Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Guest Author -- Joss Ware

Joss Ware has written in many different genres, but she never thought about writing a series set in the future. Then one day, a friend said to her, "Why don't you write a post-apocalyptic romance?" And so she thought about it, and the next thing she knew, Joss had the kernel of an idea that soon exploded into something she was really excited about. Then her agent got excited about it, and then an editor at HarperCollins . . . and the rest is history! Please welcome Joss Ware to The Romance Dish!

Everyone who’s ever watched a James Bond movie, or read a Clive Cussler novel—or any story where the bad guys are instituting a plan to destroy the earth, raise your hand.

Okay, good. Now…think about what might have happened if 007 or Dirk Pitt or whoever wouldn’t have foiled the bad guys with their plot to take over/destroy/achieve complete power over the world.

Not pretty, huh?

Well, that’s where my new paranormal romance series starts…sort of.

(Yes, I said romance. Not the most romantic or optimistic setting, huh?)

But the Envy Chronicles actually starts fifty years after the earth is devastated. Maybe some bad guys were involved, maybe they weren’t--maybe it was nature going crazy (not!). Or maybe the bad guys didn’t realize just how bad it was going to be when all hell broke loose, and maybe they’re all dead, now, too…but regardless, that’s what happened. Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, windstorms, and who knows what else.

So in the series, people have tried to rebuild civilization as much as they can, and have begun to live in pockets of communities sort of like towns in the Old West. The largest settlement is in Envy (aka, New Vegas, or N. V.), which is now sitting on the Pacific Ocean.

Enter the Awakening Heroes: five men who were somehow suspended in time in a Sedona cave during the last fifty years. They awaken to find that everything is gone.

The world is eerily silent, empty, and overgrown. It’s not a wasteland like in Planet of the Apes or Mad Max and the Thunderdome. Mother Nature, as one of the guys puts it, is a real ball-buster, and now that all but a fraction of the human race is gone, she’s taken over.

As the five men (Elliott, Simon, Quent, Wyatt and Fence) begin to try and rebuild their lives and find out what happened, they also learn that some of them have emerged from the cave with paranormal abilities. And some of them haven’t. To tell you who and what would give away more than I want to at this point, though. But suffice to say it’s not like the X-Men.

The first book, Beyond the Night, is about Dr. Elliott Drake and the woman he meets when she barrels into an abandoned Main Street on a horse to save a group of teen-agers from a zombie attack. She’s brave and smart and a control freak. What’s not to love?

They go on a mission to find a friend of hers who’s missing and run into zombies, immortal humans called (so creatively) Strangers, and huge-ass snakes. They even take a trip to the mall…or what’s left of it.

These books are hugely different from my other series, The Gardella Vampire Chronicles (written as Colleen Gleason), but in some ways, there are great similarities. Writing a post-apocalyptic world is not so different from writing a historical one: there are many of the same limitations in communication, infrastructure, and society.

These books are first and foremost romances, with a solid hero and heroine and a happy ending at the end of each book…although, like Suzanne Brockmann and Eloisa James (two of my favorites), I’ve included over-arching plots that tie the books together and introduce other potential heroes and heroines.

The second book, Embrace the Night Eternal (Simon’s book), will be out on February 9.

And the third, Abandon the Night (Quent’s book), is coming March 9.

There are sneak peeks on my website (JossWareBooks.com).

I’m giving away a signed copy of Beyond the Night here today. It goes on sale on Tuesday, January 12. To enter to win, please make a comment about what you’d miss most if you woke up and found yourself in a post-apocalyptic world.

And…I’ll be hanging around, ready to answer any questions you might have about the series! Thanks to Andrea, Buffie, PJ, and Gannon for having me here today!


  1. Congrats on the upcoming release, Joss. I would miss the internet and my computer, but I might miss the coffee maker the most.

  2. What would I miss the most. . .

    Other than books?

    Probably the convience of using a phone to call someone, or even being able to mail letters to people.

    There is actually this movie I think its called The Mail Man or The Post Man, but its a post-apocalyptic world, or at least in the USA, and one guy (Kevin Costner) ends up excaping form the bad guys and finds a dead mail man in a car, and becomes the mail man himself, delivering letters and what not, telling people that the government is back up and running. And gets them to fight back against the bad guy. It was actually a good movie.

    Anyway, I think that is what I would miss the most, getting letters in the mail, or calling people, and having books to read.

  3. Hi Joss, first, congrats on your new and upcoming releases! And let me say that the covers absolutely fit the theme, don't you think?

    Hmmm, that depends on whether I'd wake up alone. In that case, I'd miss my family most. If the people I cared for were still there I think I'd miss my books and the chance to write on a computer screen instead of pieces of paper. And my enormous bookshelf. But I also reckon that a world like that somehow seems rather fascinating...

  4. My cats. There's no guarantee they would be there with me.

    Congrats, Joss. I've read excerpts of your books and they appeal to me greatly. Happy New Year!

