As I venture into the world of blogging, I am very grateful to the lovely Lee Piper for graciously allowing me to interview her.
Lee’s debut novel, Rock My World was released earlier this year and became an Evernight Publishing bestseller within the first two weeks of publication. The second book in the series, Rock My Body is due out later this year and promises to be another hit. I should know, I’ve been fortunate enough to read it. ☺
Hi Lee. Thank you for allowing me to interview you. I know that you are an extremely busy lady with two small children so I appreciate your time.
My absolute pleasure, thank you for having me ☺
You write in the first person, a very difficult task and not always popular with publishers. Why did you choose to do this?
To be honest my writing is heavily inspired by Kylie Scott and all of her books have been written in first person and from the heroine’s perspective. I really love this technique because it means the reader becomes the main character, they live through the experiences, forge the relationships and overcome the obstacles alongside the heroine. I guess I just find the emotional connection to be stronger this way.
Grace is not your typical romantic lead. Why did you decide to make her character – shall we say – a bit abrasive?
You’re right, Grace is the anti-heroine and there are a few reasons why. Firstly, while writing this novel I was in a world of emotional pain having miscarried for the second time in as many years—though this one a lot later in the pregnancy. I was feeling very bitter, hurt and fearful, all of which seeped into my writing.
Secondly, I found there were a lot of novels out at the time where the lead hero is the bastard and the heroine helps him grow into a better person. I wanted to play on this idea but instead have the heroine as a bitch needing the love and support of the hero to help her grow.
And thirdly, Grace was a fantastic outlet for me. She verbalizes many of the things I think but never say because I hate hurting or offending other people. Grace doesn’t give two shits about anyone except her closest friend, Riley, so has no qualms about being brutally honest to anyone who comes her way. So writing from her perspective was cathartic to say the least!
Your scene descriptions are very well written and at times, I could almost smell the alcohol in the bar scenes. What advice to you have for budding writers on setting the scene?
Thank you! I always find writing scene descriptions from memory really effective. For instance, The Hole (a bar where Grace and Levi meet) is based on a bar in Adelaide where I met my husband, and The Ruby Room, is based on a live music venue I really love. So, I think back to what they looked like, sounded like, smelt like, and felt like, and try to put all of these sensory elements into my writing.
At the beginning of each chapter, you start with song lyrics. Are you also a budding songwriter?
Ah, no. Sadly, as much as I love listening to music I’m, shall we say, musically challenged in every regard. My husband is a drummer and definitely the musician in our family. However, I do love poetry, so try to write with a rhythm in mind when I’m putting together the song lyrics.
What music do you listen to while writing?
I love listening to the heavy rock music—the louder the better. For every book I write, I have a soundtrack. Cog’s, The New Normal was the album which I listened to religiously while writing Rock My World. Whereas Dead Letter Circus was on repeat while writing Rock My Body, and Twelve Foot Ninja (all awesome Aussie bands btw) is what I’m listening to at the moment while writing the third book in the series, Rock Me.
How will Riley’s story differ from Grace?
Riley’s story is markedly different from Grace because they are polar opposites of one another. Where Grace doesn’t care about anyone else, Riley is a people-pleaser; where Grace loves sitting on the couch reading, Riley needs the open space of the beach; and where Grace takes a long time to trust others, Riley wears her heart on her sleeve. They couldn’t be more different if they tried.
Your sex scenes are very hot. Do you plan them that way or do the characters take over?
Thanks ☺ I find sex scenes to be the hardest part to write and often spend up to a week working on this section alone. There is such a fine line between heat and heart without the scene turning into a cliché or even worse, a B-grade porno.
Generally, I have an idea in my head of what I would like to happen between the two main characters, however the incidental details are often—similar to real life—an in the heat of the moment kind of thing.
I’d like to thank Lee again and wish her well with the release of her next book, Rock My Body. Here is a sneak peek.
