With the heat of summer upon us, we are delving into some steamy books with today's hottest authors. Today we have CJ England, and she will be talking about her book "Here Comes Peter" and a little about herself. Coffee Time wants to take this time to welcome Ms. England.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hey there everyone,
Where to start… I am a wife and lover to Jonathon and a mom and friend to Jessaca, Jeramiah and Jasiah. Right now we live next to ‘The Mouse’ in Orlando, Florida. I used to work at Universal Studios as a retail manager, but I quit to write full time last year.
I was born under a wandering star. I adore seeing new places, but instead of being like normal folk and just visiting for a while, we pack up and move there instead! We’ve lived or visited forty two states and fourteen countries. We have a list of places still to go including Maine (next year), Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, Nashville and China, just to name a few.
I’m a Native American of the Ntlakyapamuk people in British Colombia and my totems are the Hawk and the Doe and my air sign is the Wind. My people are healers and empaths and I am very into natural and spiritual healing.
I have been writing… forever. I come by it naturally. My Mom is a writer too. It’s just been in the last year that I decided to submit my work and see if I had what it takes to be published.
I have to say this was an original storyline, and I 'hopped' through it quick as a bunny. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
LOL I get asked this a lot. I wish I knew. This idea just popped into my head when I was out on my daily bike ride. I had just finished writing Hot Tubs and Hot Hunks and wanted to do another holiday story. I got to thinking about Easter and rabbits… and the rest is history.
My son Jasiah used to raise Netherland Dwarf and Lop Eared Rabbits for 4-H, and they were all house rabbits, so I’ve been around them. In fact the book is dedicated to Jasiah since he helped me find all the puns and jokes that were in it.
There was a bit of mystery in this book, as well as romance. What is your favorite genre to write, and why?
I write every genre, but my favorites are fantasy and paranormal. I like to keep it in a contemporary setting, but I love how you can use your imagination to build a world that a person can get caught up in. <smile> It’s like that saying… I live in my own little world, but its okay, they know me here.
In paranormal or fantasy, you can take your deepest dreams and imagining and turn them into reality. For me there is no better place to be.
Do you plot out your book before you begin to write, or do you allow the characters to take the driver's seat?
I usually start with a dream. A night or daydream or even a chance meeting may spark an idea. Then next step is to literally take a nap. I am a lucid dreamer, which means I can take an idea to sleep with me and when I dream, I can not only remember it, but shape the happenings in the dream. Every book I’ve written starts out this way. Idea, dream and then the writing begins.
But then the characters get involved. Nine times out of ten, they are the ones that shape the dream ideas, not me. Peter, the hero in Here Comes Peter, and I fought over things all the time. Sometimes I win, but usually the characters know better than I where the story should go.
Who was your favorite character to write in this book, and why?
Most of my books and Here Comes Peter is no exception, lean heavily on the hero’s point of view. My heroes are all strong alpha males and so their voice is the one I hear a little louder. I think this stems back to when I read the early Harlequins and you heard ONLY the heroine’s thoughts. Used to drive me crazy not to know what the hero was thinking! Even now, though I’ll sometimes read books with just the heroine’s viewpoint, I’d much rather hear both sides of the story.
I loved writing Peter’s character. He was strong, handsome, built and oh so hot, but he had a sensitive side. Like a true alpha male he tried to hide it, but it’s what drew Bunny, the heroine to him in the first place. It’s what made her fall in love with him.
Making a sweet little bunny into a hot handsome hunk was a challenge, but from all the rave reviews this book is getting, I must have succeeded.
Is there a genre you've often wanted to write, and haven't?
Someday I would love to write a romantic mystery or suspense. When I was at the Romantic Times Convention, I got to know Lois Greiman who won the Tony Bromberg Award for the most humorous mystery. I picked her brain about how to do it and got a lot of good tips.
The hard part about mysteries is that you have to plot them and since my characters do what they want, <sigh> that makes it doubly hard for me to do. But I will persevere. Since there was some mystery in Here Comes Peter, maybe I’ll make it after all!
I see on your website that you love to travel to many countries. Do you have a favorite spot, or one that inspires you the most?
Wow! Ask a tough one, why don’t you! <grin> I guess (and I can get a little schmaltzy here) my favorite spot is wherever Jonathon, my husband is. He’s what inspires me. (Everyone say Ahhhhhhhhhh!)
Spot wise. It’s a toss up between the beach and the mountains. I love the quiet of the backwoods. I grew up on the back of a horse and used to ride the Sierra Nevadas with my Bumpa. (grandfather) There is nothing more beautiful or awe inspiring than being in the deep woods.
