Interviews

Look Who Stopped by for a Chat

T:  Good Morning Sharon thanks for joining me this morning. I hope the coffee is strong enough?

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

T: Grammar cop? I’ve heard you called a few times and I’ve seen you edit yourself during live writes. How did this nickname come about?

Actually, my PA Julie Beckford loves calling me that. When I started writing my first novel, ‘The Chat Room,’ almost three years ago, I didn’t know a lot about grammar or editing. But through the process of writing my story, getting it edited, published and subsequently writing other books, I’ve learned a lot.  I’ve also learned about the flow of the story and the ease in which people read it and the use of proper grammar, is a huge part of that. I want the reader to see the characters, as opposed to way too much of their surroundings or extra words that get in the way and do nothing to add to the value of the story. I’m certainly no expert on editing, but I’m not too shabby either. It drives Julie crazy when I correct event posts, teasers, banners or pretty much everything she posts for me. She’s gotten used to it now (as if she has a choice lol) and has started picking up things on her own, without me saying anything. I want to do my very best on anything that bears my name. One of the reasons people have embraced my books, is because the story flows from one chapter to another in an almost seamless read. That’s what I’ve been told by several readers and I always smile, knowing all my time and hard work has paid off and it matters to others, as much as me.   

T: You’re pretty loyal to your friends, does it ever kick you in the ass?

Yes, unfortunately it has. It’s very sad, that loyalty means different things to different people. I’m not a fair weather friend, I never have been. No one is perfect, we all have flaws, so as a true friend, you need to understand that no one will agree all the time. Once you’ve become a part of my life, like gum on the bottom of your shoe on a hot summer day, you’re stuck with me. And for those people who have hurt or disappointed me at one time or another, I can honestly say, I’ve learned something from each experience. One of the most important, being that I haven’t changed who I am inside. Forgiveness is a choice, making different decisions is a choice and I choose not to waste more time on something or someone that can’t be changed and focus on what can be. I have a saying, “If there’s anything in your life that’s toxic, you have to walk away, because it’s not worth wasting one more minute of the time you’ll never get back.”

T: So, I know you’re a football fan, but do you prefer college or NFL?

Definitely the NFL and my Dallas Cowboys! I’ve had people ask me over the years, why I still like a team that’s had more bad seasons than good. I simply tell them, it’s like my children; they may disappointment me, but I’ll always love them no matter what. And as you so rightly stated, I’m very loyal.

T: Do you miss the Thanksgiving game?

Nope, I never miss a game. In fact, I’m usually the first one to ask when it starts and make sure the TV is on in plenty of time to catch the pre-game show lol

T: You recently moved, and you’re now living in my conference for NFL, have you worn a Cowboys shirt yet?

I haven’t yet, because the season hasn’t started, but I’ve bought some new Cowboy shirts and sweats and I’ll definitely be wearing them when my beloved Cowboys take the field again in August for pre-season.

T: What made you start the Coffee House Poets Live Write?

I’d watched two other authors do live writes on Facebook and I was intrigued by what I saw. I’ve always been quick on my feet, able to write on the fly and I fell in love with the idea of creating a story from a picture prompt, live while others look on.  After seeing the responses from people who were at the other two events, I wanted to try it myself. The name was inspired by something that was done in the 1960s. Back then, there were lots of little coffee houses and shops, spread all across the country, people would sit around drinking coffee or tea, while listening to featured poets read aloud, his or her poetry, while sitting on a stool with a spot light on them. Since our event is similar in some respects, “The Coffee House Poets Live Write” was born. I also realized, there was a huge potential of bringing a larger audience to our event, through the different guest poets and authors. As authors, we all have a following, some larger and some smaller. There are fans who will come to see a particular author or poet whose work they enjoy reading, but may not be familiar with the work of their writing partner. Over the course of an hour, while watching both writing partners bring a story to life, there are those who will want to learn more about the other writer; checking out their author page, book links, teasers and bios. Alone, in a traditional author takeover event or on a blog site, this could never be accomplished, but together, the effect can be monumental and everyone wins. And it’s a lot of fun for the writers as well. My writing partner thus far, has been the very gifted and beautifully expressive Elias Raven, the author of ‘Cain Sins of the Father’ and ‘The Painted Shadows’. He makes doing the Live Writes such a pleasure for me. Fortunately, for the foreseeable future, Elias will continue to be my writing partner, for which I’m very grateful.  

WickedcoolFlight – Coffee House Poets Live Write Page

T: Where do you want the Coffee House Poets to go?

Our first “Live Write” started in January and in that short amount of time, we’ve steadily gained a larger following with each passing month. As time goes on, it’s my belief, other authors will see the bigger picture and want to get their name on the monthly schedule. The more people who see our “Live Writes,” with different writers, the more fans the authors will gain because of it. I know people have busy lives with lots of choices, but knowing “The Coffee House Poets Live Write” is held consistently on the first Saturday of month at the same time, people have started marking it on their calendar for each one. It’s also another way of paying it forward. By creating this event, with the help of my PA Julie Beckford (my evil genius as I call her) it gives new and upcoming authors/poets, the chance to have their work seen by new readers. It doesn’t matter how great a writer is or how wonderful their books are, if no one ever reads their work.

T: The Eclectic Poet & Friends, how did you come up with the idea to bring all of you together? Will we see a volume 2? Will there be new poets or the same ones?

12620599_573649109453502_497202661_oThe idea for “The Eclectic Poet & Friends” was inspired by author Elias Raven. He published an amazing poetry book called, “The Painted Shadows” in it, he featured nine guest poets. I was already planning on publishing my own poetry book, but after seeing Elias’, I loved the idea of helping other poets get their work out there and seen by others. My book features seven different poets, some established, as well as some who’ve never been published. I decided to do poetry for seven different sections for the book. The first section is called, Love and Love Languages. Elias Raven writes the most beautifully expressive words and I knew he’d be the perfect choice for this section. He’s also become a wonderful friend.  Suzanna C Ryan, another dear friend, who thankfully has survived breast cancer, wrote for the section called, Hope. There are women with cancer who feel alone and isolated, but through Suzanna’s words, they’ll realize they’re not. T Lee Hunt, was one of the featured poets in Elias book and I had the privilege of meeting her during the release party of her poetry book, “Love Undone Poetry,” and we became fast friends. She survived several years in an abusive marriage and thankfully, she has her life back and is one of the bravest women I know. I asked her to write for the section called, Deception. Cary Gregory and I met last February, in a poetry group we were both a part. We’ve became good friends, which started because of our mutual love for poetry and our friendship is one I cherish. It wasn’t long after we met, I learned his daughter and only child, Kelly, died unexpectedly three years previous, at the age of 27. Somehow through it all, and despite his almost unbearable grief, he’s helped countless others, by letting them know they’re not alone. I asked him to write for the section called Joy. Deanna Powers, and I met through my PA Julie and we’ve become good friends. She’d written lots of poetry, but was hesitant about putting her work out in public. She’s in the process of writing her first novel and becoming a first time author because of Eclectic Poet, has given her the motivation to push forward. I asked her to write for a section called, Eclectic. Ryan Baird, or my partner in rhyme, as he calls me, I met last May, when he came to me and asked if I’d like to write a book with him. At the time, I’d never considered writing with anyone and I was hesitant to say yes at first. But it didn’t take my Aussie friend, to convince me our different styles meshed together perfectly, and our words were magic on the page. Ryan was unpublished until Eclectic as well, but he does have a pretty impressive amount of followers on Twitter. He and I, will be publishing our collaborative poetry book later this year. Ryan has his first solo poetry book planned for this year as well.  He was also the inspiration for my second book,” Poetry of The Heart” a book of twenty-five short stories, all ending with a perfect moment. It was a natural fit for Ryan to be a part of the section called, A Poet’s Words. Mark Davis, is a poet I discovered in the fall of 2014. Until that time, I never knew poetry could make me feel so inspired. He writes the most incredible erotic poetry, and after reading several of his pieces, the seed was planted and I was hooked. I wanted to write the kind of poetry that inspired others, just like I’d been. Three weeks before I finished “The Chat Room,” I wrote and posted my first poem publically. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with poetry and now, I can’t imagine my life without it. I’ve been blessed to gain my own following on Facebook, that has grown steadily since last year. Mark, who has a large following on Facebook and Instagram, and I, have become the best of friends as well, and he was the natural choice for the section called, Erotica. It’s important that people understand, not only are all seven poets very gifted poets, they’re also actual friends, who I care very much about and that’s why that’s another reason why this book, mattered to me so much.  

Yes, there will definitely be more “Eclectic Poets & Friends” books. When I chose the name “Eclectic” it was for two reasons. First, I am very different from a lot of poets, in that I write in all sorts of styles and the only consistent thing about my poetry, is that it’s never consistent and people never know what to expect. And second, because the name “Eclectic” isn’t about a specific kind of poetry, each volume will be different. The next book, volume 2, will have poetry about depression and hope. There are so many people, including myself, who deal with the real pain of depression and way too often, they feel alone.

And that no one understands. I’ve been amazed by the number of people who’ve thanked me for writing poetry that speaks to them in ways nothing else has. It touches me so much, knowing something I’ve written, could have such a profound effect on others. Knowing they’re not alone and someone else truly understands their daily struggles.  

And you’ll see some of the same poets, as well as new ones, depending on whether or not the poet is the right fit for the book.

T: How did you dream up The Chat Room, did something trigger the characters? 4925

One evening when I wasn’t doing anything special, I saw this picture in my mind, of a man and woman sitting across from each other tapping at their computer desks, while on their laptops. Only they weren’t in the same room, and it was over the internet. I love kissing, and so often times, everything you read or see on television, is almost always one big heart stopping kiss. But what if there’s more to it than that? Maybe the kiss involves lots of little things, that make it seem more like foreplay to a kiss.  It took me several days to get it just right, but when I did, I wrote my book around it. Like this:

Foreplay to a kiss

He gently cupped her face in his warm hands. Lifting her face up to meet his, looking deeply into her sparkling blue eyes; there was a look of understanding between these two lovers, a tale yet to be told. Her eyes and lashes becoming heavy and half closed with desire. As he nuzzled her nose, slowly working his way down to the nape of her neck until her breathing became shallow, only a soft moan escaping her throat. He wrapped his arms around the small of her back, pulling her closely into himself. His final destination, her tender, wet waiting lips, all for him he thought. With the tip of his tongue, he ever so slightly parted her lips; searching her tongue out, his mouth becoming hungrier and more hurried. As their tongues finally joined becoming one, they melted into one another, not knowing where one lover began and the other ended. The kiss was sweet and tender at first, almost as if allowing her to catch up. Then at last, both lovers were breathless and so enraptured in each other, while the world fell away and only the two remained.

T: If you could meet Alessandra Torre anywhere, where would you meet her?

She and I have actually talked about this. We’d meet in a coffee house or somewhere for lunch.

T: How did you start writing?

When I was six years old, one of my teachers started teaching us about poetry. I’ve always been curious by nature, so I took to it like a fish in water. I’d write Haiku and simple rhyming poetry throughout the years, as well as keep journals. I didn’t have the best childhood, but I could write, so I did. I didn’t have a spoken voice as a kid, but I did when I wrote. Being able to write down my thoughts about pain, hopes and dreams, was like written therapy for me. I’d always written poetry and inflicted it upon friends and family. I say that because it was very raw and the ideas were there, but it would be years, before the expressiveness would come to the level I am now.

T: How often do you write?

I write every day.

T: When do you write?

I write all hours of the day and night. I have trouble sleeping, so my brain never stops and the ideas continue to come. I’m in a very unique situation, having written two novels, a book of short stories and a poetry book as well. I know not all authors do more than one type of writing, so I feel especially blessed that I’m able to write in many different ways.

T: What do you do for relaxation?

I enjoy walking, reading, listening to a very eclectic mix of music and of course writing.  I stopped watching television over a year ago, except for football season. And like most, I have family and friends I enjoy spending time with too.

T: How long does it take you to write a novel?

Well, it took forty-six years to find my first novel, ‘The Chat Room’ and eighteen months to write it, needless to say, I’ll never be known for my record speed. Lol. The follow-up to Chat, is ‘His Second Chance Love,’ which is about the man not chosen and it took nine months (apparently a lot of people wanted him to have his happy ending as well) to write. I wrote ‘Poetry of The Heart’ in four months after a conversation I had with my friend Ryan Baird, one morning about the lost art of spooning. (it’s 25 short stories, all ending in a perfect moment) and ‘The Eclectic Poet & Friends, which came together in less than two months, because I had about five-hundred poems already written. Both Poetry of the Heat and The Eclectic Poets, were published in between the two novels. 

T: How do you come up with your characters?

‘The Chat Room’ was my first book and since I’d never written a book before, I had to figure out what to do as I went along. My characters started out very basic and nothing special. But over time, they became more substantive and three dimensional. The first two characters who needed to be brought to life, were Sarah and DJ. Sarah is a single woman who’s twenty-eight, smart with beautiful long, wavy auburn hair, hazel green eyes and a lovely figure. Not the perfect body, like you’d typically see in many romance stories. Chat was about falling in love and choosing the right man for her, not a traditional romantic, formulaic story by any means.  DJ is a widower, who’s lost his wife Lauren, three years earlier, in a tragic car accident and he’s raising his seven-year-old son Jacob alone. Not only did I have to bring DJ and Jacob to life, I also had to do the same for DJ and his dead wife Lauren as well. I realized several months into the story, if the readers didn’t connect with Lauren and DJ’s love story, it wouldn’t feel authentic. And I had to do it almost immediately, to establish their heartbreaking love story and that amazing kiss. Matt was the other man in the love triangle. He was the boy Sarah grew up with, dated in high school and reconnected with on a trip back home, after DJ mysteriously disappears. I had to make their relationship just as real, as DJ and Lauren’s, in order for them to have shared a past, I had to create scenarios that felt as through you could visualize it in your mind. There was the best friend, Shawn; you know the one, we all have them. They’re our rock, they’re our heart and we love them to pieces, but they’re also the ones who embarrass the crap out of us, without apology lol. There were Sarah’s folks and her annoying little sister named Becky, who would torment Sarah (all in good fun) but they’re bond was strong and they shared a very sweet relationship between them. The reader had to believe both men were amazing, but she loved one just a little more than the other, to connect and care about her choice when the story was finished. I’ve been blessed with the knack of drawing pictures with my words, whether it be in my novels, short stories or poetry. I can honestly say, “The Chat Room,” as well as my other three books, have all received 5 star reviews. To say I feel blessed beyond measure, is an understatement. I hope to continue writing the kind of books that never disappoint the readers who choose each book to buy and read.

T: What comes next?

I’ve been working with Poet Ryan Baird, on a collaborative poetry book, since last June and it will be out later this year. I’ve also recently started working on a new novel with another author. It’s a series of love letters written back and forth between either an engaged or married couple (yet to be determined) before and during the Korean War. It will be a throwback to an era of innocence in a much simpler time. He and I are both very excited about this project, he’s someone I respect immensely and I hope to collaborate with on other projects as well. 

T: Well Sharon that’s all I have for you today. Until next time, thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

Teresa, I want to thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to put together such wonderful questions, that are very unique to me, as well as putting this interview on your blog site; Wicked Cool Flight.

