Welcome Liz Berry and 1001 Dark Nights…

1_1001DarkNights_ShaylaBlack_300dpiWELCOME, LIZ BERRY!! AND WELCOME to the authors of 1001 DARK NIGHTS!

Today, we have the absolutely fabulous Liz Berry joining us to talk about 1001 Dark Nights an amazing collection of novellas following the theme of dark Arabian nights and sexy encounters! Some are paranormal, some are erotic, some are just magically delicious! Grins.

Each month you get a seriously sexy helping of excellent storytelling and great characters! And they’ve got a wonderful mix of styles and stories from some of the best in the industry, including Heather Graham, Lilianna Hart, Shayla Black and many more!

So…Liz, pull up an overstuffed, comfy armchair and let’s chat!  Sven!!  Bring Liz a Mimosa!!  We’ll get this Wednesday started off right!

Jeanne: So Liz, tell us, what’s the full concept behind 1001 Dark Nights?

Liz: (sips drink, smiles) The concept is pretty simple, but – we hope – very exciting. Basically, we’re producing an unlimited series of novellas based on the Arabian Nights tales, but retold through paranormal romance and erotic romance stories. 1001 Dark Nights introduces readers to a time-traveling woman from the future, who gets trapped as Scheherazade and must tell a new story each night in order to stay alive. The alluring part for us is that because she’s a time-traveler, she’s experienced all sorts of time-periods and planes of existence — and you never know what type of story she’ll tell next!

Jeanne: Oh, how exciting! And the possibilities…I’m liking that! Who are the authors taking part, and how did you select them? What was the process of it coming together?

Liz: I always joke that I’m a “fan girl” first, so when we were working on our list of authors, the first place I looked was my bookshelf. M.J. did the same thing, which led us to writers like Lisa Renee Jones, Liliana Hart, and Tina Folsom. We love their stories and were thrilled that they decided to join our collection.

A few of the authors – Lara Adrian, Lexi Blake, Julie Kenner, and Lorelei James — I originally met through a simple fan mail here and there over the years. And now, they have become dear friends who we thought would be perfect for the project.

Lilianna_Hart-new

Christopher Rice is our only male so far, and we had no idea if he’d even consider the project since it’s a bit of a departure for him, but he enthusiastically agreed and we couldn’t be happier!

Jeanne: That’s so great! I’m glad he did and I look forward to reading his novella in this set! Were there any hiccups on the project?

Liz: Three of the authors account for some of my most embarrassing moments — when meeting Cherise Sinclair, Shayla Black, and Larissa Ione, I gushed so much that I think I scared them all to death! Thankfully, they don’t scare easily and all agreed to join our merry band.

Jeanne: That’s outstanding!! But there’s one more…

Liz: Yes! Last, but certainly not least, is Heather Graham. M.J. and I have both been friends with Heather for years and immediately placed her on our wish list. We were honored that she said yes!

Jeanne: I’m a fan of Heather’s as well, and was pleased to get to know her a bit better at Barbara Vey’s Reader Appreciation luncheon several years ago. So Liz, What made you decide to be a part of bringing these fabulous authors together and how did you decide on this sultry theme?

Liz: At its core, 1001 Dark Nights is a marketing project designed to introduce fans to fabulous authors they might not have read before. We wanted to seek out authors that had strong relationships with their fans and wanted to grow their brands by making new relationships — not just sell a books to a reader, but really put themselves out there to connect with the readers. That’s how we see author brands building in the strongest way – through relationships.

4_1001DarkNights_TinaFolsom_300dpi_FNL_v4Jeanne: I so agree! We Romance Bandits have done much the same – building our unique brand both individually and collectively – and our true focus is our fans.  Sounds like you’ve done the same!

Liz: Yes, you have! Your blog (and your rooster!) are famous!

Jeanne: More like infamous, but…

Liz: (laughs, but neither confirms nor denies) We also wanted to create a theme that allowed the authors freedom to tell any story they wished to tell, but also kept the collection under the same umbrella. What better way than the tale of the Arabian Nights, where our Scheherazade can tell a different story every night!

Jeanne: It’s a wonderful theme! And leaves SO much scope for imagination! And the foundation concept of the time traveler is so cool!! You and your partner MJ Rose are Evil Eye Concepts, Inc. Tell me a little about that.

Liz: Thank you for asking, Jeanne. This company is very important to us and was born out of one core thought that we share — M.J. and I believe that writers are powerful and fierce. And sometimes undervalued. Our goal with Evil Eye Concepts is to help authors build and increase their fan bases and brands in a new and exciting way. Not just when their stories come out, but long term. At the heart of the company, there are two fans who hope to help their favorite authors reach more readers.

