Friday, October 7, 2011

Interview - C.J. Ellisson

I'm totally Honored (and I nearly died) to be having C.J. Ellisson and her two deadly loveable main characters dropping in for an interview! Thanks to C.J., Vivian and Rafe for Picking Poison to be your drug of choice. *grins*

Please welcome C.J. Ellisson!

Please share a little about yourself and your works for those who haven’t gone in depth about what got you to this point.

I’m a full time writer with a family, trying my best to balance all the same everyday hassles we all encounter, but with a slight twist. I also have three autoimmune diseases and several tick borne diseases I’m battling as well. Some days are very hard and other seem to fly by with ease. Like you, I try my best to handle it with grace. I don’t always succeed.

I started writing to distract myself from my physical limitations and when I look back, I’m still shocked at how quickly things came together for me. I never had a dream to write. I don’t hear voices in my head where I must get their stories out or I won’t sleep. I’m not your average writer in that regard.

I came into this career as a reader first and feel incredibly lucky other readers have enjoyed the world and characters I’ve tried to create. The first piece of fiction I’ve written since one lonely creative writing class in college over twenty years ago, was Vampire Vacation, book one in my contemporary fantasy series, which was published in Oct 2010.

The sex scenes seemed particularly easy to write, and people loved them, so I quickly wrote two erotica novellas while taking a break from writing book two, The Hunt, in the fantasy series.

I know that people were a big influence on your story and the characters; did those who read it feel like their characters were true to life?

God, I hope not! I wanted to steal their names, quirks, and some of their personality traits… but I never intended for the fictional characters to be like them. Although, I can safely report that no one whose name I’ve borrowed or stolen has been angry with the outcome.

Thankfully, the people whose names I used are friends, whether in my hometown, my past, or from my newer online friendships on Facebook (the online connections made a HUGE impact on me when I was house-bound, and still do).

Who or what was the inspiration behind Vivian and Rafe?

This sounds so bad when I say it out loud: Me and my husband. Granted, I’m not an ancient vampire, forever young and healthy with a multitude of powers, and my German descent husband is not nearly that gorgeous or perfect, but hey, we can all dream, right? After all, that is the point to creating a fantasy-make it better than real life, but still realenough to be believable.

Oh – and just to clarify, I’ve never hung from the rafters or been chained to a wall. I like to point that out so there is no confusion that the sex scenes are indeed works of fiction. Real life might inspire them, but I am not, nor will I ever be, Vivian. Nor will my husband by Rafe (dammit!).

What made you decide to have the secluded Alaskan outback as your location for the stories?

It seemed like such a natural fit. If you had to avoid the sun wouldn’t you go to a place that was perpetually dark most of the year? During the summer my happy couple flies to the opposite pole and lives off the southern coast of Argentina on a private island. Apparently, unlimited money and resources do have their perks. ;-)

I'd have to agree with that completely! Not like I'd know personally though.

We didn’t see much of Coraline in The Hunt, was she in hiding or being a deceptive, sneaky uber-bitch?

You nailed it on the second one. Originally I had thought she’d play a bigger role, but when the story started to unfold and center on the hunters, I realized she’d need to play a smaller supporting role. She’ll be more prominent in book three.

I thought as much especially when she'd kind of appears out of nowhere *shudders*

I know you are working on the next story which focuses on Vivian’s dark, mysterious past, any plans to talk about Rafe’s backstory?

Yes! Actually, book three, Big Game, will focus on the enemies of her past. Her journey from human to vampire to enforcer and beyond, as well as Rafe’s painful past and how the two came together, will be book four, The Seduction of Death.

I love those titles already, can't wait to see what they look like *smiles* and what happens!!

I saw that you have two covers for Vampire Vacation, what made you decide to do a second cover and which do you like better?

I really liked the first one with the dark and forbidding inn in the background. I felt it represented the book well, but it didn’t sell. I created the purple one myself and sales took off. Anything that catches the reader’s eye and convinces them to try my work falls into the LOVE category quite heavily ;-)

And now I have the "pleasure" of talking with Vivian and Rafe, who somehow managed to rip themselves apart long enough to asnwer a few questions for me. *smiles mischeviously*

Hello Vivian and Rafe, I promise not to take too long, so you can get back to your “fun”. Welcome to both of you. It’s a delight to be able to talk about the Inn and what’s happening.Let's dig right in

Vivian, when you first realized it was Rafe who came walking in, what was your first initial reaction to the dashingly-handsome full grown man you now have with you?

Vivian: Oh, darling, if you are referring to that night long ago in Paris, well, it’s safe to say I wanted him. But I was bound and determined to keep him from me.

Rafe: And we all know how successful you were with that. *smiles*

Vivian: Let’s just say it was one of the few times in my life where I failed miserably and am happy for it.

Rafe, did Olga send you to Vivian, or were you drawn to the redheaded beauty as you were in youth?

Rafe: Great question! I lusted after her the moment I saw her in my mom’s studio all those years ago. At the time, she appeared to be this polished older woman and I knew I didn’t have a chance. She moved away after I spoke to her one night, it was the oddest thing.

My mother is the one who sent me after her fifteen years later. I had lived a full life by then and was more open to Vivian’s… er…. um… unique lifestyle.

