Today’s special guest is Jess Michaels, author of A Moment of Passion. Ms. Michaels is here to tell us more about her recent release, a bit about her ideas and writing style, and what’s next for her in the world of publishing.
1. What inspired you to write “A Moment of Passion” and is there any particular message that you want your readers to grasp?
The entire “Ladies Book of Pleasures” series was inspired by the idea of the book that the series takes its title from. I loved the thought of this very naughty, very subversive book circulating through Society and bringing havoc, change and passion in its wake. I knew the second book in the series would be about Jacinda and Jason, who were both secondary characters in the first book, A MATTER OF SIN so then it became writing a really sexy, emotional friends turn to lovers story that the characters truly deserved.
2. How did you come up with the title “A Moment of Passion?” How important are the other names in your book? Were those names chosen because you liked the way it sounds or do the names have some sort of special meaning?
I think the titles always have some meaning. I wanted the titles for each book in the series to echo each other (A Matter of Sin, A Moment of Passion, A Measure of Deceit) but also reflect their story. Jacinda is ruined by “a moment of passion” and she and Jason certainly steal more than one moment. So it plays into the series an the story.
3. Did you picture anyone in particular when crafting your characters’ physical or emotional attributes? If you could cast your characters in a movie, who would play your characters?
I actually do a Pinterest Board for each book I write, so that readers can see actors who inspired me during the character development phase of my books. You can see my boards, including the board for A Moment of Passion here: http://www.pinterest.com/jessmichaelsbks/
4. What were some of the challenges (research, psychological, etc.) in drafting your book?
I guess I don’t really think of writing in terms of challenge. I have a good base for Regency romance writing (a huge percentage of my book are Regency set) and I try to set up my characters so that I understand their history, that way they react in a way that makes sense to the situations I put them in throughout the book. After that, it’s plotting my twists and writing. I really enjoy every part.
5. One of the great things about your books is that your readers know you draw out the sensual emotions leading up to the couple making love, teasing the lines between love and lust. Sometimes the characters mix these concepts up or refuse to accept love, as is the case with the hero, Jason. At what point in the novel do you think Jason started to figure out his true feelings towards Jacinda? Was he in love with her the entire time and didn’t know it or did friendship develop into romantic love? Or was it a matter of allowing himself to fall in love, despite vows to the contrary?
I think the fact that Jacinda is one of the few women Jason doesn’t pursue says something about the fact that his feelings for her are different or deeper than for anyone else. He cares for her, that’s certain in every way he treats her. But I don’t think he truly sees her until she comes to him and asks for his help. Once he truly sees her, though, the caring he’s always felt becomes so much stronger and deeper.
6. You tackle a very emotional backstory with Jacinda and her family — their complete social abandonment of her, the Incident, and each of their utterly despicable personalities. How do you think Jacinda grew up to have a personality so different from her family? Did you always plan for the role Jacinda’s father played in the Incident or did that come about in the editing process? Are Jacinda’s actions with Carnthorn a result of current desperation or do they stem from leftover scars of depression, mistrust, and fear left by her family after the Incident? Do you ever think about what will happen to Jacinda’s family now that she is marrying Jason?
I think Jacinda just had a different disposition. Each of the children reacts in a different way to the way they’re brought up and Jacinda buried her head. I always knew that Jacinda’s father orchestrated “The Incident” out of his own greed and so I hope that feeds through the whole story. Jacinda is desperate, but also the idea of having some control over her life, the future Carnthorn offers her, is also interesting to her. But he is definitely not the man for her. The thing I love is that Jason cannot fathom how her family treats her and I think they would utterly walk away from her family. I have learned in my own experience that some of the family you’re given is awesome, but some are not worthy of the label “family”. Jacinda has a family in Jason and her friends.
7. Do you have a favorite character from your book? Why? What is it about this character that speaks to you?
I would say that Grace is my favorite character from The Ladies Book of Pleasures Series. She is very wise and certain of herself (or so she seems) and that was so fun to write. I love them all, but Grace is great. Her story is A MEASURE OF DECEIT, which will be out December 9.
8. Can you give us some fun or interesting facts about your book, this world, and its characters?
It all really did stem from that pesky book after all. I had the idea for the book before it fleshed into the kind of stories that I would tell. Normally I would start with a character or a plot idea, but this time it was this big driving force within the series. And there are some really fun “quotes” from that book at the beginning of each chapter of the book, so maybe it will inspire *you* as well. 🙂
9. The Ladies Book of Pleasure plays yet another significant role in bringing together a couple. Will Grace’s story be told in the last book of the trilogy? What is in store for her? Will we find out who wrote The Ladies Book of Pleasure? Or at least who actually gave it to Jacinda in “A Moment of Passion?” What can we expect from you in the future?
Yes, Grace’s story is the last one in the series. A MEASURE OF DECEIT which comes out December 9 (so not long to wait after A MOMENT OF PLEASURE). I can’t say much about who is meant for her without giving away too much, but I will say he’s a very sexy Scot who we have not met yet. And YES we will find out who wrote the Ladies Book of Pleasures AND who gave Jacinda the book in A MOMENT OF PLEASURE. All secrets will be revealed.
As for what is next, I will be starting a new series in January, The Notorious Flynns. about a wicked, wicked family who find themselves launched into London Society. THE OTHER DUKE will be out January 13. I would say join my newsletter because that’s the best place to hear about new releases. This series will mark my jump into being fully indie published so I’m very excited! http://www.authorjessmichaels.com/join-the-jess-michaels-newsletter/
10. Before you go, please give us a snippet from “A Moment of Passion” It can be your favorite part of the book or something meant to tease and tantalize us.
Jason was immediately on his feet. He caught her upper arm and steadied her. The touch was not all that different from Carnthorn’s and yet it didn’t feel like a prison.
“Great God, Jacinda, what is it?”
She blinked up at him. Normally they were not this close unless they were dancing, and she couldn’t help but notice how full his lips were. What would they feel like on her own? On her skin?
With a cry of humiliation, she wrenched her arm free.
“Nothing, it’s nothing,” she lied.
But he wouldn’t hear it. He caught her shoulders and drew her closer. “What is it? Please tell me.”
Tell Jason. Tell him what Carnthorn had offered her. Tell him why he had felt free to offer it. It would be an exercise in humiliation, but at the same time she needed advice. And not the kind that Grace or Isabel would give. She needed advice from a man who moved in the same circles as Carnthorn. A man who understood what had been offered to her in a way even her friends couldn’t.
Her silence was obviously misconstrued, for Jason pulled her a little closer. She felt the heat of his embrace and she shivered even though she didn’t want to react to him.
“Many years ago you heard my confessions and you never spoke a word of them to anyone,” he whispered. “Let me even the score at last, and know that I will be as discreet as you have been.”
Jacinda drew back in surprise. She knew the night Jason meant, a night long, long ago. She thought of it often, but she had always believed that drunkenness had made him unable to recall what he had said to her out of pain and heartache and whiskey-loosened lips.
And yet now he promised to be as good a confidante to her as she had apparently been to him.
She nodded and pulled herself from his arms. He couldn’t be holding her when she said what she had to say. It would be too…confusing.
“Carnthorn came here with less than innocent intentions,” she whispered, refusing to look at Jason. Refusing to see his doubt or his mocking or his pity. “He came here because he wishes to make me his…his…his mistress.”
Thank you so much for having me today! I hope you all enjoy A MOMENT OF PASSION!
Thank you for the opportunity to address your readers, Ms. Michaels! It’s been a truly enjoyable experience! ~Nikita