Earlier this month, Lisa Kessler released her debut paranormal romance novel Night Walker, the first in the new Night series from Entangled Publishing. GT was fortunate enough to get our hands on an advance copy and thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing it. Night Walker was awarded a rating of 4 Hearts and our Bronze Heart Award for excellence in PNR fiction. (note: “hearts” and “awards” are our new rating system, to be launched in September with the new GT site – stay tuned for more info!). Ms. Kessler has been busy promoting her new book this month with a full schedule of blog guest appearances and interviews, and was gracious enough to allow GT to pepper her with questions about Night Walker, her work as an author, and even a few nosy personal ones! Here’s what she had to say…
GT: Congratulations on publishing your new Night Walker series! Can you share a little of your journey and what kept you going?
Thank you! Getting my first book published was definitely the toughest goal I have ever achieved.
There were lots of rejections. Night Walker is a unique novel that mixes time periods and it’s pretty dark too, so while I got lots of full reads from publishing houses in New York, they weren’t sure what to do with it.
At one point I gave up on Night Walker and set it aside to write a new series. (The Moon Series) But while those were tied up in a contest, Entangled invited me to submit. All I had left was Night Walker, so I held my breath and sent it off.
I really believe it was all meant to be. Night Walker found the perfect home with Entangled and I’m really excited about the rest of the series…
GT: How did you celebrate your first big release day?
I didn’t have a copy of my book to hold in my hands yet, but my hubby took me out to dinner…
GT: Where did you get your inspiration for creating the Night series?
It all started with wanting to write a novel with immortals, but set it on the west coast. Since the Mission de Alcala is the oldest building in San Diego, it seemed like the perfect place to start.
While researching, I discovered the peaceful Kumeyaay tribes actually attacked the Mission in the 1700’s, burned it to the ground and beat the head priest so badly he could only be identified by the rings on his hand.
All we have are theories as to what could have provoked such a vicious attack from a peaceful group. I made up my own theory that a young native girl was murdered. Once I had that worked out, I knew she had to be reincarnated in order for me to tell the story in contemporary times.
GT: Calisto doesn’t see himself as a “vampire”. Will we see more of this dichotomy between the two and get a better understanding of what the difference between “night walker” and “vampire” is?
Yes in the novella, Night Thief, you’ll actually see a Night Walker go up against a vampire villain… Also in Night Demon (Book #2) you’ll meet the original 4 Night Walker brothers so you’ll get even more background on what makes a Night Walker different from a vampire…
GT: Will Calisto and Kate be the central characters for the rest of the series or will upcoming books focus on other characters?
Calisto and Kate are in Night Demon (Book 2) but as supporting cast. Night Demon is a chance for Lukas and Gretchen to step into the spotlight. You got a glimpse of Lukas in Night Walker, and Gretchen is a new human character.
GT: How many books do you expect to publish in the series?
At this point there will be 3 books and a novella.
GT: You got an early start as a writer (6th grade!). What other jobs have you held between writing assignments since then?
Let’s see, I’ve given horseback riding lessons, girl scout leader, singer, and a sales person in our family window covering business… Glamorous, right? LOL
GT: What is your typical schedule when writing a new book?
When I’m writing a new book I write 20 pages, then edit those, then write the next 20 pages, etc. By the end I usually have a pretty clean first draft.
GT: When you find yourself in a plot hole or with writers block, how do you work out of it?
I’ve never had writer’s block, and plot holes aren’t usually an issue. However when I get to the middle of the book and the pacing starts to feel a little slow it’s usually time to “up the body count”. Nothing like a dead character to bring up the tension!
GT: What do you think inspires a good story?
Good characters. If I can relate to the characters and enjoy spending time with them, it makes all the difference.
GT: Being married to a fellow writer, do you find you’re able to feed off each other’s creativity or do you need definite “me” time?
I feel blessed for being married to another writer. He’s always my first reader, and he really understands the process and respects me for it. I haven’t always had that kind of support, so I recognize it for the gift it is! LOL
GT: You’ve been in quite a few musical theater productions (check out Lisa’s music here). Do you have any upcoming projects we can look forward to?
Sadly with my full writing schedule, I don’t have time for all the rehearsals for stage productions. These days I’ve cut back to one church job and singing for weddings and memorials…
The Gauntlet (rapid-fire Q’s with top-o-the-brain A’s)
GT: All-time favorite movie?
Rocky & Camelot
GT: Top 5 most played songs on your ipod/music list?
I don’t have an iPod! LOL I’m so old school… Right now based on the books I’m editing and blogs I’m writing my playlist Top 5 is probably…Come What May – Moulin RougeIf I Can’t Love Her – Beauty and the BeastBad Things – Jace EverettBroken – SeetherMy Immortal – Evanescence
GT: What book are you reading right now?
Spell Bound – Kelley Armstrong and I’m LOVING it! Great urban fantasy…
GT: Favorite non-romance book?
The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
GT: Favorite couple, hero, or heroine in a PNR/UF series (that is not your own)?
Zack and Aura in Jeri Smith-Ready’s Shade trilogy
GT: Team Bill or Team Eric? (because we know you’re a Truebie!)
I’m still Team Bill… Even though they’re doing different things with the show I think it’s still obvious that Bill is sacrificing his own happiness to keep Sookie’s secret safe from the vampires…
GT: Star Trek, Star Wars, or Star Gate?
GT: Boxers or briefs?
GT: Biggest pet peeve?
Mean People… Ugh!
GT: If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be…
San Diego… What can I say I’m super spoiled by the weather here! LOL
To check Ms. Kessler’s other Blog Tour stops, see her schedule here.
Here are some online purchase links for Night Walker…
Hope you had as much fun reading this interview as we did chatting with Ms. Kessler and writing it!
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