Jade Lee is the author of a wide variety of romances: Her Tigress-series takes the reader into the opium-scented world of China, her historical novels (first published as Katherine Greyle) are a humorous journey into regency England and her paranormal romances cover dragons, sci-fi and timetraveling angels. (Photo: Copyright Kim Killion from Hot Damn Designs)

Thank you for taking the time for this interview.

My first encounter with your writing has been the Tigress-series but before that you already had novels published under the name Katherine Greyle. What was the reason for choosing two different names?

Reason?  LOL!  You’re assuming that I approach my career in a logical fashion!  I had intended to stay Katherine Greyle for all my books, but I was writing sweet, traditional regency romances.  As the market shifted to sexy (and I did too), my editor correctly pointed out that if readers were expecting a sweet Kathy Greyle book, they would be SHOCKED by Devil’s Bargain (my first attempt at very sexy, and still one of my best sensuous books). So that’s when he suggested I take a new name and also to start exploring my heritage.  Jade Lee and the Tigress series were born. Kathy Greyle has faded into the sunset (though her books are now out in e-book, if anyone wants to find them. They’re titled as JADE LEE writing as Katherine Greyle). And then years later, I started writing Harlequin Blazes. After a few Asian books as Jade Lee, they encouraged me to take the Kathy Lyons name for contemporary sexy without an Asian component.

In short, Kathy Greyle has faded into the sunset. Jade Lee is my primary name, and she’s got a great new series out! You can check out the Bridal Favors series at my website. And Kathy Lyons also has a new blaze coming out in March titled Night After Night… about a pair of neighbors who start sharing erotic dreams (don’t you hate it when that happens?)

Clear as mud?

Why did you switch to a series in China with a much more earnest and sexy topic?

My editor suggested I start exploring my Chinese heritage. I found a non-fiction book about „The Sexual Teachings of the White Tigress“ by Hsi Lai. I’d never been exposed to tantrism like that, and I was fascinated. And then the series began!

Now you’ve returned to writing historical romances. What was the reason for that?

I grew up on regency romances. Read them constantly and loved them. I always knew I’d return to those roots, and I have! And frankly, I love it! I’m able to bring in all that dark sensuality from my tigress books and put it into the Regency period. This latest series also adds in the humor I’d left behind when I stopped writing traditionals. You know, the witty banter, the funny situations, the delightful verbal sparring between characters, especially hero and heroine. I had it before to a small degree. But now, Wedded in Scandal has a LOT of it!

Which character has been the one most pleasurable to write about and which tormented you the most?

Oh my! Every single one was both! Okay, you want a serious answer, but frankly, there have been aspects of every character I write that I adore and those that I find extremely challenging. So how about I tell you about my last two heroes?

The hero of Wedded in Scandal is Robert Percy, Viscount Redhill. He’s grounded in reality because everyone else in his life wanders off into illogical land. He’s responsible for all of these lunatics and manages somehow to make it work, though only barely. He’s therefore prosaic by necessity, unless of course, someone starts pushing his buttons. And yes, Helaine (dress designer of the shop) definitely pushes his buttons. It was so much fun to watch him tear his hair out! And okay, I’ll confess – he’s my husband. He’s so solid and responsible, what else can I do but poke him until he starts to lose it? And in the best most sexy ways possible! So, to answer your question, Robert is my favorite hero.  You will probably see other versions of him…er, my husband…in a lot of my heroes! (Definitely in the heroes of Almost an Angel and Miss Woodley’s Experiment.)

