Guys, I’m so excited that I can finally share this MEET THE AUTHOR MONDAY article with you! Some of you might know a couple of my favorite authors, some of you might not.. Let me tell you up front: this IS one of my favorite authors and I wanted you to meet her too. So I’m going to introduce you to her by telling something about herself, her books and I’m ending the article with a Q&A I got to do with her, so awesome! She’s known for her Stracrossed books Bad Romeo, Broken Juliet and Wicked Heart and her latest book MR. ROMANCE has just been published last April. I’m talking about LEISA RAYVEN!
THE AUTHOR. (This information is originating from © Leisa’s Website )
Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.
Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.
Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.
These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and Leisa’s debut novel, BAD ROMEO, was published through Macmillan New York in December 2014. The sequel, BROKEN JULIET was released in April 2015, and the final book in Leisa’s Starcrossed series, WICKED HEART, will hit bookstores and kindles on May 3rd, 2016.
The Starcrossed series has gained hordes of passionate fans all over the world, and the books have now been translated into eight foreign languages. Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet have also featured on international best seller lists in Brazil and Germany.
Leisa Rayven lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three cats, and a kangaroo named Howard.
(Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.) <- seriously, this woman is so funny and adorable and I love her haha
While performing the greatest love story of all time, they discovered one of their own …
At America’s most prestigious arts academy, Cassie Taylor was the good girl acting student. Ethan Holt was the bad boy around campus. Then one fated casting choice for Romeo and Julietchanged everything. Like the characters they were playing onstage, Cassie and Ethan’s epic romance seemed destined. Until it ended in tragedy when he shattered her heart.
Now they’ve made it to Broadway, where they’re reunited as romantic leads once more, and their passionate scenes force them to confront the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their intense college affair.
For Ethan, losing Cassie was his biggest regret and he’s determined to redeem himself. But for Cassie, even though Ethan was her first and only great love, he hurt her too much for her to ever trust him again. The trouble is, working with him reminds her that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks. And when it comes to love, sometimes it’s the things that aren’t good for us that are the most irresistible.
So, Bad Romeo is the first book in the Starcrossed trilogy and through this book I got to meet Leisa’s writing. I fell in love with the cover at first but when reading the synopsis back then I got extremely excited so not long after that I bought the books and started reading them. And I just couldn’t stop reading anymore. I was seriously addicted from the very first page, I kid you not! Leisa’s writing is captivating, intense and enthralling and you only want MORE MORE MORE.
After finishing Broken Juliet I was lost. I wanted more of Ethan, Cassie and the other characters.. After waiting a couple of months my patience got rewarded with the third book, Wicked Heart – which you see below -, which is about Ethan’s sister Elissa and OMYGOD, this book was worth the damn wait. Just as mesmerizing and addictive as Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet are. I can’t express my love for Leisa enough with only words, but seriously.. Her writing is so insanely good. She’s phenomenal in the angst-department, the developing of all these emotions she makes you feel and she knows how to write sexy firework worthy scenes, damn. With this third book, Leisa blew my mind again and I really think she could never disappoint me with her writing. These books are addictive, fun, sexy, emotional and so much more and they deserve getting more attention!
Liam Quinn is talented, gorgeous, and one of the biggest movie stars in the world.
He’s also the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.
After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancé are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred, and one moment of weakness will lead to a scandal that will echo around the world.
Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic will tell you, love doesn’t always follow the script.
It was quiet for a while after the release of Wicked Heart and in the meantime I approached Leisa and asked her if she’d be interested in doing this Q&A for my blog and she gave her consent – YESSSSSS. You can’t imagine my fangirl rant buwhaha but I was seriously jumping up and down in the living room. I was over the moon I got this chance, to communicate with her and get to ask her questions. It keeps being nothing short of amazing when an author responds to a request – just the fact for answering you, them taking time to do this makes me swoon – and agrees to do things like this. I feel very privileged for doing this and I love being able to share my love for an author via the blog this way. She told me she was busy writing a new book, YES!! so it could take a while before she’d be able to answer the questions but she was really excited to do this – SHE’S SO NICE YOU GUYS, really. LOVE HER! I was more than okay with that and told her to take her time.
