Monday, May 14, 2012

Giveaway & Guest Post w/Joey W Hill!!

Ladies and gents of my Lair, I want you to put together a very warm and hussy welcome for an author that I love having at my place... She is just a sheer delight to have over... Please welcome...

Ms. Joey W Hill!!!

Humans vs Non-Humans : To-ma-to, to-mah-to…

So is there a difference, writing contemporary vs paranormal stories? Or, to get more specific, writing humans versus writing mermaids, angels, vampires, kelpies, garden gnomes, etc?

First off, an author is well, human, and no matter how she tries, 90% of her viewpoint is still going to be homo sapiens. Second, her audience is human, and if characters become too different, the reader is not going to be able to empathize or even have a frame of reference. It explains why George Burns as God probably won a lot more converts than Moses’s burning bush (if most of you went blank on that reference, I will feel very old!). But does that mean we can’t have a realistic paranormal hero or heroine? Of course not. The key is finding the balance between the differences and similarities.

Paranormal characters are different from us physically, yes. But for me, the vital aspect of finding the balance is in the mental side of things, the way the mind of a paranormal being would work. Of course, I probably get a little too fascinated by that side of things, to the point I sometimes neglect the physical differences. This week, I was writing a great scene between a vampire and the 1700s Scottish farmer he’s going to eventually make his servant. He rescues him from a battlefield, and there’s a whole complicated scene between them that is going just great…until I realized I set the whole thing in broad daylight. My vampire would be fried like goat cheese on that bloodsoaked field.

Anyhow, I digress. The great thing about us is the reach of our imaginations. When a paranormal author puts her brain on a yoga and cardio workout to push past that 90% homo sapiens viewpoint, she can get to the 10% “other”. The track to get there is realizing our own species is a template for writing about other species. We have tons of cultures and belief systems, and yes, in some cases they are VERY different. But certain things are the same – we fear, we love, we grieve, we wonder and we get mad. We also don’t know every damn thing, and we all have ways of coping with that, good and bad. Why would mermaids, vampires, angels, etc be any different?

So keeping in mind the mechanical differences (so your readers don’t laugh at you when your mermaid sighs underwater), and the soul-deep similarities, the interesting part is the middle ground. Exploring, within the context of a story, how human and paranormal minds differ around that similar emotional core – the cultural differences. And what happens when they clash or try to mesh.

As a reader, it bores me to tears when a paranormal creature is so physiologically different but exactly like humans in terms of his/her thinking. For instance, many of you know the angsty “oh woe is me, I’m a beautiful, immortal vampire and I can’t stand myself” vampire makes me want to go find a stake and put him out of his misery (Edward is an exception. I would never mar Rob Pattinson’s beautiful form that way.)

I write born vampires as well as made ones, neither of which beat their breasts about what they are. In fact, they consider themselves far superior to humans. Which leads to my next point. When I get into the heads of paranormal creatures, there’s always a basic rule set that differentiates them from humans in their thinking, and I stick to those rules as I write them.

In my Vampire Queen series, while vampires value humans as servants, they never see them as equals. Falling in love with one is illegal and, more importantly, considered as tasteless as deciding to handfast with one’s St. Bernard. So when I write my Vampire Queen series books and have vampire-servant interactions that cross those lines, I have to write the vampire’s reaction to it believably as they deal with that paradigm shift. As they are not sentimental types, they don’t adjust in a gushy/mushy way. If they determine they are in love with their servant, that’s likely going to be between the vampire and the vampire, and not shared easily with the human, even if he/she senses it.

Now, immortality causes some other differences in thinking. In my latest release, In the Company of Witches, my hero Mikhael is a 1300 year old Dark Guardian, an angel/sorcerer who serves Lucifer and the Underworld. He’s been around long enough to see history repeat itself—again and again—so he has a certain passive calm about life developments that we under-the-one-century-mark adolescents don’t. That’s reflected in his character. Because of that, sometimes he’ll share a little of his thought processes, not only to help readers empathize, but to give them an interesting twist in a mind we don’t entirely understand (again, here’s where the mental yoga helps, tapping into the cosmic mysteries of the universe, or—ahem— just making stuff up).

This is an argument Mikhael is having with a Light Guardian, Derek Stormwind (who was the hero of the first book in the series, Something About Witches).

