Interview Questions for Jory Strong:
Jory Welcome to my blog. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
Jory: Thanks for inviting me. This is my very first guest appearance, so a new experience for me.
Wendy:You have two upcoming releases, DRAGON MATE and GHOSTLAND, can you tell us in your own words about each release?
JS: Well, first I’d point out that they are two very different kinds of writing. Ghostland is a new direction for me. It’s a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy romance with erotic elements as opposed to Dragon Mate, which is straight erotic romance.
Dragon Mate was meant to be a novella, following on the heels of Supernatural Bonds: Drui Claiming, but Kirill and Jazzlyn wouldn’t let me stop writing at the 30,000 word cutoff for novella Kirll is a dragon male who intends to go to the human realm, collect the mate he knows is meant for him (Jazzlyn), then bring her straight back home. Unfortunately for him, it’s not going to be that easy. Jazzlyn is searching for her disappeared cousin and he has no choice but to stay among humans and help her.
In Ghostland, Aisling is taken from her home and forced to go to Oakland to perform a shaman’s service on behalf of an important man. In the course of doing it she summons Zurael, who she thinks is a demon (he’s actually a Djinn). He intends to kill her for calling and commanding him, but ends up needing to protect her instead as they both try to accomplish tasks they’ve agreed to undertake. There are powerful forces at work behind the scenes and larger goals, including the return of the Djinn and the reclaiming of Earth. Unknown to Aisling and Zurael, they are meant to play a part in preparing for the upcoming war between supernatural beings.
WK:What is your favorite thing about writing and publishing?
JS:It depends on the project. Some of them I absolutely love the pre-planning stage, plotting, developing story worlds. For others, inspiration strikes and it’s the writing itself I love.
WK:What is your least favorite or most hated thing about writing and publishing?
JS: The waiting—1st, from time of story submission until I hear from my editor (Sue-Ellen Gower at EC/Cindy Hwang at Berkley) on whether or not she likes it. 2nd, from time of final editing to release date. And 3rd, from release date (or when ARCs go out) until I start getting feedback from readers. It’s agonizing.
WK:Do you see a difference in sales with your ebooks vs your print version of books? Which sells more?
JS:The jury is out with respect to Ghostland, since this is my first Berkley release. I have to say, I’m totally thrilled it’s releasing in electronic format on April 7, the same day as it’s out in print. Berkley seems to have embraced electronic publishing. As far as my erotic romance works with Ellora’s Cave go, e-books sell best by a wide margin, which makes sense. EC is an electronic publishing house. That’s where their emphasis is and I don’t see it changing.
WK:Do you think ebooks get more support and respect now than they did in the years past?
JS:Absolutely. Economic conditions are forcing the big print publishing houses to reevaluate their business model. There is too much waste in the current one, with so many books ending up disposed of with their covers stripped and returned for credit. Profits are lean compared to electronic books. And more and more readers want and are asking for e-books.
WK: Do you see a big future with ebooks?
JS:Definitely. I think the Kindle welcomed in the era of e-books. There will always be a place for print books, but in the future, I think e-books will move out ahead, especially as a generation that uses their phones for everything from texting to surfing the internet to reading and taking pictures becomes the primary reading market.
WK:Do you have an ebook reader you recommend over any other?
JS:As of a couple weeks ago when my parents surprised me with a gift, I’m now the happy owner of a Kindle 2. I love it! As far as other devices go, if I were to make a prediction, I’d say the choice is going to come down to a Kindle or a Sony Reader, either of them being a good one.
WK: Who would you say has influenced you the most in your life? In your writing?
JS:In my life, my parents. We’re very close. I never went through a teen period of rebellion. When I was growing up, they had high expectations, but they always let me make my own choices. As an adult, they’ve been supportive, even when I took up horseshoeing despite having a college education and being a CPA. Sometimes I think they enjoy my success as an author more than I do! They love reading book reviews and snippets from fan e-mails.
In my writing, I’d have to say, all the authors and books I’ve read.
WK:Who is your favorite author?
JS:This is a tough one. I’ve got quite a number of authors who are auto-buys for me. Nalini Singh when it comes to romance, Robert Crais and J.D. Robb when it comes to mystery/suspense, Wen Spencer when it comes to fantasy.
WK: What is your favorite book by another author? Of the books you’ve written?
JS:The books I seem to return to over and over again when I feel like rereading a story rather than picking something from my TBR pile are Wen Spencer’s Ukiah Oregon or Tinker series books, particularly Tinker, Tainted Trail, and Dog Warrior.
As far as my books go, it changes over time. Crime Tells: Calista’s Men was my favorite for ages. Now it’s probably a tie between The Angelini: Mystic’s Run and Carnival Tarot: Kiziah’s Reading. I think they’re the best I’ve written at Ellora’s Cave. The Berkley books are different. I can’t really compare them to my erotic romance works. Ghostland was so completely satisfying to write, plus it’s my NY debut, it will always hold a favored position, though Spider-Touched, which is out in August, is a very close second. Both of them pushed me to grow as a writer.