Around Christmas Leisa released BAD ROMEO CHRISTMAS, which contains short stories of all our favorite characters from the Starcrossed trilogy and my god it was so amazing to read this. To get these extra’s of Ethan,Cassie, Liam, Elissa and some more characters.. It truly felt like Christmas. You know? when you get to unpack your presents? That’s what it felt like buying this book and get to read it.
Then, some months later, MR. ROMANCE is being announced, the first book in a new series called Masters of Love and all the Leisa fangirls are going nuts about it. The book was published on April 30th 2017 and there’s that. A new book which I safely dare say will be just as panty dropping hot as Leisa’s previous books and I can’t wait to read it – yes, I haven’t read it yet so shame on me *boohoo*.
Max Riley is the man of your dreams. Or at least he will be, for a price.
As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York’s socialites can’t get enough. Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he’s careful to keep his real identity a secret.
Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.
Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn’t fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.
Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story.
Have I gotten you excited yet? I sure hope so because you NEED these books in your life!! For some of them I already wrote reviews, so if you’re not excited enough yet, you definitely need to read them as well, lol. I’m still in the process of translating my Dutch articles -> English, so for the English readers; you can use the Google translate button to read the Dutch articles for now until I’m done with translating everything.
And I promised a Q&A so here we go:
- First off, what can we expect from you in the near future?
Well, I’ve just released the first book in my new Masters of Love series. It’s called MISTER ROMANCE and it introduces a whole host of new characters, including a new leading couple, Eden and Max. Man, I loved writing them. Now that their story is out in the world, I’m in the middle of book two in the series, PROFESSOR FEELGOOD. This one focuses on Eden’s sister, Asha, and our hero Jake is a sexy-as-hell Instagram star that Asha is trying to tie into a book deal. The problem is Asha doesn’t realize that the man she’s trying to sign is the same guy who made her high school years hell. Ahhh, good times are sure to ensue.
- Where did your inspiration came from to write these books?
The whole motivation for writing the Starcrossed books was my love for Shakespeare, and my dislike for some of his characters. *cough* Romeo! *cough*
For Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet, I drew upon a lot of my own experiences at drama school, and tried to weave in a modern take on the starcrossed trope. I wanted a ‘Romeo’ who didn’t just fall in love at the drop of a hat without acknowledging how much failed relationships had damaged him. I found the concept of a Romeo so plagued by intimacy issues and self-doubt that he’d run a million miles from his soul mate intensely fascinating, so that’s really the motivation for Ethan and Cassie’s story. I was also intrigued by the notion that damaged people tend to pass along their damage, even though they hate doing it.
In Wicked Heart, Elissa and Liam face their own Starcrossed challenges. Sometimes, fate doesn’t put you in the same place as your soul mate, and you have to decide exactly what you’ll sacrifice in order to be with that person. Or if the sacrifice is just too much.
Mister Romance was inspired by my love of all things romantic. I wanted to write a hero who was about more than just sex. I wanted him to be the ultimate book boyfriend, able to slip into any fantasy role.
Professor Feelgood is more about finding your authentic self. Sorting through the expectations society, family, and friends have for us, and following our instincts toward happiness.
- While writing, did you rewrite a lot or did everything just came out just as perfect as it is in the printed edition? Are there moments/scenes you’d liked to have changed now if you’d had the chance to do this.
I always rewrite A LOT. Like, seriously, so very much. I often see authors who are like, “Just typed THE END and I’ll be publishing tomorrow.” I envy them SO MUCH. I’m an interminable fiddler, and will refine a manuscript within an inch of its life before I can even think about publishing it. Of course, having said that, some scenes are super clear in my head, and they’re the ones that require very little re-writing. But often, I’ll rewrite a scene dozens of times until I’m absolutely happy with it. Even on my fifth or sixth draft of a book, I’ll still find things to improve or change.