Now to the most frustrating. The hero for book two (Wedded in Sin) is named Samuel Morrison, and—to be blunt—he’s Sherlock Holmes. I really wanted to watch Sherlock Holmes being knocked on his butt by love. Imagine a man who lives in his head, in his brilliant mind and is unstoppable when he’s faced with a mental puzzle. What happens to him when he starts falling in love? He has no idea what to do about this emotion, and proceeds to spaz one way or another throughout the book. Love it!  So what’s the problem? Well, you can’t have a Sherlock Holmes character without giving him a mystery worthy of his prodigious brain.  Sadly, I suck at mysteries. I mean, I’m really, really bad at them. Horrendous. So in order to write the book, I had to keep pulling out mystery threads because I couldn’t handle them. And besides, I didn’t really care about them! I wanted to see Samuel fall in love, not solve a mystery. So, I ended up failing completely in the puzzle aspect. Our hero solves the problem easily, though it does stretch through the book. But that’s okay, because the story is about him falling in love. After all, we’ve all seen Sherlock solve a mystery. How many times have we seen him completely flattened by love?

You’ve started to publish your older novels with beautiful new covers. Who did them and did you have a say in the matter?

Kim Killion of Hot Damn Designs is AMAZING. Yes, I had complete control of the covers, but mostly I just said—Hey, Kim. Here’s the book. Make a cool cover for me, will you? And she does!

Will you ever return to your Tigress-series?

Right now, I’m converting them to digital. The first books will be available by the time this interview goes live. As for writing new books in the series, it’s doubtful. I’ve grown beyond the core of those stories. But I never say never. You never know what’s right around the next corner.

Your dragon-series („Dragonborn“ and „Dragonbound“) has a wonderful graphic novel cover on your website. Are there plans to go into this section of publication?

Yes, yes, yes! I’m working with SeaLion Publishing and we’re getting the first Dragonborn graphic novel together. Don’t know about release dates yet, but I swear it’s coming!

And along with the graphic novel, I hope to have more of the series as well. The whole series was originally plotted with at least 4 books, but the publisher’s problems interrupted that plan. So, as soon as I get a break in my schedule, I’m going to write the next book in the series and put it up in e.

What plans do you have for the future? What novels are you simply aching to write?

I’m itching to get my next Dragonborn book up.

But first, I have to write more of the Bridal Favors series. The concept looks like this: Engaged in Wickedness is where Lady Gwen and Sir Edward fall in love.  Then in Wedded in Scandal Gwen goes to the dressmaker’s shop („A Lady’s Favor“ Dress Shop) to have her trousseau made.  That’s how her brother Edward meets the dress designer Helaine.  Gwen and Edward’s wedding preparations are the backdrop to the novel. Engaged in Passion is the next novella where Anthony and Francine fall in love.  (They appear first in Wedded in Scandal).  And where else would Francine go to have her bridal gown made but to the shop where she first saw Anthony?  Her wedding is the backdrop to Penny and Samuel’s love story in Wedded in Sin. That pattern continues throughout the next books. Although at this moment, I’m not sure exactly who all the couples are!

So I’ve got two more heroines to do, not to mention 4 more Engaged in novellas to write. Since every Bridal Favors novel has a wedding in it, I figured I ought to write the bride and groom’s story. So the plan is to publish Engaged in Wickedness—which is available now—and see that hero and heroine get married in Wedded in Scandal. Similarly, the next two are Engaged in Passion which sees the love story between Francine and Anthony, and then get the two married in Wedded in Sin. So, you see, I’ve got plans for 2 more novels and 2 more novellas. That’s a lot of writing!

Your new „Bridal Favor“-series has started in December 2011. What will be in store for the reader?

Weddings, of course! Actually, in my mind it’s about the strength a woman needs to run her own business and the men who deserve a woman of that power and vitality. Or to look at the hero, it’s about men who are unique in some very special way (like being Sherlock Holmes) and the woman who are the perfect match to both make them crazy and crazy in love. The series is lighter and funnier than my earlier books, but they’re still very sexy! Can’t have a Jade Lee book that isn’t hot!

What novels are you currently reading?

I’m in the middle of two series. I’m reading Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, and it’s FABULOUS! I’m also reading JR Ward’s Brotherhood of the Black Dagger series. Yes, I know I’m late to the party with the Brotherhood books, but that doesn’t mean they’re not good!

Thank you for your time.