Please welcome J.R. Ward whose new book Lover Unleashed, the ninth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, releases today. In this bestselling and powerful paranormal series the Brotherhood's story continues with many questions answered and new story lines revealed. Today, J.R. answers some of your questions.
1. Which book was your favorite to write and why? Do you have a least favorite?
J.R. Ward: Usually my favorite book is the one I’m working on at the moment! My least favorite was Lover Unbound ( #5) - Vishous and I just didn’t get along, and writing that story was like pulling teeth. The pictures just refused to come easily in my head!
2. Was any book in particular more challenging to write than the others?
J.R.:Again, that would be LOVER UNBOUND. The way the books work with me is that I see the scenes in my head, and the drafting of the manuscript is a function of recording what I’ve witnessed in a way that (hopefully) resonates with the reader. Vishous just didn’t want to play ball. The non-V parts of the books worked just fine. His? Not so much! But I do like the final product
3. Do you have a favorite shellan?
J.R. : You know, I’m a big Beth fan! I also have a great deal of sympathy for Marissa. And I love Xhex and Payne. I totally get where Mary was and is coming from. And Bella rocks- geez, you know what, I think they’re kind of like the Brothers- I love all of them for different reasons!
4. Why did you decide to make John Matthew mute?
J.R. :Again, I don’t make or decide anything about the stories. They just appear in my head, and provided I don’t tinker with them- the writing flows. So JM is mute because Darius was killed and the Scribe Virgin demanded a tolken of faculty if he wanted to go back and see his daughter, Beth. That’s just what happened, not something I decided.
5. Many of the characters are interconnected. How far ahead do you plan these connections?
J.R.:They are what they are- in a lot of instances, I know the long term trajectory of folks in the books. But not always- sometimes they surprise me either with who they are or where they end up! Again, though, I don’t plan anything. It is what it is.
6. How come Lover Avenged ( #7) doesn’t have a female on the cover?
J.R. : Why would it? It’s about Rehvenge lolol And I like that cover a lot- although there’s a part of me that will always think that Dark Lover 's ( #1) iconic image is my favorite. I think my publisher does an awesome job with the books!
7. I love your books! Can you tell me how many more you are planning to write? Will there be more Brothers than Wrath’s team?
J.R: Thankies! Right now, the series is open ended. Originally, I had ten books in my head, but as things continued, I just kept meeting new people who wanted their stories told, too. As long as readers keep wanting them, and the good Lord keeps me healthy, I want to keep going with the Brothers- provided they keep talking to me!
8. It was exciting to learn that Bella was pregnant—will any of the other females have children? Or if they can’t have a child naturally (like Jane and V) is adoption possible? As a new mom, I’m curious to read about vampire moms!
J.R. :I hear you on that one! Right now, I’m working on two short stories about Rhage and Mary’s and Wrath and Beth’s journeys to becoming parents. So those are the two that are immediately on the list. Wrath is not a fan, by the way. He doesn’t want his Beth to get pregnant. She has other ideas, however (and so does Mother Nature as it turns out!)
9. Who will be going through a needing next?
J.R. :*cough*Beth*cough* But you may not get to read about it for a little bit because I’m not sure when the short story is going to be released
J.R. :Unfortunately, I’m not big on travel! I do virtual signings for the hardcovers, however, and announce the details on my Facebook page and web sites. We also tend to do two signings per book release- although I will be going to the Romantic Times convention next spring in Chicago and they have a big signing that’s open to the public
11. My question is in relation to going through the Transition. You've said in your books that males are unable to become aroused before their Transition so can't have an orgasm (i.e. John Matthew). But Beth was able to with Wrath before her Transition. Is this situation specific to Beth only or to maybe just females?
J.R. :That’s a function of her being a half-breed. Half-breeds share traits of both sides, and how much of one or another depends on the person. So that’s why Beth was able to (ahem!) and Butch, for example, can’t dematerialize
12. I can't wait to get my hands on Lover Unleashed! Vishous is one of my favorite Brothers. This vamp seems to have so many problems to overcome. My question is whether he and his mother will ever come to love each other? He seems to have such a great capacity for love. I know they have a lot to resolve, but please can you give me some kind of answer as to whether they will ever bridge this impasse.
J.R. :Wellllllll, never say never I suppose. Although I don’t think it’s coming anytime too soon unfortunately. The Scribe Virgin is in a really bad place right now- although as everyone can see, it’s of her own creation.
13. I love your Black Dagger Brotherhood series; did you ever imagine it would be as insanely popular as it's become?
J.R. Nooooooooo! OMG no! I wrote DARK LOVER right after I’d been let go from my first publisher. I had no writing job, no hope, nothing- just a six pack of vampires who wouldn’t leave me alone and a vow that I would write this one book just for myself. I did just that- and holy crap, what a ride it’s been! I’m so lucky and grateful, you can’t imagine.
14. Will there be future books for the Chosen, such as Layla to meet their own hellren?
J.R. Oh yes, definitely! You’ll be seeing a lot more of Layla!
15. I love that Wrath has a seeing eye dog named George. Will any other pets come to live in the Brotherhood’s mansion?
J.R. : I don’t see any more right now- but absolutely! Well, actually, read Lover Unleashed - there miiiiiiight be one more in the immediate future and I might be including that animal in the I-don’t-see-anyone-else
16. Butch and Vishous seem to be very close, is there more going on there just friendship? Will their relationship be explored more in any future books?
J.R. :Read Lover Unleashed ( #9) for the answer to this!
17. I am intrigued by the rich society vampires (the Glymera). What happened to them? Will they ever come back to Caldwell?
J.R. :The glymera is definitely on the way back to Caldwell- unfortunately! (I’m not a huge fan lol but they are clearly part of the world.) Following the raids, they have been out of town at safe houses, but now that things are calming down, they are on their way back.
18. Was the mysterious man at the end of Lover Mine ( #8) Mhurder? Will we get to read more of his story?
J.R.: Oh yes! In fact, I thought he was going to be the next after Lover Unleashed- but it turns out it's going to be someone else and you’ll soon find out who.
19. What was the most compelling characteristic of a vampire that drew you to writing about these specific paranormal creatures? Why vampires above any other choice?
J.R. :Well, actually, they’re just who showed up in my head! As I said, I don’t have control over the stories or the people in these books so I have to go with the flow. And what a flow to go with!
20. I’ve noticed that some of the characters from your Fallen Angels series appear in the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels. Did you know that introducing Lassiter in Lover Enshrined (#6) would lead to a spin-off series?
J.R. : Actually, the Angels just appeared in my head as the Brothers did years ago- and I mean, how could I not write about sexy fallen angels on Harleys! They were as irresitible as those vampires lol But I’m not sure where Lassiter fits in. He hasn’t told me yet- at first, I was like well, he’s an Angel so clearly he’s part of that world- but then I was l like no- and now I’m like, but wait... The thing is, he needs to pick and then I’ll go with it!
You can find out more about J.R. Ward and the Brothers at her website
or on her facebook page. I'll be back tomorrow with a review of Lover Unleashed.