Born 1965 in Rome, Italy, I soon started my travelling career. At the age of five, my parents took me to Lagos, Nigeria, where I grew up free and hot like I've never been since. I loved it there and still think of it with nostalgia. Anyway, it was also where I learned English.
After my African experience, I was ready to tackle the US. I lived in Atlanta, GA, five teen-age years, attending the Crestwood High School, where I started my writing career by publishing a short story Nostalgia on the Crestwood Journal. Very thrilled about discovering my new talent, I went ahead during college, writing for the Emory University journal The Phoenix. Three articles mark my first-and last-steps in journalism, "The peace Corps", "WAMM, Women Against Military Madness," and "Lesbism".
After my American experience, I moved back to Rome, but still kept living from time to time abroad, spending several months in Mumbay India, a country I always felt very close to me in more ways than one.
My writing hasn’t been always smooth sailing. I’ve had long periods off and on, living life rather than writing about it. Eventually though, a personal experience that couldn’t rest, forced me to give it voice so I had to write Piccolo Crocevia A Cinque (loosely translated Little Five Points). This set me back on the writing track, but it wasn’t until recently I turned my insatiable curiosity about people and their relations into the erotica genre I’m currently into.
Perhaps, the main reason I like this genre is that sex intrigues me not in itself, but in how it affects human and social relationships, inevitably changing them despite our beliefs to the contrary. After all, sex is the foundation of our society, the root of many prejudices and the basis of its dual nature. But sometimes individuals can’t relate to these conventions so I analyze and challenge them, indicating alternative lifestyles that people could pursue.
Today, I write both in Italian and English, mostly fiction—mostly erotica in various genres, from fantasy, sci-fi and paranormal, to contemporary—publishing with eXtasy Books, Whiskey Creek Press Torrid and Romance Divine.
Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
It may sound trite, but most of my inspiration comes from me, the books I’ve read, the places I’ve been, the things I hear about on the news or that people tell me. Actually, anything can be inspiring to create a story, a setting or a strong character. For Spying the Alcove, my mate told me of the finding of a Roman medallion depicting a man and woman having sex on a triclinium and it inspired me to write the story. To Seduce A Soul Mate and its sequel The Pirate’s Surrender, instead, a friend told me so much about one of her boss Martin that it set off my imagination until I wrote his story. Sometimes, it can simply be passing a shop in a street like it happened with ReScue’s Series Book 2 Tasting Leon’s Mark that began when I saw an auto repair shop and imagined what it would be life for a woman to work in one. The first book in the series, Re-Scue, was inspired by an anthology call for stories of blood and passion, so I manufactured an original tale of two souls chasing one another through the lifetimes in order to play their bewitching game of sex and knife, a theme I’ve also used in Divinitas, only in a much profounder way. Other times, it’s enough to have the hot sun roasting my skin to spark off my fantasy. That’s how my Virtus Saga began. Now up to its fourth chapter, The Leader, which follows The Sex Book 1, The Game Book 2 and The Festival Book 3, it all started with the recurring image of a dark, handsome man riding at night, hurrying to avoid a storm yet having lost his way in a place he knows like the back of his hand. Then things get stranger when he finds cover in a rundown shack and the beautiful woman at the door is someone awfully familiar, but for the life of him, he doesn’t know her or her name. Well…that’s inspiration for you!
What made you chose to write erotic literature in particular? And is there any other genre you’d like to write? And if so, why?
The main reason I write erotica is because people express themselves through sex in ways they could never with verbal communication alone. Sex defines their relationships and sets the basis along which we relate to other human beings and not always in a positive way. Like Martin says in The Pirate’s Surrender:
“I’m sick and tired of the nonsense claiming that to stick your cock automatically makes you superior, while who takes it is considered inferior. This is male chauvinism if I ever heard it! And it can’t be justified in any way.” Unable to keep still, he shifted position, curling on himself. “Take us for example. You’ll end up sticking it in more times than I’ll ever do it to you. Does that make me your inferior or less of a man?” He slammed a fist on the mattress enraged. “Just think if it were true, all women—I repeat all—would be inferior by default, and you know that’s bullshit.” He did not wait for Drake’s confirmation. “The truth is we’re fucking equals, men and women, you and I regardless of which position we assume in bed, of what we do and how we do it. It’s high time we stopped using sex to determine balances in social relations, or rather their unbalances. Who gives what to whom should have nothing to do with how we treat our fellow human beings.” His breath played on Drake’s face. “This basic respect is lacking in today’s relationships, whether it’s lovers, colleagues, friends—”
“Fucking-friends,” Drake retorted.
