Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today's Special -- Joss Ware


We're happy to have one of our favorite people with us today, Joss Ware. Joss is the author of the Envy Chronicles, a post-apocalyptic romance series. The latest book in this gritty, sexy series is NightBetrayed, which was released on January 25th. If Joss looks familiar to some of you, it may be because you know her as her alter ego, Colleen Gleason, the author of the best selling Gardella Vampire Chronicles. Best selling author times two, busy wife and mother, and all around cool chick. How does she do it all?!? Please welcome Joss to The Romance Dish.



The most common question I get about my post-apocalyptic paranormal romance series the Envy Chronicles is…where did you get the idea? J I can understand the confusion—after all, romances are about Happy Ever Afters and hope and the future…but how could one ever find any of that in a dystopian world?


How can anyone believe in true love or a happy ever after when the world is being destroyed around them? People are dying, in pain, kids, dogs, cats being destroyed, buildings in shambles…no thank you!


But then, one day, I was chatting with one of my friends, and she said, “I think you should write a post-apocalyptic romance.”


And I started to think about it. The more I thought, the more fascinated I became with the idea…or, more accurately, the challenge, of writing a romance set in such a dark time.


And I loved the idea of having a world that had all of our knowledge in technology and science, our pop culture and fashion…but without the infrastructure and civilization that we are used to today.



It would be like writing a historical novel (no cell phones, no computers or cars), but with the ability to know everything we do now—and picking and choosing what parts of society and technology we continued to embrace. Fascinating.


But, yet, the problem of dealing with the devastation of the earth and civilization and all these people dying still bothered me. There was no way I was going to write a romance set in an environment that didn’t seem to have a light at the end of the tunnel of catastrophe.


So I decided to start my series fifty years after the horrible events that ruined the world and destroyed the human race. What exactly happened? Was it a group of bad guys whose plans, for once, weren’t foiled? Was it nature? Was it aliens? An asteroid? Global warming? Nuclear war? (You’ll have to read the books to find out, as the mystery is being revealed little by little…)



Once I figured out who and what destroyed the earth, the rest of it fell into place rather quickly.




Then, I started thinking about how to make a strong connection between our world (in June 2010, when all hell broke loose) and the new world (of 2060). I ultimately decided to build the series around a group of guys who somehow “miss” the catastrophe and suddenly find themselves in this strange new world.



They’re called The Awakening Heroes: Elliott, Quent, Simon, Fence, and Wyatt. Each one of them awakens with a changed life, to find that everything they once knew is kaput. Nada.


Not only that, but some of them have even acquired paranormal abilities, including Theo Waxnicki—a guy who actually lived through the Change, and hasn’t aged for fifty years. And of course, they meet sexy, smart, brave women as they try to build a new life in this strange, horrible world.


The fourth book in the series, Night Betrayed hit the shelves last week. The heroine in that book, Selena, was inspired by the many stories and anecdotes I’ve heard and read from people who’ve worked with death and the dying. In Night Betrayed, she acts as a sort of hospice doctor because she’s been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to know when someone is going to die.



And when Theo is brought to her, she knows he’s going to die. She can see his death cloud.


But then…something happens that’s never happened before. She brings him back to life…and thus begins their story. He’s a computer geek who’s trying to rebuild the Internet as an underground movement against the Strangers who repress the humans who survived, and Selena has a secret of her own that involves the zombies.


It’s actually a good book to start with if you haven’t read the rest of the series, because it’s only loosely connected with the first three books.


But, if you’re a stickler like me and prefer to read in order…you’re in luck! HarperCollins is offering the first two books in the series at special ebook promo prices for a limited time…


The series is:

Beyond the Night ($1.99 ebook)

Embrace the Night Eternal ($3.99 ebook)

Abandon the Night (regular pricing)

Night Betrayed (regular pricing)


I’d love to take questions and comments, and I’m going to give away one of the first three books to a commenter….so stick around and chat with us for awhile. I suspect many of you are snowed in and haven’t got anywhere else to go, right??



As always, I’d like to thank the Romance Dish ladies for having me here! Such a great group of ladies that I get to see about once a year…and always enjoy it!

48 comments:

  1. Hi Joss,

    glad to have you here :) I have to admit that i haven't read any of your books. but i'm sooo looking forward to read them :)

    i wanna know which book that you found difficult to write ? and do you have any favorite character(s) from your book ? and why ?