“You even the scales for the Light, Derek. I do it for the Dark. It may be for the same goal, but it’s from different sides. I work from the shadows, you work in the light of the sun.”

Mikhael’s gaze shifted. Derek turned to see Ruby and Raina standing there. They knew them too well, apparently. Ruby’s face was tight with concern, but it was to Raina Mikhael’s attention went, knowing she’d heard his last statement. He couldn’t tell much from her expression, but she was listening. Waiting.

He came back to Derek. “When a civilization becomes so prosperous it gets lazy and falls into entitlement, decadence, apathy and inertia, my job is to push them into brutality and hardship to accelerate change, bring the scales back to rights. You may save a child to ward off evil; I will cause its death for the same purpose.”

He heard Ruby’s indrawn breath, but he wouldn’t look toward either woman, not now. “Without struggle, there is no character and strength. But some force has to provide that adversity. We work for the same goal, but on sides that can never be reconciled.”

“I would have taken the thirteenth straw.”

“Yes, you would have. And it would have been the wrong thing to do. I was the right person for the job.”

But then, after we introduce this hard-to-understand side of Mikhael, we also have Raina reflecting on getting closer to him, something we understand a little better:

He’d been quiet since his one-on-one with Derek. They drove back to Sweet Dreams, but when they reached the driveway entrance, she wanted to walk, so they left the car. As Raina glanced over her shoulder, she saw it shimmer and disappear. Back to the Underworld garage. Thinking about the train set, she wondered what other things Mikhael had in that cache deep in the Earth. An old toy from his youth, a picture of his mother, all indications of what he was, other than a Dark Guardian.

She knew the dangers of this kind of thinking. People were many layers, yes, but there was always one main layer to them, and she’d seen plenty of women engage in disastrous relationships by rationalizing away that one layer, giving too much weight to the less important ones. Mikhael had made it clear. He’d decided centuries ago to be a Dark Guardian, and he had no regrets or doubts in that choice. Perhaps he’d struggled with ostracism from friends like Derek, or the terrible things he’d had to do, but his one overriding layer was Dark Guardian.

Except for the unexpected bomb drop in the alley, she’d noticed he rarely talked about the specifics of what he did, as if he knew no one wanted to know. It must be odd not to talk about the thing that dominated his waking hours. And he’d said he had a lot of waking hours.

While she wasn’t sure of his motives toward her, she was pretty sure he wanted to continue their . . . whatever their relationship was, after his business with Isaac was concluded. So if she wanted him to be a part of her life, stopping by for croissants or to share her bed, she had to be willing to understand more about that main layer.

You may save a child to ward off evil; I will cause its death . . . Did she want to know more?
So this is an example of what I noted earlier – we may react to things differently, but the primitive emotions that drive us all—humans as well as otherworldly beings—rarely change. So writing a paranormal being is alabout keeping the differences interesting, but pinpointing the similar needs, creating a believable mix. That’s the challenge and adventure, and what keeps us coming back to paranormals.

“What is it?” he asked.

“I’ve never been romanced, Mikhael.” She allowed herself a tight smile. She’d played plenty of sensual games, understood the lines and boundaries of them.  “But I’m certainly not romance material, and neither are you. I want to know what you think this is.”

“No male has ever romanced you?”

The truth stung a little, but she lifted her chin. “I’ve had a lot of sex, Mikhael. No relationships.”

“Well, that makes two of us.” He gave her a direct look. “No woman has ever inspired me to walk with her in the rain, or crush peanuts for her sundae. Whether or not we’re romance material—your words, not mine—why shouldn’t we be allowed, if only for a few days, what so many others have? Life is short, whether you live one year or a thousand.”

Thanks for letting me be here today!  

