Friday, October 5, 2018

The Novel Lady Interviews Author Jade Lee / Kathy Lyons

Hello Readers!  I’m here today with Author Jade Lee.  Kathy Lyons is the wild, adventurous half of USA TODAY bestselling author Jade Lee. A lover of all things fantastical, Kathy spent much of her childhood in Narnia, Middle Earth, Amber, and Earthsea, just to name a few. There is nothing she adores more than turning an ordinary day into something magical, which is what happens all the time in her books. Winner of several industry awards including the Prism—Best of the Best, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and Fresh Fiction’s Steamiest Read, Kathy has published over 50 romance novels, and she’s just getting started. 

So grab a cup of coffee and join us!

Scherry:  Hi Kathy!  I was so excited to hear that you will be at the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach in February as one of Coastal Magic’s Featured Authors. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? Your family? Any pets?

Kathy:  Hello! I’m excited to be here! I’m a half Chinese princess who grew up in central Illinois wanting to be a tomboy but forced to play violin (for a short time), piano (for a long time), speak Chinese (for a very short time), and get good grades all the time. Honestly, I was an extrovert trapped in a home where I was forced to be quiet. It nearly killed me. Fortunately, I grew up, was able to convert my love of reading into a love of writing, and now I get to be as loud or as quiet as I want! What could be better?

As for pets, I’ve had many over the years, but right now we just have Cinnamon. A sweet housecat who hates it when I’m travelling. 

I’ll give you two pictures. 

Here’s her hiding from the sun. 

And here she is telling me it’s time to stop writing and feed her. It’s actually not. She’s an hour early, but cats don’t know how to tell time.

Scherry:  Ohmigosh! Cinnamon is so adorable! 

Kathy, how do you balance home life and your life as a writer?

Kathy:  It used to be “badly.” With two kids with lots of sports activities, I was constantly running, trying to fit in writing time in between games and volleyball matches. But kids grow up, and I embraced empty nesting. Now it’s hard to find writing time in between my travel around the world. But at least I’m not short-changing anyone but my cat who really does hate it when my husband and I go away.

Scherry:  Do you have any inspirational items on your desk or wherever you write?  Pictures, figurines, stuffed bears?

Kathy:  My sister once said to me, “You may not be where you want to be, but you’re also not where you were.” Her words inspired me to buy this Mackenzie Thorpe print from the POP gallery in Disney Springs. It’s titled “The Search,” and it’s hanging in my office. I look at it every day to remind me that I’m searching ahead in the darkness for the special flowers of inspiration, beautiful writing, and amazing storytelling. It’s a quest I go on daily. And though I may be wandering in the darkness, I shouldn’t forget that behind me are the fruits of all the days I succeeded in my search. The beautiful colors behind me of books completed, stories told, and hearts touched.

Scherry:  Ever go on writing retreats with a few writing buddies?  If so, where would you go and who would you be with?

Kathy:  I LOVE writing retreats! I’ve been on several. We usually go someplace with a Starbucks nearby, write during the day then go out in the evening. The most fun retreats have been in Pigeon Forge, TN home of Dollywood. We haven’t gone to the theme park, but we’ve rented a cabin nearby in the beautiful woods. During the day we write, but in the evening we’ve enjoyed all the fun things of a town built up around a theme park. The dinner theater alone includes shows about Dueling Lumberjacks, Biblical Times, and the Hatfields & McCoys. We’ve gotten up close and personal with live bears and enjoyed food and drink at Margaritaville. And who, you ask, did I enjoy those wonderful retreats with? To name a few: Elizabeth Hoyt, Damon Suede, Cindy Dees, Liz Maverick, and Julie Ann Walker. We have a lot of fun!

Scherry:  If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Kathy:  I’ve written a few other planet books with fantasy settings. I’ve written fairies who look like butterflies, and I’ve got this great idea about a series of islands that really are huge, interconnected trees. If I had my wish, I’d write that book because the concept was amazing. But then I have a lot of great ideas until I start writing them. Then I realize how I’ve really screwed them up.

Scherry:  How long did it take you to write your first book?  Did the second go more quickly or did it take longer?

Kathy:  My first published book took six weeks to write. It’s a fantasy romance that was originally published as Oracle but has been retitled A Magic King. I’d written 5 other manuscripts before, but this was inspiration in a white hot heat of writing. It poured out of me in six weeks and I thought, now I know how to write. All my other books will be like this! WRONG! I’ve never had a book write so easily since. But at least I had one, right? It was nominated for the RITA too. Best First Book.

