FUN FACTS ABOUT L.J. DIVA AND HER BOOKS
THE ROAD TO VEGAS
– The idea for Vegas came from L.J. remembering a scene from a Jackie Collins book years previous. She thought, ‘I want to write a book like that’, and so a germ of an idea was born. After several dreams that L.J. wrote down, the idea finally came together after seeing pictures of NCIS star Michael Weatherly and CSI New York star Carmine Giovinazzo in a 2006 Hot Guys of Summer edition of America’s TV Guide. And seriously, how can you not use these guys for inspiration! For the role of Santiago, the initial actor in her head was Rob Morrow, but upon reflection, Jack Scalia was the better choice. And Jackie Collins loved him.
– The Road To Vegas was written across July, Aug, Sep of 2006. It was first published in 2012 after multiple rounds of editing, submitting, and competition entering.
– Vegas was meant to have a sequel after a particular scene in the book, but because the story wasn’t long enough without it, L.J. kept the book whole. There will be a sequel, and prequel, eventually.
– The cover had been the original since the beginning, and had never been updated except for the author name change until 2019, when L.J. decided to update the cover for a more sexy spin. You can see the evolution below. L.J. would love to put an embossed ’80s metallic spin on it one day, similar to the UK published “diamond” Jackie Collins covers.
– During the fight scene in the bar with Tahlia and Vegas, P!nk’s U + Ur Hand was the inspiration. It had been released as a single at the time and L.J. was listening to it when she wrote it.
– Because L.J. Likes to think ahead, she wrote out a series of three TV commercials each for the characters of Vegas and Diega.
– She wrote out the layout for a music clip for Carmine to film for the song, Iris, by the Goo Goo Dolls which L.J. wanted to play across the end of the song as the final scenes played and the credits rolled.
– She also wrote a song play list and wanted P!nk, Kelly Clarkson and Debbie Gibson to sing Viva Las Vegas as one of the songs for the soundtrack.
HOLLYWOOD DREAMS: A KARMIC TALE OF MONEY, LOVE, AND BITCHY TV DRAMA QUEENS!
– Under the original title, How I Won Lotto, Moved To L.A. & Married A Really Huge TV Star! this book was based off the thought, ‘if I won 20 million in lotto what would I do?’. The answer was move to L.A., hunt down Michael Weatherly and marry him. His name was even in the original working title, How I Won Lotto, Moved To L.A. & Married Michael Weatherly!, and upon advisement, L.J. changed it. But in retrospect, she wonders if she should have kept it to the original just for the fun of it…
– Hollywood was written across three weeks in Feb 2008, and first published in 2011. It’s had four covers, each being tweaked from the last with font and a particular picture of L.J. sneaking in from the edge of the book. In 2019 the book got a sexy new cover, and new title as well. You can see the evolution below. One day, L.J. would love to put an ’80s spin of metallic on it, similar to the UK published “diamond” Jackie Collins covers.
– A sequel series was considered for Hollywood based on the two lead characters. They do their jobs by day and solve crimes by night… It might still happen.
– Hollywood was the book that actually got L.J. the call from a publishing house late 2010. She turned down the offer and started self-publishing in 2011. In 2017 she found out the publishing house had gone bust back in 2015 and thanked God she hadn’t gone with them after all.
FALLING FOR LONDON
– Under the original title of Life And Death Adventures In London, the book came off the back of UK TV show The Bill being axed and was written across three weeks in November 2010. Many of the actors from the show make an appearance in the book, and L.J.’s story is partly based around them.
– London was first published in 2011 along with Hollywood, and has had four covers to date. The first two featured pictures of London, and the third had a darker more mysterious feel. In 2019 the book had a title and cover update, and instead of going for that dark mysterious genre, L.J. went for the romance genre instead. The cover boasts a gorgeous picture of London with a couple in love, and you can see the evolution below.
– London is about the call and the adventures the character has next, when a publisher desperately wants your book, which is as rare as hen’s teeth these days, they’ll call.
– London’s old title was simple and to the point, if not a little different. L.J. comes up with unusual titles for her books, but realised that it needed that overhaul and gave it a more romantic one.