***Leave a comment or question and your email address, and we’ll choose one person to win the book-of-their-choice in print or digital from my available titles.***

Okay... Detail time:::
Like Joey said...
You have to comment/question and you HAVE to leave your email address...
We will leave this one to be easy....
No hoops, no rings of fire to jump through...
Just comment/question and email address!!!
Now, I will run this giveaway till...
Saturday, May 19th
Winner will be posted on Sunday, May 20th
(My time of choosing... and I will email winner as well)

Fan forum:
Twitter: JoeyWHill

And remember... Always keep it Dirty, Smutty & Hussy! Photobucket


  1. Hi Joey!! A little Snippet from Taken by a Vampire!!
    Great and informative interview.
    Hugs, Moira

  2. these look good oh and my email is
    rebeccabryant562 at hotmail dot com

  3. Joey I love both of your series, have read almost al of yoyr Vampire Servant series and the firts on In the company of Witches, and can wait for the next ones. My e-mail is

  4. Can't wait looks so good and it was a great interview. my e-mail is ziggyfan1994 at

  5. nice interview joey, im so pleased your heroes are more than we were expecting them to be. keep up the good work and good luck. my e-mail is

  6. Love the interview and Joey´s thoughts on writing. =) Love reading them and seeing their POV.
    best wishes, Linda (

  7. I love the book covers!!! I look forward to reading this!

  8. I want to read!

  9. Moira, yes, Evan, Niall and Alanna have become a daily part of the writing routine now, so I'm getting to know their personalities and being drawn into their story, which is always the pleasurable part of the first draft process. Hope to have more snippets in the coming months (smile).

    On that same note, Julie, thank you for that compliment. As a writer, it's also more fun for me when each new set of heroes/heroines are distinct personalities, not just copies of the ones from the previous books. Evan really fits that profile as the vampire in this book, because he's a painter, a traveler, no ambition for the vampire hierarchy, and his relationship with his servant Niall is far less defined/structured than I've seen in any of the previous books. So it's going to be a fascinating trio to write.

    Becca and Tabitha, thank you for that! And Anonymous, so glad you've enjoyed my vampires and the first of the Arcane Shot series. Always like hearing that my work brings a reader back for more (beaming).

    Linda, thanks - but don't encourage me too much. I can get carried away talking about the creative process until I've put everyone to sleep (lol). Seriously, I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

    Alicia, aren't they beautiful? I've had such good fortune with my covers; the artists have really given the stories 110%. My favorites to date are the cover for Mark of the Vampire Queen, Afterlife and A Witch's Beauty, but I'm pretty happy with all of them.

  10. "Great posting, Joey! I read my first romance story at the age of 57, just three years ago. You quickly rocketed to the top of Favorite Authors list. Some of my favorites are Vampire Trinity, Rough Canvas, Virtual Reality, Afterlife, and A Mermaid's Kiss. Thank you for your many wonderful stories!"

  11. I still got my mermaid book i need to read, bad bad me

    I was fascinated with how you laid out the book with the 1st two thirds of the book are stars seem to be fighting their emotions. While at the end of the book climaxedwith the rush to save Raina as the forces of dark and light unitefor the Qwest. I do not think I have seen you use this format beforehow did you like writing this book compared to the 1st book where the danger seem to be intertwined with the romance from the 1st page

  13. I'm loving the Vampire Queen Series! I'm half-way through book 4 as we speak. I plan on starting her other series as soon I finish this one. Wonderful interview! Thank you for the chance to win!
    DeAnna Schultz

  14. Blodeudd, no worries, hon. I always tell people when they have one of my books to read it whenever the spirit moves them. Pleasure reading should be just that - never an obligation! Hope you enjoy my mermaids and angels when you get to them.

    Kevin, you know I never think about it too consciously; it just unfolds the way the plot seems to unfold. In this case, they were in a holding pattern for the first part of the book, waiting to see if the "bad guy" came after the incubus Raina was protecting, so it gave them time to work through the relationship dynamics/sparks (grin) before all hell broke loose. I guess I can say I tend to like it when the plot gives me time to focus on the relationship that way, because the intense emotional interactions through dialogue, romantic situations, sexual entanglements - that's my favorite combination of elements (wink).

    DeAnna, I'm so happy to hear that! Glad you're enjoying Mason and Jessica. I'm re-reading their book now to fine tune some points on the ever evolving "series bible" (to make sure details stay consistent on the newest vampire book), and I love them even more now that I don't have to be lashing out at them with the editing pen (grin). Hope you enjoy the rest of the book(s) as much, and let me know if ever anything disappoints you, as always!

  15. Lovley prize

    ohsogawjess at gmail dot com


  16. Hi Joey,
    I have read a couple of the Vampire series but none of your series yet. Thank you so much for sharing the excerpt and the post.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  17. Joey,
    I have been a fan of urs since I got a recommendation to read Vampire Mistress n Vampire Trinity. Holy Crap, I had to get the entire series n now I can't stop from getting every book you've written. Lots of paychecks have gone to ur books. I have enjoyed them so much n tell my peeps to read them as well.

