Today we have an interview with Skye Jones, author of the Wild Hunters series!
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Welcome to PNRLovers, Skye.
Tell us about yourself. When you’re not writing all the awesome words, what are you doing?
I am looking after my two furbabies. They are gorgeous but lots of work as one is a very old girl and has tons of meds she is on throughout the day, and the other is a high energy pup. I also spend time making up various slow cooker recipes and whizzing up tasty drinks in the Nutribullet. My favorite is frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, almond milk, a couple of prunes, a teaspoon of nut butter, a teaspoon of chia seeds, a teaspoon of raw cacao powder, fill to the top with the almond milk and add maple syrup to sweeten. It is divine!
I have some health issues so some days I have to take it slow, but that is the beauty of writing. On a good day I can get stuff done and on a bad day I can take it more easy.
What book series have you written?
I have two series in progress at the moment and a third started. The first series is, Wild Hunters. This is a high heat series and features a mix of pairings from M/M/F to M/M and M/F.
The second series I am about to launch is Shifters of the Glen. The first in the series is Wolves at the Door, and features Drew an alpha wolf shifter and Brooke, a scientist who stirs up trouble when she accidentally encroaches on shifter territory. The second and third books are also finished and ready to go very soon. I love my covers for this series and am so glad I can share them with you.
Before a book is published, it goes through rigorous rounds of edits. What does your editing process look like? How has it changed from when you first started out?
It has definitely changed. Now, it is more rigorous and also more practiced.
I start out with my rough draft and edit it a few times myself. Just reading it and changing it up/re-writing where I think it needs it. Then I go over it with a fine tooth comb looking for all the words and phrases I mix up or overuse. What bugs me about this is, I kill off one over used phrase, for another to pop up and take its place!
Then I send it off to a couple of critique readers. I loooooove my critique partners. They are the best. I get it back from them and do further edits as per their suggestions. Then it is another read through and a thorough grammar check using Word to look for any last minute basic mistakes that have been missed.
Then it goes to my editor and she does a content edit. That may mean more story changes. Finally – it has a proofread and we hopefully catch all the last little issues.
Then it goes off to formatting and when it comes back I read through it all again to check for any formatting issues. Hopefully this means most issues are caught. But you can never catch every single mistake.
How much of a hands on approach do you take in creating your covers? Do you do them yourself, or hire them out? If you hire them out, how much input do you have in the creative process?
Pretty hands on. I basically get together a folder of pictures I like – things like landscapes, people, colors for mood, etc. and give them to my husband, who is an artist and designer and who does my covers. He then works with me further on what I want. So, for example, the covers you see for Wolves at the Door, and Wolf in the Woods - I told him I wanted a sort of fairy tale feel. The stories have that feeling to them and I wanted it reflected in the covers. So we worked on colors and the first cover – Wolves in the Woods has this moody blue theme and the thorny branches reaching out. So that there is the feel of the forest kind of coming alive around the hero. I love it, if I say so myself!
Balancing a work life, a family life, and being an author can be like juggling with knives. How do you make it work? Is your family supportive of your writing career? Do you write full time, or do you see yourself writing full time at some point in the future?
I write part time, and I do have other work I do from home, including some journalism work. But being a spoonie - that is someone with a chronic health condition - I have to be careful not to do too much or I can get a health setback. It is frustrating though when I have a story that I really want to get out and my mind is whirring but my body is tired.
My husband is very supportive of my writing so I am lucky in that.
Which of your stories did you enjoy writing the most? Why? Which caused you to bang your head against your keyboard?
The one I enjoyed the most is probably a tie between Claimed by Love, and Wolf in the Woods. I loved those two stories. Claimed by Love because, if I am honest, I fell head over heels in love with one of the heroes, Luke. God, that man!! He is a big favorite of mine. And I actually feel guilty saying that, as if I’m betraying all my other heroes. Which is a nice insight into how crazy a writers mind can get!
Wolf in the Woods is a favorite because I really liked the way the story developed. Although, right now I am working on a new project, which is a spin off series from Shifters of the Glen and I’m loving this one, too. Mostly because it is much bigger in scope than my other works. It features wolf shifters, but also vampires, seers, immortal magical warriors, witches, and others. It has a loose arc for the series that I already know, and I am both exhilarated and terrified to be writing in a much wider world.
As for the ones that made me bang my head on the keyboard. All of them! At one point or another, in every single story, I get stuck. I think the hardest story I wrote is Ice: Dragon Clan, which was in our dragon boxset – Flight of Dragons. I ended up in hospital in the middle of working on it and got total writers block. Then the edits were so hard. They were actually brilliant – and helped me grow as a writer, but hard at a time when I was running on empty. Funnily enough, despite it being the hardest to write, I think it is probably one of my best stories so far.