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  2. I have not read any of your books either, however, the total concept of the plot is so different from anything else I've ever read. How wonderful to have such a great imagination and then be able to write a book about it. Congratulations!

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  3. Mariska, thanks for stopping by. If you've never read Joss's books, you're in for a treat.

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  4. How wonderful to have such a great imagination and then be able to write a book about it.

    Connie, I'm always in awe of the fantastic ideas that authors come up with, and this series is a winner.

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  5. Good morning, Joss! We are thrilled to have you dishing with us today. Congrats on the new release and the success of this series! I haven't read these yet (so many books, so little time), but I LOVE your gardella Vampire Chronicles, as you know. *g* Go Team Max!!

    So, after reading your post, I'm quite intrigued by this series. I'm curious about how you've written the world, specifically. I guess I'll be taking advantage of that special pricing by HarperCollins! Thanks, Joss!

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  6. I LOVE your gardella Vampire Chronicles, as you know. *g* Go Team Max!!

    Andrea, Team Max all the way! *vbg*

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  7. Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

    @Mariska...Each book, heh, has been difficult *and* easy to write at times. The first one in the series, BEYOND THE NIGHT, was probably the most difficult overall, simply because it was the first...and I was still trying to "learn" this world.

    As for favorite characters...well, there is a character from the Gardella Vampire Chronicles who actually makes an appearance in NIGHT BETRAYED (yes, from a historical vampire novel to a post-apocalyptic one...!) and who will also appear in each one of my new historical vampire novels coming in March/April/May.

    I would guess that since this character keeps showing up, that he/she would be a great candidate for my "favorite." ;-)

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  8. @Gannon Thank you so much! :-)

    @Andrea In regards to the world in these books...that was a blast to create and write.

    I did a lot of research about what the world would be like if most of the human race was destroyed--I watched Life Without People, Population: Zero, and read The World Without Us to give me an idea of what would survive and how it would look.

    Also, I have some fabulous photos on my Facebook page that really show what the buildings and world would be like...I found an old building that completely reminded me of the world of Envy. I'll post the link shortly.

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  9. Here's the link to the photos that really give an idea of the world of Envy: http://ow.ly/3ORtK

    Envy, by the way, is really N.V.--or, New Vegas. Because Vegas is the largest settlement of people after the devastation.

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  10. Hi Joss! Welcome to the Dish!

    I haven't read this series yet. I've been collecting the books so I can read them back-to-back. I think I may make an exception with your new one though since it's only loosely connected with the others. I'm itching to dive into the world of Envy...or NV. :)

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  11. Hi Joss,

    One thing I admire about your Gardella novels, is your willingness as an author to let the necessary events of the story unfold, even if it is painful to read. Will there be similar "painful" situations in this series that will make readers cringe & divide into teams?
    DD

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  12. there is a character from the Gardella Vampire Chronicles who actually makes an appearance in NIGHT BETRAYED (yes, from a historical vampire novel to a post-apocalyptic one...!) and who will also appear in each one of my new historical vampire novels coming in March/April/May.

    Love the character cross-over! Can you give us a sneak peek into the new historical series coming this spring?

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  13. Here's the link to the photos that really give an idea of the world of Envy: http://ow.ly/3ORtK


    Thanks for that link, Joss. It gives an amazing "sense of place" for the new world you've created.
    I wonder how it looks today with bare trees and covered in snow? I would imagine, even more apocalyptic.

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  14. @Dark Thanks so much for the compliment!

    I try to let things unfold as they need to, but in some ways the Gardellas allowed me to let some unpleasant things happen because I wasn't writing romance novel--as defined strictly by the genre (ie, a happy ending at the end of each book).

    The Envy Chronicles are more like Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters, in that there is a "focus couple" in each book, but over arching subplot-couples that eventually will get their own story.

    However, despite the fact that I am heading toward a HEA in each Envy book, some bad things do happen--particularly in NIGHT BETRAYED.

    I hope that I stay true to the characters and the setting and the world as I write these books, but at the same time, deliver "real" cause and effects.

    Does that make any sense? LOL. :-)

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  15. @PJ I hope you enjoy the Envy books when you have the chance to dive in!

    As for a sneak peek to my new vampire series...well, interestingly enough, it's set during the same basic time period as the Gardellas (approximately 10 years earlier), but the mythology of the vampires is different than that of Victoria's world.

    There are good vamps and bad vamps...I've sort of been describing this series as more like JR Ward meets Jane Austen.

