Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Succubus Diaries: Author interview and contests!

Today we've got an interview (and some extra special contests!) with the fabulous Jill Myles whose debut novels Gentlemen Prefer Succubi and Succubi Like It Hot are impossible to keep on the shelves (and not just because they're so steamy). I ended up having to order them from Amazon because all of our local bookstores were sold out!

Lucky for us, Jill is also working on a young adult novel and agreed to talk to us about the difference between writing smoking hot paranormal romance and YA.

LiLa: Gentlemen Prefer Succubi (click here to read the first chapter) follows Jackie Brighton after a dark stranger's bite transforms her into an immortal siren with a seductive itch. Not exactly PG...I'm assuming your YA is somewhat different.

Jill: Yes! My YA is about a girl in an alternate United States who can turn invisible, and keeps it a secret. But the government finds out and whisks her away to a secret compound which is a school for 'augmented' kids. It's about her trying to figure out her place in the world when the world is definitely not what it seems to be. It's very 'coming of age'. We'll be shopping it (hopefully) in January, so cross your fingers for me!

LiLa: Sounds like a ton of fun! So, why did you decide to try your hand at YA? Did you know right away that the story was young adult or did that become clear after you'd already started?

Jill: I actually didn't start out writing the book as a YA! I wrote the book and it involved a 24-year-old who'd been whisked away to a school of super-powered teenagers, and she was the oldest one there. And I sent it around to my beta readers and everyone liked it, but they all said it was missing something. No one knew what. And then the YA market really started to boom and I wondered if I had a YA on my hands instead. I sent it to my agent (who had quite a few YA sales) and asked her if it was something that would be better off as YA. She more or less said "Duh" (hee) and so I basically rewrote the story from the viewpoint of a teenager. It works much better now. I just love the book so much and I've rewritten it easily a dozen times trying to make it "right".

LiLa: Voice is so important in young adult lit, it's impressive that you were willing to put in the time to get it just right. Was your process any different writing for teens versus writing for adults?

Jill: Well, yes! I pretty much did it all wrong! I basically had to start over when changing the story to YA. Rewrote a ton of stuff. And then I had to rewrite it over and over again (and OVER AGAIN) because I continued to add adult things in. My radar was set to 'adult' stuff so it was hard for me to get character reactions just right. For example, I had one guy in the story that was very cocky, and swaggery and alpha. Which is great when you are writing adult romance, but in a YA, he came across as...an ass. Unlikeable. So I had to sit down and really think his personality through and what had shaped him, and had to basically "backpedal". Sure, he was swaggery as an adult, but would he be the same at sixteen?

Did I mention it involved lots and lots of rewriting? ;)

LiLa: I love that you took a fully developed adult character and imagined him as 16. We'll have to remember that trick! Is the voice in your YA similar at all to the voice in The Succubus Diaries?

Jill: Yes and no. I think pretty much everything I write has a similar 'tone' to it, but my YA has a different narrator, so she sounds different than my adult heroine. She's less flip and a little more vulnerable and secretive. But I still think you could pick it up and get that it's a Jill Myles book, if that makes sense.

LiLa: That makes perfect sense! Do you think it will be easier to sell a YA novel than it was to sell the books you've written for adults?

Jill: Well, yes and no! There are so many factors that come into play when selling each individual book. I mean, if my adult book somehow takes off and hits the bestseller list (excuse me while I giggle to myself at the thought) and stays there for like, a dozen weeks...then I do think it'll be easy. Who doesn't want a piece of the next bestseller, right? But on the other hand, if it sinks like a stone, it'll be a lot harder for me to sell anything else (YA or otherwise) because I'll have a failed book on my record.

But I don't know that it'll be 'easier' to sell a YA novel because it still depends on the novel, you know? What if every YA line has already bought up similar stories? What if my voice is all wrong? There are so many factors - and not to mention the fact that everyone is shopping YA right now because it's so popular. So easy? I don't know about that. :)

LiLa: Yeah, so that's totally terrifying. Let us never speak of debuts sinking like stones ever again. Rumor has it Gentlemen Prefer Succubi is pretty steamy. Do you have sex scenes in your YA? Did you approach them differently when writing for a younger audience?

Jill: Gentlemen is very steamy! I think it's because of the subject matter (a succubus). And no, there are no sex scenes in my YA (which is another reason why it seemed to confound everyone). I wrote the story and sex didn't seem to be on my heroine's mind, so sex didn't come up. There is a kiss, though! And I don't know if it's more or less steamy kiss than an adult one. The scenario in which it happens is a little more innocent than the scenarios that my succubus normally gets into, so there's a bit of a difference there.