Jeanne: That is incredibly brave of all of you, and a great model, I must say. I totally agree that many authors – excellent authors – are undervalued, simply because they don’t know how to show the world their stories. They’re writers, not promoters. However, in this brave new world of publishing, promotion is key.2_1001DarkNights_HeatherGraham_300dpi

Liz: Absolutely! And that’s why Evil Eye Concepts was born. We’re here to showcase the excellence so readers can find wonderful new authors.

Jeanne: I’m all over that! And I’m eager to read more in this thrilling series. Bandits and Buddies, you’ll see the covers here, these are the first four in the series, with more to come.  Stay tuned for more hot Arabian nights!

So Liz, what’s YOUR question for our Bandits and Bandit Buddies today?

Liz: I’d love to know — if you could travel to any time period or plane of existence (real or fictional) what would it be?

Jeanne: I’ll add to that….WHAT would you be? For your time period, what would you do? Be a socialite? A plumber? A courtesan? A dancer? A politician? A doctor?

There you go, Buddies, get chatting! (Can’t wait to hear the answers!!) Liz, MJ and the participating authors have generously offered some giveaways too! They’ll give away 1 e-copy of FOREVER WICKED by Shayla Black, 1 e-copy of CRIMSON TWILIGHT by Heather Graham, and 3 e-copies of CAPTURED IN SURRENDER by Liliana Hart to five lucky commenters today!!

Comments

80 Comments

  • Jane says:

    It would be cool to experience life during ancient Rome and Egypt. Not sure who I would want to be, but probably far from the political intrigue because I wouldn’t want to be murdered as a political rival.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    What a clever and unusual concept, Liz! Welcome to the Lair. I love the idea of using the Arabian Nights theme to showcase these great authors!

    Yay! Did I get the rooster? It’s been a long time since he’s been to California. Maybe he should tell a story to keep Scheherazade alive one more night! I’ll bet he’d have a doozy of a one.

    I’d definitely want the late Victorian period. I’d be so “Don’t wash that message off the wall! It’s a clue to Jack the Ripper’s identity!”

    Seriously, I’ve always loved this time period.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Jo, you crack me up! I’m LOL about “Don’t wash it off!!” Grins.

      And Victorian times are SO cool aren’t they? So fraught with convention and invention, pushing the boudaries of sea and sky, while covering the piano legs with draperies. Grins.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Ah, shucks, Jane, you just beat me to the draw. Guess the rooster will have to tell his stories at your house!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    And to answer Jeanne’s question, I’d be a doctor or investigator because forensics was just starting to bloom in England at this time. The Brits were so far ahead of the rest of the world in this kind of investigation. I’d wanna be right there, putting in my two cents.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oooh, Jo! You’d make a great doctor and YES! about the forensics! Grins.

      Have you read that book about the start of forensics? I”ll have to go find the title…

  • Hi Liz and MJ! Jeanne, fabulous interview. Liz and MJ (and your participating authors), what a fantastic idea for a series of stories. I think that’s brilliant. And as you say, it can go on forever and it’s so wide open when it comes to theme and setting and sensuality level and just about everything, really. Perfect marketing!

    Oh, man, when would I like to time travel back to? Probably not the Regency as I look like a pregnant hippopotamus in empire line dresses. Perhaps the late 18th century. I love that line of Georgian dresses with the deep necklines and the nipped in waist (I’d need a corset but this is my fantasy!) and the full skirts with lots of petticoats. And I’d definitely like to be rich!

    • Liz Berry says:

      Thank you so much, Anna! And I’m with you, the late 18th century is one of my favorites!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Anna! You would NOT look like a hippo! Jeeesh woman! But really, only the true waif-like figure looks good in those empire dresses – think Gweneth Paltrow in Emma – and you and I are too robust and Germanic to do them well. Grins. Heck, MOST women are too robust to do them well! Hahahah! And Georgian…yes. I like that! (And rich too!)

  • Amy Conley says:

    I’d go back to Queen Elizabeth I’s time. So many stories, I’d love to be one of her ladies in waiting and know the real truth.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oh, Amy, wouldn’t that be COOL? I’d love to know so many of the things that happened back then…how did the English know about the armada? Which spy died with the secret of Essex and Elizabeth on his lips? Or hers…. Who was Elizabeth’s real lover? Was Doctor Dee REALLY a wizard, the last of his kind? Grins.

