January 25, 2013

Writer Wrangler: Jessie Lane

Braine: Hi Team Jessie Lane or Melissa & Crystal! Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new book, Big Bad Bite!

Melissa: Thanks for having us! Pardon for the hyper-ness, I’ve had way too many cups of coffee! *Crystal leans over and snatches the cup of coffee away from her*

Crystal: Hi Braine! Thank you for letting us stop by today and gab our crazy gab.

Braine: I'm going to start with the trivial family stuff first. So you're sisters-in-law, were you friends first before you became sisters or was it the reverse?

Melissa: We knew of each other briefly in high school, and then afterwards, when Crystal began dating my brother we become friends. 

Crystal: Once I started dating my husband, and he brought me to hang around his family, Melissa and I clicked right away. We’ve been close ever since.

Braine: Being business with family is tricky because there's so much more involved than the "mission and vision", how do you two balance family and business relationships?

Melissa: We’re family first above everything. If we aren’t comfortable with something, we talk it out like we would do any family situation. It’s not just the two of us in this. Our husbands’ opinions hold a lot of weight too. They’re our sounding boards since Crystal and I live in different states.

Crystal: Exactly. What she said.

Braine: I find co-writing a book really interesting mainly because I'm a control freak and I can't wrap my head around the whole dynamic of it all. With the two of you living in different states, I imagine it's even MORE difficult. When you write a book, do you literally write it together or do you take turns or alternate chapters?

Crystal: I would say that we brainstorm together a lot before (and during) the writing process. Once we both agree on where the chapter/story is going, then we take turns. 

Melissa: It also depends on whose starting a scene or idea. Also, if one of us has writer's block, we just send it to the other and scream HELP!!..(Just kidding about the screaming part).

Braine: I have a younger sister but I get uncomfortable when she starts talking about R-rated romantic stuff she does with her hubby. I don't want nasty visuals in my head and in a way I still see her as my baby sister. Does it get weird writing about tender/sexy moments given your relationship and these things are kinda personal and intimate?

Melissa: No, I don’t think it’s weird. Some things are actually funny when Crystal and I get to talking about certain personal things that I just feel more comfortable talking to her about it than anyone else.

Braine: Are some of your characters based on your husbands? 

Melissa: Ummm…Can I plead the fifth?..hehe

*Crystal leans in to whisper*: Shhhh… they don’t know, and we’re not telling them.

Braine: Your debut novel was a YA series and now you moved in to the adult spectrum. Was it a challenge writing for a different audience or do you find it easier to write for people the same age as you are?

Crystal: I personally feel more comfortable writing adult. While I enjoyed working on our YA novel, sometimes the story felt forced because I was trying to write something, or someone, that I’m not. This book reflects more of my personality, so I think it translates better for me.

Melissa: More filters are in place for the YA audience than there is for the adult series. We can have more leeway with our writing styles and not have to worry about offending parents with strong content in the YA area.

Braine: Crystal, that's exactly what I was thinking in terms of writing for a younger audience. Though we remember our younger years, it's not tainted with adult "wisdom". What's your favorite thing about Jenna and Adam?

Melissa: The push and pull aspect of their relationship.

Braine: Next to vampires, werewolves are the next most popular. It's safe to say that every possible werewolf story has been told already so what makes BIG BAD BITE different from all the rest?

Jessie Lane: BIG BAD BITE is different in the aspect that our ‘Shifters’ are more of an evolutionary creature than something magical. It kind of symbolizes the scientific idea that creatures can adapt to survive their changing environment. Shifters started out in their beasts forms, and then over time their DNA changed, allowing them to transform into human form so that they could continue to survive in a world that humans were quickly taking over. There’s no magic bite to change you into a Shifter. No magic involved. Kind of like Darwinism. That’s not say that there is NO magic in our world. We’ve pretty much taken your common read species: werewolves, vampires, demons, and witches, putting our own spin on their creation and origins. This is how the Big Bad Bite Series will differ to readers who love the paranormal concepts.

Braine: Is this a series? If so, how many books are you planning to write? Will there be novellas in between the novels?

Jessie Lane: The series is actually named after this book, the BIG BAD BITE Series. We left it open with a back story to connect the different books together, but each book will also contain their own plots, as well. Some characters are going to be seen throughout the entire series. We’re not too sure that there will be novellas since we currently can’t seem to write anything less than 80,000 words, regardless of how hard we try to do so. As for how many books… well, we don’t know yet. We will take that as it comes to us. We know who we are writing for the next two books in the series, and their titles. After that, we have vague ideas, but we will wait and see what happens. The next book is titled Walk On The Striped Side, and will feature Gage and a new character named Elena. The third book is titled Once Upon A Bite, and we are waiting until the second book is released to reveal who the third book is about. 