Check it out I got Nicholas to stop by and have a chat with me

T:  Good Morning Nicholas thanks for joining me this morning. I hope the drink is strong enough?

NICHOLAS TANEK: Yes. I love green tea.

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

NICHOLAS TANEK: Wonderful! It’s a pleasure to be here.

T: How did you start writing?

NICHOLAS TANEK: Since I can remember, I have always written stories. Some were fiction. Others were true. I wrote a bunch of screenplays when I was 12 years old. They were horrible, but the effort was there.  When I grew up, I did interviews and reviews, music journalism stuff. It was not until Lynn died, that I began writing books.  Lynn was the love of my life. She passed away in 2012.  I was so overwhelmed with grief and so heartbroken that I felt I had to write about our lives. Our relationship was wonderful and unlike anything I had ever experienced. So, I wrote The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. That book is filled with hard drugs, kinky sex, and an endless amount of music references. Ultimately, it is a tribute to her and a book about second chances.

T: How often do you write?

NICHOLAS TANEK: I try to write at least once a day. Usually, I write at night. I have a bunch of records that I have ready that become the background music or theme music for each part I write.

T: The titles of your novels are hilarious, how did you come up with them?

NICHOLAS TANEK: Well, the title The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself is a multi-layered metaphor. By giving myself over to love, I killed off the person who I was and became a better person. It is also about how people deal with depression and addiction. On top of that, there is a major theme about honesty and being yourself. I admit to many things in the book. There are drugs, crime, and plenty of kinky sex. Many people would be ashamed of this. I just let it all out. Many people I know got mad at the book. My ex-wife’s family threatened to kill me. So, I was going to put out this book even if it killed me.  Plus, the title, The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself divides many people.  Some people love it. Some people hate it. Either way, it gets attention. Then, my other book, Chipped Black Nail Polish is a coming of age story about this punk rock teenage girl who was the very first love of my life. Her style was so cool and her interests were so wild, but she suffered from depression and was hurting inside. So, the title of Chipped Black Nail Polish is a metaphor too.

T: Can you give us a hint at some of the ghost writing you’ve done?

NICHOLAS TANEK: No. I can’t. I wish I could.

T: How much of your rave scene days influence your writing?

NICHOLAS TANEK: Just like the punk rock scene, the rave scene was a major influence on my writing. Like any kind of scene, the comradely and friendships are important. When it comes to romance, being a part of a scene enhances the intimacy in some ways. Both people can be social, but they always come together in the end. The drugs, dancing, and music enhanced the feeling of love and connection with other people too. Rave culture was something that helped me express myself. It connected me with so many wonderful people. It opened my mind to so many new things: music, drugs, art, film, politics, and new ways of thinking. My next book is also about a scene, the BDSM fetish community. Just like the rave scene, I have met so many wonderful people and learned so many things about music, drugs, art, film, politics, and new ways of thinking.

T: What did Lynn do to jump start getting clean?

NICHOLAS TANEK:  Like many addicts, Lynn reached a point where she just had enough. Also, she went from being sober to being an addict and back to sober again. Although it is possible to just stop and be sober, many addicts fall back into drugs. Due to the cancer and the abuse from her husband, I think she just did not have a choice but to live with her parents. Her parents lived in suburbia. Lynn did not have a car or any money. So, her only addiction was to OxyContin. She remained on OxyContin until the day she died.  There was a point when she was abusing the prescription, but we worked together to get it in control.  For us, we just could not take the lifestyle anymore. It was killing us. So, it was either die or get our lives together.

T: How much of Lynn is in your writing?

NICHOLAS TANEK:   All of her. Even when I am not writing about her, I am wondering what she would think. Would she like this? Would she think this phrase sounds stupid? She’s like that little angel editor that sits on my shoulder.

T: Do you ever visit your old haunts to get inspiration?

NICHOLAS TANEK:   I am a sentimental fool so, yes. The book that I am currently writing is about the BDSM fetish community, but it is mainly about dealing with the loss of Lynn. I also live in the same area and see the places we have been. I’m surrounded by her photos.  She will haunt me for the rest of my life and I am thankful for that.

T: What authors influence you?

NICHOLAS TANEK:   There are many and they change often. I do like Hunter S. Thompson, Anais Nin, Richard Shannon, and Herman Hesse. One author, Virginie Despentes wrote a wild book called Baise-Moi which I have this weird fascination with. Regardless if you think it is great or horrible, this violent, sexual book is influential. I like books by comedians too. I like Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, David Cross, Chris Gethard, Marc Maron, and many others.

T: What’s it like going from ghostwriter to that name of the book being yours?

NICHOLAS TANEK:    The main difference is that when I write a book, I write what I want to write about. Whenever I did any ghostwriting, I had to write about topics and people that did not interest me.

T: Favorite author?

NICHOLAS TANEK:    I cannot pick just one. If I did, it would change every day. The same thing with music. My tastes are so varied and deep that I cannot just pick one.

T: What inspires you? What gives you inspiration?

NICHOLAS TANEK:    Honesty, kindness, and people who are creative in an original way.

T: What do you do for relaxation?

NICHOLAS TANEK:    Doing anything creative. Even though being a part of creative projects can be hard work, it is relaxing to me. Also, I love film and television.

T: What comes next?

NICHOLAS TANEK:     My next book takes place after The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. Although it can be considered a stand-alone book, it is a sequel. My working title is Your Kinky Friends. It is a tribute to the wonderful and weird people in the NJ/NY BDSM fetish community. Although it is filled with sex and kink, it’s not masturbation material. The book is a time capsule that captures the BDSM fetish scene, but it is mainly about how sex and friendship can be healing.

T: Well Nicholas that’s all I have for you today. Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

NICHOLAS TANEK:     Thank you very much. Those were some great questions. This has been an absolute pleasure. I love what you are doing, so please… keep doing it.

Find Nicholas

Facebook / Twitter / Amazon Author Page / Goodreads /

Michelle Stopped by for a long chat!!!

T:  Good Evening Michelle thanks for joining me this evening. I hope the coffee is strong enough?

M: I’m not a morning person. At all. I’m a total night owl and love coffee any time of day.

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

T: How often do you write?

M: I try to write every day. I feel good when I do.

T: When do you write?

M: Late afternoons through the middle of the night. Whenever I can.

T: How do you juggle, writing, family and work?

M: Not easily lol. I have two kids. One is still too small for school. I always put my family first. I make sure they are taken care of, that my work is done, and then I can write. Only when everything else is taken care of.

T: Do you listen to Maroon 5 while writing? Is there a specific song that helps the writing process that you play on repeat?

M: I listen to different music depending on the genre I’m writing. With My Salvation, which is contemporary romance, it was Maroon 5. With Floating, it was Taylor Swift. I listened to The Weeknd while writing The Azure Kingdom. And a lot of the time, I put on Spotify and listen to just about anything.

T: In Floating what made you give Lucy such an extreme anxiety?

M: Lucy’s anxiety is based off my own, but our triggers are very different. Her emotions are mine. The book came to me when I was having a particularly bad panic attack. I wanted to put a spotlight on something that isn’t talked about often, yet many suffer with. And I wanted her struggle to be realistic. I wanted to show her struggle in detail.

T: While Floating has a romance subplot the main tug of war is Lucy overcoming her fear and anxiety. What made you go in this direction compared to your other stories?

M: I wanted to show growth and strength in a character who didn’t feel it. I wanted to show how she could overcome her fears even if it was a slow process and it felt like she would never get there. Also, I wanted to show that while not everyone understands it, they can still be supportive like Ellis was. It’s a horrible thing to deal with, but it helps to have a strong support system. Floating was the easiest book I’ve written yet, however, it was the scariest to publish. I put so much of myself into it and didn’t know how it would be received.

T: How do your characters speak to you?

M: They fight. A lot. And usually when I’m trying to sleep. It’s always when my mind is quiet and then, bam! They start going on and on. I write the strongest voice usually.

T: What was it like transitioning from blogger to published author?

M: I think it helped me understand the book community more. I knew of blog tours, etc. already since I’d hosted them in the past. What was new to me was writing and it scared me and excited me at the same time. I’m still a blogger and love it. It’s a lot to balance in addition to my family, but it’s worth it.

T: Paranormal is your favorite genre yet none of your stories (that are out) have paranormal aspects. What made you step out of the “what you know” idea of writing?

M: Until I started writing, I read a lot of paranormal romance. I did read quite a bit of contemporary, too. Contemporary romance was the first genre I wrote. It came easy to me. Cali and Owen were the first characters to speak to me. Paranormal and fantasy are more difficult to write, but a lot more fun. I have my first fantasy romance coming out in June. I’d love to tackle YA. It’s currently what I read most.

T: Will there be any paranormal stories in the future?

M: I have two series that I’m co-writing with a friend. One is a shifter romance and one is a vampire romance. The hope is to get book one in each series out this year.

T: Speaking of write what you know do you add any of your life events in your stories?

M: Yes, I try to put a little of myself in each of my books. In my Heiress series, Kasi is full of sass and curses like a trucker. That’s very like me. I also have her living in Pennsylvania, which is where I live. In Floating, Lucy was given my anxiety. Even if it’s a tiny bit, each book has a piece of me in it.

T: What inspires you? What gives you inspiration?

M: So many things. It can be as simple as a conversation with someone or it can come from a dream. I draw inspiration from wherever I can. I have more story ideas than I have time to write.

T: What do you do for relaxation?

M: Read. Every night once my kids and husband are asleep, I read. I love it.

T: What comes next?

M: I’m hoping to get book three in my Heiress series out next. The Azure Kingdom, fantasy romance, comes out on June 15th.

T: Well Michelle that’s all I have for you today? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

M: Thank you so much for having me!

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Yep I got Mason to stop by and chat

T:  Good Evening Mason thanks for joining me this evening. I hope the coffee is strong enough?

Ha. I can stand my spoon up in it, so it’s perfect …makes the hair stands up.

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

You mean I can’t be all dark and heavy on your and downright horrific? *grins*

T: What about Lord of the Rings speaks to you, that would make you want to write a story like it?

Wow … erm. Do you ever remember when you were a child and you played games, I don’t know, like pretend games? You know some people played mums and dads. Some played cops and robbers … you know the kind of thing? I didn’t really have a great childhood, but I did have a great imagination. Two of the first things I read in my life were The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia books. I was 5-6 years of age when I read these … and yes I really was that young. What I discovered was I could sit behind the chair or under the dinner table and read and be totally transported from every bad thing going on my life to these magical places. Just reading these stories gave me that magic in my belly. I got so addicted to reading these worlds. I didn’t really have any friends. Nothing stands out more at school than the child who is abused at home, but these books. I had all these people in there that were so real to me. Even when I wasn’t reading, these characters were with me. It was the most amazing transportation. Reading was probably the best gift I was ever given.

T: A dislike of chocolate..? Have you always disliked it or did something happen?

God no haha. I used to eat tons of it. I don’t really dislike chocolate. I just don’t bother about it the way most people do. About two years ago I decided that I was going to cut down on sugar. So the first to go with this was actually sugar in my coffee. I Started to eat more fruit, more veggies. I started to exercise more. I quit smoking … well actually I had quit smoking a bit before this. I guess my life followed the typical bad childhood stereotype. I discovered smoking, then drink, then drugs, I quit the drugs (clean now for over ten years), drinking never really took off and last to go was the smoking. So I guess it is more of a treating my body to all the healthy stuff, now my body craves the healthy stuff. Haha sorry, I know you were keeping this light.

T: How did killing Stephen bring about his story?

Hahaha it’s a funny story. For me anyways. When I wrote Gemma and Cade originally, they needed things. The story for them was so different. She had this brother who had been killed in a war, years before and that had shoved her into a political place she didn’t want to be in. It also meant that it put a blocker between her and the guy she was supposed to be with. She talked so much about her brother in the story and Cade talked a lot about his friend, I decided to explore what had happened to him. It was never really going to be a story. More of a backstory for Cade and Gemma, but that shit (haha can I swear?) decided he wasn’t laying down so easily. I ended up writing the short story of the three of them, which is Dark Veil and not so short any more. And then Stephen had his own tale, what happened after the events in that story. Three damn novels is what happened. Once he started talking to me and telling me his life, he just grew.

T: In the Society Series there are a few darker undercurrents going on, i.e. racism, segregation, cruelty, bullying, to name a few, what made you want to bring them to light?

Lots of different reasons to be honest. I love to read the paranormal books, Kelley Armstrong, Laurell K Hamilton, Charlaine Harris etc and they were always kind of from the view of, the human meeting the shifter or vampire. So I thought well, what if the humans don’t matter? What if it’s a world of other kinds of people?

On a deeper note, though, one of the things I believe caused separation in the world is diversity. You know when you go for a job interview, or a dental appointment and you have to complete those forms that want your ethnic background, and your religion and sexual orientation … I refuse to complete those. I don’t know why any of that might affect my job or my health or whatever. It’s like collating statistics on whether I like to eat peas or not. Who cares? Does it make me less human? Does it make me less of a person?

T: How much of your neuropsychology do you use in your writing? Do you think it influenced the Society Series?

None whatsoever. Well there’s that one scene where Stephen gets this guy’s head and … I’m kidding.

I’d not say the neuro side of it has affected anything really. It’s all brain parts and what does this and that on a factual basis, but I’d say the psychology probably has. It’s helped me to understand a lot of tricks to use on my readers hahaha.

T: How often do you play Assassins Creed? Does it help relax you?

God not as often as I would like haha. Actually I play world of Warcraft mostly, but yeah all my games help. I love the story side of these games. That’s why I play them really. It’s like having a book and walking through it.

T: You’ve said your favorite author is Stephen King. What drew you to him? When did you start reading him?

My Nan bought me Carrie when I was teenager. God I loved it. I loved how he took this girl who had a crappy life and then one night, to hell with all of them, karma burnt them to pieces. I just fell in love with the way he used language and the way he spoke and the way I could get lost in it and so invested in his stories sometimes that I forgot I was reading.

T: What challenges did you have writing with a partner? Would you do it again?

What if … that’s the biggest challenge. I mean I write with Lucian and I say, well what if blah blah does this, and then this ignites his imagination and he’ll reply oh yeah, wow, but what if…. The hard part is knowing when to stop that. When do we get to a point and say, yes, this is it, because two imaginations, two muses, there’s always room for one more what if and before you know it, Cinderella is putting on a spacesuit and heading out to mars to heard elephants when really she was just meant to meet Prince Charming at a ball.

And yes of course I’d do it again. With the right person, it’s such fun to do.

T: Who approached whom for the calibration?

Well we had started a book together a few years ago. And then one thing and another, it got put in a cupboard and gathered dust. Then there was this rumour that Lucian and I were the same person. So we started to joke about it. What if we were? See haha, there is that what if again. It’s a little bugger of a phrase. So we never really decided to write together, kind of, we what if’d the possibility of it.

T: Why do you consider tea vile? What about coffee, black, strong and like tar is appealing?

I used to drink tea. Actually I drink green tea haha. But Since I quit smoking, I think I replaced my cigarettes (I was on 30 a day) with extra strong coffee.

T: Three cats? How did they get their names?

