Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever (http://www.vickibatman.blogspot.com) is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction. Handbag lover. Avid Jazzerciser. Mahjong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Author Interview with Alisha Paige, June 19th!

Hi, everyone and a big welcome to Alisha. Thanks for joining me to talk about writing and your book, Nocturnally Vexed, which is an awesome title.

Why don't you talk about yourself and your writing. Who is your favorite author? What is the appeal of writing paranormal?


Alisha Paige said...

Thanks so much for having me today, Vicki and thanks for the sweet comment on my author photo! My honey took that photo when I was pregnant with my baby boy. Must be the baby glow thing.

I'm a big fan of the paranormal but I also write historical and fantasy. Hmmm...my favorite author? I have so many but here are some on my must read list; Rebecca York, J.R. Ward, Candance Havens, Catherine Spangler, Lorraine Heath, Nancy Haddock, Diana Cosby..to name a few.

Nocturnally Vexed is an urban paranormal thriller romance. Is that a mouth full or what? The book is set in London and I've pretty much fallen head over heels in love with my hero, Vex Savaker. He is one yummy hybrid male..snicker. Here's the blurb.

Vex had never wooed a human and he wasn’t certain he had a clue of how to go about it, but Chastity, he decided, was worth it. The quicker he could claim her as his mate, the better he liked it. The question was, could he protect Chass from the denizens of Xurath—the bloodsuckers and shifter-rapts that lived among the humans and preyed upon them? Could he protect her from his own beasts?

Oh and I'd love to give away a book today in a drawing for reader's choice.

On my wish list for hang bags is the Kooba Dale bag in python. Maybe if I'm a good girl, Santa will bring me one....tee hee.

Vicki Batman said...

Alisha, the title of your book is very intriguing. How did you come up with it and the name of your hero?

I have to admit, I love one of my heros, too. I bet many of us have.

Baby glow certainly worked for you. I think I just looked humongous. LOL.


I love a good beast, and the women who tame them.

P.S. I collect vintage handbags...beaded, sequined, velvet, patent leather, and more.

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Kelly. Thanks for the post. I collect all kinds too.

chris k said...

I have to agree with you on Lorraine Heath's historicals - she's such a great storyteller. And as someone who got to hold your baby boy when he was still tiny enough to fit under my chin, I can certainly appreciate why you had that happy mom glow!! lol - great photo.

I'm afraid I'm more of a shoe person than a handbag person. : ) So we'll have to just talk books!! lol.

Your hero sounds totally yummy. No wonder you're a little in love with him. And what a great choice for a setting, London. What made you pick that city?

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Chris. You know I'm working on your handbag problem. LOL.

I can't stop thinking about Alisha's hero's name-Vex.

Alisha Paige said...

Thanks, Vicki. When I came up with this title, I knew it was a great one. I wanted a darker title..ha ha..no pun intended..but seriously, this is a much darker paranormal then what I've written before and Vex is forced to go into Xurath, the underworld in search for his love, Chass. He's in quite a bind. He's also a detective for the Metropolitan Police in London and on the hunt for the modern day Jack-the-Ripper so he's in quite a bind. Vexed if you will. I threw nocturnal in there and used the hero's name. I thought it sounded great and my publisher loved it too.

I love vintage handbags too, especially the beaded ones. So beautiful. Just holding them can take us back to another era.

Vicki Batman said...

You explain so simply the name. But when one really clicks, I want to jump up and down, up and down. This one seems to click well.

So, Alisha, what kind of stories did you begin writing and how did you transition to this paranormal?

What's it like for you to create a world?

Alisha Paige said...

Hi Chris! You were such a big help that day. I had to get my roses at the DARA meeting. Thanks for babysitting. You have quite a knack with kids! Now Benjamin is one and half and running everywhere!

I chose London because I first came up with the idea of having Jack-the-Ripper appear a hundred years later. The police think he's a copy cat killer at first, but really he's the orignal guy. The reason he was never caught in 1888 was because he's really a shifter or shiftie as the Londoners call them. He's able to shift into any animal at all within the blink of an eye. He could have been a crow watching the police from a tree or a rat walking the alleys. I came up with that plot and then wrote the story around it. But this time, Jack is killing virgins. I guess he had to mix it up in the next century just to keep the cops guessing. It was a fun story to write.

I just know Vex would love to see his woman (me) carrying a Kooba Dale python bag. After all, he's half animal.

How do ya'll come up with your character's names? I almost always flip through a baby name book. I think that's where I found Vex. I came up with Chass by shortening Chastity and I loved the sound of it. Names are so fun to toss around.

Alisha Paige said...

