Please help me welcome Calista Fox to the blog today!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a refugee from corporate America where I managed PR for a CEO, writing speeches, presentations and Congressional testimonies. I was also the five-time project manager of an $18 billion Department of Defense contract. After ten or so years of this, I devoted myself to writing fiction. It’s much sexier than DoD contracts. ;-)
Did you always want to be an author?
I’ve always been a writer, but a technical one. Yes, I wanted to be an “author,” but it always seemed like a pipedream, not a realistic career. However, I sold the first novella I wrote to Red Sage Publishing, and my story was in an anthology on bookshelves across the country just six months after I signed the contract! Voila! I was suddenly an author!
What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?
That one word encompasses a lot, actually. I love being able to write from anywhere in the world, because I travel frequently. I’ve cranked out books in hotel bars, on airplanes, on the beach, in the back of cabs, in a ski lodge. You name the place, I’ve written a scene or a partial book there!
Also, I like that today’s publishing world allows a writer to stretch beyond the traditional storylines and expectations. I don’t always write within the box, and I’m thrilled I have an audience who enjoys that!
Tell us a little about your book.
I Burn For You is a sexy romp! That’s all it’s intended to be. It’s a short story for Decadent Publishing’s The Edge Series, so you won’t find endless pages of back story or tons of deliberating over obstacles and decisions. My heroine is Kate Lindsey, and her husband died four years ago. She’s trying to shake her past, but what the reader will see in this story is a glimpse into the moment when she decides to open a door and take a chance.
The official info is:
There’s no telling what will happen when Cupid sends his naughty muses to the mortal world to spice up love lives, but one thing’s for sure—it’ll be H-O-T!
Kate Lindsey’s husband died four years ago, and while she believes she’s finally ready to move on, she’s still sending out “Grieving Widow” signals that keep men at bay. Until one stormy evening when the sexy man she’s crossed paths with at the library shows up at her door.
Unbeknownst to Kate, Edward is one of the muses determined to reignite a mortal’s passion, and he intends to give her one steamy night of pure pleasure. Will Kate take the bait?
Kate couldn’t say for sure what finally gave her the verve to write a new, refreshing chapter in her stalled-out book, but she lifted the chenille from her shoulders and draped it over the end of the sofa. She stood before Edward in nothing but satin, navy blue lingerie that clung to her curves and ended midway at her thighs.
He placed his glass next to hers and loosened his tie. An electric current arced between them and she found her body gravitating toward his, until she was helping him pull one end of his tie down his chest. She discarded it the way she’d tossed aside her dress earlier.
His blue eyes blazed with lust and a familiar longing that seemed to mirror her own.
She found herself asking, “Have you lost someone you cared for?”
He nodded. “A long time ago. She was very special to me.”
“Has there been anyone since?”
“No,” he said with a decisive shake of his head. “There seems to be less emphasis on intimacy these days and more on just...surviving.”
“It’s been difficult,” Kate admitted. “In so many ways. The poor economy has wreaked havoc on relationships and so many people have lost hope.”
“More than that,” he said as a finger slid along the thin strap at her shoulder. “They’ve lost their kefi.”
She stared up at him, confused. “I don’t know what that means.”
His sexy grin nearly made her melt at his feet. “It’s Greek for passion. Zest for life. Joy. Whatever it is you live for...it’s vanished from so many people.”
“Yes,” she said on a sharp whisper. “But is it possible to get it back?”
She waited with bated breath for his answer. It was critical he respond in the affirmative, she realized. Otherwise, what would be the point of feeling such an intense physical attraction to this man? An attraction she was certain was mutual. If he didn’t believe in the ability to resuscitate passion, she’d be right back where she’d started earlier in the evening, staring at herself all gussied up, wondering why the hell she bothered if there was no hope for finally, after all these years, connecting with another person on a deep, visceral level. Even if just for one night, that bond would mean so much to her.
Finally, he placed a finger beneath her chin and lifted it. Staring into her eyes, he said, “If you want to feel passion again, Kate, I can give that to you.”
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I spent two years after attending my first RWA National conference in New York (2002), where I ran into Nora Roberts outside of Bergdorf Goodman’s—and she was quite gracious when I gawked—debating whether or not I wanted to take a stab at writing a book. Again, it just didn’t seem plausible. I was too focused on business writing and didn’t think I could weave a romantic tale. Then I discovered Angela Knight and Mary Janice Davidson in the pages of a Secrets anthology (Red Sage Publishing), and I desperately wanted to write something sexy and titillating as well! It literally just happened!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Oftentimes by traveling, but the majority of my inspiration and story ideas come to me in my dreams. They’re usually quite vivid, and while some aren’t developed enough for full-length novels, I can turn short dreams into novellas.
