If you’ve been following us on Twitter, then you might have started seeing a lot of #CMC15 tweets. If you haven’t, well guess what, you’re going to see a lot the next time you visit Twitter. Literary Escapism is one of the featured bloggers for Coastal Magic Convention 2015 and we get the extreme pleasure of showcasing some of the fabulous authors you’ll get to meet if you join LE in Daytona Beach next February. Yes, I said next February…in other words, start planning your winter escape and come join LE in Florida!
Last May, while partyting it up at RT in NOLA, I was lucky enough to sit down with the amazing Larissa Ione for an hour and talk about, well, everything. We talked about her books, we talked about The Walking Dead and Dexter, we talked about other books/authors we both love — basically, we had fun. I have transcribed the interview (and took out all our ramblings) and left all the really awesome information about her books. Enjoy!
(Note: There are spoilers!! I try to say *SPOILER ALERT* before, but I don’t always catch them. If you haven’t read Reaver yet, read at your own risk)
Literary Escapism: How long have you been writing?
Larissa: Pretty much amounts to what every author says, since I was young. I wrote my first full length novel when I was thirteen, and that one will never see the light of day but I’ve been writing ever since then – well I stopped during high school and college – I didn’t get serious again until 1997 when my son was born. I got serious then and finally published in 2006.
LE: Where did you get your ideas for the underground hospital?
Larissa: I was watching an episode of Angel, and he got hurt – really hurt. He needed to go to a hospital, but where could he go? They were all human hospitals. So that’s where it popped into my head and I was like, “Oh, hey, what if there was a hospital for vampires and werewolves and all the crazy people, and it was run by those people.” And that’s how that happened.
LE: How did you come up with the Sem Brothers?
Larissa: Originally I wanted vampires, but you know that little known author, JR Ward, had come around and already done it really well and I was like, I can’t compete with that. So I wanted to do something else that hadn’t been done before – so I thought demons. But after I started working on it, then came Kresley Cole, so by the time my stuff actually came out it wasn’t fresh and new anymore. But at this time erotic romance was just getting started and so I thought, okay, I want to get my foot in the door, so I kept the demons and made them incubi. It worked out perfectly, and I ended up selling Demonica as a non-erotic series. It’s still really erotic.
Larissa: Yeah, it’s really hot.
LE: Did you have to take any of the sex scenes out because of that, or add more in?
Larissa: I kinda toned down the first two books –
LE: Gasp, you should release those deleted scenes!
Larissa: Actually, I have one of the deleted scenes on my website. My editor was like, “No, this is a little too graphic and weird.” So anyway, I toned down the series just a little bit because it didn’t sell as erotic romance, and then the books gradually got less erotic as the series went on because I started to focus more on the plot. But yes, they are still pretty darn hot. I’m okay with how that turned out.
LE: Did you always know that the four horsemen were going to show up?
Larissa: No. I always wanted to do a series about the four horsemen because I thought they would make good romance heroes. But I didn’t see them fitting into the Demonica world until about Ecstasy Unveiled, the fourth Demonica Book. That was when I started thinking, you know, I bet I could work them into this world, because I wanted to go in a different direction after Sin Undone, so I just kind of worked that in. And then the worlds were so intertwined that it kind of…flowed. It worked really well.
The downside is that the Lords of Deliverance confuses people because they think it’s a spin off series, and they’re like, well, I’m not gonna read that. Then came Reaver, which came out as Demonica novel and not a Lords of Deliverance novel, and people picked up Reaver and were like, what the hell did I miss, there’s this giant blank spot. So the two series are really intertwined and that might have been a bit of a branding mistake. We probablly should have done something with the cover of the Lords of Deliverance, put on a medical symbol or something. But that’s how that happened. I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to do a completely new series, or write them into this world, and it just made sense.
LE: *SPOILER ALERT* Speaking of Reaver, did you always know he was their father?
Larissa: Not while I was writing the Demonica series. I didn’t figure that out till I started plotting out Eternal Rider.
LE: Did you always know Harvester was good?
Larissa: No. I had intended for her to be a really bad villain, and then as I was writing her first scene in Eternal Rider, I discovered that I liked her. But it wasn’t until I finished the book that I realized she was more than just a bad guy.
LE: Did you revise her character at all to make that change?
Larissa: No, no I left her bitchy. I love redeeming bad characters. I love making them really, really bad, so that people think there is no way they can possibly become heroes or heroines – I mean, readers were pissed when they found out that Harvester was going to be Reaver‘s mate.
LE: I was torn because I was like, “She’s a bitch and she tortured him and I hate her. But she’s also kind of awesome.”
Larissa: Exactly. I was kind of hoping that people would be like but maybe, maybe…especially because I figure if they trusted me to redeem Wraith and Reseph, they would trust me to redeem Harvester. For the most part they did. I was happy about that. But truth be told, I did have to tone her down, I think it was in Immortal Rider where I made her do some horrible things. Was that where she tortured Reaver? (I think so.) But it was much worse than what was shown. I had to tone that down because my editor was like, “You know you are going to have to redeem her, and readers are harder on female characters.” For the most part, I’ve found that to be true.
LE: I really wanted to hold on to my hatred, because that’s so much easier than forgiving her for the really shitty stuff she pulled. Yet, if the guy she tortured is able to not only forgive her, but fall in love…well, then. Who am I to continue to hate her?
Larissa: There are a few people who haven’t forgiven her.