THE BILLIONAIRE’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET
– Originally released under the very original title of, Her Secret Island of Sex and Torment, it was updated in 2016 to the shorter version of Her Secret Island because L.J. thought it was too much and a bit too overboard. In 2019, the title and cover, were overhauled once more and given a sexy new vibe. You can see the evolution below.
– The idea for Billionaire’s came from a dream/vision L.J. kept having. If she were a billionaire she’d live on an island and have her pick of men all night.
– Billionaire’s was written from July to about October 2013 along with three non-fiction books. All were released in 2014. Billionaire’s has kept the original cover picture and just had the title and author name updated.
– L.J. used Aussie actor, Conrad Coleby as inspiration for the hero.
HOW POSITIVITY CAN BE A BAD THING!
– How Positivity Can Be A Bad Thing came about after encountering many bloggers who had twisted perceptions of how things should be online. L.J. saw the hypocrisy in the mixed messages and so wrote this book.
– Positivity is about the differences with positive and negative and how negativity can be a good thing. It’s also about not taking crap from those who spout positivity and block you for the negativity they claim you give out.
– This book was written in 2013 and released in 2014. It was partially handwritten and the rest was added later in the document. As of 2019 L.J. considered unpublishing this book, but decided to keep it available at Amazon as an e-book only.
DREAM IT, WRITE IT, PUBLISH IT! AN AUSTRALIAN GUIDE TO ALL THE HARD PARTS NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING
– Dream It, Write It, Publish It! An Australian Guide To All The Hard Parts No One Tells You About Self-Publishing started from a few blog posts that L.J. thought could be turned into a book. She re-wrote them and added far more categories and details and came up with a guide for Australians when it comes to self-publishing.
– L.J. wrote the book in 2013 and released it in 2014. This one was completely typed up and not handwritten as all of her novels have been.
– Publish It! was not its first name. L.J. went through several to see what fit best, and when the book was done, picked what it referred to most.
– L.J.’s hoping to fully update it for a re-release, but it’s not high on the agenda at the moment.
PORN STAR BROTHERS
– The idea for Porn Star (no brothers at this stage) started after breakfast show host Karl Stefanovic’s name was pronounced wrong at our TV show awards, the Logies, in 2014. And with his nickname of Carlos, it seemed like a porn name, so from that the original idea came to light and grew until the full idea for the series emerged in Jan/Feb 2015.
– In 2015 L.J. did some “research” for the series by watching Boogie Nights and Studio 54. Dirk Diggler’s got nuthin’ on the Porn Star Brothers!
– When Jackie Collins died in 2015, L.J. felt the need to get the books written and out as soon as possible, which is why they were released across the three weeks of the first anniversary of Jackie’s death, what would have been her birthday two weeks later, and the following fortnight. Jackie is L.J.’s author mentor and idol.
– All Porn Star books and short stories are dedicated to Jackie Collins and the Stefanovic brothers.
– The first four Porn Stars (Carlos, Pedro, Tomas, and Retribution) weren’t written until April/May of 2016. The plan was to write them in Dec 2015 / Jan 2016, but L.J.’s mother became seriously ill and production of the books, as well as everything else, was pushed back further and further. The first three, Carlos, Pedro and Tomas were released across Sep/Oct 2016. Retribution was expanded and released in March 2017.
– The original story for Tomas was going to have him as straight as Carlos and screwing women. But when the time came to write the story, the twist had already been made to make him gay and screwing all the men. The story changed again when it was being written and he found love with one man, Roger Dencott, instead.
– Tomas doesn’t know for sure if he’s even gay. He was asexual for 22 years and had never experienced feelings for either sex until his first sexual encounter which just happened to be with a man. Since he’s never been with a woman in any way, he actually has no idea if that’s something he’d like or want to get into. He just believed Roger was it because of the way he got the tingles and he went with it, regardless of the fact he should have dated a lot and experienced other possibilities and people before finally making up his mind. So he actually doesn’t know if he’s straight out gay, potentially bi, or heterosexual and would prefer to be with a woman if he had sex with one.
