Joan Swan is the author of Fever, a smokin’ hot romantic suspense with paranormal elements tossed in to keep everyone on their toes. Joan dropped by the virtual offices to chat up her book, and she also brought a present! One of you will win a copy of Fever to warm up your cold winter nights!
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Joan Swan] I’m an obsessive-compulsive, slightly crazed debut author, sonographer by day, mother to two polar opposite daughters, wife to a career firefighter.
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about your book, Fever?
[Joan Swan] FEVER is both my debut novel and the first in the Phoenix Rising series.
Firefighter TEAGUE CREEK is not the man he used to be. A mysterious explosion at a military warehouse five years earlier injures his team of hazmat firefighters, killing one. The contents of the building, chemicals utilized by the Department of Defense in classified testing, have inflicted the team with various paranormal abilities. Abilities the government wants to study covertly. Abilities the team wants to understand and expose. With military advancement and national power at risk on one side and personal health and freedom of concern on the other, each group is fighting for precious interests.
Teague’s prying questions into the warehouse explosion threaten a government with plenty to hide and even more to lose. In a bizarre twist of circumstances, Teague is convicted of a murder he didn’t commit and sentenced to life in prison. He has lost the daughter he lived for, the career as a firefighter he loved and been denied appeal. With no hope left, he plans an escape. But his plan goes terribly wrong when the woman he kidnaps as leverage to get his daughter back is someone completely different. And she quickly clues into the abilities he tries to hide, creating a bond neither can afford while they’re on the run from both the cops and undercover operatives who want Teague silenced. This time, permanently.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Joan Swan] My stories seem to come to me in tiny pieces, never as full concepts. At least not yet. I’m still awaiting that magical nirvana, sure my positive thinking will bring it to fruition. From those pieces, other ideas form and along with those, characters develop. That continues throughout the writing process for me, from the very first draft until the very last polish. Often, my characters continue to grow well after the book has gone to the publisher, which is one of the benefits to writing connected books where characters show up again.
Fever developed from one little “What if..?” stemming from my own daily real life circumstances. I’ve been a sonographer for twenty years and one of the hospitals where I worked gained a huge prisoner clientele over a year’s time span. I went from scanning two or three prisoners a week to scanning five to eight prisoners every single morning. I spent half my day surrounded by guards and inmates. The more I understand their routines and procedures, the more clearly I recognized how easily something could go wrong with something as simple as one tip off from someone inside the hospital to a prisoner’s family member or one officer off his game that day. Many, many times I was left in dangerous situations with prisoners that should have never been allowed to exist. I was lucky, nothing ever happened. But that didn’t keep me from thinking, “What if…?”
[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing Fever?
[Joan Swan] The hardest part of writing Fever was rewriting the second half of the novel. My editor loved Fever. She loved the premise, loved the characters and loved my writing. But in the original version, she felt the second half of the book lost momentum, that it didn’t hold up to the promise of the first half’s intensity and boldness.
Her points had merit and I saw the challenge she presented in her suggestions for revision, so I went at the rewrite wholeheartedly, determined to give it my all and make Fever the best book it could be. Because this was my first sale, I’d never before written to someone else’s specifications. Everything I’d ever written had been for me. Even my revisions had been at my own desire, toward my own inclinations. Now, not only was I trying to please someone else, but I was trying to please her based on vague theory while cutting thirty thousand words out of my manuscript and making the story stronger and faster and more intense.
Yep, that was definitely the more challenging aspect of writing Fever.
[Manga Maniac Café] Why do you enjoy writing romances?
[Joan Swan] I actually enjoy writing tension. I like stress and angst and action. I like things that get your blood boiling. Romance just happens to be one of those things. Suspense and action happen to fall into that anxiety ridden category as well, so the whole romantic suspense thing seems to work for me.
That and my characters always seem to keep falling for each other. I can’t help it. They just do. I found it’s easier to let them get together than to keep them apart for the whole damn novel, then have them forever pissed at me afterward.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Joan Swan] Silence. Relaxation. Taking time away from writing. Driving. Movies in the theatre.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Joan Swan] Nothing. Everything. Anything in between.
It varies on the day. On the hour. On my mood. There really isn’t anything anyone needs to write. One can write in their head if they wanted to. Some days (the rare ones) words just pour out. On other days, the stars and planets could be aligned and I couldn’t get one decent sentence out. In other words…I really have no idea.
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Joan Swan] Where the Red Fern Grows.
In sixth grade every day after lunch, we would come in from lunch and lay our heads on our desks and close our eyes. Our teacher would read one scene of Where the Red Fern Grows to us. I can still envision that time of my life, how I looked forward to that time of the day each day. I can still remember the passages of that book vividly. It’s a beautiful memory in so many ways.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Joan Swan] I remember the days when I used to have hobbies. Honestly, at the risk of sounding completely boring and one dimensional, I don’t have time for much of anything but my day job, traveling to and from that day job, writing and writing related activities. I admittedly have far too little down time and keep promising myself that once the blog tour for Fever is over, I’ll regroup and refocus. That is the plan.
Things I’d like to spend more time doing once life has slowed a little come April? Landscaping, home improvement, regular exercise, meditation.
[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks!
Fever will be in stores next week! You can order a print or digital copy from your favorite book seller, or by clicking the widget below.
When Dr. Alyssa Foster is taken hostage by a prison inmate, she knows she’s in deep trouble. Not just because Teague Creek is desperate for freedom, but because the moment his fingers brush against her skin, Alyssa feels a razor-sharp pang of need…
A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. At least Teague doesn’t, until his escape plan develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives, he can only give her lies, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever…
Now it’s GIVEAWAY TIME!
Want to win a copy of Fever? You can earn extra entries for following my blog.a Rafflecopter giveaway