Recently, I had the opportunity to sit with Lanna Kaye--okay, so I sat at my computer and she at hers...semantics!--an as-of-yet-unpublished-author. Between eating the hell out of my pantry (hearing her talk about Cajun food had me killing some Chex Mix), laughing at her wit and drooling over her heroes, I had a great time! Join me in welcoming Lanna Kaye and her Djinn Seelers!
Naima Simone: Hi, Lanna! I figured I’d start out all nice and polite like Paula Zahn before going all Geraldo Rivera on you. Sooo, tell us a little about yourself. Your name. Short bio. How long you’ve been writing. What do you write. Where do you have the bones hidden…you know that kind of stuff.
Lanna Kaye: Hi Naima! Thanks so much for starting on this new venture of putting us un-pubs in the limelight. And can I tell you the honor I feel that you’ve chosen ME as your first lab rat—um, I mean writer! Yes, writer. Alright, for the Paula Zahn answers:
My name is Lanna Kaye and I’m Cajun to the core. By that, I mean I know a thing or two about cooking (that’s a polite way of saying I’m an awesome cook), love crawfish and gumbo, and am close to my extended family four times removed. As a responsible Cajun, though, I have to put out there that no, we Cajuns do not have pet alligators nor do we ride a pirogue to school, work, etc. We have lovely tongue-twister names like Thibodeaux, Guidry, Hebert, and so on, and people with hearts bigger than our neighboring state of Texas.
I’ve been writing for about seven years now, but only in the past 5 or 6 months have I been seriously marketing myself. I would never lie and say I started writing stories before I was old enough to even hold a pencil but I have been devouring full-length novels since I was around nine or so. My first faves were Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, The Babysitters Club, and the like. We lived out in the middle of nowhere so when the Bookmobile came our way my sisters and I were more ecstatic than if the ice cream truck had pulled onto our road. If I close my eyes, I can still picture the layout of that truck and smell that addicting smell book lovers worldwide know. Ahh….
My first novel (and I would never let that out of my computer in the state it’s in—can we say ‘rewrite’??) was a contemporary romance, but after I fell in love with A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux, paranormal writing snapped me up faster than one of the aforementioned alligators can catch a neutra rat. Add to that my discovery of Karen Marie Moning and my imagination exploded into the paranormal realm. So with all that said, my current work is a paranormal romance series.
(Now if I could only shove all these bones around to give you more info…!)
I’m a wife. A mom. A non-stop doer of any task that pops up and presents itself to be tackled. I’m a closet over-achiever.
NS: I loved the Babysitter’s Club! Man, that brings back memories! Okay, I’m back from down Memory Lane. LOL! Like many authors, you’re a full-time wife, mother and employee…where do you carve out the time to write? Are you disciplined and set aside a certain amount of time to write or do you just take advantage of the time you find available? By the way, don’t mind this box of rotten tomatoes I have next to me if you dare to say disciplined…
LK: Well, yes, I am all those things! When I was finishing The Onyx Seeler, I was at another full-time job and was pregnant with my now two-year-old and that made it tough to find time for writing. I’ve often joked that with four kids, ages nine and under (and all their extra-curricular activities), singing at church, working, being the campus mom at my kids’ school (I couldn’t settle for being a room mom, but apparently had to take on the whole school), I have more than a plateful…I have a buffet!
(Please refer to the over-achiever comment earlier. J)
I might be adept at dodging those tomatoes, so bring ‘em on! Strange, but I do better with a full ‘To Do’ list. Which I’ve had to use to get some writing time in. Usually it’s after the kids go to bed and I can spare a couple of hours to type away.
NS: What keeps you writing? What keeps you motivated and running after getting published?
LK: What a great question. I’ve never specifically thought of the why, but an immediate answer comes to me—I love my characters. Really love them. I love taking traits, both positive and negative, from my ideal person, from real people and from myself. Too, when I have readers who experience the same reactions I do with a particularly emotional scene, it makes me want to share it with as many people as I can. Spread the wealth, so to speak! I love a happily ever after, especially if the road to that storybook moment was pitted with misery and self-sacrifice. The bigger the heartbreak, the more you cheer, cry and get giddy when they get their happiness in the end.
NS: Now you know I have to ask the hard-nose questions because I’m no panty-waist interviewer…Hugh Jackman’s Van Helsing or Gerard Butler’s Leonidas?
LK: I wouldn’t expect anything different from you, Naima. *grin* I’m going to one million percent say anything with Gerard Butler in it. Seriously. That man is delish.
NS: Zsadist or Acheron?
LK: Oooh….toughie. Do I go for the tortured—no, never mind. I don’t have to really think about it after all. Zsadist. Definitely. It’s that almost little boy bravado that did it for me with him. So sure that he doesn’t have to have anyone, but yet, he is finally in awe that someone deems him worthy to love. And that love note at the end of his book??!! Sheesh! J.R. Ward is an emotional maestro!!!
