I had the pleasure of meeting Jodie and Tammy when they were pre-published, and new to HCRW. Though my path took me away from the group, I still kept tabs on the authors. But I was shocked when I walked into my local Barnes and Noble to find a whole end cap lined with their novels! And I was proud of their hard work, since I knew that both of them had been honing their craft and really getting to know the nitty gritty details of publishing. Now I'm ecstatic that they're about to unveil their 5th release. My how time flies and how things can change in the blink of an eye...but I know they're still the two lovely ladies who shared stories over coffee. And they deserve every little iota of their success!
How did you concoct the combination of characters in your Wolf series, and now the connected Bite series? What is the most important characteristic each hero or heroine must possess?
Lydia/Jodie - Tammy and I are both "panters" so we don't plot the combination of characters at all. It just happens organically. As for the most important hero/heroine characteristics... We try to stay within the guidelines our editor, Deb Werksman, says she's always looking for - "A heroine you can relate to and a hero you can fall in love with."
Lydia/Tammy – We actually came up with the wolves while Jodie and I were sitting at a conference. We started making up characters and scenarios, and there they were! Then in book two, our wolves met some witches. And our witches needed some formidable heroes. So the vampyres were born.
When did you decide to branch out from historical werewolf paranormals to mix in witches and now vampyres? Has the variety made your writing easier or more complex?
Lydia/Jodie - Oh, we decided fairly early on to bring the witches into the mix. The coven first debuted in the second book TALL, DARK and WOLFISH. As for the vampyres, there is a small introduction to one of our vampyre heroes in THE TAMING OF THE WOLF, but if you blinked you missed it. We decided to add more paranormal characters to our world to make it more mystical and add new layers. I don't think the variety has made the writing easier or more complex, but as our world grows and books are cast in stone, we don't have as much freedom to create as we did originally.
Lydia/Tammy – As we built our Regency Paranormal Historical world, we had to decide who would and would not be in it. And the witches were a very natural progression, because, honestly – who else could heal a broken Lycan? I vaguely remember that Jodie kept trying to write a dragon into our pages, and I kept writing him out. But we very well may see him at a later date. Who knows?
Since settings are critical in historicals, what one place stands out as your favorite to write about? Have you taken any sight seeing trips for inspiration?
Lydia/Jodie - My father's family stems from Scotland, so I have to say Edinburgh has been my favorite locale. I have not been to Scotland, but I have been to London and the southern counties of England. Spending time there feels more like home than where I live.
Lydia/Tammy – I have never been to any of the places we’ve written about, but I did visit a lot of them online. Since I was a novice at the Regency terminology, I had to go look at old photos of Drury Lane (the popular old theater) so I could picture it in my head. When we wrote IN THE HEAT OF THE BITE, Jodie sent me pictures of some old lochs so I could see the area where our castle was set. So, while we’ve not seen any of these places in person, we have certainly toured them in our minds.
How long have you been working together and what kind of sparks flew when you became Lydia Dare?
Lydia/Jodie - We've been writing together 2 1/2 years, but we've been friends a lot longer. I think sparks fly whenever we're together. We seldom agree.
Lydia/Tammy – Spark? What sparks? Jodie adores me 100% of the time, and I feel the same way about her. Just because I say, “I hate you Jodie,” at least once every time I see her doesn’t mean anything.
What is the best and worst thing that's happened since your rise to success? What are your wishes for the future?
Lydia/Jodie - The best thing about being so busy is interacting with readers. Talking to someone who is a fan is the highest high. The worst thing would be we would both like the time to work on individual projects, but we've been too busy to do so. Hmm - wishes for the future - hitting the NYT list!
Lydia/Tammy – The best thing – my husband tells everyone he’s the man on our covers. The worst thing – my husband tells everyone he’s the man on our covers.
Which "must have" item do you need when you're writing? A certain drink, pen/laptop or picture for inspiration?
Lydia/Jodie - I've become quite the Starbucks addict. I don't have to have a venti cinnamon dolche latte, but it does help.
Lydia/Tammy – I need quiet, Diet Dr Pepper, and a whole bunch of ice. But that’s about all!
Are there any upcoming appearances or other news fans need to know about?
Lydia/Jodie - I'm headed to Clearwater FL this weekend and plan on signing stock at the local bookstores.
Lydia/Tammy – I’ll be at Romantic Times in LA in April, and I’ll be in New York in June for the Romance Writers of America national conference.
If you'd like to learn nmore about Lydia Dare go to http://www.lydiadare.com/. One lucky person who posts a comment or question for Tammy or Jodie will be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of IT HAPPENED ONE BITE...their March release! Please include your e-mail address in your post!