Meet Lisa Carlisle, whose book Fiery Nights,  debuted this week.

I know everyone asks this but why did you decide to write romance?

It wasn’t really a decision, just something I’d always done for fun. In high school and college, I’d write these silly adventures where my friends and I would get the guys we wanted in the end.

However, publishing romances took much longer. I’d written non-fiction for ten years, dabbled in romance, and had been struggling with a mystery. I took a break to write a novella for fun, one that I wanted to read—with romance, action, a sexy setting, hot love scenes, and so on. So I let go of my inhibitions of worrying what others would think and just ran with it. 

What was the hardest thing you had to do when you started?

Finishing. I say that because I started several romances over the last decade that I didn’t finish. However, last National Novel Writing Month (November 2011), I decided to spend the month finishing stories I’d started rather than starting a new novel. Smoldering Nights was one of the stories so it paid off.

What was the easiest thing?

Once I let go of my inhibitions and wrote stories I wanted to read, I loosened up and had fun with writing the stories. My characters aren’t flawless, they make mistakes and say the wrong things, and that’s what makes them real to me.

How long did it take you to finish your first manuscript and where did the idea come from?

Hmm, I started Smoldering Nights one summer, but didn’t finish it until NaNoWriMo in November. I’ve loved vampire stories since I was a kid. I’ve heard the hoopla time and time again how vampire stories are dead, zombies are next and so on, but I didn’t care. I’d heard that years ago as well and even spent one semester in college writing about vampires in literature. I still love vampires stories as well as other paranormal characters like shapeshifters and love writing about them. There’s something about them that’s so accessible and relatable, even though they’re supposed to be so very different from us.

Tell me about your first contract?

One I finished Smoldering Nights, I sent it off to Ellora’s Cave and figured I’d never hear back. I’d been a writer long enough to become accustomed to the void or faceless rejections. Imagine my surprise when I heard from the publisher. I read the email on my smart phone and was soooo excited I threw the phone into the air. The phone then crashed to the floor! Woops.

Do you base any of your stories on real people or places or events?

Not really. I might pick up some characteristics of people I know or myself, but the characters take on their own lives. And there are some experiences that might make their way into my novels. For instance, years ago I went out dancing with friends and wore a sexy dress to the club. I recognized someone I saw every day at the gym there and felt very awkward. So I experienced the moment Nike feels when she runs into Michel wearing a hot outfit, however my moment was not a romantic encounter.

What gets you in the mood to write?

If I wait for inspiration, I’d find way too many reasons to procrastinate. But I do like to put on music or go to a cafe.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years?

Writing, writing, writing. I’ve wanted to write since the sixth grade. As long as I can write, I’m happy.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?

There’s nothing like a reader telling you how much they liked your book. When someone tells me they didn’t get any sleep last night because they had to find out what happened next, I feel very happy to be the cause of their sleepless night. 😉 And when they tell you they enjoyed it so much they reread it, well, nothing tops that.

Okay, quick fun questions:

Favorite ice cream

Chocolate with chunks of chocolate and nuts

Favorite music

80s rock

Favorite movie

For romance, you can’t go wrong with Hugh Grant or Colin Firth.

Favorite time to write

Evenings with a glass of Amaretto

If you could be stranded with a movie or television star who would you pick?

Antonio Banderas or Brad Pitt.

If someone played you in a movie who would it be and why?

Someone very petite since I’m barely five feet tall. 😉

Fiery Nights

He may own a Goth nightclub, but Tristan Stone avoids people—the darkness that surrounds them drains him. When he sees Maya for the first time, alone on the dance floor, a light surrounds her. He must discover who she is and what gives her power. He wants her, must have her.

Maya sees a man with haunting eyes watching her from the back of the club. She feels their connection, but thinks it’s merely physical attraction. Their passion ignites, overpowering them, and they must work together to understand their connection. The heat of their passion could send their world up in flames.

Read More or Buy Now at Ellora’s Cave:

Lisa Carlisle
Author of the Underground Encounters series

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