Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Author Interview: Jodi Lynn Copeland




Please welcome today's guest and feature author, Jodi Lynn Copeland!

Your newest book, Escape to Ecstasy, was released in January. Tell us about it.

I had so much fun writing this book! With the Aphrodisia line my editor has wanted to keep me primarily with contemporary collection stories, meaning two or three stories in a one-author book or anthology. I do enjoy writing novellas but I greatly prefer the bigger story. While Ecstasy still contains two stories, I worked a bigger story feel into the shorter length, particularly with the first story. Both contain a great deal of emotional tension, and hopefully a good plot, to go along with lots of scorching, sexy heat and love scenes. I really love all the characters from this book and was eager to see them get their “happily ever afters.” In the first story, the heroine is a recluse who became that way after witnessing a shooting outside her apartment building. The hero is a sensual healing coach who is out to help the heroine move past her recluse tendencies. However, the hero also has a lot of emotional baggage and conflict in his past, and the heroine ends up helping him as much as he helps her. The second story is a reunion romance, which means the hero and heroine must first overcome their past if they have any chance of a future...and there too is the heroine’s fiancĂ© to muddy the path.

You've been a published author since 2003. Tell us a little about what you have learned about writing, the publishing industry, or life in general during that time.

It has been an extremely interesting journey. One of the greatest surprises to me is that my productivity level went down a good deal after becoming published. This would be due to my second guessing each word and action, because where before I hoped those words and actions would see the light of a bookshelf, now I know they will, and I want them to be as perfect as possible. I am trying to move past this second guessing, as in addition to slowing down my writing, it also has a tendency to make scenes read not as natural, therefore having the opposite of the hoped for result. So far another surprise for me has been the editing process. I was published with an ePress at first, and I received quite a good share of edit suggestions with most of my books. Then in early 2005 I sold my first book to Kensington Aphrodisia. I always believed that a larger house would mean more edits. But I didn’t receive any revision notes for that first book. Now, four years later and with books contracted through two other larger publishers, I still have yet to receive revision notes. I have a feeling that much of the reason for this goes back to my slowed productivity and fear of getting a scene wrong. I also have a feeling that one of these days I am going to get revisions so extensive I don’t know where to start first. One of the biggest things I have learned is that success doesn’t come quickly to many. There are the exception authors who make it big with their first book, but the majority of us need to write and extensively market multiple books before our name begins to circulate to a wider readership. 2009 will see my 30th release, and I honestly feel I am only just beginning to develop a reader following.

Wow! Thirty books - that's amazing. Does one of the books you've written stand out as a personal favorite?

This answer depends a lot on my mood. I often like the one I am currently writing the best, because those characters are near and dear to my heart just then. However lately I have considered that my personal favorite has yet to be written…or at least finished. I am writing a paranormal suspense story right now that is connecting with me on numerous levels. I think it may just end up being my favorite when all is said and done.

What do you think is the ideal reading setting?

I love to read in the summer sun, with a tall glass of something ice cold nearby. At the same time, in the winter months, it’s wonderful to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and a hot cup of my favorite drink, and sail away with the pages…

Do you have an all-time favorite book or two?

I really don’t. I used to have favorites, but I find as I age and grow that my tastes change and what I once loved, I don’t as much any longer. While I don’t have an all-time favorite or two, I greatly enjoy 95% of the books I pick up. My favorite genre of choice is romantic suspense. I love the combination of the romance and the intrigue, and how the author is able to keep me on the edge of my chair and guessing all the way through to the end. Lucky for me so many other readers feel this way as I find the bookshelves are packed with great suspense novels these days. With a few rare exceptions, suspense stories are the only ones capable of forcing me to turn to a new chapter when I should be heading to bed.

What about favorite authors?

I don’t really have favorite authors either, in that I rush right out to buy their latest. That said, if I read a book by an author and love it, I will rush right out and buy another by them. If the first book is part of a series or includes siblings with their own stories, I will likely purchase the entire series or sibling collection. One thing I do greatly enjoy outside of suspense novels are contemporary stories with quirk. I love Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Nerd books for this reason and would/will rush out and buy it if/when she publishes another.

Tell us three words your friends would use to describe you.

Friendly. Helpful. Motivated.

And three words you use to describe yourself.

Mom. Daughter. Wife.

What are you working on now?

In addition the paranormal suspense I mentioned before, I am trying to get a time-travel erotic trilogy about best friends off its feet for my NAL Heat editor, and then am completing a short, Spice-tone story for eHarlequin.com, which will be posted as a free online serial read in the months of May and June. And then I also have some lingering stuff that needs to be addressed sooner than later.

You are one busy gal! Anything else you’d like to share?

