fbpx

Please note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Lisa Renee Jones interview.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones writes dark, edgy fiction to include the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series and her latest book, the crime thriller THE POET is now avaialble.

THE POET, follows Samantha Jazz, the lead detective on the case of a violent serial killer dubbed “The Poet.”

It’s the first book in a new thriller series from Lisa Renee Jones, so we talk about what it’s like starting a new series. About her other books (she’s published around 50 books), her writing process, and a lot more.

Connect with Lisa Renee Jones: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Lisa Renee Jones Latest Book

More Books by Lisa Renee Jones

Transcript

Please note, transcripts are generated by an automated program called Happy Scribe not a human and only lightly edited so if any section seems choppy or off, that’s why.


Alan Petersen
You are listening to meet the thriller author, the podcast Interview Writers of Mysteries, Thrillers and suspense books. I’m your host, Alan Petersen, and this is episode number one hundred and forty three.

In this episode of the podcast, we’ll be meeting Lisa Renee Jones, who is a New York Times and USA Today best selling author.

Her latest book, The Poet, follows Samantha Jazz, the lead detective on the case of a violent serial killer dubbed The Poet, which is the first book in a new Crime Thriller series from Lisa Renee Jones.

So we talk about that with her as well as what it’s like starting a new series about her other books, her writing process and a lot more. So stay tuned for the interview coming up here in just a moment.

Before we get to the interview, I want to let you know that The Poet and many of the thrilling books from my guests over the years are available as audio books from Audible.

I love audio books. It’s a wonderful way to fit in some thrilling books while I’m out and about or doing house chores or what have you.

And if you visit THRILLINGREADS.COM/AUDIBLE you’ll be able to get a free trial of Audible. And by signing up via my link, you’ll be supporting the podcast.

So I do appreciate that. So go to THRILLINGREADS.COM/AUDIBLE for the details. All right. Here is my interview with Lisa Renee Jones.

Hi, everybody, this is Alan with Meet the Thriller Author and on the podcast today, I have Lisa Renee Jones. Welcome to the podcast, Lisa.

Lisa Renee Jones
Hi. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Alan Petersen
Oh, great. Thank you. And so before we get into the book and everything, can you tell us a little bit about your background and your writing journey so far?

Lisa Renee Jones
Oh, gosh. Well, I actually owned a staffing agency for 11 years across Texas and Tennessee, believe it or not. And I but I had a creative side. I had done some acting and some stuff that just kind of, you know, there was no time for it. Life got in the way. So that creative part of me was just nagging at me. So one day when I was at the airport, I said, you know what?

I am not going to work on the plane like I always do. I’m going to read a book. I have not read a book in forever, and I love reading. And so I did. I gobbled it up and I went, Mom, you know what? I’m going to write a book. And, you know, so many people say that. But like three months later, I had written a book. It was horrible, but I had written a book and and then from there, I went to a writing convention and they ask everybody, you know, how many of you have actually finished a book?

And I thought, well, everybody’s going to say they have. Why else would you investigate to one of these conventions? And I was shocked that only a small portion of the room had actually written a book.

So I’m just kind of one of those people who would I decide I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. So that’s kind of how I started writing. And I did get published fairly quickly. But, you know, I didn’t get published in a big way until a few years later when one of my series became a big success, which was really such a blessing, and especially since it was kind of like the series of my heart. And it still is so.

Alan Petersen
So the beginning. You’re running your business and writing at the same time?

Lisa Renee Jones
I was secretly in one of my staff knew was you now have some of my staff, like randomly email me through Facebook or something and say, oh, my God, it’s it is you.

Alan Petersen
Wow, that’s cool. Yeah. Yeah, I saw that on your website. I was curious about that because it says you were listed as number seven in Women on Business in Entrepreneur magazine back in those days. Have you found that background as an entrepreneur, business owner? Has it helped you in the publishing business?

Lisa Renee Jones
Oh, gosh, big time. You know, back when we were allowed to get together as groups and I used to give little speeches, I’m one of the things I talk to authors and especially aspiring authors about is that you are in this to make money. It’s a business. So if you go into this and you think I just I want to write a book, I want to be published and, you know, you’re going to not make any money at it, then your publisher is not making any money either. So you have to go into it smartly and think it’s not just about writing the book, it’s about selling books. It’s about marketing the books. It’s a much bigger picture than just writing the book.

Alan Petersen
Yeah, I always hear from folks who say, I just want to write but unless it’s like a huge contract or whatever that’s not going to happen, but even Stephen King and those people, they are still out there promoting their new books.

