2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Darklight On...Jess Anastasi

Today's Darklight On... is with Jess Anastasi. Welcome, Jess!

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
I still can't work this one out. You know how people say something is just meant to be? Well, I think that applies for me and sc-fi romance. Sure, I love paranormal and will dip into a bit of fantasy every now and then, but sci-fi is where my passion is. For a lot of years I'd been tossing up whether or not to write a sci-fi while in the meantime I tried other genres - romantic suspense, historical romance, paranormal romance. When I finally did sit down to have a go at writing a sci-fi, I knew I was on to something.

Please tell us a little about your road to publication.
I feel like I'm still on that road, funnily enough. Yes, I've gotten some works published with Noble Romance Publishing and they were a long time coming (nine years to be exact) but I haven't attained my ultimate goal yet -- an agent and a contract with someone huge like Avon, or Berkley, or Kensington. You'd think a published author might have an easier time finding an agent, but I can tell you its not the case. Some people say the publishing industry is becoming easier now that self-publishing has become so acceptable and simple. In my opinion, its harder than ever to get anywhere in this industry (sorry to the starry-eyed, hopeful newbies). Sure, you can put something out there. But trying to get anywhere in amongst the other masses of published works -- even with the backing of a publisher -- can feel like swimming against the tide a lot of the time.

Your current release is Savior. Can you describe this book for us?
I wrote Savior specially for a Noble Romance Publishing anthology, themed Timeless Desire. It ran in association with a blog tour I did during November which was a lot of fun. My novella is based on the Angel of Destiny, Cadmiel. Archangel Michael sends Cadmiel 500 years back in time to 2012. He has to change history and save Emilyn, the only person he ever loved, from being killed all over again.

You’ve had some lovely covers. Do have you any favourites?
I still love Sanctuary the most, and who wouldn't with the male-hotness taking up most of the cover? I do also love the cover of Singularity because I felt like the cover artist really captured Charmeine, the heroine.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
You know, once I was a hardcore pantser. And when I start a book, I do just dive in there and start writing. But often large future sections of the plot will come to me when I'm writing a particular scene, so I'll scribble down a bit of an outline to make sure I don't forget any of the details I want to include. So I suppose you could say at the moment I'm doing a combination of both.

Do have a favourite of your characters?
My two favourties are Rian, from Atrophy... but I'm refusing to think about that because I've been trying to sell that manuscript for almost 2 years and no one wants it :( ... and Bryce from my romantic suspense, Dead Reality. Bryce probably tops the list at the moment. I don't know what it is about him that I still think is so great, even though I wrote that manuscript about four or five years ago.

What are you currently working on?
At the moment I'm writing more sci-fi than ever before. I've got 2 new sci-fi projects on the go, both very different from one another. One is a military space-opera kind of romance. The other is set on earth in current times, but features an archeologist who stumbles across a portal to another galaxy in an ancient Mayan temple and ends up bringing a fugitive group of aliens to earth. Of course I've also got the fourth Sanctuary book in the works, but its gone on the back burner for the time being.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
The writing. I hate revising and editing. I love looking at a blank page and filling it with words. I love just letting the words flow and not worrying about the technical side of things. That comes later, when I do the bits that I don't enjoy so much. These days I've trained myself to turn out a pretty clean draft because I just hate editing so much.

What can we expect from Jess Anastasi in the future?
Who knows? I thought once I knew exactly how my career would play out, where I would be and what sort of books I'd be writing. Well, this journey has certainly taught me no matter how set on a plan you are, a lot of what happens is out of your hands and up to chance, or luck, or fate. Or maybe a combination of all. I know where I'd like to end up, but I can't say for sure if or when it'll happen. I can tell you that you'll be seeing more sci-fi and paranormal type work from me. I have a lot of ideas I'd like to get around to writing one day.

Who are your favourite authors?
Way too many to list... unless we've got all day? No? Well, off the top of my head I'll say Linnea Sinclair, Ann Aguirre, Kresley Cole, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Charlaine Harris, Suzanne Brockmann, Elizabeth Boyle, Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins to name a few... :)

What are you currently reading?
I've been in a reading hiatus lately. The last few things I read was Charlaine Harris' entire Sookie collection in a matter of weeks, followed by a couple of Elizabeth Boyle's Bachelor Chronicles. I've just bought C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner on recommendation from a blog post I read of Linnea Sinclair recently, so I'll be getting into that when I find some time to read.

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
Oh my god. I know I'm a bit behind, but I finally got around to watching Battlestar Galactica and I am in love! I'm half way through the third season and feeling very sad that I've only got one season and a tele-movie left of it. However, they did start a new series called Caprica, which is set fifty years prior to Galactica and based around the Adama and Graystone families, just before the Cylon technology gets out of hand. So I'll be tracking that down to watch it. I've also heard they've started filming another spin-off series, called Battlestar Galactica - Blood and Chrome, which is based on a young William Adama in the first Cylon war. It'll be a while yet before that hits our screens, but I'm looking forward to that as well. Otherwise, the old favourites never go astray - anything made by God aka Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Dr Horrible) all the Stargates, Smallville, Supernatural... and funnily enough, I just got my hands on and re-watched the 90's Superman series of Lois and Clark with Dean Cain and Terri Hatcher. I loved it this time around as much as I did when I was a teenager. Except you've got to laugh at those 90's fashions and the "laptops" that look like big square chunks of rock.

Do you have advice for emerging writers?
Lord no. I can barely see my own way in the fog half the time, so don't let me go directing impressionable newbies, they're likely to get lost. In all seriousness, all I can tell you is not to give up. Keep the faith, hone you craft, learn and absorb everything you can. Most of all don't give in and don't go away until someone finally tells you "yes." It might take ten years, but in the end it is more than worth it.

Thanks, Jess.
You can find Jess at her website and blog.

Jess's current release Savior is available


  1. Good luck with your goals Jess, writing is a continuous journey isn't it!

  2. Oh, I remember Lois and Clark. Though can't remember the ending. I'll have to see if my library has it. :)) And welcome to the BSG world.

  3. Yes, definitely one of those professions where the planned journey never matches the eventual one :) Glad to see folks loving SF romance - gonna have to get hold of some myself, but I'm SURE I'd love it. Johanna Lindsey's Warrior Woman is my fave romance ever.

  4. Morning everyone,
    Its funny how I thought I'd eventually "get somewhere" with my writing, but the goals seem to be continuously moving and changing, until I had to come to the conclusion that I'm never going to arrive at any destination, as such. I'm just going to keep working along on this journey.
    Nicole, a few people have mentioned that Johanna Lindsey book to me, so I'll have to track it down next I think.