Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lions, Tigers, and Wolves, Oh My! Interview With Shifter Romance Author Tressie Lockwood

I remember my very first romance novel, "The Duke and The Preacher's Daughter". My mom gave it to me my first year of high school. It was the perfect story to allow me to give birth to my innocent flights of romance. After all, it's all about prince charming sweeping the young maiden off of her feet.

I'm much older now, but I still love to curl up with a great romance novel. The difference is I want prince charming to be a tall, sexy shifter. Paranormal romance has become my flavor of choice and one of my very favorite authors is Tressie Lockwood.

I was cruising through my Kindle app and came across a title called "Stripped Bear". This wasn't my first shifter romance novel, but this was the first one where the female love interest was a sister! After reading "Stripped Bear", I was hooked.  I did what a do best, I searched the internet for any and all books by Tressie Lockwood and went on a mission to read them.

Tressie has become one of my paranormal romance authors of choice because her stories are extremely well written. All of her characters are fully developed the plot lines are unpredictable, and they are so steamy they'll leave you with a third degree burn....the good kind of burn.

When I had the opportunity to interview Tressie I jumped right on it.

Pandora- Hey Tressie! Tell me how you got started writing romance novels?
Tressie-I read romance books as a young teen every single day, so it was in me, but I never tried writing it. I wrote other things until I was in my mid-thirties. I was sitting at my desk, hating my job, and thought , why don't I get back into writing, to find some satisfaction. I came across a small press with a submissions page and thought, I can probably do that. I did, and they accepted my work. I was shocked, believe me. Lol.

Pandora - Who is your favorite author?
Tressie - My favorite author is Juliett Blackwell. I love her Witchcraft Mystery series.

Pandora-How do you develop the ideas for your books?
Tressie - Sometimes I get new ideas and new twists when I think of what's already been done. Sometimes I will form an idea from listening to friends and family or watching TV. I may see a man get on a bus or plane and think what would happen if he was a shifter? What kind would he be? What's his life like? Who does he know? Is he married? Kids? In love? And the ideas start flowing. Even as I write this, I've just stirred up new ideas. I need to ask myself these questions all the time!

Pandora - When you sit down to write, what are your "must haves"?
Tressie - Quiet! I can't write with noise. It slows me down a lot. Every once and a while, I can listen to music while writing a scene, but I don't need music to set my mood because I'm either finished with a particular scene before the song is over, or I'm not done. I don't want to stop my flow to change a song because it's too upbeat when I need to be slow and easy. Another thing I need is discipline. Too many days, I spend way too much time surfing the Net or on Facebook reading other people's posts when I should be writing. It's not easy. This is a serious job. I love it, but it's still work. The most important thing I need is my notes. I'm a plotter through and through. If I don't plot, I suffer as I write, and it should be more fun than that.

Pandora - Which one of your books in your favorite and why?
Tressie - Since I think we're focusing on shifter here, I will tell you the favorite of my shifter books. Rather, my favorite shifter series is the Haven Series. That series includes Tiger Bound, Tiger Born, and Tiger Betrayed. One of the aspects of shifters I forgot to mention is that they are fated mates usually, and they love with a white-hot intensity. In this series, I have Heath and Deja, a couple who go through hell to be together, and we believe they are fated mates as shifters, but there're a lot of twists and turns to that. Heath is sexy, he's angry and protective of Deja to the point of killing the enemy. But he also hurts her deeper than she can ever imagine. This series is an adventure, a romance, a mystery, a thriller. I love it so much and think everyone should read it! Haha.

Pandora - Do you have any input on your cover art? And how do they find the hotties for the covers?
Tressie - Yes, for most of my covers I have input over what I want. Sometimes, I tell the cover artist what I want, and it's a battle like they have their own vision. At that time, I give in and hope for the best. Haha. The cover artists use stock photos that are available to everyone in the industry and others.