The first full length manuscript I ever wrote was a romantic thriller set in Florida, Colorado and London. As you can see, the setting is a big thing for me. I always come up with the setting first and build the story from there. By the way, that manuscript is still collecting dust. It's now 12 years old. I write completely by the seat of my pants which I have to say can be very scary as all pantsers know.

I read my first paranormal by Rebecca York and fell in love with the genre. I decided then and there that I'd write about werewolves too. My first published novel is Canyon Wolf Bride, published in 2007 by The Wild Rose Press. I really wanted the werewolf factor to seem normal and every day so I gave my hero a genetic defect that forced him to change into the wolf. I made it a medical condition. I had reviewers comment on how natural the paranormal element fit into the real world and that really made me smile. That was my every intention. I still remember getting that first review from Night Owl Romance, not knowing whether to read it or not. We as writers never know if our books will be enjoyed until they're sent out there but I was thrilled and surprised beyond belief when Dee at NOR gave it a Top Pick and it was later nominated as Best Ebook for the Fall NOR awards. I thought only my mom liked my writing. I haven't stopped writing paranormal but it's certainly a genre I never thought I'd write. Weird how we find our niche and it's always so unexpected.

Anonymous said...

I come up with names for characters in different ways. For names from a certain year/time (like when I do a YA and want popular names for that age group), I go to the Census Bureau. They publish a list of the most popular/common names of children born each year.

In my latest novel, because they are witches and a little out-of-touch with the current world, I used mythology to find appropriate names. Calliope, my main character, is the name of one of the Greek muses.

Liese Sherwood-Fabre

Vicki Batman said...

What a nice review! I'd be sitting in anguish, waiting, too.

Creating this world seems very complex to me. Do you have to be organized in a particular way?

What kind of writing turns you off? What stops you from writing?

How have you shocked your readers?

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Liese. I've used the census bureau, too. And they have various tools there to do different things. Very handy.

chris k said...

I scribble any old name and sometimes as the book progresses I wind up changing things -

Like the time I accidentally named a character Margaret Hamilton - Didn't need the wicked witch of the west analogy for a kindly all knowing mom. lol.

I think the idea of census rolls is pretty neat for getting names. I may try that next time. But so far I mostly get by with the help of my friends !! Currently I have a story with a teenager and a friend pointed out to me that my names were all rather traditional and that age should have popular names like Tiffany or Brittany - so Sarah became Brittany. lol.

Alisha Paige said...

I take many notes and often have to go back and read what I've written in order to tie up loose ends and such but I never really plan my books other than coming up with a main concept and building the story around that. I do have to say I plot in my head, mostly while doing housework or showering, then I rush to write it down before I forget it. I have also dreamed of plot lines and jotted it down in the morning before I forgot. I think it would be easier if I was a plotter but my brain just does not work that way. It's hard to explain. I think it can be stressful for pantsers at times but somehow the story seems to write itself when I sit down to write. The scenes will just come to me and I start tapping the keys.

To answer your questions, Vicki, not much turns me off. I like to read a variety of genres. I have to say I don't like reading about war. It's so depressing and far too real. That's why I write fiction. Even fiction books filled with war are a turn off for me. Graphic descriptions of men killed on the battlefield or civilians killed in the line of fire is very disturbing to me. I've even read some romances that concentrate so much on the war that it's a turn off for me. I know it's sometimes a necessary and important element but I'd rather more focus be on the characters and the romance.

Some of my readers may be shocked when they read my very first erotica. All of my stories so far have been sensual or sweet. I have an erotic novella coming soon to The Brood series at NCP called Uncaged. I had to close my eyes while writing some of it but I wanted to see how it felt. My good friend and critique partner, Regina Carlysle helped me with this one and laughed so hard when I'd cringe at some of the scenes. It's by far, the hottest thing I've written. I hope my readers like it. Here's the blurb.

When an African lion wakes up on board a ship bound for London in 1772, he has no choice but to shift into the very creature that has captured and caged him in order to free himself. Fifteen years have passed since the lion has called himself by his given name, Bruce Remington. Time enough to forget life as a man, but when Bruce meets the captain’s daughter, Wren Whittier, a lovely quadroon, the scent of a woman comes flooding back to him.

Once back in London, Bruce settles back into the shape shifter community, intent on reclaiming his life as a man and making Wren his wife. When the captain falls ill and dies, Wren is captured by a lynch mob and held prisoner by a small town of superstitious country folk on charges of witchcraft, though witch trials are a thing of the past. Bruce gathers every available London shape shifter and goes in search of the woman he loves. Will the heart of the lion, the very heart that binds them together be strong enough to free her before she’s burned at the stake?

