Monday, October 4, 2010

Larissa Ione Interview

Lorraine and I are massive Larissa Ione fans, and we are lucky enough to present an interview with the lady herself. If you haven't read Larissa's Demonica series, you are seriously missing out! 
Welcome to Strange Candy Reviews Larissa. It’s so great to have you here. How are you?
Larissa: Thanks for having me! I'm doing great! Busy, but great!

SCR: For those who haven’t read your books, can you tell us a bit about them?
Larissa: I write dark paranormal romances under my own name, and erotic action-adventure/sci-fi romances under the name Sydney Croft with a writing partner, Stephanie Tyler. My individual romances have been described as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets E.R.," since they take place in and around an underworld hospital run by vampires, demons, and were-creatures.

SCR: I’ve heard some authors have a play list they listen to when writing. Do you have one?
Larissa: Nope. For some reason, I can't listen to music when I'm writing.  I think it's because I start singing and can't concentrate. Oddly, I can write with the TV on...

SCR: When you have a deadline, do you rely on coffee much? Have a favorite blend?
Larissa:  Yeah, I all but run it through and IV line. I live on coffee. I even keep a jar of instant coffee in my pantry on the off chance that I run out of brewed coffee. I NEED it. :)  I don't really have a favorite blend -- I love all coffee.  But I do enjoy flavored coffees a lot.  Love hazelnut and vanilla!

SCR: Do you need peace and quiet to write?
Larissa: Depends on my mood and how difficult the scene is. I can write with the TV on most of the time, but generally I can't write with my family running around. For the last year since we've moved, my writing spot has been the couch in the living room, which isn't conducive to writing AT ALL. But in a couple of weeks I'll have my own office, and I'm SO excited! I anticipate getting a lot more work done!

SCR: Is it ever awkward writing sex scenes?
Larissa: Only when my family is home. I don't have a problem if I'm home alone or in my own space.

SCR: Your Demonica series is so vivid, it’s almost as if you can visit Underworld General. Did the idea for the Demon brothers or the hospital come first?
Larissa: The hospital came first, after watching an episode of the Buffy the Vampire spinoff, Angel.  Angel, a vampire, was injured and needed medical attention, but where could he go?  I started thinking, and that let to Underworld General.  Then I had to populate it, and I wanted to do something different than vampires, simply because there were already a lot of vampire romances popping up.  So I came up with the demons....not realizing that demons were already in the works by a couple of big authors -- namely, Kresley Cold and Gena Showalter (who I love!)

SCR: Do you have a preferred reading genre?
I have a few, actually.  I love historical fiction, fantasy, and romance!

SCR: The most exciting thing that’s happened to you since your books have been published?
Wow...there are so many! I'd have to say that the first time I hit the New York Times was a huge highlight. It really was a dream I thought was untouchable. I think I screamed for an hour that night!

SCR: Have you been to any amazing places on holiday?'s a tie between Greece and York, England. Actually, anyplace in England is amazing. But I loved Greece so much too. I'm not normally a beach/tropical/hot weather person, but I loved Greece's laid-back atmosphere. And the food!

SCR: When did you realize you wanted to write or has it always been a passion?
Always a passion. Ever since I could hold a pencil. I learned to read very early, and I read well, so I was reading several levels above my grade, and I got a taste for a good story. Got my imagination going, and I started putting stories on paper. Wrote my first full-length novel when I was 13.

SCR: If you were stranded on a desert island, which of the brothers would you prefer to have with you?
All of them?  No?  Okay, I'd probably go with Eidolon, because you never know what kind of medical emergency you'd have on a deserted island. Wraith might be a better hunter, but I'll bet Eidolon could hold his own.  And he could heal you when you broke your ankle while trying to climb trees for coconuts!

SCR: You recently attended a school reunion, did anyone at your at your reunion know you’re a famous author?
*laughs at the famous thing* And yes, they did. Since the reunion was organized on Facebook, I'd already hooked up with several of them, so they knew. I took books for the raffle, and I still need to send some for the organizers *ducks*

SCR: What inspires you to write. Do you have a muse?
Inspiration?  My deadlines! *g*  I really don't have a muse.  I write because at this point, I have to.  Before the contracts I was more...musey.  But now I can't afford to wait for inspiration to strike. I just sit down and do it.

SCR: What made you choose paranormal romance as your writing genre?
I have been fascinated with the paranormal ever since I can remember. As soon as I was old enough, I started reading horror, and I love, love, loved the vampires. In fact, my first stories were horror stories.  Then, as I got older, I started reading fantasy.  So I wrote fantasy.  Then I read historical romance.  Wrote three of those.  Then contemporary romance. Wrote several, and ended up getting two novellas and a novel published.  But it wasn't until the paranormal romance genre really took off that I decided to combine my love of horror and romance into one.

SCR: Have you attempted another genre, and did it turn out okay?
See above. *g* I'd actually like to write a Star Trek novel someday. As a Trekkie with a Trek tattoo, it's totally my dream.

SCR: What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
To not polish the voice out of your manuscript. See, I used to polish my books to death, making the PERFECT before I'd send them to an editor. I mean, why use "red" when I can use vermilion? Um...yeah.  Nothing wrong with vermilion in the right book and for the right author, but I'm not that author.  I kept getting rejections praising my writing, but "something" was missing.  It wasn't until I followed that advice and started submitting my work more...raw...that I sold.  Because "raw" is me, and that's all there is to it. :)

SCR: What’s up next for you?
The first book in my Demonica spinoff series, the Lords of Deliverance, is up next.  Eternal Rider, which is about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, will release in April, and I'm really excited about it.  It will feature several Demonica characters and is set in the world.  I think it'll make both Demonica fans and new readers happy. (I hope!)

SCR: What are five things you can’t leave home without? 
Cell phone, purse, aspirin, lipstick/chapstick and a book!

You can find out more about Larissa by visiting her website.


  1. Great interview. HUGE Larissa Ione fan right here. If I was to list the authors I want to meet most she would easily be in the top 5.

    Stephanie G
    Paranormal Haven

  2. Awesome interview - Ione is one of my tops too. Love the Demonica Series, and I have Sydney Croft on the way.