New York Times Best Selling author Lorelei James has stopped by today to chat with us. The twelfth book in her wildly popular Rough Riders series, Cowboy Casanova, is due to hit virtual bookshelves December 6. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for me and your readers.
Kathy: When you wrote Long Hard Ride, the first book in the Rough Riders series, did you intend to write a 16 book series?
Ms. James: Not at all. We had no idea how well that first book would be received. And it really struck a chord with readers so I wanted to keep telling stories of this Wyoming ranching family. So we swapped out an erotic suspense I’d contracted which was supposed to be the next book, and then I wrote Rode Hard, Put Up Wet instead and it did very well…so we kept pushing the Running series back…The more I wrote about this family, the more family members I discovered.
Kathy: Do your characters always go in the direction you have planned for them? Or do they sometimes take the reins and lead you down an unexpected path?
Ms. James: Oh, they never go where I want them to
Kathy: Although your lead protagonists are strong alpha males, your books contain varied and diverse storylines. Cowgirl Up and Ride is an older man/younger woman story, Rough, Raw, and Ready features a committed ménage, Branded As Trouble touches on addiction and recovery, etc. Do your characters inspire the plots? Or do you outline the novel and then decide which character best fits the story?
Ms. James: Since the RR series is a long running series, usually by the time I get to that character’s story arc I know where I’m going. I’m usually plotting several books ahead. For me, character is first, character is king. Period. Each couple has a different path to happily ever after. So that’s why not all of my books have a ménage plot line or a ménage scene. That’s why some books have more sex, some books have more humor. Everything in the book is borne out of the characters reaction to themselves, those around them and the life experiences that have shaped them. I love throwing traditional tropes on their collective heads…so what happens now?
Kathy: In Chasin’ Eight, there is an unexpected twist at the book’s end. Were the various story arcs and family dynamics planned from the beginning of the series? Or have they evolved with each novel?
Ms. James: Some things have evolved. Nothing is set in stone and I think that’d be a boring way to write, cause I’m an off the map kinda chick 🙂 I’ve known several things far in advance, Gavin existence, for instance, I’ve known about for many books. I knew ahead of time all the secondary characters that I planned to kill off. But so much of writing happens in the moment that things pop up that I didn’t plan and those are always such thrilling moments for me as a writer and why I continue to sit by myself in my room and do it day after day, year after year.
Kathy: Even though we’ve been discussing your Rough Riders series, I have to mention the Blacktop Cowboys series you write for NAL. Can you tell us a little about this series and what makes it different from the Rough Riders?
Ms. James: The Blacktop Cowboys series is still a contemporary erotic western series, still set in Wyoming, but are centered around a community and a group of friends rather than a specific family. These books are published in ebook and trade paperback at the same time, so no waiting for those who still like print books for a new release because the RR books don’t release in paperback until 11 months after the ebook version is out. Right now I’m contracted through book 6 with this series.
Kathy: You also write mysteries under the pen name Lori Armstrong. Do you see yourself continuing to write in both genres?
Ms. James: I hope to write in both genres for as long as readers are interested and invested in the characters and series.
Kathy: Is there another genre or time period you would also like to give a try? Is there a genre you will NEVER write?
Ms. James: I’ve kicked around a historical western idea. I’ve kicked around a paranormal idea. I’ve kicked around a young adult book idea. I’ve kicked around a straight contemporary romance series idea. So, yeah…but I’m too dang busy to pursue any of it right now. I probably won’t ever write a sci-fi novel. Or a horror novel.
Kathy: I know you need to get back to your writing cave, but before you go, can you give readers a little insight into Ben McKay and Cowboy Casanova?
Ms. James: Oh, Ben, Ben, Ben. I know I always say this, but he’s a lot more complex than I knew until I got into his head. He very much is the middle child, the quiet one, the one everyone can rely on…but no one really knows. He is a Dom, but really, that doesn’t adequately describe him because BDSM is part of his life, and part of who he is…but not all he is.
Kathy: Ms. James, congratulations on your upcoming release and thank you so much for dropping by to chat with us today. Feel free to drop by anytime you happen to be in the neighborhood.
Ms. James: Thanks, Kathy, I appreciate your time and support 🙂
To celebrate the release of Cowboy Casanova and Ms. James’ visit here today, I am giving away a digital copy of Cowboy Casanova to one lucky commenter.
Title: Cowboy Casanova by Lorelei James
Rough Riders Series, Book 12
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Genre: Erotic, Contemporary, Romance, Red Hots!, BDSM
Length: Novel Plus
His rough touch makes her lose control…
Rough Riders, Book 12
In Sundance, Wyoming, you can’t throw a boot without hitting a McKay cowboy, so Ben McKay is used to fading into the background. Except on weekends, when he’s Bennett, imposing Dom at The Rawhide Club, surrounded by a bevy of female subs eager for the attention of his long…whip.
As for the curvy brunette eying him from across the room? He’ll eat his Stetson if she’s the experienced Domme she claims to be. Bennett offers her a deal—he’ll let her call the shots for one night. But the next night he gets to prove to her how freeing it’ll be when he takes the reins.
Ainsley Hamilton is amazed by how well Bennett read her every secret yearning during that one explosive weekend—and she’s stunned when they come face to face in their everyday lives as rancher and new bank president. Now Ben’s urging her to explore her submissive side outside the club, and there’s something in his commanding gaze that makes it too easy to let him take control—of her desires and her pleasure.
Can Ben help Ainsley overcome her fear that a relationship built on dark sexual appetites won’t survive the light of day?
Product Warnings: This book contains a lot of kinky sex. No, seriously, there’s A LOT of kinky cowboy sex in this Rough Riders installment. You’ve been warned.
To enter the Friday’s Feature Cowboy Casanova contest:
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4. Leave a comment this post by 5 PM Mountain Time Sunday December 4.
It’s that easy! I will e-mail one lucky winner a copy of Cowboy Casanova in their preferred format on Tuesday December 6. The winner will be announced Monday December 5.