Lisa Renee Jones
Oh yeah. I mean when I you know, with my Inside Out series it’s so pretty big. But then you have the pressure of OK, you so big, you got to make that money back for the publisher. And so if you don’t, then you won’t keep getting those contracts. I mean, it’s it’s people don’t realize, oh well. And then because they paid you big, they’re going to market big and not necessarily I mean, you’re counting on all of these other people to do it.

And what if somebody, you know, gets sick or goes on maternity leave, those critical to your process? I mean, I had a lot of things happen over my career, like during my first big, huge release, which was my first really big contract, Barnes and Noble was in was still huge back then. And they were in a huge war with my publisher. And they despite the fact that their buyer made my book a topic, they would not even list my book on their website.

They wouldn’t give in caps. So, I mean, there’s things like that that are out of your control as an author. So, I mean, of course, the most important thing is write the best book you possibly can, because that’s the bones of it all. But, you know, that’s critical.

Alan Petersen
Yeah. And you have you your first your first book, the you start out with the reading like romance, romantic suspense. That’s correct. Right.

Lisa Renee Jones
I did. But, you know, like, for instance, inside out, it is really an erotic thriller. And I say that because I chose in that series, there was this element to it where she finds this journal and it’s say it’s kind of a sexy journal and she’s not that kind of person at all. And she starts reading the journals. She gets very engaged by this person, obsessed with them and kind of goes and almost lost her life. She gets her job, her everything, and she’s interacting with all these people.

You wonder, is she dead? And did this person kill her? You know? And so it was still a thriller. I mean, even though. Yeah, it had a romantic. So thrillers are always where my heart has been.

Alan Petersen
Can you tell us a little bit about the latest book, The Poet?

Lisa Renee Jones
Yes. So I so this book is Samantha Jazz is a very strong female detective, but she’s strong mostly because she trust in her own skills. She’s not like this female that walks in there. Everybody listen to me do this. Do that. No, she’s you don’t even really think about her being a female in a male dominated world because she is just it’s just about her confidence. But she’s also pretty obsessive about her work and almost to a point where it’s dysfunctional.

And so she gets obsessed with a particular killer and he gets obsessed with her. And she actually they think that he’s disappeared. But ultimately he comes back and he starts writing poems that he leaves on the victim’s mouth and they’re directed at her. They have a personal message to her. And because she has a background in poetry, she understands what they’re telling her. So two really intelligent people battling with each other. And I love that element when it’s two super intelligent people and it’s like, who’s going to outsmart the other person?

Alan Petersen
Yeah, I really love the name of Samantha Jazz, I’m curious how you came up with that. Is jazz and actually her name out there?

Lisa Renee Jones
No. Well, OK, so jazz, there’s a connection in the book to jazz and poetry, and there’s actually a connection to her last name that I can’t really tell you it kind of gives away some stuff. But it actually was created because of a connection in the book. That’s important. So, yeah, I actually really love the name too. I love this name. So it worked out so great that it tied so well to the book.

Alan Petersen
And were you a fan of poetry as well? Is that why you put that angle in there or is that just came as part of the plot process?

Lisa Renee Jones
Yeah, it just came as part of the process, although my mom used to write poetry. So I’m sure, you know, I think you take little elements of all kinds of things in your life that you pluck here and there. You know, I think we all use everything at some point that we experience.

Alan Petersen
And so are you worried about, like, writing the erotic thrillers and now writing this type of thriller? Like, are you seeing crossover from your readers or do you have to, like, warn them that this is a different type of book?

Lisa Renee Jones
No, I mean, I write lots of thrillers and like my little love series, she’s a criminal profiler. And yeah, I mean, like, InsideOut was an erotic thriller. And I will say the only reason I call it an erotic thriller is I use that as part of the plot, because when are you the most vulnerable? When you’re daring to go somewhere that you’ve never gone. So in this case, the book was really the erotic part, was the journalist.

And so it gave that edge of, you know, is she trusting where she shouldn’t trust? But, you know, in another book, it’s something completely different, uses that element for the thriller. So, I mean, definitely this is something that’s, you know, down my it’s my Avenue Perfectly, which is going to be in bookstores in November, actually released early as an e-book. And it’s a domestic thriller. So so it’s definitely something that my readers are used to, even the ones that like romance.

Alan Petersen
And so you said that this Samantha Jazz book is a standalone, but it’s a it’s part of a start of a series?