LiLa: I can't wait to read all of these kissing scenes. They can be so hard to write for prudes like us! Will you use a pen name for your young adult work or are you hoping to stick with Jill Myles?

Jill: Whichever the publisher prefers. Jill Myles is a pseudonym as well, so I'm happy to go with whatever name they prefer for me to use. I wouldn't mind keeping Jill Myles, but I totally understand if it gets contracted and a publisher decides that they don't want the audience crossing over. Wouldn't blame them! :)

Now cross your fingers for me and hope it sells!

LiLa: Fingers officially crossed.

And now for the contests!
  • And even better, Jill is hosting a contest to win a personalized query critique from her agent Holly Root! For more entries in this contest, comment on the other blog tour posts (a full list of participating blogs and a schedule can be found at Market my Words). You can earn one entry per blog per comment. Winner will be chosen at random by Jill Myles and announced on her blog on Wednesday, January 27th along with an interview with Holly.
Next stop on the tour: Tomorrow Marissa Burt is going to be talking Jill about what inspires her to write.

55 comments:

Erin Kendall said...

Oh wow, the YA book sounds really cool!


Cheers,
Erin Kendall

sunna said...

Great interview, ladies! The notion of rewriting something as Ya is a really interesting one (and I also love the idea of imagining an adult character as a teen.)

Hardygirl said...

Totally love how she took an adult character and imagined him at 16.

I'm reading Pat Conroy's South of Broad right now, and although I'm reading about a high school character (I'm still in Part I), I can definitely tell its an adult telling the story. The voice is very adult as well as the sensibility. Hmmm. Something I don't think I would have ever noticed about five years ago.

That cover is totally steamy. Kinda like Scott Brown's nude cosmo shot he did when he was 22 .. . .

sf

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

How did I miss this book? Can't wait to read it now! Best of Luck Jill!

Great interview! Interesting how you changed the character.

Tess said...

Erm, I'm sure the interview was fantastic, but my mind could not tear itself away from that COVER.

Holy cow, I need some ice water here.

Katie said...

Great interview guys!!!!!! Thanks so much!

haha - am laughing at SF's comment. She's probably been DYING to be able to drop ol' Scott's nude photo info in conversation somewhere :)

Well played, SF. Well played.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

ooooh I defininetely want to check those books out and enter the contest. She sounds a little like Richelle Mead who is one of my favorite authors and also writes about succubi and then writes YA. Cool stuff!

Hilary Wagner ~ Writer said...

L & L,

Great interview! I think the XL cover pic you posted of Jill's book may have a few ladies drooling to reading it!

Go, Jill, GO!!!

xoxo -- Hilary

Christina Lee said...

That was a GREAT interview--thanks!! I've always loved the titles of those books and would love to win one!! Good luck to you Jill!

Stephanie Thornton said...

That was a fantabulous interview! It's interesting to see the different paths for a paranormal romance and YA. And I can't imagine rewriting a book to change the voice to YA- yikes!

Cathy C. Hall said...

That must have been challenging, taking an adult POV to teen. I think my brain automatically writes teen. Not sure what that says about me...

P.S. Lisa and Laura, love your About Me statement :-)

Marsha Sigman said...

I saw that cover and I thought...Helllloooo there.

It looks great and the YA sounds awesome too.

Melissa said...

What a great interview! I've heard such great things about this, but I was soooo thrown by the cover haha I was like...erm...Fabio?

It definitely sounds brilliant though :)

Larissa said...

When I'm not reading YA, I'm reading Adult Paranormal Romance, so Jill is right up my alley! Yay!

Great interview!

Natasha (Wicked Lil Pixie) said...

Great interview and a very cool idea on the adult/ya rewrite. I'd love to see how some of my favorites would turn out.

Elana Johnson said...

What a great interview. Thanks everyone.

JEM said...

It was great to read an interview with an adult author moving into YA! Thanks for the great info!

xxsquigglesxx said...

Please enter me!

squiggles87(At)Aol(dot)com

Laura said...

Ooooooo new YA book sounds awesome :D

Xid Trebor said...

Wow, Jill is sure multi-talented!! Did you have someone to go to for advice on the "voice" of a teenager? (I know P.C. Cast used her daughter Kristin when she started writing her House of Night series). Because really aren't we all 16 at heart?

Kimberly Franklin said...

Great interview! Can't wait to read!