Well they’re called Sam, Dean and Castiel do I need to say more?

T: You’ve said your biggest life triumph was getting clean. What does that mean to you exactly? What kicked your ass into gear to take back control?

Ah I was a mess. If you’d have seen me back then, I was one of those guys you’d have walked past, even crossing to the other side of the toad. Not that I was horrible or mean, but I looked the mess. I live the mess. Every penny I had went on my next high. I lived between a drugged up haze to sleeping it off, never anything in between really. But I also had a child with me when I was going off the rails. I wasn’t doing him any good. My friend, she’d lost her child to the care system and suddenly social services came into my life and I had a choice, sort my shit out and be the father my son needed or lose him to social services and carry on shoving stuff in my veins.

I was 20 years old. I had nothing. No money, no real family, just these friends who were into the same life as me and I had my son. So we packed everything up. I left all of my friends, everyone I knew and moved into a flat. I had no furniture but his bed and a stove. I had to rebuild my life from basically nothing. So now, I own my own house, my son is married and has his own child, I’m heading to my Phd .. I have my books out, I have supportive friends … I have a life because when I was 20 I made the right choice.

T: If you could sit down and have a cup of coffee with Stephen King what would you ask him?

Wow. I don’t even know. I’d try not to bore him with the usual questions. I guess I’d just chat, about anything, it wouldn’t matter to me.

T: You’ve said your favorite band is Korn. Is there a song or two that you always listen to? One to start or end the day, or to get you in the mood to write or study?

They have a song for every mood. Daddy is a song when I am feeling angry at my father. It’s a hard hitting song, so listen with caution and there are two daddy songs. One is called Hey Daddy, and the other is Daddy. I mean the latter.

Alone I break is the one when I want to kick my own ass out of a mental slump.

Hater is a good writing song when I want something fast.

Never never is my running song

Here to stay is a good song when I want a determined mood

Beg for me is a song for Stephen haha.

T: How did you start writing?

Well if you go back to the one about The Lord of the Rings and reading, I started there. Once I discovered that I could travel to all these places in books, I soon learnt that I could travel to all of these places with my pencil too. One my god, once I learnt that, I got so addicted to it. I could do whatever I wanted. I was five years old the first time I got published. It was just in the paper; my nan had mailed it off. But sometimes my little hand couldn’t write fast enough for where my mind wanted to go.

T: How long does it take you to write a novel?

For the first draft, not long at all. I wrote the original Gemma and Cade in ten days, that’s 100k words. Right now, though, with trying to study, it takes me a lot longer, but I finish soon and then I intend to right so much.

T: What comes next?

Dinner time hahah… oh you mean in my writing? Well Dark Veil is out at the end of the month and then Hidden comes out just after that. At the moment I am just editing Exile before I send it off for final edits, but I think that might take a while to come out if I am honest. Maybe end of the summer. SO while I wait for that, I’m going to write some other stuff … no idea what, and get that out there.

T: Well Mason that’s all I have for you today? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

Haha thank you. Have a lovely evening.

Find Mason at the following

Facebook / Website / Twitter / Amazon Author Page

This might be April Fools but Elias is really here!!!

T:  Good Morning Elias thanks for joining me this morning. I hope the coffee is strong enough?

Hi Teresa! Good Morning and black coffee will do nicely, thank you!

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

LOL! Looking over the questions you submitted, I am glad you kept the kid gloves on. ☺

T: Why is it hard to have family read your work? What is it they don’t/won’t understand and or like?

That’s a great question. The simple answer is a lot of members of my family are deeply religious. They are prominent members in the local 4 square and or older religious institutions.  I’ve dealt with religious hypocrisy from said members more then once over my spiritual beliefs.  I’ve spoke at length with one of my children, and they advised and I concurred that it would be in my best interest to not share this part of my life with them so I don’t.

T: Why do you consider yourself the black sheep? What do or don’t you do to be considered one? Or what did you do in the past?

Let’s just say that where my siblings were getting straight A’s in college, I was having run ins with local law enforcement and partying like a rock star. My mom and dad had to bail me out more than once, and of course, my siblings didn’t approve of my behavior. I’m not that way now, but it was enough that I caused my family a lot of grief, hence the term black sheep.

T: In Cain, what made you add parts of your own experience to it?

Being an author, your creating a world that is believable not only to you but to the reader as well. You can draw experience from a variety of sources including books you’ve read, music, audio books, video, whatever you can input into your brain. In the short time I’ve been on the planet, I’ve already experienced A LOT and I keep adding to my experiences every day. It’s only natural to draw on my experiences in the creation of my first novel to paint the image so vividly for my readers.

T: What exactly do you like about writing from both the male and female perspectives?

The challenge really! Writing from just one point of view is rather boring. Each one of my stories have many characters, and whether they are female or male, being able to give them a voice, and then having my editors and beta readers check to see if I got the voicing right so that it rings true to them is both a challenge and for me a larger venue to explore and expand my writing skill and style.

T: What is your favorite William Blake poem? Have you recorded it for your fans?

Right now, I have been studying Blake’s “The Book Of Urizen”. The poem is rather lengthy, so although I do plan to record it, the work will be recorded in sections similar to what I have done with T.S. Elliot’s “The Wasteland”.

T: How did Gina encourage you to write Cain?

I showed her the earliest drafts of the story. She was honest and told me, “No matter what, keep going till you finish it. Worry about the editing after!” Even when I hit low spots, when the earlier drafts were not up to par, she kept hammering me to get off the stick and get writing again and get it done. She truly is a phenomenal woman.

T: You read everything but is there one author or genre you can’t get enough of? Why?

Not really. I read a lot of different Genre’s and bounce around a lot. The last author I went nuts over was Orson Scott Card with the Enders Game books. Also fantasy author Stephen R. Donaldson with The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, and Patricia McKillip with her Star Bearer trilogy, but ANY of her books are fantastic.

T: If you could have dinner with one of the classics who would you choose? What would you talk about?

Hemingway or Rider. Both men lived extraordinary lives, big game hunting, etc. We would talk about there passions, what drives them, what makes them live larger then life, why the risk of life and limb, and what inspired them in the creation of some of there more famous works.

T: How do you make time between your day job and kids to write?

Like any parent, you sneak in time as your able, usually at the expense of sleep.

T: As we all know you have a voice, one that some, how’d you put it, call “panty melting,” do you think being able to hear you read parts of your work draws more fans? Is it more of a blessing or does it create issues?

I do believe my fan’s being able to hear me read has greatly enhanced my fan base. I like to believe it’s a blessing. I definitely have a lot of demand for not only my audio but using my voice on video as well.

T: What author (in all history) would you want to help you plan to seduce a reluctant lover?

LOL! That would be Marques De Sade.

T: What have been some of your favorite adventures?

My time overseas in Europe, specifically Germany. Lots of history and culture and I made many friends there and also some of my more grand sexual adventures in the club scene there.

T: If you could go anywhere and write for a month where would you go? Would you take anyone with you? Who?

Italy. Probably either Venice or Rome or maybe along the coast. My son.

T: Do you use all of your experiences in your writing? Do you use your writing to woo your girlfriend? What would that entail?

I don’t use all of my experiences in my writing; however, I do use a part. I never thought of using my writing to woo a woman. Using my poetry coupled with my writing to stimulate conversation when I am out on the town on a date perhaps? I love playing live, and I’ve done spoken word performance so maybe a coffee house or someplace I can pull a guitar out and sing.

T: What comes next?

I am working on my second Cain novel, Rage Of Angels, and I am also working on a new book of poetry (title to be determined). I just released two poems in Sharon Johnson’s wonderful collaboration, The Eclectic Poet And Friends, and I’ve been asked to submit two more poems for another collaboration. I am also collaborating on a joint poetry book with yet another poet and author. In addition I am working on a mystery suspense, paranormal, thriller and an Erotic Novella. Other then that, it has been pretty quiet. ☺

T: Well Elias that’s all I have for you today? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

Thank you so much for asking me to do the interview. It’s been a pleasure!

Facebook Author Page / Facebook Music & Video Production Page / YouTube / GoodReads / Twitter / SoundCloud

New videos from Elias

Look who decided to cut out of work early, and chat with me

T:  Good Afternoon Ethan thanks for joining me. I hope the Honey Jack is strong enough?

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

T: Where did you meet your fiancé?

Believe or not through friends of my family.

T: You’ve said Terry, reads your work, what comments does she make? (Three part question)

Yes, she does read my work and is probably tougher on me than any editor. She does help with my female characters, letting me know… Um a woman would never say that or feel that way.

Does she make suggestions?

Sometimes, yes.

What does she think of your fans?

Honestly, when I first began all my crazies, she was annoyed.  Now, she just shrugs her shoulders, because she knows me well and how I conduct myself with my friends and readers…with respect.

T: On that same note what does your mom and sister think and/or say? (Two part question)

LMAO, my mother just shakes her head; my sister is a huge influence.

Do they read everything?

My mother’s words, “you’re all nuts, but if it makes you happy.” My sister reads everything.

T: Is there any author, past or present, you would want to collaborate with?

I would have loved to have written with POE.  Writing with any author, you have to connect, so at the moment not many.

T: You’ve said you might want to try your hand at horror or crime. What intrigues you about those genres?

I like keeping a reader on edge…waiting. Which would you try first? Horror, then crime.

T: I know you use a pen name and that you’ve said when you retire you’d come out. If I’m right you’re in your forties, so would you really come out in twenty years when you retire?

Yes, in a few years I’ll be able to walk away from my current job. Yes… LOL.  Instead of pieces, you get the whole thing…bahahaha.

T: What’s your favorite Skyline Chili or Gold Star? (I’m sticking my tongue out at you)

Uh…well, NYC skyline and Wendy’s Chili. 

T: What did you learn when you took your journey into the BDSM world?

I learned control. I learned a great deal about myself: my weaknesses, strengths, and my so called kinks. I also learned that I must be in control.

T: How much of that journey do you write about?

Whenever I write about BDSM, I put everything I’ve learned into my writing.

T: What draws you to strong confident women?

I don’t like indecision. I like a woman who can make decisions and is happy with herself. Just because your submissive doesn’t mean you aren’t strong and confident, quite the opposite. Do you use the same draw when writing your female characters? Yes.

T: Why don’t you think people are comfortable with male erotic authors?

Hmm…some people are comfortable. I still think there is a barrier for male erotic writers, maybe even fear.

T: You’ve been writing since you were a kid, did it ever get you into trouble?

YUP…with one girlfriend…let’s say I changed the names to protect the innocent…bahahaha

T: Who or what inspires your writing and characters? Why what is it about them/it?

I like to base my characters on people I know in real life. I also love to think up certain characters.  Ones I’d like to act out, shock people with.

T: What author (in all history) would you want to help bury a body with?

H. G. Wells

T: What comes next?

More of Desires of Blood, Dark Desires, Gentlemen’s Agreement, more biker shorts, and I think a follow up to DOM.

T: Well Ethan that’s all I have for you today? Until next time, thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book. Licks… You are welcome.

Alright guys I had to steal David away from a party for this!!

T:  Good Evening David thanks for joining me this evening. I hope your drink is strong enough?

D: Glad to be here. As for my drink, time will tell when I see the questions.

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

D: Bring it.

T: You’ve been married for a while now, what do you think makes for a happy marriage?

D: You know how when you get engaged, everyone practically stands around to offer well-intentioned but useless advice? Well, someone (ONE person) actually said something that resonated with us. They said, “Never go to bed angry.”

Well, we took it to heart. The first year, especially, was rough … but we never went to bed angry. Some nights we didn’t sleep, just sat in the dark and glared at each other, but eventually we would work it out. Then … make up sex! Anyway, the long and short of this is we don’t keep things bottled up. No resentment.

T: What would you tell new authors who are nervous about publishing their work for fear of rejection?

D: Do it yourself. You can’t reject yourself. Well … I guess you COULD, but why would you. Seriously, I’m not a fan of small press, never have been. Big Six or Indie for me. Go big or go home. As far the Big Six rejection, just remember that JK Rowling was rejected many many times.

 And if by rejection you meant reviewers, then if they are all “rejecting” you, then listen and learn. Get beta readers, proofreaders, editors. Listen and learn. Writing is a process.

T: Do you have a favorite spot you go when you need inspiration? What about it helps?

D: Hmm. I write in bed. It’s peaceful here (well … sometimes). Comfortable. I make my own inspiration, and my wife is always happy to help in that regard.😉

T: What other genres are you interested in writing? Why? What’s the draw?

D: I will be co-authoring a fantasy novel with a friend soon, because she asked me to spice up her fantasy work and help her. I have always been a fan of fantasy, but then, I like most genres.

Random stuff will set off character or story ideas. There is no specific draw, I just feel that whichever characters are talking in my head the loudest will get written. I have plans for an erotic PNR, and for a story about second chances, as well as lots of others. I have started writing poetry. Despite my PA’s insistence, I don’t really consider myself a poet. I just decided I would and put my mind to it. I think anyone can accomplish anything they put their mind to.

T: How did you meet your PA?

D: She was drawn to my wit and charm on Facebook.😉 Actually, I was sick (turned out to be bronchitis) and posted this thread asking for applications for a personal nurse (amazingly, I had several send me real nursing licenses. Who knew?). She posted a comment rolling her eyes at me, and I responded, “Oh if I only had a dollar for every time a woman rolled her eyes at me.” Then she and I started talking and she became addicted to talking to me and volunteered (begged) to be my PA. Um … is she reading this? I mean, I eventually talked her into being my PA. And I am incredibly fortunate to have her. Yup. That’s wat I meant.

T: When you go/drive to book signing what do you listen do? Who goes with you? What do you typically talk about? Do you sing in the car?

D: In the past, my wife has attended signings with me when we would go as readers. Or rather, I attended them with her. She occasionally subjects me to her music, but usually we spend the time talking or just enjoying the silence. Do you realize how much noise fills the average person’s day? That’s why almost everyone has tinnitus. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit quietly with the person you love.

T: When and where is your next signing?

D: I am confirmed as a signing author for Indie Book Fest in Orlando, FL, beginning of October 2016.

T: I hear you’re a collector what do you collect? Why? What/who got you interested?

D: I am? I suppose I am. My wife would call it being a packrat, though. I have my “dangerous weapons” collection, as she calls it, which consists of antique display, as well as working, firearms and swords from many different eras. I used to collect Magic cards, and other gaming stuff. I’m sure there’s other stuff that I’m blanking on at the moment.

T:  What about Sylvain Reynard’s work draws you to it? When did you get hooked?

D: Reynard is the master of written seduction. I know of no other romance writer that can spend 100,000ish words just on romantic lead up and still keep their readers enthralled the entire time. Also, his books are unique. You can tell he did extensive research on subject matter, and his main characters are exceptional and INTRICATE. I came out of those books not only having been entertained for a couple of days, but also feeling like I learned quite a bit. My wife had asked me to read Gabriel’s Inferno a few years ago. She had already read and enjoyed it, and spoke highly of it. We often read (and later discuss) the same books.

T:  You read everything but what is your favorite genre?

