Good morning Ms. Gregory, and welcome to Coffee Time Romance. My name is Lori (Lototy at CTR), and I am so excited we get to speak with you today about your book “As You Wish”. Thank you for your time, and for your wonderful contribution to the world of romance!
Oh, wow! Thanks, Lototy, I'm thrilled to chat with you about "As You Wish"!
We always like to get to know a little about our favorite authors, and so to start off, how about sharing a bit about your life beyond the books. You have great insight into the world of art, is this something you were exposed to as a child, or did you study this later on?
Let's see...I live in the Windy City. I'm a devoted wife and mother of two cherubs (not) who keep me hopping on the daily! I graduated from college with a degree in vocal performance and music education. I play the violin and gravitate to anything that gets the creative juices flowing, but my first love is music and writing is a very, very close second. I started playing and singing at a very early age. Music and art are intertwined to me. One often inspires the other and I think that's what sparked and keeps my interest. I'm moved by beautiful photography, paintings, sculptures and love MUSIC!
It is always fun to imagine far away places and people, and when reading we get to experience a little piece of the character’s lives. Do you often travel, or seek out unique venues to capture the hearts of your characters? And is there someplace near and dear to your heart?
I wish I had more time to travel! I want to go to Egypt, Italy, France and back to Kauai! *sigh* Something to look forward to in the future. In my contemporary stories, I've only used locations that I've been to, but I'm not opposed to branching out from my travel experience and researching whatever locale I wanted to use in a story. I love creating new worlds the best!
The visualizations in your scenes are excellent, and really allow the reader to feel like they are a part of the story. Colors, textures, sounds, and smells just seem to come to life. I would love to know what steps you take to bring your worlds alive when you write, and if you surround yourself with props to help the creative juices flow?
*smile* Thank you, Lototy! I really wanted this story to come alive for the reader. I'm happy to hear it worked for you! Photos, images help cement things swirling around in my head. I searched for pictures of the perfect genie bottle. I looked through hundreds of stock images to put an actual body/face to my hero and heroine. Music plays a factor as well. I enjoy choosing a soundtrack of sorts for all of my manuscripts.
Family and friends often play a crucial part in offering support or creative criticism for authors. Does this hold true for you as well, and who do you consider to be your biggest supporter, as well as your most impartial judge when changes need to be made?
I am truly grateful for family and friends (who know), supporting my work. My husband and sister are my biggest supporters and I have some awesome author friends who often offer creative criticism and push me to write my best. (Thanks, guys!)
Does fantasy always play a part in your work, or have you ever written a romance that is in a more real life style? And if you did, what era would you place your characters in?
I adore creating fantasy/paranormal driven storylines, but I love writing contemporary stories. "Lovin' Leela" and "Hearts & Diamonds" are both contemporary erotic romances, both stories are set in Chicago. "Lovin' Leela" is available now with Total E-Bound Publishing and "Hearts & Diamonds" releases in March!
In As You Wish, Karis is a young woman who has spent her whole life trying to fit in, but in her heart, she feels that she never will. Her personal struggle fits so well with her talent as a painter. Is this a link you often build within your character’s development, or did Karis’s epiphany with her work surprise you both?
Painting for Karis, is a way to connect with the patrons commissioning her work on a personal level. Her artwork gives her the chance to become a vital part of someone else's life for a period of time as she creates the piece asked of her. She knows once they take her painting that she's shared a part of herself and that she won't be rejected like she has on so many levels all of her life. That moment of appreciation shared between her and her clients makes her feel accepted and most of all normal.
Her mother’s gifts freak her out, and she pushes away anything that even hints of the paranormal, yet they still maintain a very close and loving mother/daughter bond. Did your relationship with your mother help in creating this connection between Karis and Nadine? And do you find that this can often be as adversarial and loving in real life as it is for Karis?
Great question! My mother has been such an inspiration to me a loving guide in my life. I can talk to her about almost anything and yet we disagree on many issues. Like why I'm not writing mysteries instead, despite our different views, we are very close, love erotic romances. It's the same with Karis and Nadine. They both know love is the bond that will always matter most.
Vander is Djinn, Karis’s own personal genie in a bottle, yet their story does not solely focus on the typical three wishes. Do you often take stereotypical storylines, and tweak them into something much more exhilarating and fun? How much fun is it to modernize and enliven fairytales, and give them a whole new voice?
I love, love taking something we all know and taking it in a new direction! I have a lot of fun pushing myself to create something unique and enjoyable for readers to experience. That was the whole idea behind my "Erotic Enchantments" series which is available with Noble Romance Publishing. "The Enchanted Flute", "The Gingerbread Tryst", and "Rapunzel's Release" all deliver original, daring tales that sizzle!
Power and passion just ooze from Vander, and he embodies the very essence of a man in charge. Does visualizing your characters play a big part in how their personalities develop, and do you do this through research, or do they come mostly from imagining what they should look like?
Vander is hot...alpha all the way and then some! As I mentioned before, visualizing my characters does play a big part in my creative process. I see each character in my mind first and then I try and find a physical photo to help solidify that character in my head. For Vander, I imagined a collaboration of different testosterone gifts...a man with the physique of "The Rock", the voice of "Vin Diesel" and the charisma, devil-may-care, I-can-kick-you-butt-without-even –trying power of Bond...the latest one.
Will the Djinn Brotherhood become a series, and could we maybe get to see a little more of Rafi in the future? He sounds like a total sweetheart. I see you also have a new book coming out in March, Hearts and Diamonds. Is this a book based more on realism, like I was asking before, and would you like to give us a sneak peak into what the story is about?
Rafi is getting his own story. I'm still mapping out...or rather waiting on my muse to show me where his story is going. He is a total sweetheart, but he's got some past demons kicking his butt and a streak of violence he works to keep in check.
Hearts & Diamonds is a very sexy thrill ride! This story has a little bit of danger, surprising twists and a whole lot of heat! I really enjoyed the chemistry between Nia and Quin. Here's the blurb:
Nia Sanders knows diamonds. She appreciates and envies the heart-felt emotions of her customers buying them. When federal agent, Quin Rios saves her life in the middle of a violent jewel heist, she finds herself attracted to the sensual possibilities beneath his uber professional, self-contained persona.
Determined to keep her safe as he solves the case, Quin can't let his attraction to Nia distract him. The heat of their fiery passion consumes them as they both struggle to control their emotions...neither are prepared to lose their heart.
Look for Hearts & Diamonds, March 7th with Total E-Bound!
Reading As You Wish is a great way to spend the afternoon, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story as well as the characters. It has been so much fun getting to know you, and I look forward to reading much, much more from you in the future! I guess that means you get to go back to work, and keep all of us very happy readers. Thank you so much for spending some time with us today, and we wish you great success in your career!
Thanks, Lototy, it's been my pleasure. I had fun answering your in-depth questions and I'm over the moon you enjoyed reading "As You Wish"! I do have my work cut out for me and I'm looking forward to it!