New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones stopped by XOXOAD to chat with us about the start of her brand new CARELESS WHISPERS series, and just how far she’s willing to go to get her research done! Keep reading for the inside scoop, and don’t miss an extended sneak peek of the first book, Denial, on our free reads page!

denialWith every book there are aspects I second guess myself on, even years later. Should this character have suffered this way? Should I have included that deleted scene? Should that book have ended differently? All questions that I’ve thought, and there are so many more. Beginning a new book brings to life every doubt I’ve ever had in writing my other books and series, along with the thrill of creating a world and characters from nothing. With Denial, there was slightly even more pressure because my readers had been dying for Ella’s story since the conclusion of the INSIDE OUT series and I wanted, and needed, to do it justice.

In thinking of how I would proceed with this story I decided to give my dear main character amnesia. Worst. Decision. Ever. Well maybe not ever, but even as I write book two, that decision still haunts me a bit. How do you write a character that doesn’t even know herself?! It was a trial for sure. But in a way I feel like it made me a better writer. It was a new way of experiencing and storytelling. I couldn’t call on past experiences for her because she didn’t remember. And I couldn’t even say she had the best sex ever with the hero, because she can’t remember! It was a very severe learning curve to write in a way I never had before. Although it progressed my writing and opened up so many more avenues for me, I decided when I wrote “The End” that amnesia is not for me and will go on my hard limits list from now on 🙂 However, I wholeheartedly believe that was the missing piece of uniqueness this series needed, and I hope that shines through to my readers once they get their hands on it.

Another issue with my upcoming book was the setting: it was in Italy, of all places. Somewhere I had not visited at the time of writing this book. However, and this is the part where I say I LOVE my job – I convinced my dear husband that for our yearly trip we needed to go to Italy so I could experience what I was writing first-hand. So we went to Italy and just got back a few weeks ago. I will say, seeing it helped my writing process so much. And to think I get to call that “research!”

This book comes on the heels of my INSIDE OUT series, and with the television show in development for that series, I feel pressure to make this one even better, but more than anything I have an obligation to my readers to devote 110% of my effort into this story and make it one that will not only connect my characters to my readers, but give my readers a new experience and a new place to escape.

Now that this book is finished and I’m currently writing book two, Demand (May 2016), I am anxiously awaiting release day and nervous about what readers will think! I hope if you do pick up a copy of Denial you’ll find me on Facebook or Twitter and let me know what you thought!