D: Why must everything be arranged by favorites? Favorite song, favorite movie, favorite book, favorite genre … I don’t look at life that way. I enjoy things, but enjoy them for the unique qualities each of them has. What I happen to read that day has everything to do with the mood I’m in. Do I prefer apples or Jameson? Well … I do love my whiskey, but sometimes I’m in the mood for an apple. When I want said apple, Jameson won’t cut it. Nor will apple flavored Crown Royal. I want the damned apple. It’s the same with genres. I like different things about them and it is impossible to choose one over the other. I read a lot more romance and fantasy than anything else, mostly because it’s at my wife’s request, but sometimes I’m just in the mood for some sci-fi or horror.

T: If you could ask Crichton one question what would it be?

D: Is there a story you always wanted to tell, but never got around to before your death?

T: Favorite animal?

D: Once more with the favorites. I like animals. I’ve owned cats, dogs, ferrets, snakes, iguanas, and monitors. All unique. My wife won’t let me adopt a tiger. I think it would be fun to have a pet tiger. Let’s go with that one.😉

T: Since you collect guns what do you think about all the issues going on related to them in the news?

D: “Issues.” This is simple. Guns are a tool. Guns in the wrong hands are dangerous. So is a pencil. Gun in the right hands save lives. Do you know, I could name AT LEAST three instances off the top of my head where an armed lunatic went onto a school yard intent to murder people, but were stopped by one responsible citizen who also had a gun.

Chicago’s strict gun regulation (and subsequent high gun crime rates) proves that keep firearms away from law-abiding citizens ENSURES that the only people to have them are the ones that don’t follow laws.

Craziest thing … none of my firearms have EVER killed anyone. I leave them alone to their own devices all the time. My conclusion? Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Whether it’s with a firearm or a switchblade or an explosive device or, yes, even a fucking pencil to the eye. Doesn’t matter how many shots they can fire before reload, doesn’t matter if they are automatic or not. People do it to each other. And people that are fucked up enough to do it will always find a way.

T: What author (in all history) would you want to help you plan a crime?

D: Crime? If I WERE to plan such a thing, that would again be Michael Crichton. The man was a genius. But … why would we be planning a crime?

T: What comes next?

D: Next? Dunno … time will tell. I finish writing and editing Deep in You and Deeper in You, publish them, and move on to the next project. I hope to one day be able to do this full time so that I can write faster, but we’ll see.

T: Well David that’s I have for you today. Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

D: Thank you for having me; it was fun.

Hey guys look who’s joining me for my birthday!!!

T:  Good Morning  Melissa Ann thanks for joining me this morning. I hope the coffee is strong enough?

MA: It’s great, lol. My day must start with a cup of coffee … and then perhaps two or three more.

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

T: If you could write anywhere where would you be?

MA: Well … if I had a choice and a million dollars it would be by the ocean. I love writing when on vacation in Cuba but since I don’t have that as an option, I write on my tablet in bed with a coffee nearby.

T: How did you meet your best friend?

MA: Well that is a funny story. I have only known David S. Scott since the end of June, but it feels like it’s been a lifetime. I was putting together “This Beautiful Escape” for a fundraiser I was running. I was still looking for some more authors to contribute and David’s posts kept popping up in my timeline. I believe in signs and the whole “everything happens for a reason” so I PM’d him. I mentioned the anthology and he very politely declined. A few days later I messaged him for a different reason. My intent was to keep it short and sweet since I didn’t want to bother him and to my surprise we started to chat and to this day, other than when he was on a cruise, we have messaged every day. You know what is funny? Not only did David contribute to both anthologies … but he also became a large part of this fundraiser.

T: If you could sit down with any author who would it be?

MA: My first choice would be David S. Scott,  but I am pretty sure that is not really what you are expecting for an answer sooo I would have to say Agatha Christie. I LOVE reading her books. She is the reason I enjoy mysteries so much. The classic Who-dun-it.

T: Of all your friends who do you always have read your work?

MA: Well in the past with my other books it was my editor at the time and a few local friends but now it is David S. Scott, since he has graciously agreed to be my editor, and my totally awesome PA Tammy Markowski. Before my book is published, I always offer my street team an ARC. I am grateful for Melissa Ann’s Misfit’s  hard work and dedication.

T: If you could go back in time which time would you go?

MA: Hmmm … I love medieval times and ancient Egypt, but I would rather observe than actually live it, lol.  I am not sure I could live without power, toilets and running water.

T: How did you get involved with Ataxia?

MA: In 2005, I was diagnosed with Episodic Ataxia but I have lived with it all of my life. Ataxia is often misdiagnosed and few people have heard of it. Ataxia affects a person’s ability to walk, talk, see and swallow.  I decided to have the fundraiser to raise awareness and funds towards the research of Ataxia. At this point there is no cure but it is my sincerest hope that one day there will be.

T: What do you love about living in the Great White North?

MA: I love the snow!! I am like a little kid when we have a snow storm. I find it so beautiful and peaceful. The only thing I don’t like is the cold. I sometimes have to wear mitts in the house.

T: How do you juggle family and writing?

MA: Both of my daughters go to school which allows me time to do my author stuff. If I allow myself to become unfocused then I do not accomplish everything on my list. I admit to having shiny ball syndrome. It doesn’t take much for me to get distracted … a squirrel here and there 😛

T: What inspires you to write New Adult Contemporary?

MA: Well … I had never imagined I would, but a midlife crisis changed that. There was some past baggage that kind of decided to rear its ugly head and I felt the only way to deal with it was to write about it. Unbound by His Love was inspired by my past. Although it is considered “fiction” some events are true but only a small part. Michelle, the main character, represents someone that I was in the past, someone I had wish I had become and maybe a little of who I am right now.

T: You’re involved with a few charities; how do you choose them?

MA: I often let my children choose the charity. We try to choose charities that are local. My girls will put part of their allowance away to donate and once they have a significant amount they will choose a charity. They have donated to the Peterborough Humane Society and the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. They have donated half of their birthday money to the school library and their school Go Green program. They have sold some of their old toys to raise money to donate to the local Toy Drive and they also had a yard sale and donated all the money to “Save My Tail,” a non-profit organization that helps find homes for neglected and/or abused dogs. I also contribute monthly to the World Wildlife Fund. As you can see we love animals.

T: All our stories are our babies, which was the toughest to let go of?

MA: I don’t think I have been able to let go of any yet, lol. A Silent Canvas has one more book to the series and Unbound by His Love will have a spin-off series. Every time I think the story is complete, new ideas pop into my head. Unbound by His Love was more of a therapeutic write, so in a way it was a relief when Michelle’s story was done.

T: What comes next?

MA: I am presently working on two books. “Chasing Eve,” is one of the spin-off novels from the Unbound by His Love series. It is Chase’s s story, the lead singer of Soul’s Refuge II. I am also working on “A Forgotten Key” which the final book in my A Silent Canvas Series.  I always have ideas running through my head. Possibly a future suspense mystery and a paranormal romance.  I would love to write a book with my best friend … but we will see what happens.

T: What do you do for relaxation?

MA: Other than writing of course, I enjoy long baths and reading. I also enjoy long walks but with our Canadian winter it can be a challenge. I have an app called ResQwalk and it records the distance you walk and as you walk you raise money for the animal rescue of your choice. It is a great motivational tool.

T: Well Melissa Ann that’s all I have for you today? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

Social Media Links

Website / Amazon Author Page / Facebook / Twitter / Tsu / Google + / Goodreads / Pinterest

This should be Fun JD Grayson stopped by to celebrate Valentine’s with me!

T:  Good Morning JD thanks for joining me this morning. I hope the coffee is strong enough?

JD:  Good Morning, Teresa. The coffee doesn’t quite hold up to one of your hot chocolates. Smooth and sexy.

T:  I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

T:  Have you always lived in Florida? If no, where else have you lived?

JD:  I was born in Long Island, New York, where I lived until the age of 13, when I moved to Florida, where I have lived ever since.

T:  Open relationship? How does that work? How long have you been married? How long have you had an open marriage?

JD:  I am in a polyamorous marriage. Which when you break down the word polyamorous, means multiple loves. My wife and I have been together in some capacity since the age of 16. Being each other’s firsts, we wanted the other to explore the amazing gift of sexuality. Polyamory is not a numbers game. It is about deep connections and emotions, as well as sexuality. We believe there are multiple soul mates in the world, and in the rare occasion that they come into your life, why deny yourself the opportunity to explore that relationship, opposed to denying your spouse that option. It is all based on trust and communication, the foundation of any good relationship.

T:  How often do you travel? Favorite spot?

JD:  Owning a nature photography business as well as authorship, I travel multiple times a year to capture America’s scenic treasures. I have many favorite spots, though there is no place like the Blue Ridge Parkway…all 469 miles.

T:  Pup(s) names? Breed?

JD:  We have one dog named Frankie. We adopted him from a shelter. He is a mixed terrier breed, and is a bit on the crazy side, though he keeps us on our toes.

T:  Favorite sport? Team? Why?

JD:  Orlando Magic. I love the pace of basketball, and have enjoyed many of the players we have had over the years.

T:  Why do you prefer short erotica over long form?

JD:  Short erotica allows me to get to the point faster, and more importantly…get to the sex faster. I think the novel industry has created a misconception that a good story has to be long. Most novels are stuffed with filler, so they can charge more money. I don’t have a problem with writing longer novels, though I prefer to let the story tell itself.

T:  How do you get your ideas for your work?

JD:  It is a mixture of many things. Some are my own fantasies others are born of imagination. Bottom line, most things come from my twisted mind.

T:  Do you experiment at home with kink? Do you test out scenes before writing them?

JD:  In most cases I draw upon my own sexual experiences in life.  If there is something that I don’t know, I always try to experience it before writing about it.

T:  What made you choose to write primarily about doctors? Is there something about doctors that you wanted to explore?

JD:  In the beginning it was simply a hot kinky fantasy that I wanted to share with readers. When my first offering, The Patient Series, had such success I knew I had found my niche. I do like to step outside the box occasionally, though there will always be a medical theme included for my core readership.

T:  How’d you come up with your other stories? Will any of them become a series?

JD:  My non-medical stories are just another facet of my imagination and love of vivid story-telling. My latest release, Marriage Therapy 2, became a series because I realized there was more story to tell. I have other series, such as The Colony Series, Slaves & Breeders (banned by Amazon.

T:  What inspires your kink? On the flip side what un-inspires your kink?

JD:  A woman who enjoys having her sexual limits tested in every way is the inspiration for my kink. On the flip side…judgment is one thing that un-inspires my kinky side, as there is nothing less sexy than uptight people who pretend they are above exploring their edgy side.

T:  Why erotica? What turns you on about it?

JD:  Erotica is….well erotic. I enjoy good taboo erotica as it allows you to explore many facets of sexuality through fantasy. You can go anywhere, do anything, to whomever you want, and there are no consequences.

T:  You write both light and dark erotica, which do you enjoy more? What brings out the light and dark in you to write both?

JD:  As a writer, I am an emotional person. I have many sides to me, from humorous to dark, romantic to edge. Just like my taste in entertainment, I like to explore comedies, dramas, action…whatever my current craving calls for. As such, my writing is much the same. Suiting the current state of mind I am in.

T:  Why don’t you think the current state of sexuality is not in a good place? How do you think we can fix it? Are there things your readers can do to change the perception?

JD:  I believe sexuality is not in a good place because people view it as a bad thing, when instead it is a God given gift. It was meant to be explored, not denied or hidden. The more we open our minds to sexuality, the less shame we will have as a society in exploring and expressing it. We can fix it by reading JD Grayson erotica and getting downright filthy.  The best thing people can do is to open their minds and stand up to societies judgment.

T:  What do you hope your readers will get out of your stories?

JD:  First and foremost I hope they cum, after that I hope they care about the characters and are compelled to move forward in the story telling. I hope their emotions are aroused and engaged.

T:  What authors inspired you to write?

JD:  Martin Dugard, Jeff Shaara and Stephen Ambrose, just to name a few. Yes, I love History.

T:  All-time favorite author? Past or Present or Both?

JD:  Martin Dugard

T:  What do you do for fun? How do you relax?

JD:  I love hiking, photography and painting. One of the ways I have found I like to relax is just sitting in my great room and watching my beautiful Discus fish in my fish tank.

T:  What comes next? What’s up those sleeves of yours?

JD:  I’ll soon be releasing the next chapter to one of my best selling titles. *wink *wink

T: Well JD that’s all I have for you today. Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

Welcome Astrid, hey guys look who’s back!

T:  Good Morning Astrid thanks for joining me this morning/evening. I hope the coffee is strong enough?

A: It’s great! Thanks.

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

A: Awesome, I’m ready!

T: How did you start writing?

A: I wrote my first book in kindergarten, does that count? I didn’t really start writing in earnest (besides horrible teenage angst poetry) until about 2003 when I wrote on and moderated a creative writing workshop website.

T: Favorite Eighties movie?

A: Definitely The Last Unicorn (also an AMAZING book)

T: Favorite comic book?

A: I can’t say I have a particular issue or anything, but I’m a fan of the X-Men comics and of Black Widow’s stuff as well.

T: How often do you write?

A: I *should* write every day. When I’m working on a novel I try to, although sometimes it doesn’t happen. If I don’t have a deadline though, I just kind of write when I feel it, so every few days or something.

T: Do you still go to Dragon Con?

A: I didn’t go this past year because we opted to go to Hawaii and stay with my daughter instead. (Hard  choice, I know.) Not sure if we’ll go this year since I’m doing Penned Con around the same time. I miss it though.

T: What did you do prior to writing?

A: A million things. Mostly momming. I’ve done a lot of cell phone tech support both for LG and Verizon.

T: When do you write?

A: Mostly in the morning after my son goes to school while it’s quiet. I’m super sleepy but that almost puts me in a dream state.

T: Where do you write?

A: In my recliner in the living room with a cup of tea and a blanket over my lap (and a cat in my lap often too, which makes typing complicated).

T: Do you do anything special for release day?

A: Try not to be too nervous? I didn’t really for the first two. I’ll probably organize a Facebook party this time. And maybe a real party for the next day to get drunk ad celebrate being done with the Freefall Trilogy.

T: How do you blind writing, with everyday life?

A: I really don’t. I can’t really write when anyone else is home. At most I can write in my notebook. Editing is a little easier, but I usually still take it in the other room to do it and turn up the classical music (which is reserved for editing time).

T: How did you come up with your Sara and her story?

A: Sara’s story started out as a writing prompt actually. I think it was something like “A broken watch and a hug that lasts too long” — the watch ended up being edited out, but if you pay attention you can find the hug that lasts too long. The rest just kind of happened organically.

T: Does writing interfere with family time?

A: I try not to let it. Family comes first, and books come second.

T: What pets do you have? Names, ages etc.

A: I hate 2 dogs and 2 cats. The oldest dog is Muffin, a cocker-pekingese mix, and she’s 16, the other is Harley, a black lab-blue heeler mix, and he’s 7. Then the cats are from the same litter and are 10 years old – Rhapsody (the grey cat) and Fugue (the black cat).

T: What inspires you?

A: The most random things. It can be a song lyric, or some little phrase in a poem or story, or an image I see in a movie, or any number of things.

T: What do you do for relaxation?

A: I loooove getting a good massage. In lieu of that I’m all about laying in bed and reading.

