Rissa Blakeley is the author of the Shattered Lives series. Current published works include Broken Dreams and Awakened Desires. She lives a socially awkward life just outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her amazing husband and daughter, four four-legged, furry children, and the many characters poking her brain, looking for more scenes about them in her books. When she isn’t writing, she can be found procrastinating on Facebook.
Join Rissa’s Militia and sign up for her newsletter today: http://mad.ly/signups/123912/join
Find Rissa on twitter: @rissablakeley
Join Rissa’s Militia group on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rissasarmy/
Rissa’s FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorrissablakeley
Pick up your official Militia merchandise: http://rissablakeley.spreadshirt.com/
Who in your personal life was the biggest supporter of your writing?
My husband. He’s always in the background cheering me on. Like a cheerleader… shaking colorful pom-poms… making up songs and dances.
Do you prefer quiet or background noise when writing? If background noise, what?
For the most part, I listen to music all the time. It’s a big part of my life since I was a kid. The music depends on the scene. Sometimes, if it’s super intense or I’m trying to slowly reread for flow, I will turn it off. I have a Pandora station that I’ve been ‘grooming’ for years. It’s all over the place. From The Police to OneRepublic to Muse.
What is one thing you wish your readers could understand about the writing process?
How much work it actually takes to self-publish a book and all the stuff in between that we have to do to keep up with everyone. I don’t love every part of it, but I love to write.
If your characters could come to life and be a real human,
which one do you think you would get along with best and which one would drive you crazy first?
Oh gosh… I’m cracking up right now. Henry is a piece of work. He has many nicknames… Angry Henry, Crazy Henry, Drunk Henry… Angry Crazy Drunk Henry. He’s an emotional nightmare due to his past. So I am inclined to believe that he would be the first to get on my nerves. Elaina would be number two on that list. She has some maturity issues and her sarcasm can get a little out of hand. I do think I would get along with Gunther the best. He was my favorite to write and I enjoyed his start to finish.
When did you start writing and what was your inspiration?
I started dabbling about 2010. I didn’t get serious until 2012. My inspiration is everything around me. It could be what is said to how something looks. Something always strikes and makes the writing voice start whispering.
Is there a genre or type of book that you love to read but could never write and if so why?
Generally, I just read paranormal stuff. It’s such a huge genre with so many different sub-genres. I write what I like to read. So as of right now, no.
Since you’ve been writing how much has the genre changed? Good, bad?
It’s always evolving and I think that’s a great thing. There are so many great authors out there that are coming up with some really great ideas, trying to reinvent the usual.
Seeing more and more authors going the “self-pub’ route. Thoughts?
For one, everyone can self-publish. You don’t have to face that rejection letter. I’ve never been traditionally published so I can’t speak on that. Maybe someday.
How much thought do you as an author put into your cover, cover models etc.
And has that changed since you started writing. If so, have you or will you go back and re-do covers you’re no longer pleased with?
I choose the pictures and models. I spent a while chatting with my cover designer discussing the style and the feel I wanted. Essentially, her goal is to make the client happy, but keep a great design. My covers are not pretty colors with a couple in a lover’s embrace. My books are dark emotionally and deal with issues such as abuse, suicide, and addiction. While there is love and maybe a little romance (along with steam), the characters go through a lot. So I wanted my covers to reflect the darkness within.
What is the most intense scene you have ever written? Did you find it difficult writing that scene?
I have a few that have ruined me for weeks at a time. There is a flashback scene that will be in the last book in the series, so I can’t really talk a whole lot about it yet. The original draft of this scene is devastating emotionally and made me sick to my stomach. Ever since it came to me, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. I do have to tame it back. I wrote it raw and will trim it back enough so my book won’t get flagged.
There is one in the second book, Awakened Desires that wrecked me. A female dies and her partner spends time alone with her body. He releases his sadness and touches her, remembering the feel of her. I wish I could get into it more, but it would ruin it for those who haven’t read yet.
If you could write in any genre that you’ve never tried, what would it be and why?
