Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.
Soren and Faith must find a way to survive the evil and darkness.
Faith’s spur of the moment vacation, meant to free her and boost her spirits, has left her lost on the streets of Paris. And apparently, Paris is populated with something more than just humans. Vampires, suave, seductive and oh so sexy, and one such warrior vampire has set his sights on her.
When Soren hears Faith’s terrified screams, he rushes in and saves her life without considering the consequences. Two problems: one, she’s a human and clearly aware of his vampire qualities, and two, the men who attacked her were not men at all, but demons. Their target, his beloved underground city of Balinese. He can never let Faith go home again, but can she learn to love his people...love him?
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What inspired you to write this story?
My unique take on vampires living in underground cities scattered throughout France came about in a rather strange way. I intended to write about a pirate. You heard me right, a pirate. I had this hot picture of a man in black slacks, unbuttoned white shirt, and long black hair that disappeared behind his back. After staring at his picture for over a week (such a hardship), I had nothing. Not a name, title, plot, or even a heroine. Just him. Why could I picture him speaking, moving, and wielding a sword, but could never place him on a ship? Then it hit me. He wasn’t a pirate. He was a vampire. Looking at him in this new light…er, moonlight, all the answers fell into place. The thing is, I have a husband, and he’s nothing but trouble. After reading only a few pages, he said, ‘I like this, but I want to know what happened before this book.’ I didn’t know. I’d never considered what happened prior to that story, or that there might be other stories revolving around this character. He got me thinking. Long story short, there are now four vampire cities in France, and over ten books in The Cities Below series. The pirate turned vampire is the hero in book three, and you’ll explore a new city with entirely different dynamics in book two. The first book, In the Dark, brings a human into the vampire’s secluded underground city, introducing you to their culture and laws through her.
How long did it take you to write?
I honestly couldn't tell you. I'm probably the most sporadic writer you'll ever meet. Until about two years ago, writing was a fun 'me time' thing to do when the kiddos took a nap. I've never been able to pour solid chunks of time into writing. Also, I never work strictly in one book. This story is the first in a rather large series, and whenever I get an idea for, let's say book 5, I play around in that book until another idea pops up. Most might consider my way of writing ADD, but being able to see far down the road helps me keep the series cohesive.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
Everything. Maybe that's weird, but I like it all. I like my stories, my alone time, putting in chapter numbers, creating a title. I love it all. If I had to pick a single thing, it would be getting back the first round of edits. Having a fresh perspective, gears up my excitement for the book all over again.
What is your least favorite thing about writing?
The only thing I don't care for has nothing to do with writing itself, but is more of a side effect. When writing became more than a hobby, a certain daily habit somehow got squeezed out of the picture. Exercise. I miss exercising. Is writer's butt a thing? I think I have that.
If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Pink. Sure I’d love to actually being able carry a tune, but what I really want to do is the aerial acrobatics in the silks. Wow, that would be fun.
What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Okay, this is probably odd. The oldest thing in my fridge is actually not food. It's a Minwax Paste Finishing Wax from about 2009 when my hubby did my window trim in the kitchen. He said the wax has to stay in the fridge or the heat will make it go bad. I'm always surprised to find it when I clean out the fridge, but I've never taken it out. It just lives there now.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
The rest of The Cities Below series! Bound is next, followed by Beneath the Night, and Sheltered.
Bound takes you to a different underground city, and this one has problems. Not everyone believes the lady has the right to rule, and after an onslaught of attempts on her life, Lady Arianne came to Keir in prison, and they struck a deal. She secretly freed Keir from his cell, saved him from the executioner, but according to records he was killed in prison. Night and day, now he tracks assassins back to their beds, eliminating the threat to her. Secrets kill, and Keir is the lady’s darkest secret.
Cleopatra’s privileged life couldn’t prepare her for a man dropping at her feet, bleeding out and dying. Judging by his scruffy appearance, the man is a commoner. She is not to speak with, let alone touch, those of a lower class. She can’t watch his life blink out before her eyes, though, and so breaks the rules, risking her life and future to save the dying stranger. And when she finds out her handsome stranger is the lady's assassin? Well, you'll just have to wait and see.
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