NS: Stilettos or wedges?
LK: Stilettos!!!!! All 150 pair of the ones I own are testament to this answer. I’m pretty sure I’ve never owned a pair of wedges.
NS: Who is your favorite author?
LK: Man, this is a bigger toughie than the Zsadist question. Can’t I have two? Please? Okay, thanks. My first is Karen Marie Moning simply because she’s a genius. Her characters leap off the pages. I’ve never read a deeper POV than hers. The emotion she puts out makes me think I’m reading someone’s journal, it’s so real!
Second would be J.R. Ward and that’s because of her unique style and the pure sexual tension. I get anxious just reading her books, for crying out loud! And by anxious I totally mean titillated.
NS: Who is your favorite e-published author? And don’t say me, *rolling eyes* it could just get really embarrassing for both of us…*ahem*
LK: Dang, thanks for bursting my bubble, Naima. NOW who am I going to choose?? Shoot. Okay, well, if I have to pick someone else, I’d have to say by default, it would be Lora Leigh’s e-published works. Namely her Breed series, since hers are the most of any e-published author I’ve read.
NS: Who has influenced your writing the most—and again *sigh* refer to #6…sheesh…
LK: You’re killing me with all this answer limitation stuff. J This might be an unexpected answer, but my sister has been my biggest influence. She doesn’t write, but she’s as avid of a reader as I am, and when I first dipped my toe into the waters of Lake Writer, she was the only person I shared my new venture with. She was then, and still is now, my biggest encourager. (Okay, now I have to go find some Kleenex!)
NS: Okay, on to the nitty-gritty, give us all the dirty details on your current work in process…the dirtier the better…hee-hee!
LK: Dirty you say?? I could talk your ear off about my sexy, walking-wet-dream men, but I’ll try to stick to just one. Manick is the hero of my first book, The Onyx Seeler. He’s a Djinn prince who is released early from a 500 year sentence to find some half-djini, half-human beings and save them from the nasty, evil wiles of an enemy tribe of the Djinn. As luck would have it, he rescues a Demijin who he’s had wicked, carnal dreams of for the past, oh, 200 years or so—but has never met.
He’s big, he’s kick-ass, he’s royalty. Oh yeah. And he’s blue. As Alaiya, his heroine describes him:
The man, if that’s what she could even call him, was blue. Just all-over freaking blue with a bronze luster that wasn’t at all unappealing. And huge. Not just body-builder huge, but the kind of huge that made those muscle-bound, gym junkies look like ten year old boys. Slacks and a buttoned down shirt, clothes better suited for a grandfather, covered his body. The old man clothes did absolutely nothing to detract from his sex appeal.
She skimmed over his face again. A face surrounded by the thickest, most luxurious black hair that ever existed. His lips accomplished the amazing feat of looking hard and deliciously soft at the same time, and the set of his jaw promised determination in the ‘oh where it counted’ department.
NS: *sigh* I just saw Avatar and I have a thing for blue people now. Can we get an excerpt?
LK: I’d love to give you an excerpt! And since I didn’t get down and dirty with the previous question, I’ll dish it here if that’s okay with you. Which I’m sure it is. Heehee…
Quick setup—this scene takes place in a Las Vegas nightclub where Manick finds Alaiya after instructing her to stay home and wait for him to come back and explain things to her. Her thinking about being ordered to stay anywhere? “Yeah right.”
The list of why he shouldn’t be doing this was long. He’d just as soon burn the damned paper for all the good telling himself that did.
Because he was already erupting in flames. Might as well take the list with him.
She was a Demijin; his mission.
Yes, she was the woman of his fantasies, and yes, arousal bit him in the balls with the mere thought of her. But he still needed to maintain control. Or so he’d been beating into his mind all day. For distraction in the form of a blonde goddess would most assuredly keep him from completing his duty.
Walking into this club tonight had decimated all his good intentions.
Manick had immediately spotted her, even in the midst of this ridiculously large crowd. And fuck him, he’d always been a sucker for the idea of a woman in leather.
Alaiya wore it from head to delectable little toe.
Stock still, he’d devoured her with his eyes. He’d been overcome with a lust so concentrated and extreme it had nearly overshadowed his good sense. ‘Cause he’d almost frozen time for every person in this place to keep all the jackasses from looking at her.
Either that, or cause a flood to come crashing through, sweeping them all away, then snatch her out of here and show her in countless ways what he could do with all that slick leather.
She looked gorgeous, like sin waiting to happen. No way in hell would he let it happen on anyone but him.
He’d done neither of the things he’d itched to do. Instead, he’d settled for smoking across the room to materialize right behind her. To shield her from the eyes of every fuckhead there.