I really don’t have one at the moment. Maybe something a little more dystopian or even psychologically twisted.
When thinking about writing any specific genre, what triggers your fears and insecurities the most?
Being put into a box. I can’t write with constrictions or feel the need to fit in with my work. I can’t rework a piece to cater to what the public is currently drooling over. I will openly say that my work is not for everyone, but I will also say that I have changed a lot of minds.
When writing, what comes first? The characters or the plot?
I actually had this discussion the other day in my group. A Militia member (my street team) wanted to know the process and how it happens from head to paper. I’m a pantser. So it’s different all the time. Sometimes the characters come forward, other times I get ‘movies’ or even just a whisper. Nonetheless, it’s a tornado in there. It’s like having 100 tabs open on my browser all at the same time that are constantly going to another site. There’s no stopping it, it just keeps going and adding more. The only way to even try to calm it is to write. And wine… wine helps. *wink*
Do you find that you write what you love to read? Or a different genre?
First and foremost, I write for me, so I only write what I like to read.
Do you ever write your own personal fantasies into your books?
I will say that there is a little of me in every character. Whether it’s something I am or something I wish I could be. It maybe even something I’ve said or done… but we won’t go there.
How much if any of your story line comes from real life people or events?
Everything is an influence somehow or someway. So watch out! I need one of those t-shirts that say ‘you are dangerously close to being written into my novel’.
How many times do you read what you wrote and think “where the hell did that come from?!”
All the time! Some of the stuff scares me and makes me question myself once in a while. Like whoa… balancing on the knife edge of sanity!
Do you have to look at the keys when you type?
Yes, a bit. I’m looking now because I feel compelled! Usually I do when I start a new sentence or stall for a moment. I’m easily distracted, so my eyes are bouncing everywhere all the time.
How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
Well, hopefully a lot. I need a load of wood for my fireplace.
What are you two favorite 80’s movies?
Without even thinking about… The Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Why are man-hole covers round?
Well, if they were shaped like men, it would stop traffic.
*Warning: For mature (18+) audiences only due to strong language, sexual situations and violence.*
Elaina Cooper’s world was turned upside down on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. She was about to marry Henry Daniels, the man of her dreams — or so she thought. Just as she was to walk down the aisle, screams pierced the air.
In the days that followed, questions lingered in Elaina’s mind. Why did Henry seem to know so much about what was happening? And why did she feel like he was keeping secrets from her? Henry knew that his haunted past would eventually catch up to him…in more ways than one. Through all of this, he must face his demons, and Elaina must decide whether she can accept who he is. Henry is determined to fight to the very end to make their sexy, mercurial relationship work no matter what staggers in their path.
Along with their ragtag band of survivors, they must travel south to face Henry’s fears. There will be joys and loss but, in the end, is love enough to hold them together?
*Warning: For mature (18+) audiences only due to strong language, sexual situations and violence.*
Gunther Erikkson had a mission to complete – one that he was more than willing to see through. After he arrived in New York to intimidate Henry Daniels into doing his job, things began to change for Gunther. One woman had started to chip away at his icy heart. With the mission complete, he headed back to his home in Atlanta, but he was left with an unfamiliar ache in his chest.
The virus spread like wildfire and, within a week, it had reached Gunther. Undeterred, he began his journey to his predetermined destination. During his travels, he came across a woman who was moments from meeting her end, but Gunther rushed in and saved Quinn Landers’ life. After a sincere promise of protection, she decided to continue her travels with him.
The pain from the virus was creeping deep into his muscles and bones. With the lack of a blood source and his own life hanging in the balance, Gunther knew he needed to confess one of his biggest secrets to Quinn. The tightened web of lies began to loosen, awakening Gunther’s desires.
After dealing and learning to live with other survivors, bombings, and secrets, they continued to travel north. When they arrived at the destination, Henry was already waiting, thirsty for a battle.
Tragedy struck and it hit home for Gunther. Will he discover who he truly is? Do Gunther and Henry battle it out, or do they learn to get along and prepare for an epic showdown with a common foe?