On the whole, I’m very happy with how the books turned out, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t still find things to fiddle with, even now.
- Do you have a favorite character in the series? Which one of them you loved writing about most and why?
I adore all of my characters, and I think all authors have to love their protagonists in order to truly breathe life into them. But it’s such a weird experience when you switch between characters. You really have to become someone else while writing different characters, and I’m grateful that I already had a lot experience doing that in my acting. When I was writing young-Cassie, I was all blushy and naïve, then older Cassie was hard and Jaded. Elissa was down-to-earth and sincere, Eden was cynical and driven. I loved writing them all, and whenever I finish a book, I go through a period of mourning, because those ladies are no longer living inside my head anymore, and it’s like saying goodbye to a close friend. *sad face*
- Who and what is your favorite Author/favorite genre? What authors/books would you recommend to others?
I have incredibly eclectic tastes as far as books go. I’ve read nearly everything written by Douglas Adams, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, S.E. Hinton, and James Patterson. I went on a Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwall bender for a while. I’ve done JK Rowling and Laini Taylor, as well as a fair chunk of Terry Pratchett. I adore Elizabeth Gilbert, and of course, I’ve read my fair share of romance. I love Colleen Hoover, Mia Sheridan, Jamie MacGuire, Kylie Scott. And I adore reading my friends’ books – Christina Lauren, Alice Clayton, Helena Hunting, Debra Anastasia, Katherine Stevens, SM Lumetta, Daisy Prescott … ugh, the list is HUGE. As with any reader, I have too many books, too little time.
- What does a ‘normal’ work day look like for you?
I usually get up at 5.30am so I can get some emailing done with my agent or suppliers in the states. (Working around international time zones is always a struggle for us Aussies.) Then I get my kids ready for school, shower, and do chores/errands until around 11am, then I sit down to write. Most days I’ll write until 3pm when the kids finish school, then I’ll run around with them to various activities and lessons until dinner time. If I’ve been on a roll during the day, I might go back to writing after dinner for a few hours. If I’m on a deadline and running behind, I’ll burn the midnight oil to get more work done. I’ve been known to occasionally pull and all-nighter if necessary. 🙂
- What is your most memorable moment of your writing career so far?
I have two major moments that will always be special. The first one is the day an actual, live New York literary agent called me to say she’d loved my manuscript and wanted to represent me. And the second was the day my agent emailed me to say an editor at Macmillan New York was only half-way through Bad Romeo, but was already talking about signing me to a three-book deal. Both of those things were incredibly surreal, and even thinking about them now makes me shake my head with the unlikelihood of it all. I still have to pinch myself every now and then to remind myself that this is my life now.
- Tell us a couple of things the outside world doesn’t know.
Hmmm, well, I’m a trained dancer. I took tap, jazz, and ballet for ten years. I play the piano, saxophone, and percussion. I grew up on a cane farm and could probably still drive a tractor if you pointed a gun at my head. I love to fold and clean. cheese, and buying duvet covers. I can burp on cue. 🙂
- And last but not least, is there any chance you’ll ever come to the Netherlands?
I would LOVE to come to the Netherlands. I visited there a long time ago when I was touring through Europe and thoroughly LOVED Amsterdam. I didn’t get nearly enough time to explore as we were only there for one day, but it’s always been a country I’ve longed to return to. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get back there in the near future.
LEISA ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
I hope you guys had fun reading this article and if you’ve even picked up the slightest bit of my love and adoration for this author and her books I’m already proud to have accomplished that and I seriously hope I’ve persuaded you to buy and read her books because these books deserve to be read and loved and cherished and you won’t regret it, I promise!!