Day two in our SAMHAIN NIGHTS event where we are featuring authors published by Samhain Publishing everyday of the week.  Lets get to know NJ Walters!

Hi NJ, you’ve written several series already and are in the process of expanding them. How do you go about outlining your work? Do you have a set number of books in mind as your write?

Thank you so much to Under the Covers Book Blog for having me here today!
I have to admit that I’m not much of a planner when it comes to writing my series books. I tend to start with an idea for the first book and go from there. With the Legacyseries, I wanted to write a werewolf story. I worked out the basics of the world, and wrote character sketches, which is something I always do. Once I have the first scene in my head, I start writing. I generally have an idea where I want to go with a book, but it doesn’t always unfold the way I imagined.
I knew I would write more than one Legacy book, but I had no idea how many books or which characters would jump to the forefront. Some characters like Isaiah Striker and James LeVeau Riley are obvious choices to have their own books. But sometime characters surprise me. I originally thought I’d be writing stories for the Wolf Creek pack, but instead ended up focusing on the Haven pack in Chicago. That just seemed to be the right thing to do. After book six comes out in October, I’ll be taking a break from this series, because I’ve told all the stories I have to tell right now. I’m leaving it open to more books in the future but, for now, I’m done.
Having said that I don’t plan, I’ve just contracted another paranormal/shapeshifter series for Samhain, which is a quartet. I knew going in it would be four books and actually did some outlining for this particular series. That’s very unusual for me, but it seems to be working for this particular series. Watch for the first book in the Hades’ Carnival series, Night of the Tiger, in January 2013.

If you could recommend only one of your books for readers to try, which one would it be and why?
That’s a tough question. It would depend on what kinds of books a person likes.
If you enjoy paranormal, then my Legacy series is the obvious choice (Samhain Publishing) or possibly my Dalakis Passion vampire series (Ellora’s Cave). If you like ménage a trois, then my Tapestries series is a must (Ellora’s Cave). If contemporary/erotic is your thing, then you should try out the AwakeningDesires series (Ellora’s Cave). If you like contemporary/spicy tales with an emphasis on small town living and family, then you might enjoy my Jamesvilleseries (Samhain Publishing). I have other series, but these are my most popular ones. All my books are love stories at the heart of them.

Can you tell us a bit about your Legacy series with Samhain publishing?
My Legacy series began with Alexandra’s Legacy and my vision of a twenty-two year old woman who works in her father’s garage in a not so great neighborhood in Chicago. Alexandra Riley has no idea just how much her life is going to change when a tall, dark stranger appears in her father’s garage and completely blows up her idea of what her life is. She discovers her father has lied to her all her life—he is really a pureblood werewolf and she is a half-breed. Now she is in danger from paranormal bounty hunters who want to kill her. But there are also certain factions of pureblood werewolves who want her dead, not wanting their bloodlines diluted by her half-breed blood. Then there are the werewolves who want to mate with her because female werewolves are scarce. All of them are now searching for her and she must depend on the stranger, Joshua Striker, to keep her safe as they make their way to the protection of her father’s former pack. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s about to go into heat!
The other books in the series flow from the first one. (The Legacy series in order: Alexandra’s Legacy, Isaiah’s Haven, Legacy Found, Quinn’s Quest, Finding Chrissten and, coming in October 2012, Damek’s Redemption.)

What characteristic do you think all heroes should have?

A hero can be rough around the edges, he can be worldly, smooth and suave, or any combination between the two extremes. His appearance doesn’t matter as much as his character. A hero should be loyal and should live by a code of ethics, even if it isn’t the same one that is recognized by the rest of the world. He has to be willing to admit his flaws (even if it takes him a long time and brings much suffering for both parties until he does) and grow during the course of a relationship. He can be stubborn and, at times, conceited, but he can never be abusive for any reason. He is protective of his woman and family and puts them ahead of himself.

How do you ensure that a sex scene isn’t over the top or unbelievable? How do you know when to draw the line?
It really depends on the characters. I honestly don’t think much about the sex scenes before I write them. I let the characters tell their story and try to stay out of the way as much as possible. I’ve often said that when I’m sitting at my computer I’m merely taking dictation. The characters tell their own tales and sometimes they surprise the heck out of me. I’ll read back over something I’ve written and be shocked that I actually wrote it, considering I’d never planned to go down a certain road to begin with. That’s part of what makes writing fun. J
As a result, my books vary greatly in the sex scenes from very graphic and earthy, to sweet and sensual and everything in between.

What is your favorite thing about being a Samhain author?

Where do I begin? I love everything about being a Samhain author. From owner Christina Brashear right down the line to all the talented people who work for the company, everyone has been wonderful to me from day one. I’ve had three different editors with Samhain and have learned so much from each one. Heidi Moore, my current editor, is always so enthusiastic about whatever path I want to take with my writing. A writer can’t ask for more than that! My fellow authors are so supportive, giving and kind. The cover artists are brilliant. And we have the best fans ever!

It’s a warm summer’s night and you are free to do anything you want! What would you do and who would you spend it with?

I would spend it with my husband, no question. We might watch a movie or go for a walk or simply hang out together. We’ve been together for a lot of years, but we never run out of things to talk about. We might even curl up and read, both of us on separate ends of the sofa. Not exactly earth shattering, but I’m a laid back kinda gal.
Stalk NJ Walters

Ms. Walters is giving away winners choice from her Samhain backlist.
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  1. Great interview! I began reading NJ’s work with her Jamesville series after it was recommended by a book friend and I quickly picked up the whole series and then moved on to her Tapestries series – I’ve also been reading her Legacy series and I’m getting ready to start her Awakenings series – I really enjoy NJ’s writing style and she’s a super nice person to get to know online too.

  2. Thanks for a fun interview and giveaway! I love “meeting” new to me authors… gives me someone new to check out 🙂

    Congrats on the new release!

  3. Thank you so much, Suzie. 🙂

    I know how busy you are, Marika. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by.

    Thanks for the congrats, Erin. I love it when a new book is released. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed the interview, Taryn. And I hope you do check out one of my books. 🙂

    Thanks so much, jlhmass.

    lol I can’t imagine a life without books, Yvette. Glad you enjoyed the interview.

  4. Hi, N.J.! Alexandra’s Legacy was the first book of your’s I read and I loved it! I have not read all of your books yet but I’m working on it.

  5. Thanks for the interview and giveaway. I haven’t read your books yet, but I definitely want to.

    jlhmass at yahoo dot com

  6. NJ-I’ve heard nothing but great things about you. I’m headed to your website now to see which book to start with. Thanks so much for the entertaining interview. It’s always so much fun to learn things about the authors we read.

  7. Hi, Susan. So glad you enjoyed Alexandra’s Legacy!:)

    Nikki, Joanne, Pam, Vanessa, and Timitra, glad you enjoyed the interview.

    Thanks, Deb. *hugs*

    That’s a lovely compliment, Kimber. Glad you’ve only heard good things. 🙂

    Thank you for your continued support, Mannouchka. I really appreciate it.

    That’s so sweet of you to say, Jessie. Hope you enjoy Touch of Topaz!

    I love my covers, Andieleah. I’ve been so lucky to have such awesome ones. 🙂

  8. I loved the first 3 books in the Legacy series and I have read the first 2 of the Tapestry series! You are an amazingly versatile writer and I enjoy your books very much!

  9. GREAT interview and intro to your series! I’d LOVE to read your paranormal series. Thx for the giveaway op! 🙂

    barbbattaglia @ yahoo.com