Please give a warm welcome to today’s special guest, Joss Wood! She’s here to chat about her recent Harlequin KISS release It Was Only A Kiss.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Joss Wood] A relaxed mom and wife and a loyal friend. Involved in an illicit and time consuming love affair with my Kindle. One of my greatest passions is for not cooking.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about It Was Only A Kiss?
[Joss Wood] For driven businessman Luke Savage success is the only option. So when gorgeous marketing intern Jess Sherwood waltzes into his office and casually informs him that his newly inherited vineyard has an image problem he’s outraged! She’s naïve, overly ambitious, a know-it-all… And all Luke can do to stop her talking is kiss her senseless.
Eight years later the vineyard needs a boost—and Luke needs a hip new marketing strategy to save it. Jess may drive him crazy but she’s the right woman for the job. Their only problem is how to keep their minds on work and off that kiss!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Joss Wood] In my book Wild about the Man, the hero Nick has a sister called Jess who does promotions and advertising for his six-star game lodge. In the book Nick describes Jess as the gutsiest of all his siblings and I decided right then that I wanted to write her story.
The winelands area outside Cape Town is stunningly beautiful and it was settled by French framers in the 1700’s. They were expert winemakers and I wanted a hero who had inherited one of these amazing properties because, well, if I can’t have a wine farm in real life then I can pretend! But it would be too easy to have my hero happily making wine…I wanted his inheritance to come with a whole bunch of problems….
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Jess?
[Joss Wood] Competitive, compelling, creative.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Luke had a theme song, what would it be?
[Joss Wood] In the beginning of the book it would be Red, Red Wine by UB40. If only he could sell more of the stuff… After he falls in love with Jess, his song would be Thank You by Keith Urban. Every time I listen to it, it sends chills up and down my spine. For me it’s the ultimate, non-cheesy love song.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Jess is never without.
[Joss Wood] Her mobile phone. And a plan…
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Luke’s bathroom?
[Joss Wood] Despite his talent for making money? which his vineyard St Sylve sucks up like an industrial Hoover? Luke is a pretty simple type of a guy; a farmer at heart. You wouldn’t find any left over stuff from previous girlfriends, fancy colognes, cotton wool (he really needed some to patch Jess up after she fell and cut open her leg) and bath salts. He’s a shower only type of guy.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Luke’s greatest regret?
[Joss Wood] Luke had a rough time growing up with his controlling, abusive father and he wishes that he didn’t take everything he said about his mother? who supposedly left them when he was three? at face value.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Joss Wood] People. What they say, what they do, why they say and do things. I’m also crazy about music and frequently find that lyrics will inspire a scene or clarify a motivation.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Joss Wood] My laptop, coffee and ear phones.
Somebody asked me the other day if I only wrote when I felt inspired and I nearly rolled on the floor laughing! I have a day job and I am a Mom of two very busy pre-teens and I have to write whenever I find a spare moment. So I find myself writing in odd places; at my son’s sports matches, in airport lounges, in cars, in café’s, in doctors waiting rooms.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Joss Wood] Early today I saw one of my friends reading Shantaram by Gregrory David Roberts, a book I read a couple of years ago and was absolutely entranced and enthralled by. Not only because it was a joy to read but because of the story behind the writing of Shantaram. Roberts started the writing the book during his incarceration in an Australian prison and the manuscript was destroyed by prison wardens, twice, while Roberts was writing it. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
On the romance side, Shannon Stacey’s Kowalaski series is so much fun. I adore her voice and every book makes me smile.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Joss Wood] I can’t, please don’t ask me too! Books have always been part of my life, my father read me AA Milne and Peter Pan and told me stories as a very, very young child. Those books led to Enid Blyton and Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys which led me onto adult books and whoosh!… the genie was let out of the lamp.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Joss Wood] Think about plots and characters? My hobbies include coaching my daughter’s field hockey team, meeting my friends for a before-work cappuccino or an after-work cup of tea and reading, reading, reading.
Travel is hugely important to both my husband and I (and now my kids) and I’m happiest with a rucksack on my back and an airplane ticket in my hand and have been so fortunate to indulge my passion for travel by visiting many countries within Southern Africa, Europe and America.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Joss Wood] I love meeting new people and readers can connect with me via Facebook: at Joss Wood9. If anyone would like to know how I see my characters and what settings inspired my books they can take a look on Pin Interest at http://pinterest.com/josswoodbooks/
On Twitter @josswoodbooks or at my blog: http://josswoodbooks.wordpress.com /
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can order Kiss Was Only A Kiss from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:
About the book:
About the author:
Joss Wood wrote her first book at the age of eight and has never really stopped. Her passion for putting black letters on a white screen is only matched by her love of books and travelling (especially to the wild places of Southern Africa) and, possibly, by her hatred of ironing and making school lunches.
Happily, and chaotically, surrounded by family, friends and books, she lives in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa with her husband, young children and their many pets.