This is exactly why I write erotica. I use the sex to talk about relationship and try to make it better for my characters in a world that sometimes can be too hooked on conventions and prejudices.
I also use other genres, like mystery and contemporary fiction to deliver this message of mine, only these other books aren’t written in English. In Italian, I have Piccolo Crocevia A Cinque and L’Investigatto (The Investicat), which is the tale of one of my cats, Remigio, turned detective for the occasion to the point he helps police solve a murder. Unfortunately, neither is available in English, but maybe one day I’ll work at a translation.
Which appears first when contemplating a new project: A character, the plot and/or the title?
Definitely the character! I can’t imagine any story if first I don’t have a hero/heroine in mind. To understand how my mind works, I’ll tell you about how I came to write The Demon Waiter, my latest Halloween horror release. First, my husband giving me an outline for what he thinks is a great Halloween plot. No details, just a rough sketch of the storyline and the title. It was very interesting, I must admit, just I didn’t know how to use it. For me, stories start with characters, not with events. It’s just the way my mind works. Most times, I have no idea where the plot is going to lead me, only trust my characters know what they’re doing and follow them blindly. In this case, I had the complete story, but no one to lead me though it. So I thanked my husband, very warmly otherwise I’d offend him, and set the whole thing aside. In July, we went on vacation in France, at Cap d’Agde, a naturist village, the biggest in the world. There we met a Frenchman, Lauren. Never seen him before in my life, it was quite by chance that my husband and I started talking to him over cocktails. Strange to say, and not something that happens very often to me, the more Laurent talked about his life, the more he fit into the plot my husband had suggested. He simply slipped into it to the point my main character is Laurent, of French origins, with a story similar to the real live Laurent except for the fact he returned to France while my character stayed in the US. And much like my character, the real Laurent was seeking for something, though he still doesn’t know what it is. Mine, instead, found it.
What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: Beginning, middle and/or end? Why?
None of the above. My stories develop smoothly once I have a beginning, which need only be an image or a first line. From then on, I write the story in my head in a sequenced way like I were reading it off a book, and it all comes together on its own without me having to stop and wonder: “What next?” Everything flows nice and easily, and I smooth out the rough parts during my thorough editing. In the end, it’s a piece of cake all the way, not to mention great fun!
Has your own life influenced your novels? And if so, how?
As a rule, I don’t like using my life experiences inside my novels. The few exceptions are my Italian books Piccolo Crocevia A Cinque and L’Investigatto. As for my English novels, I have described my relationship with my husband in the Soulmate Series. Both in To Seduce a Soul Mate and in The Pirate’s Surrender I have put as Drake’s friends Peter and Laura, a couple whose experience is exactly like mine and my husband Piero. As you see, they were so identical. I felt no need to change the names of the characters. And though they are very marginal, they are the ones who help Drake, the pirate, make up his mind about having an MM relationship. Mostly it was a challenge for me to portray my relationship of almost thirty years with a man I love like crazy in the space of a few pages, but evidently was so good that my husband, when he read it, said I’d preserved the spirit of the way we relate to each other, and that was the greatest compliment of all.
But I also poured my life experiences in a character in Book 2 of my ReScue Series, Tasting Leon’s Mark. Janet is the woman who will capture Leon and Sean’s interest in an obtrusive and silent way that will prove a winner inside a heated MM relationship that has already gone through several lifetimes of sex, blood and passion. Unlike any other characters, Janet has pretty much my life experience, including a brief relationship I had in the USA with a woman (I even used the same names) and in the next and final book of the series, working title Traveling Through Souls, I imagine a reunion with this woman I have loved so long ago and have not seen for more than thirty years now. Still wondering what will come out of it…
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?
