Hi, Kelsie. Thank you so much for having me here today.
I’m Violet Joicey-Cowen and am here as part of a blog tour to celebrate the upcoming release of my book Captive Mates, which is now on pre-order over at Bookstrand.
I am doing a giveaway as part of my blog tour, please find the word of the day in my interview below and then head over to my WordPress blog (links also below) to find out what to do with it.
Business before Pleasure:
- What inspired you to write your first book?
Do you mean the first story I ever wrote or the first book I had published? I have no clue what inspired my first ever story, that was far too long ago! I just remember the burning need to get it down on paper (no laptop back then) and that drive to write has never left me. As for the first book I had published…no real clue there either, lol. I woke up with the first line in my head and had to get it down before it drove me crazy so I sat down with my laptop and didn’t look up again for several thousand words.
- How much real life do you put into or influences your books?
As much as I can. They say write what you know and I try to do that. Not that I have any experience being a gay man, or a shifter, or a vampire, or a prince from another world (various characters I have written), but I try to put in as many character traits and experiences as I can that are real. I worked for many years as a bartender in pubs and clubs, so the scenes set in a bar in my shifter stories were easy to write.
- What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Carrying on anyway when the words are just not flowing. It’s like getting blood from a stone, but I’m gonna make that sucker bleed!
- What are your current projects?
My WIP was going to be book six in my Whithowe Forest Pack series, but instead it is going to be book one in a sister series I am tentatively calling Vampires of Whithowe. It features a lion-shifter and a vampire with a spinal injury who is in a wheelchair. It’s requiring the most research of any of my books so far as I want to portray the everyday difficulties someone in a chair faces accurately.
- How do you go about choosing the title for your book(s)?
Sometimes I have a title before I have a story, I just know it’s right for the characters (like the one for my WIP). And others I have to work for. Captive Mates was one I had to work for (and had help! Thank you to all the lovely ladies who went on the Writing Retreat last year at Horwood House).
- What is your favorite genre to write?
I’m not sure I have a favourite. So far I have written fantasy, contemporary, and paranormal (shifters, vampires, etc). I like to switch between them and not stick in one genre for too long. Fantasy is my first love when it comes to reading, so if I had to pick one and stick to it, I would probably pick that.
- Generally, how long does it take you to complete a book from idea to handing it over to your publisher?
I have no clue! It varies massively from book to book, both with the length of the book and how well the words are flowing. Shortest has been a couple of months, longest was over a year.
- Do you ever use someone in your life as a sounding board for ideas or do you prefer to work alone?
I have a writing bestie and we bounce ideas off each other a lot, but have never met in person (I am meeting her at the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet in September this year and cannot wait J ). Apart from her I work alone most of the time and am happy that way. It’s easier to get lost in the world of my story that way and let the words come.
- Do your travel to research for your book(s)?
Don’t I wish! As a single parent and self-employed writer money has to be planned out. Hopefully one day…
- Did you learn anything while writing your book(s)?
All the time and with every book I write. My WIP is needing a lot of research, as I said, but every book brings something new for me to learn about.
- Have you ever had an idea for a book but never written it and what is it?
I’ll never tell! I have lots of ideas and starts to stories, but I will get around to them all one day or adapt them to fit in with something else so everything will get used.
- When writing, do you have a process?
Not really. I like my earl grey tea, so will have some of that a lot of writing days, but not always. I like music on in the background while I’m writing, but nothing too invasive. My writing playlist includes a lot of Caro Emerald, Seth Lakeman, Vanessa Mae, and Maroon 5.
- Do you have any advice for new authors looking to make their own literary statement?
Stay true to you. Write what feels right for you and don’t let anyone get you to write anything else or you will end up hating it.
- How many books have you written? Do you have a particular favorite?
Captive Mates will be the seventh book I have with a publisher so far, but there have been two (one short story and one novella) which I self-published. I recently made the decision to take the two self-pubbed ones down and rework and expand them. I don’t have a favourite, I love them all.
- Why did you choose to use a publisher instead of self-publishing?
As I said, I have done both. Both have taught me a lot. I went the publisher route for my first book because I had no clue about the industry and how it all worked. It’s been a steep learning curve, and I’m not done learning about it all yet.
- Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. A lot of the things I see every day give me ideas which I note down. I also keep a notebook by my bed as I get a lot of ideas from dreams.
- How many books do you currently have published?
- Are you working on anything right now?
- Do you have a favorite Hero or Heroine from any of your books and why?
