When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
Actually, not until my last year of college. I’d done a lot of writing as a kid and in high school, but I wasn’t serious about it until the end of my Bachelor’s degree when I had a novel done, realized it wouldn’t sell the way it was written, and went down to the library for a pile of books on writing. Then I took some community college classes and went to the Clarion workshop…and then I knew for sure I wanted to be a writer.
Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
There’s no one place or way in particular. One story was inspired by a piece of jewelry. Another came from watching a BBC version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. One came from a call for wintry stories. Another for a call for gay fairy tales. So, all over.
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?
I don’t remember why I started writing erotica. I do remember writing a book in my parents’ furnished basement after college and feeling utterly embarrassed typing a scene that was mildly physical. Then I got the image in my head of being on a rollercoaster at the top of the hill and no choice but to go down which can be terrifying—so I just closed my eyes and kept typing the sexy stuff. Eventually I got braver and wrote it with my eyes open and now I enjoy it. As far as other genres—I write SF/F/H, which can merge with all sorts of genres easily, so I don’t feel as if I’m missing out by not writing any other genre. Though, I’m still working on the actual romance in my stories, since writing romance doesn’t come naturally. I listen to a lot of romance audiobooks since I have a long commute and, slowly, I’m figuring it out.
Which appears first when contemplating a new project: A character, the plot and/or the title?
Um. None of the above, really. DEMON’S DANCE began with a phrase—“Hey man, can I take your picture?” The erotic photography angle was inspired by a Japanese film I’d recently watched. So I had that phrase along with a vague situation and then had to work around it. I’m working on a couple of related books, so the ideas are more of an extension from the first book. A lot of times I’ll just have an image or scene in my head and have to figure out everything else from there.
What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: Beginning, middle and/or end? Why?
Again, I have to say none of the above. There’s a point when I have a lot of scenes written (I don’t write in order, but what I’m inspired to write at the time, which might be from all over the book) and I really have to nail down the plot. This usually involves many days of frustration in which I’m trying to work out character motives which will use most of what I’ve written and have it all make sense. The main problem could be at the beginning if I don’t know where to start the book or could start it multiple places, or the middle if a character has a problem I don’t know how to extricate him from it (or get him into it, for that matter.) Usually not the end, as I generally have an idea where I want the characters to end up.
Has your own life influenced your novels? And if so, how?
DEMON’S DANCE takes place in San Diego, where I lived for several years. Cory’s apartment is the one I had and loved. The national parks they go to are ones I enjoyed and some of the adventures are ones I had. (Not the sex on the beach, sadly. If only.) One of the related books I’m working on includes energy-sensitive Lipizzaner horses, which are based on the herd I work with here in Tucson.
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?
They’re not difficult now, though they’re often the last scenes I finish. Inspiration? Um. It’s really whatever pops into my head at the time, and what the circumstances/location/plot of the book allows.
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 are methods? Open and bold, please, though sometimes left to the imagination can be lovely if there’s enough, well, foreplay.
Are your characters based on people you know? Or are they completely fictitious?
I really, really hope they’re not anyone I know. If anything, there are bits of me in there, but that’s as close as it comes to reality.
Who is your favourite character, which you’ve created? And why?
Generally my favorite character is one I’m working on at the time. I’m rather fond of Lukas at the moment. He’s a protagonist in a related book who has a unique bond with his herd of Lipizzaner horses.
Carina Press: DEMON’S DANCE Purchase Link Demon Dance
DEMON’S DANCE is also nominated for an EPIC award for Horror Romance.
Desire roused the demon within him...
Wanting to live freely as a human, half-incubus Tristan flees the Wardens. Broke and starving, he accepts Cory's offer of a paid photo shoot, never dreaming he'd find a man with whom he could be aroused and erotic in his own body without having to submit to his demonic half.
Psychically sensitive Cory didn't meet Tristan by accident; he volunteered to find the beautiful, exotic man for his patron. Cory had never before been able to touch a man without discomfort and soon can't stop, but the hotter the sex gets, the more he can sense the darkness Tristan is trying desperately to escape.
Cory will do anything to keep Tristan safe, even if it means going against both his patron and the Wardens. Cory must learn how to soothe the demon—and to love the man within.
