowledge Elle.
JEDREN: “Good afternoon Elleodora.” He barely spares me a glance. “Ms. Macallan.”
JM: “Jedren, this is Believer. She’s interviewing me about Stone Cold Seduction.”
His expression never changes.
JEDREN: “Ah yes, your amusing rambling. How…nice. I’m afraid I’m not here for a social visit. If you’ll excuse us, I need to talk to Elleodora.”
With great reluctance, Elle follows them out the door.
BLVR: “Jess – on a closing note. What do you want your readers to take away from this trilogy?”
JM: I hope they enjoy it. I hope they root for Elle, and pick one of the men her life as their favorite. I also want people to question their own fate, and look for any choices they might not have noticed before. They might not be able to choose a gargoyle or phoenix, but hopefully it’s something (or someone) just as amazing.
Believer thanks so much for visiting. I’m glad you got to meet everyone, and thanks for bringing drinks and chocolate. Did I mention I love chocolate? And if any readers want to connect with me, they can find me at www.JessMacallan.com | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | I’d love to know who they’re cheering for—Team Gargoyle, or Team Phoenix–I might even have to add Team Oracle.
Jess lives in the Inland Northwest with her husband and three children. She thrives on creative chaos. Curiosity drives her to try new things as often as possible.
When not writing or chasing trouble, she teaches yoga, reads, runs a mini farm, watches MMA and gardens. The only things she takes seriously are chocolate, tea and world domination. But mostly chocolate.
This interview also appears on http://paperbackdolls.com/?p=6961