T: How long does it take you to write a novel?

A: Depends on the novel. At Death’s Door only took a month to write the first draft. World on Fire has been a year long expedition.

T: What comes next?

A: Next comes Skyler, who gets bought as a child by a second-in-command of a crime syndicate and ends up being trained as an assassin. Her adventures will go on for several books I hope.

T: Well Astrid that’s I have for you today? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

A: Thanks for having me!!

Holy Cow Batman I have Chris here for an Interview

T:  Good Evening Chris thanks for joining me tonight. I hope the Coors Light is cold enough? I still think you should try my dark beer.

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

T: How did you start writing?

C.C.:Ha, I was bored, really. I was 16 and visiting my grandfather’s house in Oklahoma. I was home alone and grandpa was sleeping. I found his old typewriter covered in a blanket in a back bedroom and sat down to play with it. From there I just kept writing and when I returned home, I used my new YA novel to impress the girls at school. I’d pass notebooks around the class. The girls loved it. Really, if it weren’t for those classmates pushing me to write more, I might not be writing right now.

T: How often do you write?

C.C.: I have four kids so I write as often as I can. But even when I’m not witting down to work on a novel or novella, I’m in my phone notepad or on Evernote or with an actual notebook and pen in hand, jotting down notes. My mind never turns off and I’m starting to think that’s why I get so many migraines. I think too much. Even my dreams are fucking wild.

T: Without your writing cave where do you write?

C.C.: I usually just sit in a chair in the living room and write while my kids watch their shows: Flash, Arrow, Supernatural, etc. I can’t wait for the day that I have a writing cave. I live in Central America, in my wife’s country, and one day I’d like to move up to the mountains, have a writing studio that overlooks the mountains, hang old movie posters on the walls, put dorky movie-related knickknacks up on a shelf, and blast movie score while I punch out every story I can.

T: When do you write?

C.C.: Usually late at night when the kids are asleep but really I write whenever I can.

T: How do you juggle, writing, family and work?

C.C.: That’s a tough one. And it’s one that causes a lot of arguments at home. I work full time and spend about four hours per day in traffic so any time I spend writing is time taken away from family. It’s tough. That’s why I write in the living room or when I take the kids to the pool. It sucks but at least I’m there. I’m not always there, like present in the moment, but I’m there. I’m not a long distance truck driver or something you know? My kids are my life and I try to take time to be with them as much as I can.

T: What do you teach?

C.C.: I teach literature and speech to high school kids.

T: Do you create any stories from day job?

C.C.: Ha, no!!!! Can you imagine? But…well…I take that back. I do have one story in mind called Students Come and Go. It actually has nothing to do with the students but will have everything to do with the teachers. It’s a book about how students moving through the school is a constant, but the teachers have real lives too. So one young female teacher is kind of a mess, like an alcoholic club hopper and she gets noticed by her students. Stuff like that.

T: We all know you love sex. What made you want to write about it?

C.C: Ha, yes, I love sex. It’s just so much fun. It’s the one time you can abandon everything, get completely naked, fuck like rabbits, and laugh your asses off after. It’s the purest form of fun. I started writing about it on a dare really. I was writing dark fantasy/horror and a friend of mine, a fellow writer, thought I’d do well in erotica. So she dared me to try it. I jokingly said I’d write a book about a girl who gets fucked on a Ferris wheel and that’s how Kinky Carnival Games, the first Maybe Mandy book came about.

T: Do you do anything special for release day?

C.C.: I’m weird like that. Most authors plan big release days and do a lot of promoting and marketing beforehand and then do special hot yoga that morning, don’t change their lucky underwear, masturbate 5 times, or whatever their routine is. I just press publish, lol. Then let everyone know on FB. That’s probably why I’m not a top seller. I have 10 books out right now and only did a release event for one, my fully length dark fantasy, Darkness of Man. To me, writing is just fun and I just want to share my stories.

T: Favorite movie?

C.C.: I have so many now. I’m a movie fanatic. I always say Braveheart is my favorite. But I love horror movies and Halloween is my favorite horror. I love weird movies too like Tron Legacy and Sin City. Warriors, the new one with Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy, was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. That’s the first one to make tears well up in my eyes.

T: What do you do for fun?

C.C.: My favorite thing to do for fun is eat pussy. I’m sorry but it’s true. I’ll eat it from the front, from the back, on my back…just give it to me however. There’s nothing hotter than having her sit on your face, pussy dripping all over your mouth and chin, as she then starts grinding against your lips and tongue. Fuck, that’s hot. When I’m not eating pussy I like to hang out with my family and watch movies. I like to read too but haven’t had much time for it lately.

T: What did you do in mil?

C.C.: I was Air Force Security Forces, which is basically military police. It was fun, I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, but military life just wasn’t for me. I thought it was but once I had a family I just couldn’t imagine leaving them every year to travel overseas. God bless the men and women who do that for us. It’s not easy.

T: Where did you meet your wife?

C.C.: I met my wife in Alaska. She was there visiting her cousin who was married to a military member. I met her through them. And she was so fucking hot. I remember the first time I saw her I thought she looked like one of those girls from the latin novellas on Telemundo.

T: Do you test out ideas/scenes with your wife?

C.C.: Ha, sometimes. We’ve tried a lot of the stuff I write about but we’re not super crazy. Back to eating pussy though, when it comes to that, I’ve tried that on her just about every way possible. I’d rather give oral than receive it. Is that weird? And she does it right, no question about that, but I guess I’m just more of a giver 😉

T: Does your wife read your work? What comments does she make? What does she think of your fans?

C.C.: We just talked about this the other day. She does. She reads it all and actually she’s one of my best beta readers. Since English is her second language, when she reads, she really reads every word. Where most readers naturally skim as they read, even when they don’t mean to, she catches every word. With my recent Christmas erotic bedtime story, 6 beta readers went through it and still, after I published it, when she finally read it, she found a typo. Argh! She’s honest with me, sometimes in ways I don’t like, lol. She didn’t like my Red Riding Hood story at all when I wrote the first draft. She thought the wolf wasn’t aggressive enough and the world wasn’t fantastical enough. I rewrote it completely, from the wolf’s point of view and added some fantasy elements. In the end, she was blown away and absolutely loved it.

T: Favorite author?

C.C.: That’s a tough one. I love George R.R. Martin for fantasy. He’s the best when it comes to character development. Stephen King, minus the drug use, is my idol. The way he pumps out books is insane. Stephen Hunter is one of my favorite writers. I’ve read all of his Swagger books, father and son. He’s just such an awesome writer.

T: How much porn do you watch?

C.C.: Ha, I don’t watch as much porn as you’d think. I do watch some. I like to watch it with my wife. I like a story though. I think that’s why erotic books turn me on more than actual porn because I like when there’s build up, a reason for the sex. But don’t get me wrong. I like porn too. I love seeing women ride dick. That’s my favorite position. I love when a woman rides but not hopping up and down. When they slide forward, rubbing their pussy and clit on the pelvic bone, sliding back and forth, rolling the hips. That’s fucking riding! When it’s being done to me I like to grab her ass, not push or pull, but just feel her ass move back and forth as she’s fucking me. That’s hot.

Man, I’m gonna need to go jack off after this interview, dammit. Ok, but back to porn. I don’t watch as much of it as  you’d think, but I do spend quite a bit of time on Tumblr, lol.

T: What inspires you? What gives you inspiration?

C.C.: Honestly, I’ve had some time to think about this one cause someone asked me this recently, and I think I’ve figured it out. Fans inspire me. Readers inspire me. Facebook communicators inspire me. Seeing how many real, down to earth, beautiful women just want to fuck, be fucked, have their pussies eaten. That turns me on. That inspires me. And I’m sorry if I sounded crude when I just wrote that. That’s not my intention here. But back in the day when everyone was silent about their sexual wishes…we’re not at that time anymore. Nowadays, regular people are reading erotica, regular people are admitting they just want to be bent over a desk, or lifted up onto a kitchen counter, or tied up, or have hot wax poured on ‘em, or just squat down, hover over a hard cock, contemplate sitting on it for a second, and then finally take the plunge. That shit inspires me! Wow, I used a lot of commas and probably in the wrong places in this answer. Sorry.

T: What do you do for relaxation?

C.C.: Is there such a thing? I feel like I haven’t truly relaxed in a long time. I like to lie back on the couch and watch movies with my kids. Or read. But whenever I watch movies or read I come up with new book ideas and then get mad at myself for not writing.

T: How long does it take you to write a novel?

C.C.: I haven’t written a full length novel in a long time. I will again. I have tons of ideas but the novellas are just so accepted right now and I’ve had so much fun with these shorter stories that I don’t want to take a break from them. I surprised myself with A Climax for Christmas, my Christmas erotic bedtime story. I think that was about 20,000 words, which is like 1/5th of a full novel and I did it in one day. So at that rate I could write a novel in 5 days lol. But I’d be so burnt out. Really, a full size novel probably takes a few months for me if I hit it hard. My problem is I switch back and forth between books so much. I have no less than 10 going right now.

T: Will we see more of Mandy’s dairy?

C.C.: Of course. After Daughters of Venus 2 I plan to start working on Mandy 3 and then I have plans for a full length Mandy novel to probably wrap up the series. I don’t know. I might just keep that series going forever and write one whenever I get the itch. Mandy is just so fucking fun. And she’s so hot. I’d do her. Lol. I feel like we’re going steady.

T: How do you come up with your characters?

C.C.: I have no idea. I had a producer in Chicago hand a screenplay back to me once and he told me it was funny and had a lot of potential but I needed to work on my character development. And I knew he was right. And from that point on I started working hard on my characters. If a character isn’t cool or unique in some sort of way, then I need to scrap him/her and start over. I hope I’ve gotten much better at character development. Darkness of Man has some wild characters. Wait till you read book 2.

T: What comes next?

C.C.: Oh man, I have so much going on right now. Daughters of Venus 2 is next. Then, I had a crazy ass scary dream the other night that set the tone for Diablo Snuff 2, my erotic horror. Mandy 3 is coming. I’m writing a book based on the name of my website and fanclub, Erotic Mayberry. The sequel to Darkness of Man is finished. I just need to fix a few things. It’s called Sons of Man and I can’t wait for you guys to read that one.

T: Well Chris that’s I have for you today? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

C.C.: Thank you so much for having me. This has been a hoot. Hopefully I didn’t turn anyone off with my foul mouth or dirty thoughts. Please check out my books and give me a chance. And friend me on Facebook because I love making new friends. Here’s the link to my books on Amazon:

US: http://www.amazon.com/C.C.-Genovese/e/B00TW2B4I4

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/C.C.-Genovese/e/B00TW2B4I4

Hey guys after a long day of work I still talked Ave into stopping by for a bit!

T:  Good Evening Ava thanks for joining me tonight. I hope the Apple strudel Winter Jack is strong enough?

A: Am I going to need something strong? 

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

T: How did you start writing?

A: I’ve always been an avid reader and about 3 yrs ago I discovered the world of indie authors. I fell in love with so many awesome authors and their books, so one day I decided to give it a try (writing) and 6 months later I typed ” The End” on my first novel which was December 2014

T: How often do you write?

A: I try to write every day. It’s very therapeutic for me.

T: Where do you write?

A: I have an office, but it really depends on what’s going on around the house. Sometimes I write in bed or at the kitchen table, but if I’m writing something that I need to really concentrate on I write in the office.

T: When do you write?

A:  I prefer to write in the evening, but if I’ve really been in a writing zone I’ll write during the day on my days off.

T: How do you juggle, writing, family and work?

A: I’m really not sure how I juggle it all, I just get the important things out of the way and then I make time to write. I’ve always been very good at multitasking and time organization.

T: Which department do you work in?

A: Surgery, I’m an OR nurse.

T: How did you come up with the Tabu series? How did you come up with Emma and Markus? Will there be another book in the series?

A: Well, the Tabu series is Not Fiction, it’s from a real life experience. Markus is in fact a real person who is a Dominant, I met him a couple of years ago. He in fact inspired me to write the Tabu series, and we still remain close. As far as another book in the series? Probably not.

T: Favorite Movie?

A: Steel Magnolias

T: Who was your favorite author growing up?

A: Stephen King

T: Have you ever thought about getting into the BDSM life?

A: It’s a part of my life.

T: How much research do you do for your books?

A: I try to do as much as I can. For my first book, Miles From Home, I researched places and events that are in the book. For the Tabu series, the research was much more involved.

T: Do you create any stories from day job?

A: No, I haven’t yet. But I’m sure I could if I didn’t break patient confidentiality lol.

T: Do you listen to music when you write?

A: I did when I wrote Miles From Home, mainly because it’s a very intense love story and I had to be in a certain frame of mind.

T: Do you do anything special for release day?

A: Crawl under the covers and hope for the best.

T: What do you do for fun?

A: Cook, travel, drink heavily (just kidding) mostly I spend time with my family, we kept each other entertained.

T: Where did you meet your husband?

A: High school

T: Do you test out ideas/scenes with your husband?

A: Definitely

T: Does your husband read your work? What comments does he make? What does he think of your fans?

A: He has not read any of my books. I’m not sure why, but I’m ok with that. He thinks it’s pretty awesome that I have readers that like to interact with me.

T: What does he think of your writing erotica? Does he help you write?

A: He knows what type of books I write, he benefits from it, so I think he enjoys my imagination. I don’t think he would want to give me his help with writing.

T: What inspires you? What gives you inspiration?

A: Life inspires me, but mostly it’s the ones who read my books and send me encouraging messages. Also my fellow authors give me great inspiration.

T: What do you do for relaxation?

A: Hang out on Facebook, or write.

T: How long does it take you to write a novel?

A: Since Miles From Home is my only novel, it took me about 6 months to write. The Tabu Series was much faster, mainly because it was all from memory.

T: How do you come up with your characters?

A: Some are created out of my own imagination and others are real people.

T: What comes next?

A: I’m working on my second novel, A Cold Reign. I’m about a third into it , but since the holidays I haven’t had time to work on it, but after the first of the year I plan to get back to it so I can meet my early spring deadline.

T: Well Ava that’s I have for you today? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

A: Thank you Teresa I enjoyed answering your questions.

Good Evening guys, tonight I asked J.F. Silver to join us!

 

T:  Good Evening J.F. thanks for joining me tonight. I know you like wine so grab a bottle.

J.F: Good evening, Teresa. I appreciate the opportunity and I just poured myself a glass of white wine. Let’s have fun with this.

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

T: Do you guys trade off writing?

J.F: Ours is an interesting process and I’ll do my best to explain. I do all of the actual writing but my wife, and muse, gives me many ideas. She’s very imaginative. Also, each day when I’m finished writing, I read it to her immediately. We have very fun characters and a lot of dialog so she may suggest changing a word or phrase which we’ll discuss. Her most important contributions come in the form of storylines and especially, sexual scenarios.  She’ll push the boundaries further than I probably would.

T: I know you wrote a story for F’s birthday but what made you guys keep writing erotica?

J.F: That first story was written solely for the purpose of getting her in the mood. If she hadn’t liked it, there may have never been more. But, it did what it was intended to do and she loved it. She asked me to write another one, offering a new idea for the first time. I wrote that next one and many more for about five years, just for the two of us to share. We created fantasies centered around holidays, vacations and of course, birthdays. It became a secret hobby for the two of us.