Lisa Renee Jones
Yeah. Just like, you know, there’s a Jack Reacher. Yeah. So it’s each one is a different case. Book two, which is out next March. The girl who forgot it’s almost a little bit more domestic thriller, whereas the first book’s quite procedural, which I am so glad my husband’s cousin is a detective in Houston because he helped me a lot. And then I approached a very well respected detective that goes to my gym. And thankfully, yeah, I was got really lucky.

I overheard him talking. I’m like, OK, I don’t want to seem like a stalker. Well, I heard your detective. And not only was he a detective, he got he was one of the top 40 40. And it’s an international award for people in law enforcement. He had just gotten that. And he’s investigated police shootings like police involved shootings or officer involved shootings. So he was he helped me with the scene in the book. I mean, it was really helpful. So, you know, advice to people who are writing books, you know, find your sources wherever you have to find them.

Alan Petersen
Even at the gym.

Lisa Renee Jones
Yeah, even at the gym.

Alan Petersen
Oh, yeah. You always find that they’re they’re pretty they would be pretty helpful. I was really nervous about it. But people like to help.

Lisa Renee Jones
Yeah, I was nervous. I was really nervous. And I thought, God, and he’s going to think I can’t escape or now I’m at the gym, but he’s super nice. And I when I gave him a copy of the book because the dedication and I’m like, don’t read it. But he read it because I don’t want to know everything I screwed up.

Alan Petersen
I get the same way to, when people say they read my books, I cringe.

Lisa Renee Jones
Or, you know, you walk into your doctor’s office, they’re like, oh, I read that book. I’m like, OK, you read it, don’t tell us. Also, it’s usually like if it’s like your gynecologist said, they’re like, I don’t want to know. Are they the idea that you know who I am outside of this.

Alan Petersen
You mentioned that you were a fan of of thrillers before you started to write write these books. Were some of the authors that influenced you as a writer?

Lisa Renee Jones
Oh, gosh. You know, one author that really influenced me, even though she still writes a little bit of romantic suspense is Sandra Brown. She started in romance. And I had read this interview she did where she talked about how she started in category romance. And she wrote like eight of those little novels a year. And then she gradually progressed to write really successful thrillers. And I think, you know, as you I think for me, watching an author, as they not only are they talented, but as they transition in their career and mature within it, I admire that so much.

So she she’s definitely someone that I like. Lisa Jackson was. Another person who did the same kind of thing, so I really admire her, but I mean, I just love thrillers. I mean, Taryn Fisher, she started kind of romancing and without her analysis to be successful. And I really love her book. So there’s a lot there’s so many yet.

Alan Petersen
I interviewed Tess Gerritsen, and I hadn’t realized she started in romance, too, before she started to write the thrillers. Seems like it’s a thing.

Lisa Renee Jones
Yeah. You know, romance was a really, really big genre for a long time. And so I think, you know, you kind of radiate maybe when you start writing to do something that’s really comfortable and familiar as well. Because, I mean, romance is something we all know, right? It’s a it’s when you start writing thrillers, there’s so many different aspects to it pays to get in and, you know, just all the different layers to it that you don’t necessarily have in a straight romance.

Alan Petersen
And so I’m curious about your writing process. Do you like the outline or you a seat of your pants writer?

Lisa Renee Jones
You know, I love to write Seat of the Pants, but thrillers don’t always allow that to happen. And also, like a like the poet, for instance, was sold into Wal-Mart and Target up an outline. So I was forced to write an down, which I didn’t stick to. So and then book two was the same way. So in some cases, I’m kind of forced to do it and I don’t dislike it. I mean, like to I know I’m going to stick to that outline.

I’m like, really crazy about that outline and exactly. I feel like I will. But, you know, I say that probably halfway and I’m going to be like, OK, I’m going left, I’m going right. You know, that’s just how it works.

Alan Petersen
That’s interesting that you said you sold you were able to sell that off the outline. You see, they say you have to have the whole manuscript written and then it’s kind of like, am I wasting my time writing this?

Lisa Renee Jones
I think that’s early in your career. I think what you’re establish, it kind of gets a little bit easier to do those kinds of things when you’re first starting out. So it’s like, oh, God, I’m going to spend all this time with if they hate it. I remember that.

Alan Petersen
Yeah. So I guess once you have your track record, you get a little bit more leeway then.

Lisa Renee Jones
Yeah, yeah, you definitely do. I mean, I think and in this case I actually wrote a pretty detailed outline in the past I’ve been able to sell with just a much shorter outline. But this was when they’re talking about putting it on a Walmart or Target shelf, something like that. I think they kind of want to know in more detail what they’re going to get, you know.