    Mel K.

  5. Hi Joss! Welcome to The Romance Dish! The premise for your new series sounds fascinating. I can't wait to pick up a copy of Beyond the Night.

    There are many things I would miss in a post-apocalyptic world but the first to come to mind was the telephone. I count on being able to pick up the phone at any time and hear the voices of my family and friends. To not be able to do that would be very isolating, I think.

  6. Hi, Joss, aka Colleen! :-D Congrats on the new series. Sounds like another winner!

    Hmmmm, I'm sure I'd miss many things: my computer, a plethora of books to feed my addiction, my morning cup of java, my phone.....{shudder} It's all too horrifying to contemplate! LOL

  7. Yay! Hi Joss! Congrats on the new release. You know I've been eagerly anticipating this book.

    Soooo...are there any love triangles in these books? And is the series planned to be five (one for each guy)?

    Can't wait to read this one! Congrats again!

  8. Good morning all! Thanks for coming by!

    I had a lot of fun creating this world--lots of things to think about: how they do things, where their clothes come from, etc.

    @Kati, you asked about a love triangle...well, you know me. I love my love triangles.

    I ought to make that a trivia question to see when/whether people pick up on the...shall we say...*potential* love triangle. ;-)

  9. I see, Joss. You're setting us up so we must choose a "team". LOL Oh well, since your heroes are always sexy, it shouldn't be too much of a hardship. ;)

  10. Well, truly, Gannon, it's a pretty subtle *potential* triangle at this point. :-) No teams, yet.

    But there's a more obvious one in the Regency vampire books I'm working on now.

    I do love my triangles.

  11. I'll get my pom poms ready! *snort*

  12. *gets ready to have t-shirts made up*

    Sounds intriguing, Joss!

    Is this a five book series? Or will the three books wrap up everyone?

  13. So far it's going to be a six book series, as Avon has just asked me to write three more...but it has the potential to be longer.

    Since each book has a happy ending, as long as there are heroes and heroines in Envy...I can write their stories! In fact, the heroes and heroines I have planned for the next three books aren't necessarily the five guys who time-traveled (or whatever they did).

  14. So, Joss....the name Joss, an homage to anyone we might know??

    Say, a television genius who gave us a certain vampire slayer???

  15. Woot, woot! Realse day so soon! Time floews by. That remind me that I have to order my copy at amazon.de (otherwise I have to wait a week more or so. But I want to read it as soon as I can).

    If the contest is also open for non-US, so I'm in. Otherwise don't mind. :)

    Yeah, good question, what would I miss themost?
    Ich have three things I really like: hearing music, reading, watching films. These things make my day! Without them, I couldn't stand. And of course: my iPhone. Gaming, telephoning, writing and stay in contact (even via the internet). :)
    I never thought I would miss that mobile phone so much before I had one. It's so usefull. I would never find the way through the towns I don't know without Google maps, haha. :D

  16. Congrats on the release! This sounds like a fantastic series. It's going on my list of 'to reads'.

    I think I'd probably miss books the most, but right after that would be music. I think it would kill me not to have music to listen to at any given time.

  17. I think I'd miss everything most. In general though, I would be curious to see what was new.

  18. Hi, Joss. Hey, this series sounds different (not my usual reading genre), but intriguing! Kind of like the "Left Behind" series meets the movie "Logan's Run". Great series, "LB", by the way.

    I would miss my family the most.

    Materialistic-wise, even though I tease my nieces about having theirs attached to them as an extra limb, I would really miss my cell phone. (Geesh, I panic now if I can't find where I've laid it down!) I can talk to others, text when need to, take a photo and send it or save it; quite handy, indeed.

  19. Hi Joss!

    Book sounds intriguing!
    I would miss electricity and everything that runs off of it. My curling iron, My tea pot...I would go crazy. Really. And yes, the computer. And Movies. And Baseball (Red Sox)
    Ok, I would miss everything, LOL!

  20. Ooh, Drew, you're right...electricity would be missed greatly. I cannot leave the house without curling my hair. I'd be in big trouble if I had to live through a time like this; I am NOT a "camping"-type person.

  21. i'd have to go with music(after family of course!)...can't hardly do anything w/out it...it's the pulse that keeps me going! :)

    i like the "mother nature is a real ball buster, she's taken over"...i think i'm going to like these guys! :)

    as for the very 'subtle potential love triangle'...i hope i won't miss it(since i never did figure out the wayren thing)! :( *shakes head*

  22. Deb, I am so NOT a camping person either. I am apparently living in some hunting and fishing paradise, but it is all lost on me, LOL!
    Would a generator run in a post-apocalyptic world? Would it run a hair dryer and curling iron! LOL!
    Can it heat a pot of water...I need my tea...

  23. Joss, I love post-apocalyptic tales. Pat Frank's Cold War-era one, Alas Babylon, remains one of my favorite books. I have one of S.M. Stirling's on my teetering mountain of TBR, too. When the fabric of civilization fails, people's true natures emerge.

