J.R. Ward Interview

Publication Date: October 1, 2007

J.R. Ward

Ms. Ward is author of one of the most popular vampire romance book series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood.
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Release Date: Sept. 25, 2007
Publisher: Signet

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The Questions

Give us an update on yourself. What's your latest news?
I'm thrilled that my newest Black Dagger Brotherhood book is out September 25th! LOVER UNBOUND is Vishous's story and it's all about the Brother with the ‘unconventional interests' and the glowing hand. I'm proud of his book, but I will say it was the hardest to write- which doesn't surprise me! V's a very reserved kind of male- he doesn't like people all up in his biz. So he wasn't into the writing process as much as some of the others have been.
After V comes Phury's LOVER ENSHRINED, which is the book I'm writing now. After Phury is Rehvenge – and I have a feeling that's going to be a real doozy of a story! Rehv is along the lines of V – trouble with fangs.

How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me about nine months from outline to finished first draft and then there are revisions and copy edits and galley proofing. I outline extensively – I have to, because there are so many points of views in the Brotherhood books. It's paramount, when I sit down to write, that I know where I'm going and what's doing with everyone!

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I write every single day. No matter what, no excuses. Discipline is important to me so every morning I make my coffee and plant my butt in front of the computer and go until it's time for my midday run. Then I write more in the afternoons and evenings. I like to work, but I also have tight deadlines to meet and I'm never, ever satisfied with what I do – so I'm pretty much wrapped in the Brothers all the time!

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My books come to me like movies in my head and my job is to put the scenes in a coherent order then get them on the page to the best of my ability. I'm not sure where the ideas come from! I just know that so far there seems to be a lot of them and for that I am eternally grateful. I will say that I have no control over the stories – if I try to muscle them in any way when I'm writing, the visions dry up and I'm left with nothing. So… what's in my head is the boss of me!

What do you think makes a good story?
I think good conflict and credible surprises make for an excellent story: conflict makes people change and change is interesting to watch and measure in others. And surprises are the name of the game! Predictability is uninteresting and not all that realistic – how much of our real lives do we have control over? Not that much. So good fiction to me, mirrors that aspect of life, that sense that we're headed into the future on a wing and a prayer LOL!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Honestly? I find everything a challenge. It's all work for me. From the big picture planning to the word by word execution. Like a lot of writers I know, in order for things to come across as smooth, you have to put a lot of sweat equity in! But I'm not complaining – I love what I do and am grateful for every single day I have writing.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I've written fourteen books for publication so far (I'm working on my fifteenth) and I don't have a favorite. I will say that I won't reread LOVER AWAKENED because it upsets me too much – some of those scenes from Zsadist's past are just too horrid. Actually… wait… yeah, I think maybe Z's book is my favorite. He is my favorite hero of all the books I've written so yes, LOVER AWAKENED is both at the top of my list but also the one I won't read again.

Who or what has influenced your writing?
The scenes in my head are what influence me LOL! The things I see… I find them so compelling I just have to get them out and onto the page. They are what drive me.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Oh, this is a hard one! But I would have to say Suzanne Brockmann. I have been reading her for YEARS and I love every single one of her books. She is a spectacular writer, her prose is clean and mainstream, her heroes are fabulous (she can really do the male POV right) and her heroines are the kind of women I'd be friendly with. It has been my profound good fortune to get to know her personally and she has been incredibly generous with her advice and support.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
My mentor is Sue Grafton who writes the Kinsey Millhone series of mysteries (A is for Alibi, etc.) I met her before I was published and she has guided me through ups and downs and been there for our weekly walks through rain and shine. She has taught me so much about both craft and the business side of things. She's very smart and direct and has been known to give me a good boot in the pants when I need one

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I'm fortunate and hear from the Brothers' readers a lot! Folks have been really supportive of the series and I particularly like to hear which Brother is someone's favorite and why. The breakaway favs seem to Zsadist and Vishous – the super bad boys of course LOL!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I'm just so very grateful for their support. Incredibly grateful. With each book, I try to continue to earn and be worthy of their trust and kindness.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write every day! That's the big one for me. Writing is like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get at it. The other thing would be to read as much as you can – to develop your own internal editor. By focusing on what works and doesn't work in books, you can teach yourself a lot about craft. Finally, I would suggest joining the Romance Writers of America because of the fabulous resources and networking opportunities that RWA brings to its members.
Oh! And one last one: follow your passion – write the kind of books YOU want to read. Your fascination will come through in your writing!

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88 Responses to “J.R. Ward Interview”
  1. Kecia says:

    Tabatha,
    Try reading the midnight series by Lara Adrian, it reminds me of the BDB, and it”s pretty damn good.

  2. Kecia says:

    sorry I ment Ciara try reading the Lara adrian midnight series, it’s pretty Damn good.

