What inspired you to create your sensational new Dirty Money series?
First, thank you for calling it sensational, because I am so in love with these characters and this world, that they feel like friends.
When an idea comes to me, I don’t usually know the trigger. It just comes, and when it does, it’s intense and consuming. I was writing another series when Dirty Money came to me, and I had to stop and outline the characters, because they just needed to have life. I couldn’t wait to start writing.
Looking back now at what triggered that need, it stemmed from my love Sons of Anarchy. The family that stuck together…until they didn’t. The hero, that wanted to be a hero, but found himself forced to change, and eventually lost himself. The love that helped him hold onto himself more times than not.
And as an only child, I’ve always found sibling bonds interesting. The way they can be angry at each other, but also protective to such passionate depths. Add to that a husband is obsessed with The Sopranos and The Godfather, as well as his tightly knit family, and I had lots of inspiration
Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job?
I actually started out wanting to be an actress. However, life got in the way and I ended up in the corporate world. Desperate for an outlet for my creativity I turned to writing and fell in love with it. I truly enjoy being able to create my own world, where everything can be a little more perfect and the real world, but also messy in the best ways.
What do you love most about writing romance especially?
The vulnerability. Romance tears down the walls of a character, and lets us see what’s beneath when they are exposed by the unexpected. It’s when we see their flaws, their wounds, and then their path to healing, through another human being.
Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines?
I love both! They are both such a part of me living in the story. Part of the fun of feeling like the heroine is feeling like I get to escape with a hot hero. But I do really enjoy the mystery and torment I put them both through, too. J
Who are the authors you read for pleasure?
Lori Foster, Lora Leigh, Karen Marie Moning, Jeaniene Frost, Gaelen Foley, Christine Feehan and the list goes on and on. I love to read and I love audio books. My husband is also a huge reader and in fact, I met him in a bookstore!
If you could take only three essentials with you to a desert island what would they be?
My husband, my cat with cat food (is that two?), a stock of food that includes chocolate.
Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list, dead or alive?
Kurt Sutter. As I’m moving into some TV land things I find him incredibly interesting. He does dark, gritty storylines very well and he moved up from the lower ranks with hard work and creativity.
What are your guilty pleasures?
With my deadlines, it seems time with my husband this past year, but travel for sure. We just got back from Italy and went to Paris last year. My husband gets so excited about things and really ENJOYS LIFE, while I’m a workaholic. When we travel I really enjoy the trips because it’s experiencing life with him. We even on weekend getaways (though I always write!) to Denver, which is an hour away. We have little spots I write in, and then we walk around and enjoy the area. He even proposed on one of those trips. J
There’s so much interest and excitement around romance fiction right now. What do you think that romance readers are looking for in the romances they read today?
I think readers have more varied tastes now than ever. They like that publishing has opened up the pages to new, exciting variety in stories. Sometimes, they want dark, intense storylines, where characters do real things, sometimes even bad things, and they still find a way to survive and even get a happy ending. Because that is real life. We are human and flawed and we do things and experience things that aren’t always good. But in the end, it’s nice to think – I can still end up happy. Then there are times, when readers have enough reality in real life. They want a Prince Charming escape, or a read filled with laughter, and hey?! Who can blame them. Sometimes, that’s just what the doctor ordered.
If you could recommend one book to someone who’s keen to start reading romance, what would you choose?
Oh my gosh! How do I choose? I have a few all-time favorites. Gaelen Foley’s Ascension Trilogy. I’m not even a big historical reader but these books just seduced me in every way. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard. One of my go-to favorites. It has a Sex and the City quality about it with a Mr. Big hero. And finally, Susan Elizabeth Philips, This Heart of Mine. My copy is worn out.
We already can’t wait for Damage Control! Can you give us a hint of what’s to come for the Shane and Emily?
Emily’s big secret will be exposed very early on in this book, so if you fear you might not get answers, fear no more. Her secret, while one that won’t tear them apart immediately, will allow readers to see how some of the places Shane is traveling with his family, could represent a hard road for Emily to follow him down. And that road will be a dark road. More and more, Derek will pull the family into danger, and Emily with them.
The first book in Lisa Renee Jones’s electrifying new Dirty Money series
is out 9th August!