The up-close view had nearly been his undoing.
He’d had to clench his hands at his sides to keep from running them over her perfect ass. Showcased in that tight leather, nothing had ever looked sweeter. He’d salivated. Gotten harder than steel. Had really considered dropping to his knees to pay homage to its beauty.
His dream vision stared up at him now with a dare in her eyes he couldn’t back down from. She’d just purred, for chrissakes. That tiny sound licked at his balls.
Manick clung to one pathetic little thread of restraint. Clung to it for dear life. It was unraveling fast and he didn’t know how to stop it. Alaiya bit the corner of her smiling bottom lip and kicked up one sexy eyebrow. She might as well have whipped out a knife and sliced the damn thread.
He wrapped one hand around the nape of her neck, the other landed on her ass; his mouth simply took. Her juicy lips parted on a gasp and he claimed. Took what she offered and then some. Her moan singed his tongue and he soothed it by twining it with hers.
Alaiya’s kiss was sex. Wet and scorching and the ignition to his flame. He burned hotter, brighter, raged to get even closer to her.
He splayed his fingers on her butt and squeezed, his middle finger fitting into the groove of her cheeks. He rumbled an approval. Then she lit up his world when she flexed those muscles and arched into him.
Manick thrust his tongue deeper into her mouth. He must have shot to heaven because stars clouded his vision. Her hands grabbed his hair and yanked. Not to push him away but to get him closer. Fu-uuck.
The taste of her fruity drink filled his mouth along with her own succulent flavor. She would taste that good everywhere. He knew it and suddenly had a single goal in life: To find out ASAP how right he was. To know first-hand how the wetness between her thighs would coat his tongue. Like melted sugar.
They’d somehow moved the foot needed to bring them to the wall behind her. His knuckles brushed the carpeted surface when he slid his hand down her back. Manick needed to get both his hands on the splendid flesh in leather.
Coming up for air, he locked gazes with the woman in his arms. She dropped back the couple of inches to lean against the wall, her chest rising and falling in a rapid staccato. With his hands on her rounded bottom, he pulled her forward into him. Hard against soft. They both made strangled noises.
This image of her, leaning back, nipples puckered against her red leather top with his cock nestled in the luscious juncture of her thighs would stay with him forever. He had no doubt.
Moisture glistened on her throat. One more flavor of her for him to experience. He slowly lowered his head and flicked his tongue over her dewy skin. Salty and sweet. Arousal and innocence. His fingers tightened on her ass and he licked clean up her neck, his tongue curling in as it popped off the curve of her chin.
“Good God,” Alaiya said. “You are so wicked.” Her dazed expression changed to one of delight. “Kiss me again.” She touched her mouth with her hand and added, “Here again.” Her finger traced that full bottom lip and Manick’s gaze snagged on the ring gracing one elegant finger.
He did a double take.
“Angel,” he croaked out. “Where did you get that?”
Confusion colored her face. “What?” She looked down at her chest. “My top? Um, don’t know why you care where I shop, Big Blue, but—”
“No.” He shook his head, and the movement made him dizzy. He blinked. The blood draining from his brain short-circuited his thought process. “Not that.” He picked up the hand she’d dropped to her side and held it up. “This. This ring. Where did you get this ring, Alaiya?”
She swallowed hard and her lips parted the slightest bit. “Why do you want to know? What’s so special about this ring?” Her eyes widened to mini saucers in her face. “I mean, it’s nothing.” She shrugged it away.
She had no way of knowing precisely what that little nothing of a ring meant.
Gulping down the sudden lump in his throat, Manick pulled in a shaky breath.
He was ninety-nine percent certain of the significance of that ring.
“I want to know,” he said, staring into her eyes, “because,” Manick opened the neck of his shirt and slapped her hand to his chest, palm against skin, right next to his stone, “this nothing of a ring means one thing, and one thing only, angel.”
Lae broke eye contact with him and looked at his chest. Her eyes darted back and forth between his onyx stone and her onyx ring. And again. The she raised her eyes to his. A single question blazed in their depths. He smiled.
“It means you’re mine.”
NS: I’s in love!! That’s hawt, Lanna! Hey when—notice I said when—you get “the call” or “email” as it may be, will you come back and do a really loud, piercing girly cyber scream with me?
LK: Without a doubt!! In the meantime, if anyone is interested in checking out my blog and the excerpts I will regularly post, click here. I also have a character bio page in progress so check back regularly for updates on the Marid djinis who are turning their women’s worlds inside out and every which way. I’d love to see hear from you!
NS: Thanks for spending time with me, Lanna! Can’t wait to see your name on the front of that cover!
LK: Thanks for having me! I had so much fun talking with you, Naima. Next time we’ll have to talk about Rome. I can’t get enough of him and I know he pushes all your twangy buttons. Zing!!!!