Do you plot and outline or do you just write? Plotter or Pantser?
At first, I’d just write. Now I spend a good deal of time visualizing my story before I’ll start writing it. I need to formulate the scene and know it intimately in my mind before I can peck it out on the keyboard.
Can you tell us a little about the process of getting your first book published?
I will disappoint many people with this. I don’t have any pearls of wisdom to impart, other than to say that I studied the genre I wanted to start with and I analyzed the market and the publishers setting trends. Red Sage Publishing was promoting authors that have turned out to have great careers, and I loved their business model. They put out two anthologies a year when I discovered them, and had the most beautiful covers. I wanted my story within those pages. So I wrote the novella the summer of 2004, following another trip to New York, sent in the first ten pages, per their guidelines, and waited. They requested the full and about two months later, they called to offer me a contract. The story fit an anthology they had coming out that summer, and they moved me into the slot. I sold four other novellas to them and they published my first single title, action-packed adventure, Object of Desire.
Most reviewers commented that I’d found the perfect publisher for my start in the genre, and I couldn’t agree more. Fitting in with your publisher and editor are paramount!
What book have you most recently released?
I have a series set in Wilder, Texas, and the second story came out recently—Adonis in Texas—and the third will release October 26—Cougar in Texas. They are available online through Ellora’s Cave. Of course, you can find more info at www.calistafox.com!
What was your favorite part of the book?
With I Burn For You, my favorite part is Kate’s realization that something much bigger than her is at play when she meets Edward—and the fact that she accepts the chemistry between them, because it’s much needed in her life!
Rate your story in terms of steaminess?
Um, out of five, I’d give it a five. ;-) Be forewarned!
Do you have another book in the works?
I am currently working on the rest of the Cupid’s Naughty Muses series for Decadent Publishing. The second story is tentatively titled Mad About You. It will be very, very steamy! I also have Deadly Attraction coming soon from Ellora’s Cave.
What advice would you give new authors? What have you learned about the business?
I won’t go with the trite, “never give up,” but will say that it’s incredibly helpful if you know your market. Understand the genre in which you want to write and study it obsessively. Know the business and always, always be professional. If you receive a rejection, learn from it and move on, but always keep your head up.
Boxers or Briefs?
Sexy boxer/briefs, you know, the tight-fitting ones—nothing white, please!
Pizza or hamburger?
I could eat pizza every day for the rest of my life and be a happy woman. Sigh.
Beer, Wine, or mixed drink?
Definitely a wine girl.
If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be? Would you write or read there, or do something else?
My initial inclination would be to return to Paris, but I think a week in Italy touring wineries and the countryside, as well as attending cooking classes is in my future... ;-)
What were your first impressions of each other?
Kate has some deep wounds and I loved her for that. Edward has the advantage of being one of Cupid’s muses, so he can see more than surface stuff when it comes to Kate. That’s what makes them dynamic together.
What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?
I love that Kate wants to break free of her past, and that she doesn’t want to bring anyone down. She just needs to figure out how to move forward. Edward taps into something she hasn’t given credence to, and that’s what I love about him.
What are your plans for the near future?
I have many projects in the works, so my plan is to escape to the mountains pre-winter and keep writing!
Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Calista Fox (aka Ava McKnight) began her professional fiction-writing career in 2005, following an exciting career in PR, where she specialized in writing speeches and Congressional testimonies. Her books have received rave reviews, and she has won several contests with publication as the prize. She is also the recipient of Romance Reviews Today’s Best Book for its category and a Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Sci-Fi Erotic Novella. In 2007, Calista’s paranormal romance, One Wish, launched the e-publishing venture for print publisher Red Sage Publishing, Inc., publisher of her first trade paperback novel, Object of Desire.Calista is a college graduate and teaches online writing classes. She lives on a golf course in Arizona when not checking off locations on her travel bucket list. She has crossed the country many times over by Lear and Gulfstream jets with her PR job and travels internationally, always with her laptop in tow to capture intriguing story elements and exotic locales.
Find Calista @
If you’d like a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card, leave a comment and your email address and you’ll be entered! Follow my blog tour through Oct. 19 for more chances to enter! (Dates and locations are on my website at www.calistafox.com.)