T: What authors influenced your writing?

J.F: I love so many authors so this is a tough question. We try hard to put our own spin on the sex scenes but we also strive to depict everyday life and humor in the stories. Two of my favorites have been known to look at things in irreverent ways, too. So, in that spirit, I’m going to go with long time idol Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and a more modern voice, Christopher Moore. I highly recommend, A Dirty Job.

T: How often do you write?

J.F: Not as much as we’d like! The last month has seen little writing with a new release followed by a busy real life work schedule and the holidays. Normally, I try to either write or edit a little every day. I’m a couple of chapters into the fifth Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe book and have given myself a deadline. The next two months will be productive. It’s winter in Wisconsin, a good time to write.

T: Is it hard writing as a couple?

J.F: No, we work well together and won’t submit or publish before we both agree on everything. Our series is Mr. and Mrs. after all. We even go over final edits together in case something is missed. She catches more things than I do.

T: What did you do prior to writing?

J.F: I’ve been writing the stories for almost nine years but published the first just two years ago. We’ve been together nearly 40 years and have seemingly had many lives and adventures. We both love music and art. I’ve playing the drums since, well, forever and my wife is extremely crafty, especially with stained glass. Long ago, however, we discovered a knack for cleaning things. Today, we clean nice, suburban homes for busy families. Working together also gives us time to talk about story ideas and, believe me, we do.

T: Who writes which parts?

J.F: While I do the actual writing, it’s her ideas that often shape the story. She suggested bringing another couple into it right away and it’s just evolved from there.  Another good example of her input is the central theme of our latest, Life’s Too Short.She wanted the two female characters to write a book together and we had a lot of fun with it.

T: Do you do anything special for release day?

J.F: I did get a lot of help with our latest in November but we haven’t really done anything special for our releases. I guess we were just grateful to have them out in the world. I have a wonderful PA, Teresa Adams and a small Street Team, so, who knows? They just might put something together for the next one.

T: Where do you write?

J.F: I always write exactly where I am right now, at a desk in my living room. I use a desktop with a full-size keyboard and big monitor. I can see the TV, rarely on, and listen to music, which is nearly always on. Every one of our books was put together right here.

T: How did you come up with your characters? I know you used your middle names but are the based off you guys?

J.F: Yes, Joe and Elaine are definitely based on the two of us. It fun to put ourselves in the positions of the title characters as we create the stories. But, I want to stress that it’s all just fantasy. Most of it, anyway. It was my wife’s idea to use those names but the others happened by chance. When she suggested the second couple, I found an actual ad that featured an Asian woman. I was intrigued and Mika was created, giving the story a multi-cultural element. I loved researching things like Japanese holiday traditions.

T: Who’s idea was it to publish the erotic stories?

J.F: We had hundreds of pages that I’d spent more than five years writing. One day in the fall of 2012, I was sitting in a waiting room and picked up a Time magazine. Inside, I found an article on “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the exploding popularity of erotic romance. We talked it over and decided to go for it. It took a year of re-writes and research before I started submitting to publishers. We are so grateful to be able to share our stories with the world.

T: What comes next?

J.F: We have a good start on the fifth Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe and have a few more adventures to take them on. We also have an idea for a sci-fi novel that we’ve been discussing for a long time. Might also be biographical but in a whole different way. It would be nice to get to that one sometime in the New Year.

T: Well J.F. that’s I have for you today? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

J.F: It was my, I mean, our pleasure, Teresa. We’re on it!

Hey Guys Check out who I dragged in!!! Damian is in the House!

T:  Good Evening Damian thanks for joining me this evening. I hope the rum and coke is strong enough?

D: Double rum and coke tall always hits the spot.

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.
T: How much of your military upbringing influences your writing?

D: I have to say for my first series it influences it a lot. I write what I know. The personality and experience of the main character relates to a lot of friends who served in the armed forces.

T: I know you like to cut up and have fun but what do you do for fun when not on social media?

D: I like to go out with friends, have a drink, catch movies, and anything that involves water. Lake, rivers, ladies…

T: I know you have a family, do they influence your writing?

D: My family has had no influence at all on my writing actually, except to offer support.

T: How much does music play a role in your writing process? What type of music do you prefer?

D: Music has always played a huge roll in every aspect of my life, and it did carry into my writing. I listened to a playlist when I wrote, it included; Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, In This Moment, The Pretty Reckless and a few others. Rock, metal are my music of choice, but I have a wide range of taste.

T: How many comic cons have you been too? Which was your favorite?

D: Never been to a comic con, unless that includes Vision Con.

T: Favorite Author? Why?

D: Kim Harrison… I really enjoyed her Hollows series, that may not be the name. I listened to the entire thing on audio book when I was a truck driver. 🙂 I like the way she describes everything in detail.

T: Favorite Character? Why?

D: Riddick. I know its a movie, but he is as real as it gets.

T: How many drunk dials have you done do you think?

D: None… I leave my phone elsewhere when I am drinking to avoid creating evidence.. hehe

T:  How do you make time for writing with a family?

D: I waited till the kids were in bed, wore my girlfriend out, then stayed up and wrote.

T:  Where do you write? What’s always next to you when working?

D: These days I usually write at home, and almost always have a candle burning.

T: Alright last question, what comes next? Do you have anything in the works right now?

D: My Shade of Dark Moon series is planned to be a 5 book seires (including a co-authored book with Author and friend Jarrod Underdown, Shadow of Understanding)..  I have started a new series as well known as Dark Savior.. it is a Paranormal Horror series about a half-breed Angel-Demon who is trying to save a young girl with the same type of parentage from being used by the Demons for conquest, or killed by the Angels for existing.

JS Underdown

T:  Good Afternoon Jarrod thanks for joining me today. I hope a Stella is to your standards?

Yes please and thank you for the invite!

T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.

T: What do you do for fun? What helps relax you?

I am a rather eclectic person for fun.  From computer games to slow dancing in a club, I enjoy it all.  Normally I play tennis as a way to keep in shape and to work out frustration.  I am competitive in almost any sport or game.  I am also very involved with my kids baseball and softball sports.

T: I hear you hunt, what do you hunt? What do you hunt with i.e. bow, caliber etc.?

My father raised me and my older brother to fish and hunt quail and rabbit.  We would normally hunt small game with a shotgun.  In the last few years, I have been spending some quality time with my son and brother up in a tree stand hunting deer.  My rifle of choice is a .308.

T: Favorite Comic? Why?

I am a big Deadpool fan!  A good friend of mind helps me on occasion with that addiction by supplying me those comics.  I also enjoy Batman comics and Spiderman but I rarely get a chance to keep up with what is happening in the Marvel and DC universe.

T: How many comic cons have you been too? Favorite character you saw?

When I was younger, I had visited the big California cons in the Los Angeles area but, on and off for the past twenty years, I attend a local event called Visioncon.  I run a charity Craps, Blackjack and Roulette casino game to support Breast Cancer Awareness.  This year in February, one of my friends that helps with the charity has us dress-up as 80s and 90s pro-wrestlers!  It was very entertaining!

In regards to favorite characters, Visioncon does a Masquerade Ball on Saturday evening that is pretty amazing.  There was a great female Freddy Kruger costume this year and we always get some awesome Mandalorians.

T: Walking Dead? Which do you prefer comic or show?

I just recently started reading the Walking Dead comics.  My friend who supplies me comics got me The Walking Dead Compendium One.  I am almost done and I have really enjoyed it.  With that being said, I am still a little more jazzed over the TV series, perhaps due to Dixon.

T: All-time favorite Author? Why?

I grew up reading Stephen King and R.A. Salvatore.  From “Eyes of the Dragon” and “It” to the Drizzt stories, both these authors are on the top of my list.  King does such an amazing job of mixing the mundane with fantasy and horror.  His methodology always impressed me.

R.A. Salvatore made the Heroes of the Hall come to life on paper.  The successes and losses of that group are such a griping story that I always look forward to his next book.

T: Favorite Character? Why?

So once again I am going to pick two.  Roland Deschain from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and Batman.  The Dark Knight is one of my favorites due to his ability to out think and out plan his opponents.  One paperback story called, “The Stone King” did a great job of portraying Bruce Wayne’s ability to overcome the antagonist in the story even when the other heroes were unable to accomplish the same feat.

Roland tops the charts for me due to his drive.  The Gunslinger is driven to accomplish his task regardless of rewards or whatever hell he has to go through to get it done.  Sometimes the reader may hate the way Roland discards friends and companions along the way but you got to admire his force of will to overcome adversity.

T: Being a family man how do you juggle family, day job & writing?

It can be challenging with two active kids especially around baseball/softball session!  My wife and I have had multiple occasions come up where I am heading hours away with our son for a baseball game while she is heading the opposite direction with our daughter.  I know that the crazy schedules wont last so I try to enjoy the time I have playing chauffeur and cheerleader to my children.

In regards to work, I am very fortunate with my job that I live less than two miles from my employer.  Also, due to my tenure, I have a good amount of vacation time that I book around birthdays and my anniversary.  This really allows me to enjoy that precious time with family.

T: What draws you to write paranormal mysteries?

I am an old RPGer.  From Dungeons & Dragons, Rifts, and White Wolf games, my circle of friends and I have enjoyed role-playing since before high school.  Add in my early dive into Stephen King books and it makes paranormal mysteries a fairly familiar world to write about.

T:  Where do you write? When do you write?

I write either late at night at home, once the family has hit the hay, or at work while my students are busy.  This usually involves me bouncing chapters from work computer to personal computer but I manage alright.

T: Alright last question, what comes next? Do you have anything in the works right now?

I am glad you asked!  I am currently about 110K words into book#2, Wraith Leader, a sequel to Shadow of Understanding.  Readers will continue to follow the story and adventures of Gabriel McBane as he tries to comprehend this new world he has discovered in book#1.  However, hot on his trail after stumbling across and destroying a vampire, the Undead Court in Los Angeles are hunting him and he much make new allies and find a way to stop the leeches hellbent to kill him.  Look for Wraith Leader on Amazon before the end of 2015.

After book#2, I am lined-up to do a co-authored book with Damian J Clark.  We are going to intermingle are main characters and some supporting cast on an adventure and thrill ride.  I hope my readers will enjoy my next book and the project with Damian.

Thank You Much!

Jarrod Underdown

And for a special treat Jarrod decided to open up a bit more for you guys:

          Ten Facts About Jarrod Underdown

 

1) I have given over five gallons of blood in my life. I donate fairly regularly due to seeing family of mine needing blood in the past and feeling I should pay it forward. 

2) I have shark hunted off the coast of California on a twenty foot sailboat. I ran the chum line while we search for makos and sand sharks.

3) My Mother taught me to Texas two-step and west coast swing dance. When I turned 21, I would join her at the club and we would dance together.

4) I am a big Martini fan but don’t like the olives. From the typical Vodka Martini to the Angel Martini, I enjoy them much.

5) My dubious record for eating is consuming two and a half feet of meatballs subs in one sitting. I don’t think I could do that ever again!

6) One time, while still living at home as a teenager, my mother caught her hair and robe on fire. Luckily, I happen to be nearby when it happened and I was able to get the fire out before it burned her.

7) Originally, I was planning to enter the military to be a fighter pilot however I discovered while a young teenager that I have red/green color blindness. That prevented me at that time to follow that dream so instead I entered college with the plan to get a Business degree but I later changed my major and graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice instead.

8) Due to my employer and my current occupation as a facilitator, I am a certified Disney trainer. I know all these peculiar facts about Walt Disney and the parks after getting trained at the Disney College in Orlando.

9) Some years back, my wife and I, along with good friends, went on a Carnival cruise to Key West, the Grand Cayman Islands, and Jamaica. During some time at sea, and after a few morning Lynchburg Lemonades, I volunteered for the hairy chest contest on the cruise and I won!  My children got to see the video my wife purchased showing me strutting my stuff and they were very proud of my accomplishment.

10) As a child and still today, my favorite superhero was Batman.  My grandmother made a cap for me out of black nylon pants.  I wore it all the time and would cry in front of the washer and dryer until I could wear it again.  My mother hid the cap away until my wedding day then she gave it to my wife!

 

JD Lexx

Interview #2

T: Good Morning JD thank you for joining me this morning. Hopefully you coffee is to your liking.

JD: Hi again, Teresa. Thanks so much for having me back. And yes, the coffee is dark and plentiful so I couldn’t be happier.

T: Since we pretty much stuck to PG last time, I promise I’ll ask a few more NC17 questions just to let the readers get a since of you and your writing.

JD: That sounds fair, though I can’t promise where the answers may veer 😉

T: Last time we spoke you said “I want to do something different and help expose overlooked beauty.” What overlooked beauty do you want to expose?

JD: I suppose in a way, even I don’t know that until it’s found. As someone who has spent significant time behind a camera lens as well as a pen, I can definitely say that the notion of beauty is all about perspective. It’s in the young and perfect as well as the old and crumbling. Beauty is character, and vice versa. Yet we as a culture seem scared to explore that character. We look to others for guidance and embrace only that which won’t rock the boat among those from who we most desperately seek acceptance. We’ve become a culture of safety and apprehension, and in so doing we’ve allowed ourselves to overlook the scars while dashing madly for perfection. To me, that’s a terrible shame because it’s only in the darkened corners we’re most afraid to look where we find the most stunning truths.

I think it’s important though, to distinguish between the scars we collect in life and the drama some create from whole cloth. As I see it, each of us is the culmination of everything life makes us, but not necessarily of what we make life out to be. Show me someone who has weathered the scars and still looks brightly on life, and I’ll show you overlooked beauty.

T: As we know Hemingway is your favorite author, so who is your least favorite? Why?

JD: Now you’re just trying to trap me. 😉 I have trouble naming names because that inherently makes me sound petty. That said, there are quite a few scribblers out there who I have trouble calling “authors.” We all have the gifts we were born with, and most of us do anything we can to sharpen and hone them further. But it’s the ones who raid the profession in search of the quick buck that drive me crazy.

I believe anyone can learn to become a compelling writer, whether they’re naturally “gifted” or not. So when someone doesn’t bother to be their best and settles instead for publishing incoherent drivel that lowers expectations rather than raising them, that disappoints me on a personal level.

T: What has been your most difficult writing experience? Why?

JD: Honestly, every project I’ve undertaken has come with its share of unique insanity. That’s what makes it so much fun! If I had to choose one project, though, I would probably have to go with an upcoming novel that really took a lot out of me. I’m sure you could easily categorize it into about a dozen different genres—which means it doesn’t particularly fit into any of them—and weaving so many elements together has been an epic exercise in humility.

The thing is, you come to love your characters and learn their flaws and charms just as they learn yours. When you reach the end of a serious project and fear you haven’t done them justice, you take it very personally. Or at least I do. Until they’re happy with their treatment, I’m not happy. That’s a double-edged sword because it keeps driving me to improve but wow, what an exhausting ride. 🙂

T: Out of all the different hats you’ve worn which is your favorite?

