Deep secrets, dark eroticism, forbidden sex, romantic suspense, hot alpha men, and an extremely well-crafted story are some of the elements that attracted readers to Lisa Renee Jones’ bestselling “Inside Out” series and have kept them there for three steamy books and seven novellas—thus far.
Fans are on the edge of their seats waiting for the fourth full-length novel, No In Between, publishing today.
The story begins in the San Francisco art world, and revolves around darkly erotic journals found in an abandoned storage unit. A high school teacher is left with the task of clearing the unit for a friend and becomes obsessed with reading the intimate details of another woman’s life. Concerned about the woman’s well-being, she sets out to find out what happened and in the process assumes the other woman’s job, life, and, possibly, her men.
Blended into the erotically charged and often deeply emotional journey of the characters there is growth and healing.
I chatted with author Lisa Renee Jones last week about her impressive body of work, and what we have to look forward to with the “Inside Out” series in books and on TV.
A.C.Rose: Your “Inside Out Series” had such a unique start. Where did the original inspiration come from?
Lisa Renee Jones: Diego (hubby) and I were auction hunting to pay the bills and he found a journal in a unit. He started reading and got very absorbed. He was certain I should write a story that starts with a journal and leads to danger. Zombies would be a bonus. I left out the zombies.
I was able to pull on all my feelings while auction hunting. How it felt to wonder about why people left their lives before, and my worry, something had happened to them. It is amazing too how looking at other lives makes us look at our own. The heroine does this and I hope readers will as well.
I’ve read and loved the entire series, and it is just one sexy compelling story after another, with new parts of the story being told through novellas. How many books are there currently, and what is the suggested reading order?
LRJ: If I Were You (novel), Being Me (novel), His Secrets (novella from Chris’s POV)
Revealing Us (novel) , Rebecca’s Lost Journals (collection of novellas, includes Master Undone), My Hunger (novella from Mark’s POV), No In between (novel)
Of course, everyone is hungrily awaiting the Fourth big book in the series, No In Between, due out on August 19. How would you describe this leg of the journey for Sara, Chris, and Mark… and your readers?
LRJ: No In Between leads Mark into his book, I Belong to You, and Sara is a big part of getting him there. You will find that something that happened in Paris is bigger than you thought. And finally, you know what happened with Rebecca. I left some lose ends but not many. There were a few things I just felt Mark had the right to tell himself though and I left those for him. But you know where Rebecca is when this novel is over.
OMG, I am getting chills. And what happens after No In Between… will there be more in this series?
LRJ: Yes! The is more to come: My Control (novellal from Mark’s POV-due September), I Belong To You (novel that is Mark’s story-due in November), All of Me (Final wrap up of the series-due in February 2015) Then Ella will have her own trilogy called “The Careless Whisper Series.”
Wow! That will keep us busy for a while. But we have more to look forward to. The “Inside Out Series” has been optioned by Starz. Any news you can share on that front?
LRJ: The series is in the producers’ hands, Suzanne Todd and her amazing team, with Julianna Hayes doing amazing things on the project. Suzanne is behind Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp and the upcoming Looking Glass follow up. She did all the Austin Powers movies, plus Must Love Dogs, Boiler Room, and I could go on and on. We don’t have a date yet but I am thrilled with the progress they are making on bringing it to life.
Many people who love Fifty Shades of Grey adore your books. You’ve shared that you are a Fifty fan. Did it influence your work on the series?
LRJ: It didn’t influence writing this series, simply because I wrote it before Fifty Shades and it sat on an editor’s desk for a year. At that point in time, the line it was written for shut down. That was Spice at HQN. However, Fifty Shades published while it sat there, so it gave me an amazing marketing opportunity. Also “Storage Wars” started. These were two great things that made people curious about auction hunting and sexier books. So I think the wait helped me and so did my success with my “Tall, Dark and Deadly Series.”
So you ended up self-publishing If I Were You.
LRJ: Yes. I walked away from another publisher who wanted me to change everything readers, and the TV folks, love about the series. Knowing I could do well on my own gave me courage to start out with this series self-published. As it turned out, a great offer came from Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster, fourteen days after I published and the series is now with them.
Your series is such a huge success. What have readers said they love most about it?
LRJ: Thank you. They seem to love the sexy mystery and the journey of the characters. At it’s core this story is a story of growth and healing, but there is danger and mystery that should keep you guessing all the way until the end. I have more surprises coming!
Where and when did you get your start in romance writing, and how many books have you written in total?
LRJ: I’ve lost count. Maybe forty? Twenty just at HQN. I published for the first time in 2007.
In addition to all the books you published of late, you are also a newlywed! Congratulations. What inspired you to have your wedding in the San Francisco?
LRJ: Diego and I confessed our love for each other there and that inspired me to set the “Inside Out Series” in San Francisco, around wine, art, and, of course, hot men.
NO IN BETWEEN (Inside Out #4) by Lisa Renee Jones/Simon & Schuster/August 19