Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Joey W. Hill is in The Hot Seat

I'm so excited to put Joey W. Hill in The Hot Seat!! Joey is one of my favorite erotica authors and I cannot recommend her enough! Joey has a way with words, her stories always draw you in, her world building is phenomenal, especially in her paranormal series. I love that her characters aren't limited to their own books and pop up in other series. Joey depicts domination and submission so beautifully it makes you ache and want to be part of it somehow, even if only by reading it. And the way Joey writes sex is so unique. It's always so classy. It's also raunchy and hot, but it's always classy. There's always this sense of connection, understanding, affection and respect, even when the actual activity might be very submissive, extreme, possibly demeaning. It still comes off as classy with beautiful imagery.

I can go on. I wasn't kidding when I said Joey is one of my favorites. But I'll stop here. I'd rather give her a chance to answer some questions and speak for herself.

How did you come up with your pen name? Does it have special meaning to you or do you just like the sound?

Joey - Joey W. Hill is my actual name. I figured if I worked this hard on something, I dang sure wanted my name on it (laughter).

Bras - demi or full coverage? Underwire or not?

Joey - I love the way demis look. I often use them in my writing, and of course underwire allows for the more provocative shaping. I’m a little too sensitive for that, however, especially as I’m getting older, so I wear them mainly for special occasion, and go with the soft and wireless for everyday wear (grin).

What inspired you to write erotica?

Joey - I was a big romance reader for many years, particularly during the 80s bodice ripper period. Many of the relationship dynamics in those books were borderline Master/sub fantasies, and even though I didn’t know anything about BDSM at that time, I had this nebulous craving for them to push it farther (right over that border!). I also wanted to read love stories where the sex part wasn’t merely a tacked-in section to titillate. I wanted it integrated into the emotional development of the protagonists so it was an important part of the story. When I started writing romance, I intended to explore that with “more spice”, but instead, within a couple books, I was in the deep end of the pool, happily writing erotic romance.

What was the last thing you wrote or read that made you cringe?

Joey - I missed a typo in my upcoming release Taken by a Vampire, and it’s too late to change it. What makes it worse is it’s a Hebrew phrase. Fortunately, I provide the English translation, so someone who knows Hebrew and goes “hunh?” will realize it’s just a typo, but things like that drive me craaaaazzzy. I want the book to be perfect in all ways.

What's on your TBR shelf right now?

Joey - Lost in Translation by Nicole Mones, Lover Reborn by JD Ward, a few of the In Death novella anthologies by JD Robb, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee… Yeah, I’ve never read it – go figure! I’m looking forward to reading the story. Lee said she’d always considered TKAM first and foremost a love story, rather than a political statement. Hearing that intrigued me, because I believe the best stories ever written are, at heart, love stories.

You're going on a hot date tonight - you wear a hot thong, lacy panties or nothing at all?

Joey - Oh child…I’ve been married nearly 25 years and I’m a workaholic. A hot date around here is dinner at the local pizza/subs place, or maybe cuddling on the couch while reading or watching a movie. Sex MIGHT happen if we’re both in the mood, if we don’t feel too tired and achy, or if the movie’s not that great (laughter). Doesn’t really fit the erotic romance author’s image, does it? Okay, let me pretend this still happens to me…hmm. I’d probably go with the thong. My husband likes that look a lot (wink).

If you were to go on a road trip, where would you go and which one of your (male preferably, but if the preference is not a male, then explain why) characters would you take with you? (this can include any one of your series/books) and why? (Btw, if it were me, I'd probably take Jon, because hotness. or Daegan... hmm. this is hard.)

Joey - Lol – I don’t disagree with your choices, and I also agree it’s very hard to just choose one. Of course taking a bunch of men on a road trip might not be the best of ideas, since often to them it’s about getting from point a to point b, versus taking a meandering path and stopping to do sightseeing and shopping (wink). But then again, these are “fantasy” heroes, so we can imagine that they like sightseeing and shopping without it detracting a bit from their virility, right?

I’d take Daegan from Vampire Mistress/Vampire Trinity. I prefer traveling at night, so him being a vampire is no problem. After being alive as long as he has, I bet he’d know a lot of great places to see along the way – a particular waterfall in the moonlight, or a city riverwalk with a lot of people-watching potential, etc. Vampires also have such well-developed palates – though they can’t eat a lot of food, they’re big samplers, so he’d know where the best culinary opportunities were.

