Welcome, everyone! My guest today is YSD author Eve McFadden. It's great to have you here, Eve. :) I'm not going to spoil things by rambling on so, let's get started. What genre do your currently write? And, is there a genre you'd like to write, but haven't tried yet?
Erotica seems to be its own genre, with some "subgenres," although everyone probably views it differently.
Under the "Erotica" umbrella, let's say, I mostly write contemporary romance, but I've also written in the nonhuman genre – werewolves, vampires and such. I have a couple of science-fiction ideas, but haven't had time to develop them yet. I like to try new areas, and also new ideas in old areas. I think it's better for both the reader and the writer to try to enlarge the box, if not step out of it from time to time.
Many authors use a nom de plume, and they may use one opposite to their own sex. Do you think an author's sex or sexual orientation should dictate what genre they write?
The quick answer is no, and a quick example of that would be the fact that a lot of gay male erotic fiction is written by women. If we let gender or orientation or whatever dictate what we write, then they wouldn't do that. No one would ever write a nonhuman story, as no one's ever been a werewolf, or a vampire. There'd be no science fiction, since not many people have been astronauts, etc.
Most writers hear the rule "Write what you know," but as I've been writing, I've seen that you have to stretch this a bit. Otherwise we'd all write one story, or perhaps the same story or two. So we write what we think, or what we imagine, or what we learn, or what we extrapolate from what we know. And there's nothing wrong with that.
If someone wants to use a pen name, that’s fine. I use one, partly for privacy reasons, but also because I think the name sounds good. Others might use it for marketing purposes; a woman's name may sell more romance than a man's, because many readers believe that romance is a woman's area. Or perhaps it allows them to get into a different zone – be someone different – and write things that they might not feel comfortable writing as their usual selves.
Some authors have issues with character development, writer's block, plot summary etc. What is the biggest challenge you face when writing? How do you overcome the problem?
My biggest challenge is finding time to write. I'm hoping to get more time when both of my kids are in school this fall. Writing takes more time than people realize; you can think quickly, but transferring those thoughts to paper or pixels is time-consuming.
Plus I've found as you start to put that story idea to paper, you start to think about other things, other "ifs" and "whys," such as "If this is going to happen, then that has to happen first." Or, "If this happens, why does the character react that way." That can lead to a lot of revisions as you go along, let alone what you've already done.
When I am blocked on a story issue, I usually bounce it off someone. First is my husband, and second are some e-friends I've made via writing. I think it's good to have someone else to talk to the story about. They may have ideas that spark something for you, even if you don't use their idea exactly. One thought may open a whole new box of ideas for the writer.
What has been the single most successful marketing tool you've used to date?
I haven't done or sold nearly as many books as some people. I have very little available in large part because my original e-publisher closed down and I haven't submitted to anyone else, or had the chance to self-publish.
I think for indie authors, though, word of mouth is probably invaluable, and that can start by writing stories for free sites, like I've done.
What are you currently reading?
I just started "Bright's Passage," by Josh Ritter, who is a singer/songwriter. I haven't read enough to know what I think of it yet, but it's interesting. I have also recently finished "Mona Lisa Awakening," by Sunny, and while it was fine and decently-written and paced, I didn't care for it too much.
How do you measure success?
If you are enjoying something and it gives back to you, then you're successful. I admit I liked selling my books – there's something rewarding about knowing people will spend their money on something you've created – but I also enjoy posting on the free sites and getting feedback.
Just for fun–
What is your favourite drink?
I'm not much of a drinker, but I do like White Russians. I also enjoy trying different wines.
Are you a cat or dog person?
Cat, definitely, although I am not anti-dog. Dogs simply require more attention and energy than I'm willing to expend.
Love or lust?
Both are fine, but I'm more of a "love" person.
If you could spend the day with any famous author, who would it be? And, why?
That's a tough one. I think I'd be too in awe of them to ask many questions. Perhaps Jane Austen. She seems approachable and I'd love to know how she managed to observe and then write so much about how people relate on a "micro" level, if you will. Writing about the every-day little things that happen is harder than writing a big, over-the-top story.
If you could indulge free of any consequences, what would be your ultimate sexual fantasy?
I really have no idea. I sometimes think I'm one of the least erotic erotica authors around.
Website Link: http://evemcfadden.wordpress.com
Light and the Darkness
Erica Wellstone is a painter and a witch. When her brother makes a bet with vampire Jordan Castle and then tries to skip out, Jordan offers her a deal: honor the bet, and her brother will live. The catch? She must work out the wager based on Jordan's hints.
Yet Jordan Castle doesn't have it his own way. Erica evokes feelings he thought long dormant and he knows he'll stop at nothing to keep her, whether she wins the wager or not.
Erica blinked at the man. He was tall, his build on the thin side, but instinct said not to underestimate his strength. Brown hair framed a chiseled face and she sensed he wasn't entirely human. Not a witch, like she and William were, but something else.
William seized on Castle's words in an attempt to keep his sister safe. "Erica! Don't! Don’t let him in! He's—"
Castle grabbed William's neck and squeezed, forcing him into silence. The tall man turned to Erica, who swallowed but stood her ground against the intense, angry expression on his face.
"Miss Wellstone, if you do not invite me in, your brother's life will be very short."
She studied him and he thought he knew the moment she understood. "All right, Mr. Castle. You may come in. Please, let William go."
He stepped over the threshold, dragging the other man along, and let him drop to the floor once he was in. Erica glared at him, knelt down to check on her brother, and stood up again.
"You're here. What do you want?" She met his eyes, projecting confidence, but he could sense the fear underneath. To his surprise, he found he regretted that she was scared of him. He ignored it.
"Your brother is a gambler."
"He made a bet with me, and he lost. It seems he's not in a position to honor the debt."
Erica gritted her teeth but kept her eyes on his. "I'm sorry about that. I can't help."
"I believe you can. William bet me a painting. One of your paintings, specifically." At the last minute, Jordan omitted the detail of what kind of painting. "I believe he tried to get one without your knowledge, and he failed."
"Oh." Erica spared a glance at her brother, who was now standing and leaning against the wall, rubbing his hand over his neck while he avoided her eyes. She drew herself up. "I have a number of paintings in my studio, Mr. Castle. You're welcome to any of them."
"No, no." Jordan shook his head, a plan forming in his mind. "That won't do."
"It will have to," Erica snapped. "This is not my debt. Take more than one, then. Whatever you think will settle it. Then I want both of you out of this house."
"You misunderstand." Jordan stood in front of her and she took a small step back. "He promised me something…special. Something unique that only you can deliver."
"He had no right to do it."
"Perhaps not, but he did. So here's the deal, Miss Wellstone. You come to my home, and you paint. When you have painted the picture I want, you can go. And your brother can live." Jordan had no idea where the words came from, but couldn't retract them.
Publisher Link: http://www.jacquelinegeorgewriter.com/Yellow_Silk_Dreams.html