A little while ago I was tagged by the best-selling author Lilliana Anderson, who writes wonderful New Adult Romance stories. Her compelling biographical series, the Confidante Trilogy is a must read. I have completed the interview questions posed in this blog post hop, and tagged another intriguing author whom I have recently discovered to keep the post hopping.
You can find out all about Lilliana by reading her blog hop post HERE.
These are my answers to the interview questions:
1. What are you working on right now?
Yes, I am working on my original story again. I was recently mortified to discover that I made a mistake in the ebook-production process at some point, probably when I created the Kindle edition. Somehow my draft-version control slipped and I uploaded an un-edited draft full of grammatical and typographical errors. I only discovered this dreadful situation when I started preparing for a paperback edition. I have now spent the last month re-editing and revising The Laundromat so that it will soon be better than ever. Until then, don’t buy it.
2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
I always wanted to deal with some serious themes in The Laundromat. My aim was to produce literary erotica with some reflections on some important social and philosophical issues. Most of all I wanted to explore themes relating to surrender, and the voluntary relinquishment of autonomy and control. These are central themes in BDSM which have been explored by many authors. I am not really widely read in the erotica genre so I can’t be certain if I am that different to other’s work, but I did try and give The Laundromat a distinctive cosmic edge. I did this by bringing in some of the possibilities of tantric sex in addition to modern life dilemmas relating to identity, monogamy and the social regulation of sexuality. I hope it succeeds as a kind of kinky erotica story with a different form of happy ending to most romance stories.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I was inspired to write erotica by listening to erotica writers talk about their craft at a Pleasure Forum Australia event a little while back. I was studying writing and editing at the time and I thought this would be a really cool way of writing something quite different to my more academic pursuits. I was also researching and writing a PhD thesis at the time. Now I like the whole deal of being an erotica writer and having a semi-secret alter ego. It also combines writing with one of my main interests, sex.
It was interesting to be told by my early readers that I should write love stories, and now it seems me that my characters are interested in finding love just as much as they are interested in having lots of great and varied sex. For me, that issue gets back to having main characters who speak their own truth, even though they are only living in a world formed from a few ideas of my own that I have flung together. They have to seem real to me, they can’t be just one-dimensional objects that I pick up and move about on a whim. The main characters do become very real to me during the writing process, and they largely seem to dictate what occurs within the basic framework and ideas that I have decided upon. This does mean that I stick with some unconventional or unpopular plot developments, because the characters are driving the story as much as I am.
4. How does your writing process work?
I do some writing away from my lap top, usually while I am riding my bike. The characters motives, drives and voices sort of run around in my head, nothing too specific, but they kind of tell me who they are. When I am sitting at my laptop the story usually writes itself on the page, with me just putting the words and sentences down with as much coherency and flow as I can muster. I will have a narrative structure in mind, and a bit of a chapter outline and some notes, but the latter are usually partially forgotten or revised as I go along. I do try and keep to the structure though.
I can write a lot fairly quickly, but I have limited time for writing as I work full time and have family responsibilities too. I mostly write fairly obsessively and incrementally with a steadily expanding word count and constant revision and editing. Good advice says keep writing and editing as separate and distinct activities. I tend to follow that approach only after I have got a long way into the story.
At the beginning I always start by editing my previous days writing to help me get into the swing of the story. I am basically learning the story I am going to write in this early mixed writing and editing stage. As it gets closer towards the desired length it becomes more like just writing the story down, as it is now fairly clearly formed in my mind. This can be quite exhilarating as you see the story appear in front of you as text straight from what you have been thinking about for so long. If I lose the flow then I go back into my mixed editing and writing, otherwise the revising and editing drops off significantly until the full draft is finished, then it is edit, edit, edit.
Thank you for the tag, Lilliana! Good luck with Phoenix: The Beauty in Between
I am tagging author Anna Bayes. Be sure to check out her blog post next Monday!
Anna Bayes – http://annabayes.wordpress.com
A little while ago I was tagged by the lovely Dennis Higgins, a man with a penchant for writing about time travel with his Time Pilgrims Series, to complete this series of interview questions and then tag more authors to keep the post hopping along.
You can find out all about Dennis and his series by reading his blog hop post HERE.
Read on to find my answers to the interview questions:
1. What are you working on right now?
Phoenix: The Beauty in Between. It’s the companion novel to my romance A Beautiful Forever.
