Alexis: Hi Josee. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. Wow, you've had 8 books published in the last two years! Are you a very disciplined writer or do you write nonstop when the muse takes you?
Josee: I’m a little bit of both – when I have a deadline I can (and notice I emphasize the can) be very disciplined but I actually never write non-stop and I try not to wait for the muse. I’m lucky that when I’m about two-thirds or three-quarters finished a book, the first line or title of the next one simply appears in my head. That’s the muse for me – that moment when I know the beginning of the next book. But with deadlines to meet, you really can’t wait for the muse. As for writing non-stop, when I first started writing, I was working full-time and going to university full-time so I wrote in half hour blocks. I left for work 30 minutes early and wrote in a coffee shop; at lunch I wrote for another 30 minutes; after work I either stayed at work or went to a coffee shop and wrote for another 30 minutes. Because of that, I still tend to write in half hour blocks – and I use a kitchen timer. I often stop in the middle of a sentence!
Alexis: What a unique writing habit, 30 minute blocks. I don’t think I could stop in the middle of a sentence. That is discipline!
Your newest release is What’s New, Pussycat? which I admit is one of my favorite old Tom Jones’ songs :-) Can you tell us a little about it?
Josee: It’s one of my favorite Tom Jones’ songs as well and of course, every single time I read the title I’m singing that song. So I’ve been singing it a whole lot in the last while. This book is about one of my favorite fantasies – the RenoGuy. I think I must watch a little too much Home and Garden TV!
Theo the RenoGuy has been renovating the house next door to Versa for most of the summer but now the work was almost done. Versa lives next door and she’s been watching him – and drooling over him – the whole time he’s been there. She doesn’t see as much of him now that he’s doing the finishing inside and she misses his great smile and the wave he sends when he sees her on the back porch. She misses watching him turn on the hose, take off his shirt and spray himself down, the cold water running down his chest. God, she wanted to get her hands on that body in the worst way. But she’d spent the past two years in a relationship that had bored her to tears and the previous two getting out of a miserable marriage. Theo has plans for the girl next door. In one more week the renovation would be done and he’ll move on to another project. He’d spent all summer dreaming about her creamy skin and voluptuous body. He’d spent all summer with a hard on. Time to make his move.
Alexis: Okay, I’m drooling over Theo already :-) Where did you get the idea for this story?
Josee: It started, as my stories often do, with a song title. I’m not sure why that is but I heard What’s New, Pussycat? on the radio, started singing it and combined it with all those hot shirtless RenoGuys on TV. What can I say? They’re gorgeous!
Alexis: Yes, and they make for some great inspiration! What are your favorite character traits of Theo and Versa?
Josee: I especially like Versa’s willingness to open herself up to the possibility of another relationship after she’d been in two such bad relationships before this summer. I like the courage it took her to wander over to RenoGuy and take a chance. Theo? He’s patient and he’s smart. He spends all summer singing What’s New, Pussycat? to her – tempting her, serenading her, showing off for her. He doesn’t push, he just waits her out.
Alexis: What a nice guy. He wouldn’t have to wait long if it was me. ;-) Why did you choose to write erotic romance as opposed to another sub-genre?
Josee: Actually, I write a whole bunch of genres (women’s fiction, paranormal romance, historical fiction amongst others) but I chose to write erotic romance (or erotica) because I love the sensuality of it. I’m always conscious of using all five sentences in my writing and so erotica or erotic romance made a lot of sense for me because sex is about way more than sight.
Alexis: I’ll second that! Now, you also write as Kate Austin. How are the stories you write under that name different?
Josee: The stories I write as Kate Austin tend to be more what I like to call coming of age stories. I think women tend to come of age twice – once in their teens or early twenties and again, and more importantly, in their forties or fifties or sixties. That second coming of age is when women really come into their own – she becomes the woman she was always made to be. So I love to write about the transition.
Alexis: Those sound fascinating. Hmm, maybe I’m showing my age here. What can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or works in progress?
Josee: I’m so glad you asked me this because I’ve got this exciting project coming in August – a project that makes me feel like Dickens. I’m writing a serial – ten linked stories being released every second Friday between the middle of August and the middle of December. The overall series is called Part Time Lovers and it’s about friends – Jules and Mercy – who basically grew up together. Jules and Mercy are part-time lovers and full-time business partners. Their website– Part Time Lovers – isn’t meant to be the equivalent of all those relationship websites, it’s really all about finding the right person (or persons) for right now. It’s a whole lot of fun to write because I can do ten different types of relationships.
Alexis: Wow, that is exciting! I haven’t heard of a serial romance before. Ten relationships should be fun and your fans will be so happy :-)
Thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We really enjoyed learning more about you and your work.
Josee: Thanks so much, Alexis, for having me. I love writing about writing and thinking about writing, so doing this interview allows me to do one of the things I love.
Alexis: For a chance to win Josee’s Working It be sure to leave a comment for her. Winner will be announced on Wednesday. Check the side column for your name.
To learn more about Josee and her books, go to http://www.joseerenard.com/