Larissa: I always wanted to do vampires, from the very beginning. So I had a futuristic idea for these vampires. Have you ever seen…. a movie with Ethan Hawke, vampires have enslaved humans. And I thought, what if the opposite happened – which would be hard because vampires are stronger and everything. So I had to give the humans a weapon advantage and a numbers advantage. Plus, my family has a really strong Native American history, and I really wanted to use some of that. So it all came together as a new vampire series.
LE: How much is factually true with the Native American influence? How much did you use your author creative license?
Larissa: A lot. Some of it is accurate, some of the lore and “Hunter-isms” are based in fact, but because I set the books in kind of an alternative history, I had to use creative license quite often.
LE: So where did you come up with the idea for Nicole? The heroine of Bound By Night?
Larissa: Basically, I needed a human to introduce the human point of view in a series where the vampires are, for the most part, the good guys.
LE: How many books do you think will be in this series, how many story ideas do you have planned? Or think you could come up with?
Larissa: I could do several! There are a lot of characters I really like and could do a lot with, but paranormal isn’t doing very well right now. I don’t know how many books I’m going to be able to do. Hunter’s book, Chained by Night, is up next at the end of September, and then I would like to write Myne’s story. Even if I have to self-publish it, Myne will have a book. After that I don’t know what will happen. But yes, Myne will definitely have a book.
LE: I was hoping he would be next.
Larissa: For some reason my bad boy is always my third book, I don’t know why, but Wraith, and then in Lords of Deliverance, Thanatos, weren’t exactly the nicest people. It just seems that the third book is good for redeeming those bad boys, because you can show them for two books being total assholes and then…
LE: He gets his chance to redeem himself.
LE: So the two worlds will never cross over like the others?
Larissa: People keep asking for MoonBound and Demonica to crossover, but I would have to have someone travel through time and space to an alternate dimension for that to work, so I suppose I could do that with a novella for fun, but no, I can’t just make it happen. Plus my publishers might have a problem with that!
LE: Oh right. They are different publishers.
Larissa: Yes, although they’ve actually been really great about the two different series. Both publishers promote the other series, and that doesn’t happen very often between publishers.
LE: Who, out of all your series, is your favorite couple?
Larissa: I think for Moon Bound, so far Hunter and Aylin are my favorite couple. In Demonica, well oh that is a tough one… I’m really loving Revenant and Blaspheme, and Wraith and Serena. I liked Reaver and Harvester too. Oh, that’s a hard one.
LE: If you could only write one couple for the rest of your life, who would you pick?
Larissa: Oh my goodness. Either Wraith and Serena because, well, Wraith is just so easy to write…but no, probably Eidolon and Tayla actually, because he kind of started it out, and he’s just so important in everything. He is really prominent in Revenant. Let’s just go with that, Eidolon and Tayla.
LE: You sometimes post happily ever after short stories on your website of the couples. Are you going to keep doing that?
Larissa: Yeah, I really like doing that and readers seem to like it too. Sadly, there’s only so much time in the day!
LE: Would you ever do a second book with any of the characters?
Larissa: I don’t know. I really don’t know. It’d have to be just the right thing at the right time. Again, I might be able to do something with Eidolon and Tayla like that, but I just don’t want to be looking like I’m copying JR Ward.
LE: I wasn’t thinking about JR Ward, I’m just being a greedy reader, wanting more! *grin*
Larissa: Well, in Revenant I got a special update on another of their pregnancies so that kind of hints toward more in the future. Most people are aware of this by now, but…I’m ending the series with Revenant. But wait! After Rev I do want to continue on in the world. Either spin off into the new demon investigation organization, or I’ll fast forward twenty years and do the kids. Most people want the kids.
Larissa: No he showed up in Rogue Rider when Harvester was taken to hell.
LE: Oh, that’s right. *SPOLIER ALERT* So did you always know he would be Reaver’s twin brother?
Larissa: Oh no, that’s another thing that just really worked out well. When you read Revenant you’ll see. The whole thing is just bizarre, because he popped in the end of Rogue Rider, and my editor was like, why are you pulling in this random dude at the end of the book, you can’t do that. And I was like, he’s important. And she was like, why? And I’m like, because he’s Reaver’s twin brother. And she was like, OHHH. And I was like, oh my god, it totally works. (And could I possibly use the word, “like” more?) So that’s how that happened. And then when I plotted out Reaver’s book, the story just fell together. In Revenant, the really bizarre thing is that, it’s just so weird, I was doing research on biblical prophecies and I was going through the Bible and biblical texts and turns out the real name I picked for Revenant was a biblical name for… well I can’t tell you because it will spoil it. But when you read it just know that even before I did the research I had it all worked out, this is what Revenant is going to do, this is his name, and this is how he’s going to fit into the whole prophecy.
LE: So you just randomly picked his name without doing research, and it fit?
LE: Oh my god! That’s amazing!
Larissa: And I not only picked the name, but this name does the exact same thing I have Revenant do, and it’s a huge, huge thing. He’s the one that does… what I have him do. And you’ll see what I mean. It’s something that happens to Satan. It’s written in the Bible. And I have never read the Bible, mind you, and it was just really, really weird.
Meet Larissa Ione!
Air Force veteran Larissa Ione traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.
Moonbound Clan Vampires
Demonica / Lords of Deliverance
- Pleasure Unbound
- Desire Unchained
- Passion Unleashed
- Ecstasy Unveiled
- Sin Undone
- Eternal Rider
- Immortal Rider
- Lethal Rider
- Rogue Rider
- Revenant (Dec 16, 2014)
Thank you Larissa for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
We’re giving away the a digital copy of Azagoth: 1001 Dark Nights.
The contest will stay open until September 7th.