Pandora - Which one of your books or series would you like to see made into a film?
Tressie - Well, actually I already have one book being made into a movie right now. It's a long process, but exciting too. Something Unexpected, a contemporary book I wrote, is being made into a movie. Last year when this idea for a movie first came up, I did want to choose one of my shifter stories, but the project is super low budget and independent, so I doubt the effects would impress like True Blood. Maybe one day I'll get a movie from a shifter book, and it would definitely be from the Haven series.

Pandora - There's been a huge surge in Shifter Romance. Why do you think people are so attracted to this genre?
Tressie - I love shifter romance. I think people are attracted to it because it's out of the norm. A lot of people read to get away from the boring routine life can become sometimes. We've all been reading contemporary forever. We've seen it all. But then you throw in a sexy man who can turn into a dangerous animal, it gets spicy again. Your heart pounds, you start having new experiences. So much can go wrong--and right! Plus, shifter characters can break the rules, get angrier (kill people) and get away with it. What's not to love?

Pandora - What do you think about all of the paranormal romance based shows on television? i.e. The Vampire Diaries, Bitten, Lost Girl, True Blood (even though they're going into their last season)
Tressie - I don't watch a lot of regular TV, but I do watch True Blood. I used to watch Lost Girl. OMG, Dyson, played by Canadian actor Kris Holden-Ried, is super-hot as werewolf. That's how they should be, not like weak lame werewolves in True Blood. (This is for you Kris Holden-Reid! Tressie thinks you're the perfect wolf shifter! We knew that though didn't we)  I think these types of shows are exciting, to see with real people what I've been reading and writing in books. However, I think words and my imagination can take me a lot farther. Don't get me wrong. I love what they are able to do with TV and effects.

This is Tressie with KHR at a Con. BTW Tressie said that KHR was extremely sweet and even sexier in person!

Kris Holden-Ried as Dyson on Lost Girl

Pandora - If you were stranded on an island with a sexy hot shifter, what kind of shifter would it be?
Tressie - Definitely a wolf shifter. No matter how many types of shifters are written in romance, I think the one that stands out the strongest and the most alpha is the wolf. He's sexy, and when he's in a pack, he knows how to take charge. When he's alone, he's still hot! How can you beat that? If I were stranded, my wolf shifter guy would take care of me--in every way I needed him to. ;)

Pandora - What is the title of the last book that you read?
Tressie - The book I'm currently reading is called An Appointment With Murder. I thought I'd give the author a try. As you can see, I love reading mystery when I'm not writing romance. :)

Pandora - What is the last song that played on your favorite listening device?
Tressie - I have a small collection of songs I listen to on YouTube. Sometimes I listen to the radio in the car, but not often because I can't stand commercials and people talking. Lol. So the last song I came across on YouTube was an old one, and I saved it! With Arms Wide Open by Creed. Love it!

Pandora - Is there a genre of books that you would like to write that you haven't already written?
Tressie - Yes, as seen above, I love mystery. If I could make it in writing mystery, I would do it. Love it, and sometimes I want a break from all the sex I write. Lol. Of course, because of my love of mystery, I will write the unexpected in my romance books, twists and turns to catch the reader unaware.

Pandora -Tell us about your fans
Tressie - My fans are awesome. They are mind-boggling. Lol. I mean I get that when I see a famous person I have admired, I go a little gaga. But I'm me. I have had fan boys and fan girls get excited over me and my books. They want autographs and pictures with me. It thrills and confuses me. Lol. I love it. I always think how can I please my readers and give them more of what they want. I love my readers very much and thank them from the bottom of my heart.

That reminds me of a little tidbit I will share with you. I am writing a series of a group of three brothers and one cousin who are billionaires because of starting a stock-photo website. This is based on a real life thirty-something billionaire who did just that. My new series, if you're interested is called The Marquette Family. The first book, Creed, will be out in September, 2014.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to share with your readers, LaTanya. I had fun!

If you want to find out more about Tressie Lockwood, see the links below


Javelin Graham said...

I love Tressie Lockwood!!! The first book that I read of her's was a paperback called "Bear". It was a twofer which included "Stripped Bear" and "Bear Necessities" all in one. I so agree with you. After reading this I was hooked and have been a fan ever since. I'm glad that she's doing well in this industry. I will always support her work.

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