JD: This one, without a doubt. Being an author lets me wear as many hats as I want, and however I damn well want to. I get to create new realities with every turn of the page, but even better that that I get to fix the mistakes I’ve made in this one and get all the payback I’ve ever wanted. I get to fall in love and wallow in sadness and erupt with rage on a daily basis, and I don’t even need a therapist! At least I don’t think I do…

T: How do your characters speak to do? When do they normally ask for attention?

JD: My characters know the best time to grab my attention is just as I’m settling into bed and really need some sleep. And it’s not just the ones I’m actively involved with either. Now and then, an older “friend” will pop up just to spark new ideas.

T: Are there any characters you want to revisit?

JD: Absolutely, there are. Right now, I would probably have to choose Chef Marco and Jess from “Food Lust”. Something about the way their chemistry flared despite their wealth of differences makes me so curious to explore with them further. I really want to see what they’re capable of now that the groundwork is set and their competitive fires so evenly matched.

T: Some authors have “certain times” they like to write, what about you?

JD: I would love to be that guy who writes well into the night and sometimes I do try, but I find my productivity drops steeply around mid-afternoon. If I haven’t hammered out a scene by then, I generally acquiesce and just play it in my mind until I can attack it properly the next morning.

T:  Where all have you traveled? Most intriguing place you’ve had sex out of those places?

JD: I might bore your readers with a list of all the places I’ve traveled, but I’ve done my best to take a little something amazing from every last visit. As for the latter, I’m not sure anything could ever top a candle-light encounter on a breezy Brooklyn rooftop with a crystal clear view of Manhattan. But then, I’m not done trying. 😉

T: I know you do charity work. What is it that speaks to you about helping others?

JD: That’s a great question. Is it possible to be selfish in an unselfish way? I don’t know exactly what it is about helping others, but it’s always been a part of who I am. I really don’t feel complete without it. I don’t want the gratitude and certainly not the accolades, but something about the knowledge you’ve made another life better makes it feel like real change is possible. And given the problems we’re facing lately, I think that’s something we sorely need. Less preaching about our virtues and more showing them through our actions.

Even the Crimson Confessions, if you read them a little more deeply, are about so much more than sex. They’re about connections and all the remarkable potential that can come from them, if only we open ourselves to the prospect. That’s not a matter of promiscuity; it’s a matter of reclaiming our nature from those people out there who live to sit in judgment. It’s about taking one small step both for our own benefit and maybe to embolden someone else to do the same.

T:  Who’s your favorite Jazz artist? Why?

JD: How are we defining jazz right now? Anyone who knows me knows what a fan I am of Sinatra, but my New Orleans side groans when I say that. That isn’t true jazz, is it, as much as I admire the artist. I love Louis & Ella, Miles Davis, maybe even Marsalis—those guys who could tear up the improv and play it like jazz is supposed to be played. Raw, loose, even sensual in the intimate way it connects with a crowd to create a one-of-a-kind experience. If we’re talking about the modern-day songbirds, however, I’ll choose Jane Monheit every time. Something about her voice hits me deeper than anyone out there today. If you haven’t heard her sing, you should really give her a try.

T: Food is a huge influence for you, what food is your go to when getting in the mood?

JD: Sweetheart, it’ll be a cold day in NOLA when you find me not in the mood! That said, you’re right, food and drink can both be big influences on the moment. For me, though, it’s not really about a certain meal or type of food. The point is the sensuality of sensation. If done right, taste and smell can be an extension of the same sensory experience ignited during sex. It’s all about playing the senses to orgasmic heights, is it not? The drizzle of warm chocolate as it slides over the skin, and the taste of it mingled with your lover. The trickling juice of freshly-cut berries between you and the new adventure each wandering drop invites.

And then there’s the high octane foreplay of simply preparing a meal together. Learning to navigate each other as you work a kitchen in tandem. Stealing that extra touch and hoping they steal one back. Hand-feeding each other ingredients and sips of wine. Wildly adult food fights. I think it’s really about trying something new and mixing experiences that less adventurous types would tell you should stay separate. Think back on every person who ever told you not to play with your food. Now be honest, how many of them would you consider highly sexual beings? I rest my case.

T:  Well JD that’s all I have for you today. Hopefully since I behaved, sort of, and you got my sweet side, you’ll come back and let me torture you a bit more? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

JD:  Thanks for letting me stop by and hang out. Name the time and I’ll be here for Round Three. I’ve got a couple exciting projects in the works that I’d love to share!

Interview #1

T: Good Morning JD, thank you for joining me this morning. Hopefully your coffee is to your liking.

JD: Thanks so much for inviting me. I love your blog and I’m really excited for the chance to be a part of it. As for the coffee, as long as it’s abundant and thick enough to drink with a fork, I’ll stick around as long as you’d like.

T: I know you’ve been doing a few interviews lately and they’ve been on the NC 17/R side. I’m going to keep things as PG as I can and hopefully you’ll join me for a couple more dates.

JD: Only NC-17? Damn, I was going for more of a Marquis de Sade thing. Okay, fair enough. Let’s do it your way. 😉

T: Who have been your biggest influences in your journey’s and in your writing? Why?

JD: Wow, that’s a tougher question than you’d think. I tend to find my greatest influences and inspirations close to home, both as an author and a man. On both sides of the family tree, I’ve tracked a legacy of writers and philosophical types who have always been notorious for shaking up the status quo—dating all the way back to the 1700s and this troublemaking scientist named Newton. You’ve probably heard of him. Honestly, I think it’s that power of history and lineage that drives me in the things I do.

I’ve been lucky; I was never made to feel guilty for being different or for taking the less explored path. I’ve never desired to walk down some well-trodden road or fall into line with the others. I want to do something different and help expose overlooked beauty. I want to change perceptions, and I think it’s those who came before me, who still live and breathe in my veins, that compel me.

T: Who’s your favorite Author past and/or present? Why?

JD: This is a question I revisit pretty often but I keep coming back to some rather obvious answers. Generally, I have to put Ernest Hemingway at the top of the list. While his streamlined mastery of the language couldn’t be any different from my verbose approach to wordplay, I admire his ability to set a brilliantly uncluttered stage and leave room for the reader to dance.

T: Describe your work space?

JD: I like to call it “controlled chaos.” I try to keep my writing space clean but it never pans out. I’ve got books from friends on top of books from acquaintances right next to books from the greatest who ever lived. I have manuscripts where I shouldn’t and notes in places I’ll never find again. But it’s cozy. And it’s mine. As long as the space around me reflects the lovable insanity within, I like to think it’s conducive to great things. Granted, I haven’t quite captured them yet, but it’s just a matter of time!

T: Do you listen to music while you write? If so what style/who? How does it inspire you? If not does it hinder your creativity?

JD: Music and noise during writing time can be a real double-edged sword with me. I can’t listen to anything with lyrics or my mind drifts away with the words. That said, I’m very responsive to the moods certain instrumental music conveys and like to use it whenever I can. I’ve also got an impressive library of random sound generators ranging from spooky to calming in a hundred different ways. I’ll use those to create ambiance and put myself inside the page. Howling winds so I can “feel” the cutting chill of open heights. The repetitive drum of an old rail car barreling ahead when I’m trying to build a sense of ominous drama. That kind of thing has always helped make a scene real to me.

T: What do you do to relax when you get over stressed do to the demands of deadlines, fans and the outside world?

JD: Didn’t you just warn me about keeping this interview PG? Such a cruel temptress… Truthfully, the stress tends to boil over now and then, especially when writing takes a backseat to marketing and promotions and the general daily grind. When it gets too much, I have to get away and recoil into quiet for a while or else the tension will seep into my writing. As much as I love to travel, sometimes just getting lost in a wooded area or along a deserted beach for a few hours can work wonders to sooth a surging mind. As humbled as I am to have such incredible fans and supporters in pursuing this dream, I find myself wanting to do everything for everyone at all times. In that sense, I can be everyone’s best friend and my own worst enemy. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I make sure to enjoy every moment of the journey. Getting away now and then to reset my energy helps me make sure I never lose sight of the people and things that matter.

T: If you could meet anyone past or present who would you want to meet?

JD: Off the top of my head, I’d have to go with Winston Churchill, Socrates, Louis Armstrong, Babe Ruth, Elvis, and all the Stooges except for Shemp. I’ll save the “NC-17” version for another time.

T: Throughout history authors are known to drink (some of us more than we should) what is your preferred beverage?

JD: The perfect Sazerac, hands down. And I know that sounds like a clichéd answer these days because all the hipster types consider that a classic writer’s drink. Then they go and order it with cognac or schnapps or any number of other abominations. Yuck! As a New Orleans boy myself, let me clear up any misconceptions: always rye whisky, never bourbon. Peychaud’s bitters. A residue of absinthe or Herbsaint, spun in a glass and emptied. Topped with a ribbon of lemon zest squeezed to release the oils but never dropped in to the drink. Voila. A friend once asked me to explain the aroma of a Sazerac properly made. I believe I described the aroma like stepping into a room filled with old books and thick wafts of history.

…not that I’m obsessed or anything…

T: Okay last question so I’ll skirt the edge of the NC 17 line. – I’ve been following/stalking you for a bit checking out your social media and I’ve found that you’re not like some erotic authors. You like to keep things classy. Why? What is it about the class and not porn that you enjoy?

JD: Wow, thank you. It means a lot that people pick up on that because it’s always been a foundation of my writing, whether erotic or other pursuits. I believe every style has its place and try not to judge, yet so much of the reading public looks down its nose at the erotic romance genre. Why? Sure, some out there snub it because the subject matter makes them uneasy. They’d rather demean the art form than accept it expresses elements of humanity and desire that they themselves are uncomfortable embracing. I don’t think that’s the major cause of the stigma, though. I think it has more to do with the quality of content that’s become acceptably over the years.

When I began writing erotica and erotic romance, I told myself there has to be a market out there with a demand for both sexuality and intellect. They say the mind is the most powerful of sexual organs and yet many authors entirely forget to stroke the intellect of their reader. It doesn’t have to be pretentious or cumbersome writing but erotica deserves every bit the high standard of artistry that all other genres expect from their authors. Maybe more, honestly. I mean, what’s more inspiring than sensuality itself? It pervades every aspect of human existence, yet it’s the one element of our society we relegate to a niche literary market, filled with those who know a thing or two about sex but very little about engaging writing. In that sense, I feel some readers are driven away from a subject that all of us should be drawntoward. It’s intimacy, sex; it’s the one thing that defines us when all else gets stripped away. Yet we’ve grown content to leave the topic in the hands of some who would treat it as a cheap thrill.

Maybe I see more in the subtlety of sexuality, something others are afraid to explore. Or perhaps I just love a good challenge. Either way, I approach my words like I’d approach any other lover: confidently, sometimes assertively, and damn determined to drive them to the brink. Some men proclaim their desperation by sending phallic pictures to strangers online. Some run around the room, hoping their tired old pick-up line will work on someone, at some point…eventually. But me? I’m the one who sits in the corner and listens, observing someone’s soul with genuine interest. There’s a funny thing that happens when you sit back patiently and wait for something come to you. Sometimes, more often than not, they do just that.

I guess that’s what I like about class over crass and erotica instead of porn. Sure, it takes more effort and skips over the easy score. But when it comes, it comes hard, and it leaves behind reminders long after the fade of any quick fix.

T: Well JD that’s all I have for you today. Hopefully since I behaved, and you got my sweet side, you’ll come back and let me torture you a bit more? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.

JD: Thanks for letting me stop by and hang out. Name the time and I’ll be here for Round Two. I’ve got a couple exciting projects in the works that I’d love to share!

 

Amy Carol Reeves Interviews

Resurrection

TC:  How does it feel now that you have finished the trilogy?

ACR:  I keep describing it in these interviews as bittersweet. I love the way I ended Abbie’s story, and yet there’s something that’s a bit depressing about not having any more story to tell.

TC:  Are you working on a new series?

ACR:  Right now I’m researching, pursing some new ideas.

TC:  Will you write any short stories about Abbie and William? Or tell us more about Richard’s past?

ACR:  Probably not. I like to leave readers with their last image of Abbie and William kissing in the rain.

TC:  If you write a new series will it be a historical YA or something different?

ACR:  I’m still working on that. It will probably be historical fiction. Right now I’m researching some of my favorite historical time periods: the Regency Era, the Victorian Era. Probably once I determine my new storyline, then I’ll decide if it will work better as YA or adult fiction.

TC:  When we first spoke when Ripper came out I asked you who you’d rather spend a day with Jane or Byron? You said a date with Byron. Is that still the case?

ACR:  Absolutely!

TC:  During a few scenes I was reminded of the night during a storm when a group of friends decided to write ghost stories. (Now I’m sure you know what group of “Friends” I speak of but for those that don’t I’ll clue them in.) I’m talking about the night Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley and John Polidori decided to write ghost stories… The most famous story to come out of that night was Frankenstein. Did this night have any bearing on Resurrection?

ACR:  The story about the birth of Frankenstein, like most great stories has been overdramatized a bit. My favorite biographer of Mary Shelley, Miranda Seymour, gives a great account of the tensions and relationships between Polidori, Byron, and the Shelleys at Villa Diodati. But yes, I love all of these personalities. I would have loved to have been at the Villa Diodati in 1816 with all of these great minds!

TC:  We’ve talked about you’re love of C.S. Lewis’s “Narnia” tales but before we never talked about Alice, yet in Resurrection you tie the work. What about Alice in Wonderland made you quote it this time?

ACR:  Abbie has to “cross some lines” and explore her moral boundaries in Resurrection. I felt like the “diving down the rabbit hole” image from Alice in Wonderland was a nice parallel to many of the occurrences in Resurrection.

TC:   What does Shawn think of Lord Bryon now?

ACR:  He’s not really threatened. Particularly since the guy’s been dead since 1824:)

TC:  Before I asked if you were rebellious as Abbie? As we’ve watched her grow what are the traits you think young readers will see in her?

ACR:  As I said before, I’ve never thought of her as rebellious—even though she is one to buck against the system when she thinks that a system is wrong or nonsensical. But I hope readers see that she is independent and brave.

TC:   What classes are you teaching this semester?

ACR:  This semester, along with my freshmen writing courses, I’m teaching two British literature courses. Both are Victorian and Modern British lit so we’re reading a lot of my favorites including, Jane Eyre, Dracula, and Mrs. Dalloway.

TC:   With both of the first books you’ve had a strong connection. How do you feel with this one?

ACR:  With each of the books, my connection with the storyline and characters has grown. In fact, I actually cried when I had to kill off one of the main characters in Resurrection.

TC:  What research did you do for Resurrection?

ACR:  It was great fun! I took another trip to London last year and walked around St. Pancras Old Church and Highgate Cemetery for quite a bit. I also visited the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery. She was one of the first female physicians in London and established a hospital and medical school for women. The gallery is the restored first floor ward and entrance to her hospital. You can read about my trip on my blog at amycarolreeves.com.

TC:  Knowing how the trilogy ends would you change anything?

ACR:  Not a thing!

TC:  Do you think Lady Westfield would dislike William more or less if she learned who his real parents were?

ACR:  I think neither. Lady Westfield is who she is.

TC:  By the end of the series Lady Westfield seemed to have turned a new leaf is that because of Laura or because she thought she would lose Abbie like she lost Caroline?