    Your heroes evoke thoughts of Arthur and Avalon, and I love control freak heroines. I'll be looking for Beyond the Night.

    As for what I'd miss most, that's hard. Books. Modern conveniences like central heat and air, hot running water, the telephone, the computer. The thing that would make the biggest difference, though, would be medicine.

  24. Hey Joss! Welcome to The Romance Dish! We are so thrilled you are spending the day with us.

    Love the premise of the new series. It sounds fabulous! I have to ask, did you go to Sedona for research? I have family that lives there and we had our entire family reunion there last summer. Beautiful place, especially seen from a hot air balloon.

    I don't know about hugh-ass snakes though. I don't like little bitty snakes!!!! LOL!

  25. I'd miss the ease of communicating and getting news/info via the internet or cell phones!

  26. Nothing I love better than a great series, can't wait to dig in!

    I would have to agree with a lot of other people about missing the convience of how we communicate with each other. I don't live far from family but not that close either.

  27. Hi and welcome, Joss! Congrats on the new book release and another series! I've never read a book like these, but since I'm a fan of your writing (Gardellas), I'm willing to give this one a try! You certainly write some super sexy men. ;-)

    Hmmm, what would I miss most? Gee, I'd miss so many things that other have already mentioned: the coffee maker, internet, cell phone, TV, flat iron, but most of all BOOKS!

  28. Hey, Kati! I had a feeling we'd be seeing you here today! *g*

  29. Jane, I don't drink that much coffee but I'd definitely miss my internet. I have a hard time remembering how I functioned without it!

  30. LisaK, they are gorgeous covers, aren't they?!

    Great question, Kati!

    *grabbing pom poms* Okay, now I'm totally intrigued -- please tell us about this new Regency vampire series, Joss/Colleen! Just a teeny hint? Pretty please?

  31. Dorthy, it's hard to imagine not being able to run to the store for books whenever we want. And that brings up another thing I'd hate to be without. Transportation!

  32. Oh, I would totally miss the coffee maker. And creamer. Just ask Buffie!

    Love your cat answer, Mel!

    It looks as if most of us would miss ways of communication the most. That and books!

  33. Lisa, I don't mind writing on paper. In fact, I still regularly send handwritten letters and notes to family and friends. I'd sure miss doing a lot of other things on my computer though!

  34. Congrats on new releases this year Joss. Sure was glad to see there are 3 coming out back to back with maybe more to come later on..... Love series books they are my written soaps....
    I would miss most and more than anything else the convenience of hot and cold running water, shudder to think would have to haul it just to have water to use and boil in a pot to heat it up. Next to that could do without most things except better have access to some libraries that survive because without reading material life just ain't fun....

    Jackie B Central Texas

  35. I'd miss Indoor Plumbing and my
    Keurig Coffee maker. Not necessarily in that order. I am a great fan of the History Channel's series, Life After People. So a book about Life Not Quite After People sounds pretty intriguing to me.

  36. Hmmmm...a hint about my new Regency vampire series?

    Well...it's coming in 2011 from MIRA and I guess the best high-level way to describe it would be...J R Ward meets Jane Austen.

  37. @JulieJustJulie I *love* Life After People!!

    When I started thinking about this series, the original History Channel special (not the series) was just airing--and I watched it for research purposes, and used a lot of what I saw to describe my setting.

  38. Oh man, I'd miss my glasses if I couldn't replace them, books, and my computer, and television/DVR, microwave, the list goes on and on. I don't think I'd do so well in a post apocalyptic world.
    I'm really looking forward to reading the Envy Chronicles, I love this type of book, and there's a whole series to enjoy, yeah.

  39. BarbaraE, I didn't even think about my glasses! If they broke and I wasn't able to replace them it'd be like living in a cotton ball. Wow, there are so many things we just take for granted, aren't there?

  40. Thanks for the hint, Joss!!

    Barbara and PJ, I would miss my glasses, too!! Without them I wouldn't be able to read the books that I'd also miss. LOL

  41. feminine hygiene products.

  42. Hi Joss :)
    Thank you for sharing here.
    I would miss electricity. Without it the world is plunged into 1600s-type survival & society.
    Plus modern medicine!

  43. The intarwebs, oh god, if it ever disappeared... I'd feel so lost and lonely.

  44. Besides "Dollhouse" oh wait...really the grocery store, yep having to find food and cook it would be, truly 'un'fun.

  45. Congrats on the release!
    I would probably miss warm water, electricity, internet, my computer, my ipod and a fridge.

  46. Congrats on the upcoming releases! I'm looking forward to reading them.

    I would, like many others, miss my family and friends. In a materialistic sense I'd miss my laptop, internet, iphone, and most importantly my books!!

  47. What I would most miss would be chocolate..LOL

    kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

  48. I would miss my family first and foremost and then probably my books and food.


  49. My first thought is that there would be no electricity, so I would miss that.

    Tracey D