Thanks for being here Larissa. It’s a pleasure.
Thank you for having me!
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
Well, I’m a Coast Guard spouse, so life is always changing. We move approximately every two years, so we don’t really get comfortable anywhere. In fact, we rarely unpack all our boxes. We do keep some consistency everywhere we go – we like to bowl, camp, and bike. I read a lot, and I’m an insane animal lover. I’ll rescue anything and spend countless hours nursing it back to health, from baby mice to owls.
Currently, I live in Virginia, but we’re getting ready to move to Wisconsin this summer!
#2- You write in contemporary romance as Sydney Croft and paranormal romance as Larissa Ione. What prompted you to write in two different genres and what challenges have you faced in doing so?
Well, I like writing in different genres, mainly because it helps keep things fresh. The Croft books are contemporary, erotic, and very science fiction, while the Demonica books are dark fantasy. I can be really free and over the top with the Croft books, and then indulge my love of worldbuilding and detail in the Demonica books.
The challenges include mainly juggling deadlines, because it seems like there’s always a clash with revisions, copyedits, galleys, etc. Plus, with the Sydney books, I’m working around Stephanie’s (Tyler) schedule too. It can get hairy!
#3- As you know, I reviewed your title Desire Unchained for Bookpleasures and love it. But how do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
I don’t read them. Well, I try not to, but sometimes one gets thrown at you and you can’t avoid it. I know that no one will like every book, but reading negative reviews can really throw me. I tend to be sensitive to negativity in every aspect of my life – not just reviews. I realize that makes me sound a bit Pollyanna-ish, but I just can’t take negative people, negative TV, etc. There are even websites that are just so infused with negative energy that I hate to visit them. Yeah, I sound a little crazy, but I believe in the power of positive thinking and positive energy to keep you happy and healthy – and I want to be both! *g*
#4- You read Stephen King and Dean Koontz growing up, and then jumped into romance to write. I find the story on why you did very interesting. Could you share it with the readers?
Well, I fell in romance when a friend of mine forced me to read one. See, I’d made fun of her for reading it (I’m ashamed of myself now,) so we made a deal: she had to watch an episode of Star Trek (I’m a big Trekkie!) and I had to read a romance. Well…she became a Trekkie, and I fell in love with romance.
But when I started writing it (before that, I was writing horror and fantasy,) I just couldn’t find the right genre for me. I wrote three and a half historical romances. A bunch of contemporary romances, three of which have been published. But I still didn’t feel like I was where I needed to be. And then I discovered paranormal romance, and THAT was when it all clicked. Suddenly, I knew I could combine my love of horror and the paranormal with romance. Talk about a dream come true!
#5- Paranormal romance is such a hot genre right now, and I must admit, for me, I find it difficult to write. Where do you get your fresh ideas from and yet still make it seem realistic?
The ideas generally come from a spark of something from TV or the news or real life…and then I can kind of do the “meets” thing. Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets ER (the Demonica series), or erotica meets the X-Men (Sydney Croft ACRO series). I think it’s fun to take two very different concepts and see if they can blend together somehow.
As far as realism…well, I guess that depends on how over the top you want to go. For example, my Sydney Croft series (written with partner Stephanie Tyler,) are very over the top, with a touch of camp. They are written to be fun and entertaining, but the emotions are real, and I think that’s important. The characters might be extreme, but what they feel – happiness, pain, anger – is something the reader can relate to.
With the Demonica series, I kind of have a different approach. Sure, it’s pure fantasy…demon hospitals, sexy incubi, paranormal military units…but I’ve tried to make it as real as possible by making the characters real – they do the same thing people in the real world do. They make fun of their world, they love, they hate, they’re aware of world events. The more you can engage the reader in their world through the fictional world, the more real it will seem.
That’s my theory, anyway. *g*
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could
you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
My next releases are Passion Unleashed (March 31), which is book 3 in the Demonica series, and tortured bad boy, Wraith’s, story – full of action, battles, and steamy romance. The book will also include special extras about the world, characters, and demons, plus, a short story.
Then, a month later, on May 1, Tempting The Fire releases, which is a Sydney Croft title – Trance’s story…erotic, with our first shapeshifter heroine. You can check both out at www.LarissaIone.com or visit Sydney at www.SydneyCroft.com
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Not that I can think of! Oh, except maybe that if someone hasn’t yet read one of the Demonica books and wants to give it a try, the first one is available right now at most online ebook stores for only $1! That includes Kindle format. Perfect time to give it a go! Thanks so much for having me!