Monday, January 18, 2010

Welcome Author Colleen Gleason / Joss Ware

Riders, you're in for a treat today! We've got the fabulously talented Colleen Gleason / Joss Ware in the convertible with us. If you aren't familiar with her Gardella Vampire Chronicles, perhaps you've heard about the back to back releases she has beginning this month. I dare you to read about her new series and not be intrigued!

About three years ago, I was talking to someone about trends in romance novels. Vampires were hot, of course, and demons and shapeshifters were starting to get really popular as well, but this person said, “I think there’s going to be a trend toward post-apocalyptic romances.”

Huh, I thought. Wow. Then I immediately discarded the thought. I was writing the Gardella Vampire Chronicles at that time, and post-apocalyptic zombies were about as far from historical vampire slayers as you can get.

But then, one day, I was chatting with one of my critique partners, and she said, “I think you should write a post-apocalyptic romance.”

And I started to think about it. The more I thought, the more fascinated I became with the idea…or, more accurately, the challenge, of writing a romance set in such a dark time. I loved the idea of having a world that had all of our knowledge in technology and science, our pop culture and fashion…but without the infrastructure and civilization that we are used to today.

But, yet, the problem of dealing with the devastation of the earth and civilization and all these people dying bothered me. So I decided to start my series fifty years after the horrible events that ruined the world and destroyed the human race.

I knew I wanted there to be a strong connection between our world (in 2010) and the new world (of 2060), so I decided to build the series around a group of guys who somehow “miss” the catastrophe and suddenly find themselves in this strange new world. And those men became The Awakening Heroes.

Making the decision to set the series fifty years after the end of the world helped that. I did keep some of the flavor by including journal and diary entries (and in one case, a blog) at the beginning of chapters in order to fill in the reader on what had happened fifty years earlier…but by setting the stories a generation or two after the Change made it a lot easier.

The first book in the series, Beyond the Night, introduces readers to Dr. Elliot Drake who was an ER physician in Chicago before he somehow got himself catapulted into the future…or whatever happened.

He was the kind of guy looking for a woman to settle down with and have a family—he grew up in a family with lots of female cousins, living with his aunt and his father—and he wanted that for himself.

But when he finds out that everything has been destroyed, he has inconceivable adjustments to make. And he has to figure out how to live in this new world, how to carve out a life of normalcy for him
self. He’s a doctor, too, which means he has all of the knowledge of a physician…but none of the drugs and equipment or facilities he’s used to having.

He also learns that during whatever happened to him that he survived the Change, he also acquired a paranormal skill to heal by his touch. Wow! What a thrill…until he learns the repercussions of that skill.

If you put yourself in the place of these characters, what would you miss most about our current times? Colleen will be giving away a copy of Beyond the Night to one lucky commenter today! (U.S. only, please.)


KylieBrant said...

Welcome to the convertible, Colleen! The books sound fantastic. I'm awed by the creativity of the plot lines. Can't wait to dive into the first one!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Colleen! So glad to have you in the vert today! i agree with Kylie. The books sound amazing! And I love the idea of creating a POST-post apocalyptic world. Did you encounter any specific problems when you set it up?

Pamela Keener said...

Wow the premise of this book sounds awesome. What would I miss most about our current times? Mostly I would miss the friendship I have with my peeps & the ability to roam around freely doing whatever I want.
Love & Hugs,

Helen Brenna said...

Hi Colleen and welcome! Love your story concept (wish I had thought of it!) and your covers! They sound like they'd make good movies.

I'm going to guess there are a lot of things I'd miss in a post apocalyptic world, starting with my microwave and shower!

Michele Hauf said...

Love hearing about the thought-process that goes into creating a new series. And I lurve the Gardella series!

Did you have problems going back and forth writing the two series? Or did you specifically focus on one or the other?

Christie Ridgway said...

Colleen: I read an ARC of this book and thought it was great! (I review for BookPage, a print publication that goes mostly to libraries and also has an online version). I'm looking forward to the next books--my imagination is definitely intrigued by the world you built.

What I'd miss: Wow. New romance novels?

Debra Dixon said...

Welcome, Collenn!

I love it when the universe sends you a few signs of a path you should be on. Glad you took the hint. (g)

The books sound fabulous. Love the concepts.

Joss Ware | Colleen Gleason said...

Hi everyone and thanks for the welcome!!

@Cindy I don't know if I had any specific problems creating the world, except trying to figure out how long clothing would last (depending on how they were packaged when all hell broke loose).

Someone asked me what my guys wore: boxers or briefs. I had to reply, "Whatever they can find when scavenging." LOL.

@Michelle Thank you for your kind words about the Gardellas! This series is so incredibly different from those books, on so many levels.

It was really fun to be able to put my characters in high heels, button-down shirts, leather, and lacy opposed to gowns and corsets. LOL.

Although now I miss the historical aspect, which is good, as I am working on two books as we speak: the 4th Envy book and also the second book in a new historical vampire series.

I might be schizophrenic. :-)

Joss Ware | Colleen Gleason said...

@Christie OMG, I totally meant to email you after I saw the Bookpage review.

It was over the holidays, and I had emailed Robyn Carr for your email (because I wanted to gush and thank you), and she sent it to me, and then...well, the holidays took over.

So...yes, THANK YOU for reading the ARC and for writing such a lovely review about it.

