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*camera zooms in on a room on the ship that has been decorated to look like a piratey version of Inside the Actor’s Studio, complete with pirated theme music, with the major exception of the part of James Lipton. Camera zeroes in on Edward Cullen, star of the Twilight series, who looks broody and sullen, even as he looks devastatingly handsome and perpetually windblown. The camera zooms to a close-up of Edward’s mouth, then lowers to follow the open trail of his slightly unbuttoned shirt*
Hellion: Sin! What did I tell you about camera privileges!
*camera immediately zooms out and shows the entire studio, where now a new face has appeared, of a beautiful young woman who is smiling*
Edward: *giving a shy grimace of a smile* Hello, I am Edward Cullen…
*wild fan screaming*
Hellion: Sin, I mean it! For the love of God…
Edward: *blushing* Thanks, um, I’m Edward Cullen and I am very honored to be hosting here today on the Romance Writer’s Revenge, along with our special guest, J.K. Coi, author of The Immortal series...
*wild fan screaming*
Sin: It wasn’t me. It was the Vixens.
Terri: And me too.
Chance: Ye mean we can’t do any screamin’? But she’s an author, she is, we always scream for authors…
Hellion: You’re right. Continue screaming.
*wild fan screaming*
J.K.: Hello Pirates! Is it just me, or does the ship look different from this side of the yard arm? Oh, and hey there Eddie, what’s new? I can call you Eddie, right?
J.K.: Great, thanks! You know, for an undead bloodsucker, you’re a pal.
Edward: Yeah, sure. That’s what I always say. *heavy sarcasm* Anyway, let’s get back on track. You are the author of The Immortal series. J.K.--*turning his intense gaze to her*--please tell us what these books are about.
J.K.: Oh, the books! Thank you, Eddie. Actually, I think you’d fit right into the world of the Immortals, although I can’t figure out if you’d be one of the good guys or the bad guys—then again, all my warriors also tend to straddle the fence on that one too.
The Immortals are destiny’s demon hunters. They have been chosen by the divine powers that be to protect the world from hell’s escaped convicts—demons that have made their way out of their extra fiery alternate dimension and now seek to ravage the earth as they prepare the way for the return of Mastema, the demon king.
Edward: Interesting. Immortals who protect humans from demons and other things that go bump in the night. *tilts head glamorously* Like vampires. *more fan screaming*
J.K.: Yes, as a matter of fact, vampires do play a role in some of the books. A particularly nasty one made his presence known in book 2, Immortal Kiss.
Edward: What have you got against vampires? Some of us are perfectly respectable, vegetarians even, minding our own business and not getting involved with humans—
J.K.: Except for Bella, of course.
Edward: *sullen narrowed look* Well, she makes things difficult. I’m just saying not all vampires are evil. Is there any room in your future books for a peace with the vampires?
J.K.: Actually, not all of the vamps in my world are eeevil. In fact, one of them was so mysterious and sexy that I couldn’t help but give him a story of his very own and I’m working on it now. Justice is just one of those men—dangerous, hard, hot as hell...Oh, but you wouldn’t know what that’s like, right, Eddie?
Edward: *blushing* No, I’ll just have to use my imagination, I suppose. *clears throat* This latest book—Forever Immortal—features an Immortal and a Demon. Talk about a lion and the lamb teaming up. How hard is it to make such a character redeemable?
J.K.: I think the thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to redeem a demon—or any other character who has to be transformed from villain into hero or heroine—is not to force a 180 degree character reversal. The lion can never be a lamb. The demon within isn’t going to magically disappear and leave a well-adjusted social do-gooder in its wake. I try to make the shift more subtle, to make it about recognizing a need to change, while realizing that the internal struggle will always be there. But the demon will have gained an advantage (like love) to make the fight against evil worth all the pain—and there will be pain. Because there can be no redemption without sacrifice.
Edward: You sound just like Bella. You optimists will never learn, will you?