Thanks so much for having me, Tiffany! And thanks to everyone who took the time to read this interview. If you’d like to learn more about me, please drop by my website (www.JodiLynnCopeland.com)--let me warn you, I am still getting the new look up, so some pages may still be in progress. I also maintain an author newsletter, which is sent out roughly once a month and includes exclusive contests, excerpts, free reads, progress updates, and more. To join the newsletter group, send a blank email to: PassionPress-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Great, Jodi! Thanks so much for being here today.

Jodi is offering a signed copy of Escape to Ecstasy to one lucky commenter so let us know what's on your mind or ask your burning questions!

A CHANGE TO CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENTS: I will announce the contest winner on Friday BUT instead of writing a new post, I'm going to announce the winner right here! So make sure you check back with this post on Friday!

Thanks, everybody! Have a great Wednesday and good luck!

THE WINNER OF JODI'S CONTEST IS:


Robynl

Congratulations, Robyn! Email me your snail mail address at Tiffany@TiffanyJames.net and I'll get that info to Jodi.

A huge thank you to Jodi for joining us this week and to all of you who dropped in to say "hi". Have a great weekend!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading the comments. And I like reading our books.
JOYE

Jodi Lynn Copeland said...

Thanks for dropping by, Joye! :)

And a big thanks to Tiffany for letting me take part in her blog.

~ jodi

April Vine said...

Hi Tiffany and Jodi

Fantastic interview!

I thought I was losing my mojo, but since becoming published (two tiny little short stories) my productivity has decreased considerably as well. Now I can go to bed glowing with a mere 300 words as opposed to what it used to be before – 5000 without blinking an eye. I’m more conscious now when I write. But what I’m having a problem with is in the midst of one story another will pop up and I’ll immediately think oh, that’s it, that’s going to be my ‘magnum opus.’ I’m on my way to having a library of ‘almosts.’
Jodi, you’ve written 30 books – (complete awe!!!) - how do you commit to a story?
Or don’t you ever get sidetracked?

Thanks
April

robynl said...

the title has a very nice sound to it; I like the reunion stories and the ones where someone is willing to stay and help another person through whatever they are going through in order to get that person on track.

BethRe said...

I love reunion stories

Jodi Lynn Copeland said...

April, you and I are of like minds. I have that same problem, ideas crop up when I really don't need them around. I try to jot down notes, maybe even dialogue or the bulk of a first chapter, and then come back to them when I can.

I am terrible about being interupted in the middle of a story, for edits, etc. It means to get back into the previous one to finish it I often have to read it several times. I am facing that right now and it's not a fun place to be in.

As for writing... I think I guilt myself into it as much as anything. I went four months without writing this last summer as I was pregnant and super tired by the evening. I felt so bad about not writing during that timespan. Low productivity leads to a guilt trip.

That said, I do start stories I don't finish. I have a Spice Brief I really need to finish and get to my editor, then several concepts that need to get to proposal stage for my agent to shop around, not to mention series that I have to get back to. Just enough hours in a day is the long and short of it.

GL with your continued writing!!

~jodi

Tiffany James said...

Joye,

Thanks for stopping by Armchair Heroines today!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

April,

Awesome question! I do the sidetracked thing, too. I feel like a cow sometimes, in that the grass is always greener on the other side of my writer's mind!

Thanks for joining us today!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Robyn,

I love those stories, too! I enjoy watching two people work together to heal each other and then find happiness together (guess it's no surprise why I love romance novels so much then). :0)

Tiffany

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Jodi and Tiffany! I love Aphrodisia, so I'll definitely check out your work, Jodi. Interesting that you got lots of editorial suggestion from your epublisher, but not from the large print publishers. I would not have guessed that. Thirty releases? That's amazing. Congratulations!

Jodi Lynn Copeland said...

Sorry I've been a bit AWOL today. Really been finding it hard to get to the computer with the kidlets as of late. Yes, that makes doing both my day job and night one difficult, which is why it's not 11:00 and I am just getting to my day job stuff. *sigh*

Robyn, Beth and Helen, it was so great of you all to drop by! I have always loved the reunion romance. Seems like those old conflicts make for such great fodder for new conflicts and tension. And the still brewing sensual chemistry is wonderful as well!

Helen, I hope you enjoy my latest Aphrodisia if you check it out! Not sure of your genre of choice, but my next release, part of an anthology out the end of March, is a paranormal light BDSM tale. Light on the BDSM part, mind you. Rather dark in the actual story. :)

Wishing y'all a wonderful evening!

~ jodi

Eva S said...

Hi Tiffany and Jodi,
thanks for the interview! You are a new-to-me author, but your books sound interesting. The excerpt on your site was great, I'll add this book to my wishlist!
Thanks Tiffany for a new author!!

robynl said...

Tiffany, have you received my snail mail addy yet? I've sent it but am having trouble with e-mails going out.