Interview with Dara Joy

Dara Joy has made a sensational debut with her first book „Knight Of A Trillion Stars“ in America. Now, several books later, her historical romance „Tonight Or Never“ has been published in Germany.

„High Intensity“ – the sequel to „High Energy“ – will be published in August.

Angela: Can you tell us something about yourself? Your hobbies, where you come from, where you live now etc.? I heard you have many animals at home?

Dara Joy: First, to all of my German readers, I want to say: eint warmt und vielen Dank fur alle von ihrer Stutze! I live in Massachusetts close to Tyber and Zanita <G> I love painting, decoupage, needlework, theater, almost anything that is a creative outlet. I'm a huge movie buff too, and like Tyber and Zanita, I share a love for really bad sf movies-the worse the better!  Of course reading is a number one priority.  Yes, I do love animals.  I had three cats Whiskers-a blue Himalayan, his brother Harpoon-a smoke black Himalayan and Mooch, a stray tabby I took in.  I also had my best pal, Mickey, a long-haired dachshund.  He was an incredible dog with a heart of gold and so much courage.  He was the longest surviving dog in the world with lymphoma and his story is remarkable.  And he loved cats.  : } They all were quite old-I used to joke I had an old age home for pets.  I had the cats almost 16 years and the weinerpup over 12 years.  Sadly, I lost them all last year.

Angela: How and when did you start to write and did you imagine at that time how popular you will become? Was that something you dreamed about?

Dara Joy: I wrote poetry and stories for as long as I can remember-but just for myself Inside, I always knew that I would be a fiction writer at some point in my life.  When KOATS came to me, I knew I had to write the Matrix of Destiny.  I never thought in terms of being popular, I just wanted to tell the story and bring the reader on an incredible adventure.  To move that one person. And to give her or him a special happiness.  That has always important to me- to be able to gift the "listener" with magick.

Angela: What kind of books do you prefer to read? Do you have a favorite book?

Dara Joy: My tastes are extrememely eclectic.  I love romance, of course, and science fiction but I will read anything that catches my attention. Too many favorites to list just one!  There are many wonderful new writers coming up in romance now.

Angela: Can you tell us more about HIGH INTENSITY, the sequel to HIGH ENERGY? Will you write more books about Tyber and Zanita (in the tradition of THE THIN MAN)? In HIGH ENERGY you left the reader dangling with expectation to learn more about the suggested relationship between Mills and Gregor. Will we meet them again in HIGH INTENSITY? What are your future plans? What books will come after HIGH INTENSITY?

Dara Joy: HIGH INTENSITY (which just received 41/2 stars and a special TOP PICK! of the month medallion from Romantic Times!!!!) continues the madcap mysteries a la the Thin Man. Think steak bomb sandwiches, seductive caresses in the dark, a miscreant ghost who gobbles the haute cuisine, a cast of whacked out characters and a puzzle that even manages to challenge our favorite theoretical physicist! If the readers are receptive, I would love to continue this series with more mysteries. Yes, Mills and Gregor and Cody are back, as well as all the old favorites, inc. Blooey, Hambone the pirate cat, and Auntie. This book was a blast to write!

Angela: I saw that the cover of MINE TO TAKE has been voted as hottest cover. Do you have a voice concerning your covers? Does your publisher ask you for your input?

Dara Joy: Yes, I do have a voice in my covers.  The cover concept for MTT was mine. The picture of Gian in chains with Jenise's hand dangling the key would not leave my mind and I knew that had to be the cover. Leisure loved the idea and went with it.

Angela: Do you like your covers (well, who CAN'T like them? *g*) and do you have a fave cover or cover model? I saw that John DeSalvo was on REJAR and KNIGHT OF A TRILLION STARS. What do you think about the cover of MTT which portrays the scene in the dungeon? Was model Joe Anselmo YOUR Gian?

Dara Joy: Of course, I love the covers!  I realize that some readers prefer a generic cover and some readers prefer a cover with the characters.  It's a long debate and each side has its valid points.  All of the models who have worked on my books have been terrific.   MTT is one of my favorite covers. I thought the artist and model captured Gian perfectly.

Angela: You change between several genres: fantasy/sci-fi, historicals, contemporaries... Which genre did you enjoy most? How do you research for your historical books? Do you have to do many researches for you Matrix Of Destiny series? Or do you only use your imagination when you write them?

Dara Joy: I enjoy writing all of them.  When I am involved in a book, I completely immerse myself in it.  Historical books require period research and this usually involves digging through many tomes on the time period.
It's a lot of fun, actually.  The Matrix of Destiny is mostly from immagination. Once the world is built, you might say, I research it.