– Carlos took 4 days to write, Pedro 7 days, Tomas 10 days, and all three were 120-ish handwritten pages. Retribution took 2 hours and started at 23 handwritten pages. It expanded to 62 pages in the word doc after editing. Also, all four books have been bundled together to form one book called Porn Star Brothers. An omnibus collector’s edition, it features a different cover for the e-book and a completely new one for the paperback novel version.
– The covers for all four first books came from the same photographer on Shutterstock. It wasn’t until nearly a year later when looking for more pictures, that L.J. found out that the guy in the pics she used for Carlos and Retribution was also the photographer of all four pics. He’s Italian, he’s gorgeous, and he’s so damn dreamy!
– An Easter egg or two was planted in these books concerning the number plates of the cars which the boys were kidnapped in. PMS 333 (initials for Pedro Matthew Stephanopoulos), and TGS 333 (initials for Tomas Giorgio Stephanopoulos). The plane flight that Pedro and Angie took was flight 333 from Athens to New York. The 333 stands for the three brothers.
– Forever, the second book in the series, was 389 pages written across 20 days in October 2016. L.J. originally wanted two rings on a satin cushion surrounded by glitter and red hearts. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find anything like it and settled on the two rings surrounded by glitter.
– This is not the first time “forever” has been mentioned in the books. In Pedro and Retribution, both Pedro and Angie know each other is their “forever”.
– Love Never Dies, the third book in the series, was 303.5 pages written across 17 days in November 2016. It was emotionally exhausting to write and finish due to the serious nature of the storyline. There was lots of blubbering over that book and the storyline changed after chapter 13.
– L.N.D.’s cover was originally supposed to have two half-naked men cavorting in each other’s arms, looking all hot and sweaty. Not being able to find such a pic to her liking, she found another one, the sunset was perfect, the silhouettes in it, not so much. Finding another picture of two guys that matched the sunset picture perfectly, L.J. had one superimposed over the other and that’s the cover of L.N.D.
– The name for SB3, the family’s nightclub, stands for Stefan/Stephanopoulos Brothers 3.
– There was going to be a novella between Love Never Dies and Stefan, but exhaustion took too much out of L.J. and she took a break after Stefan and DeLuca. It may come at a later date as a book of short stories.
– Stefan, the fourth book in the series, was a whopping 782 handwritten pages across 39 days in Dec 2016 and Jan 2017 and L.J. didn’t even want to write it. She was so exhausted after L.N.D. that just staring at that first empty notebook page made her tired. After spending the weekend getting characters and plot lines written down, and having a bit of a break, she picked up her pen and out it came.
– Stefan turned out completely different to the original idea thanks to L.N.D. getting an ending change. During the writing of L.N.D., two particular characters were supposed to be reincarnated in Stefan. But with the ideas for Stefan growing darker each day, and the end being quite repulsive, L.J. decided that since she couldn’t kill off the two characters in L.N.D. they wouldn’t be reincarnated into Stefan, and so Stefan had to have its storyline changed.
– Stefan ended up being far longer than anticipated because L.J. gave her muse its head and let it run. She finally had to rein it in towards the end, otherwise L.J. could have potentially written 1000 pages plus.
– Stefan was followed by the short story of Simon which took 2 days and 31 pages, and the novella DeLuca, 125 pages across 11 days. This book too made L.J. blubber like a baby as she regrets killing off a certain character in the whole Porn Star Brothers storyline. But then, she wouldn’t have the storyline she had for Stefan. It always makes sense when it’s finished.
– Simon is a short story that was going to be free for download. But when noticing the timing of Simon came between Stefan’s end and its epilogue, it was added to the book. It’s a continuance of the story.
– DeLuca, the fifth book in the series, is based on the DeLuca family and is a continuance to Stefan and the Stephanopoulos saga. It initially took 125 pages across 11 days in 2017, but when getting ready to release it, L.J. realised it needed to be longer if was going to be a decent sized 6×9. So, she typed an extra 15,000 words, and then realised she was stuck. Doing what she does best, she picked up a notebook and pen and hand wrote another 60 plus pages in 2019, two years on to the month. She was surprised how naturally the extension of the novel came, and didn’t realise it was a two year gap in her writing it until after she looked at her book notes. She said, “it was as if I’d never left the story, and I slipped right back in”.