2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
It is a part of a romance series, but it’s anything but. It follows the life of Paige, who was thrown out of home at a young age and was forced to do everything she could to survive…
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survey only takes about five minutes.
We started the survey in 2009 so that we could collect statistics that are about Australian romance readers. This is the fifth year that we have run the survey, with the questions refined slightly each year in light of feedback from survey respondents.
If you would like to be involved, just click on this link and follow the prompts: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/X38Z6TP
The questions are pretty straightforward, but please let us know if you have any questions.
Anyone who reads romance and lives in Australia can answer the survey, so please feel free to pass the link along to anyone you know who reads romance. But please mention it is for Australian romance readers only.
We will close the survey on 28 September and let you all know the results soon after that.
Thanks in advance.
When I got off the train at Parliament Station I realised I had hardly thought about Mark Two since I left the office. Wow, my long delayed meeting with him was the whole reason why I was in this brazen state. It was time for me to do a little stocktake, now that I was taking the steep escalator ride up to Spring St and was only a short walk away from the bar where we were to meet. Hmm, where was my underwear? Underneath my little pleated skirt? Maybe this really was a new me, rather than a retelling of my old self. Maybe not! An anonymous man on a short train trip was one thing, but could I really be so brash, and potentially revealing, at a bar with someone I really fancied?
Gracious style, decorum and some fairly innocent flirting was what I had in mind during the long wait to finally be with him. I wanted a long term relationship of some kind with him and I needed to be a bit careful. This meeting would be the first time when we were alone together solely to enjoy each other’s company, and it was already awkward enough. Was my ability to act appropriately compromised by my current mood and condition? Almost certainly! So why was I continuing to entertain such wicked thoughts and finding them so compelling?
The truthful answer was absolute fervent lust. I feel an overwhelming urge to quench my burning bodily desires in as quick and uncomplicated way as is possible. I have not changed my mind and decided to have sex with Mark Two on this first night out with him after all. My thoughts are heading in an even more shameless direction as I walk along busy Bourke St. I only walk another twenty metres before turning left into a laneway. It is time to put aside my rather compelling notions as I have reached our meeting place, a small bar in Meyers Place.
Thankfully, I cannot see him anywhere on my quick circuit around the crowded bar. We had worked out that we both knew this place so I was sure he would be here soon; thankfully I have got here first. Good! I have some time to compose myself and rearrange things in the loo before facing him. I need to think clearly about what I actually want to happen, and not get swept away by these wild impulses and do something I might regret later.
Hurry towards the women’s bathroom I have to sidestep the opening door of the adjacent men’s toilet. I am suddenly standing face-to-face with Mark, and I have no idea of what I should say or do. Without thinking I give him a standard greeting kiss then stand back and take a calming deep breath to fill my lungs with air. While this gives my churning thoughts and impulses a chance to quieten, I hope my behaviour s doesn’t seem a little standoffish.
I see that Mark is a little stunned too, and then smile with the realisation that his slight trepidation owes to the sight of me all dressed up for him. After an awkward moment of silence Mark finally speaks. “You look very nice,” he says, kissing me on the cheek, just like I had kissed him. The delicate feeling of his lips brushing my soft skin sends a little thrill down my neck and spine, and I shiver with release from all the pent up emotion and sexual tension which has been building up within me for months.
He takes my hand, which is lovely, and leads me to the seats and table that he claimed before my arrival. As we approach the table I size up what seating arrangement I want. He sits down behind it on the bench against the wall and I decide to join him there, rather than sit on the chair opposite. As I turn towards him, I remember that I failed to make it to the bathroom; which means my sexy lacy undies and stockings still lay crumpled in my handbag. After our slightly awkward start I don’t want to get up again immediately and decide to just go with the flow.
Mark Two is handsome in a larrikin kind of way. His brown hair is long and curly with no real discernible style. His wide set hazel eyes sit nicely in his round face with a good sized and pointy nose. I know he is forty-years old, but he has a slightly haggard look, making him seem a little older or just plain tired. I think this due to recent rapid weight loss, although I know he drinks more than he should. Perhaps I shouldn’t have offered to meet him in a bar. Well, there was more than one thing going on here so it probably didn’t matter where we met. I worry a little I might hurt him; he seems the sensitive type, almost like he is going to burst into tears at any moment. Oddly I find that a little romantic, rather than it seeming a sign of weakness.
Something about him is quite attractive, and I feel very comfortable quietly chatting with him about nothing in particular. I am glad to finally be with him in this moment, and happily notice that the overwhelming feelings that coincided with my arrival have now receded.
Some cool jazz is playing in the background as we sit beside one another; me twisted around to face him while he sits straighter looking more forward than directly at me. We have a few drinks and I feel completely in control, like I am directing what will happen, at what pace, and to what end. It is a nice feeling, not being pressured in any way and I feel myself becoming even more drawn to this introspective and gentle man.
I began running Google adwords about a year ago, These are the top ten keywords for impressions:
- amazon uk
- horse sex
- animal sex
- dog sex
- sex story
Most of the terms are fairly generic, while some are related to the subject matter of Dolphin Heat. The sales conversion rates are very low.
The top ten for clicks is slightly different:
- horse sex
- amazon uk
- animal sex
- dog sex
- amazon books
Who would have thought horse sex was so popular!
Although Dolphin Heat is my cheapest title it is also my lowest in terms of sales. Maybe those with a keen interest in bestiality are not erotic-book buyers?
This kind of analysis has led me to make some changes.
The two weeks I had to wait before I could finally meet with Mark Two after work went quickly enough. Husband Mark had plenty of warning and seemed completely unconcerned, despite his knowing how much I was lusting, and what it was that I wanted. I didn’t really understand his attitude to my desires, but whenever I asked him why he wasn’t worried for us he said he trusted in our love.
Jane, my best friend at work, was thrilled that I was finally going to go out with Mark Two, whom she had known for twenty years. She was adamant that I should fuck him. Over the last few months, I had told her about my growing lust and she thought we would be good for each other. I didn’t have to ask her if they were ever lovers; she would have told me all about it by now.
The people closest to me seemed to think that I should have sex with Mark Two, yet I still wondered if it were the wisest thing to do. I already had enough complications in my life without adding more drama. I already got all the sex I wanted; my husband loved making sure that I wasn’t missing out. On the other hand, the idea of deep intimacy with Mark Two was an incredibly exhilarating idea. I was fairly certain I would not be having sex with him tonight; although for me now it was only a matter of preparing for the right time and place. How else could I resolve the strong yearnings that kept overwhelming me? I was way past the point where pretending these feelings weren’t real was going to work. I couldn’t just forget about how I felt either.
I looked at my darling husband in the mirror and wondered if he somehow sensed these changes in me before I had become fully conscious of them. He was watching me get dressed for work with his most impish grin on his face. I was going straight from work to my night out with Mark Two, so I was really getting dressed for that. I spun around and let my husband fully take in the lovely outfit I had just put on. He wanted to grope me of course, and I indulged him just a little before saying goodbye to the kids and rushing out the door to catch the bus. I needed to get to the office quickly so that I could leave before five and meet up with Mark Two at the bar near his building while it was still early. Our date, to use the term a little loosely, was going to finish at seven-thirty as he was helping out his brother afterwards. While this possibly wasn’t ideal for my purposes it was either meet tonight or wait another week. I needed to see him without any further delay, especially as I had cancelled our last two arrangements.
My working day went quickly, with many phone calls and follow-up details to keep me busy. Now I was looking in the mirror and preparing myself in the bathroom on my floor. It took me a moment to realise I was applying make-up, a rare thing for me. I got my long brown hair styled earlier in the week and now I watched myself tying it up in a simple bun, going for demure again. My eyes were wide open and bright with excitement. I looked pretty damn good for a middle-aged mother of two. As I studied myself on the outside I also did a little mental-state inventory and noted I hadn’t been nervous for even one moment during the day. I was ready to go and do some serious flirting, if not more.
When I left the bathroom Jane bumped into me, having made it her business to grace me with a final lewd comment. She stood back from me, and looked me up and down in my black pleated skirt, low cut top, heels and stockings. I laughed aloud when she wolf-whistled before speaking. “Darling Kate, you are giving out only one message looking so hot like that and Mark will know as soon as he sees you!” She looked me up and down once again before rushing on to share her views on my appearance with me. “You know what your clothes are saying loud and clear? I want to fuck you! That is what you are saying to him dressing up like that for him honey, and he will get the message loud and clear. What happens next will be up to you; he won’t dare resist!” Then she rushed over with a wicked smile and hugged me. “I am so proud of you Mrs Prim Straight-Laced.”
I was a little taken aback because I thought I was looking smart and sexy rather than racy. I could only laugh at her mischievous opinions, and backhanded compliment. No doubt, she was winding me up a little as her way of sharing in the occasion. Well, I wanted to look hot, and I knew that I had succeeded; so she was right about that. Her other observations were funny, so I just laughed again and kissed her good bye. “Tell me all about it tomorrow,” she sang out after me as I got into the lift. “Not likely,” I replied as the lift doors closed. I was now officially on my way to my first date as an attractive enough, possibly adulterous, definitely confused, married woman. Anything seemed possible.
As I pushed through busy Puckle Street to get to the train I felt different to my usual self, even a little wild. I became increasingly aroused and wanted men to look at me and lust after me, especially the handsome ones. The evening sun was still shining brightly and all my senses were elevated. My nipples were ruby hard and I could feel them poking through my sexy lacy bra, disconcertingly obvious through the thin fabric of my low-cut top. The brash suggestiveness of my breasts in this moment was like nothing I had felt before, or at least for a very long time. With each step and sway of my behind, a silent roar of stimulation washed over me from the little kisses of arousal springing from my vulva, amplified by the gentle torment of my breasts as they swished and beckoned. My whole body was telling me I felt attractive, ready and prepared for anything.
Despite my own conclusions, I really needed a careful response from my husband to help me stop feeling so overwhelmed. He had no way of knowing what was going on in my head, but he could see that I was overwrought, and spoke gently. “Honey, I love you very much, and if you really want to fuck with Mark, then I think you should do it.” He paused for a moment, like he was carefully choosing his words, then he smiled and continued. “I don’t think it would be fair of me to hold you to being only mine, like you were somehow my property. You are very sexy and very hot and I love that, and everything else about you. I am not worried that you will run out of love for me.”
He paused to gauge my reaction to what he had said so far. For some reason, which I didn’t really understand, I wasn’t in the mood for making it any easier on him, and I gave him nothing. He would just have to say what he wanted to say, and get it right, without any clues from me. Seeing that he wasn’t going to get any help from me, he continued. “If you feel a passionate desire to be with him then you probably need to go with it. Just keep talking to me about what is going on for you so I know you aren’t going behind my back.” It seemed he was now finished because he gave me a funny looking smile.
It was a good try. My heart wanted to melt, because I could see these words were hard for him to say. Sadly though, all the confusion I felt from everything I was thinking and imagining ran right over my compassion. “Hmm, so you think I want to fuck Mark, and because you think I want to fuck Mark you think I just should. What if I wanted to fuck every man at work? What if I wanted to fuck the postman! Would that be okay with you too?”
I wasn’t sure why I was getting so angry with Mark, but it was hard to stop now that I had got going. Fortunately, instead of yelling back at me, Mark gently put his arms around me and held me close. Then he kissed me sweetly behind my ear and down my neck. It was a very loving gesture. I was also grateful that he didn’t try and grope me like he often did when I really needed to be properly held and hugged. It felt to me like he was trying very hard to be a loving husband, and that could only be good, but I wasn’t done with yelling at him yet. “You think I am like you and want to fuck every attractive person I see? You think I am suddenly crazy about sex, just because I told you that I feel a bit attracted to Mark?”
My husband kept holding me firmly and began stroking my head gently, in the way that he knew I found soothing. Then he spoke softly in my ear. “Darling Kate, I love you. Please don’t be angry about how you are feeling. Answer this question: do you want to fuck the postman?” I had calmed down a lot and looked at him through slowly welling tears and shook my head no.
“Do you want to fuck all the men at work?” I wiped my eyes, and gave him the most serious look I could manage before answering. “Not all at once; perhaps in groups of five.” We both laughed; then he asked the question that I was half dreading. “Do you want to fuck Mark?”
I smiled, kissed him, and began to really start crying. Mark just kept stroking my hair and after a minute or so I could look him in the eye again and nod my head yes. He replied immediately, his tone soothing. “It’s alright darling. If that’s what you need to do, you can do that. Everything will be okay — we will be okay — and you will know something more about yourself. That can only be good.”
I couldn’t say anything so I just kissed him. Although I no longer felt aroused I wanted to fuck my husband to let him know I still loved him, but he was already getting dressed for the day. I realised that it was actually quite late for us, and so joined him in the business of getting ready for work. It had been a tumultuous start to the day; after making this decision what was now different and what was normal? I wasn’t sure if I wanted things to speed up or slow down, it was all very confusing.