Calista Fox is the award-winning author of over 20 novellas and novels with publication dates scheduled into 2009. She began her professional fiction-writing career in 2004, following a successful career in PR, where she specialized in writing speeches and Congressional testimonies. Her books have received rave reviews and she is also the recipient of a Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Erotic Sci-Fi Novella.
Nicole North: Wow that's very impressive, Calista! Welcome to Fierce Romance. Please tell us about High Voltage, just out from Red Sage. (And may I say, what a beautiful cover!)
Calista Fox: Thanks for having me again! I’m really excited about High Voltage because it’s one of those stories that literally wrote itself, and every writer knows that doesn’t happen often! Here’s what the story is about:
Lightning crackles all around Serena Lamond in the worst electrical storm she’s ever seen. If only she’d stayed in town instead of braving the dark country roads back to her isolated home. It seems as though the lightning is aiming for her, taunting her, making her trek home even more treacherous.
Suddenly, a flash of green pierces the darkness just moments before Serena hits the animal that jumps in front of her truck. In the torrential downpour and inky blackness surrounding her, it’s difficult for her to see what she believes is her neighbor’s dog. Serena is compelled to save the animal and manages to get it into the back of her pickup and make it safely home.
But when she pulls back the tarp she’d used to cover the hurt dog, Serena gets the surprise of her life. The dog is gone.
In its place is a man.
A naked man!
The air between them crackles like the lightning, but Garrett Slater’s dark secrets and shape-shifting existence put Serena’s life in grave danger, unless he can convince her to trust him. Can he save her from the mysterious perils of life in Silver, Wyoming, or will Serena shun the protection and the love he offers her?
By the way, the reviews have been AWESOME!!! 5 stars!! I’m so excited!!
NN: Congratulations on the fantastic reviews! The above description definitely peaks my interest. What inspired you to write this story?
CF: I love fiction because you get to create your own world with its own rules. I’ve always loved vampire stories, but after reading wolf stories by the likes of Kate Douglas, Mary Janice Davidson and Cynthia Eden, I fell in love with this particular shapeshifting character as a hero. I wrote a short story a couple of years ago that featured a vampire as the hero and a wolf as the nemesis, and it was so much fun to write the story that I decided to take the concept to the next level. Adding in the electrically charged environment just seemed apropos for an erotic romance tale and suddenly, I had a story with really likable characters and a somewhat unique, sexually charged plot.
NN: Yes, I love the idea of an "electrically charged environment." It adds a new element to the mix. What did you like best about writing a shapeshifter/werewolf story? What did you find most challenging about it?
CF: The fun part is the same as the challenging part: You have to build a world and rules that the reader understands and accepts—I think Cynthia Eden told me that. It’s not always an easy feat. But as long as you let the reader know what the rules are in your world, they can follow you down the creative path. The funny thing is that I never really thought of myself as an “outside the box” writer until I started writing professionally. Now, I find it incredibly liberating to push the boundaries or step outside them.
What’s most fascinating about writing paranormal or shapeshifter stories is writing something that’s compelling, but also believable. I honestly didn’t think I was capable of that until I tried it. But, as I’ve mentioned a lot recently, the heart of High Voltage is the characters. They’re pretty solid, despite their own personal quirks and secrets.
NN: Trying new things is fun, especially in writing. I loved your excerpt on the Red Sage site . This hero is definitely hot! Please tell us more about him?
CF: I’m so glad you love him! I love him, too! Not only is he hot-hot-HOT, but he’s got a huge heart. He’s an interesting mix, really. Garrett sort of runs the gamut as far as heroes go. He’s a bit of a bad boy, a bit of a rake, a bit of your guy next door, a bit of an ultra-hunky businessman. He’s an alpha male, to be sure, but he takes such great care with Serena’s heart and her feelings, that I think it’s impossible not to fall in love with the guy.
Sure, he’s a figment of my imagination, but I have known men who are possessive and territorial, yet hopelessly devoted and dedicated to the women they love. It’s an interesting balance. Garrett strikes it perfectly, I think, because he’s waited so long for Serena, and vice versa. And again, these characters literally took over the story. They were so exciting to write because the chemistry sizzled and the love scenes came so easily. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have “discovered” Garrett and Serena!
NN: He sounds like a hero I could easily fall in love with! I can't wait to get to know him better. I'm curious; what is your writing process like?
CF: I’m not a routine person at all, so I have to continually change my scenery and ambience. I’ll write in my home office or on the patio of the golf club down the street or at restaurant or hotel on the water in San Diego or Cabo. I’m inspired and motivated by water, so I try to stick close to it. I also have to have the right music while I’m working on a story. It has to fit the mood of the story. Once I find the right CD, I’ll play it over and over and over as I work on the story. I generally end up needing to buy a replacement afterward!
For High Voltage, my music selection was incredibly different than my usual match up. I typically pick a CD that goes with the feel of the story, but for some reason, I latched onto AC/DC’s Back in Black and I have no idea why! It must have been the fast-driving beat that got me going, because I was typing so darn fast, I needed music that kept up with me!
NN: Interesting! High Voltage and AC/DC sound like a good match. Electricity! You have some inspiring places in which to write. Would you like to ask blog readers a question?
CF: Being a bit of a strategist and statistically minded girl, I am always interested to know what readers think about a specific subgenre. It’s interesting to hear what the industry folks have to say, but it’s more important to hear directly from the readers what they’re into these days. So my question would be: What is your favorite subgenre of romance and is there anything that you feel is just so overdone you can’t stand the thought of one more story being written in this subgenre? :-)
NN: Thanks for being our guest, Calista! Interviewing you is always a pleasure!
CF: Thank you! And please don’t forget that I have some great contests on my website, so check them out! CalistaFox.com
Also please check out Calista's Myspace Page and Calista's blog
Calista Fox electrifies with High Voltage
Nicole North writes hot erotic romance for Red Sage, Carina Press/Harlequin and Ellora's Cave. Books include: DEVIL IN A KILT in SECRETS VOLUME 27 UNTAMED PLEASURES,KILTED LOVER, BEAST IN A KILT (the second in the kilted shapeshifter series) SECRETS VOLUME 29 INDULGE YOUR FANTASIES anthology. SCOUNDREL IN A KILT in SECRETS VOLUME 30 DESIRES UNLEASHED anthology, LAIRD OF DARKNESS, STORM OF PASSION, and BLADE OF THE WOLF. To learn more please visit www.nicolenorth.com