Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Interview with Joss Ware and Giveaway - January 26, 2011

The Qwillery is delighted to welcome Joss Ware, author of the Envy Chronicles.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Joss:  Probably that I have a really hard time writing anything solid until after 6 pm each day. I can do it, but it's not always pretty and it's much easier once I hit those evening hours. I think it's because before I sold my first book, I was writing in the evening after I got home from work, put the kids to bed, and got everything settled for the night...and that's the way I must have trained my brain to work.

So, even though all three of my kids are in school all day, most of my good, solid writing is done after they get home from school. Which is why I have to leave the house to go to a cafe and write. Sigh. If only....!

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Joss:  I don't read a lot of paranormal writers, simply because I like to keep my mind fresh and uninfluenced by other approaches to the genre(s) I write in. I read JD Robb, Susan E Phillips, Julie James, Kylie Brant, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Julia Quinn, and Loretta Chase--along with lots of historical mysteries.

Jeaniene Frost and Nalini Singh are two paranormal authors who've gotten me to peek out of my self-imposed moratorium on reading paranormals though. ;-)

I'm also just getting familiar with Jaime Rush and Tracey O'Hara, both of whom have lots of buzz surrounding their paranormal releases this week too!

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Joss:  Unequivocally a pantser. Without a doubt. And I hate that!! If I could plot, I'd probably have less gray hair. :-) (Which, by the way, I cover with a fabulous cherry-cola dye.)

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Envy Chronicles?

Joss:  I was sitting across the table at Olive Garden one day with a good friend of mine, talking about our writing projects, and she said, "Why don't you write a post-apocalyptic romance?"

My first reaction was, "No way!" I mean, how could you have people fall in love and put a believable romance – the most uplifting, positive, happy-ever-after kind of story – in the midst of the mass destruction of the earth and its human race?

But then I got to mulling about it, and once things start to perk, it's hard for me to let go. I started thinking about all the thrillers I'd read and action movies I'd seen where the Bad Guys are trying to destroy the world. They have some great scheme that will annihilate the human race and put them in control, giving them power over all.

Of course, the heroes of the tale always manage to thwart their plots in the end ... but what if, one time, they didn't?

What if the Bad Guys succeeded in their quest for power?

That was how the idea started. And then I realized, I didn't want to set the story too close to the time of the great devastation. It would simply be too depressing, so I knew I wanted the world to have begun to rebound and settle into place. But, yet, I wanted there to be characters who knew and understood what the world had been like before the Change, as I called it. Characters who would make a difference and be saviors to humankind.

I wanted to write about men who lose everything they've ever had or known about themselves and their world, and who have to start all over again ... and the women who help them find their place in this new, stark world.

The result is an action-adventure romance series set in a devastated world that feels a bit like I Am Legend, with the essence of LOST and a paranormal component reminiscent of HEROES.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create your post-apocalyptic world?

Joss:  I watched programs like Life After People and Population: Zero to get an idea of what would last and what wouldn't, if the human race was killed off or otherwise decimated. I also read the book The World Without Us to supplement that.

I also did a lot of research about how things are my post-apocalyptic/dystopian world, there isn't mass production of I had to make sure that whatever they had was able to be produced on a one-off basis. But in my mind, everything was originally produced one at a time, by whoever invented it.

I use the late 19th century as a sort of barometer to determine what's possible for people to have on a regular basis...if they had it then, before the Industrial Revolution, they can definitely have it after the world's been destroyed.

In addition, the fun thing, too, is that there are pockets of people with knowledge from our time who can help to rebuild parts of society. The book I just finished writing (the fifth book to be released in September) has a guy who's growing penicillin because he's found old books about pharmaceuticals.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the Envy Chronicles?

Joss:  Hmmm...that's a great question. One of the scenes I had the most fun writing was a scene where my characters are being chased through an old shopping mall by a bunch of zombies. They're running through old, empty stores, looking for an escape...and at the same time, noticing what could possibly be scavenged or used. It was fun to write about, fun to think about.

TQ: How many books are planned for the Envy Chronicles? Will there be any short stories or novellas set in the Envy Chronicles' world?

Joss:  I'm just about to start writing the sixth book in the series, and I'm not sure if that will be the last one or if I'll flesh it out more. I had originally planned on six books, but there are definitely spin-off characters that I could write about....especially a particular bounty hunter. ;-)

TQ: What's next?

JossNIGHT BETRAYED, the fourth book, is out this week...and then in September is the fifth book, NIGHT FORBIDDEN. The sixth book should be out in 2012 sometime.

I also write as Colleen Gleason and have historical vampire romances coming out in 2011 as well. ;-)

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Joss:  Thank you so much for having me!

Joss' Books

Beyond the Night
Envy Chronicles 1
A man with no future . . .

