Everyone please welcome Lori Dillion to JBR.
We are having a give away going on for November. What item are you giving away? (Anyone can win the item by going to the rafflecopter on the right hand side of the pg.)
I’ll be giving away a $5 gift card from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. That way, the winner can buy one of my books or use it to support another indie author by buying one of theirs. I’m not selfish. *G*
First why don't you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a long lost Moldavian princess kidnapped as a child. I was rescued by my werewolf mate, who whisked me off to the wilds of Alaska were we prospect for gold by day and race across the tundra, howling at the moon by night. Just kidding. Actually, I spend my days lounging by the pool of my Malibu mansion, dictating novels to my assistant Stefan while Paolo the cabana boy feeds me peeled grapes and bonbons. Still don’t believe me? Okay, I’m a 40-something wife and mom of two kids who spends her weekdays wrangling words on the page and her weekends chauffeuring said kids around to various activities and sporting events. Romantic, isn’t it?
Fire of the Dragon. It’s the first book in my Bestiary Series. For those who don’t
know, a bestiary is an illuminated medieval manuscript of beasts. Sort of like an illustrated encyclopedia of animals. Some are real…and some not so much. My series focuses on the not so much creatures.
What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance, sex, blood and guts?
All of the above? Seriously, DRAGON is not your typical medieval time-travel. There
are no castles, no fancy gowns, and no grand pageantry held in a great hall. Instead, it deals with the grittier side of medieval life: ignorant peasants, the constant dangers of traveling across a violent countryside, archaic superstitions, and an utter lack of modern plumbing and feminine hygiene products. Things a twenty-first century woman is totally unprepared to deal with. Oh, and there’s also dragons. *G*
Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?
Roderick. He’s a dashing dragonslayer who hooks up with Jill and Baelin along the
way. He goes from enemy to friend to enemy and friend again in the course of the book. At first, he was an outrageous flirt, constantly trying to steal Jill away from Baelin. But then he showed a sensitive, honorable side and I fell in love with him. I’ve got a great heroine in store for him in the next book in the series (TREASURE OF THE GRYPHON). She’s going to have his handsome butt running in circles.
How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Isylte, the Dark Witch. I struggled making her a believable villain. I didn’t want to make her pure evil, but I also didn’t want her to come across as cartoonish or 2-dimensional. Once I channeled a certain real life self-centered socialite, she became easier to deal with. I’m not sure she’ll ever be redeemable and get her own story, but I hope to develop her more as the series goes on.
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
As barbaric as it seems, the Trial by Iron that Jill goes through was actually used as a method to determine ones innocence or guilt. The ‘lucky’ ones who didn’t die from infection were proven innocent, although likely maimed for life.
Has there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out with your stories?
I’d have to say the early romances by Pamela Morsi and Jill Barnett influenced what I write now. At first, I was reading a lot of the old bodice rippers from the 80s. But when I discovered books like SIMPLE JESS and BEWITCHING, I realized that romances could be humorous, too.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Tell their friends! Tell their family! A large billboard in Times Square wouldn’t hurt, either. *G* No, seriously, word of mouth and on-line reviews are an author’s best friend. It not only lets me know how readers feel about my work and that I don’t totally suck as a writer, but it also reassures readers when trying out a new-to-them author.
Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Now is the best time to be a writer. With self-publishing no longer having the stigma it once had, any writer with talent and determination can see their dreams come true. I’m one of those writers whose work never quite fit into the New York box. It’s not cookie cutter enough for the powers-that-be in the marketing department, so indie publishing is the perfect fit for me. I’m not getting rich off my books (yet!) but my readership is growing steadily day by day. One caveat: if you do decide to go the self- publishing route, have your work professionally edited. No matter how great we think our masterpiece is, it can always use a set of fresh eyes. I always have at least two editors look over my books before I hit that publish button.
Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
Oh, I love Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Lexi George, and Darinda Jones. If it’s humorous (even if it’s dark), and paranormal, I love it.
Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?
Hmm, I was either in middle school or high school. It was a story about a school bus swept over the mountainside by an avalanche, and how the kids who survived made it out alive. I worked on it every night, writing it out by hand in a spiral notebook I kept under my bed. No paranormal elements in that one, but I do believe there was a love triangle involved. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still packed away in a box somewhere in my mom’s house.
Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
The strangest places. I got the idea for my first book, OUT OF THE ASHES, while looking through a National Geographic magazine. I can still remember when the idea for DRAGON popped into my head. My daughter was getting ready to turn six, and she was sick and tired of all the princess parties her friends were having. Instead, she decided she wanted to have a dragon birthday party. So after making a pin the flame on the dragon poster, a 3D dragon cake, a dragon cave complete with dragon treasure, and a dozen dragon sock puppets…needless to say, I was in dragon overload. So there I was, washing dishes, when the idea of a dragonslaying knight cursed to be a dragon came to me. Then I wondered what would happen if the sacrificial maiden offered to the dragon was a woman from the 21st finally got Baelin and Jill’s story told.
Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share?
Before trying my hand at writing, I was a graphic designer. As a self-published author, I love having total control over what my covers will look like. What I envision in my head is pretty much what you see on my covers.
Favorite places to travel or visit?