If your mother came across your novels, what would be the first words out of her mouth?

Joey - My mom actually read some of my work. I gave her hard copies of everything I published (sort of the same motive as bringing her pictures to put up on the fridge when I was in kindergarten – lol), but I would assure her she didn’t need to read any of it. She didn’t remark on it for a long time, and she kept them on a shelf in her clothes closet, so I assumed she wasn’t reading them. Until a friend of hers asked about borrowing Natural Law in front of the two of us. When I told her, “Oh, Mom has a copy,” my mother gave me a look, and said “But I’m still reading it.” You could have floored me.

She told me once I had an amazing way of describing things that brought them vividly to life, and I treasure that compliment to this day. She didn’t necessarily understand why I wrote what I wrote, so she did ask me a few questions to make sure I was staying safe, but that led to her coming with me to some romance cons to meet the type of people who read my work. We had a wonderful time together. I used to tease her and tell her I was going to put her in the acknowledgments as “To my mom, who taught me everything I know” so her friends would think she was into all this crazy erotic stuff. She was a very practical Virginia farm girl, so she’d just roll her eyes at me!

What was easier for you to write, Willing Sacrifice or Taken By A Vampire? Which book resonates more with you personally? 

Joey - Contemporary (Willing Sacrifice) is always easier for me than paranormal, because of course paranormal also has to incorporate world building, and usually needs some kind of suspense or political plot beyond the relationship dynamics. And I’d much rather just focus on the relationship dynamics! (grin) But I’m always glad I expended the effort when I’m done.

As far as which book resonates more with me personally - because my work, regardless of genre, is always character-driven, I can’t write the story properly unless I connect with the characters. As a result, there are specific ways each character resonates with me (and therefore the book as a whole). For instance, in Taken by a Vampire, Evan is an artist/photographer, so I connect with some of his craft distractions and irritations related to what he’s trying to create with a certain painting or photograph. Niall, his servant, is wrestling with issues of mortality, since he’s approaching the lifespan of a marked servant (300 years), and of course we can all relate to dealing with death – what it means to us and those we leave behind. Alanna, the fugitive servant they are protecting, is trying to understand her place/value in the world now that she can’t define herself the way she always has, which is also something quite common to the human condition.

With Willing Sacrifice, I relate to Janet because she’s mid-40s (my age) and is at that stage of life where you realize who you are is pretty much who you’ll always be. There’s a comfort/confidence to that, if you feel pretty good about it. It gives her a platform to make a move toward a real relationship with Max, a former Navy SEAL, though he’s dealing with some pretty heavy issues related to responsibility, regret and his family…

What can we expect to see from you next? When?

Joey - There are three things happening after the release of Willing Sacrifice and Taken by a Vampire (both of which are releasing the first week of May). Through the summer, I’ll be working on a new four novella series for Berkley’s ebook line, intending to turn it in by September 30. While they don’t want me to detail too much about it yet, it will be contemporary BDSM, and the four books will be linked (so it will be like one long book divided into four serial parts, which is likely the only way I can write it, given that I suck at writing short – laughter).

I’ll also be working on another book for Ellora’s Cave during the summer. This one will be for the Nature of Desire series, which is exciting, because I haven’t revisited that series in some time. It will also be my first ménage a trois that features two women and one man (versus the usual two males and one female). The central heroine will be Gen, a secondary character from the Ice Queen/Mirror of My Soul books, and she will be learning all sorts of things about herself with the help of the reserved and stunning Mistress Lyda, and Noah, who made a memorable appearance as a waiter in Hostile Takeover. I’ve given up anticipating what the muse will send my way, but the ideas for this one are already bubbling like a stew.

Finally, already in the release queue is Letting Go, a contemporary BDSM romance that Berkley will release in January 2014. My hero is Dale, a retired Navy SEAL approaching fifty.  Athena, our heroine, is a wealthy Southern widow who served as a Mistress to her husband, but “service” is the key word. She’s always longed to be a sub, and Dale is a strong Master who will help her explore that side of herself. I hope to have an excerpt for this one posted on my website in the near future. I turned in the book March 31, so I’m waiting the editor’s approval of the overall direction of the manuscript before doing that.

Thanks so much for inviting me here today!