When Dr. Elliott Drake wakes from a mysterious fifty-year sleep, the world as he knew it is gone. Cities are now desolate, and civilization is controlled by deadly immortals. Stranger still is Elliott's extraordinary new "gift"—he has the power to heal, but it comes with fatal consequences.

A woman with a past . . .

Jade barely escaped the immortals and is now hell-bent on revenge. She trusts no one . . . until Elliott. His piercing gaze and tempting touch shatter her defenses, but the handsome doctor seems to have dangerous secrets of his own. Is it safe to trust him with her heart?

If they are to survive in this dark new world, Jade and Elliott must work together to fight the forces that take them beyond danger.

Beyond desire.

Embrace the Night Eternal
Envy Chronicles 2
Everything they knew is gone.

From the raging fires, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers. They must learn how to survive this dark, ravaged world . . . but they cannot do it alone.

Simon Japp will never forget his violent past. But when civilization is all but destroyed, he sees his chance for redemption. Blessed with a strange "gift," he's determined to help the resistance against the Strangers, the mysterious force that stalks them at every turn. He can't afford to get distracted, even by the stunning, soft-spoken woman fighting by his side . . . Sage Corrigan has learned to be careful where she places her trust. But she sees something good in Simon, even if he can't see it in himself. Posing as lovers to infiltrate a group key to their fight, they find that their staged affection soon develops into a desire that will leave them fighting for their lives in the night eternal . . .

Abandon the Night
Envy Chronicles 3
From the raging fires, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers. They are humankind's last hope . . . but they cannot survive this dark, ravaged world alone . . .

Quentin Fielding had everything. Money. Power. Women. But now that civilization is all but annihilated, Quent wants only one thing: revenge. Harnessing a strange new "gift," he embarks on a deadly mission to find the man responsible for the chaos and destruction, the man he should have killed years ago: his father. Only one thing stands in his way—a mysterious, arrow-wielding beauty . . .

Zoë Kapoor is on her own quest for vengeance, searching for the monstrous fiends who murdered her family. Soon she and Quent join together, journeying through the ruins of the world they once knew as a desperate desire builds between them. Drawing closer to an enemy they never imagined, Zoë and Quent must abandon all fear, abandon all regret, abandon the night . . .

Night Betrayed
Envy Chronicles 4
The world they knew is ashes.

The world that remains is in peril.

And five extraordinary survivors are humankind's last, best hope.

The Change that devastated the earth did not destroy Theo Waxnicki. It made him something more than human—eternally young, eternally beautiful . . . but not immortal. When he dies on a mission against the Strangers, he is lost to the darkness . . . until a miracle lady brings him back.

Born during the apocalyptic storms and earthquakes that left the world in ruins, Selena has dedicated her life to easing the pain of others. But Theo is the first in her care to survive. Responding to Selena's tender touch, Theo starts to live again, to feel and desire again. But joined in a world of terrors, the secrets they can never share make them targets. And love could be the ultimate betrayal.

About Joss

Joss has been an avid reader – and writer – since she was very young. Beginning with the Little House books, moving on to Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, and then as she grew older finding her mother's 'Seventies romance novels (Bertrice Small, Kathleen Woodiwiss) followed by historical fiction (John Jakes), mysteries and thrillers, Joss has always required one element to be part of any book she enjoys: a good romance.

Which is why These Happy Golden Years was always her favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder book.

In fact, her first literary crush was Jim Frayne from the Trixie Belden series (she always thought Ned Nickerson was too boring), and ever since then she's had a fondness for tortured male heroes in both the books she reads and the ones she writes.

While Joss has written everything from medieval romances (unpublished) to female action/adventure novels (unpublished) to contemporary paranormal romances (also unpublished), she never thought about writing a series set in the future.

And then one day, while sitting at Olive Garden, a friend said to her, "Why don't you write a post-apocalyptic romance?"

And she thought about it, and the next thing she knew, Joss had the kernel of an idea that soon exploded into something she was really excited about. Then her agent got excited about it, and then an editor at HarperCollins ... and the rest is history.

After working for years in sales and marketing, owning her own business, and working briefly for an international import/export company, Joss is now blessed to do what she loves and writes full-time.

She lives in Michigan with her husband, children and two big dogs. She's currently working on her next project and still hopes that someday, those other unpublished works might find a home.

Joss loves to hear from readers and tries very hard to respond to every contact in a timely manner.

Joss' Links:

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win Mass Market Paperbacks of the first 3 Envy Chronicles books: Beyond the Night, Embrace the Night Eternal, and Abandon the Night.

How:  Leave a comment telling The Qwillery what you would like to find in a shopping mall if you were scavenging for things in a post-apocalyptic world? Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you in case you are a winner. If The Qwillery can't contact you, you can't win!