How cool would it be to be able to turn invisible?

Just think of all the hot boys you could stare at and they wouldn't even know it. : )

That's defintely what I'm asking for, for Christmas next year: invisibility. My hubby's got 1 year to figure that one out. lol

Have a great day!

jeanette8042 said...

Awesome interview and I read Gentlemen Prefer Succubi! Can't wait to get my hands on the second one!

Mariah Irvin said...

I have to admit, that cover distracted me from the interview for a while. So steamy!

Donna Gambale said...

I love hearing from authors who write in multiple genres. Thanks for a great interview!

Laura Pauling said...

Jill, I love how you were willing to push your boundaries and try something out of the box! Congrats. And thanks LiLa for hosting! - Laura

Sarah said...

Great interview! Both books sound awesome! And I saw this cover a couple of weeks ago and haven't forgotten it since.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Well those abs certainly stopped me in my tracks! That's quite a cover. No wonder they can't keep it in the stores!

Erica said...

Great interview! Ooo both stories sound good to me.

What a great tip about imagining your leading man as a sixteen-year-old! Thanks Jill :o)

Love the title too!

Carolyn V. said...

I love interviews!!!! This one was awesome. Good luck Jill and Thanks.

Crystal said...

I'm really excited about reading the succubus series and hope the YA series gets published.

Christina Farley said...

This was fun to see the differences between writing a YA and adult novel. Great interview girls!

Daisy Whitney said...

Holy cover!!!!

elaing8 said...

great interview.
I LUV those covers :)

Rebecca Knight said...

LOVE the titles ;). Thanks for the interview, ladies!!

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

What a great idea for a YA Jill! Can't wait to read it :)

Melissa said...

I haven't read any adult romance for a while, but I can't wait to get my hands on those books:)

The YA book sounds like something I would really get into. Hope it sells soon.

Ash. Elizabeth said...

I already read the book, so I really can't enter. But, the YA sounds great! I used to be a big buffy fan, and I don't know if anyone else remembers that episode with the invisible girl? Well, I always thought they should've kept her around because having a butt-kicker who can turn invisible is...awesome. So I'm already for the invisible girl idea.

I'm probable the only person on the face of the earth who thinks like that, huh?

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview! Very interesting to hear about switching up a character from adult to teen. Creative :)

jdcoughlin said...

That cover threw me for a sec. I was thinking where the hell am I? And wow, think I'll stay for a bit. Great interview by the way!

Abigail said...

Thanks! I'm trying my hand at YA and trying to straddle this line too.

Kristy said...

Stop by my blog when you get a free moment, I have something for you =)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Great interview! And that cover? Holy cow...how do you whistle in blog speak? Talk about steamy.

The YA sounds pretty darn cool, as well.

Addled Alchemist said...

Great interview! I've read Gentlemen (awesome!), so I can imagine YA being quite the change. How cool! :)

Abigail Beal said...

Hello Lisa and Laura Write and Jill Myles :)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on writing for YA vs. adult fiction. I especially enjoyed when Ms. Myles changed her male character from an adult to a 16 year old - it is interesting to think of how our characters could change at different ages.

Wishing you great success with your books! Thank you!

:) Abigail

Linda Henderson said...

I enjoyed the interview and would love to read these books. I haven't read any YA yet, I will have to check this genre out.

seriousreader at live dot com

Shelli said...

yay jill!

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the interview with Jill Myles & thanks to Jill for sharing here today. She must be very busy!
I enjoyed learning more about her and her writing. And I'm looking forward to reading the Succubi series. I've read such great things, and the excerpts are excellent!
:)
All the best,
RKCharron

throuthehaze said...

This series sounds great! I love the cover...very hot.

Mitzi H. said...

Great Interview!! I can understand why the publisher might want different author names...It could be quite a shock if you picked up the book by accident. Hehehe.

Thank you for the chance to win these books. If someone ran a contest for the best cover, these 2 would win for sure!!!

kalynnick said...

I really want to read these books so enter me in please. thanks



kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Margay said...

I've noticed that a lot more people are writing YA and adult books and I wonder if this is just a trend or will continue. Interesting interview.
Margay

CheeseBK said...

cool interview!!! the YA story sounds very interesting, jill!

Feywriter said...

It's such a relief to see an example of an agent that will work with both YA and adult fantasy and romance. I need to find me one of these.

Creative A said...

Oh. My. Goodness. That YA sounds awesome! Now I'm going to have to bite my nails and hope it sells...sigh.

Fun interview!
-Creative A

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