You can find Joey W. Hill online: 
Website (free excerpts for all books on this site) 
Fan Forum (includes free downloads revisiting the characters, graphics inspired by the work, etc)

Groomed from birth to be an Inherited Servant and serve only the most powerful vampire masters, Alanna never resented her destiny. Then she did the unthinkable: she betrayed her Master to the Vampire Council. Now death is her future, but until her Master is captured, she must be protected. The Vampire Council assigns her to Evan, a vampire whose wandering lifestyle makes him the perfect guardian…

Alanna’s training was for a vampire of power and ambition, not for someone like Evan who lives in mountainside shacks and caves. Even his servant, Niall, is rough-mannered. But these two men are about to teach Alanna something her rigorous training never did. How to feel, how to desire…perhaps even how to love.

Then the Council captures her Master, and Alanna has no choice but to accept her destiny. But Evan and Niall are no strangers to defying fate—and they will stop at nothing to make Alanna theirs forever…

Click here to read an excerpt.

Purchase Links:

About the Author:

Joey W. Hill writes about vampires, mermaids, boardroom executives, cops, witches, angels, simple housemaids... If there’s an erotic love story to be told, she’ll take the plunge. As a result, she's proud and humbled to have four series and almost thirty award-winning and highly acclaimed titles, as well as the support and enthusiasm of a wonderful and widely diverse readership. In 2009, she was nominated for a Career Achievement award in Erotica by Romantic Times.

According to her personal memo book, seen only by her eyes--probably because it would reveal that she loves the Partridge Family and the movie Pure Country--the top three ways to ensure her readers continue to come looking for her books are #1 Write a great story, #2 KEEP writing great stories and #3 “For the love of God, don’t let them get to know the author – that will scare them away.” (Particularly if they find out about the Partridge Family.)

She has become known for writing the type of erotic romance that not only wins her fans of that genre, but readers who would “never” read BDSM romance. That’s because first and foremost, she thinks what attracts a reader is strong characters.

“Whatever genre you’re writing, if the characters are compelling and sympathetic, the readers are going to want to see what happens to them. While I strive to make sure my work includes essential elements of the storytelling craft – tight plot, engaging dialogue, etc. – if the character development isn’t there, there isn’t much point in reading. It can be the coolest plot ever, but if the reader could care less whether the hero or heroine survive (in fact, in some cases you may be rooting for their destruction just so you can be done with the darn thing), then it’s not a story worth reading.”

Why is that? She believes that our world is an ironically isolating one. Humans have overrun the planet, armed with a plethora of communication tools. Yet we feel very alone in our own heads, trying to make a connection with someone. The “ah, there you are – where have you been?” person. The person who gives us an anchor, but also the courage to release our tedious baggage to embrace ourselves fully.
That’s what she seeks to accomplish in every story. Bringing characters together who have numerous emotional obstacles standing in their way, watching them reach a soul-deep understanding of one another through the expression of their darkest sexual needs, and then growing from that understanding into love.

So why erotic romance? “Writing great erotic romance is all about exploring the true face of who we are – the best and worst - which typically comes out in the most vulnerable moments of sexual intimacy.” Who wouldn’t want to write about that?

How does she accomplish that? She suspects it’s the perfection of a Vulcan mind meld with the characters, which takes an effective mix of manic depression, schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive behavior that would make “Monk” look like a light weight. Not to mention the broad streak of romanticism that forms an asphalt four-lane highway through her heart. It’s a tendency that sends her back to her favorite book and movie scenes for toe-curling or tear-inducing inspiration. (Her husband reports this with loving resignation, since he’s often called upon to stoically endure the movie scenes and hold her hand while she weeps through the mushy parts.)

Take the plunge with her, and don't hesitate to let her know what you think of her work, good or bad. She thrives on feedback!


  1. Ahh Love the interview Joey and Haydee!! Joey, ahhh, can I go on the roadtrip with you and Daegan? Pretty Please!!!
    One of the reasons that I like your books so much is tha amount of "little things" you put into your books, bringing RL into Joey's Worlds.

    1. Moira, I'd love to have you on the roadtrip. I'm sure we could drive Daegan crazy to the point we'd get "If I have to stop this car..." out of him (lol).

      Thanks for the compliment. I love adding those kinds of things. When I first started writing and doing interviews, I often mentioned how adding in the things that weren't directly connnected to the story progression made it feel like a more romantic, well rounded and enjoyable journey. It's like the difference between driving between A and B without stopping, and spontaneously stopping along the way, where you learn more about yourselves thanks to those side trips. Characters are the same way, I think (wink).