All my characters are my babies. How could I pick a favourite kid? Lol. I am really looking forward to writing two books in particular. Two of my characters in my Whithowe Forest Pack books, Kedi and Butch, have particularly interesting (for me) stories to tell.
- Do you have anything you would like to say to your current readers or to those that haven’t yet read your work(s)?
Word of the day is: transmute.
More About You ~ The Fun and the Naughty
- Share one thing about yourself that would surprise people who know you.
I’m bisexual. I don’t deliberately hide it, but I don’t shout it from the rooftops either. It’s only relevant to the people I date.
- Doggy style, cow girl or missionary?
All of them. I like variety.
- What secret sinful pleasure do you keep hidden in your cupboards?
- Are you a wine or beer kinda gal?
Neither, I prefer spirits, not that I drink much or often anymore.
- If you could go anywhere at all on your next vacation where would you go
Anywhere? How about everywhere! World tour!! So many places I want to visit…
- If you could choose any hot famous guy to take with you who would it be and why?
I would pick a woman actually. Phoebe Tonkin is just gorgeous.
- Thong, Bikinis, Granny Panties, or Boy shorts?
Grannie panties, lol. I like to be comfortable and my ass isn’t as small as it used to be.
- Are you a dress up in heels or a jeans and flats woman?
Jeans and flats. I did some damage to both feet (different occasions, I’m not the most graceful of people) and can’t wear heels anymore as it hurts too much.
- Homebody or Party all the time girl?
Sadly, homebody. Kinda grown past the partying phase. I do miss it though.
- Tall, Dark and Deadly or Smart and Sexy or Athletic and Funny?
All of them. I do like a sense of humour though and I tend to go for bad boys.
- Significant other or Tearing up the town free and clear?
Significant other (not that I have one).
- Favorite social network and why?
Facebook, when they are not doing updates to “improve” it, which only breaks other stuff.
- What was your “dream” job as a child?
A writer. I never thought it would actually happen though, so I am literally living my dream and it’s AWESOME.
- What was the worst job you ever had while working towards being a published author?
I never really hated any of them, so cant really say. They have all been good experiences. I have been a bartender for many years, I also worked in a bookies, in child care, and briefly worked in retail (a six week Christmas job).
- What would be your next best choice if not writing as a career?
Before deciding to throw everything into my writing and turn that into a career, I went back to college to do an access to nursing course. I was going to then go to Uni and study midwifery but life stuff got in the way. I would have gone back to that if I hadn’t then pursued my writing.
About Your Latest Release
Introduce us to the main characters:
Isaac Anderson is a lion-shifter. He and his brothers, along with many others, were held prisoner by a man named Karl Michaelson. After being freed, he has lived with the pack who saved them. He is a pretty boy but has never taken advantage of that and just wants a family and someone to love.
Keiron Haller has a complicated background and I can’t say too much. He’s a bit of a spitfire and would do anything for those he cares about.
Ari Jones is very intelligent, though he doesn’t advertise it. He is the oldest of the three and more settled in himself.
How do these three meet?
They are all being held captive by the leader of Keiron’s pride (of panthers), but Isaac and Keiron don’t actually meet until they are being rescued and Keiron does something stupid…
How would you characterize their relationship in one word answers, start, middle and end?
Uh. Ok… One word answers. Difficult, fraught, hopeful.
What three words would you use to describe this story?
Read and see. Lol, that’s three! Gah, I don’t know. Um…nope, sorry I cant. You’re going to have to read the blurb J
When lion-shifter Isaac Anderson goes to help panther-shifters Ari Jones and Keiron Haller, not only does he get captured and imprisoned alongside them, but he also finds out something he never expected—he’s their third mate.
Keiron’s under pressure to mate elsewhere, Ari’s being beaten to force Keiron’s hand, and Isaac feels like he is floundering. The three unclaimed mates need to hold on long enough for rescue, in the form of Isaac’s pack, to arrive.
Even after they escape, danger follows and they have to fight to hold onto each other through that, memories of past trauma, and the effects of Keiron’s mysterious origins.
The three long to be free so they can settle down and live their lives together but will they get the chance, or will they always be captives? Will there always be something around the corner for them to fear?
Violet Joicey-Cowen is the proud owner of one rather chaotic life. This includes her son, her menagerie (currently – two dogs, one cat, one guinea-pig, one fish and 5 stick-insects), her friends and a rather battered laptop she would be lost without. She lives in North Yorkshire in England. When she is not writing she plays a lot of pool and is on a couple of teams.