      Yeah, as you can tell, I could go for that…

  • flchen1 says:

    How extremely cool, Liz! I’m not sure what time period I’d want to travel to–so many of them have downsides that would be hard to overcome, even if you were wealthy! 😉 I would be curious to visit ancient China though–although I’d prefer to skip the footbinding, please!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Fedora! Y’see, that’s my trouble with ancient China…I’d love to see it too. The terra cotta warriors being crafted, the wall going up, the embroidery alone would be worth the visit. :> But…. Grins.

      I think the same thing about Central America. Would love to know about the Aztecs and Incas and Anastazi, but oh! The many, many opportunities for death! Ha!

  • Patty L. says:

    I love the idea of a story every night and to add in the mystery of time travel is magical. I would love to live in the Victoria era and of course I would be affluent.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Liz and Jeannie

    This is a top idea I love finding new to me authors although it may take me a bit to get to it because of the massive TBR pile a short story first is easier 🙂

    I would love to go back to medieval Scotland and of course be a heroine to a wonderful warrior hero 🙂

    Have Fun
    Helen

  • Shannon says:

    I think it’s a given I would want to be rich in whatever time period I would want to go; middle class is pretty rare in the history. I’m interested in politics, so the only way I could indulge in that would be as a member of a political family. I am most interested in Georgian through Regency society because of the marriage of politics with the ideas of freedom and liberty, science and art. I suppose that would mean being in London with all of it soot.

    Interesting idea on the 1001 Nights. I just remember how much I had to understand obscure Islamic law to understand some of the more complex stories. So often the hero and heroine would triumph over the villain because of their knowledge of obscure teachings.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Shannon, politics in the Georgian era was so deliciously convoluted, wasn’t it? Fascinating though!! But as you say…the soot! Yikes! Chim-chimminy!

      And I’d forgotten that about the tales. Morality triumphed through the twists of law…yes. Now that you mention it I remember it, but I more remembered the clever theif tales and the others. Much more to my taste than points of law. Hahah! (I read them when I was fairly young…)

  • Fabulous interview, Liz! I adore this series and look forward to reading every month!

  • J. Kenner says:

    Fab interview, Liz! Can I just say how psyched I am to be part of 1001 Dark Nights?

    As for where I would travel … that’s a hard one. Probably the Roaring Twenties. The Renaissance is tempting, though …

    Too many choices!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hi Julie! *waves madly!* SO glad you popped in! Really looking forward to YOUR installment in this wonderful series!!

      And Renaissance…ohhhh yeah. Wouldn’t it be fun to just WATCH the Machiavellian twists of society? I’m not sure I’d want to be embroiled in it – poison’s a terrible way to die – but sure would be interesting to watch! Ha!

    • Liz Berry says:

      Hi Julie! I’m so glad you stopped by – and you know how excited we are to have you in the project! 🙂

      The roaring twenties — I totally forgot about that time period! Too many wonderful choices!

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    I have always wanted to time travel to the Old West and hopefully meet a sexy cowboy who owns his own ranch. If it was a paranormal time travel I would like to have some power that would help the rancher in the end, maybe the ability to heal or transport, or read people’s minds. As for an occupation, I’ m not sure. If I was coming from the future maybe a nurse or security specialist. Then I could kick some serious butt! Lol! It’s nice to dream anyway!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      That’s fabulous, Debbie! You have the makings of a great tale there…Grins. Kinda Cowboys and Aliens, but without the aliens. Kick butt security specialist travels in time to help rancher and falls in love…

      Fabulous! Grins.

    • Liz Berry says:

      Oh, Debbie, you just said the magic words! Sexy cowboy…sigh… 🙂

  • Cathy P says:

    I would want to be a socialite wherever I go back in time. I would like to go to Medieval Scotland, Georgian through Regency periods, and to the old west.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Cathy P! I love the idea of Medieval Scotland, but I’d be too afraid to be burned for a witch! Hahah!!

      And yes, wealthy socialite in ALL those times….

  • CrystalGB says:

    Regency England and I would be a member of the ton.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Crystal! Great to see you today! And YES to Regency England. I’ve loved so many books about it, I’d adore being a member of the ton as well and just cruising the balls. :>

  • Joan Kayse says:

    Welcome Liz and I concur that this is a BRILLIANT idea!