– This book also made L.J. blubber like a baby as she regrets killing off a certain character in the whole Porn Star Brothers storyline. But then, she wouldn’t have the storyline she had for Stefan. Stories always make sense when they’re finished.
– During DeLuca, there are many mentions of “forever”. This is a throwback to the novel, Forever, as everyone should, but don’t, always get their own forever.
– There is an Easter egg or two, or more, in DeLuca, one being that Cynthia’s bank vault number, 1319, is code for their initials.
– Spiros & Jenny is the sixth book and a prequel to the whole series, taking you back to the beginning of the Stephanopoulos dynasty. It’s about Spiros meeting Jenny straight off the boat and falling in love with her, their life together in Australia, and then travelling home to Mykonos to live. L.J. only wrote the book in May and June of 2019, just months before publishing.
– Spiros & Jenny are affectionately known as Spenny, their celebrity couple name. It was an idea L.J. had been sitting on the whole series and what she called them as a joke, but in Spiros & Jenny it finally gets a mention, as does Carvian (Carlos & Vivian), Pangelina or Pangie (Pedro & Angie) and Tomoger (Tomas & Roger). It’s mentioned that the grandkids came up with the names years previous for fun.
– There are some mentions of “forever” in Spiros & Jenny as well, a throwback to the novel Forever, which has become a theme through the series.
– And Always is the last book in the Porn Star Brothers series. It brings the story full circle from Forever (as in Forever And Always). From the love stories of Carlos, Pedro and Tomas, to those of the next generation, Alena, Antonio, Dominic, Alexis and Danté.
– The first four stories start by coinciding with the timeline of DeLuca between 2008 and 2012. There was a mention of Luca Saint and Maria Van Star at the very end of the book at Cabot and Tony’s wedding. These stories show how Alena and Antonio meet them and fall in love.
– The stories continue with Dominic and Alexis through to 2018 when Spiros & Jenny happens, and from there, it jumps ahead to 2033 for the story of Danté, and brings the entire family saga to an end.
– There are mentions of “forever” in this book, obviously, and brings the story to an end.
– You find out what happens to multiple members of the family in this book, since the timeline jumps ahead, and what everyone has been up to during that jump. Prepare yourself with tissues.
– You also meet the newest members of the family, the next generation of Stephanopouloses.
– In story order to read – Carlos, Pedro, Tomas, Retribution (or the boxed set, or novel version), Forever, Love Never Dies, Stefan, DeLuca, Spiros & Jenny, And Always.
– L.J. can handwrite up to four chapters, which equates to 40 pages, a day. She can type anywhere from 3-6 chapters a day depending on the weather and how good she feels. If she gets tired, she stops typing and starts editing what’s been written that day then takes a break.
– L.J. uses A4 spiral bound notebooks and blue pens. Although she has used black, blue seems to be better for reading. She only writes on the right-hand side of the page, so she can make notes or add in scenes on the left-hand side when she reviews previous chapters before writing the next.
– L.J. gets her supplies at stationery superstore Officeworks in Australia, using J. Burrows notebooks, and Papermate’s blue Kilometrico pens.
– L.J.’s blog started on January 1st 2009 at Blogger/Blogspot, and was originally going to be called Whinge Pot but was changed to Bitchfest. It was updated and changed several times until she landed on Lady Jewels Diva in 2012.
– L.J. opened www.ljdiva.com along with the official Porn Star Brothers website in 2017. Yes, that’s right, the Porn Star Brothers got their own website. There are so many books in this series that they really did need their own space.
– L.J.’s blog was migrated over here to the website in 2019 for it’s final name and makeover at this time. L.J. has discussed all things from life, to her favourite things, to writing, to her books, and everything between.
– In 2020 L.J. stepped back from weekly blogging and do a monthly newsletter style catch-up of all the things she’s done in the previous month, and what her plans are for the next month. She also continued to blog about book releases, and whether she’d achieved her plans for the year at the end of it.
– L.J. helped Michael Brasic from Carmine Giovinazzo’s band Ceesau come up with website ideas and was given permission to brag about it.