Today we have the very versatile Zoe Archer with us at The Book Pushers. Zoe has written steampunk romance, space opera science fiction romance, and is now launching a new paranormal historical romance series called The Hellraisers.
The Hellraisers is being published by Zebra books, with the first book Devil’s Kiss releasing December 6th.
Zoe – Welcome to The Book Pushers!
Thanks for having me!
The Book Pushers: Can you tell us about The Hellraisers Series — and what we can expect in Devil’s Kiss?
Zoe: The Hellraisers are a group of five London rakes who inadvertently free the Devil from his prison and wind up literally raising hell. So we have a group of very bad boys given the power to grant their darkest desires—but at a very high price.
Devil’s Kiss is the first book in the series, and its hero is James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney. At the beginning of the story, Whit’s sole pleasure in life is in gambling. He lives for the danger and excitement that can only be found at the gaming tables. If given the choice between dallying with a woman and playing at hazard, he’d choose hazard. But all that changes when Whit meets Zora Grey, a Romani woman who expertly cheats him at cards. Though Whit and Zora come from completely different worlds, the attraction between them is immediate. Neither is quite what the other expects, yet when they part company, they don’t believe they will ever meet again.
Everything changes when Whit and his Hellraiser friends wind up freeing the Devil from his prison. All of the Hellraisers are given specific magical gifts, unique to each man, little knowing that the cost is their souls. Now Zora must fight to save Whit’s soul—yet Whit’s seductive kisses prove far more dangerous to her heart.
The Book Pushers: How many books are planned for The Hellraisers series?
Zoe: Three total. Demon’s Bride is scheduled to come out May 1, 2012, and Sinner’s Heart will be out sometime early in 2013.
The Book Pushers: When can we expect to see more 8th Wing books? (MinnChica – ZOMG LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED!!!)
Zoe: Hee! As a matter of fact, the next book will be released on January 9. Chain Reaction follows hotshot fighter pilot Lt. Celene Jur as she tracks down the man responsible for her capture (which forms the background to Collision Course, the first 8th Wing book). Celene’s partner on this mission is Lt. Nils Calder, from engineering (or, as they’re called behind their backs, NerdWorks). Nils is my favorite kind of hero: the kick-ass nerd.
The Book Pushers: What other projects are you working on right now?
Zoe: In addition to finishing the third Hellraisers book, I’m working on a steampunk romance series for Avon Impulse, the first book of which should be out in April 2012. And I’m also writing a new historical romance series for St. Martin’s Press called Nemesis, Unlimited, which I’m describing basically as Burn Notice in Victorian England. The first book in that series should be out in 2013. I guess I’m a little busy! But in a good way!
The Book Pushers: In your Blades of the Rose series your characters managed to build an impressive amount of frequent flyer miles. What made you decide to send them and us to such a wide range of locations?
Zoe: I always loved adventure stories, and one of the key elements in adventure is faraway locations. It’s not half as exciting if you’re someplace you’ve been a million times before. So when I began to plot out the series, I thought about locations that would lend themselves to great action, have rich and fascinating cultures, and were wonderful backdrops for romance. I set the books in Mongolia (Warrior), Greece (Scoundrel), the Canadian Rockies (Rebel), and England (Stranger). Many people in the don’t think of Mongolia when they think romance, but if you Google some images of the country, you’ll see how incredibly beautiful the steppes are. Plus, when the long winter sets in, think of the fun ways to keep warm.
The Book Pushers: You and your husband (Nico Rosso) are both authors; are you able to write in the same room at the same time or do each of you have your own specific writing environments?
Zoe: Nico and I do share an office. In fact, our desks are eight feet apart (we measured). Both of us like to listen to music when we write, so Nico puts on headphones to listen to his classic rock and I have my ‘80s music playing through my computer. But, other than this, we’re appallingly compatible when we’re working. We both know not to disturb the other when we’re in the thick of things. Just give a little kiss on the head and tiptoe away.
The Book Pushers: What is it about history that intrigues you to write historical themed romances ?
Zoe: I’ve always been fascinated by the past, especially in historical romance. I love the depth of experience, and how varied yet similar past eras are with this one. Plus, I find it just sparks my imagination more than thinking about contemporary life. I find more stories to be told that are set in the 18th and 19th centuries. Mind, I have no desire to live during those time periods. At most, I’d visit, then come back to contact lenses, reliable water supplies and women’s suffrage.
The Book Pushers: You’ve written in such a wide range of genres, can you see yourself ever writing Contemporary Romance or even YA?
Zoe: I’ll never say never to anything. I’ve had an idea for a contemporary romance series, and that may one day make it out into the reading public, since it would be hot and fun. As for YA, that’s a bit more of a stretch for me. I didn’t like being a teenager, so it’s challenging for me to think of stories set during that age range. Plus—I like writing love scenes! I don’t think I’d get away with half the stuff I write about if my protagonists were teens.
The Book Pushers: Which series has been the most fun to write about, and which series has been the most difficult?
Zoe: I’ve enjoyed writing all my series! The Blades of the Rose was written at a pretty breakneck pace (5 months per 100,000 word book), and since they’re adventure stories, I had a blast writing them. The Hellraisers is a much darker series, so in that respect, these books have been more challenging as I explore a new direction and tone. Yet I really do love the dark world I created, so they’ve been fun, too!
I’m also excited to build the world of my new steampunk series. Basically, I make sure to write books that I’ll enjoy—which isn’t to say that every writing day is awesome, and some books are more challenging than others. But if I don’t love the series, then readers won’t either, and that’s why I pick projects I’ll want to stick with.
The Book Pushers: If you had a chance to interview a reviewer, what is the one question you would like to ask?
Zoe: What’s your favorite dessert? Because I’ll make it for you if you like my book!
(Pssst Zoe: We love ice cream and brownies, and you really can’t go wrong with chocolate. Should I send you our mailing address now? *wink wink*)
And! I’m giving away one signed copy of Devil’s Kiss, plus a book from my backlist, to a random commenter. (US and Canada only)
Thanks so much Zoe for being here today! E will be back later with her review of Devil’s Kiss. Leave a question or comment for Zoe to be entered for her contest, it ends December 5th. Good Luck!
Hellraisers Book 1
A handsome devil
1762. James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney, is a gambling man. Not for the money. But for the thrill, the danger—and the company: Whit has become one of the infamous Hellraisers, losing himself in the chase for adventure and pleasure with his four closest friends.
Which was how Whit found himself in a gypsy encampment, betting against a lovely Romani girl. Zora Grey’s smoky voice and sharp tongue entrance Whit nearly as much as her clever hands—watching them handle cards inspires thoughts of another kind…
Zora can’t explain her attraction to the careless blue-eyed Whit. She also can’t stop him and his Hellraisers from a fiendish curse: the power to grant their own hearts’ desires, to chase their pleasures from the merely debauched to the truly diabolical. And if Zora can’t save Whit, she still has to escape him…