October Interview with Autumn Jones Lake, by Cara Connelly
1. When did you join CR-RWA, and how has membership affected your career as a writer?
I think I joined about three years ago now. Joining my local RWA is the single best thing I have done for my career as a romance writer. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so many talented writers who are so helpful and want you to succeed.
2. What genre do you currently write and have you considered other genres?
I am published in Paranormal Romance and Erotic Romance. I’d love to do Romantic Suspense one day. Oh, did you mean something outside of Romance? Why would I want to do that!?
3. Tell us about your path to publication. What have you published to date?
I started out with two short stories that were published in two different anthologies with a small press that has since gone out of business. That was a really sad time because the second anthology came out and the press closed shortly after, so no one ever saw it!
There are currently three novellas published with Breathless Press in my paranormal series: Catnip & Cauldrons. As you may have guessed the stories are about cat-shifters. The first one, Onyx Night, centers around Onyx learning about her cat-shifter heritage in the middle of a tragedy. She shifts into a black cat and it takes place around Halloween, so that story is a lot of fun. All three were recently put into one print compilation which was really nice!
My current project is a Motorcycle Club Romance series that I am self-publishing. I love MC Romances because it’s a sub-genre that is a little grittier and where it’s okay to break the “rules of romance” a little bit (or a lot!). Mine has been described as somewhere between Sons of Anarchy and The Crossfire Series, which I took as a huge compliment! Self-publishing is nice because I am a bit of a control freak, but it’s also extremely overwhelming.
5. Do you belong to a critique group?
Yes! They are awesome. We try to meet every week. They are all such talented writers, that I’m not always sure I belong there!
6. Do you plot your stories or wing it?
I’m a pantser and it totally bites me in the butt every time. I’ve been trying to do some minimal plotting so I at least have a guideline to pants off of, and that seems to help a lot!
7. Tell us about your latest book.
My book, Slow Burn (Lost Kings MC, Book 1) releases on October 14, 2014. It’s a Motorcycle Club Romance about an attorney who gets involved with the president of an Outlaw MC.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Learn your craft! Always work on improving your writing. I cringe when I go back and read things I wrote three or four years ago. I hope I’ve improved! Honestly, I am always trying to learn new things and sharpen my writing skills. That’s the reason I enjoy my RWA chapter so much and never miss a meeting! I also attend as many conferences and craft classes as my time and budget allows. I don’t ever want to get to a point where I think “nah, I’m good enough.” I think continuing to aspire to be better at what you do is what will make you better at it.
So my advice to aspiring writers would be: Read a LOT in the genre you want to write in. Learn your craft. Surround yourself with other (supportive) writers.
9. What do you do while you work? Do you watch TV or listen to music?
Sometimes I need to listen to music. Sometimes I need silence. It depends on what I am working on and what stage of the writing process I am in (beginning, revising, editing, etc.)
10. How do you deal with rejection?
Not well! I have a good cry. I used to not tell anyone, but it helps to share it with other writers who understand what it’s like.
11. What’s next for you?
To continue with the Lost Kings MC series. I have at least six books and two novellas set in this world I need to get out. These characters are very talkative and will not leave me alone!
Want to know more about Autumn’s books? Try these tidbits for a taste:
Onyx Night (Catnip & Cauldrons Book 1)
College student, Onyx Knight has yearned to leave her tiny hometown behind for years. When her family is ripped from her life, Onyx is thrust into a secret world she never knew existed and discovers something about herself she could never have imagined. The only person she can think to turn to his her Medieval History professor, Cole Radcliffe. But he has his own secrets. Against his better judgment he takes her to keep her safe. But how can he protect her if he can’t even protect her from himself?
Slow Burn (Lost Kings MC, Book 1)
President of the Lost Kings MC, Rochlan “Rock” North, hasn’t managed to find a woman capable of making him want to curb his wild ways. Not until he meets his attorney, Hope Kendall.
Forced to represent the outlaw biker, Hope is rattled by her immediate attraction to Rock. Hope is a good girl in a good marriage. Although Rock thrills her, she’s not going to throw away everything she’s built on a fling with her criminal client.
Rock respects Hope enough to leave her alone, even as he realizes he’s become a little obsessed with her. When their connection endangers her life, he’ll have to destroy her in order to save her.
After tragedy strikes, Rock is determined to earn Hope’s forgiveness and convince her that even with their staggering differences, they’re meant to be together.