Alan Petersen
And I was kind of curious, too, with the whole the pandemic that changed your or affect, your writing at all?

Lisa Renee Jones
Well The Poet was supposed to be out in November. So, yeah. So that was kind of a bummer because I was so excited about in the books being written forever and, you know, so then it didn’t come out to March. And of course you wonder you don’t you know, it’s my first print released. It’s a pandemic. So how does that affect people grabbing the books? Now, my publisher say says that it’s still going to be a good thing, but because people are reading, a lot of people are at home, that kind of thing. But you also worry about do people have throw away cash, too, because books are still throw away cash, even though we don’t want that to be the case. Yeah, but for me, I mean, I’ve been writing from home forever, so I didn’t feel like anything really changed for me other than my publication date.

Alan Petersen
And have you thought about how you’re going to handle covid pandemic in future books with you address it or not address it? I was kind of curious about that.

Lisa Renee Jones
Oh, gosh, no. I think people are tired of hearing about it. The last thing they want is to have a book.

Alan Petersen
I agree.

Lisa Renee Jones
I think, you know, books are supposed to be an escape, so we want to get away from that stuff.

Alan Petersen
So. So what’s next for you and Samantha Jazz?

Lisa Renee Jones
So that’s The Girl Who Forgot and I’m super, super excited about that when she actually tries to take a break. She goes to a bachelorette party and then, you know, something bad happens and she ends up pulled into all of that. And it does it is more domestic thriller. And there’s going to be the point of view of another character. And you don’t know if you can trust that person or not. And I think it’s I’m probably more excited about it than The Poet, but I think you’re always more excited about what comes next. You know, that that’s what’s got our creative juices going.

Alan Petersen
Yeah. I was curious with the domestic thrillers, too, because there seemed to be so popular right now. Like what exactly qualifies a book as a domestic thriller? What makes a domestic thriller?

Lisa Renee Jones
Well, a domestic thriller is more character based than like a crime scene based. So, you know, like the girl on the train in her head, she’s it’s really. Is she telling you the truth? Do you know what’s really going on? And you’re trying to figure it out. So that’s really, at least in my mind, my definition of it, a perfect lie that’s out in November. You’re in the point of view of the lead character and you don’t know if you can trust her. You can’t trust her. You don’t know if anything that is happening is real from the perspective of what you see in the whole big picture. So which I think that’s fun. I mean, so much fun.

Alan Petersen
So what’s a writing day like for you? Do you like write every day. Do you set goals?

Lisa Renee Jones
I do. I usually write seven days a week. But just because I, I just need to stay in the story even if it’s only a little bit. And I do try and write 12 words a day, but sometimes I’m rewriting the same two thousand words I wrote the day before, which is always this frustrating times when you are like, I cannot wake up tomorrow and write the same chapter in a different way. And you know what’s crazy is when I finally get past that, I always I realized what was wrong and why I couldn’t go on.

And I’m like, God, that was so obvious. You know, the character was out of sync. There was something wrong. And sometimes I even have to if I get stuck like that, go back a couple of chapters and look and figure out where something’s wrong. And my husband will be like, something’s wrong. Or you could go on. I’m like, yes, I know he’s been dealing with this for years and do you need to talk about it a lot.

So but as far as my day goes, I, I tend to write pretty late, so I’ll get up in pretty late in the morning and then start writing after probably about 11:00 and then I write until the gym and I go to the gym and I do a lot of plotting and doing cardio, believe it or not. And so a lot of times I’ll come back and scribble down a whole bunch of notes for this day, or I’ve actually gotten the notes on my phone and started writing the scene because I just had to get it down because it came to me. So, I mean, that’s pretty it my boring schedule.

Alan Petersen
And write on Word or some other program?

Lisa Renee Jones
Yeah. Word, yeah. Yeah.

Alan Petersen
And are you going to continue writing romance as well. Are you going to write both types of of books or. Yeah, I am.

Lisa Renee Jones
I think as far as romance goes, I mean that’s been a fun genre for me, but I do write thrillers along with that. So, you know, romantic suspense. So so the difference is they just have that romantic element. There’s still that thriller there.

Alan Petersen
How many books do you have out so far? Published.

Lisa Renee Jones
Oh, my God. You know, when I first started a category romance and I which was, you know, although it was hard to break out of, it was a good learning experience and a lot of ways. But I wrote 20 of those. Yeah. So just 20 of those. And since then I wrote so many are written, so many more. So I probably have 50 books or so. But again, like 20 of those were little category romances that are like completely different. But, you know, the great thing about that was I got to work with a lot of editors and one of my category editors gave me a piece of advice that has. With me forever, and that is if you can make your bad guy relatable and make people almost start rooting for him, like Dexter, right? And then, you know, you’re going to have a more compelling novel.