Unless you are on a beach. I adore quiet beaches where all you can hear are the sounds of the waves and a seagull or two. I love the smaller keys in Florida, but my favorite beach spot is the rugged Oregon coast. Love it, love it, love it!
But I’d also like to spend time in Africa. What a lot of great book ideas I could dream up there!
What's the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you? What is the most romantic thing you've done for someone else?
Done for me… when Jonathon and I got together, we were so poor he couldn’t afford an engagement ring. Last year, on Mother’s Day, he and the kids took me out to dinner and afterwards he gave me this wonderful speech about how he’d marry me again and again. Then he popped out this beautiful ring and put it on me right there in the restaurant. Everyone cheered and he got a 10 on the Ahhh factor scale.
There was also that time he surprised me with a dive cruise when we were living in Australia. For fun we had the divemaster renew our vows. You haven’t lived until an inebriated Maori in a wet suit wants to know if he can kiss the bride! <VBG>
Done for someone else… One night I set up a bath with candles and soft music. Incense burned and a glass of wine sat by the tub. When Jonathon got home, I met him at the door and told him he was mine for the evening. I put him in the bath and let him relax, while I fed him some chocolate covered strawberries and let him sip his drink.
When he was nice and relaxed, I led him out to the bed and gave him a full body massage with scented flavored oils. He was properly appreciative. <smile>
You decided to be a stay at home mom, raise your children, and then focus on your career. Bravo to you for that. Do you still find it difficult, even though your children are grown, to divide your time between writing and family?
Thanks for the kudo. For me, this is still the hardest part. Even though my youngest is in high school and doesn’t need the supervision he once did, I am and always will be a mom. I still teach him, even though he’s on a self study program.
And most importantly… I am a wife. Jonathon is and always will be my first priority. Learning to balance everything, once I added the writing into it… is a huge challenge. Writing the story is easy. It’s the other stuff, promoting, edits, submissions, chats and lists that can be all consuming if you let them.
I’ve pulled back a lot and am trying to prioritize. Not an easy task if you are an all or nothing gal like I am!
You mentioned waking in the night when your children were small and sketching ideas for stories. How many of them have you begun and not finished? And do you plan to come back to them again one day?
LOL If you go to my website at http://cjengland.com and click on Other Books, you will see a sampling of all the dreams I’ve had. I keep a list of story ideas and when the winds blows one my way, I write it out. I always finish what I start, so I don’t have anything stuffed under the bed gathering dust bunnies.
Oh wait… I do have this one I wrote about Tarzan. Course I was ten when I wrote it. Hmmm, it would be interesting to see the sensual treatment I could give it now… Plane crashes in jungle. Tarzan finds plane and unconscious woman. Nurses woman back to health. Keeps woman. Learns how to love and be loved. Yeah… I could work with that. <mutters to herself about finding that manuscript>
Is there anything special happening or something new you would like to share with your readers?
I’ve got a lot going on. It’s been a great month for me. First of all, Here Comes Peter has received two Recommended Reads as well as several other fantastic reviews. The Mylari Chronicles: The Soulmates which just came out, is also doing excellent with both reviewers and readers.
I have just received word that Whiskey Creek Press accepted my short story pair, Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude for their Torrid Teaser line. It will be out in the winter of 2007.
I also was offered my first print contract. Under the Moon Publications will publish my story An Unholy Embrace in December of 2006.
When I was at RT, I was asked to submit a story to a print house in New York. This is a huge step, so keep your fingers crossed.
I just found out I’ve been awarded The Canadian Romance and Erotic Publishers Award. Since my people originally came from British Colombia, this is a special honor for me.
Please share your website and email address for readers to find out more about you.
I’d like to invite everyone to come and take a look at my website. You will find all kinds of excerpts, pictures, fun and information about yours truly. I also want to invite you to join my chat list. It is a fantastic group of wonderful writers and readers who share their ideas, their work and their hearts. You can also check out any of these other sites to get to know me a little better.
My website... http://www.cjengland.com
Email me at... email@example.com
Chat group... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CJsaysFollowYourDreams/
Newsletter group... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CJsDreamtimeNewsletter/
Authors Den... http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?AuthorID=37849
My Space... http://www.myspace.com/cj_england
Essence of Erotica Blog Spot... http://essenceoferotica.blogspot.com/
Coffee Time Romance wants to thank Ms. England for giving us this opportunity to learn more about the author and her work. Thank you.
I appreciate your time and the chance to give everyone a taste of what CJ England is all about. My goal is that my books will spark the imaginations of my readers. That each time they read them, they feel like they are meeting friends. And that somewhere, in their hearts and souls, they too will begin to believe that anything can happen… if you follow your dreams.