Today I am so pleased to welcome Lisa Henry and Sarah Honey to Joyfully Jay. Lisa and Sarah have come to talk to us about their latest release, The Red Heir. They also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Lisa and Sarah a big welcome!
Hi everyone! This is Lisa and Sarah, and we’d like to thank you for joining us on our blog tour for our new release, Red Heir. We hope you have as much fun reading it as we had writing it!
And thank you so much to Jay, for having us here!
Today we’re talking a little bit about how we met, and how Lisa bullied Sarah into writing a novel, and how that process all worked out.
Lisa: I met Sarah in fandom by stalking her fics, basically. If you like Stiles and Peter from Teen Wolf, and if you love Steter, and if you especially love snarky, sexy Steter with lots of sass, then I’m sure you’ve already read Sarah’s fics. You’d know her best under her AO3 name of Bunnywest. I also write Steter, and so when we were introduced by a mutual fandom friend on Discord, I was delighted to find out that Sarah was a fellow Aussie! It didn’t take long after that for me to convince her that we should write an original novel together because she’s incredibly talented, and we have the same sense of humour. And so the idea for Red Heir was born!
Sarah: That’s partly true, but in fact it took Lisa months and months and months of wheedling, and collaborating on a couple of fics that turned out far funnier than they had any right to be, including one rapid-fire collab that she was trying to post while I was still typing my ending! (really, that should have been a hint that working together would be a wild ride.) But yes, she relentlessly bullied gently persuaded me that hey, writing a book might conceivably be something I could do. And after a conversation based on a throwaway comment about “a penniless scribe with a limp and a penchant for scarves” that devolved really quickly, suddenly we were writing a book!
Lisa: We wrote the first draft of this book in two weeks, which was ridiculous, but just shows how much fun we were having with it. We didn’t do much planning at all, and basically teed up a time when we both had holidays from our respective day jobs… and suddenly it was already written! It was great. But that’s the best thing about co-writing, I’ve found. Your co-author is a cheerleader, but also, you don’t want to be the one who drops the ball first. So you both somehow manage to keep it up in the air!
Sarah: It was amazing and exhausting and also somewhat magic. Especially that moment when I messaged Lisa screeching ‘OH MY GOD WE CAN CALL IT RED HEIR AND HAVE A SHITTY PUN AS THE TITLE!’ (In my defence, I didn’t think she’d take me seriously!) What did work out well for us was that I’m productive in the mornings and Lisa is…not. So I’d get up at whatever obscene hour my cats woke me, write for a couple of hours, then stop for numerous amounts of coffee, and by the time I came back Madam had stirred herself out of bed and effortlessly made everything better in my absence! (Even half asleep, the woman’s a genius.) So I’d tag a bit more on, and by lunchtime when I was flagging she was ready to go! And when I’d come back for a look there’d be magic words!
Lisa: “Lisa is…not” is a very kind way of saying that if it’s before midday I don’t even know my own name yet. I do like being called Madam though. It makes me sound like I swan around my house in a fancy dressing gown, waving some kind of ornate cigarette holder. One thing we didn’t need to figure out was Loth, our main character. I think we knew from the start that he was going to be a snarky asshole. Of course he has a softer side, but not many people get to see that.
Sarah: Madam’s what my mum used to call us when we didn’t get our asses out of bed in time for school, but I’m glad you like it. And Loth was always going to be a little shit, a con man and a scoundrel of the best/worst kind (morally grey’s such a great color to work with- it goes with anything), but we love him anyway. Wait, maybe we love himbecause he’s a little shit, a con man and a scoundrel, and we relate…
Lisa: Because this is Sarah’s first novel, I think I got to sound like a bit of an expert, when really I’m not! But it’s easy to forget how intimidating the whole process can be for a first time novelist. There’s a lot you have to know, like which editors to approach, and how to format, and how to upload your book, and how to organise promo. So I definitely have some experience there, which I hope made things easier for Sarah.
Sarah: It definitely made it easier! Part of the appeal of co-writing was that Lisa promised to do all the heavy lifting when it came to things like publishing, formatting, editing, beta readers and the like. Seriously, writing the book was the easy part – even though we both had a day in the middle where we went ‘my eyeballs/brain/neck/ body/real life isn’t playing today,” and took a break. But then we picked up again and flew through it. I still maintain Lisa is an Actual Facts expert – she took a doc with margins full of dick jokes and somehow turned it into a book that people want to read! (Well, I hope they want to read it!)
Lisa: The plot revealed itself as we wrote it, I swear! And people always want to read dick jokes. The one thing I didn’t have to do in regards to turning this story into an actual published book was look for a cover artist. And here’s where we give a massive shoutout to our cover artist. She’s ReverseMermaid on Tumblr, but in real life she’s Sarah’s daughter. She’s an artist and a graphic designer, and this was her first attempt at a book cover. We went to her with only a very vague and confused idea of what we wanted, and I think we can all agree she knocked it out of the park!
Sarah: She did such a great job, mainly because she wants to keep in her Mum’s good books, and not at all because I’m a terrifying harridan – honest! In all seriousness, she gave us wonderful art, and she assures me had a lot of fun doing it. She already has plans for the cover for the sequel – wait, can I mention that? That we have a title and a doc with notes and words and things, and a halfway vague idea of the plot? (Which is more than we had with this, let’s be real…)
Lisa: See, now you’re getting the hang of this promo stuff! Oh, and if you read the book, don’t forget to check out the pages after the ending for a little surprise that ReverseMermaid also included! You won’t be disappointed!
Imprisoned pickpocket Loth isn’t sure why a bunch of idiots just broke into his cell claiming they’re here to rescue the lost prince of Aguillon, and he doesn’t really care. They’re looking for a redheaded prince, and he’s more than happy to play along if it means freedom. Then his cranky cellmate Grub complicates things by claiming to be the prince as well.
Now they’re fleeing across the country and Loth’s stuck sharing a horse and a bedroll with Grub while imitating royalty, eating eel porridge, and dodging swamp monsters and bandits.
Along the way, Loth discovers that there’s more to Grub than meets the eye. Under the dirt and bad attitude, Grub’s not completely awful. He might even be attractive. In fact, Loth has a terrible suspicion that he’s developing feelings, and he’s not sure what to do about that. He’d probably have more luck figuring it out if people would just stop trying to kill them.
Still, at least they’ve got a dragon, right?
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.
To connect with Lisa on social media, you can find her here:
She also has a Facebook group where you’ll be kept in the loop with updates on releases, have a chance to win prizes, and probably see lots of lots of pictures of her dog and cats. You can find it here: Lisa Henry’s Hangout.
Sarah lives in Western Australia with her partner, two cats, two dogs and a TARDIS.
A teacher once told her life’s not a joke.
She begs to differ.
Her proudest achievements include having kids who will still be seen with her in public, and knowing all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody.
Red Heir is her first published novel.
You can connect with Sarah on Facebook, or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To celebrate Lisa & Sarah’s release, we are giving 2 lucky winners the chance to win an e-copy of Red Heir! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
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