What project are you currently working on? (C’mon, give us a hint!)
I’m always working on something. Normally I don’t work on more than one thing at the same time. However, it seems like I’m doing that right now. Currently I’m working on companion story to my upcoming contemporary interracial BDSM erotic romance novel, Corporate Needs, which will be released through Phaze Books very soon. There were two submissive characters I had in my story who I thought deserved to have a bit of their back-story told. I’m also trying to write a sequel to my contemporary interracial romance novel, That’s What Friends Are For, through Liquid Silver Books. The working title is Saved By Zero. I’m keeping up the 80’s song titles.
What is your favorite snack?
I’m a bit eclectic with my foods. For snacks, I love string cheese (not the fat-free stuff because they taste so waxy), strawberry yogurt, Greek vanilla yogurt mixed with honey, frozen grapes, and Granny Smith apples with chunky peanut butter. I told you I was a bit strange.
I have heard from numerous authors that chocolate is the staple of their diet. Is it in yours?
I can take it or leave it. I really have to be in the mood to have chocolate. But don’t get in between me and my cheese!
Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?
Both paperbacks and electronic readers will exist equally side-by-side. I think even readers who love their e-readers will go back to paperbacks when it’s not convenient to use the e-reader. For example, I love reading while taking a bath. I can’t imagine taking a reader in with me and risk dropping it in the water and ruining it. But taking a flight or waiting on an appointment, I can see taking an ereader. My friends and I recently did the Romance Slam Jam cruise to Ocho Rios and the Cayman Islands this year. One of my friends had a Kindle on the cruise, and even in the middle of the ocean, she was able to purchase an e-book that an author had told her about during the conference. I was really impressed with that.
If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?
In some ways, I have always infused a bit of myself into all of my female characters. Usually it’s something basic like my skin tone or height (I’m 5’9″). Although I think on some levels I’m a lot like Zora from my contemporary interracial erotica novel Fascination Street, I would love to be Ananda Zelder from my contemporary interracial BDSM erotic romance novel Love My Way. For one thing, she’s a dancer. I have always admired dancers and their ability to use their bodies in a creative and beautiful fashion. Secondly, Ananda got to be with the very sexy Eagan Morton. Even I fell in love with that character as I wrote him. Plus, I’ve always wanted to be a part of a reality TV show. What better one to be on than one where a Dom is searching for his next submissive?
Who or what influences you when you write?
Although I don’t own a TV, I watch a lot of shows online through Hulu.com, Fancast.com, and Crackle.com. I’m influenced a lot by TV shows, news stories, and current events. My novel Love My Way came about because of the whole “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” craze. I was writing a lot of BDSM novels, and I wondered if it would be possible to have a show like that with a BDSM theme.
When you have writer’s block how do you break free?
I took a writing program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. During that Writing Popular Fiction program, one of my professors, author Felicia Mason, taught us that writer’s block is nothing but the result of a weak story. That concept was really hard for me to swallow. She explained that a story with a strong premise and even stronger internal and external conflicts can propel a story through to the end. If I got stuck while writing the story that meant that my conflict(s) is/are not strong enough.
I always do a character and story outline before writing my novel. I’ll go back and look through my notes to see what I have for my conflicts. After I have addressed those, I’ll reread my entire manuscript from the beginning. Hopefully by the time I get to the point where I’m “stuck”, I can keep barreling through to the end.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
My perfect hero is one who is not perfect. Perfect is boring. So he’s got to have just as many hang-ups as me (not more though). He’s got to have a great sense of humor. Laughter is so sexy. And he has to be smart. If I can’t talk to the man, then all of the looks in the world will not keep us together.
What do you do for inspiration?
I have a day job. Whenever I get up early to go to work, that influences me to keep writing so that eventually I can write for a living.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?
I have a great idea for a time travel/historical novel. I just have to do the research, write an outline, and get going on the story. That’s the great thing about writing contemporary. Not a lot of research. Well, I did do a lot of research on the BDSM lifestyle.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
Speaking of research, yes, I do a lot of research for my BDSM novels since I’m not active in the Lifestyle. My research involves me going to a local BDSM group and talking to Dommes, Doms, submissive and slaves (when given permission). I have also been allowed some hands-on training. Yes, I have caned, spanked, whipped and flogged submissive. Since one submissive I flogged complained that I was too easy on him, I don’t think being a Domme is in my future.
Researching this Lifestyle and involving myself with the people in the Lifestyle, I do enjoy this part of my research. It doesn’t feel like I’m working, which sometimes is a bad thing. I could miss something crucial if I enjoy myself too much.
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?
I love, love, love the movie “Say Anything.” It’s well written, funny, real, and poignant and has one of the most iconic scenes in film history. I still quote lines from that movie. It doesn’t help that I have a crush on John Cusack.
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*
Hmmm, I guess books (lots of books counts as 1 item, right?), a blanket because I’m always cold, notepad, pencil (I have to keep writing), and my man. The hunky island guy can stay there to help move things around. I need my man with me.
Thank you so much for interviewing me! Great questions.