We did an RV trip through Yellowstone National Park a few years ago with my parents. My daughter wanted to see it before the supervolcano erupts and it’s blown off the face of the earth. Gee, sounds like she has a budding writer’s imagination, doesn’t it? Anyway, it was the trip of a lifetime and I’m so glad we did it. We lost my dad two years later and it will be a memory my kids
will have of him for the rest of their lives.
And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:( Include links to were we can find your work)
Her back pressed against the rough wooden stake, Jill jerked at the ropes that bound her hands, hoping she could wiggle
them free. But as the tender skin of her wrists burned in protest, she conceded that escape that way was not going to be possible. Not if she wanted to keep her hands attached to her arms, that is.
How could this be happening to her?
"I'm not the crazy one around here!" she shouted. "This is the twenty-first century, people, not the Middle Ages. It's against
the law to make human sacrifices and there are No...Such... Things...As...Dragons!"
Jill banged her head against the stake. Why was she yelling? There was no one around to hear her. After a bone-jarring
ride out of town on the platform that turned out to be a wooden cart, with the villagers following behind like some warped
medieval parade, they had hog-tied her to a twelve-foot pole planted in the ground. Then they headed for the woods, leaving her alone on a wind-swept hill in the middle of nowhere.
Those people were delusional. But at least for the moment Jill felt a little safer. Apparently, they weren't going to cut her heart out on an altar, or burn her at the stake, or do something as equally unappealing and life threatening. At least she hoped not.
Jill breathed deeply, trying to calm herself. She'd just play along with their little game.
It was a game, right?
Eventually, they'd come back, let her go, and she'd be fine. After all, what harm could come from standing out in a field for a little while? A few bug bites? Maybe a little sunburn? Nothing she couldn't survive. Right?
Or maybe not.
Deciding it probably wouldn't be in her best interest to still be here when they returned, Jill glanced overhead at the top of the stake and wondered if she could shimmy up and flip her bound arms over the top. She squeezed the stake with her arms as best she could and jumped, bracing her feet against the pole in an awkward pliè. She shoved up with her legs and made it up
the stake for all of six inches before her feet slipped. The rough wood snagged at her clothes, hair
and skin as she skidded back down the pole.
Great. Now on top of everything else, she was going to have splinters in both butt cheeks. What had she been thinking?
Sure, Jill, climb a twelve-foot pole with your hands tied behind you. And do it backwards, no less. Like you could even do it frontwards with your hands free and booster rockets tied to your ass. It's not as if you're a prime candidate for the Cirque de Soleil.
Okay, so scaling the pole like a monkey wasn't an option. What else could she do? One thing was certain, she was not about to sit and wait for . . . what? Those crazy villagers? Or whatever those fanatical loons thought was coming to get her.
Think, Jill, think. What would MacGyver do in a situation like this?
Of course, MacGyver would have a piece of gum stuck up his sleeve and a paperclip in his shoe to use. Jill was strapped to a giant fence post wearing little more than a nightgown and a wilting crown of flowers that were threatening to fall in her face at any moment. A lot of good they would do her.
Damn. Where was Lassie when you needed her?
Her only hope was either that someone would come along and set her free--slim chance there--or that she manage to untie herself.
Relax, she told herself. Breathe and relax. Think of a happy place.
If she could just concentrate, she might be able to untie the knots by feel.
She closed her eyes, trying to visualize the rope binding her wrists, and wiggled her fingers until they just touched a knot.
Her arms and shoulders burned from just that little bit of effort. How was she ever going to manage to get the knot loose?
Calm down, Jill. Think positive. You can do this.
She managed to wedge one fingertip under the knot, feeling her nail tear to the quick as she tried to pry it loose. So much
for her recent French manicure.
She concentrated harder, ignoring the strain the effort put on her arms and back.
Yes! Jill was sure she felt some give in the knot. She was making progress. It was slow, but it was still progress. Of course, at
this rate it would be the middle of next week before she was loose.
Deep in concentration, at first she didn't notice the whoosh-whoosh sound in the distance.
The wind. It had to be the wind. Wind she could deal with.
Still, her heart rate sped up as her fingers began a frantic dance with the stubborn knot.
Concentrate on the knot, Jill. Don't think about anything else but getting yourself untied.
As she struggled with the ropes, she didn't want to acknowledge the fact that the whoosh-whoosh sounded as if it were coming closer. But as much as she tried to ignore it, she couldn't help imagining the unmistakable beating of wings.
Don't look up. Whatever you do, do not look up.
But human nature being what it was, she did, and the sight that met her eyes would have dropped her to her knees if she
wasn't still firmly tied to the stake.
Calm down, Jill. It's just a bird. Just some tremendously huge black bird making an awful lot of noise.
But as it drew nearer, she realized it was too big to be any kind of bird she'd ever seen.
Maybe it's a plane. Yeah, that's it. A plane . . . with flapping, bat-like wings.
Jill's stomach plummeted as the thing kept coming, circling ever closer. Any hopes that it might be Superman coming to her
rescue were dashed when she saw the long, reptilian tail trailing behind it.
She couldn't believe what she was seeing. A giant, flying lizard was swooping down through the clouds, heading right at her.
Her mind screamed in silent denial as reality crashed in with a gut-churning jolt.
Holy shit! She really was being sacrificed to a dragon.
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