When Lisa Renee Jones finds herself in a writing rut, she quickly finds a gym. It's there that she listens to her specially designed iPod playlists for inspiration to create the next scenes in her books.
A New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Jones published her first book in 2007. Though her more than 30 books showcase a wide variety, she's definitely found her place.
"I've tried a lot of genres, but where my heart is is in the sexy, erotic, mysterious series," said Jones, who describes her popular "Inside Out" series as "'Fifty Shades' meets 'Pretty Little Liars.'"
"Being Me," the second in the trilogy, is her favorite book that she's written. The book, released last month, is the "peak of the series."
"It was such an emotional book, not just for me to write it, but for those characters," the Colorado Springs resident said. "I hope the reader goes on the emotional rollercoaster with the characters that I went on with them."
The third book, "Revealing Us," will be released in September.
The trilogy actually is a series of five books, with the last two focusing on a character who doesn't end up with the girl in the first three. A spin-off series is in the works about a character who will be obvious to readers after finishing the third book, Jones said.
"It's a story of people who are dark and damaged, and they don't have all good things happen to them. Bad things happen, and readers do want to get to happy-ever-after," Jones said. "But what we do like is that people have bad things happen and they are still OK in the end."
And fans will be happy to know that these dark and damaged characters will come to life on the television screen.
"Inside Out" is currently in development for a STARZ Network cable television show. Suzanne Todd, who produced "Alice in Wonderland," is the producer. With obvious enthusiasm in her voice, Jones said she couldn't release any more details.
To aspiring writers, Jones advised to keep writing, because "rejection is actually a success, and it's very rare that one book makes a career."
Not always a writer, Jones was an actress for a time and held quite a presence in the business world. Before settling into her writing career, she owned a staffing agency in Austin, Texas, that was recognized in 1998 by Entrepreneur Magazine as the No. 7 top-growing woman-owned business. Though she feels the business world sharpened her work ethic, she was not sad to leave it behind.
"I was so hungry for that creative side of me that wasn't being used. That was my first motivation. What inspires me now is that every time I live a little bit of life, I have a lot of things to use in my books," Jones said.
Even though she requires herself to write something every day, she allows herself to live a little. Jones finds herself at Salsa Brava almost every other week, and she wants to visit Manitou Springs because of her father-in-law's fascination with the town.
Jones moved to Colorado Springs three years ago with her fiance so he could attend medical school.
"It may have been school that brought us here, but it's the place that's keeping us," Jones said.