  3. evelyn says:

    ms. ward…thank you so much for the bdb books! i love them all…was hooked from the very first one…my daughter-in-law is hooked also…we hope you continue to provide us with such exciting, alluring books, with larger than life men and women. keep them coming and God keep you safe and happy…

  4. Lourdes says:

    Hi Ms Ward. I’m a big fan, and your books are very addictive. I read John’s story and I was actually a little disappointed in Qhuinn and Blay. I thought for sure they would end up together. Are you going to do a book for each of them or will they just remain secondary characters? I honestly think they really love each other.

  5. Joy says:

    Hi Mrs Ward, These books are so addictive I can’t seem to stop reading them. this makes the 5th time now. EACH! I have all my friends reading them too. I had charms made for my Italian charm bracelet of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. My personal favorite is Z. He is so sad I cry every time I read his book. I love how wickedly sexy and deliciously erotic the books are. I so hope you keep them coming. Make God bless your family and thank you so much for writing the best books out there. Joy

  6. Emilly says:

    Joy, where did you get your charms done of the Black Dagger Brotherhood? I love the series too. Zsadist is my favorite.

  7. Joy says:

    Hi Emily, I got my charms made on ebay. there are places to get personalized charms made. I love mine they turned out beautifully. I took pictures of the books. the Lover mine cover, then I had one made that just said The Black Dagger Brotherhood on it in black on white and a red tear drop. one of the Rehvenge cover it turned out great too. love them. So try ebay. To bad J R Ward didn’t sell BDB stuff I would have it all. I can’t seem to move on to other books. other books are just not THAT GOOD. JR Ward is the best. hope this helps you if not let me know and I will get you a website. Joy

  8. Emilly says:

    Thanks so much for the info. Check out etsy.com too. They have wine charms of the brothers and book marks. They look cool. I wish JR Ward sold items too. Emily

  9. Joy says:

    Thanks Emily, how did you ever find that site? I love the ” Mine” nickless and dagger earrings. will be ordering soon. thank you! Joy

  10. Emilly says:

    I googled Black Dagger Brotherhood charms and a few websites came up. I was bored at work! And anyways I saw that website. There are two for Zsadist (bookmarks) one after he becomes awakened and the one before-tortured. You have to look around on there b/c they are in different spots. I like both, but am getting the tortured on myself. Glad you like it. Em

  11. Cassandra says:

    Zsadist is soo the best brother! I hope theres more of him and Bella in the next book! Havn’t read the short story yet but Mrs. Ward throw us another one about them please!

  12. Boggie says:

    Love the BDB. These are the best books I have ever read. I keep going back to them to reread. They are fantastic. Zsadist is the best vamp. MOVIES PLEASE……

  13. Rita Navarre says:

    Hi J R Ward, I wanted to say Thank you for so many things I wanted to let you know that your books have created a Black Dagger Brotherhood epicadmic around the work space. You would see your book in the pocket of every scrub that you would think it was standard issue for the uniform.I have read all of your novels twice,received a speeding ticket trying to rush home to read your books and even purchased a set just to have a new collection. My husband even says Thank you and went so far as to buy me a nook because of your books.I am now and forever will be a True fan of yours. Thank you for the Romance.

  14. Dragons says:

    Dear JR Ward,

    I am a big fan of your BDB series, I finished all of them and looking forward to reading more of your upcoming BDB series. I was a bit disappointed with the ending of Quinn and Blay. I thought they would end up together. I still hope their story won’t end this way and wish they will have a happy ending in the upcoming books even if they will not have their own book, secondary is just fine… please do something about them. Never read any M/M before… but Quinn&Blay are just hot and I am sure many fans of yours will want them to end up together like I do.

    Warmest Regards,

    Respect & Lots Of Love 😀

  15. Melanie Malcon says:

    Just want to say, I can’t get enough of the BDB Series. Will just have to wait for the next one that comes out in 2011. Also, wanted to read your other books under Jessica Bird. Heart of Gold, Leaping Hearts and Irresisible Bachelor. Well, most of the titles I just quoted cost well into the hundreads of dollars, out of my reach. Is there any way to get the paperbacks at an affordable cost?

  16. Lorna says:

    Dear Ms Ward
    Thank you for all the time and effort you put in to write these lovely novels, that I finish in a day. Wish you could write as fast as I can read. Love your work, especially your dream men. My best hero so far is Butch, human to vampire. Though I love the others as well. T

  17. Linda Duty says:

    I could not be more grateful for the BDB books. My stepdaughter gave me “Dark Lover” when I started Chemo..I finished the last one “Lover Mine” when I was receiving my last treatment. The Brothers helped me find the Warrior in me. I am grateful.
    Reserving the new one due out in March!

  18. knitpickin says:

    What is a uta shellan and who had one?? Can’t find it in the books but know the term… Can’t remember where I read it…

  19. Tricia says:

    So I just read the first 2 books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I was just about to read the next book but came across spoilers saying Wellsie dies! So now I don’t know if I want to invest the time in this series. There is enough bad stuff going on in the world, and I read to escape a bit. Anyone give me a reason to continue this series? T

  20. Emilly says:

    You have to go on!!! The 3rd one is actually the best despite Wellsie dying. I have read this whole series, plus the insider’s guide 3 times. Actually, the 3rd book on Zsadist I have read 6 times. I have gotten a bunch of other people hooked on these books and they have read them all also. Go on, you will not be sorry in the least!!!!!

