Site Owner, Dawn, had the privilege of chatting with the two author’s Crystal Leo & Melissa Pahl that make up ‘Jessie Lane’ and wrote the enchanting book, Burning Star!

Be sure to read our review of Burning Star here.

Dawn: Where did the inspiration come from for The Burning Star?

Melissa/Crystal aka ‘Jessie Lane’: The inspiration for The Burning Star came from a crazy dream Crystal had one night. It was so unbelievably vivid that she woke up at a ridiculous time in the morning and started writing it all down. Her husband woke up and looked at her like he was debating a phone call to the nearest mental hospital, but now he’s used to her quirky ways and doesn’t blink an eye if she wakes up at odd hours and starts writing.

Dawn: One of my biggest pet peeves with a book is too much description at the beginning. Your book did not fall into that trap. How did you find the balance?

Melissa/Crystal aka ‘Jessie Lane’: Over-description-itus is one of Crystal’s pet peeves, as well. No matter how impressive a writer is, if they describe a room down to the pen lying on the table, she will lose patience and skim forward till it’s over. So you could say, that in a way, that if she ever did try to describe something into much detail she would probably break out in hives and have to be rushed to the nearest hospital for a cure. That or the world is ending, take your pick. Both Crystal and her co-author Melissa believe that a little description goes a long way and allows the reader to build a world they can believe in their head.

Dawn: I loved the art introduced to explain the werewolves’ and faeries’ history. You showed us and told us, which was powerful. How did you come up with the werewolf and faerie lore? And why did you choose art to express it?

Melissa/Crystal aka ‘Jessie Lane’: We like traditional myths such as staking the vampire in the heart, or that the werewolf bite will turn you. But we also love when somebody can put a new, interesting twist on those old myths. We were looking for a way to differentiate our werewolves, and this was Crystal’s solution to do that. It was a product of a game that Melissa and Crystal play often, called ‘what if’. What if this happened? Or what if our vampires could withstand sunlight? What if werewolves were born of terror and magic? Since we were writing in a world filled with faeries, why not tie the werewolves in and throw in a good dose of animosity in between the two factions?

As for the art aspect, we love art in many different forms. Both traditional avenues such as paintings, and unusual avenues such as tattoos and comic books. Although we’re not experts in any way on art, we certainly love to admire it and are the kind of dreamers that think the world should be filled with it all times. More than likely, we will always try to represent art in some form in our stories. Whether it be the painting in The Burning Star, or tattoos on future heroes in upcoming stories.

Dawn: Sooo many plot twists, I loved it!!!! It kept the story from being cliched and boring. Did you have difficulty coming up with twists that would leave a reader hungry for more?

Melissa/Crystal aka ‘Jessie Lane’: Actually, the plot twists just kept throwing themselves at Crystal until she was literally having arguments with herself while writing. Her husband looked as if he was considering that phone call to the mental institution again, but he eventually got over it. Sometimes a story is best told straight forward with minimal twists, and sometimes it is laden down with problems in the first book that it takes the subsequent books in a series that follow after the first book to work all the problems out. The Star Series falls into the later category.

Dawn: I am dying to know more about Kira and Kane (as well as Kay and Ryan). What can we expect from the next book in the series?

Melissa/Crystal aka ‘Jessie Lane’: The next book in the series, The Frozen Star, will resolve some of the issues left remaining in The Burning Star. When Crystal started writing The Burning Star, it began as Kay’s tale, but by the time she finished it, it had very much become Kira’s tale too. That was an unexpected turn, but one that Crystal and Melissa love. Kira has a lot of issues to work through, and The Frozen Star is going to be a good bit about that. Readers will see a good deal of Kira and Kane interaction in the sequel. Ryan and Kay will be there as well, but there is the small issue of their separation due to Kay being held hostage. Readers will also meet a very intriguing new character named Skye, but our lips are zipped on as to what her role will be yet.

We have big plans for this series, but it may take us a while to get there. The Burning Star was released without having the advantage of an editor working on it. So, we will be working on fixing that. Our goal is to get The Burning Star to an editor while we are working on other stories. When we can finally get The Burning Star through an editor, then we will write The Frozen Star. We’re hoping for a 2014 release, but that date could change depending on how the search for an editor for The Burning Star goes. As of right now, we are writing our first contemporary adult romance titled Secret Maneuvers, which will release sometime in the 2013 year. Our first adult paranormal romance, Big Bad Bite, will release January 28, 2013, and we are extremely excited about it!

AND just in case you were interested in including this:

Who is Jessie Lane?

Jessie Lane is the writing team of Crystal Leo and Melissa Pahl. The two sister-in-laws share a fanatical love of romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention or threaten to slap you until you do pay attention to them. Because really, it is ALL about the characters (they’re kind of megalomaniacs). Melissa lives in Washington with her husband, and their big furry baby of a Rottweiler named Yuffie. Crystal lives in Kentucky with her husband (one of Melissa’s brothers), their two crazy girls, and her insanely awesome Dad.

They came up with their pseudo name of Jessie Lane by making a list of all of their favorite female fictional characters. Jessie comes from the heroine in Ann Rice’s Queen of the Damned, and Lane comes from the heroine ‘Mac’s’ last name in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series.

Thank you so much, Crystal and Melissa for that great bit of history of  where your pen name comes from and for this excellent interview!