  2. This was such a fabulous interview ladies!

    Joey I am right there with you on your answer for the panty selection for date night question! And as far as the road trip goes you could never go wrong with Daegan! But Niall would be an excellent choice as well because Lord knows we women love a man who doesn't mind shopping. And something tells me he would have no trouble giving a helping hand, or two, in the dressing room. *wink*

    How wondeful that you were able to share your love of writing with your Mom! And the beautiful compliment that she gave you couldn't ring more true. I have always said that you don't read a Joey Hill book you live it. The way you write brings your characters and their worlds to life so that you feel that you are right there with them. It is the reason I love your books so. :)

    Congratulations on your two wonderful releases this month!

    1. Delilah, lol - yes, sad but true. The reality of an erotic romance author's life is a far step below her stories (grin), but I've no complaints. I have a man who loves me, and I love him, and we're growing old, boring and wrinkly together.

      Now I did think of Niall, but then I remembered his comment about losing testosterone for every moment he spent in a women's clothing store, so wasn't sure if he'd get fussy (lol) and need a beer to help him settle down.

      Thank you for the wonderful words - you always make me swell up like a toad (in a very good way - chuckle).

  3. Wonderful interview!I am with Moira...I would love to go on a road trip with you and Daegan. You would not even notice I was there (maybe) :)

    1. Chuckle - I'm not so sure about that! Group of women on a roadtrip/shopping tour with a good looking, intelligent guy - we'd be having too much fun to be unobtrusive (wink). Glad you enjoyed the interview - Haydee asks some great questions.

    2. Thanks Joey! You gave lots of great answers! You answer interview questions the same way you write your books! You add the little things. I make a quiz of this later.

    3. Lol - when I read that last part, what I thought you were going to say was "you answer questions like you write books - looonnnngg." Grin. Thanks again for having me here!

  4. Fantastic interview and post, Joey--thanks for the visit today!

  5. Loved this interview but please tell me I missed the next release date I saw was Jan 2014... please tell me that's wrong! Jan is my birth month but I don't want to wait that long for another release from Joey!

    1. Pyper, I REALLY wish I could tell you that was wrong. For some reason, Berkley pushed that next book out nearly a year after I submitted it. My editor said she'd keep an eye out in case the schedule opens up and she could move it earlier. However, that's one of the reasons I'm doing The Bet vignette on the fan forum now, and intend to do another vignette later in the year - since vignettes usually end up being novella length, they'll be like interim books during our wait (smile). The good thing is we should get a whole cluster of books all at once - if I get Gen's story into EC by the end of October, and the four-novella series into Berkley by the end of September, I have release dates of April-July for the novellas, and EC usually gets my books out 3-4 months after submission, so the first half of 2014 could conceivably offer six new books. So you'll get one on your birthday, and a few more soon after (wink).

  6. Loved the interview! Those intriguing questions gave way to some very insightful answers. While I absolutely loved Willing Sacrifice, unfortunately I haven't been able to read Taken By a Vampire yet (delay in my book delivery, *pouts*) but I can understand wanting to take Daegan. Just imagine the possibilities! *wink*
    Oh Joey, you made me laugh about the story with your mom. I could never imagine sharing what I read with her. She's old school English and I would shock her into a catatonic state. Hmmmmmmm. Just kidding. Love her. hehehehe I can't wait for your upcoming books. I'll just have to satisfy myself reading all your other books over and over until they get here. Thank you again. What a wonderful interview.

    1. I can't imagine sharing any of the books I read with my mother either. That's a scary thought.

    2. Glad I'm not alone, Haydee. Hehehehe

    3. My mom was a very practical Virginia farm girl. Conservative and classy, yet also down to earth and realistic. When I was in sixth grade, she matter-of-factly delivered me a fistful of Planned Parenthood materials on birth control, diseases, etc and told me I should read them and we could talk about anything I had questions about. She believed in a girl being well-informed on sexual matters so no irreparable choices were made. And it worked! (lol)

      Trixie, I'm so happy to hear you loved Max and Janet, and hope TBV will be in your hands very soon (and hopefully will provide the same experience!)

      Gideon is braver than I am. I could fantasize about the idea of taking Daegan, but the reality...laughter - I'd be fumble fingered, tongue-tied, etc. Talk about catatonic!