L.L. Reaper is two multi-published, award-winning authors who decided to write under a pen name for their dangerously sexy suspense series, Black Widow and the Sandman. You can visit their website at www.llreaper.com or connect with them at Twitter at www.twitter.com/llreaper and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorLLReaper.
Q: Thank you for this interview, L.L. Can you tell us what your latest book, Black Widow and the Sandman, is all about?
Thank you for having me. I truly appreciate it. In the debut of my suspense series, a mysterious illness is killing children in Cuba, and all indicators point to a terrorist organization being behind it.
Black Widow, a drop dead gorgeous scientific genius, and the Sandman, a mercenary the likes you’ve never seen, are brought in to do what government and scientific channels have failed to do—find a cure and stop those behind the plot.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
The main and supporting characters are cold, calculating mercenaries, but you are also given insight into who they are. Their fears. Their motivations. Their fight.
Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
I blend elements of people I’ve met or read about with my imagination. The next thing you know, characters are born. Once a character comes to life for me, it begins telling me its story.
Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
When I begin writing, I usually have a general idea of where the plot will lead. I am actually two multi-published authors who have come together to write this suspense series under a pen name. Since we are writing together, we do write out an outline first. The outline is a living outline, in that when we actually get to writing, it changes and we write the book the characters tell us to write.
Working with a partner has been quite interesting. Less of a challenge than either of us thought it would be.
Q: Your book is set in Miami. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?
In the novel, Cuba threatens to retaliate against the United States for not stopping this terrorist attack by releasing dirty bombs. With Florida’s close proximity to Cuba, we thought it would be best to set the majority of the novel there.
Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
It plays a role, but not major. It’s Christmas season and the Black Widow and the Sandman are separated from those they love because of the choices they’ve made in life. Needless to say, they aren’t feeling the Christmas spirit everyone else in town seems to be drenched in.
Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
Roman, the Sandman, and Jeanette, the Black Widow, haven’t gotten along since they met up in Miami. She resents that he’s been sent to “protect” her and he’s not happy about having to “babysit” her. Roman flexed his muscles in a way Jeanette took offense to and is about to teach him a lesson he won’t forget.
Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?
There are so many good parts as a whole, it’s hard to pull out one part that will make sense without the context that surrounds it, but here is one of my favorite parts.
After giving Jeanette complete statistics on the victims, Papa told her to check the printer in the den. She walked out to the den where she saw the printer spitting out photos. He has a wireless connection to our equipment. I wonder if Roman can find him using it? She pushed the thought out of her mind. They were supposed to be working as a team.
“Thanks, Papa. I’ll get back with you when I know more.” She disconnected and gathered up the photos. The top one was a close-up of the open sores described in the information Papa had given her. The color images were a thousand times better than the sketches she’d been given. They reminded her of lesions she’d seen before. She sorted through the pictures and returned to her room.
The sight of three small children, no older than five, covered with huge lesions, with what was left of their tiny faces contorted in agony, stopped her in her tracks. Body trembling, the pictures fell from her hands.
“Babies…They’re only babies…” Tears fell from her eyes and the salmon she’d had for dinner returned with a vengeance. Breathe, she couldn’t breathe. Picture after picture of lesion-covered babies littered the floor. Dry heaves took over where the salmon left off. Breathe, she couldn’t breathe.
“Stop!” Eyes closed tight, she began reciting the formula for photosynthesis. “12H2O + 6CO2 + sunlight,” tears continued to fall and her body continued to tremble, “produces…?” She drew in a deep breath. “What the hell does it produce? Focus dammit, focus! What does it produce?” She wiped the tears away.
“You have to save the babies. Snap the fuck out of it.” She picked up the photos that weren’t covered with vomit. “12H2O + 6CO2 + sunlight produces C6H12O6+ 6O2.”
She placed the photos on her bed, then went into the kitchen for cleaning supplies. “No more babies die. This bastard must be stopped.”
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, L.L. We wish you much success!
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak about Black Widow and the Sandman. I look forward to sharing it with readers.