    No surprise to many, but ancient Rome would be a fave for me. I would want to be one of two things: A thorn in the Empires side OR seamstress for gladiator loincloths 😀

    I would also enjoy the Fae world in Ireland…doesn’t matter time wise as..there is no concept of time there. 😀 And I THINK there are Irish loincloths 😀

    • Liz Berry says:

      Thank you so much, Joan. 🙂

      And….oh my! The Fae in Ireland. Love it!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Golly Joan, loincloths seem to be a theme….grins. And I know you, you WOULD be a thorn in the Empire’s side, just to snork over how much trouble they were having finding you! Hahah!! You’d hide in plain sight and instigate…yes, you know you would! Heehee.

      And Eire…ohhhhh yeah…..

  • Caren Crane says:

    HI, Liz! And welcome to all the great authors popping in today. I love the theme of these novels and have always loved Thousand and One Nights. I’m sure they will be amazing!

    I’m kind of with Jo on wanting modern plumbing. 🙂 I think it would be fun to be a well-to-do flapper girl during the roaring 20s. Days of sleeping late, lazing about and dancing (and drinking) the night away sounds about my speed. I could always break it up with a shopping trip to buy clothes and shoes. 😀

  • Awesome! I got a shout-out in the interview. I LOVE being the only male. Do I get a special pin? This whole experience has introduced me to new genres and new writers and I’m doing so much reading as a “research” I can barely get any writing done. And I think it’s brilliant how Liz and M.J have harnessed the power of the Internet with this project. I’ve worked a lot in darker genres, and while my policy is I always have to show the reader the way out at the end(or guide them out myself), the hope that romance offers us all has proved incredibly nourishing to my spirit.

    • Liz Berry says:

      Chris, we absolutely love having you — and yes, you get a special pin! We’ll have a little pinning ceremony at RT. 🙂 Thanks again for being a part of the collection – and for these beautiful words.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Christopher! *Waves madly* Thanks for popping into the Romance Bandits Lair today! I can’t wait for your “installment” in the 1001 Dark Nights! :>

      And well and beautifully said about leading the reader to hope. Its what we Romance Writers pride ourselves on. No matter how deeply we put our characters in the quicksand, we promise the reader redemption, getting out of the quicksand (and a nice hot shower to boot!), and love, in the end. :>

    • Caren Crane says:

      Chris, I love that they roped you in and have won you over to the dark side – er, or the light side, whichever romance may be in your case. 🙂

      We adore all our male romance writer friends and are glad to count you among them. Be sure you wear that pin with pride!

  • Lexi says:

    Great interview! I’m so happy to be a part of this group of amazing authors!
    But I really, really like running water and the Internet and air conditioning so I’m going to stay contemporary! Now, if I could be in Manhattan, that would be perfect, but I would stay a writer!

    • Liz Berry says:

      Lexi, you and me in Manhattan….can we say SHOES!! 🙂

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Lexi! *waves madly again* Welcome to the Lair! :> Glad you too popped in!

      Can’t wait to read YOUR installment as well. Grins.

      I’m quite the fan of indoor plumbing and hot showers, so I’m with you. And did someone say SHOES??? No better shoe shopping mecca than manhattan…except possibly Milan. Grins.

      Given the plumbing issue, I might choose the WWII era….

  • Brilliant interview, Liz and Jeanne! And being one of the 1001 Dark Nights authors is simply delightful.

    I’d give up having running water to have a running Scottish warrior instead. Or possibly go for alternative history when women were the sheiks and I could have a well-stocked harem of gorgeous concu-males. lol

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hi Cherise! Welcome to the Romance Bandits Lair! *Waving madly* This is SUCH a great idea! I’m stoked to read all the entries.

      And I’m ROFLMAO about the running warrior. SNORK! ANd hey, I love alternate history. A harem full? Ohhhhhh yeah….

    • Liz Berry says:

      Thanks, Cherise! The pleasure is truly ours. 🙂 And…um…can I join you in your version of time-travel? Sounds delicious!!

  • The future–if I’m having five children again, I want really good Pampers!
    I have–since I met them!–found Liz and MJ to be two of the savviest women around–and friends I just really like as well! The two are incredible. I didn’t even really have to know what they were doing at first–I just said yes! I love the covers, the marketing–and that it’s kind of an all for one and one for all. Writers tend to love to help each other–the best writers are always readers, too!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Heather! Wow, it’s a banner day in the Lair! *waves madly* Are you headed to Milwaukee this year for Barbara Vey?

      I’ve so enjoyed getting to know both Liz and MJ and this seems like SUCH a fabulous idea they’ve put together. And they’re managing it so wonderfully that I’d’ve said yes too! Ha!