    I'm going to be back here at the Dish in April, I think, talking about the series in general. However, I will be giving away a few ARCs of the first book, The Vampire Voss, via my newsletter...so anyone who's interested should subscribe at:

    http://www.colleengleason.com

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  16. Joss Ware said: Here's the link to the photos that really give an idea of the world of Envy: http://ow.ly/3ORtK

    Thanks for the link! The pictures are fascinating. Do you know what the building was? A home or a school, perhaps?

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  17. Joss, I got the new book on my Kindle the day it came out. However, schoolwork has intervened and I haven't been able to finish it yet. Those little teasers you've given have bumped it on up my list though. The schoolwork just might have to wait another day so I can read this!

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  18. There are good vamps and bad vamps...I've sort of been describing this series as more like JR Ward meets Jane Austen.

    I love it! I have a feeling I'll be having a Joss Ware/Colleen Gleason reading marathon this spring! :)

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  19. Mark your calendars, everyone!

    Joss will be back here in her Colleen Gleason identity on April 12th to talk about her new historical vampire series.

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  20. Hey Joss, thought I'd drop in and show some love for you. LOVED Night Betrayed!!! I remember the first time I started the series...I won the ARC of Beyond the Night on your blog, and that was all it took. NV is a wonderfully creative and dynamic world. I loved discovering clues as to where people were and what happened and watch relationships develop. Each story is so fascinating. I need to do a re-read, especially since I have to wait until FOREVER for Fence's book to hit the shelves. You made me laugh, cry, get pissed off and cheer in each and everyone. Thank you so much for what you do. You do have a gift. I know I say that all the time, but I firmly believe that. No matter which genre you write in, you are able to touch something in me, not only as a reader, but as a person too.

    Don't count me in for the contest. I already have all these, but I will need to hit you up for an autograph for Night Betrayed. I think it just might be my fave book of the series so far, and you know how I feel about Quent. Have a great rest of the day.

    Gannon, thanks for having Joss here today.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

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  21. @Andrea I did some research and found out that it was an old copper smelting plant, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I walked all around it...sooo cool!

    And the main picture on the front of my website, with the description of the Awakening Heroes in it, is from the same area...but different building. I took that one too!

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  22. @Cory Thanks SO much!! I hope you enjoy Theo's story when you get a chance to take a breather. :-)

    @Paula Back at ya! Thanks so much. I really think Fence is going to give your love for Quent a real run for its money.

    I'm glad you've enjoyed the books so much. Thanks!!!

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  23. Hi Joss -
    I read your Gardella series a year or so ago but I'd never been one for zombies. So, I admit it took me a while to get to the Envy books *sheepish*.

    But.... I just read them all in a big glom this past week and I must say how much I love them. Thank you so much for some fabulous reads.

    You can leave me out of the contest too. I have all the books. :) Just wanted to stop in and do a little fangirl gushing.

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  24. Definitely need to re-read Quent's story then. If Fence is going to give him a run for his money, then I'll need a fresher memory to compare it to...lol!!! Theo almost knocked him off that pedestal...almost. Wish I had someone here now to help me move some bookshelves...lol!!!

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

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  25. Aw @Marnee, thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed the Envy books. They are quite different than the Gardellas, I agree. I feel almost schizophrenic when I go from the post-apocalyptic books to the historical vampire ones..and back. :-)

    Fence's book is due up in September, and as of yesterday, I was supposed to be working on the 6th and possibly final book...but I didn't. Heh. ;-)

    Thanks for coming by!

    And Paula...I know what you mean about the bookshelves. MusicMan's sleeping right now!!

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  26. Joss Ware said: I did some research and found out that it was an old copper smelting plant, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I walked all around it...sooo cool!

    Oh, wow. That is really cool. I love the pics on your website, too. It's a gorgeous area!

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  27. Paula R said: Wish I had someone here now to help me move some bookshelves...

    I have that same problem, Paula! And what a *terrible* problem to have. LOL!

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  28. I couldn't pass up the chance to tell you how excited I am to read Fence's book! I remember the days when I thought my man wasn't going to get his chance to have his story told.

    Thanks for writing about my favorite character ;)

    For everyone that hasn't started the series you will definitely enjoy them! Although it has been mentioned that you don't have to read them in order Beyond the Night has some of my most favorite scenes!