    So, thanks for the hours of enjoyment that youmve given me. Can't wait for more!!


  18. My vampire would be fried like goat cheese on that bloodsoaked field. OMG!!! PMSLMAO *wipes tears from face* Joey you are priceless. A true treasure. So can't wait for this VQ serise installment. Thanks for the tasty tease. Yumm


  19. Great insight into your mind Ms. Joey :)
    This is a great question, and I admit to loving non-humans a little more.
    Loved the snippet from the story, I have to get this add to my Joey book shelf :)

  20. Great post Joey.I enjoyed reading it.Looking forward to reading In the Company of Witches.

  21. Hey Joey. I'm glad you have the gift of writing, and I humbly offer my gift of voracious reading as long as you want to keep contributing! I have, quite literally, read everything you've written.

    From the boardroom to the bedroom, or from the bottom of the sea to that swingy-bondage-thingie high above the board room conference table (and didn't I have to read THAT scene a few times to figure out the, "can that physically be done?" angle!) your characters are both believable and easy to invest in.

    Like one of the other commentators before me, I tend to prefer the vampires (both Mason and Daegan figure prominently on my VILF list!) to the humans...much in the same way as I prefer most animals to most humans in reality. But regardless, I love how you represent the many and varied facets of life and lifestyle, whether in contemporary characters or paranormal, and do so with a sensitivity and rightness that resonates.

    Kudos. Please keep writing. A lot.

    And there can never be enough Mason and Daegan...



  22. Great excerpt. I love your ideas on vampires. I'm also not a fan of wimpy vampires!

    Michelle V

  23. Broadwaybabe, my apologies, I missed your comment earlier. Wishing you luck in the contest so you might get your wish! (grin). Thanks Gawjess!

    June, no worries, girl. Just means you have lots of choices, since I have about 30+ titles and four series out tehre now. Since you like the vampires, maybe try the Arcane Shot series (Something About Witches/In the Company of Witches) or the Daughters of Arianne series (mermaids/angels) to keep the paranormal theme?

    Roberta, you know I love hearing not only that a reader loved the books, but loved them enough to tell all her friends about them - thank you!! Also, I think you already know this, but for the benefit of those who might not, if you've enjoyed any of my series, like the Vampire Queen series, I post free vignettes revisiting characters from the full length works on the fan forum. Several of them are novella length. And of course Daegan and Gideon's "One on One" vignette is one of those (wink).

    Terry, a good sense of humor is essential to the writing process, for certain (laughter). I've flubbed up things lin the past, but fortunately an author can translate the creative process into creative fibbing to explain why so-n-so was dead in this book, but miraculously came to life in a later book, etc. It brings to mind Paul Bettany's great line in A Knight's Tale "I'm a writer. I give the truth...scope!"

  24. Mai, I give Cecilia full credit for the question - she was the one who proposed I do the blog topic on that subject, and it was a great subject to explore.

    My apologies for the couple of typos in that last comment posted; I had a picture in front of the block so I was typing a bit blind - Cecilia, one of your graphics was out of control (laughter). Unfortunately, it wasn't the one of Hugh. I'd be happy to let him thrust his way into my comment box. Ahem. Okay, sorry for that one, I couldn't resist.

    I also realized I'm breaking protocol a bit here, answering several folks in one comment instead of replying to each of you. Hope that's okay! I get on a roll and start jabbering, and there we go.

    Elaine, hope you enjoy Mikhael and Raina. I loved their dynamic with one another. Sparks and sexual tension all the way, mixed with romance and unexpected tenderness. Probably my favorite scene was their makeout session in the movie theater (wink - tease).

    Judy, you had me rolling. I swear, "From the boardroom to the bedroom, or from the bottom of the sea to that swingy-bondage-thingie high above the board room conference table", THAT should go in my reader quotes I put on my promo materials. Loved it!

