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Lisa Jackson   (Author - 'Shiver') Lisa Jackson (Author - 'Shiver')

'Turning Up The Heat!'

Lisa Jackson was born in a small timber town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. To hear her tell it, she had a magical childhood filled with swimming, riding horses, hanging out with friends at the river and generally chasing rainbows.

Actually, after high school, she went on to college where she studied English and never really thought she'd be a writer. She spent a few years working in banks, insurance companies and trust companies, then quit all that business stuff to have a couple of babies.

But lo and behold, her only sibling suggested they start writing a book, a romance novel no less. LJ's immediate response was "NO WAY." But then she took a second look at her current career (baby-sitting a dozen or so toddlers) and she rethought her options!

When her sister came by to pick up her daughter (LJ's niece) Lisa had whipped out seven pages of 'STORMY SURRENDER,' which, ultimately, you might guess, never sold. But LJ and Sis were pretty determined. So they kept at it. Her sister sold first and the door cracked open. LJ didn't give up.

A year or so later, she sold her first novel, snagged the nom-DE-plume Lisa Jackson and, the rest, as they say, was history. 'A TWIST OF FATE,' from Silhouette Special Edition was on the book store shelves a year and a half later.

Now she has about 50 books for Silhouette under her belt, around 12 bigger mainstream romantic suspense novels for Zebra and 8 or so medieval stories of adventure and romance from various publishers.

The author of such thrillers as 'HOT BLOODED,' 'COLD BLOODED,' 'THE NIGHT BEFORE,' 'THE MORNING AFTER,' 'FINAL SCREAM,' and FATAL BURN,' Lisa's latest book 'SHIVER' is due out this May on Zebra Books.

Chatting recently with Lisa, and noting that she has been branded as a "romantic suspense" novelist, I first wondered if this was a title that sat well with her? "Sure. It's fine. My stories blend suspense and romance and the amount of each depends upon the book I'm writing and how story line flows. Lately I've added a lot more suspense to my plots and I enjoy that."

Regarding your book 'Final Scream,' I'm wondering just where you were when this book's haunting inferno of a story line first came to mind?! "I wrote the original book a long while ago and I just loved the dynamics of the hero and heroine. As I grew up in a small timber/sawmill town, the setting was easy and the characters evolved. When Kensington Publishing asked me to rewrite the book and make it more suspenseful, a couple of years ago, I jumped at the chance because I loved all of the characters so much. I had a blast with the whole Brig/Cassidy/Chase love triangle."

Within 'Final Scream,' the story tends to delve into some extremely dysfunctional family emotions. How deep within yourself did you have to go to create these experiences for the book? "You know, it's funny. Once I start working with characters and the family dynamics, one thing tends to lead to another. I believe in really getting into the character's head to make the story work. Sometimes it takes me to some very dark places. However, if you're asking did I grow up in a deeply dysfunctional family, the answer is a resounding "no." My parents are fabulous, have been married for fifty-odd years and I'm extremely close to my sister, author Nancy Bush who is my best friend. All those dark emotions are observed and created. I really don't have a lot of angst in my life. Boring, huh?"

Was it always your intentions whilst writing to feature two secondary characters from 2005's 'Deep Freeze' (Travis Settler and his teenage daughter, Dani) in your latest book, 'Fatal Burn'? "I sometimes write companion books. 'COLD BLOODED' was the sequel to 'HOT BLOODED,' and 'THE MORNING AFTER' was the sequel to 'THE NIGHT BEFORE.' My readers love to catch up on characters they've met in previous books. So, as I was finishing 'DEEP FREEZE,' I was looking for another plot line for the next book, 'FATAL BURN.' I loved both the characters of Dani and Travis Settler. So I decided to spin a book off revolving a sexy adoptive father and a slightly rebellious daughter directed me to the birth mother. That's how I started thinking about the plot line for 'FATAL BURN'."

Aside from all the obligatory twists and turns and a captivating conclusion within 'Fatal Burn,' there is also a sex scene that - to my mind - seemed completely out of place. Was this a bone of contention between you and your literary agent to place in or simply a 'scene' that had to be there? "Absolutely not. I wanted to establish a real connection between the hero and heroine in the book and at the time that they made love, I felt it was important to the story and the characters. In some of my books, the characters don't actually have a love scene, it's more of an implied thing, but when I feel that the characters warrant that kind of physical and emotional commitment, I go for it."

With your next book, 'Shiver' already lined up and ready to go, please tell me at what point you find time to sleep?! "Sleep is a priority, believe me, but sometimes it gets pushed aside because I have a pretty intense work schedule. Last year I spent a lot of time at the keyboard, but I do try to have time for family, friends and fun. Fortunately, I love what I do. It's a great gig."

Please tell us more about 'Shiver' and what the title relates to? "SHIVER is Detective Reuben Montoya's story. Montoya first appeared in 'HOT BLOODED,' then showed up again in 'COLD BLOODED' and 'THE MORNING AFTER.' He is a very popular character and fans asked him, when he'd get his own story. I waited until I thought he'd matured and then started on a book, 'SHIVER,' set in pre-Katrina New Orleans. The story is back dropped by an old scandal at a mental asylum and the victims of a new predator are all linked to the abandoned hospital. The heroine of the book, Abby Chastain, is not only the love interest, but is also linked to Our Lady Of Virtues, the place her mother died. 'SHIVER' refers to the feelings that the heroine experiences while thinking about the hospital."

Finally, as you seem to be ahead of the game with regard the creation of your books, please tell us what the next one will be called ... and when we are likely to see it on the shelves? "My next book is actually a reprint, 'TWICE KISSED,' available this August. I'm working on the sequel to 'SHIVER' which will be out in April 2007, but as yet is unnamed."

Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk

If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Lisa's new book 'SHIVER,' just answer this easy question: In 'Cold Blooded' another serial killer is wreaking havoc in New Orleans, and it's up to detectives Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya, the protagonists from Jackson's previous thriller, 'Hot Blooded,' to reign him in. But what nickname has the killer given himself?

Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED books! Just send us an e:mail here before May 15th with your answer and the subject title 'LISA JACKSON SIGNED BOOKs' to:

'Final Scream' Book Purchase Link

'Fatal Burn' Book Purchase Link

'Shiver' Book Purchase Link

Lisa Jackson photo credit: Sigrid Estrada

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