She has been writing since she was about ten years old and has always loved escaping into other worlds where the people living there would tell her their stories and she would just have to write them down. She always dreamed of having her stories published so her characters could get out there and meet other people who might begin to love them as much as she does. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her wordpress account or you can find her on Facebook.
Ari was woken by the sounds of a fight in the corridor. He recognised by now the sounds of fists hitting flesh with too much ease. Whoever was under attack sounded like he was giving back as good as he was getting. Ari turned a little and leaned up on his right elbow. He could hear more than a couple of people were involved in the scuffle, and grunts from several as they fought. Scents began to filter through the cracks around the door to him.
Mate! No, that’s not possible. Keiron is my mate and that isn’t him. The scent of whoever was out in the corridor was making his cat growling and lashing its tail inside him, urging him to go to them, to bite, to claim, and to defend. Someone was thrown against the door of his room and Ari jerked upright, ignoring the pains in his shoulder and the rest of his body. Then the fight stopped. Or at least whoever it was stopped fighting back, suddenly passive. A few more dull thuds and grunts sounded, and then a key slid into the door lock and turned. The three bolts were shot back and the door flung open. A man stumbled through, helped on his way by a hefty shove from one of the men now crowding into the doorway.
“Hey look, Ari, you have company!” They all laughed uproariously.
What’s funny about that? Ari thought, staring at the blond man who had fallen in a heap on the floor, trying not to look too interested in case they decided to put them in separate rooms. He couldn’t hold back a growl when Aaron swung his foot back and booted the man in the ribs. He silenced himself quickly and kept his gaze away from Aaron so the beta would not see the rage simmering there.
The blond on the floor stiffened and his head snapped up toward Ari, eyes wide and nostrils dilated. Ari felt a moment of panic that the guy would give something away to Aaron or one of the others. He realised this must have been the way Keiron felt all those months ago when he had laid eyes on Ari from his vantage point atop the building, a burning desire to go to him, but fear and worry about the consequences. The man lowered his head again and Ari breathed out slowly.
Aaron and his cronies left, closing the door and locking it behind them. The blond opened his mouth to speak, but Ari quickly held up a hand to keep him quiet for a few more moments. As soon as he could no longer hear footsteps moving away, he relaxed.
“Are you hurt badly?” he asked.
“Only my pride,” the man replied, with a rather pained grin. He winced, holding an arm to his ribs as he clambered to his feet. “I’m Isaac. You’re Ari?” At Ari’s nod, Isaac gave a dark laugh. “Of course you are. Well, I was supposed to be here to rescue you.” Isaac had an accent.
“Huh? How did you even know I was here? Are you English?”
“Yes, I am. It was Keiron. He got a message out to a member of my pack.” Ari had no idea how Keiron had managed that, but he hoped his mate was safe and hadn’t gotten caught doing something stupid. Isaac was sniffing the air with a frown.
“Um, don’t take this the wrong way, but…are you my mate? Keiron said you were his mate in his message, but the way you smell… God, my lion is going nuts.”
“My panther, too. Keiron is my mate. I… He must be our mate. I can’t see fate making him and I mates, and you and I mates, without all three of us being mated to each other.” Ari felt weird discussing it like this. It all felt so clinical and rational.
“No wonder my lion has been so restless. He must have been picking up something from you both since I got here. I caught your scent properly when they had me outside in the corridor, stopped fighting back because I wanted in here where they were trying to put me.”
“And now we’re both screwed.” Ari gave him a wry grin. “You might as well come sit down.” He sat up properly and moved over making it obvious he wanted Isaac on the bed with him, not on the one across the room.
“Oh, don’t worry. As long as they don’t do us in in the next few days, my pack’ll come looking. Rescuing people is kind of what they do. I was an idiot to come on my own.” Isaac limped over and lowered himself gingerly to the bed. He sat close, and Ari could feel the warmth his body gave off. He could feel his blood heading toward his groin. Hmmm… maybe getting him to sit next to me was a bad idea. I mean, God knows he smells amazing, but we can’t do anything. Not without Keiron knowing. That would feel like betraying him. But, hell! I don’t know if I can stop myself from touching this guy.
“So why did you?” Focus. Must focus on the conversation.
Isaac shifted, next to him, then again. Ari looked down at where their arms were barely touching, his own brown skin against the pale, creaminess of Isaac’s. Looks good. Smells good. I’m so fucked. Then Isaac rose to his feet again and moved away from the bed. He hobbled over to the other cot and sat back down, looking at Ari dryly. “Sorry, no way I can concentrate if I sit next to you. All I want to do is push you back, rip your clothes off, and lick you from one end to the other.”
Thank you so much Kelsie for having me here today.