The masterminds behind Sydney Croft are none other than New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Tyler and Larissa Ione. With Ione’s expertise in all things paranormal and Tyler’s incredible suspense skills, they are one powerful writing team.
Together they write the erotic paranormal suspense series ACRO. The series follows agents from the Agency for Covert Rare Operatives, all specializing in some form of paranormal specialty. The sixth book in the series, Taken by Fire releases June 28th and will feature Stryker and Melanie.
Thank you so much to both Larissa and Stephanie for being here today!
Larissa: Thanks for having us!
Steph: *waves* Hey everyone!
Book Pushers: What can you tell us about Taken by Fire, and a very unique heroine who shares a body with her evil sister?
Larissa: Well, in Taken By Fire, Stryker, the hero who can control earthquakes, is after revenge against the evil woman who killed his friend. Unfortunately, when he finds the woman, he also finds that she shares a body with a very NOT evil twin sister, and suddenly, Stryker’s revenge plans aren’t so cut and dry.
Steph: Stryker was born and raised in the ACRO community – both of his parents are agents, so he’s really grown up with his powers. But when his mentor – Akbar – was killed in Tempting The Fire – Stryker’s world turned upside down. All he can think about is getting revenge – and then he discovers something pretty shocking about her that turns everything upside down.
Book Pushers: What do you have in store for the next ACRO book? Can you give us any sneak peaks?
Larissa: Er…well, there won’t be another one. Taken By Fire is the last in the series! That’s not to say that Steph and I won’t write more stories in the ACRO world — we do plan some novellas that would release in ebook format — but right now we’re not contracted for more books.
Steph: When we started the series, our arc was always for 6 books. I always feel like the world can start to get unwieldy and I really like how we were able to wrap things up. That being said, I’m absolutely looking forward to doing some ACRO novellas along the way.
Book Pushers: NOOO! That is the saddest thing I’ve heard all day!!! What inspired you to combine Stephanie’s suspense skills with Larissa’s paranormal mastery, and then throw in some steamy lovin’?
Larissa: Well, we really found that we clicked as friends, and then our writing was just so similar…and yet, at the same time different in a way that complimented each other. So Steph brought her yummy military heroes into the mix, I brought…animals. What? There are lots of animals in the ACRO world!
Steph: And we have a blast writing together. It’s really some of the easiest writing I’ve ever done!
Book Pushers: How did you two get together and decide to start writing as one?
Larissa: I’ll hand this one to Steph…she tells it better than I do.
Steph: Well, Larissa had been mentioning us writing together for a while. And we were both working on individual stories – and then Hurricane Katrina happened. Larissa had to leave her house with her son and barely anything else and she was calling me from the road and crying and it was so awful being helpless. At the time, I’d started writing a novella but my character ended up being a draw for weather – and I couldn’t get past the first chapter. Finally, in January, I sent her the first chapter which ended with Remy finding a naked woman in the shower and I said, your turn. She asked, what am I supposed to do with this woman? And I said, I have no idea, but she’s not cooperating for me, so maybe she’ll listen to you. And Haley was born.
She also pointed out that I was sending a book about hurricanes to her – I said, maybe it’ll be cathartic…
I think we wrote the original Riding the Storm (which started out as a novella) in three weeks and sold it maybe a week after we sent it to our agent. I couldn’t have written the entire book myself because it really was both our books.
Larissa: For the most part, Steph writes the heroes and I write the heroines, though we mixed it up a little with minor characters. For example, she wrote Marlena and Coco, and I took Ryan. We just pass the book back and forth after we finish a scene with our individual characters.
Steph: It’s much easier with each of us writing the different points of view – and it’s really so much fun to get a scene back from Larissa because even though I might know technically what’s supposed to happen, the characters always have some fun twists and turns. I think Larissa describes it like, we actually get to watch our characters falling in love. It’s a very cool process and hard to describe how it just unfolds.
Book Pushers: Are there any difficulties writing as duo? Do you have disagreements on the direction of a story, character, ect?
Larissa: Honestly, the difficulties came more from external things; finding time between our individual projects, home life, etc. Any disagreements in the story were few and far between, and we just talked them out, which was fairly easy because we looked at what was best for the book, not what was best for US. We really do check our egos at the door when writing Sydney books.
Steph: There was very little we disagreed on in the books – and it was usually a small thing. The plots and characters, the direction of the series – we were always on the same page with that stuff. But yeah, as we had more of our own books due, it was harder to schedule in time to work together. And that’s the key to these books – we have to write them literally together. We can do it fast, but finding a month neither of us had a million other things due got really tough.
Book Pushers: How did the ACRO world come to be? Where did the ideas come from?
Larissa: *eyes Steph* Her fault. She created a dude who attracted hurricanes. It all came from there…
Steph: It was Larissa’s fault. She was fleeing from Hurricane Katrina and I was supposed to be writing a novella and I was so worried about her that all I could get Remy to do was draw hurricanes to him.
Book Pushers: Which favourite powers do you wish you could have and which ones would you curse your fictional enemies with?
Larissa: I’d like any power, really. And then I’d go vigilante on scumbags. My enemies? I’d curse them with explosive diarrhea that would happen when they’re fighting…
Steph: Invisibility for me. With that, I wouldn’t need to curse any of them – I could simply track them down and take care of them.
Book Pushers: Do you have a favourite character? And if they have a theme song which one is it that sums up the most of your character?
Larissa: Ooh, tough one. I like ALL the characters! I guess I have a special place in my heart for Kira, and I also love the hell out of Dev.
Steph: Ender, hands down. But Oz comes a really close second!
Book Pushers: If you could go on a date with any fictional hero, who would it be?
Larissa: Angel from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. YUM!!!!
Steph: Alcide from True Blood or Eric from True Blood. Or both! Heh.
*Dear Fans, rest assured that Steph assured me that she and Larissa will team up in the future. So while we might have to say goodbye to the ACRO Series, they will be back for more in the future! WHEW! *wipes brows* We were worred there for a while!
Thanks so much to both Larissa and Steph for being here today! They have offered up TWO copies of Taken by Fire for anyone who comments below! Readers choice of print or kindle copy! Contest will close Wednesday the 29th.