Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
April 12, 2008

Q.    Lisa, would you give the readers a brief synopsis of your novel LOST SOULS?

A.   Three girls have disappeared at All Saints College in less than two years. All three were “lost souls”–troubled, vulnerable girls with no one to care about them, no one to come looking if they disappeared. The police think they’re runaways, but Kristi senses there’s something that links them, something terrifying. There are whispers of a dark cult on campus whose members wear vials of blood around their necks and meet in secret chambers–rituals to which only the elite have access. To find the truth, Kristi , against the advice of Jay McKnight, a sexy professor at the college who was her first boyfriend before she tossed him over, decides to become part of the cult’s inner circle. However the deeper she goes, the more Kristi begins to wonder if she is the hunter or the prey. She soon finds out she is playing a game with a killer more cunning and blood-thirsty than she could ever imagine, one who has personally selected her for membership in a cult of death from which there will be no escape.

Q.    Would you tell the reader what the title signifies?

A.   LOST SOULS is in reference to the missing girls on campus and the fact that they all were, in their own way, disconnected to their families and friends, or LOST SOULS.

Q.    How did you come about Kristi’s character?

A.   Kristi Bentz is the daughter of New Orleans Detective Rick Bentz and was first introduced in HOT BLOODED and then made an even bigger appearance in COLD BLOODED. In those books she is a headstrong, self-involved teenager of a single father. She wasn't exactly heroine material, but she was a character who literally stole every scene in which she appeared. So, when I was plotting LOST SOULS, Kristi, now nine years older is still headstrong, but not as self-involved. I thought it was time to have her a story. To add a little more tension to the book, I brought back Jay McKnight, the boy she dumped in COLD BLOODED. Jay, too, is all grown up and he's not only sexy as all get out, he's definitely a force to be reckoned with. One Kristi can't resist!

Q.    How did you come up with the name ALL SAINTS COLLEGE?

A.   All Saints, too, was introduced in COLD BLOODED when Kristi was an undergraduate student. The college appears again in SHIVER. When I was first writing COLD BLOODED, I wanted to create a school that was small, private and Catholic, so I tried to come up with a name that fit. In COLD BLOODED, it's particularly important as the murders within that book are connected to some of the Biblical saints. Hence, All Saints.

Q.    What made you chose to introduce Vampirism into this novel?

A.   I've been intrigued by this country's fascination with vampirism for years. Everywhere you look there are movies, books and television shows dealing with vampires and the paranormal. In LOST SOULS I wanted to explore the whole phenomenon a little bit. I love all things paranormal, but vampires, to me, aren't inherently sexy. (I think I'm in the minority.) In today's entertainment world, many vampires are portrayed as hot, sexy lovers. I spun my story a little differently and more based in reality. It was interesting adding the whole vampire element to the thriller.

Q.    How did you come about Jay’s character?

A.   As I said, Jay was a character first introduced in COLD BLOODED. He was boy Kristi dumped for a college guy who was a really bad choice. Now, he's all grown up, and a professor at the college. I thought it would be great if Kristi had to take a class from him, now he was in a position of power, and sexy as hell. It worked perfectly. They both have a lot to deal with emotionally from the previous relationship and the chemistry between them is still explosive.

Q.    For first time readers to your novels, which of your novels would they learn more about Kristi, Montoya, and Bentz?

A.   This trio was introduced in HOT BLOODED, but while Kristi's story is LOST SOULS, Rick Bentz's story, in which Kristi has a major part is COLD BLOODED and Reuben Montoya is showcased in SHIVER. In each of these books, all three characters are important to the story.

Q.    As you look back to when you started in 1981 to now, what has your writing journey been like?

A.   Fun! It's gone in twisted, round-about paths that I never expected. When I first started writing I attempted, with my sister, author Nancy Bush, to break into then hot and seemingly ever-expanding romance market. Our first attempts were encouraged by editors, but we were asked to take the suspense out of the novels. What a change! Fifteen years later, I was asked to put a little more suspense in my stories and now, I'm asked to ramp it up even furthe. Since Nancy and I have always loved mysteries, thrillers and suspense, this is just what we hoped for. I couldn't be more thrilled!

Q.    If you had to do it all over again would you be a writer?

A.   In a heartbeat!

Q.    Would you give the readers a brief synopsis of your next novel and when it will be released?

A.   LEFT TO DIE will be released in August 2008. This is the first of a new series set in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. LEFT TO DIE introduces new characters and the female detective team of Regan Pescoli and Selena Alvarez of the Pinewood County Sheriff's Department. For the first time in years, in sleepy Pinewood County a serial killer is on the loose in the dead of winter. Several women have been killed, their cars disabled in snowy ravines, their naked bodies found frozen and lashed to trees where they were LEFT TO DIE in the rugged Montana wilderness. Jillian Rivers, traveling through the area is on a mission. She's received evidence that her first husband, who disappeared years before and bilked investors out of millions, may still be alive. As she heads through the mountains, the tire of her car is shot and spins out of control down a steep mountainside. She's hurt, unable to help herself, and the first person on the scene is a lone mountain man. Is he the man of her dreams or her worst nightmare?