THE NIGHT SERIES – Book One by Lisa Kessler
Title: Night Walker
Author: Lisa Kessler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.
She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…
After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.
They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…
Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.
About the Author:
Lisa Kessler is an avid reader and writer of dark fiction. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.
Lisa recently signed a 4 book deal with Entangled Publishing to release her Night Series. The first book, Night Walker, is scheduled to be released August 5th.
When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego. You can learn more at http://Lisa-Kessler.com
Lisa lives in southern California with her incredibly fun husband and two amazing kids.
And now for the interview!
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a writer, singer, wife and Mom. I wear all sorts of hats!
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
Laundry…. Well ok, I also sing too. And sometimes dance when I think no one else is looking!
3. Is there anyone who has influenced/encouraged you to write? Who and how/why? I have to give a big shout out to my husband. Every time I have ever been insecure, doubtful I was strong enough to keep writing in the face of rejections, he was right there, reading every word I wrote, and encouraging me to keep trying. He’s really been the best teammate and supporter in the world when it comes to my writing journey.
As far as my biggest influence on my writing, I have quite a few. Anne Rice really turned me on to vampires and immortals, Stephen King and Dean Koontz taught me characterization, and I really learned about pacing from reading great authors in my genre like Kelley Armstrong, Patricia Briggs, Angie Fox, and many more. I’m sure I’m forgetting some! Yikes! Great question…
4. Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with your first piece of fiction?
The first short story I sold was a vampire story called “Immortal Beloved”. I submitted it for a few months before I finally found an internet eZine that bought it. It went on to become a finalist for the Bram Stoker award that year! I was stunned.
It definitely encouraged me to keep writing… It has since been reprinted in the Dead Souls anthology with a new follow-up story called “Subito Piano”.
5. Do you have a day job as well? I do, but I’m hoping I can afford to write full-time soon… *hopehopehope*
6. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
For years, I wrote ongoing stories for characters in my head. It was all “just for fun”.
That changed the night I visited a palm reader in New Orleans.
I went into a shop in the French Quarter and met an amazing woman who shocked me with her accuracy.
She jotted down notes for me on a 3” X 5” card and started to walk me out. When I got to the door, I turned to thank her and she said, “Can I ask you something?”
“Are you a writer?”
“Not really.” My brow furrowed and I finally nodded with a shrug. “I do write every night, but it’s just for fun.”
She smiled and I swear her eyes sparkled. “You’re going to be a famous writer one day.”
I walked back to the hotel in a daze. I couldn’t process how I would ever write a book or get published, but she’d planted the seed that night. For the rest of our stay in New Orleans, I kept thinking about what I would write.
By the time we were in the New Orleans airport to fly home, I had written the original plotline for Night Walker on cocktail napkins. (I didn’t own a laptop back then! LOL)
I wrote the first version of the book in about five months.
7. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I started out writing horror short stories, so when I branched out, paranormal romance seemed like the perfect fit. My books are still very dark and suspenseful, just more romantic and sexy!
8. Where do you get your ideas?
They can come from anywhere. Sometimes they come researching, sometimes a short story idea grows into a novel, and sometimes it can be reading a news story and thinking “What if?”.
9. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Not really. There have been times that I’ve struggled, but usually I can force myself through and then the words flow again. I saw Neil Gaiman speak at World Fantasy Con and his best advice to writers was to force yourself to sit and type. When you finish the book and re-read it you won’t be able to tell the sections that were tough to write and the parts that flowed easily. So far, I’ve found that to be very true!
10. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I usually know where I want to start and have a vision about how the book will end. Then I jump in and just write. I love seeing how the story unfolds. I’ll never forget when I was writing Night Demon, Book #2 in the Night Series, I wrote a female character that I thought would die in the first couple of chapters, but she kept living… Then I realized she was the heroine! LOL I love discoveries I never saw coming. It keeps writing a fun adventure.
11. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Oh there have been SO many! But I have to say there are two authors in particular who REALLY helped me get Night Walker out into the world.
First is Kelley Armstrong. I met her at Comic-Con and we talked about writing. She encouraged me to join RWA and that really changed my writing career. I never would have found my publisher without the connections I made in RWA.
And the second author who really helped me with Night Walker is Angie Fox. I won a short story contest and the prize was a manuscript critique from NYT Bestselling author, Angie Fox! I was so excited! She loved Night Walker and gave me a few helpful tweaks, but the biggie was adding the final chapter before the epilogue. It really made the ending of the book MUCH stronger and more romantic. After adding that chapter Night Walker finally found a publisher… Angie rocks!
12. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
If I could go back I would join RWA much sooner. I wrote all alone for WAY too many years.
13. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Blog tours have really helped! Book bloggers are the coolest people on earth and I’ve met so many who really help spread the word about my books. They rock!
14. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
A week ago I would say yes, but last weekend I got some cool news that I can’t quite share yet so… I can’t say more without getting myself in trouble! LOL
15. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Night Walker is the story of Calisto and Kate. The book has a couple of themes about love, fate, and reincarnation. Is love at first sight really your heart remembering what your mind has forgotten?
The tagline says it all: He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…
16. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
There are some parts that were inspired by real life, like Kate’s car. I knew a woman when I was growing up who had a VW Bug that she loved, but it was literally held together with bungee cords! LOL I also use lots of music in the book. I’m a classically trained singer, so the singing and piano playing are all inspired by things I love…
17. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I love starting a new book! Getting to know new characters and seeing how they react to different situations is so fun for me, but I also love writing the end of the book! Once I get to the climax of the book it’s tough to pull myself away from the keyboard. I call it the race to “the end”…
18. How did you come up with the title for your current novel?
Calisto becomes an immortal Night Walker. They’re similar to vampires, but their origins are from the Mayans, not from Europe. I took the title from the Mayan immortals.
19. What project are you working on now?
I’m working on finishing up edits for my Night Thief novella. It’s a prequel to Night Walker that takes place in 1840 in Paris. You’ll get to meet Kane, one of the original Night Walkers. He’s so yummy! And Rita is his perfect match. I can’t wait to share the books with everyone! LOL
20. Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Yes! I have my “secret” project that will release in August, and Night Thief will be out in September.
21. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Part of the fun for me in my Night Series is that Night Demon and Night Child have the same cast of characters. So while the hero and heroine shift in each book, all of the others are still there. It feels like I get to visit my old friends again!
22. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Gosh the best compliments were the cover blurbs that came in for Night Walker. So many authors have embraced the book that it’s been more than I ever hoped for!
The toughest criticism would probably be a couple of reviews, but I knew when I wrote the book that it wouldn’t appeal to everyone. I understand if some people can’t connect with it.
23. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
If you love to write and you have stories to tell, keep writing them. Don’t get stuck rewriting one book over and over. Writing is a craft. You have to do a lot of it to improve.
24. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! For years, seeing my book in print has been a dream, and your encouragement and support has made every tear I shed in the beginning completely worth it!!!
Thanks so much for the fun interview!