Today, I’m interviewing one of my favorite authors, my critique partner (which means I get first reads on all her stories), and one of my best friends. Her new book, The Raven Who Caught the Canary, was released last month. It’s a sequel to Raven, Pirate, Assassin, Spy. These are some hella awesome books.
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
My most recent book is, The Raven Who Caught The Canary. It’s an interracial romance with a hint of intrigue, spies, and reunited lovers. I don’t know about anyone else, but reunited lovers is one of my favorite tropes and my H/h have a lot of past issues to overcome. Not to mention there are gunfights, fist fights, secret assignations, and a really awful General who I’m happy to pit my couple against.
What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration was the first book in the series, Raven Pirate Assassin Spy. Upon completion, I realized that there were characters I loved in that book and that they needed their own happily ever after. Can’t give them that without a book. I also realized that the big villain, rising Nazi Germany, hasn’t been defeated so more stories are needed.
What advice would you give a writer just starting out? Share three pearls of wisdom.
Announcing to the world that you want to write a book is half the battle. Three pearls you can bet on:
- Write a lot – you have to write a lot of words before a book is complete. To be honest, more than half of those words will suck. It’s okay, sucking is part of the process. Just know that anything that sucks can be fixed, but you can’t fix what doesn’t exist.
- Read a lot – read widely, too. Read everything, books in the genre you want to write, books in your favorite genre, non-fiction, memoirs, blogs, craft books on writing (I know Lori can recommend several here on her website). Don’t stop reading. The day you think you’ve read everything is the day you can stop being a writer.
- Finish what you start – It’s hard to get to the next parts of this business unless you finish what you start. Finishing a book is more important than publishing it. Truth.
Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
I once stood less than 15 feet from Bruce Willis. Yep, I saw him and I totally planned on being cool and then I froze. Frozen solid in place, and a total idiot. Needless to say, I’m better staying away from celebrities, EXCEPT my favorite authors. I can easily fan girl over them every day.
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
As the saying goes, “Don’t quit your day job”, and I haven’t. I could argue that I have multiple day jobs that include mom, chauffeur, chef, secretary, and accountant. In truth, I work for a company as a compliance project manager. My world is all food safety and safety based, assessing and identifying risks, developing appropriate measures to reduce risk, and monitoring to ensure those measures work. Sounds like a mouthful, huh? It is.
Revolutionary and pirate, Luther Corvino, seeks revenge for a lifetime of hell. The German general responsible is the same one building a tunnel to Britain. Kill the man; blow up the tunnel. These tasks should be easy compared to the fights Luther has faced —until he runs into the one woman he’s never forgotten. Too bad she’d rather turn him in than play kiss and make up.
Eva Canari has never forgiven Luther for abandoning her in France. Caught for spying, she’s been recruited by the Germans as a consort and agent. She’ll do anything to get her nightclub, La Roux, back in her possession, even selling out her ex. Trouble is, she’s having a hard time betraying him when his touches are sweet heaven, and his charm the devil’s own.
Can Luther and Eva rekindle their love, or are they ensnared by a game they may never win?
“Wanted to make sure everything was safe here,” he whispered, taking in the cream-colored silk robe—the one she’d worn the other day when he’d kissed her.
She moved outside, shut the door quietly, and stood on the top step, which brought her right in line with his face. “I’m surprised at why you had to do such a thing. It wouldn’t have something to do with accusing George of not protecting me.”
Her aggravated tone irked him. The bastardo didn’t care about her, yet she offered her loyalty. “I heard he preferred to be called Herr Buckner. Formalities for the lowly people and such.”
“I’m not lowly. I’m his consort.”
Luther snorted. “He must be one hell of a lover to have earned your favor. Did you fuck him tonight?”
“We’re not going to discuss my bedroom activities. In fact, it stopped being your business when you abandoned me in France.”
Again, the past. She brought out the devil in him. “Too bad the magical spot between your legs couldn’t keep me where you wanted me.” He regretted the words as soon as they flew out of his mouth.
His cheek became the logical target for her slap, and he received it without complaint. Something becoming more common the more time he spent with her, why did her violence inflame him more? “Do you want to hit me again?”
“Not if you’re going to enjoy it. Now, tell me why the hell you came up here?”
“He doesn’t give a shit about you. The Brit. You’re just some mulatto whore, a plaything, and he’s having fun letting you prance around to do his bidding.”
Her face scrunched at the evil word he hated so much. Hated how it affected how she perceived herself when the only things he ever associated her with came from her strength, bravery, and beauty. The parts of her he never wanted to see destroyed.
“I think you’re jealous.” She tugged at the edges of her robe in a futile attempt to cover herself and her exposed neck.
“Are you cold?”
“Quit changing the subject. I’m fine. Anything else?” The distant, icy woman he’d met a couple of years ago, when she’d asked for his help, returned in full force.
“Nothing, except to make sure you have a report ready in the morning to go out, and make sure George looks incompetent.”
She chuckled, her voice low and smoky, like when she sang those Delta blues tunes. “If everything you say holds true, then he doesn’t need my help. He’s already an idiot.” Turning away from him, she grabbed the handle of the doorknob and turned gently. After the door had opened without a squeak, he moved. She let go of her hold on the knob as he pulled her against him. The door stayed open.
He ran his free hand down her cheek, caressing the soft skin he remembered so well. “You’re right. He is an idiot. You’re not a plaything. No, dea. Beauty and pleasure are gifts sent to you by heaven. Never believe anything less.”
The sigh she let loose before melting against him sent erotic images zipping around his brain like the electric currents streaking through a Tesla coil. He pushed her back to a standing position, turned on his heel, and got the hell out of there. He needed to keep his emotions squirreled away where she couldn’t find out about them. Opening up to Eva or attempting to comfort her wouldn’t get him anywhere but locked up.
Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day, and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.