Riley Sears promises herself never to fall in love unless it's going to end in an engagement ring and a white picket fence—her medically diagnosed anxiety skyrockets otherwise.
Enter Dominic Mondez, the hottest guy ever to grace pecs and abs. He propositions Riley with a cocky yet tempting offer of the best sex of her life—his words. However, after learning he’s a manwhore who never sleeps with the same woman twice, Riley's decision becomes remarkably simple.
No. Way. In. Hell.
He is a commitment phobe; she needs commitment. End of story.
Sadly, traversing the murky waters of friends without benefits isn't simple, especially when he's lead guitarist of local rock band, Mondez. Riley is also cautious of his tempestuous nature, womanising ways and—even worse—inexplicable jealousy. He is bad for her in every possible way.
Bad, bad, bad.
If only her body would listen.
He was watching me, I could feel it. My body sensed him long before my head did and started tingling. Everywhere.
Oh, holy mother.
Just the thought of him made my heart pound. Traitorous thing. It merrily rammed against my ribcage as soon as I pictured his tall, muscular body and dishevelled, russet hair. My fingers itched to reach out and delve through the soft strands—they remembered what it felt like to tug down on them as he groaned into my open mouth—but I shifted in my seat and sat on them instead. I wasn’t going down that road again, hell no. I was done. D.O.N.E.
A low chuckle cut through the muted sounds of heavy rock music emanating from inside, its gravely sound resonating with my downstairs department, causing a deep blush to stain my cheeks.
Clearly, I wasn’t fooling anyone.
What in the name of sweet baby Jesus is he even doing here?
I tried so hard to focus on what Sebastian was saying. Thankfully, he held up his end of the conversation despite my unexpected inability to formulate any words. We’d been sitting together for a while without a single awkward pause so I nodded, smiled, and even laughed when required. To be fair, it was a pretty decent pick-up attempt. Well, until he showed up.
Blue eyes burned my skin.
You don’t own me, you don’t own me, you don’t—
I swallowed, steeled myself and then glanced across the beer garden.
Dominic was leaning against the wall, his black, button-down shirt almost bursting at the seams. I blamed those insanely strong pecs and biceps. Honestly, they were huge. And the way his dark blue jeans hung enticingly low off narrow hips… Well. It should be illegal. He was going to give someone—aka me—a cardiac arrest if he wasn’t careful.
I shook my head. With a bottle of beer in one hand and a buxom blonde in the other— this one looked nastier than most—the guy was the physical embodiment of everything I despised. Truly.
If only my body would listen.
Raising the drink to full, kissable lips, he tipped his head back, piercing gaze still locked on me. He then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, a flicker of emotions I couldn’t identify crossing his face when he noticed my breath catch.
The girl must have registered his distraction too because she started rubbing herself up against him like an overly aroused limpet. Gross. He broke contact with me and looked down at her, a dark smile tugging his lips. After murmuring something in her ear and slapping her on the behind, she giggled. I looked away, that familiar painful knot forming in my stomach once more.
Damn you, Dominic Mondez. Damn you to hell.
Readers are raving about the Mondez series! Check this out:
I loved this story. I couldn’t put it down! –Rabid Readers Book Blog on Rock My World
From start to finish I could not put this book down! I highly recommend reading it, a truly amazing writer!!! –Kindle Customer on Rock My World
Lee Piper showed us the strength it takes to love someone who is broken and the mental struggle a person battles to just let it all go and live again. Not an easy task, as a real person or as an author writing about imaginary people. To have a reader actually feel a character’s emotions, feel their pain as your own is a challenging feat BUT Lee conquered this task. –Kameron Brook on Rock My World
This book had me from start to finish. Cannot wait for the next one in the series!!! –Kindle Customer on Rock My World
Here are the links to Lee Piper and don’t forget to sign up for her awesome newsletters.
Connect with Lee Piper:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Piper/e/B01NAS0IBO/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16304661.Lee_Piper
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNhPr2s7QOf5B-1NiaHq5Dw