AUSSIE MONTH with Lisa Swallow
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
My first two books, a paranormal romance series, were published through a small press in 2013. I switched to writing contemporary romance and had two books published by the same press. In April 2014 I released my first book as an indie. This was Summer Sky, the first in the Blue Phoenix rock romance series which now has four books and more to come.
Tell us about Rising:
Rising is the fourth book in my Blue Phoenix series and was released in December 2014. Each book is about a different band member and this is the story of messed-up lead guitarist, Jem Jones, and the lead singer of another band, Ruby, who has demons of her own. He’s the character a lot of readers hated in the other books and this story explores his past, written partly in his point of view, so readers finally get to see who the real Jem is. I’ve had readers turn their opinions upside down and he’s now the favourite of some who didn’t like him at all. I see that as a success!
What inspired this novel?
This novel had to happen as it was Jem’s ‘turn’ to tell his story. I didn’t want Jem to be the cliché, drug-taking, bad boy that he appeared early on in the series, or to write a book about his addiction, so I decided to look at him post-rehab trying to deal with the mess his life is in. So, it’s very much an emotional book. The other character, Ruby, was inspired by the need to have a front-and-centre female rock star to measure him against. I think it’s about time there were more like her in rock romance books!
What are you reading right now?
Love, In Spanish by Karina Halle
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
Renew my wedding vows in Las Vegas and honeymoon at Disneyland
Best thing about being an Aussie?
Christmas in the sunshine!
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
I have two more books in the Blue Phoenix series planned, plus a book about a minor character in the series who isn’t a rock star.
What were your big achievements of 2014?
Becoming an indie author and selling more copies of my book in the first month than I did in a year with a publisher.
Hitting Amazon US category bestseller lists, including #1 paid in a minor category (not THE top #100 but still happy!)
Connecting with new friends (readers and authors) and gaining confidence in my writing ability.
“Our demons don’t want to play but they sure as hell recognise each other”
Three attempts at staying clean after rehab and Jem Jones, Blue Phoenix guitarist, is determined this time he’ll succeed. Haunted by his recent past, Jem throws himself into the one addiction he still has left: music. With Blue Phoenix on a break, he looks elsewhere for a place to channel his creativity and discovers up-and-coming band Ruby Riot.
For lead singer, Ruby, breaking into the music scene could break the cycle of abuse that’s controlled her life since she was a child. Finding release through music, the growing success of the band has set Ruby on the path to regaining her identity and self-esteem.
Ruby Riot brings Jem and Ruby together, but Ruby’s tangled personal life pushes her closer to a reluctant Jem. Living and touring together, Jem and Ruby discover they have more in common than their passion for music. Can this understanding break down the carefully constructed barriers they’re trapped behind? Or is loving somebody too big a risk to take?
When Jem’s past slams into his present, he has to face the reality behind what made him the man he is and why he hurts the people he wants to love.
And as Ruby reaches out to help Jem, she discovers trying to fix somebody comes with the risk of getting cut by one of their shattered pieces.
Jem and Ruby’s story is the fourth book in the Blue Phoenix series. It can be read as a standalone but contains minor spoilers for the other books in the series.
This book includes scenes of domestic violence that are not gratuitously graphic, but may be disturbing to sensitive readers.