Author interview: J.E. Hopkins

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hosted by Bewitching Book Tours, today I'll talking to J. E. Hopkins about her book We Shall Rise, the 2nd book in the Misfits of the Lore Series.

Please tell us about yourself J. E.?

I am a native New Yorker who could never live anywhere else. I just adore NY, especially the craziness of Manhattan. I am a lawyer by day, writer by night. I have been practicing law for about ten years now and although it has its ups and downs, I absolutely love being a lawyer. I equally enjoy being a writer which is a passion I’ve had since I was a child. To be able to realize both passions is such a blessing.

Can you give us a little background on the series Misfits of the Lore?

We Shall Rise is the second novel in my Misfits of the Lore Series. The first book, Lover’s Betrayal sets the stage for this series. Lover’s Betrayal involves a vampire couple, Olivia and Lucian, who were forced to separate for nearly two centuries, but are reunited with the task of solving a series of grisly killings, as the prime suspect is Olivia's son, Kaden. Olivia married Lucian’s enemy and bore him to sons, Kaden and Julian. It is this contentious brotherly relationship that plays a major role in Lover’s Betrayal as well as We Shall Rise.

In the course of proving Kaden’s innocence, there is a discovery of a drug, mescah, that is being used to destroy pureblood vampires and lycans. The drug was devised by witches and sages who are declaring war against the pureblood vampires and lycan who have used their purity of blood and greater strength to enslave the weaker immortals, including hybrids, shifters, demons, witches, sages, charmers and foreseers. The weaker races are uniting against the tyranny of the purebloods and mescah is their declaration of war.
We Shall Rise marks the beginning of this immortal race war, but underlying this plot is a burgeoning romance between Kaden and a half breed vampire, Reysa, who helped save Kaden’s life and prove his innocence in Lover’s Betrayal. Neither Kaden nor Reysa wants to embrace the bond growing between them. Kaden is still wrestling with the demons from the past caused primarily by his destructive and violent relationship with his father. Reysa is focused on creating a safe haven for her fellow immortal misfits who like her were rejected for their impurity by their clans, but have found a home among Reysa’s Misfits of the Lore.
It’s a series about love in the midst of war.

I love the idea of this series...the weak rising against the strong. What or whom inspired it?

History inspired it for me. I am a total history geek and I love stories about war and the reasons people decide to resort to violence to justify their ends. Like any war, no side is purely good or purely evil. Even those with righteous motivations can be corrupted. War seems to bring out the worst in both sides. Race and class wars are an unfortunate hallmark of history and I wanted to explore these concepts
within the paranormal world.

We Shall Rise is the second book and the series, do we get to look forward to more books in this series?

Absolutely. I am working on the next book now. I would like to do at least five for this series, but I want to be careful and avoid exhausting the series by keeping it going too long. I would hate to ruin it by ending it too late.

Very few stories are out there with an interracial couple and I love that you did this why did you decide to make your characters interracial?

In many ways, this series is about race, yet for immortals race has nothing to do with skin color. Skin color is a human obsession, as it unfortunately is in the real world for some people. For immortals, race is defined by genetics and the purity of one’s blood. That contrast is something I wanted to explore. There are so many different aspects to diversity whether it is racial, cultural, age, gender, religious etc. As an African-American woman, I am particularly interested in that dynamic.
So what is Kaden and Reysa's story? What make them the perfect couple?
Reysa understands Kaden in a way that others cannot. She stands up to him and doesn’t take his crap. She is forceful, strong and loyal—all traits that Kaden needs in a mate to help him battle his inner demons that cause him to lash out against those he loves. Reysa is tough enough to love the good and the bad in Kaden. For Kaden, as someone who doesn’t believe he deserves to be loved, it is even more important for him to have someone stubborn enough to love him even when he does everything possible to destroy it.

Can we find out whose book will be next in the series?

Sure. Julian’s book is next but it’s a tough road for him. There are a lot of obstacles ahead and no simple solutions. Love is no easy road for him. He’s in the midst of a love triangle. It’s a volatile situation that will definitely combust in his book.

Writers have always wanted to write, but you're also a lawyer. How do you balance the two? And will you start to write full-time?

Balancing the two is really challenging. I love both and have no desire to sacrifice one for the other, but it’s hard juggling these professions. The downside is that I cannot write as often as I would like. I try to make the most of my time although I never seem to have enough. There may be a time where I’m ready to give up being a lawyer, but that’s many, many years away. For now, the juggling act continues.

When you write, which do you prefer, quiet? Or noise?

I prefer quiet where I can get lost in the story. I need to picture it so that I can write it.

What do you like to do when in your spare time?

I am a huge sports fan so I spend countless hours watching football, tennis, soccer and many other sports. I also love photography. I wish I had more time to devote to that passion. I’m also a big fan of traveling and I try to go on at least two nice vacations a year. That’s when I get most of my writing done. There’s something very inspiring about being in a foreign country and culture.

Are you currently reading any books?

I have a long commute to work so I use that time to read a lot. My reading selection is all over the place. Sometimes I want a simple Harlequin romance. Other times, I want Stephen King or some tear-jerking nonfiction novel about war survivors or the crisis in Africa. I just downloaded Lara Adrian’s new book, Darker After Midnight, and I am very much looking forward to reading it. I love her Midnight Breed Series. Kresley Cole’s latest, Lothaire, is next on my list after that one.

I really love this interview, very insightful and I thank JE for stopping by and joining me today.

Be sure to catch my review later today on We Shall Rise.

Lata Days....MUAH!
Sharonda (SexxyBlogger)

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