ACR:  At the end of the trilogy, she was still Lady Westfield, but at the end of the day, she would always focus on what mattered. I think that losing Caroline because of her own stubbornness was an enormous burden on her and although Abbie challenges her time and time again, she doesn’t want to repeat the same mistake.

TC:   Why in the end was it so hard for Abbie to commit? Was it just her loss or something she didn’t even think of?

ACR:  I think her loss jolted her and the part of her that couldn’t love Simon romantically made it difficult for her to accept her persistent love for William. Also, the very practical matter was that it was much more difficult to marry and keep a profession. Furthermore, divorce was nearly impossible and the laws were skewed to favor men. Although Abbie loves William, she had too many fears/insecurities to just dive into marriage.

TC:   While Simon says he loves Abbie even through as we know it’s hard for him to show emotion anymore do you think it’s the same as she feels for William?

ACR:  For me, the love triangle was inspired by the St. John Rivers/Rochester love triangle in Jane Eyre; essentially, you have one more cool-headed love interest, and one more hot-headed. It’s not that Simon doesn’t feel—he feels passionately at times—even about Abbie. But he expresses his affections much differently than William.

Amy once again thanks for stopping by, I’m glad we got to chat. You guys can check out Resurrections trailer here.

Renegade

Teresa: Hey Amy it’s great to have you back with us. I promise I won’t make this as long as the last one. 😉

First off how have you been?

ACR: Great. Busy writing as always.

Teresa: Have you read anything good lately?

ACR: Oh, far too many too count. I’m teaching a World Literature course, so I’m re-reading some of my favorites: King Lear, The God of Small Things. Then I’m getting ready for my annual reading of Jane Eyre. In terms of YA books, I recently read Victoria Schwab’s The Near Witch. Gorgeous moors and a dark fairy tale setting…Loved it!

Teresa: With the release of book two have your students said anything new?

ACR: Some of them are very excited, especially the ones who read a lot and are interested in Jack the Ripper.

Teresa: In Ripper you write about a historical figure, but in Renegade you reach further back to Greek mythology. Is Greek mythology another interest?

ACR: Truthfully, I’m not terribly interested in Greek mythology. My inspiration for the lamia came more from nineteenth-century artists’ obsession with her. I think it’s so interesting how in a time period where women were supposed to be domestic and submissive so many male artists were obsessed with the lamia as a devouring seductress.

Teresa: Did you know you were going to pull from Greek mythology when you were writing Ripper?

ACR: Absolutely. I knew very early on that Seraphina was going to be in the Ripper series.

Teresa: Out of all the mythological creatures out there why a Lamia?

ACR: Like the sphinx, she’s a fascinating female monster, deadly and powerful. My lamia has all of the traits of the mythological monster, but Seraphina is also a woman with the very real nineteenth-century problems of having to live the life that the men around her would have her live. This happens both in her pre-lamia and lamia existence.

Teresa: Did Shawn have to talk you off any cliffs in this book?

ACR: Absolutely. I think my favorite “cliff” was: “Oh my goodness, Shawn! My lamia won’t stop eating people! She’s like completely out of control!”

Teresa: Last time we also talked a little about Lord Byron and how he was a scoundrel. I have to ask were you thinking about Byron when you wrote some of William’s scenes. I ask because there is one scene that made me think of Lord Byron.

ACR: That’s funny that you would think that because William, although somewhat of a cad, isn’t nearly as much of a cad as Lord Byron was. Byron, who had a baby with his married half-sister, is pretty hard to match on the cad-scale! William is impetuous, hot-headed, and well…just plain hot. But he’s also needy in his own way, and I think that his desperate need for Abbie (not just any woman) is what makes him unique.

Teresa: You said you had a connection with Ripper do you still feel that connection when writing Renegade?

ACR: Truthfully, I felt more connected to Renegade. With the groundwork laid out in Ripper, I could develop my characters at a deeper level. We learn more about Simon’s traumatic past. We learn more about Abbie’s background, where she learned to fight, the loss of her best friend in Ireland. The book also raises more questions about her mother and her mother’s relationship with the Ripper. Finally, the lamia—I became a bit obsessed with her character. Yes, ok, she eats people, but I was really obsessed with her fury and loneliness, what drives her to kill.

Teresa: In this novel Abbie talks about her past a little more and we also see her knife throwing abilities. Do you know how to throw knives?

ACR: No, but I often accidently cut myself with them in the kitchen

Teresa: Abbie comes across a little tougher in this novel is that because of what she went through in the last?

ACR: Yes. She’s more confident. Also, being chased by an immortal Conclave would make one a bit edgy.

Teresa: Also we see a little more of Abbie’s tomboy side in this novel. Will we see more of it in the next book?

ACR: She’s tough, but I’m not sure I’d call her a tomboy. Did you see how much sheloved inheriting Seraphina’s imported gowns at the end of the novel???

Teresa: In Ripper we discussed the different types of research you had to do. What research did you have to do this time?

ACR: I did a lot of research on the mythological lamia, and I studied many Pre-Raphaelite depictions of her. I also watched many clips of lions and komodo dragons hunting on youtube so that I could depict her as a predator fairly accurately. Also, I had to do a lot of research on the geography and landscape of the Orkney Islands.

Teresa: Twice we see some version of the Queen’s Coat of Arm or Arms of Dominion in Renegade will we learn more about it or the people who wear the coat of arms in the next installment.

ACR: Absolutely. But I’m not saying anything else.

Teresa: How long has Richard worked for Lady Westfield?

ACR: We’ll learn a lot more about Richard’s history in the third book, Resurrection.

Teresa: How many books do you plan to write for Abbie?

ACR: The next book, Resurrection, will be out next year. From the start, I planned this series as a trilogy, and I see that book as pretty final. But who knows what the future might hold?

Ripper

T: How did Ripper come about?

ACR: My ideas for Ripper started back in graduate school. I went on a trip to London, and took a Jack the Ripper tour with Donald Rumbelow. I read his book, The Complete Jack the Ripper, on the plane ride home. But at that time I thought there were way too many books and movies on Jack the Ripper. It was only after graduate school, when I had already decided to be a young adult book author, that I considered that there were virtually no fiction works on Jack the Ripper for young adults. So I buckled down and wrote my book.

T: Have you always been interested in Jack?

ACR: Yes, it’s such a fascinating unsolved case, and the more I researched, the more baffling and bizarre the case seemed. I never came up with answers, just many more questions. Everyone always asks me which of the suspects I think is most likely the killer. In all of my research, I found that none of them seemed to be the Ripper. But since I was writing fiction, this worked in my favor a bit as it allowed me, as a writer, to “fill in the blanks” for my own story’s purposes.

T: Ripper is a historical YA, but it has some paranormal aspects to it, which did you find easier to write?

ACR: That’s a difficult question. I found challenging aspects to both. The historical research was certainly time consuming, but not necessarily difficult. Because of my PhD studies, I already knew what sources and books to go to for information on Victorian culture. Researching the medical history of the period was much more difficult and I had to do a lot more digging. Although writing paranormal is fun, I found that as a writer it is difficult to establish the “rules” for the particularly paranormal aspect. A lot of my editing and revising involved making sure that I was consistent when it came to the “rules” of Abbie’s psychic abilities.

T: You teach at the University, what do your students think about having a YA author as a teacher? Are they excited about you getting published?

ACR: Some of them are. Some of them don’t care!

T: How did you come up with the twists in Ripper?

ACR: When I set out to write Ripper, I wanted it to be more than just a whodunit. It was very important for me to have Abbie figuring out her own family’s history, for her to be unraveling the story of her enigmatic mother, as she solves the crimes. She is also trying to figure out what she values and who she loves (yes, there is a love triangle). So what I had to do was smoothly integrate Abbie Sharp’s own story into the murder mystery plot. The historical murder plot had already been laid out for me (i.e. the dates, circumstances of the murders, etc.) so it was mostly meshing the facts into the story I wanted to write.

T: Are you going to write a series for Ripper, or rather Abbie?

ACR: Yes, I’m working right now on the sequel, Renegade. It will be out next year. So stay tuned…Abbie’s adventures are by no means over!

T: What comes next?

ACR: Apart from the Ripper series, I’m working on a young adult Gothic historical thriller.

T: Does Shawn have any input on your writing? (i.e. help edit, critique, or just read and say that’s great) Does he help promote you and your writing?

ACR: He’s great with giving me feedback for early first drafts. He also “talks me off a cliff” when I’m at a really stressful stage in the writing or revising.

T: Does being a professor help or hinder your writing?

ACR: It certainly helps. My writing days can be so long and solitary. It’s nice to get out and to interact with students in the classroom.

T: Who were your favorite authors when you were young?

ACR: Oh there were so many. I loved C.S. Lewis’s Narnia tales. But I also really got into Gothic romances. Jane Eyre was one of my favorites. As I do now, I serial read Brontë sister novels. Also, I love anything and everything by Jane Austen. Although Pride and Prejudice is my favorite of her books, as a teenager, I was introduced to Austen through Northanger Abbey. I think that I initially thought it was a Gothic novel, but then quickly realized that it was actually a hysterical parody of Gothic novels. Nonetheless, I was hooked and loved it, and read all of her novels after that. I also really loved Dodie Smith. Although she’s known for 101 Dalmations, I think that her book I Capture the Castle, is one of the best young adult books every written. I love her teenage narrator Cassandra.

T: What got you into nineteenth century British Lit?

ACR: I think all the reading I did in high school. The nineteenth century is such a rich literary time. The number of novels produced was amazing.

T: You have two fantasies you discuss on your website, if you could have one which would it be tea with Jane Austen or a date with Lord Byron? (We won’t tell Shawn if it’s Byron)

ACR: Most certainly a date with Lord Byron. (insert girlish giggle here)

T: What are your favorite pieces of work from Jane and Byron? (personally I love Bryon’s poetry and that he was a scoundrel)

ACR: Yes, he was a scoundrel, which is partly why he was so fabulous. None of the outlandish reality television stars can compare to Byron’s rakish and adventurous behavior. He was quite notorious. In terms of his work, I really like Don Juan. I think it’s hysterical and very clever. In terms of Austen, like I’ve already said, I love Pride and Prejudice. It is an absolutely perfect book.

T: How different was writing Ripper compared to the work you normally write?

ACR: It was much more fun than the academic papers I have written. Although I liked writing academic papers, I always felt as if my brain wanted to spin off in more creative directions. My previous unpublished works were a picture book and a middle reader novel. Both of them were fun to write and hard work in terms of revisions, but I didn’t feel the connection with them that I had with Ripper. I think that a large part of my connection with Ripper was because it was my first creative work that used my passion for nineteenth-century literature and history.

T: Have any of your students been inspired by you to write?

ACR: Some have told me that they are.

T: Who are your favorite fictional characters today?

ACR: I recently read Jane by April Lindner, and I really liked it. I felt as if her Jane captured the character of Brontë’s Jane: she’s rational but passionate, but she’s also steely, and has a good sense of right and wrong. I also love Theia in Gwen Hayes’s Falling Under series. There’s something so modern and yet fairy tale-ish about the story and Theia’s character; it’s like she’s brave, beautiful, classic and enchanting all at the same time.

T: What authors do you relate too?

ACR: I correspond a lot about writing and books with my good friend, Jamieson Ridenhour, author of Barking Mad. We both have PhD’s in British literature, and our pages are “haunted” by a lot of nineteenth-century books that we’ve read. I also love my “agency sister” Gwen Hayes.

T: Who or what influences you the most?

ACR: As I’ve mentioned, certainly the Brontës. Particularly Charlotte. In fact, the love triangle in Ripper was lifted straight from Jane Eyre. Simon St. John is based on St. John Rivers and William Siddal is similar in character to Rochester.

T: If you could live anywhere or at any time where would you live?

ACR: Regency Era England. Victorian England would be fun too, but I think that women had even more freedom during the Romantic Era in England; and the dresses were better. They also didn’t wear such tight corsets.

T: What’s your favorite work of fiction?

ACR: It’s a toss-up between Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre.

T: What work/author do you love teaching about?

ACR: I really love teaching M.G. Lewis’s The Monk. I think particularly because of students’ reactions to it. They are always skeptical, thinking it looks too long and dry but then many of them tell me that once they start it they can’t put it down. That it reads like a Stephen King novel. Since I see a large part of my job as a professor is to get students excited about literature, The Monk really does the trick. Every time I teach it, I hear many of the same comments, “I can’t believe this book was written in the 1700’s. It’s so crazy!”

T: If there’s one thing you could pass on what would it be?

ACR: Moby Dick. Blah.

T: What stories do/did you read to your children?

ACR: We read all sorts of things of course. My son and I read Where the Wild Things Are so many times that he had the book memorized word for word at the age of three. Both of my children, as I do, also really like Bunnicula books. We read a lot from the Bunnicula series together before bedtime.

T: Does Shawn remind you of any fictional character?

ACR: I think I have to say, Atticus Finch. Shawn’s such a good dad. And he’s a southern lawyer so it’s fitting

T: Were you as rebellious as a teen as Abbie is?

ACR: I don’t see Abbie as being rebellious simply for the sake of being rebellious. Mariah (although I love her) is more the character who likes to rebel just for the sake of rebelling. Abbie pushes against the boundaries set upon her to follow her conscience, not just to rebel.

And no, I wasn’t a rebellious teenager. I liked to question authority figures a lot. I liked to ask “why” a lot when it came to rules and ideas. But no, I didn’t do too many typical teenage-rebellion things. I was too much of a reader.

T: Do you think Abbie fits into the mold we normally think of for the late 1800′s?

ACR: No, I am under no illusion that Abbie Sharp is a typical Victorian girl. In my mind, she is more representative of one of the not-so-typical females who “pushed” against the system a bit, because there were women who did this. I’m thinking of, for instance, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, one of the first female physicians. I worked very hard to establish Abbie’s unconventional background to make her independence more believable. She was raised by an educated and artistic mother who would have passed on her own values to Abbie. Her mother gave Abbie an unusual amount of freedom too. Through Abbie’s knife-throwing games and through playing with the local children, she learned to be more adaptable and street-smart than the typical Victorian girl. (Of course this helped her when she began working in the East End.)

T: When you were writing Ripper did you listen to any music? What got you in your frame of mind? Did you drink more tea, coffee or hot chocolate (for those of us that don’t drink coffee)?

ACR: I like to go jogging in the mornings. I think a lot about my writing as I jog. When I get back, I drink coffee (hazelnut or vanilla flavored, of course!) and with the dogs at my feet, I write.

T: Research is an important tool when writing, considering you have a PhD in nineteenth-century British Lit what other research did you need to prepare? What kinds of research did you have to do on Jack?

ACR: There was a lot of research on Victorian culture, on the Ripper murders themselves, and on the medical field at the time. When I began to write the book, I had several historical sources already on Victorian culture and on Jack the Ripper. It was time-consuming to go through these, to make sure that I had a good grasp on the period and the nature of the murders. Researching medicine at the time period was also time-consuming as at first—I had no idea where to start.

T: What is your favorite quote?

ACR: “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” –G.K. Chesterton

Thank you so much to Amy Carol Reeves for being with us today and being so gracious in sharing with me.