Vivian, I know you got an eye-full when you stormed in on Jet, Matt, their companion, and Bob. What were your true thoughts on seeing their BDSM interactions? *evil grin*

Vivian: *lusty laugh* Ahh… a girl after my own heart. Truly, I thought back to a century ago when I was with four men in a similar scenario. Of course, I had the whip and I sure as hell didn’t leave for the night, but damn, it was fun.

I know you have a larger seethe than you’d hoped for. Are you finding it beneficial at all now, having others to help make decisions and looking out for each other, and not just you taking the responsibility on yourself?

Vivian: Ha! Making decisions, I wish. The lot of them bug me incessantly and have interrupted sex more times then I care to think about. *Rafe places a hand on her arm* But, I will admit the burden of the workload is spread nicely and they do pull their own weight rather well.

Rafe: I think things are going much better than we could have hoped for. While we’re in Argentina the boys plan on working on constructing alternate entrances to the basement. I think the improvement will give us the cushion of space Vivian desires in our private quarters.
I bet that will help, no more going through your private quarters in unwanted moments.

After having the hunt, are you planning on another or letting things go back to normal, now that all that drama and craziness is over?

Vivian: Oh God, I wish! We’re off to our summer island, arriving early to visit the Tribunal and surprise my enemies. Asa, Jon and the two new pups, Pat and Eric, are running a big game hunt on the resort for shifters. At least this time they’ll be hunting animals and not vampires. I think it should go smoothly, even without the rest of the seethe there. We’ll just have to see.

Rafe: I think the most excitement we should plan in the foreseeable future is a big Halloween month in October. That might attract the more dramatic set of vampires and be an interesting draw.

Vivian: Great idea, love! You know I love a good costume party. Oh – we could make the whole month one big costume party! Let’s start planning that right away. *Rafe rolls eyes* *laughs at Rafe*

You overcame a lot of your inner demons and trusting others throughout the deal with the dead John Pierre and then Emiko’s escapade, are you feeling more like yourself now?

Vivian: Distrustis more like myself; this recent development with a larger seethe is a pain in the ass. Keeping others at arm’s length is easier and safer. But, damned if the crafty sons-a-bitches haven’t wormed their way into my life. It’s quite unsettling.

I see that Jon is a bit attracted to Vivian, Rafe. Not to mention you’ve seen/heard what thoughts he has about her. What’s happened since then?

Rafe: *sigh* We’ve agreed to keep him in mind contact with us more. Too many accidents, like the one with Vikram, just aren’t worth the risk of shutting him out mentally. We both love him, although admittedly, I hate him as equally. We need to find him a mate so he can get his lusty thoughts off my wife.

Yes, we all know how much you dislike his interest in your dear Vivian. *rolls eyes myself*

How has the rest of the seethe adjusted, Paul, Drew, and Asa?

Vivian: Paul doesn’t have much choice; it’s either adjust or lose his family. What will the future hold as they grow older and he doesn’t? We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Asa has really come out of his shell with the arrival of Eric. I never knew the stiff bastard could laugh so hard. He says he likes Alaska better than Manhattan, and since I agree I certainly can’t argue he isn’t telling me the truth.

Drew… well, he seems much more open since his relationship with Chelly started. There was a rough patch last fall after he killed Ivan, but I think the episode gave him closure.

Over all, besides them spending way more time in our apartment than I’d like, I’d say they’re getting along well, wouldn’t you, Rafe?

Rafe: Yeah, I don’t think we have any issues we’re unaware of… but then again, that is the whole point about being unaware of something, isn’t it?

Now for a couple fun ones:

Favorite term of endearment for each other?

Vivian: He calls me “liebling” which means darling in German and I call him “love”.
Rafe: You left out “smart ass”.
Vivian: How about if I leave off “smart” next time?

Favorite toy in the dungeon rooms?

Vivian: Oh, that’s a tough one. If I had to choose I’d say the silver chains on the whipping wall.

Rafe: The rack always leaves me with a smile. And of course, I have a special fondness for the whip and crop.

Vivian: *shudders* Don’t tease.

Favorite room in the wings?

Rafe: I love the poolroom. It took me a long time to train the birds to talk, but sitting in that calming, oasis-like space I didn’t care about the lost hours. Next, I love the dojo, we’ve had some fun times in there sparring together.

Vivian: You would mention those damn birds. *grimaces* I love the reading parlors and book-lined landings on each floor. I’ve collected those books for centuries and sitting with them feels like visiting an old friend.

Rafe: Oh, and can I mention the Roman baths or the Gentleman’s Lounge? It’s so hard to pick. We designed the inn to please lots of different tastes, so if you feel like you need a change a new room might appeal to you more.

Oh, sounds like a place to really let your fantasies come to life! *gets excited*

Thanks for taking the time to stop by Vivian and Rafe!It was spanking good fun!

Vivian: Thanks for having us, Sara! It was a rousing good time.

Rafe: Yes, agreed. Now, let us get back to our hotel and enjoy the peace and quiet before our long flight home. *wiggles his eyebrows*

Vivian: Another great idea, my love.

I think we've got those two all riled up and hot and bothered *grins slyly* I hope you all enjoyed having C.J tell a bit about her journey, the stories and even seeing whats she's got in store for us readers. I am excited to see what she comes up with next!

You can find CJ on the following:
Website ~ Facebook ~ Everything Erotic ~ Digital Digest

And you can find her Books at Amazon:



  1. Thanks for the great interview! It was a lot of fun and I appreciate your time.

  2. Great interview!
    And the book covers looks fun. I actually added these to my TBR not to long ago. Movin up!