And I wanted to know if you realized when you were reading it that Joss Ware is also Colleen Gleason--who zipped you up in the lobby at RWA last year.

That was a fond memory. :-)

Joss Ware | Colleen Gleason said...

@Michele (Sorry for the extra L above)....You asked if I had problems switching back and forth, and really, I didn't.

It was kind of nice to be able to change from the historical setting to the post-contemporary one, and I enjoyed being able to do that.

Since it's a three-fer back to back release, I actually wrote them all back to back as well (except I was writing a historical at the same time as I was writing BEYOND THE NIGHT).

But now, as I mentioned, I'm working on two different ones right now and I love being able to bounce between them.

lois greiman said...

Hi Colleen. I am always intrigued by apocalyptic stuff and you're sounds really great.

Thanks for joining us.

Anna Dougherty said...

I absolutely cannot wait to read this series! In fact, I searched bookstores all weekend and simply couldn't find it:( I loved the Gardella novels and your world building is always brilliant.

What would I miss? Hmm, probably cozy beds, lengthy showers, and good books. Maybe libraries survived and I could read old books or something, but I don't imagine down filled comforters and pillowtop mattresses would make it.

New historical vampires? When do those come out?

catslady said...

Oh sounds wonderful. I just finished The Road and enjoyed it and this sounds even better. I definitely would miss all today's conveniences but in a way I think a lot of them have gotten in the way of what life should really be about - people not things.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your new "world" sounds fascinating!

I think that in a post-apocalyptic world in which electricity was hard to come by, I'd miss ICE CREAM!!!! If it was to the point of barely having enough of anything to survive, I guess people would not be able to continue having pets, either. I'd sure miss having a dog!!!!!

Beth Werrell

Christie Ridgway said...

Colleen: I had no idea until this morning that you were Joss Ware! However, I do absolutely remember you unzipping my dress, but didn't want to mention it in case you'd forgotten.

I really loved the book. Can't wait to see what comes next!

Anonymous said...

love this review....i'm not sure what i would 'miss.'


Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi Colleen! Welcome.
Great covers, great concept, and I'm intrigued. I love the idea of not having all the tech stuff available. That's why I like to set stories in the back of beyond in the Dakotas. Cell phones there can be iffy at best.

I still haven't seen "The Road," but one way or another I definitely will.

donnas said...

Congrats on the release. It sounds like a really interesting book. I think thats actually what I would miss most are physical books. No matter how great they are, they really are not the durable to survive very well.

Joss Ware | Colleen Gleason said...

@Anna I am so sorry you couldn't find the book over the weekend! Most Borders, BN, Target and Walmart have them out, but there was a glitch with BN for a couple of days. :-/ Hope you can find it soon.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the Gardella series, too. I loved writing them and was sad when they ended--although glad with the way they ended, and the fact that I could move on and write something different.

My new historical vampire series is sort of like JR Ward meets Jane Austen (high level description)...and that's coming in 2011. Not sure of the dates yet.

@Christie How could I forget that??? It was the highlight of my conference (besides sneaking a bottle of wine into the RITAs with Julie James. Heh.)

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Joss. I would miss the internet and modern plumbing.

Helen Brenna said...

Okay, I gotta ask. Colleen, did you zip or unzip Christie at RWA last year? You said zip. Christie said unzip. Distinctly different images, yes? LOL

Paula R said...

COLLEEEEENNN, oh wait JOOOSSSS!!!! Hi, it is great to see you riding in the comfortable today. I love you guys. You have made my day. I am so glad you are here. I LOVE the Gardella family, and I hope we get a chance to see them again. The series was phenomenal!

I also LOVED BtN. The premise of the whole thing is wonderful, and I can't wait to find out more about the other Awakening Heroes. I will contain myself because I really don't want to ruin it for anyone. Your writing style is amazing, and your voice...I can't say enough about how powerful it is. Guys, this woman has a way with words. She is gifted I tell ya. I know, I know...I will take a breath. I just love her work so much. Okay fangirl is gone. Sometimes I get a little crazy when I get around some of my favorite authors. I am much calmer in person though.

I would miss a lot of things, especially books. I could live without certain amenities; my life as a soldier taught me that, but I would defo need running water and light. And, if I woke up where these characters did, I think I would be set for food.

Ladies, don't enter me into the contest since I already have this book. If you haven't read Colleen/Joss yet, you should definitely pick up one of her books.

Peace and love,
Paula R.

joder said...

The books sound intriguing and I'm impressed by the world you've created--it's very on-the-edge of your seat.

I'd most miss tv (especially Supernatural--must have my Jensen Ackles fix).

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Liza said...

I've heard so many awesome things about this series already. I have the first book on my TBB list for this weekend. Congrats on the new release!

Linda Henderson said...

I would miss my modern conveniences like my computer and microwave, I do like my creature comforts.

Dina said...

I'd miss my tv, even though I love my computer, I loooooove to watch tv. ;)


Joss Ware | Colleen Gleason said...

@Paula Dang, girl, you're making me blush!! Thanks for coming by and making my day. Again. :-)

@Helen. Um. I can't remember if the zipper was going up or down in the lobby at the hotel. I think Christie would be able to clarify that, and if she said unzip, then that musta been what it was. *oops*

jeanette8042 said...

Oooh the series sounds very interesting!

I would miss my bed, computer, and books!

I Heart Book Gossip said...

I would miss my family, and my cellphone.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com