Who & When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, February 2, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. I think I'd like to find my pride and prejudice old, used and ruined book, something that makes me feel at home long as I can find my fav book, post-apocaliptic world is not so bad.
    I hope.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 twitter!/AliasLucia/status/30255414641692673

  2. Post-apocalyptic mall shopping? I'm thinking things that would be difficult to reproduce w/o our modern means... Things like good boots or down jackets or maybe silk long johns. I would clean out the inevitable sporting goods store!
    Of course, I'd also make a quick stop at Victoria's Secret, too. Betcha anything I couldn't wear would make great trade goods w/o taking up too much space! ;)

    +3: comment, blog follower, retweet.

  3. I think my first thing would be chapstick. I know, kinda silly, but I have to have my fruity chapstick. Next would be books as a great escape. Leaving the crazy reality behind and getting lost in a book
    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 twitter!/joleneallcock/status/30280585796648960

  4. Ohhh on my hunt I would want to find a mag light with extra batteries. the big kind. Not only would it be great for the dark but also for beating back the baddies. Yeah gotta love the MagLight.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  5. I want a crowbar. Good weapon, Can opener, and I can break into more stores with it and buildings. I bet I could dig for water also. The multipurpose tool.

    +1 comment

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  6. In my post apocalypse shopping mall field trip, I would like to find a heavy giant stock pot good for canning.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 twitter!/zoombievampire/status/30313044701609985

  7. What would I search for in Post-apocalyptic shopping um well I would say need food , clothes(a good coat, boots.) lots of water, a tent, sleeping bag and then I would hit the book store and stock up on as many reads as I could.

    +1 Comment
    +1-GFC Follower- BLHmistress
    +1 Tweeted-!/BookLovershaway/status/30339719069958144

  8. I would want to find weapons, food and water, clothes, and gear like a tent and flashlights.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  9. I would need to find food and water. I fully functions greenhouse would be nice too :)

    Comment: (1 entry)
    Follower: (+1 entry)
    Tweeted:!/IntenseWhisper/statuses/30357068527443968 (+ 1 entry)

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  10. Watches. Seems like everything revolves around gears so if I have watches I'd be queen! ;)

    I follow through GFC

  11. I would probably have to go to the sporting goods store. Never liked camping but if you have no where to sleep tents and sleeping bags are a must. Along with food, water, and some great books to pass the time.

    +1 for being a follower
    Thanks for the great giveaway! :)

  12. A blanket, a backpack, matches, knife and water purification tablets.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweet -!/DonnaS1/status/30484945629609984
    +1 blog -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  13. I would hope to find another set of clothes, because I'm assuming I wouldn't have anything besides what's on my back. Maybe a second pair of shoes, and a backpack to carry everything in.

    Sara M
    sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com

  14. Joss' series sounds great.
    I would hope to find canned food, can opener, blanket and matches.

    GFC follower


  15. What an interesting question!! I would want to find some clean well-fitting clothes that worked for various weather, and hopefully lots of canned food (and a can opener).

    Comment (1 entry)
    Follower (+1 entry)


  16. I would want to find a swiss army knife, because you never know when you're going to need one of those.
    +1 following you via GFC
    +1 I tweeted:!/Alliegal101/status/30796762113380352
    girl23rocks at hotmail dot com

  17. I'd like to find a time machine so that I can go back and stop the Apocalypse.

    treerose AT yahoo DOT com

  18. Aside from finding the basics (food, water, shelter) I'd like to find a journal and some pencils.

    +1 Comment
    +1 GFC follower

  19. I would like to find water, food, clothes, shoes, knife, matches and blanket.

    +1 follower

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  20. I'd love to find some clean underwear! Love buying new underwear! lol!

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  21. I would like to find food, water purification equipment, water, clothes, shoes, good camping equipment, and weapons.
    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 tweeted!/mbreakfield/status/32461880073129984
    +1 blog post

  22. I think I would want to find sturdy clothes, like combat boots.
    +1 follower
    +1 comment
    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

    (know chcocoalte dont ruin) and gun store, has guns,ammo, hunting clothes and eagr, tents and stuff

  24. I have to go with shampoo, underwear, pen and paper and of course food. And um, "that time of the month" stuff would be handy!


  25. Oh, thank God I made it in time! That'll teach me not to check my Google Reader.

    I would definitely head to the mall sporting goods store for a nice crossbow. Hey,there could be zombies!

    +1 Follower
    +1 Comment

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  26. I'd hope to find an E-Reader, fully loaded with every single book known to man. Gotta kill the time while I hide out right? LOL

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower

  27. I would hope to find a warm jacket, some clean undies, and a few good books.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    lizzi091t at aol dot com