Today Brianna and J9 are interviewing author Joanna Wylde. Welcome to The Book Vixen Joanna!
The Book Vixen: Let’s start with the most important question on readers’ minds (well, at least on Brianna’s mind) - When is the next Reapers book coming out and whose book will it be? I read online that the next book would release “mid-late spring” and that you had started on one couple’s book but that for continuity purposes their story would have to come later. Would you kindly set the record straight for us?
Joanna Wylde: Hey there – thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’m happy to set the record straight about which book is coming next, and sorry for the confusion. I’m a work in progress, LOL.
The next book will follow Ruger’s story. You may remember him as one of the minor characters in Reaper’s Property. It had been my hope to get that out in late spring, but I think we’re looking at early summer, realistically. After that I’ll be telling Em’s story.
I have to say, I’m just thrilled (and a little stunned) at the success the first book has had, and so thankful to everyone who has read it and shared it with their fellow readers. This has truly been a word-of-mouth book… It’s been an incredible and unexpected gift.
TBV: What was your inspiration for the Reapers MC? How much (and what kind) of research went into writing Reaper’s Property?
JW: I starting watching Sons of Anarchy this past summer on Netflix and fell in love. I was fascinated by the outlaw MC culture on the show, but assumed most of it was fictional. I’m a huge research nerd (former journalist with a degree in history) so I decided to start looking into things for myself. I discovered that the show is actually more accurate than you’d think, although greatly exaggerated.
I kept reading books and started haunting online forums, talking to as many people as possible. The more I learned, the more I wanted to write a romance set in an MC. Before it was done, I’d read books, articles, law enforcement memoirs, biker memoirs, interviews with women living in clubs, and talked to bikers all over the country. My book is fairly realistic in the tone, much of the slang, and the sense of brotherhood (and sisterhood) that’s the foundation of MC life.
One of the things that’s been the most interesting (and occasionally frustrating) to me about this book is that some of the elements that were literally copied from real life are the ones readers have the most trouble believing. For example, "sweet butts" are a real thing, I couldn't have made that up if I tried.
People have also told me time and again that I didn’t pick realistic enough road names (Picnic, Horse, Bam Bam), completely unaware that real road names are often whimsical or funny or strange (and most of them have stories behind them). Not all outlaw bikers are called “Ripper” or “Killer.” For example, the character of "Picnic" was named after a real biker. I did take one small liberty, though… The real man was actually called "Picnic Table". I had fun imagining the story behind that one. "Bam Bam" is also a real name, and there are many, many bikers named after assorted animals, including horses.
I guess it's is a case of truth being truly stranger than fiction – many readers don’t know enough about the world of bikers to realize what’s fictional and what’s real.
Having said that, Reaper’s Property is definitely a romantic fantasy. A lot of the bikers I talked to told me that Sons of Anarchy is like an MC soap opera, and they aren't necessarily fans. My book probably falls into that category. I would imagine real MC life is often more mundane that what we see in Reaper’s Property, and there’s definitely more time spent talking about bikes than romance.
Fantastic elements aside, I’ve done my best to show respect toward MC culture. Respect is huge with bikers, particularly those in outlaw MCs who have earned their right to wear a cut (vests with three-piece patches on the back). They worked for years to earn those patches and they take them very seriously.
A final note – every biker I’ve talked to has been gracious and respectful to me, regardless of how silly my book might be. I’ve followed MC etiquette in approaching them, but even so I’ve been surprised at how helpful people have been.
Like any group of people, one size doesn't fit all when it comes to outlaw bikers. Some are great people who just don't care to fit into normal society, some are horrible criminals. They're all different and it's not fair to judge their culture and lifestyle based on stereotypes.
TBV: Who is your favorite secondary character? And whose book are you most looking forward to writing?
JW: I’d have to say Ruger is my favorite secondary character, which is why I’m writing his book next. He only played a small part in the first book but he’s actually one of the most developed characters in the series. I can’t wait to share his story with everyone.
TBV: Reaper’s Property is book one in the Reapers series; how many books do you plan on writing in this series?
JW: I really don’t know. I have at least three more planned, but after that I’ll have to see how I’m feeling and whether readers want more. There's nothing more annoying than a series that wears out its welcome, and we've all seen that.
I definitely don’t see myself staying within the confines of the Reapers club in Coeur d’Alene. There are other characters in the Reapers world I’d like to explore, and they aren’t all Reapers MC members. There’s a lot of room to play, so we’ll just have to see how things go.
TBV: What genres do you enjoy reading and who are some of your favorite authors?
JW: For fun, I love romance, science fiction and fantasy. I also read a fair amount of nonfiction. Recently, I’ve enjoyed Kylie Scott’s zombie apocalypse series (it’s romance, and somehow she pulls it off really well), Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway, On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves, Tiffany Snow’s Kathleen Turner books, J.D. Nixon’s Heller and Little Town books, and everything by Kristen Ashley (my favorites of hers are Sweet Dreams and At Peace). In fantasy and science fiction, I really like Brandon Sanderson and George R. R. Martin. In nonfiction, I recently read Biker Chicks by Arthur Veno and Edward Winterhalder.
TBV: What are 5 random facts that readers might not know about you?
JW: Well, I don’t know if these facts will be interesting to your readers, but they’re certainly random…
- My research in college focused on the education of upper class Tudor women, a field that is exactly as lucrative as you’d think. Thank God I learned how to write, otherwise I’d be starving by now.
- I have only been arrested once, but it was in a foreign country, bribes were involved and I was deported afterward. It was a hell of an adventure and I learned to truly appreciate what it means to have civil rights. Not everyone has them and they are precious.
- I bake excellent bread.
- I got my first professional gig as a journalist based on a story I told an editor in a bar. Afterward he bought me a drink and offered me a job.
- My Kindle is named Agnes and I love her passionately ;)
Marie doesn’t need a complication like Horse. The massive, tattooed, badass biker who shows up at her brother’s house one afternoon doesn’t agree. He wants Marie on his bike and in his bed. Now.
But Marie just left her abusive jerk of an ex-husband and she’s not looking for a new man. Especially one like Horse—she doesn’t know his real name or where he lives, she’s ninety percent certain he’s a criminal and that the “business” he talks with her brother isn’t website design. She needs him out of her life, which would be a snap if he’d just stop giving her mind-blowing orgasms.
Horse is part of the Reapers Motorcycle Club, and when he wants something, he takes it. What he wants is Marie, but she’s not interested in becoming “property of”.
Then her brother steals from the club. Marie can save him by giving Horse what he wants—at home, in public, on his bike… If she’s a very, very good girl, she’ll get lots more of those orgasms only he can offer, and he’ll let her brother live.
Thanks to Joanna Wylde, one lucky winner will receive an ebook copy of Reaper’s Property. Good luck to all who enter!
- No purchase necessary.
- Must be 18 years old or older to enter.
- Giveaway open Internationally. Void where prohibited.
- Comments are appreciated, however, you must fill out the Rafflecopter form in order to enter this giveaway.
- Please read TBV's Giveaway Policy before entering.
- Giveaway ends 9:01 pm (Pacific Time) on 3/20/2013.