    Thank you for the wonderful compliment. And I assume/am sure you have visited the aforementioned fan forum to read BOTH the Daegan and Mason novella-length vignettes, hmm? ;>

  25. Michelle, if you ever want to hear me get on a soap box, get me going on the subject of wimpy, angsty vampires. Ugh! I've always said, I was right there with Tom Cruise's Lestat in Interview with a Vampire, wanting to stake Louis for all his incessant whining! He was at least less whiny in the book. I forgot, there was one other angsty vampire I let get away with it - David Boreanaz's Angel because Joss Whedon just knew how to put in enough irony and whimsy to keep it from being annoying. And well, it WAS David Boreanaz.

  26. I love vampires and I would love to read your series Joey. Please enter me in contest.

  27. Joey, thanks for coming over to the blog today!!! You are one of my rare finds as an author!!!

    Thanks to all of you for coming out!!!! Good Luck to all of you!!! If you haven't gotten any of her books, you have to go get some now!!!!

    Keep the comments coming!!!

    Hugs to all!!!

  28. Joey! I always enjoy your interviews so thank you!(especially for letting me salivate over Mikhael again for a while)- hopefully Raina won't mind me ogling her Dark Guardian as long as I keep my sticky paws to myself...right??:D

    1. is

  29. Tore, thanks for that - when you get a chance to try them, I hope you like them! You can read free excerpts from all the books under the Vampire Queen series link on my website, if you want to see they're your kind of vampires.

    Meltz, no worries - if there's one thing Raina understands and appreciates, it's female desire. :>

    Cecile, you know I love being here. I adore your boundless enthusiasm and your joy for this wonderful genre. Sorry for my typo, calling you Cecilia - I think I had the Simon and Garfunkel song in my head today (snort). Thank you for giving me the chance to be at your blog today - I always love the environment here!

  30. I could just look at those covers all day long, my oh my! Thanks for the chance, a fan from Australia! :D


  31. Unfortunately I've been procrastinating on In the Company of Witches, I've have the book and only read the first couple chapters, it's been hard to put down but I only have paperback edition and won't risk taking it to work! I know once I really get into it I won't be able to stop as has been my previous experience with all of your books so I'm holding off until I have some down-time at work.

    This was an excellent interview and I enjoyed the emotional/physical differences. Either way paranormal or not your heroes/heroines are always HOT!!! Although the Arcane Shot series is a "sensual romance" I find it just as amazing as all of your erotica work that I've fallen in love with, it's the attention you pay to the characters and your ability to really understand and make the reader understand that I think sets you apart! Good luck with your Arcane Shot series, it definitely deserves to be on the NYT bestsellers list!

  32. Jet, I always love to hear from my Aussie readers - and I'm glad you enjoy the covers. I keep thinking I'm going to get some of my favorites blown up and framed to enjoy at the house. Need to go ahead and do it! :>

    Now, Pyper, I'm not unreasonable. I merely expect you to skip work, ignore your children, give up sleeping, eating (except for chocolate, which is a staple when reading romance) and be entirely irresponsible with the rest of your life while you put reading my book totally and absolutely at the top of your priority list. Is that really asking so much? (laughter) Seriously, no worries, hon. Read it when you have time to relax and hopefully enjoy it. And let me know if it doesn't please! I'm also happy to hear the hotness didn't suffer from the slight (very slight - grin) deviation from erotic to sensual. Appreciate the compliment greatly!

  33. I do like crushed peanuts on a sunday, even better some one to
    do that for me. "long deep sigh"

  34. Tracy, I thought it was a particularly romantic gesture on Mikhael's part. He had a lot of unexpected sides! :>

  35. Joey, love the interview as always. All the your Vamps are drool worthy. Would love to take any of them home. Also enjoying the Witches (which isn't a surprise, all our books are AWESOME) Thanks!

  36. Very nice post and excerpts. All the books sound good.


  37. Well, shame on me. I can't believe I haven't read any of the books. I just came from your site and the Vampire Queen's Servants are ALL on my TRL. I love the blurbs I read for each. I'm definitely looking forward to books 1 & 2. Thanks for this opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  38. Hi Joey,

    I loved Mikhail and Raina's story. Such a emotional romance, and you had me tearing up again, lol. And oh mama, that strip poker scene is going to one of my all time favorites.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com


I want to thank you for stopping by my place... I hope to see you again!!
I hope you enjoy my little bloggie home as much as I do!
With hugs, love and smiles... Cecile

My Fictional Smutty Boyfriend.... =)