Never found it difficult to write a sex scene, and not just because I have a great imagination, but because I practice them, too, mostly with my husband! In fact, it’s getting to a point that my erotic stories fire up our sex life at unbelievable levels and all my friends are wondering how it can be possible that after almost thirty years of being together we’re still so passionately attracted to one another. So I tell them that writing erotica makes for a whole lot of HOT, HOT sex and that they should try it sometimes. And by the gods, it really works!
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?
I’d rather be very explicit in my sex scenes. No imagination, I write what I see with the certainty that, if it turns me on, it will other women reading it. The trick is to work sensuality in the sex, which should not just be a series of positions or a steady pumping from start to finish. In my sex scenes there’s always seduction, arousal, unexpected turns, sometimes a cruel streak that enhances everyone excitement. And I never forget the context of the sex scene. I never put a sex scene just to increase the word count. My sex scenes say something about the characters and their feelings, how they are growing or staying the same as the story progresses. It’s the best indication an author can give readers to show a character’s development, something no dialogue can ever achieve fully.
Who is your favorite character, which you’ve created? And why?
Oh, I have several favorites, particularly in their relation to one another. Leon and Sean from Re-Scue and the sequel Tasting Leon’s Mark both fascinate me for their unusual relationship. The devil Martin and Pirate Drake from To Seduce A Soul Mate and its sequel, The Pirate’s Surrender, are equally intriguing in their romantic, seductive approaches. But probably my favorite character of all is Christopher Templeton from the Virtus Saga. As to why, it must be because he’s got such a complicated personality, and unlike any of my other characters, he talks though his sexual life. It may sound horny, but I just realized while I was finishing the edits to The Leader, just released Feb. 1st, Chris expresses not just his feelings, but his opinions about a person from the way he has sex with them. If he doesn’t give a damn about them, he’ll be open and available, almost submissive in his apparent lack of interest in what they’ll do to him, which won’t diminish his full enjoyment of it ‘cause he deeply revels in sex. If he cares about someone, instead, it’ll be a totally different sex scene, like all the ones he has with Duncan when they’re alone. And then there’s Ylianor. You already know he hates her at the beginning and treats her like he’s out for revenge, being cruel and hurtful on purpose yet when things start to change, there’s a definite shift in their sex, too. And his moods, rapidly shifting from up to down, reflect this roller coaster behavior he keeps in bed. Really, I didn’t think I had it in me to create such a complex character, but in the end, he’s surprising even me, his author LOL
Tell us about your newest release.
Within the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, I released 4 books in 5 months, an accomplishment I didn’t think I’d be able to achieve. So I’d like to tell you about them briefly, in chronological order.
The Demon Waiter – eXtasy Books – released Oct. 15 2011 is a horror, dark fantasy and paranormal in my best Halloween tradition. It’s a HOT tale about a Frenchman, Laurent De Berger, who discovers a book on The Secrets of Halloween and tries to summon the demon world to get his heart’s desire fulfilled. Hardly an easy task and what he gets isn’t what he expects either.
However you lived your past, today you’re the key to changing your future – Romance Divine –released Nov. 4 2011 is the prequel to Tasting Leon’s Mark, an original borderline story about two souls chasing one another through repeated lifetimes in order to satisfy their bloodlust through a passionate game of sex and knives. No feelings is the only rule the hunter warn, but his prey inevitably falls in love with him, which results in tragedy most of the times until…well, you just have to read it, even if true balance is reached only in Tasting Leon’s Mark, the sequel now available @ Whiskey Creek Torrid.
The Pirate’s Surrender – eXtasy Books – released Dec. 1 picks up where To Seduce A Soul Mate left off, which is in Ireland. But if seduction turns to love, then Pirate Drake is in deep waters, way beyond his usual paths and must learn to deal with something so shattering yet so new it devastates him. And the hot sex with the devil doesn’t help matters, if anything complicates them.