And so that little piece of advice that stuck with me forever. So, I mean, there’s a little things like that that these authors that are like writing indie and they’re not working with editors, they don’t have the opportunity. I had to have some excellent editors say this or that or just little pieces of advice that stick with you.

Alan Petersen
Yeah, I really was excited when I found out about The Poet is, because I love these serial killer thriller type books,and I think it’s because of the of the killers are so interesting to read. Is that something that you were writing this you put a lot of time developing the the killer part of it as well>

Lisa Renee Jones
Oh yeah. I really enjoy writing them. You write evil so well, I think today. But also what’s funny thing is like so Scott Brick reads The Poet part and Scott Brick is just an amazing narrator and my husband is like his biggest fan, I swear. And when I told him that Scott Brick was going to read it, he’s like, no way. No, no, are you kidding me?

And I will tell you that the minute that book was available and audible, he downloaded it because he wanted to hear Scott read the poet. And I have to say he did a phenomenal job while he reads people, so.

Alan Petersen
Oh, yeah. That’s so cool. I saw that on your audio book that you have two narrators. You have a female narrator, then Scott Brick.

Lisa Renee Jones
Yes. Yeah. So Scott reads the bad guy and then Samantha Jazz is Britney and and she does an excellent job as well. But but I mean just Scott, I mean, one of the things that makes her role so good, too, is that she comes off as that straitlaced cop. And then there’s this contrasting evil Scott Brick. And he’s just a very talented actor, too. So I felt very blessed to have him read the character because, you know, you put so much hard into writing it. And in a way, he when he says you write evil so well, I’m like, well, you’re also listening to Scott.

Alan Petersen
I’ll have to check that out. Sounds like they did a great production for it.

Lisa Renee Jones
Yeah. Yeah. For the narrator’s means so much. And I know that because I’m a big audio listener, my husband and I actually will take walks and listen to audio books together and talk about it. And right now we’re listening to the kind words killing and I’m dying to get back to it. It’s been snowy and stuff here, so we haven’t watched listened to it. But it’s Peter Swanson and it’s so good and I’m just like addicted and that the narrator makes a lot of difference.

Alan Petersen
Yeah. You guys really got dumped the snow over there in Colorado, didn’t you?

Lisa Renee Jones
Oh, crazy. Yeah, you know, but not that much. And there were these huge snowdrifts, so we had like part of our driveway, like had no snow and then the other part was piled up over our head. It’s just like, this is crazy, you know, that wet, heavy snow.

Alan Petersen
Yeah, I remember that. I live in California, but we moved here ten years ago from Minnesota. So I have a lot of snow experience.

Lisa Renee Jones
Oh, boy. You went to quite the opposite, didn’t you?

Alan Petersen
Yes. Yes, exactly. Yeah. I don’t miss the snow. I must confess, you know, I do like it.

Lisa Renee Jones
And really here in Colorado, it’s pretty mild and we get some snow and it’s sunny the next day. So this is pretty rare for us. I mean, it’s not like a whole weekend. And I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced that in the 11 years that I’ve been here.

Alan Petersen
OK, so well, before I let you go, I always ask my guests about any advice for aspiring writers, because I know they’re listening to this podcast?

Lisa Renee Jones
Yes, write the book. I mean, so many people say, I want to write, I want to write, I want to write. And then they don’t write the book and then write another book, because a lot of people think once they write the book, that’s just it, that one book does not make a career. So write the book. Love it.

Alan Petersen
OK. And so what can listeners find? Was at your website, which has a lot of great information that the best place to connect with you?

Lisa Renee Jones
It is. And for my thrillers it’s lisareneejonesthrillers.com but if they just go to lisareneejones.com, you can get to either as well.

Alan Petersen
OK, great. Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Lisa, I really enjoyed talking with you.

Lisa Renee Jones
Thank you for having me.

About the Author
I write thriller and crime fiction novels and host the Meet the Thriller Author podcast where I interview authors of mystery, thriller, and suspense books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Thrilling Reads Newsletter

Thrillers, Mysteries, Crime Fiction, All Things Killer!

Get a monthly fix of reviews, interviews, upcoming releases, giveaways, and more to satisfy your dark side.

Thank you for signing up. Please check your email to confirm your subscription.