Angela: PLEASE tell us where you get your wonderful heros from!!! Which one did you like most? They are just too good to be true... *lol* But you portray your heros in a way that every women can recognize her "own real-life-hero": stubborn, egocentric and in their hearts they always stay little boys. Do you know what men say about your heros? Can they laugh about themselves?

Dara Joy: Thank you for saying that.  It would be so hard to pick one...  they all have touched my heart.   Many men read my books- especially the sf crossovers. I'm always surprised and delighted when I'm at a SF convention and a male reader comes over and tells me he's read my books.  There is one that sticks out on my mind.  He saw my name tag and asked me if I wrote the Matrix of Destiny books.  I said yes.  He stuck out his hand to shake mine, telling me it was a pleasure to meet me. I asked him which book he had read and he said "All of them." At that moment I felt there was a real chance romance could actually cross over the gender barrier as well as the genre barrier.

Angela: Where do you get your ideas for your Matrix Of Destiny-stories from?

Dara Joy: All of my ideas just come to me.

Angela: You have been in Italy with Kathryn Falk this year. Do make those trips often? How do you get in contact with your fans? How was your Italy-trip like?   Will you attend one of Kathryn Falk's future trips to Europe? Did your trip to Florence, Venice, Rome etc. inspire your work...?

Dara Joy: Unfortunately, a family illness precluded my attending the trip to Italy.  I heard it was fabulous.   Oh yes, I would in a minute go on any of Kathyrn's trips; she's a marvel when it comes to putting these excursions together. There are itineraries and special "visits" that only Lady Barrow could arrange!   This is what makes a trip unique and memorable.  Plus, you are with a wonderful group of writers and readers.  The camaraderie makes the trip-its like a family of friends traveling with you.   I have attended Lady Barrow's trips in the past and I hope to attend more of her future trips in Europe and elsewhere.

Angela: I heard that writing the Matrix Of Destiny series exhausts you very much. Can you tell us why it is such hard work for you to write these stories?

Dara Joy: I do not consider it hard work in that way as it is an intensive labor of love.  These books have literally hundreds of threads and details. Every character trait and every scene has a purpose.  (Yes, Lilac was constructed the way she was for a specific reason)  Because of that and the emotional intensity in these stories,  I need a break between them to "clear the palette".  In addition, I love to explore other pathways as well. I find this allows my creativity to soar.  But I love this series and I love writing it.

Angela: When can we expect the next book in the Matrix Of Destiny-series? Have you planned an end of Matrix Of Destiny series and do you know how many books the series will contain? Do you have any idea what will happen in the next books?

Dara Joy: Yes, the entire series is all planned out.   At this point I think 10 or 11 books, but it is not etched in stone. The story must unfold as it unfolds...which might mean a book more or less as it progresses, depending on how deeply I (and the readers) want me to explore certain paths.  I am continuing to write the books. Unfortunately, I don't have a pub date yet for you, but as soon as I do I will let everyone know.  Check my new web site, going online August 1, 2000,, often for updates. We are hoping to get something out to the readers as soon as we can.  My next book after HIGH INTENSITY will be a hardcover release from Willliam Morrow/Avon (they do Johanna Lindsey's hardcovers) in spring 2001. More coming about that very soon-(again check the site for future info etc).

Angela: You plan to write a sequel to TONIGHT OR NEVER. As this book has also been published in Germany can you give your fans here some hints about the sequel?

Dara Joy: Originally, I hadn't intended to write a sequel to this book, but got so many requests for the Black Rose, Sir Percy's story, that I agreed that he probably needed his own book.  (I, too, became captivated with his robin's egg blue eyes)  It will be awhile, however, before I get to it, as I have several books lined up meantime.

Angela: You are well-known for your erotic love scenes. I heard that some authors write the story first and after finishing the book they insert their love scenes. How do you write them and is it difficult for you? I think that love scenes are the part in a book where an author reveals most about him-/herself. Do you agree to this?

Dara Joy: The love scenes, to me, are an intrinsic part of the story and characters. The level of passion between the hero and heroine must flow from their interactions. Love scenes, from a writing standpoint, are no different than other scenes- if the muse is with you that day, they flow beautifully. If the muse isn't with you-it's back to the drawing board : } Books are the mirrors of our creative souls; I am not sure what that reveals. I can spend hours deciding a single word; I never settle for less than the best I have in me. I owe that to my readers.
Alle von meines am besten!
Mit liebe,
Dara Joy

© Angela Weiss und Isolde Wehr, Juli 2000, Die romantische Bücherecke

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Dieses Interview entstand im Juli 2000 zwischen Angela W. und Dara Joy für:

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