WK:What one thing would you change about your writing career?
JS:With respect to my career, I don’t think there’s anything I could change. All the years of writing, all the rejections and the stories that will never see the light of day were stepping stones to where I am now. I’d like to write faster without sacrificing quality, but I haven’t figured out a way to do it, so I just keep moving slowly and steadily along.
WK:What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
JS:Write and finish what you start. There’s no getting around it. You can attend conferences, take classes, and read “how to” books, but ultimately there are no short cuts allowing you to avoid the hard work it takes to get to the point of being publishable. You’ve got to write and finish the stories you’ve started. Until you get all the way to THE END, you can’t evaluate what you need to do in order to improve. Getting to the end is also what it takes to develop self-discipline. Inspiration only carries you so far, then it’s all about hunkering down and grinding through to get the first draft done.
WK: Do you feel readers need to read previous titles before reading your current books? If yes what previous titles should they read?
JS:They stand alone, though Dragon Mate is connected to Sophie’s Dragon (book 3 in the Supernatural Bonds series) and Drui Claiming (book 4). It’s not necessary, but I think readers might enjoy Dragon Mate more if they read the other two books (in order) first.
WK: What does the future hold for you?
JS: Hopefully more stories to tell, both with EC and Berkley! My fingers are crossed that Ghostland and Spider-Touched will resonate with readers and I’ll get to finish what I see as the overreaching arc of the series. I’ve already agreed to do a third book for Berkley and will start it as soon as my current project for EC is finished and in.
WK: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know or would like to talk about?
JS:I’m always curious about what makes a reader try a new author or a book by a familiar author who isn’t an auto-buy for them. How important are book reviews? Blog mentions? To start it off, I’ll say that most of the time, I discover new authors or buy from one I’ve read in the past because of reviews in Romantic Times, or from seeing the title on Amazon, generated by my purchase history.
Thank you Jory for visiting with us today!
*One lucky poster will be given their choice of a print or ebook that Jory has on hand. So be sure to leave your contact information or check back to see who won this awesome prize!*
I just wanted to drop by and say hi to Jory. I am so looking forward to Graceland.
For me in trying a new author or even a familiar author whose doing something in a new direction is what type of mood I’m in. For example when I first discovered you Jory – I was reading anything and everything menage – so I purchased Calista’s Men. I loved that story so much I purchased I’ve purchased and read all your other Crime Tells series.
Other things are what other readers are saying – if their website is kept up to date, if they come across as reader friendly. I hope all of that makes sense.
Thank you Jory for visiting with me!
Let me answer your questions:
How important are book reviews? Blog mentions?
I do read alot of reviews, mostly only those I know have similar tastes to mine or that I know so far haven’t let me know.ROFL.
I do also find a LOT of new to me authors via blogs. In fact I just bought a new to me author’s book because she was on a blog, two actually.
I think it depends alot on if the story’s premise interests me. If it’s a Women’s fiction title even if it’s getting raves I’m not likely to read it. Because that’s not a genre I enjoy.
Great post, thanks for being such a great interviewee.
I’m a big fan, love the Crime Tells series and I’m working my way through the Fallon Mates and then everything else I can get my hands on!! 🙂
I visit tons of blogs and do read reviews but to be honest I don’t always go with them, I’ve found more often than not that I really do like something even though someone else didn’t. I take any review with a grain of salt so to speak. If an author is mentioned in a good way or not so good way and I’ve never heard of them before or read anything by them I check them out to see what they are all about!! 🙂
Great interview Jory and Wendy!!
Jory Strong said:
Hi Greta and Blanche, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! And again, to Wendy, for inviting me here. Crime Tells is my only non-paranormal work, so I find there’s a bit of a hurdle to jump over before I can get the muse hunkered down and focused on a new book–but once I do, and get back into the world of the Maguires and Montgomerys, I never want to leave. If I hadn’t needed to get working on Spider-Touched for Berkley, I would have stayed and done Shane’s story after finishing Cole’s. And I still need to double back and do Erin/Dasan’s story.
Yay, I’m so glad you commented on Shane and Erin/Dasan………I forgot to ask you about their stories!!
Lillie A. said:
Great interview! Calista’s Men has been on my wish list for months. It sounds so great.
Jory Strong said:
Lillie–thanks for coming by and taking the time to post. I’ll admit, after all these years and heroes later, Dante and Benito (Calista’s men) are still the two I love the most, though Fane and Cable of Carnival Tarot: Kiziah’s Reading are a very close second.
I got hooked by reading your fallon mates. Love those type of stories. And my favorite series of your is supernatural bonds. Didn’t think I would like them but absolutely love them. All different kinds of creatures. Love that.. And I have Ghostland on my wish list now.
Jory Strong said:
Thanks for the high praise! I do have my author e-files of Supernatural Bonds: Dragon Mate, so it’s in the prize selection pool for one of today’s posters. I’m slowly getting closer to THE END on the new Fallon Mates book.