      Looking forward to reading your Krewe Novella!! :>

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      BTW, totally with you on the Pampers. They have such cool stuff for little people now. I only have two and still, I think , WOW, wish I’d’ve had THAT when my kids were little…

      • LOL.
        I need a really good vacuum, too. Husky fur with other the shedding cats and mutt. And I need a pod coffee pot and a microwave. Actually, I think I would have liked life with the Jetsons!

        • Jeanne Adams says:

          Amen! I finally broke down and bought a Miele Dog and Cat vaccuum. :> I have three dogs – two labs and an Irish Water Spaniel! – and with that and two boys, it’s a must. :>

          Just bought a Keurig…ahhhhhhh, coffeee….!

          • My husky is 17 — a miracle dog. As long as she’s around, I will consider her hair an absolute must for a fashion accessory! Also have a mutt shelter dog, a Bengal and an orange cat. Hair everywhere!

    • Liz Berry says:

      Oh, Heather, we absolutely adore you! Thank you for such wonderful words. You are one-of-a-kind! And such a special part of our project. 🙂

  • bn100 says:

    maybe a socialite in Regency England

  • Welcome, Liz and Company! What a cool concept. I especially like the idea of having stories set in various time periods.

    As for picking a time period, that’s tough. There are so many I’d like to check out. I guess I’d go for medieval England, but only if I could be rich and a guy, or else the 1920s, where I’d like to be a reporter, or possibly the far future where I’d like to be an explorer.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Nancy! Wouldn’t this be a fun concept to play with? I love it! Had to LOL about the space explorer given our convo on FB today about Firefly. :>

      And I know the ’20s are your thing.

      As to medival, to be a guy would be the best, since it would totally suck to be a woman back then! Ha!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Nancy, if you’re a reporter in the 20s does that mean you will not join me in dancing the night away in fab clothes while drinking bathtub gin, or that you definitely will join me in all of the above? 🙂

  • Becke says:

    What an intriguing idea? You’ve captured every fantasy.

    To go back in time and experience an occurrence is like reincarnation. I agree with Nancy. If I’m heading back, I’d need to be a man so I could have some control.

    I’d like to be a recorder and journal the build-up prior to the big events. What were the breakdowns prior to the WW? What made the individuals act as they did? Did Ben fly that kite in the storm? What was he thinking? Inquiring minds….
    b

    If you could travel to any time period or plane of existence (real or fictional) what would it be?

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Had to LOL about “what was he thinking?” about the kite. My very practical youngest son asked this very thing! “Mom, it was STORMING. What was he thinking?” Grins.

      And it would be so cool to see those events firsthand, wouldn’t it?

  • Hey Liz and everyone! Welcome to the Lair! Love the idea of a different book each month connected by one theme! And I’ve love time travel books even way before Dianne Gabaldon wrote Outlander!!

    Where and When would I travel? I think I’d travel to Early Victorian period England…and I’d be that irritating blue stocking woman who studies medicine and biology. 🙂 🙂 Imagine the things I could teach them!!

    Psttt… Liz…please tell your husband I’m a major, major, major fangirl!!!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Heehee, Suz, I said the same thing to Liz about being a fan girl!! Grins.

      And you and I would be bluestockings together! Wouldn’t that be fun!?! You and me and Jo and Donna too, I’ll bet! Hahah!! We’d bedevil society!!

      And it would be a blast. Grins.

    • Liz Berry says:

      Awww, Suzanne…thank you! I actually just read him your post and it made his day! And I’m so glad you like the concept of 1001 Dark Nights. I hope you enjoy the stories!! 🙂

  • What a great concept !! And it sounds like it was fun to write and put together as well.

    I am such a history geek it would be hard for me to choose just one time period to visit. Of course, first and foremost, I would love to visit the Regency era – so long as I wasn’t a kitchen maid or a governess! A little peek at the Georgian era would be fun too. The Banditas and Buddies could throw some SCANDALOUS parties in the late eighteenth century!

    I’d also like to visit Pompeii the day Vesuvius erupts so long as I get a head start running out of town!

    Ancient Egypt during the reign of Cleopatra might be interesting as well.

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    I’d love to visit Medieval Scotland, but only if I’m the Lady of the castle. That means I get a kilted man, right? LOL Of course, I’d be sure to pack soap and antibiotics.

  • Larissa says:

    I’m late to the party, but wanted to say thanks for the shout out, Liz! Great interview, Jeanne!

    Let’s see…for time travel…my favorite place in the world is England, so you’d think I’d go there, but really, I think I’d go back to past crime scenes…just to see what REALLY happened. You know, who shot JFK, who was the real Jack The Ripper…things like that. I’m a bit of a weirdo…