You picked an unusual genre, Reapers and Reaper love. What led you in that direction?
Lisa: I’ve been in love with monsters for a long time, since I first started reading Stephen King ages ago. But it was J.R. Ward’s Dark Lover which made me realize monsters in LOVE were even better. That book sent my imagination reeling. I don’t discriminate. I want love for vampires, shifters, witches and of course, reapers.
The dark hero speaks to me, and when I find him in the shadows, it’s my job to bring him into the light, sometimes kicking and screaming. Reading urban fantasy and paranormal romance makes me crave contact with the things that go bump in the night. I wanted to write about an underserved monster. That’s when I hit upon the idea of reapers. Not the skeletal creatures of ghost stories past, but soldiers in the field, leading souls to the afterlife. Don’t fear the reaper, because reapers need love too.
I love romance and thrillers, is your series something I could read late at night, alone?
Lisa: I think so. I’ve been told it’s suspenseful in places and will keep you turning pages. I don’t think you’ll be too afraid to read it alone in the dark. Unless of course you have a fireplace. You’ll find out why and what steps to take to avoid the problem Ruth encounters.
Where does one learn and research about Reapers?
Lisa: The internet of course! Seriously, I Googled ‘reapers’ and it was all downhill from there. One paragraph, story or drawing led to the next and it wasn’t long before my imagination was going wild asking “What if…?” and “What then…?” I built my world in the way that seemed most logical to me. For a few hours each night, I was Goddess of the Universe…at least of MY Universe.
Do you have a set writing schedule? I know you also work at another profession. Does finding time to write become a problem for you?
Lisa: You don’t FIND time to write. You have to MAKE time to write. I write late at night after my husband and daughter have both gone to bed. I need quiet and solitude for the words to come. When I’m in the groove, I can write 500-1000 words an hour. On a normal writing night, I might write from 8:30 or 9 p.m. until Midnight. Occasionally I’ll get a free weekend to spend writing. Oh, how glorious that is!
How important is social media in your marketing and writing process?
Lisa: I focus on Facebook, Twitter, and my website. I dabble in Pinterest for inspiration boards for each of my novels and I’ve only recently began interacting on Google+. Ultimately the goal would be to drive everyone to my website because that’s where as an author you have the most control over connecting with your audience. That being said, you have to go to wherever your audience hangs out as well. I think this is especially true as a beginning author. Fans of established authors will seek them out. Newbies have to build a solid platform and home base (website) before fans will come.
I have found that most writers are avid readers, who are your favorite authors?
J.R. Ward and Charlaine Harris are my current favorites. I also enjoy Patricia Briggs, Michele Hauf and Janet Evanovich. Then of course, Stephen King.
Take a little time here and tell us about yourself. Getting to know the author is fascinating.
Lisa Medley writes reapers. The grim kind. Her urban fantasy romance, R is available now in a Harlequin E Box Set with three other Harlequin debut authors. A lover of beasties of all sorts, she has a farm full of them in her SW MO home including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees and a guinea pig. Not so in love with the guinea pig. She can do ten pushups IN A ROW and may or may not have a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times. Just. In. Case.
Reap & Repent Blurb:
Deacon Walker is a burned out loner, whose two hundred years as a reaper have left him empty inside. But when he meets Ruth Scott, a gorgeous shut-in with unusual gifts, he’s forced to set his career complacency aside to train her for a destiny she never knew existed. Soon the two will face the ultimate test: a battle against demons determined to destroy humanity, one soul at a time.
Prologue from Reap & Repent:
What does a guy have to do around here to get some service? Deacon Walker marveled as he glared at the undulating queue of grotesque reapers in front of him.
For all that’s holy, move the hell along already.
It had been a long week, and it wasn’t over yet. He needed to make at least one more pass through the hospital circuit before he could call it a day. He could already feel the tug of a freshly departed soul. Again. People were dropping like flies lately.
He massaged his brow, trying to soothe his exhausted patience as the line inched forward at a snail’s pace.
He was worn thin. Over the past few weeks, three demon soul poachers had popped up in his fair city of Meridian like poisonous mushrooms after a hard rain. While it wasn’t unheard of for one to slip out from Hell every now and then, three was a nightmare.
When it got topside, a demon’s M.O. was to steal a human body, poach a few souls from the dead and dying, and then make its merry way back to Hell, taking its host’s soul along for the ride. The only way to save the souls a poacher was carrying was to behead the host with a scythe. Not a pretty thing to do, but the poor suckers were too far gone by then to survive anyway. No human could withstand the pressures of being ridden by a demon. And it was worth it to save a handful of souls, not to mention inconveniencing the demon.
Deacon refused to lose any souls from his territory. At all.
So far the score was Deacon, 3. Demons, 0.
As a reaper, carrying souls to Purgatory for judgment was his job and he wasn’t about to cede his territory to poachers who used up their hosts like they were disposable Tupperware. So now, in addition to his normal day job, he also had to keep an eye out for more demon invaders.
While demons burned through most human hosts in a matter of days, some in a matter of hours, they had discovered long ago that under the right circumstances they could ride a reaper. Of course, they couldn’t just worm their way in like they did with humans—they had to be invited. But once a deal was struck? They were in.
And reapers? Yeah, they could hang on for decades inside a reaper. Deacon knew that fact firsthand.
His stomach twisted at the thought, but he shook it off, looking ahead with a heavy sigh.
Seriously, this line? Still. Not. Moving?
God, he needed a freakin’ vacation. Extended. He dragged a hand through his hair in frustration as his mind flipped through postcard-esque locations of reapings past. He snarled at the thought of New Orleans in summer. He would definitely want to go someplace cool—cool as in frigid, not hip. He was sick of the heat, and it was only the beginning of summer in the semitropical Midwest.
Come to think of it, he was sick of a lot of things.
This place was high on the list. It was as hot as…well, Hell actually. Or at least what he imagined Hell to be, although he’d never actually been there. Thank God.
Steam rose from random cracks in the stone floor of the underground station, veiling the place in a humid sulfur stench.
He pushed forward, finally making his way to the front to deposit his cargo of souls. He didn’t bother chatting. In. Out. Move on. It was a motto that served him well.
Mission completed, he hustled through the crowd, forgoing the bar-side frivolity of some of the more socially inclined reapers and their small talk about their glory days in the field or—even better—the missteps of the newest reapers. Newbies often tested their limits to humorous if not disastrous effect at least once in their early careers. That was exactly why new reapers had mentors or at least worked in teams. From all the laughter, he could tell that the stories were good ones. It didn’t tempt him.
He slapped his palm against the black granite monolith and flashed out of Purgatory to what he prayed was his last stop of the day.
BUY LINKS: Reap & Repent is available until June 1, 2014 in a Harlequin E Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Box Set with the works of three other amazing new Harlequin authors! Reap & Repent will be available for single-title release June 2, 2014.
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