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  29. LOL Joss, sorry MusicMan's asleep and Andrea, now if it wasn't so snowy and there was a "fairies" wheel outside, I could definitely go for a ride. (There are so many things I wanted to say about bookshelves, just now, Andrea, but I had to censor myself...lol!)

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

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  30. I have not read any of these books but they look really good. These books look really good and I definitely want to read them.

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  31. Hey, Joss! Are you snowed in? Hope you have lots of wine and chocolate. :-)

    I love the pics on your website. A copper smelting plant--very cool.

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  32. @ Paula R -- LMAO!!!!!

    *note to self* Do NOT drink anything while reading comments. ;-)

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  33. I learned that same thing once, Andrea. Almost choked trying to keep the liquid in so I didn't shower my computer.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

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  34. Thanks for sharing today! I havent yet had the chance to read one of your books. But they sound great and I am looking forward to picking them up.

    Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  35. Thanks for sharing today! I havent yet had the chance to read one of your books. But they sound great and I am looking forward to picking them up.

    Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  36. Hi Joss. Love your alter ego books but have just discovered these. You were recommended to me by a good friend that shares the same reading tastes I do, so know I will enjoy these new to me books.

    Thanks so much for letting us into your creative world.

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  37. I learned that same thing once, Andrea. Almost choked trying to keep the liquid in so I didn't shower my computer.

    That has happened to me a few times, Paula. No drinking and reading blogs! LOL

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  38. I remember the days when I thought my man wasn't going to get his chance to have his story told.

    shahenda, Joss would never let you down! :-)

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  39. Donnas, you have lots of great reading ahead of you!

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  40. Hello, Joss!! Thanks for taking the time to spend the day with us today. It's always great having you visit.

    This series sounds so fabulous! I always find it fascinating how an author can create such a unique world. I sure wish my imagination worked in overdrive like that!

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  41. You were recommended to me by a good friend that shares the same reading tastes I do, so know I will enjoy these new to me books.

    Deb, I love it when friends turn me on to great new books.

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  42. Thanks so much, Joss, for hanging out with us today!

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  43. Your books have been on my TBB list for a while. I'll have to put them higher on the list for sure!

    ironss[at]gmail.com

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  44. I really haven't read many dystopian books. I think Time Machine was my first look into that type of world. In the past I saw a couple of TV shows set in that type of world, plus I saw CHILDREN OF MEN last year. It truly is depressing. Actually it started in college with a class discussion on what it would be like to find ourselves in that situation. When you think of it, everyday people would be vulnerable to that element of society that takes and does what it wants.
    My husband, who flew bombers during the Vietnam War, said if we ever went to war and nuclear weapons were launched, to head for ground zero because we wouldn't want to live in the world that would be left.
    It will definitely take the strong and brave to survive. I'll have to give the Dystopian world another try with your series. Setting it slightly in the future give the initial shock to the world to wear off and things to settle, giving a better defined situation to deal with. Happiness and love would be something you would have to grab and relish in the uncertain amount of time you might have left.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

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  45. Hi Joss,
    I'm sOoo a stickler too! It's b/c I hate having a story ruined for me when the plot's given away, so I'm not really reading the other comments here either cuz I like being surprised,lol
    I'm new to your series and just bought book 1 last night! I got the email from Avon and am a total dystopic fiction fan and had finally gotten a Kindle the day before, so when I saw the $1.99 price I immediately purchased it:D
    Here's a weird thing about me: I find dystopics extremely romantic in general,lol
    That's why I love them. It's like love is the most hopeful thing in those world's and I find that kind of spirit beautiful and a good read:)
    bells DOT franco AT gmail DOT com

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  46. @Bella Thanks for trying it out! And on your new Kindle too!! Yay!!! Bright and shiny! :-)

    I hope you enjoy.

    @Sheree Hope you get a chance to check them out soon! :-)

    @Librarypat Yeah, I tend to agree with your husband. Yuck. That's why it took me awhile to figure out how to do it...fifty years after all the events in my books, things aren't *quite* so bad. :-)

    I haven't read a lot of dystopian books myself, purposely, but I liked I AM LEGEND (except for the last 15 minutes of horror-movie stuff).

    THough there are zombies in my books, they aren't the main focus at all.

    @Gannon!! Thanks so much for having me back! See you again in April!!!

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  47. I'm looking forward to reading your series! I also have to start with book one so am purchasing it today for my kindle altho they all sound great so I'm sure I'll get the whole series! Thanks :)

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  48. These books sound wonderful, I would love to take them for a test drive.

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