I’m glad Ghostland is on your wish list. Exploring a new direction has revitalized my muse, but it’s come with some worry, too, that readers of my EC works will hesitate to try the Berkley books since they’re not straight erotic romance. It’s ulcer-making, and it doesn’t help that it’s such a L-O-N-G wait from time of submission until release day. I can hardly believe April 7 is amost here! I’ve been waiting for it since December 4, 2007 when I got the call from Ethan Ellenberg telling me Berkley wanted to buy Ghostland!
Hey Jory – just wanted to drop by and say that I LOVE your writing and can’t wait for Dragon Mate and Ghostland. The supernatural bonds series has always been my favorite.
Regarding your question for non auto buy authors – I visit some blogs, look at what amazon recommends but then I tend to go to the authors and or sellor’s site and try to find excerpts to read before I buy. Being able to read that one chapter makes a huge difference. If I like the chapter I tend to buy the book / ebook right away, if there’s no excerpt the book usually only makes onto my wishlist.
Jory Strong said:
Thanks for the post! I think maybe I better hustle over to my site and get a longer excerpt posted for Ghostland! (Actually, I’ve been holding off, waiting to see the official one Berkley is going to post along with my Dear Reader letter since I like to match what’s on my site to what’s on the publishers.)
But you make a good point. My e-book buying decisions for non-auto-buy authors are based solely on the excerpt posted. I’m more flexible on print titles. Usually if I’m hooked at the first couple of paragraphs plus the blurb/premise, I’ll give the book a try.
Jory Strong said:
Hmmm, I should add, I think my print buying decision-making process is going to change now that I have the Kindle. So far I’ve only bought book I knew I wanted to read, but for those available in Kindle format, there’s an option to download the first chapter. I can see myself doing more and more of this in the future and weeding out books that start great on page one but are faltering by the end of the first chapter. I try to finish every book I buy, but with TBR piles that never seem to shrink, it’d be nice to avoid books that become tough reads.
Jory! yea! 🙂 One of my favorite Ellora’s Cave authors! You have no idea how excited I am for Dragon Mate!!
I love that you find new authors and books the same way I do..I love reviews and definetly watch my Amazon purchase history. 🙂 Good luck with everything in the future you awesome author you!
Jory Strong said:
Hi Rachael–thanks for dropping by. Kirill and Jazzlyn were fun to write about and I’m looking forward to readers getting to spend some time with them, too. Poor Kirill, he kept me constantly smiling as he had to deal with being in the human realm instead of his own.
sara hurt said:
Hello. Welcome Jory and thank you so much for taking the time to share yourself with us. I love dragon stories, there is just something about them, they are sexy and possesive and HOTTTTT. I would love to read this book, its definetly going on my TBB list.
Jory Strong said:
I’ve enjoyed hanging out on Wendy’s blog today. I’m hooked on dragons myself. That’s one of the things I love about writing e-books, it gives me the chance to explore a lot of different story worlds and ideas. I think it’s safe to say, based on the fun I’ve had writing Sophie’s Dragon, Drui Claiming and Dragon Mate, there will be more dragon stories in the future.
Hi! I love the Fallon Mates books, especially Zeraac’s Miracle. Any chance of a story for Kaylee?
I choose books in a variety of ways. For PBs in a store, my attention is caught by the cover. Then I check if it’s a genre a like, read the back cover, and inside blurb.
For ebooks, I do a search by plot points, genre or whatever is an option. Then I read the exerpt. Lately I’ve started a list of links for ebooks based on excerpts from yahoo groups, blogs and chat rooms.
To order books (like from Amazon), I may read something on the net that spikes my interest. then I check it out in Byron and on Amazon. I do use the suggestions from Amazon to check out other books.
Jory Strong said:
I’m glad you stopped in and posted. Kaylee makes an appearance in the Fallon Mates book I’m now 8 scenes away from finishing. Miciah, the councilman who gave up his claim to Ariel in Zeraac’s Miracle, is one of the main characters. I’d originally intended to give Kaylee a story of her own, and I still might at some point in the future, though it would probably be a shorter length one. Because she’s so young, I pretty much have to take care of all the other plot lines and secondary characters first, to give her a chance to grow up.
would love to try one of your books
Eva S said:
thanks for the great interview!
You’re a new to me author, but all your books, especially those with dragons sound very interesting and I’ll look for them. I’m not so much of a review reader, most of my new authors I’ve found through blog interviews like this!
Thank you everyone for visiting yesterday. A winner will be chosen later today. And thank you Jory for being here. You are great!
Jory Strong said:
Thanks again for asking me. I really enjoyed it!
Jory Strong said:
Oops…This is my first guest blog appearance and I didn’t think to ask Wendy who was going to choose the winner. I’m going to go out on a limb here, since one wasn’t posted yesterday, and guess I was suppossed to. My apologies. The winner of an autographed print copy of one of my books, or choice of an e-book, by random number (assigned then selected) is Lynda. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with you choice.
And if Wendy comes along later having picked another winner, to problem 🙂 I’ll send a prize to that one too.