Tell us about yourself.
I’m an erotic romance novelist who writes mostly contemporary fiction but likes to branch out occasionally. My debut novel came out in eBook and print earlier this year and I am now working on another novel and several short stories. In my spare time I like to travel, relax in front of a good horror film or go to rock concerts, the louder the better.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I can't remember not wanting to be one. I've been writing for years - people I went to school with can probably remember passing round a school story I wrote at fourteen, although I'd prefer to forget it myself as it was utterly terrible. I see it as an apprenticeship.
Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
Two ways - through music and through dreams. I'll often take story titles from song titles that I thought suited the story. I also tend to have very vivid dreams - most will make no sense in the morning, but I'll often be left with an indelible image and deep emotions from having "lived" the story, which is a great inspiration to write it down.
What made you chose to write contemporary erotic literature in particular? And is there any other genre you’d like to write? And if so, why?
I think it chose me, actually. I originally pitched my debut novel as women’s fiction, but the erotic angle of the plot and the heat level made it much better suited to erotica – and I discovered that I really enjoy writing about sex, so it stuck! Fortunately erotica can cover a number of genres; I’m working on a paranormal piece at the moment and may well develop that side of my writing.
Which appears first when contemplating a new project: A character, the plot and/or the title?
Of those three choices, probably the plot, but to be honest, it's usually the setting. I'll scribble down something like "story set backstage at a concert" and come back to it later when I have a suitable plot for it. I've got lots of those on layaway at the moment.
What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: Beginning, middle and/or end? Why?
I would say the beginning – I always hate starting a novel cold. Once I get to the middle I’m usually well into the meat of the storyline and can relax a bit, but for the first few chapters I’m always wondering if I’m going in the right direction.
Has your own life influenced your novels? And if so, how?
A lot of my writing stems from fantasies about alternate lives I could have led, so they tend to be as unrelated to my own life as I can make them. If anything, it’s the other way round – I often find that research I do ends up making its way into my life permanently, which is why a few weeks ago I was in London watching an NFL game when two years ago I’d never even watched American football on TV.
Writing sex/romantic scenes can be a challenge for some authors. Do you find it difficult? If yes, how do you compensate? If no, where do you draw your inspiration?
Yes and no. I have no difficulty “switching off my inner mother”, but a good sex scene requires careful choreography both in terms of the physicality and the emotional connections – in erotic romance the relationship between the characters and how it influences and is influenced by the scene is very important. Balancing all those elements while still keeping the scene erotic can get quite complicated. I’ll often leave a blank for a sex scene and come back to it later so I can write it in sections.
Do you have a method you use to write the sensual parts? Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
There is definitely something to be said for a closed bedroom door, which allows the imagination to run riot. However, while I’m not as explicit as some, I like to be fairly open about my sex scenes, though I’m not averse to a “passionate blur” on occasion. I plan out the sensual parts very carefully – every scene has a purpose, be it character-building, relationship-building or a plot point, so while I’m building the sensuality I have to make sure it’s working towards the ultimate goal.
Are your characters based on people you know? Or are they completely fictitious?
I like to keep them as fictitious as possible so as to avoid being asked “Am I in it?” Past experience has shown me that agreeing to put a friend in a book is never a good idea – and having people you know try to guess if a character is based on them, especially in an erotic novel, is never fun.
Who is your favourite character, which you’ve created? And why?
At the moment it would be Ash from The Hand He Dealt. He was hell to write at times because he was a very physical character and not given to expressing his emotions, but it was great fun developing his vulnerable side.
Tell us about your newest release.
Astra Scott likes to live life to the full. A sorority girl and Gaming Management student, she spends her days studying and practising guitar, and her nights partying or working at the Fountain Casino, where she has an internship as part of her final semester. The only blot on her landscape is Ash Drake, her best friend Sasha’s boyfriend. Arrogant, physical and blond, Ash has never forgiven Astra for her rejection months earlier and enjoys annoying her at every turn.
But when Astra’s boyfriend Harry reveals a shocking secret, Astra responds in the only way she can think of: by finding a way to take on a more attractive, masculine role in the relationship. Her experimentation with sex toys finds a surprising outlet in Sasha, but when Ash discovers their secret and wants to get involved, Astra finds herself torn between dislike and desire… and as their undercover relationship grows, Astra finds herself falling in love, a path she feels can only end in heartbreak. For Ash may be the only man whose own fantasies are a match for hers, but can she knowingly steal his affections from her best friend?
Two hours later, and Astra stood in front of her bedroom mirror, holding in one hand the toy she had bought from Amy’s Delights.
Rubber underwear was laced through her fingers, a small plastic remote control dangling below on the end of a long cord. And attached to the front—
It was a strap-on.
It was a strap-on dildo.
And it was purple.
A purple length of shiny plastic. A perfect simulacrum of a veined, circumcised penis, five inches long and of a thickness Astra considered average, just the right width to wrap a hand around.
She stared at her reflection for a long time, contemplating the dildo, before slowly drawing it back towards her body, holding it against her stomach.
One foot through the straps, two feet…rubber caught against denim-clad legs, but after a moment’s struggle the strap-on dildo was in place, and Astra’s image stood in front of her, the purple dick jutting out in front like the hilt of a sword.
Slowly she rotated her hips, watching the dildo glide from side to side, before stopping abruptly with a giggle.
Shit. It looks like a fucking light sabre.
Watching herself in the mirror, she closed one hand around its length, giving it a tentative stroke.
She tried it again, this time holding the remote control and flicking the switch. A sudden buzzing, accompanied by a muted vibration through her jeans, made her jolt sharply.
Flipping the switch again, she rocked her hips slowly, her eyes glazing. In her mind formed a picture of Harry’s smooth back and bare buttocks, thighs parting to receive her, Harry’s voice gasping, begging for more, more, please, more…
The switch snapped off.
Astra eyed herself coolly, squaring her shoulders, her legs automatically widening into a masculine stance.
PURCHASE LINK:The Hand He Dealt
Just for fun–What is your favourite colour(s)?
Which do you prefer a great hero or a great villain?
A great hero, but only just. I like my heroes flawed so they don’t become irritating.
What is your favourite movie? And why?
“Heavenly Creatures”. Aside from the fact that it is beautifully filmed and beautifully acted, it’s the one film I’ve seen which continues to draw a strong reaction from everyone who watches it. They either love it or hate it, and I think the sign of a truly great film is that it makes you feel.
If you could be anyone in the world who would it be? And why?
Ooh, tough one! I don’t think I’d be anyone specific – I quite like being me – but I’d quite enjoy switching places with a lottery winner. I would love to be able to stay home and write full-time.
Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
Hopefully still active! At the moment I’m too new to this to have any idea of how things will develop, but I hope to be still writing and publishing erotic romance and having plenty of fun with it.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Tanith! It was great to have you @ BRB. I wish you the very best. Blak Rayne ^_^!!