Vicki Batman said...

I agree with you, Chris. At first any old name goes in; then, something will gel, like Witless Whitlock. LOL. You know the story and it worked.

Alisha Paige said...

Oooh, Vicki..please tell me about Witless Whitlock! I have to hear this story.

Vicki Batman said...

Ohmygosh, Alisha! What an imagination you have. Congratulations.

I'm like you--driving, showering, first thought of the morning and wham, a thought hits. I scribble it down and take off from there. I agree, too, there is a way to go with a story in my head, but tend to let loose when the writing happens. The unexpected can be very rewarding.

Vicki Batman said...

Alisha, can you tell us about your writing day?

Vicki Batman said...

I've written a short story about a young woman who gets too many citations and is sentenced to driving school which is run by Officer Webber, aka Witless, Whitlock. For six sessions they battle over spilled hot coffee, a dead squirrel, and combat boots to conquer her driving, only to be involved in a serious wreck when Witless is driving. Needless to say, they realize what they mean to each other. It's fun and funny.
Thanks for asking.

Alisha Paige said...

Snort! Your story sounds like a hoot, Vicki! I love to read romantic comedy. I just love a hero with a good sense of humor. Very sexy!

My writing day consists of blogging a bit and that all important self promotion. You can find me at http://alishapaige.blogspot.com and at http://wickedthornandroses.blogspot.com where I blog with fellow erotic writers.

I try to write when my kids are napping or late at night. I usually light incense and brew the coffee or have a glass of red wine if I'm writing late at night. I try to write a scene per day which is roughly 1000 to 1500 words when I'm in the zone. I usually edit as I go along. Each day, I read what I wrote the day before and make changes, correction or rewrite a scene. This gets the juices flowing and then I'm ready to leap into the next scene.

How do you write? I'm so curious about how other authors write. I know our brains all work differently. I've even heard of some authors writing the ending first. Has anyone out there tried writing the ending first?

Cathy said...

I love Alisha's books and have been inspired by her to get this story in my head, out and on 'paper', if you will. I can't really say how I came up with the names...some just came to me, like Carleigh, the main character. I have used my grand children's names as lesser characters. I have another name in mind that belongs to a friend that is very unique that I will use for an upcoming 'unique' character. Can't wait to read Nocturnally Vexed!
Cathy McElhaney

Vicki Batman said...

Thanks, Alisha. I love my story.

Wine, incense...aahhh.

Nope, don't do that. LOL. I begin after a workout with a diet dp and classical, hits from the 70s, or classical guitar music. And type and type and edit and edit. I might be hit with a scene and think where to? Or know beginning and ending and think how do they get from here to there?

I like to play "What If..."

Sometimes things change and I believe that's for the better.

I agree, it is interesting how our stories develop.

Anonymous said...

I haven't exactly written the ending first, but I have blocked out a story, identifying key scenes and written those first, including the end. I then "filled in" the spaces between these scenes. I found myself more inspired that way because I was excited about the scenes I was writing.

Liese Sherwood-Fabre

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Cathy. Thanks for stopping by. How wonderful you know Alisha's work.

What kind of stories do you write?

If you send me your email, we can put you in for the drawing, too.

Cathy said...

HI Vicki! I am writing a Sci-Fi story although that is not a genre I have really been into, LOL! This just kind of tumbled out and is really writing itself! I met Alisha at Walmart a few years ago...long story, LOL!
My email is clm_77@verizon.net

Alisha Paige said...

Hi Cathy! Thanks for stopping by today! I've also used family names for some of my books too. It's always fun to honor family members in our books.

Liese ~ That's a very interesting way to write a story. I think I may try that one day. It does seem like it would propel the writer forward, eager to complete the story.

Vicki~ Writing after you workout seems like a great way to unwind and dive into your imagination. I'll have to try that too. Music always helps get me in the mood as well. Lately I've been listening to Stevie Nicks.

Alisha Paige said...

I'm also inspired by people I know. I wrote a novella based on a good friend of mine. She's this beautiful, petite lady covered with tats. She also loves rock and roll and motorcycles so I made her the main character in Voodoo Moon, another novella to be released soon in The Brood series at NCP. My friend Tammie is one of those people so interesting, her personality just begs to be written about so I had to do it. Here's the blurb for Voodoo Moon. And again, I chose the setting first because I'd been to Jamaica and visited Rose Hall Plantation.

Voodoo Moon
When London rock star, Tammie Palmer inherits the historic plantation, Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica, she decides to make it her new recording studio, moving her band, Witch Storm, to the haunted mansion. Tales of her ancestor, Annie Palmer have been floating around Jamaica for nearly two centuries. Horrifying acts of slave torture, black magic, Haitian voodoo and murder are part of the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall.