J.K.: Right. Optimist is exactly the word I think of when wanting to describe her too.
Edward: *droll look* Moving on. What is Forever Immortal about?
J.K.: Forever Immortal has two main themes. The first is about learning to see beyond the masks we all wear, even our own. The second is about understanding that everyone needs help sometimes, and it’s okay to lean on the people that we love when life is overwhelming.
Edward: What do you love most about this book?
J.K.: I love this book for a lot of things. I’ve been looking forward to Gideon’s story since I introduced him in the first book—I loved the way he sparkled with life and energy. I also loved Lyssa’s strength and bravery, not many people could survive what she has and come out of it with their sanity—not to mention their life. This book was also exciting because it begins a new chapter in the war against Mastema (which I won’t give away here). But mainly I loved this book for the back and forth between Gideon and Lyssa. Their romance is supercharged with emotion. Anger, pain, love, longing—all of it mucho intensito.
Edward: Sounds a bit angsty—not that I would know anything about that. Is the Immortal series an ongoing series, or do you have a plan of where the series will end? For instance, Colleen Gleason (another vampire hater) had her series arc over five books, but Sherrilyn Kenyon has a Dark-Hunter series (also not a fan of vampires) and the stories and world-building are never-ending. Both are very successful series. Which is yours more like?
J.K.: I would hope it’s like both, in so much as it becomes very successful! And actually, there is a very specific end to this series—two more books that are still in the planning stages at this point. Granted, I am working on a book featuring a hero that has appeared in the Immortal series, but it will still be going off in a very different direction and the new books will not showcase the Immortals at all.
Edward: My story was turned into a Hollywood blockbuster—a freak accident really, I was never expecting that—I never really understood the draw of vampires on the teenage girl psyche. *glances up at Sin who blows him a kiss* Or even the non-jailbait variety. Why do you think characters like your Immortals are so popular with our culture? What draws you to writing about such dark characters?
J.K.: Honestly, I think there’s darkness in all characters. It’s what creates our all-important conflict and drives the story. The character doesn’t have to be a vampire or a demon to be dark, just broken and torn between good and evil. It’s an internal thing that comes in many different forms—I just use the paranormal background because it’s what I’m familiar with and the kind of story that fits my voice the best. However, as to why this genre is so popular right about now...I couldn’t say. I have no idea why the trends flow the way they do. Most of the time I think there’s a catalyst (like Harry Potter) that starts the ball rolling until something as utterly fantastic but completely different takes the stage and makes way for another genre.
Edward: *baffled look around* Who’s Harry Potter?
Edward: *shrugging* Okay. Can you tell us a little bit about your next project?
J.K.: Right now I’m writing Absolute Justice (–yes, still). I can’t say too much about it, except that...it’s a vampire book! Also, I’ve just entered into a new contract with Samhain Publishing to re-release my novella The Trouble With Destiny, so you should see the new improved version coming soon!
Edward: *reaches out and takes J.K.’s hand courteously and kisses the back of it* Ms. Coi, I just wanted to thank you for being my guest here today—even if you aren’t a fan of vampires—and wish you much continued success with your Immortal series. I would like to ask what you will be doing this summer—and also if there is anything you would like to ask our readers?
J.K.: Thank you for being so gracious, Edward. I’m sure Bella would approve. And thanks to all the pirates for having me on board today! It’s always a blast.
As to my summer, unfortunately the trip to Italy will have to be postponed. This summer is going to be pretty dull for me. Hubby and Kiddo both have two months off, so they’ll be ditching me to go to the cottage while I slave away at the day job and spend my nights alone at home—hopefully writing. However, I’m looking forward to a camping trip or two and a couple of long weekends at the beach.
So what do you all think is “the next big thing” in romance? Will we see a resurgence in historicals (I think it’s already here, actually) and do you think there can be anything new in the paranormal genre or has it all been done to death? Oh, and what are your summer plans?