Tristan clung to Laurence as they crossed the dance floor of Au Pair, one of the nightclubs Laurence owned and operated. Music pounded so loudly one had to scream to be heard. The press of swaying, sexy bodies called to his demon, the incubus half that Tristan feared. For two days Laurence had withheld the meds that controlled the demon and had instead relied on his skill as a Warden to manipulate Tristan and his demon as he wished.
"Here we are." Laurence stopped at a locked door. He pulled a key from his pocket and unlocked the door to reveal a set of stairs. "We're going to have fun tonight."
Tristan glanced up the dimly lit staircase. He wasn't looking forward to whatever awaited him at the top. "Please give me my meds." He was already feeling the effects of going without them for too long: shakiness, difficulty breathing and sexual urges that ebbed and flowed like ocean waves. It amused Laurence to withhold Tristan's meds, but the lack had sent Tristan past heightened sensation into discomfort and left him on the brink of being unable to control himself and what his body wanted.
Laurence's grip became suddenly painful. "Later." Laurence patted his cheek in a way that meant behave, or else. He threaded his arm through Tristan's as they went upstairs and stepped inside the posh apartment. The place was nice—big-screen TV, leather couches, wet bar, windows overlooking Pacific Beach. Four middle-aged men, Laurence's friends, were waiting. In the corner was a fifth man, younger than the others, nineteen years old, if that. Whether he was drunk or drugged, Tristan couldn't tell, but he was already naked and had a far-off look in his eyes. He danced alone in the corner, moving to a beat only he could hear. Tristan couldn't help but notice the scars that scored his body. Unease pricked the back of Tristan's neck.
"So this is your much-touted pet," one of the men said. His lewd expression suggested he saw Tristan solely as a toy to be used. "You've been teasing us for too long."
Laurence tugged Tristan close. "I wanted to save him for something...special."
Laurence introduced his friends, Jorge, Dennis, Ben and Mike. They watched Tristan with hungry eyes and bulging pants. "He's not what I expected," Ben said in disappointment. "He's pretty, but when you said he was half—"
"What did you expect? Scales? A tail? He's half-incubus, I assure you, no matter how human he looks."
"Prove it," Jorge said.
Laurence inclined his head. "All in good time, my friends. All in good time." He turned away to pour a glass of wine. "Tristan. Have a drink." He held out the glass.
Tristan had a fair idea the glass contained more than wine. He wanted to refuse but thought better of it when he saw the warning in Laurence's expression. His hand shook from both nervousness and withdrawal as he took the glass and raised it to his lips. Then he purposely fumbled and lost his grip on the glass. Wine splashed onto Laurence's suit as it fell.
Tristan immediately dropped to the ground. "Forgive me. I—"
"Idiot!" Laurence grabbed Tristan's shirt collar and flung him against the wall. Tristan stayed where he was, huddled in the corner and wishing he knew some way to please Laurence. Nothing ever seemed to work. Laurence hadn't taken him to bed in months; he preferred to sate Tristan's demon by handing Tristan off to others while he chaperoned.
"Clumsy little pup, isn't he?" Dennis said. "Thought you would have taught him better, Laurence."
Just for fun–What is your favourite colour(s)?
It was lime green. Lately it’s been venturing toward orange.
Which do you prefer a great hero or a great villain?
I suppose a villain. In middle and high school, I was crazy about everything Phantom of the Opera, book, movies, musical—everything. School projects involved the Phantom. One of the first pieces I wrote at the end of college was Phantom “phan”-fic. There was something that caught my imagination about the origins of someone so tormented and misunderstood and yet who still has a capacity for good. What would he be like if someone did take the time to know him better?
What is your favourite movie? And why?
Lawrence of Arabia. It’s gorgeous. The acting is as close to perfect as it gets, and it was all done without special effects. I absolutely love the transition where Lawrence blows out the candle and we’re suddenly in the desert.
If you could be anyone in the world who would it be? And why?
I don’t want to be anyone else. It’s like trying to write someone else’s book; it just doesn’t fit.
Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
I’d like to have something in print or on the way to print with an SF/F publisher as well as expand my e-book audience. More convention appearances. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll brave one of the big romance ones.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Evey. It was wonderful to have you @ BRB. I wish you the best of success for the future.
Blak Rayne ^_^!!