Scherry:  What do you do when you’re not writing?  Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

Kathy:  I play racquetball. Years ago, I was about to go pro when my knees blew. A few years ago, I thought I would go back into competition. Trained, focused, and entered the US Open in the age division. I had to drop out on the last day because my knees were so swollen, I couldn’t walk to the bathroom, much less onto a court. That was the last time I competed in a tournament, and I still miss it. I put a lot of that emotion and experience into my baseball series The Locker Room Diaries. I know the training and focus it takes to be a professional athlete. It’s not all fun and games, and usually it’s a daily struggle of discipline and desire. 

Scherry:  What are the upsides and downsides of being an author?

Kathy:  Scheduling my own time. That’s both a plus and a minus. I write on weekends, evenings, holidays, and yes even my birthday! I also have hung around in my pajamas all day, watched tv instead of working, and pretended social media was work. I get to travel to meet people who adore me and who hate me. Again, that’s good and bad. I get to pay my own way to conferences, and yet I feel like I’m the one who lucked out because I get to hang with book people all day and then in the bar. And here’s the biggest plus: I get to read all day and call it “market research.” Who wouldn’t love that?

Scherry:  What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?

Kathy:  A woman came to me at a fan conference and told me she read all my books while going through chemotherapy. They were a large part of how she got through.  I started crying right there. As writers, we don’t know what our stories do for our readers. To hear that helps me through the hard writing days.

Scherry:  That must have felt great to know that your stories helped someone through a very difficult time. Reading can do that for us, especially when we get our hands on some great books. What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Kathy:  There are so many! I took the month of September off, and I’ve been reading all over the place. I love Amy Lane’s Johnnies series, though that is not for the faint of heart! I’m starting Dawn Ryder’s Unbroken Heroes series. I checked out Charlie Cochet’s THIRDs series, but with 14 books in the series, I’m not finished yet. I love Shannon K. Butcher’s Sentinel series and am thrilled to be in an anthology with her that picks up the tale again. Title: The Secret She Keeps. Rebecca Zanetti is one of my favorite people and authors, and the Amanda Bouchet Kingmaker Chronicles started my recent reading frenzy after a long drought. So I love, love, love her books.

Scherry:  What is next for you?  Do you have any scheduled upcoming book signings, releases or works in progress?

Kathy:  I’m building two new series right now for Dreamspinner press. Jade Lee will be writing a new historical series, and Kathy Lyons will be running around with werewolves (contemporary). And the two series will be linked, released Feb 14, 2020. I’m really excited about what I get to do in these books, so I know it’s a long wait, but trust me when I say it’ll be well worth it!

Scherry:  I can't wait! That sounds super exciting! Kathy, thank you so much for spending some time here with us at The Novel Lady. 

Readers, if you would like to meet Jade Lee / Kathy Lyons in person, she will be a Featured Author at the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach in February 2019.  In the meantime, here is her contact information and where you can learn more about this fabulous author!
Facebook:  @JadeLeeBooks / @KathyLyonsBooks
Twitter: @jadeLeeAuthor / @KathyLyonsAuthor

Be sure to check out some new releases!

"Cheeky and clever, Sliding Home is a fun, fast-paced romance you won't want to miss!" – Jessica Lemmon, bestselling author of the Bad Boy Billionaires series
Shy and reserved, good girl Ellie McDonald is determined to break out of her shell–and her relationship rut. First order of business, woman up and finally ask her longtime secret crush, Jake Armstrong on an old-fashioned date. She's not at all his type–which is great. Once Jake turns her down she can finally move on. Except he says yes...
MVP short-stop Jake Armstrong has tried to keep his bad boy nature under wraps. But there's nothing he likes more than tempting sweet Ellie to the dark side. No one need know.
But when the hotel catches fire and their rescue–while nearly naked–is caught on camera, the two have a PR problem. Jake's solution is a fake relationship, just for the season. Only for Ellie, there's nothing fake about it…
Each book in the Locker Room Diaries series is STANDALONE:
* Hitting It
* Sliding Home

From USA Today bestselling author Kathy Lyons comes a sexy new enemies-to-lovers shifter romance.Hard-bodied and military-trained shifter Hank Coleman will always do what's best for the clan. With a mysterious virus ravaging the city and transforming anyone with shifter DNA into dangerously unstable hybrids, that means asking a human scientist for help. Hank knows that getting Dr. Cecilia Lu involved will mean exposing the shifter world and his black bear self, but it's the animal attraction that sparks between them that could be the real danger.

Cecilia trusts data and what she can see with her own two eyes. So when the hottest man she's ever met transforms into a bear right in front of her, she has no choice but to accept that shifters are real. And with hybrids attacking humans and shifters turning on their own kind, Hank and Cecilia have zero time to fight the desire that's burning hotter by the minute. But war is brewing between the shifters, and Cecilia will be forced to choose between the world of men . . . and the world of her sexy beast.


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