And now for the silly…if you had to choose, who would you say is your all-time favorite book boyfriend, and why? This can be from your own work, or someone else’s.
Do you know? I can’t pick just one. I can’t. I have so many. I’d have to have Archer – from Mia Sheridan’s, Archer’s Voice. Also, Mr. Darcy. Any and all of the Black Dagger Brotherhood – in particular, Vishous, Rhage, Wrath, or Rehv. I also love Luke from Claimed by Love so much, as I said earlier. I can change which I prefer at any given time depending on my mood. I’ve just re-read Lover Eternal, so right now Rhage is up there as a top favorite.
Do you have anything specific that you’d like to say to your readers?
Just, thank you! It means so much for me to have anyone read my words, it is hard to convey just how much it does mean. Writing has always been an escape and since getting sick, it has helped me stay sane and given me an outlet. So any support for that is precious indeed.
What’s in the works for you right now? When can we expect to see it released to the world?
I have Wolves at the Door ready to be released on May the 19th. Closely followed by Wolf in the Woods. The third book, Wolf in the City, is expected end of June, and then I really hope to have the first in the spin off series out for the beginning of August.
Can you share an excerpt of your upcoming book, or recently released one?
This is an excerpt from Wolf in the Woods: Book Two of the Shifters of the Glen series, and Izzy and Louis’ story:
“This is my abode.” Louis shuffled from foot to foot. “Do you wish to see inside my home?”
His nerves touched me. This big, hulking wolfman carried himself with such strength and yet seemed so unsure in many ways. I found it endearing.
“I’d love to see inside your home.” I squeezed his hand.
Louis led me through a gate and down a path. I swear to God, the place seemed straight out of a fairy tale. A real life Hansel and Gretel or Red Riding Hood fantasy home, right here in front of me. I laughed.
“What?” Louis turned to me, his lips twitching.
“Your home is like something out of a fairy tale. It’s so beautiful and different to anything I’ve seen before, and then I started thinking how I’m walking to this fairy-tale home on the arm of a wolfman.”
He snorted. “Wolfman?” He faced me, eyebrows raised.
“Yeah. You’re a wolfman.” I’d nearly said my wolfman, and I thanked God I hadn’t slipped up. “Are the land and the gardens yours too?”
“Yes,” he said. “I grow a lot of vegetables and keep chickens for their eggs. Brooke, Drew’s mate, helps me in the garden. She enjoys it as much as I do. The land I like for the dogs. They can run to their heart’s content in the field.”
“You own dogs?” I don’t know why the idea surprised me so much.
“Yep.” We reached the door and he opened it, revealing two stunning German Shepherds.
“Wow, they are gorgeous.” I laughed as they ran out around us, sniffing at our hands.
“Yes, they are. They’d been chained at a scrapyard, underfed and cold to the bone. Drew found them while getting spare parts one day. He paid the owner a grand for the two of them and told him if he got any more dogs, he’d kill him. Brought them back here, and I fell in love with them.”
So…a soft heart lurked underneath his gruff exterior, and not only when it came to me.
Brooke told me Louis didn’t have many friends. As a pack enforcer, the others viewed him as remote, tough, and even scary. I understood their impression of him. After all, when I’d first seen him, I’d been scared, but not for long. I understood it, but they were wrong.
Barking joyfully, the dogs ran past us and out into the field.
“Come in.” Louis held the door open and gestured me in with a sweep of his arm.
I walked into his home and gasped. The place looked beautiful, but what made me breathless was the clear as day vision I experienced of myself sitting in Louis’s homely kitchen, drinking my morning coffee as he placed a kiss on the top of my head.
Where can we find you and your books?
My books are sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and ARe. My new series, Shifters of the Glen, will be an Amazon exclusive and available to rent on KU.
Last, but not least, where can our readers find you online?
I have a website here: http://skyejonesauthor.com/ I recently upgraded my website and changed it, so it hasn’t been as busy recently as it usually is. I aim to get back to regular blogging and posting very soon.
I also am on Facebook and love to keep in touch there. You can find my page here: https://www.facebook.com/Skye-Jones-297399473794965/
I’m on twitter at @skyejromance
I also have a newsletter where I have regular giveaways, free reads, and new release news. I don’t send out emails every day lol, normally it is once a month on average. But it pays to sign up if you like reading as I do giveaways every month of books or gift vouchers. Readers can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bdVZ-5