The Leader, Book 4 Virtus Saga – eXtasy Books – released Feb. 1 2012 continues the adventures of Prince Duncan Caldwell, Lord Christopher Templeton and Lady Ylianor Caldwell. In this particular chapter, Duncan will officially come to power, but only if he learns to accept his responsibilities, the ones to his beloveds among all, the same he needs to convince them into The Pledge, Book 5.
Just for fun–
What is your favorite color?
Which do you prefer a great hero or a great villain?
I don’t care as long as he has a big dick!
What is your favorite movie? And why?
Blade Runner because it preserved the spirit of Philip K. Dick’s novella. He is one of my all time favorite authors. I love his paranormal, paranoiac world building and nowhere does he do it better than in Blade Runner, with the movie portraying it as dark, haunting and treacherous as the author intended it.
If you could be anyone in the world who would it be? And why?
I’d be my husband’s wife ‘cause I enjoy it so much I can never get enough of it!
Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
Re-Scue - However you lived your past, today you’re the key to changing your future
Series: ReScue Book 1
Only one rule: never fall in love. But the sex and blood is just too good to pass up. So what to do? Blood and sex are the only fair game he, the hunter, allows me, his prey, to have in our passionate chase through time and space. And for his sake, I’ve had more lives than I care to count. From one life to the next, I played his savage game, hungering for him in a way no amount of blood or sex could ever satisfy me. But not anymore! So how to beat him at his own game and get away with it?
Don’t miss the exciting prequel toTasting Leon’s Mark, now available!
“I still can’t believe you chased me through time and space.” Raising his head from Leon’s chest, Sean gazed at him. “And for all those lifetimes.”
Lying naked on the bed, Leon’s tension, the same that had steadily mounted since seeing Sean, finally eased—his urges quenched for the first time in his life—driven away by hours of sex and blood. And now in the dead of the night, sprawled on satin sheet next to his prey, clean and refreshed after a luxurious shower washed off the red traces from his body, he felt at home. “What’s hard to believe?”
With a firm grip, Leon rolled Sean over, relishing the sensation of pressing weight on him. “I only came to take what’s mine.” With playful bites, he nibbled his prey’s neck. “Because that’s what you are, sweetie.”
Actually, the hunter was still shaken by the discovery however hard he worked at pretending otherwise, which it was not for after one look at Sean—blond and beautiful with the elegance and unmistakable sensuality of a feline—he had known he was in trouble and not because unexpectedly his prey was a man nor because it was as attractive as him. Oh, sure, the striking man was exactly what the hunter had sought for a lifetime—his marked and sealed, no doubt about it for Leon recognized the look in the dazzling dark-blue eyes just like the guru said it would—yet he was too damn gorgeous…no, even more, he was stunning and polarized attention like a shiny beacon in a dark night, a one of a kind, person, and nobody better than Leon knew it, having reveled in beauty since he was born. Thus they were on equal grounds at least as far as the outer shell, gender included, so Leon’s only advantage was being one step ahead, not too effectively though considering how badly he wanted to fuck the blond beauty, which also was another bad sign.
Ordinarily, men were not his primary sexual choices despite a consistent share of his girlfriend’s gay boyfriends finding their way into his bed during college, all turning out too jealous and possessive for his tastes. Sean appeared different also from the gay cliché, which was all to his advantage, and to Leon’s undoing. Still, he could hardly complain to fate about his great fortune, so during the interview, he had managed to control the leap in his heart, the crunching of his stomach, the blood racing in his ears by pretending to study the file he had already memorized simply to buy himself time.
“How did you know where to look for me every time?” Sean creased his forehead. “I mean the world’s a big place.”
“That has never stopped me or you for that matter.” With a delicate touch, Leon fingered Sean’s incisions. “Tell me, instead, didn’t you felt like something was missing in your life?”
Sean nodded. “Too many to count.”
“I think it’s our destiny to try and find each other.”
Purchase Link: http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/_rescue.html
Publisher Link: http://www.romancedivine.com
Thanks for stopping by, Laura! I wish you the best of success for the future! ~ Blak Rayne
Thanks for stopping by, Laura! I wish you the best of success for the future! ~ Blak Rayne