Braine: That's some exciting news. Now that BIG BAD BITE is about to launch, what are you girls working on next?

We will be working on our adult contemporary romance series, titled the Ex Ops Series, with the first book titled Secret Maneuvers. We will also be simultaneously working on the next book in the BIG BAD BITE Series. Both books are already in process.

Braine: You two are busy bees. You’ve probably been asked this a lot but once again, can you share the story behind the name Jessie Lane? Who picked it and why Jessie Lane?

Crystal: Once we decided that we wanted to work together, we agreed that we wanted to use some of our favorite fictional characters from books and movies to create our pseudo name. So Melissa made her list of favorites, and I did the same, then we exchanged our lists knocking off the names we didn’t like. When the dust settled we had a handful of names to choose from. We started putting together possibilities, and Jessie Lane ended up being that felt right to us. Melissa chose ‘Jesse’ from one of her favorite novels by Ann Rice, Queen of the Damned. I chose ‘Lane’ from one of my favorite heroines, MacKayla ‘Mac’ Lane from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. Thus, Jessie Lane was born.

Braine: Thanks for stopping by Talk Supe and congratulations on the release of your new novel.

JANUARY 28, 2013

Sometime later, Amy’s cold nose nudged Jenna awake. Slightly groggy from her nap, she blindly shoved herself bodily to four paws and went to follow the gray colored wolf as she lead the way back towards the cabin. The trees started to become familiar shortly before they trotted back to where they had left their clothes piled on the ground. The only problem was, their clothes were no longer there. Amy shifted back to her human form, while Jenna circled the area looking for her things.

In a frustrated huff, Amy yelled, “Clay! Damn you, bring us back our clothes! This is not funny!”

Booming laughter came from somewhere in the house as Amy started muttering curses. Pushing her hair out of her face in clear frustration, she turned to look back at Jenna’s pitch black wolf form, “Come on, Jenna. You can shift back in the house once we get to my room. I’ll find what Clay did with your clothes and bring them to you. He’s a damn annoying prankster. You’d think after pulling off the same joke since we were teenagers he’d be over it already.”

Amy stomped across the yard to the back of the house giving small frustrated whines as Jenna padded along behind her aggravated companion up the stairs and through the back door. Once inside the open and airy home, they found their clothes dumped unceremoniously in the middle of the living room floor. She picked hers up with her mouth as Amy pointed out the small bathroom that she could change in, off of the living room and near the front door. Amy was already halfway dressed and told Jenna that she would grab some fresh bandages by the time she reached the door.

Entering the small half bathroom that held only a sink and a toilet, Jenna nudged the door closed with her nose. Shifting back, she used the hand towel hanging next to the sink to quickly clean herself off so that she was at least a little presentable to the rest of the world. Feeling a fresher, she bent over to pull her clothes on only to stop short when she realized her shirt was missing. Shit. It must still be in the living room. Cracking the door, she called out Amy’s name. After waiting a minute and getting no response, she stuck her head out the door and looked around.

There, still in the middle of the floor, was her charcoal grey tank top. She looked down at her half-dressed self in a black lace bra and jeans, then back to the tank top in the middle of the floor. Taking another quick peek around, she made the decision to scoot out quickly and grab the top. What were the chances of anyone seeing her anyhow?

She really should have recalculated those chances.

Jessie Lane is the writing team of Melissa Pahl and Crystal Leo. The two sister-in-laws share a passionate love of naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them. Because really, it is ALL about the characters. (They're kind of megalomaniacs - but don't tell them that we said that.) 

Crystal and Melissa often live half their lives with their heads in the clouds dreaming of alpha military hunks, werewolves and kick ass heroines crazy enough to chase after creatures that they unquestionably should know better than to chase. 

Their first YA novel, The Burning Star, was released in May 2012. Big Bad Bite is their second novel, but their first adult paranormal romance. They are now working on their next two novels, Walk On The Striped Side and Secret Maneuvers. With these projects underway, they are looking forward to showing the rest of the world their crazy stories, heroes and heroines that often plague their minds until written, and hope you will join them on their journey!

Fan Girls & Boys Welcome


  1. This sounds like a great book (and start to a series)! I'll be sure to check it out. I loved the interview too! How they chose their writing name is neat! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. It is! It's surprisingly funny, I never thought these two have a wicked sense of humor.

  2. I have not heard of these ladies and now I know there are two of them. LOL!! Love the pleading the fifth!! Fun interview!!

    I must check these girls out:)


  3. Bah - I'm so glad you asked how they came up with their author name - I wondered before, but never asked!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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