Ancient spells conjure a powerful houngan from the 1800's. A voodoo priest who performed black magick to shift into a wolf in order to save his wife, Daisy from the White Witch. Now he's alive again, hell-bent on revenge against the witch's ancestor. But how can the shifter voodoo-king punish a woman whose scent reminds him of his former love? Can he confront his past and survive in this new world as a beast, without falling in love with his enemy?

Vicki Batman said...

Good luck with your story, Cathy. Keep us posted.

Alisha, what a fertile imagination you have. Did you always sit around and play like this?

Alisha Paige said...

I guess I've always had stories in my head. I had a great English teacher in high school. She inspired me to keep writing. Did any of you have favorite teachers that really pushed you? She called me up to her desk one day and told me I had a spark. If it wasn't for her encouragement, I doubt I'd be writing today. Thank you, Mrs. Caldwell!

Alisha Paige said...

Cathy and I met at Wal-Mart and she saw that I had picked up a book she had read and loved. The friendship started from there.

I hope your story is going well, Cathy.

Vicki Batman said...

You were very lucky, Alisha, to have a teacher like Mrs. Caldwell. I remember doing assignments and making good grades, but no said anything special. But I did write good research papers and astonished a teacher with poetry. She didn't believe I'd written it, but I had. Which I wrote until I had kids.

In a college club, I edited, wrote and published a newsletter which was very well received. I did that for three other organizations through time until I was challenged to write by a friend.

Alisha Paige said...

Oooh, challenged by a friend? Interesting. Tell us more. Sometimes a dare or a challenge is just the kick in the pants we need.


Vex Savaker now that is a name for a determine man. I love the authors you name also,

I used to love hangbags and had many but I got over that.

Vicki Batman said...

We were playing car games and she said write a paragraph with the word "window". I had nothing and felt awful. She noticed and said to send something later. Two days later, I had eight chapters. She read it and said to keep going. So I have. She's been a huge supporter, sorta like Mrs. Caldwell.

Now back to our regular program...

Fill in this blank: Your ideal fictional hero would think you gorgeous if you _________________.

What are 3 things we don't know about you?

How much do you like cake?

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Loretta, and so sorry about your handbag loss. I actually have some from high school.

I agree, Vex is a cool name.

Do you write? Are you a fan of Alisha's?

Vicki Batman said...

Oops, reading over the posts in case I forgot something, I Did!

A big shout out to Liese. Hey, sweetie.

Alisha Paige said...

Wow, your friend sounds like a great inspiration. Where would we be without our wonderful friendships?

Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think I'm gorgeous if I hopped on the back of his Harley and went on a night ride with him.

What are 3 things we don't know about you?

I won a scholarship to SMU for voice. It was only a half scholarship so I could not afford to go. I also was awarded a scholarship for voice to UNT but chose to take the scholarship for journalism instead. I still love to sing and sing in the Garland Chorale and of course, the shower..lol!

I've worked as medical assistant for a plastic surgeon. Boy, the tales I could tell!

When I was little, I wanted to become an elephant trainer more than anything. I love the gentle beasts.

How much do you like cake? Cake! I adore cake, especially wedding cake. That's my favorite part of the wedding and I'm not kidding. I will sneak two or three pieces while others are happily dancing at the reception. I also love making cakes. Yum! All that frosting!

Vicki Batman said...

Yep, awesome friend.

That's some fantasy there.

And some wild 3 things.

However, the cake thing--welcome to the club, girl. I love it too.

Vicki Batman said...

It's getting to be closing time. I'd like to thank Alisha and bloggers for coming by. I had fun, as always, and am greatly humbled when an author says she would like to do an interview.

We'll notify our winner soon.

Alisha Paige said...

Ooops, I just now saw Loretta's comment. How did you get over handbags? Hang around here and you might start your collection again. And you're right, Vex is a great name for a determined man.

I'd like to thank Vicki for having me as her guest today! I had a blast!

Thank you to everyone for stopping by! Thank you Kelly, Chris, Cathy, Liese and Loretta!

Misty Evans said...

Hi Alisha and Vicki. I'm late getting here, but wanted to say I enjoyed the interview, blurb and all the comments. Nothing I enjoye more than a hot hero, a fabulous bag and girl chat!

Alisha Paige said...

Thanks for stopping by, Misty! Nothing like some good girl talk. Have a great day!

Vicki Batman said...

Misty~so sorry we missed you last Friday. Come back next month, okay?

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