  21. Tricia says:

    Still not so sure, I know bad stuff happens in the ‘real’ world but I hate to have horrible stuff happen to characters I care about. I want my happily ever after. T

  22. Emilly says:

    You will find not great stuff happens in all of them. But out of heartache comes great joy. As the Scribe Virgin says yin and yang. You must have balance. Not too bad huh. I would not miss out on the hottest, sexiest 3rd book. Zsadist is the most popular vampire on polls taken of readers. You will be missing out. And who says Tohr will not eventually find romance again! That is all I can say. You will be missing out on a great series.

  23. Joy says:

    I love this series and Wellsie sends a angel to help Tohrment in a later book. Emily is right Zsadist is my favorite vampire. JR’s books never let you down. How could you read 2 and not be hooked??? If you read on her book that she is coming out with in March or April of 2012 is Tohrments story and it will be called Lover Reborn. hint hint. Read on girl it is will worth it. Trust me.

  24. Emilly says:

    Joy-I am so glad you wrote in. I was hoping that there will be another book soon. I finish them within a couple of days and wish it was on going. You should see the sweatshirt I just had made with the BDB logo and Zadist’s saying (which he tells Bella). It came out great!!

  25. Joy says:

    JR’s books are wonderful. She is the best, very best writer out there. Her attention to detail is awesome. You feel as if you are the fly on the wall. I read a lot of books but I always come back to the best. J R Ward. I have read them so many times and enjoy them each time more that the last. I can not wait till her new book comes out. “Lover Reborn” I would give anything to see these books made in to movies. OMG!

  26. Emilly says:

    Go to google images and see some of the pictures people have put out there for what they think their ideal vampire would look like. OMG!!

  27. Karla says:

    Hey people!
    I´m a Spanish reader of BDB and I would like to know something, because maybe you are better informed than me.
    If there´ll be 10 books and the final one is about Thorment, what about Blay & Quinn??
    You have any idea?
    I´m so upset because I read Lover Unleashed looking for their story rather than for Payne’s one..so , if you could tell me something about it…=)

    thank you!

  28. Rhonda Valverde says:

    J.R. Ward hasn’t mentioned the series ending. The next book is going to be Tohr’s book. She will at some point have a book for Blay & Quinn but from what I understand it will probably be more of a novella. No worries, there is plenty of BDB to come.

  29. Joy says:

    I think Quinn will end up with the chosen Layla. and Blay will be happy for him. I also think that their story will be in the story line not a book. I don’t know how to put this, do not want to offend anyone. but it is kind of hard to go to far into the sex life with those two. Sure they have kissed and Blay and Saxton are together but you haven’t seen the hard core love scenes you see with the brothers. I love Blay and Quinn and hope I’m wrong. I would love to see it happen.

  30. Karla says:

    I understood there was only one book left to publish and unfortunately I think the same as Joy… it seems like she doesn’t want to go too far with the story between Blay and Quinn, maybe because it is a very controversial topic to develop, I don´t know. But as far as I know it is clear that everybody wants Blay to end up with Quinn.. I hope she will take it into account LOL
    Anyway, thank you guys!

  31. Emilly says:

    Plus. maybe there will be a book about Bella’s baby growing up. And the others having children. That would be cool. I would like to see Wrath and Beth have children.

    Edited due to spoilers.

  32. Joy says:

    I am with Karla on this one. I don’t think Blay and Guinn will end up together. I have ask JR about the book thing. She said it was an open ended series. I just hope she puts more of the brothers in the next one. I like knowing what they are all up to. I kinda missed them in Payne’s book.

  33. vicky says:

    to adress the first thing blay dose end up with quhinn it was confirmed that they were each others HEA aparently somthing awefull happens to saxton in the next book she was apparently cryin about it and she didnt say for certian that this was the last book she said she sees many more characters to come and might incorperate michals children in the books. she also stayted that she didnt like to write really descriptive love sceencs betwwen characters who arent each others HEA

  34. Joy says:

    It was my option that Blay won’t end up with Quinn. and I guess we will see. I love this site and all the people who have options. enjoy reading what everyone has to say.

  35. Emilly says:

    I just got back on. I wondered what I said on my previous opinion b/c I was edited due to spoilers. I must be on the right track about something, but can’t remember what I said. Interesting. Oh now I remember by looking back. Don’t worry – will not say it again!

  36. Lea says:

    Hi, im a big fan of BDB and uhm, im just wondering…does Tohrment has a book? What about Qhuinn and Layla? Blaylock? please announce it if they have???

  37. Rhonda Valverde says:

    Tohrment’s book is actually the next one coming out. There isn’t a book for Qhuinn or Layla. Ward has said that she plans a novella for Qhuinn and Blay.

  38. Luisa gonzalez says:

    omg!!! i love these books and ZSADIST!!!! is it for me…im in love!!! movie please movie!!!

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