Q: Do you have a favorite quote or line from Ascending Hearts? If so, please share.A: I don’t believe I have a favorite quote or line from the book, but I do have a favorite moment. Unfortunately, if I were to tell you what that moment was it would ruin the climax of the book! So hopefully it will suffice to say that the resolution to the final crisis always gives me chills.
Q: Who is your favorite main character from Ascending Hearts? Why?A: While I love Rion and Jack fairly equally, I suppose that Jack is my favorite. His life had been so bleak and while they had both been lonely, there is something so much more terrible about being lonely because you’ve been shunned, I think. It makes me want to wrap Jack up in blankets, give him tea and biscuits, and be his best friend forever!
Q: Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?A: I’m a sucker for a villain the reader can enjoy hating. Adair is just that kind of character. Utterly unredeemable. It feels good to hate him so.
Q: What was the hardest part of writing Ascending Hearts?A: You know, sometimes co-writing a book is easy like Sunday morning, and other times it’s more difficult. Keira and I never argue while working on books together, but there are times when one or the other seems to have a much clearer view of the characters, and this time it was Keira. It made working on the story a bit of a muddle for me at times, trying to see into the characters’ heads in a way that didn’t come easily to me this time around. Regardless, in the end, I think the book came out wonderfully and I’m quite pleased with it.
Q: What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book?A: Where can I buy it? Haha!
Q: Convince readers to buy your book in 25 words or less.A: Ascending Hearts is a fairy tale . While happily-ever-after is guaranteed, sometimes it takes some work to get there—and a lot of hot sex.
On Writing and Writing Erotica
Q: Why did you choose to write in this genre/subgenre?A: Fairy tales have always inspired me and the impulse to combine them with erotic scenarios is as old as the stories themselves. In terms of focusing on the m/m aspect, Keira and I both believe that shifting the sexual identity and gender of the characters opens up stories in ways previously unexplored. Just as a familiar song sung by someone of the opposite gender can take on a new dimension, so do familiar stories told with characters of different sexualities. We are not limiting ourselves solely to m/m. At some point, we might explore some trans storylines or f/f for the same reason we are now exploring the m/m side of thing. It’s our belief that the old becomes new when core elements are changed.
Q: Do you outline or do you start with a basic idea and let it flow? (plotter or pantser)A: Keira is more of an outliner, I believe. I’m a pantser. It’s been interesting working together! LOL!
Q: Do your family and friends know what you write? If so, what do they think about it?A: Both of our families are aware of what we write. Some of my friends are aware and some aren’t. My folks seem a bit bewildered but happy that I’m published. My husband is pleased and simply chooses not to read my work. My friends who are in the know all profess to be happy for me and many have purchased books. Some even say they like them!
Q: In erotica/erotic romance, the sex is depicted graphically. Are there any specific words or phrases you aren't comfortable using in your stories? Word or phrase that makes you say “ick”?A: No. To me, it’s all about the characters. If I follow their lead, then it works out. A lot of times characters will enjoy things or say things that I myself would never enjoy or say. That’s the way characters are, trying to stifle them or fit them inside a box of my own design is never a good idea. Then they just balk and don’t talk to me.
Q: What is your favorite part of writing erotica/erotic romance?A: I have to admit, I love writing sex scenes! They’re fun and often a huge rush!
Q: How long ago was your first story accepted by a publisher and did you pee your pants? JA: Keira was accepted many years ago, and I think her pants stayed dry because she is cool as a cucumber like that. As for me, the first book in the Tempting Tales series was accepted last year and I was pretty dang thrilled, I have to say.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the publishing process?A: My favorite part is getting the book out there and finally having an audience for the characters.
My least favorite part is probably the cover process when it doesn’t go well. It is improving, and our last cover experience, especially, was truly rewarding and awesome, but I always feel like a single sheet of paper with about 4 sentences and our blurb isn’t really enough to capture the spirit of the novel.
Our first cover for the series, while beautiful and technically well done in every way, doesn’t reflect the novel at all. The cover is dark and heavy, while the book itself is light, hilarious, and full of levity. Obviously, Keira and I failed to fill out the form in a way that made the vibe of the story clear, but I’ve had many people tell me that they a) didn’t buy the book because it looked so dark and sad, or b) were shocked upon reading it to find that the book itself was nothing like the cover.
It’s a helpless feeling to see your book cased in a cover that doesn’t reflect it and not be able to do anything to change it. Again, it wasn’t the cover artist’s fault, but ours for not making it clearer. But I do find the entire cover process stressful. But when the cover comes out in a way that goes with the book like the cover for Ascending Hearts by the amazing Dar Albert? Oh, wow, that’s a feeling of elation that’s hard to describe! Just bouncing off the walls with joy!
Q: Tattoos. Hot or not? And do you have any?A: Hot. And nope. I don’t have any.
Q: Wine, Beer or Liquor?A: Sadly, none. They all trigger migraines for me. Wah! It is one of the saddest things in my life!
Q: Dogs, cats or other?A: Dogs. I’m totally a dog person.
Q: Kindle, Nook, Paper? Other?A: iPad!
Q: Vibrators, nipple clamps or butt plugs? JA: Nipple clamps. Bring the kinky pain, baby.
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?A: To get away from the homophobic Chik-Fil-A.
Q: What is the meaning of life?A: I feel like I ought to say 42 here just to prove that I know the answer. But, really, the meaning of live is in the journey. As Miley Cyrus would say, “It’s the climb.” Yes, I just quoted Miley Cyrus unironically. It couldn’t be helped.
Back cover blurb:
Rumors of treasure have long sent fortune hunters clambering up a magic beanstalk to a mysterious castle in the clouds. Survivors told of an evil giant who guards the gold with savage strength. No sane man would dare risk the climb—but Jack has nothing left to lose. Shunned for his evil red hair and abandoned by his cruel lover, he’s desperate to escape his life.
Rion isn’t a giant, only a man bearing the burden of protecting his family’s legacy. It’s a lonely existence, but he’s duty bound. Then Jack appears, and Rion’s world changes. After a blazing confrontation, undeniable lust sparks. Isolated in the clouds, Jack and Rion give in to their desire and growing connection. Soon they must protect the treasure—and each other—from a new threat. And they have everything to lose.
Places Leta can be found around the web:
Places Keira can be found around the web: