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5 Minutes with CJ Black

In 5 Minutes, CJ Black on September 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Author Bio: CJ Black

I’m an author of erotic and fantasy fiction, usually M/M. I have stories published in two of the Better Sex.com Amatory Fiction Anthologies as a weekly contest winner in their yearly erotic fiction contest. I also have short stories in online magazines including Clean Sheets and Good Vibrations as well as works published with Excessica, Noble Romance Publishing and Cobblestone Press. My full-length M/M erotic fantasy novel, Illusion of Night was recently accepted by Liquid Silver Books. Feel free to contact me to discuss writing anytime.

What project are you currently working on? (C’mon, give us a hint!)

I’ll give you two!  I’m currently working on a m/m paranormal contemporary and a companion piece to Illusion of Night (my recent release), a m/m fantasy adventure.  I’m currently running a contest where you can submit a name for my paranormal and win a copy of Illusion of Night.  I have excerpts of both at my site.  Drop by! Site: http://cjblack.net/ and my blog Black Satin: http://cjblacksatin.blogspot.com/

What is your favorite snack?

CHOCOLATE!

I have heard from numerous authors that chocolate is the staple of their diet. Is it in yours?

*grins* See above.  Not liking chocolate should be deemed illegal.  That and coffee.

Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?

No, I don’t believe so, at least not anytime soon.  I’m a big fan of technology and love gadgets, but there’s nothing like the feel of a new book in your hands.  Books have been a part of our society well — forever.  I doubt that’s going to change.

When you have writer’s block how do you break free?

It’s not easy.  I’ve found what works best is to just walk away sometimes.  But the problem with that is if you stay away too long you tend to start intentionally finding other things to do that have nothing to do with writing.  I’m in that situation right now.  There are also other things I do, like gardening and cooking which separates me from the story for awhile.  Usually I can go back with a new perspective.

Who is your perfect hero?  And why?

“Charmingly arrogant”.  I know that sounds strange but I like my heroes to be able to handle any situation with just a dash of humor and not to take any mess from anyone.  Not too serious – who wants that?  But I want him to be able to protect his love interest, be fiercely possessive but not to the point where he’s controlling.

Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?

Maybe a paranormal suspense novel in the near future.

What kind of research do you do for your books?  Do you enjoy the research process?

A combination of reading and visual information gathering.  I prefer the visual.  It just makes it at lot easier for me to process the information if I “see” the research material so I can use it in my writing.  Although I have shelves full of non-fiction books on things ranging from living in a certain age, to food preparation.  I like the process well enough, but I’d rather be writing.

What is your favorite movie of all time?  The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?

That would be Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.  The animation, scenes, characters, storyline – now there’s a movie that’s inspiring.  I wish I could create the type of worlds that come out of his mind.

What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

My garden.  Nothing gives you a sense of accomplishment like coaxing life out of the earth.  I’m also a gamer, and currently own an X-Box360 and a Nintendo DSL.

Have you ever faked sick?

No, if I want to take a day off, I just say it’s for personal business (you know what I’m really telling them…) because then if I’m out and someone sees me, I can just go about my personal business.

What is your perfect pizza?

One that arrives early and is hot.  As to toppings, sausage, mushrooms and green peppers…Hmm…I wonder if Dominoes has any specials going on?

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one?  If not, then which

one is closest to.

Is it ok to say I love all of my works?  Well if I have to make a choice since Illusion of Night is available, right now it’s close.

Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book comes out?

I’m always nervous!  What writer isn’t?  If someone says, they aren’t nervous they aren’t being honest with themselves or anyone else.  I always say, write for yourself first and then for your readers so yes, their opinions matter.

How much does reader response mean to you over your books?

A good deal.  After all, where would any writer be without their readers?  I strive to give as entertaining a story as I possible can.  And yes, I do want to hear from my readers about their opinions on my works.  I’ll always listen to concise opinions and try to incorporate their advice into my writing.  However, I will more than likely ignore someone who says, “Your writing sucks.” or things of that nature.

What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?

A fulfilling experience.  That they were entertained.  That feeling of contentment that after a good experience and a little sadness that the story has come to an end.  Then I want to them think, “What other works has she done and where can I get them?”

If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast at the h/h?

Definitely Illusion of Night.  I’d actually like to see it as an anime.  Who knows? If I ever get to Japan…

Who is your favorite author?

I have several but one of my true favorites is Claire Thompson.  Her works were some of the first I read when I started perusing m/m fiction.  She has a flare for making any storyline interesting and creating characters you can really get into.

What is your favorite color besides YELLOW?

I know everyone love yellow. Purple.  I love purple!

Boxers or briefs?

We’re talking about on men, right?  Briefs.

Thank you CJ for this wonderful interview and good luck on the new release. You can find CJ Black at her website. http://cjblack.net

New Release:

ILLUSION OF NIGHT
M/M Erotic Fantasy
Liquid Silver Books
A spectral war has torn the veils that separate life and death in pieces. Beings of the darkness slip through these rifts as armies of man wage a losing battle against the corporeal invaders. Dane Tanderes was once a mortal man condemned to an unjust death, cursed to live as a fiend until the gods decreed he was deemed worthy for forgiveness. Now that he has escaped back to the world of the living he is determined to never again live in darkness. Dane is instrumental in the war against those he once called brethren, fighting to give his people a chance return to the light.

Vanlyn Sarn is the second son of a cruel lord. His life is one of misery and degradation, despised by his brother and father for reasons known only to them. He is tasked by his father to journey deep into enemy territory and escort troops to aid in the fighting. However, Vanlyn knows the true nature of this mission. He is not expected to return.

When Dane takes Vanlyn prisoner, he plans to use the young prince as a pawn to seduce Vanlyn into betraying his kingdom and his people. But passion ignites red hot and Dane is torn between his burgeoning feelings for the young prince and doing what his honor demands. Which decision will lead him to what he desires most?

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Who Is Reading male/male romance/erotica and Why?

In General on September 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Who Is Reading m/m Romance/Erotica and Why?

by Diana

Upon conducting extensive research and interviews on why women read ménage and specifically m/m erotica I found it to be a simple case of curiosity. The idea of the ‘forbidden’ seems to spark a fire in many. Strangely enough the majority of readers seem to be heterosexual females. Although many gay men read the genre the ones I interviewed tended to prefer true HEA stories or suspense.

For several it was an intense desire to know if a homosexual relationship guided by a similar set of ethical values and principles of the more traditional heterosexual monogamous relationship: love, mutual support, respect, loyalty, honesty, and trust were present. Others read to discover the insight in to how gay men deal with family; society; work? In a fictitious world, these are still real issues and that can’t be skirted around and still make the story seem whole.

Fiction stretches our imaginations and encourages us to see old things in a new light and to go beyond our boundaries to things we’ve never dreamed of. Since Brokeback Mountain was such a huge success at the box office more and more people have come to accept and desire knowledge of m/m romance.

5 Minutes of Blisse

In 5 Minutes, Victoria Blisse on September 15, 2010 at 11:56 am

Bio:

Victoria Blisse is a mother, wife, Christian, Manchester United fan and erotica writer. She is equally at home behind a laptop or a cooker and she loves to create stories, poems, cakes and biscuits that make people happy.

She was born near Manchester, England and her northern English quirkiness shows through in all of her stories. Passion, love and laughter fill her works, just as they fill her busy life.

Website and Blog

What project are you currently working on? (C’mon, give us a hint!)

Christmas. No really, I’m working on a cute little Christmas story and the deadline is fast approaching. It will have snow, sex and Swiss chalets, what more could you want?

I have heard from numerous authors that chocolate is the staple of their diet. Is it in yours?

Oh yes, I love my chocolate and tend to have a little nibble every day. I try to keep it to a minimum but chocolate is a temptation I put up little fight against.

Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?

I don’t think so, no. I think more and more electronic readers will be owned and used as they get cheaper and easier to use but I don’t think real, physical books will ever be replaced because people love the smell and the feel of a paper book in their hands.

When you have writer’s block how do you break free?

I’m afraid I don’t have a quick fix to this one. If I can, I will take a short break from writing. Sometimes I’m just burnt out and need a rest and then I can go back to it full of vigour again.

Sometimes though I just have to push on word by painful word and eventually it becomes easier, the inspiration flows and I get to writing in an enjoyable way once more but this is very, very tough but it is the only way I have found to write through writers block.

What do you do for inspiration?

Get on the bus. No, really, many of my best story ideas come to me on public transport. I think it’s because my mind runs free as I stare out of the window.

What kind of research do you do for your books?  Do you enjoy the research process?

I love being an erotic romance writer because all kind of fun things can be filed under research. I get to have lots of sex and not only am it fun and satisfying, it helps me with my work. The less exciting research gets done using a search engine more often than not. I’m not very good at that kind of research and that’s probably why you won’t see a historical romance from me any time soon!

What is your favourite movie of all time?  The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?

Well, my favourite film is Flash Gordon but mostly because it reminds me of my childhood, I watched it over and over as a kid and I still know chunks of the script by heart.

A film which affects me strongly every time I watch it though is City of Angels.  It’s a beautiful love story but it makes me cry every time I see it.

Who would you want to be tied to for 24hours?

I’d happily be tied to David Tennant of Doctor Who fame but please don’t tie us together too tightly; I want to be able to touch him a bit.

What is your favourite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

I love to sit back with a cold drink and some snacks and watch a good football match, preferably one with my team Manchester United and it’s even better if they win. As you can imagine, I’m in heaven right now as I write this as the world cup is in progress and there is football on every day.

Have you ever faked sick?

No, I’m a good girl, me! What, you don’t believe me? Oh, okay then. I might have pulled a sickie once and gone and sat in a cinema all day watching films and eating sweeties instead of going to sit on tills scanning food all day at the supermarket. I might have done that, but there’s no evidence I did.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Whole heartedly.  I’d not be with my husband now if it didn’t exist.

Do you have a celebrity crush?

Just one? Well, it’s not fair to make me pick. I love John Tennant as I mentioned above, also John Simm who played the Master in Doctor who, now that would be a dream threesome right there. Ryan Giggs is my footballing choice, and Cristiano Ronaldo, though I’ve still not quite forgiven him for leaving united, I could put that aside for a good snog or more.

What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?

Terri is very like me, though you will find elements of my personality in most, if not all my female characters. Terri in Getting Physical and Getting Intimate is very much like me in her build and her frame of mind and with her lack of self esteem. She’s also got just my sense of humour about things and her mum is a little bit like my own. Although if she reads this I’ll be in trouble!

Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book comes out?

Always. You’d think it’d get easier with time but it doesn’t. I’m still nervous after every release and whenever I get a new review in I hope that it’s good but always dread that it will be a horrible and insulting review. I don’t think that will ever change.

What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?

I hope they’ll have a warm feeling of contentment when they’ve finished reading any of my stories. That they’ll have had a laugh and I also hope they will go away feeling a little better about themselves. I like to think I give my readers a positive confidence boost as well as giving them some sexy inspiration.

Who is your favourite author?

I love Terry Pratchett, his books are so funny and so real and he writes fantastically believable characters, which is remarkable when you think of the kind of characters he writes. Death of Rats anyone?

What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

Brenda Talley at Coffee Time Romance said this about Making It Real:

This was my first exposure to the writings of Ms. Victoria Blisse. I can guarantee it will not be my last. I particularly enjoyed reading this amazing book with her beautifully descriptive method of presenting the facts. She took her portrayal of the main characters right on to the page which flowed directly into my heart.

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

Red Pill, always red. I’m a Manchester United fan and this means Red is my favourite colour and I could never chose something blue over something red. It’d be completely against my nature.

I want to thank Victoria for letting me interview her and I wish her all the luck on her new book. Here are a list of a few of her latest released with Total eBound Pub.

5 Minutes with Madeleine Drake

In 5 Minutes, Madeleine Drake on September 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Blood HeroMadeleine Drake writes feisty, fast-paced paranormal romance and erotica that spans the space-time continuum.  Raised by a pride of cats, a friendly mutt, and the Sonoma County library system, she loves to read about ancient history and mythology, anthropology, gender roles, and sexual archetypes.  Her homeworld is located out past the constellation Orion, but she currently resides in Texas.  You can find her online at www.madeleinedrake.com.

Her debut story, Blood Hero, is a sexy vampire/succubus paranormal set in ancient Babylon (available from Excessica at: http://excessica.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=405&osCsid=6b75e0d646dda1fa104237913f645fe0)

What project are you currently working on? (C’mon, give us a hint!)

A hot futuristic romance about an undercover vice cop and black ops soldier who cross paths while trying to take down a ring of sex slavers (tentative title, “Naked in Xanadu”).

What is your favorite snack?

Dark chocolate with nuts.

I have heard from numerous authors that chocolate is the staple of their diet. Is it in yours?

Does anyone ever answer “no” to this question?

Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?

Not in the next few years.  In a couple of decades, though, who knows?  If you could make an awesome ereader that only cost a few dollars, I think everyone would have one.

If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be?  And why?

I’d be Tara, the witch in the erotic paranormal I just finished writing.  Because I’d love to meet Kane, her Fae lover, in real life!

Who or what influences you when you write?

I’m very easily distracted by other people talking.  I can’t write with the TV or radio on, and if I’m out at a cafe, I have to wear earplugs.  Music with lyrics can also be a problem:  sometimes I’ll find that I’ve typed the words of the song instead of the words that I was thinking.

In terms of literary influences, everything I’ve ever read, from Shakespeare and Chaucer to Laurell K Hamilton and Lilith Saintcrow.  The good stories inspire me to try harder, in hopes that I’ll one day be that good a writer.  The stories I don’t enjoy–those I analyze, to figure out why I don’t like them and what aspects of them didn’t work for me.

When you have writer’s block how do you break free?

I rely heavily on my critique partners to talk through problems with a story, and for encouragement when I’m not happy with the way a story is turning out.  Going for a walk, having sex, or some other method of working up a sweat also helps.

Who is your perfect hero?  And why?

My perfect hero is brave and smart.  Well, and also something of a smart-aleck, because that means he’ll be able to make me laugh when things get tough.

What do you do for inspiration?

Research.  Most of my story ideas grow out of my love of ancient history, archaeology, anthropology, and comparative mythology.  Also, yoga, if the reason I need inspiration is because I’m feeling under the weather.

Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?

I’m tempted to write an archaeological thriller:  Indiana Jones is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters, and archaeology fascinates me.

What kind of research do you do for your books?  Do you enjoy the research process?

I love doing research.  I’m an ancient history buff, so that’s mostly what I read about when I’m not writing or reading fiction.

What is your favorite movie of all time?  The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?

The Brothers Bloom

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you? *mind you, you do have a strong hunky man to help you with things* *grins*

1.  Machete or other suitable cutting implement

2.  A year’s supply of sunscreen (Celtic/Nordic heritage = extremely painful burn!)

3.  Cooking pot

4.  Needle and thread

5.  The complete works of Shakespeare

What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?

Snuggling on the couch with my husband and reading, or going for a walk.

What is the one era you would love to go visit and why?

Classical Greece; I’d want to stay long enough to do meet the requirements for attending the rites at Eleusis and find out exactly what was going on there before Christians shut the temple down.

Have you ever faked sick?

No, I usually call in crazy.  It lowers the bar for my on-the-job performance when I return.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in love at first smell.

What is your perfect pizza?

Thin crust with tomato sauce, topped with garlic, onions, mushrooms, and roasted or fresh red peppers.  Baked until the cheese starts to bubble, and then sprinkled lightly with fresh grated parmesan.

Do you have a celebrity crush?

Robert Downey Jr.  Brendan Fraser.  Lucy Lawless.  Ben Browder and Claudia Black.  Bruce Campbell!

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a Julia.  Now?  Persephone, I think.

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one?  If not, then which one is closest to.

My favorite book is always the one that I’ve just begun writing.  My least favorite book is always the one that I’ve just begun editing.

What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?

Hmmmm.  Rihat, I think.  He wants to do the right thing, and take responsibility for problems he sees, but he also has a lot of doubt about his ability to handle the challenges he’s facing.

Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book comes out?

No, why do you ask?  (Turns light switch on and off 20 times, because if I don’t, no one will read my book.)

How much does reader response mean to you over your books?

Very much.  To know that someone read one of my stories and enjoyed it is the best.

What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?

An emotional ride that gives you a tour of another reality and then brings you back to your own life feeling happier.

If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast as the h/h?

I’m revising an urban fantasy based on Sumerian myth that would make an excellent movie.  But alas, I’m so bad at keeping track of actors that I can’t think of who I’d cast.

Who is your favorite author?

Hard to choose, but I think I’d have to go with C.J. Cherryh.  Jim Butcher and Lilith Saintcrow are right up there, though.

What is the weirdest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

Blood Hero is my debut book, so I don’t know yet.  🙂  The weirdest thing a critiquer has ever said about one of my manuscripts was “Your heroine (a reincarnated Sumerian priestess of the warrior goddess Inanna) would be more sympathetic if she was a nurse, and she had a cat.”  Changing the heroine that much would have required writing a completely different story.  But it was still a useful comment, because even though the critiquer’s solution didn’t quite fit with the story, she accurately identified a problem that needed to be fixed, and I’m thankful she took the time to offer that suggestion.

What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

Don’t know that yet either.  The nicest thing a critiquer has said about my just-finished manuscript, Faery’s Bargain, was “The sex is INCREDIBLE.”

Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are 2 things on it?

1.  Take a cruise of the Mediterranean and visit ruins in Greece, Italy, and Asia Minor.

2.  Write a standup comedy routine and perform it at an open mic event.

What is your favorite color besides YELLOW? I know everyone loves yellow.

Blue.  The blue that the water is in all those pictures of tropical islands.

Boxers or briefs?

The wrapping paper is much less important than the gift inside, don’t you think?

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

Red pill.

I want to thank Ms. Drake for taking the time to be interviewed. And I wish all the best on her debut book Blood Hero.

Blood Hero

by Madeline Drake

Excessia Pub

When Rihat, a soldier in Babylon’s army, discovers that his village is being terrorized by an akhazu demon, he seeks help at Marduk’s temple. He meets Iltani, a demigoddess who’s been cursed by Ishtar to live as an ardat-lili, enslaved by lust, a night-maiden who feeds on sexual energy.

Iltani offers Rihat the power to slay the akhazu, if he’ll agree to serve her every need without question. But will the price of that power be more than Rihat can bear to pay?