Welcome, I would like to take this opportunity to thank JJ Massa for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for Coffee Time Romance. Today we are asking Ms. Massa about Love Like Blood, and learn a little about Ms. Massa as well as some more of her works. Welcome JJ, Thanks for taking time out of your busy Schedule to answer some questions for us.
I always have time for you guys. I mean, if nobody read my stuff, where would I be?
JJ, The book we are talking about today is LOVE LIKE BLOOD. I read the story and it was wonderful, different from you typical vampire romances.
That’s so cool!!! I think you were in a chat where I said that this book is very personal to me. It means so much to me that you liked it and that you found it different.
Is it true the heroine characteristics are based on yours?
Yes, it is. Juliana is a lot like me, there’s no denying that. She writes, she’s blind and has MS as I do. She’s pretty strong willed, too. She does the best she knows how to do — whether it’s good enough or not.
What made you think of using yourself, or I should say your characteristics?
I started it one day when I was feeling particularly impatient with the world of science. I felt bad and there just wasn’t anything I could do about it. While there are a lot of good therapies out there to help people with this disease, there is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis – except maybe a vampire. And that made me think…
JJ, in your book Juliana has a dog and a great computer program to help her with writing, do you?
Yes, I use a program called JAWS for Windows. You can find out more about it here . It reads aloud everything that is on the screen. You can make it read fast or slow and make it repeat back every keystroke you make. If you don’t need it, it WILL drive you nuts. Sometimes I use Microsoft Sam, also known as Narrator, which is built into every version of Windows after Windows ME. And I have an incredible trainded guide dog. Never pet one if you see it working. In fact, it’s best not to ask if you can pet it. Often, an owner will offer if the situation is right, but will feel bad when he or she is forced to say “no”. The dog has to stay focused on its person even if it seems to be resting. If a fire alarm goes off, I count on my dog to be aware of everything that happens. He’s trained to even ignore you when you speak to him while he’s in harness. His job is to help me.
What is your dog’s name?
My dog’s name is Cosmo. You can see some pictures of him on my website www.jjmassa. com — but he’ll be featured on my weblog: http://jjmassawriter.blogspot.com/ during the month of November – his birthday is November 22.
How long have you been writing?
In some form or another I’ve always written a bit. Sometimes for magazines or local papers or just teaching. Sometimes, poetry for contests or my own entertainment. I started writing books a little over a year ago.
JJ, Have you always wanted to write?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to write but I didn’t know how badly until I really got the chance.
Why a vampire for the hero?
There’s no cure for MS – except maybe a vampire. And I love the many possibilities vampires present. There are just so many things they can do and learn over lifetimes. And the blood that flows – a continuous cycle of life, even if we think of vampires of being dead. You just can’t get much more intimate than drinking someone’s blood, can you?
Will we ever see Juliana and Raiden in any future books?
It’s possible. Definitely look for Paul… Before Love Like Blood was finished, my friend and fellow author, Nix Winter read it. She was convinced that Paul should have his own story – and his own vampire. You’ll have to read the All Hallow’s Eve story Storm Whispers, coming out October 5, from Venus Press…
JJ, What part of writing a book is your least favorite (if any)? ie. research ect….
Sometimes I have a hard time ending a story. It’s like I don’t want to say goodbye. That’s why I love writing series so much. I can still visit everyone as many times as I want to.
What part do you enjoy?
I love getting to know the characters and following them through their adventures – they so often surprise me and it’s fun. I love research – so many things to find out and places to visit.
I noticed that even though Juliana had these disabilities she is still a very strong and independent woman, would you say that you are the same?
* laughing behind my hand * Um yes, Wateena… I laugh because it’s a source of frustration for some of my loved ones. I order groceries from Netgrocer, I shop online, I get on trains and planes – I like doing what I want to do – I am VERY independent. That’s not to say I don’t need and want help sometimes. I just like it best if someone asks me if I need a hand. J
What are you working on now?
Actually, I’m always working on more than one thing at a time. I have several different books in different genres. I’ve got another vampire book, Rubies, Sapphires, and Ivory coming out with Liquid Silver books sometime soon and after that, the sequel to my very first book, Everyone Has A Weak Spot. It’s called Everybody Has A Pet Peeve and tells the story of Renaud, Lorelei’s younger brother. It’s a Cajun werewolf book. I also have the third in my Weather Series that comes out at the end of this year. That book is called Angel’s Forecast, and is a Cajun and paranormal book, the story of Deke Doucette. I’m also very excited about another project that I contracted last year. I don’t want to give too much away all at once, but I had stalled… with the help of a friend (this is me teasing and not telling you who) I’m back on track.
JJ are you a big reader, as most writers? and if so what is your favorite genre?
I do love to read, no question. I’m a big fan of paranormal – as evidenced by what I write. I also like mystery, romantic suspense, m/m, I just love to read.
JJ, I am inspired by you as I am sure others are and will be, what would you say to someone with a disability(s) who have wanted to write or maybe even be an artist, but because of their disability have not tried it?
First, I’d say that I never did anything that could be considered art until after I went blind. If you can think, you have something to offer. It’s up to you what you do with your life. I was thirty-one when I went blind. My life didn’t stop, my IQ didn’t stop when my eyesight went away. If you want to do things, the only person who can make it happen is you. You don’t know what you can do if you don’t try. Yes, there will be obstacles. You’ve heard the old saying “Everything worth having is worth fighting for”? For some of us, it’s freedom. For others, it’s recognition. I just want to be accepted for who I am. I work, I love, I play and I have a lot to offer and a lot to give. Everybody has value.
What is your web site address?
You can find me at www.jjmassa.com
JJ Do you have a favorite hero, out of your books?
My favorite hero is the incredible, complicated man I’m writing about right this minute. He’ s getting all of my attention. I’m thinking about him when my eyes are closed in the car. I’ m imagining him while I fix supper and clean the kitchen. When I go to sleep at night, his lips caress my ear as he whispers. His arms come around me and he holds me close, keeping me safe and letting his story soak into my body, my heart and my mind. He has me completely in his thrall.
Where do you see yourself as far as writing, in say ten years?
In ten years I hope to be doing what I’m doing now – only doing it better. I want to keep writing and telling my stories and I hope more and more people get to spend time with me and enjoy the worlds I see behind my eyes.
Thanks so much for your candid response, you have a wonderful outlook on life and I think that counts for everything.
I sincerely enjoyed it. Thank you, Wateena. I had a good time answering your questions. Thank you for spending so much time with me.
I want to thank JJ Massa on behalf of Coffee Time Romance for chatting with us today.