At what point did you first consider yourself a writer?
I can’t define a moment in time that I actually coined myself a writer. I’ve always written. I dabbled in poetry and lyrical writing as a teen (and I really sucked at it.) I consistently overwrote every single paper due in each creative writing class. If they wanted a minimum of 3 pages, I’d give them 10. After a horrific divorce I was left with insomnia for nearly 2 ½ years. During that time, I gave up on sleep and just wrote what was in my head. It was my first published novel, though I’ve since abandoned it because…it’s horrible and I can’t get the rights back to it.
Do you have a specific writing style?
In other words, are you a plotter or a pantser? When I started writing ten years ago, I was a total pantster. It left me with plot holes and more editing than was humane. I now have a marker board that looks like a road map most of the time. I’m not a total plotster – I can lie to myself all I want, but I’m a total Type B personality. My life is an organized mess!
How did you come up with the titles to your book(s)?
I had the idea for the Dirty White Candy series floating in my head for about six months before I set pen to paper. I knew she’d go onto an online “hookup” site looking for someone to play with. I toyed with a few different names, and then searched Amazon to see if it was already used. I was elated when I didn’t find anything remotely close to Dirty White Candy. The last thing I wanted was to get lost in the 15k other books with “Shades of” in the title. The Beginning, while simple, was as clear as it gets. It was the Beginning of Candy’s Sexual Awakening. Ultimate Vacation was about two weeks at an exclusive swinger’s resort. I struggled with this title because everything else I came up with was…crass. Trading Places was a no brainer because Candy trades in everything for a whole new life.
Is there a message in your book(s) that you want readers to grasp?
Oh hell yes! Communication is so key to a healthy sex relationship with your partner(s). Don’t assume your partner is psychic. If you want something, tell them. Really take charge of your sex life. Because sex is something you have, you do. It isn’t or shouldn’t be something that happens to you.
There’s no wrong sex. If it isn’t illegal, the other person is of legal age and consenting; don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong. I’m a very sex positive person. Sex isn’t just fun, it’s a healthy and necessary part of life. Don’t judge someone else’s kink. For them, it’s fulfilling and there’s a lesson to be learned in that fulfillment.
How much of your book(s) have a bit of you in the characters?
Well, Candy’s inner monologue is probably the closest to mine. She’s accidentally funny, which I tend to be most times. Case in point, when I get notes from readers about something she said or did that they find hilarious, I’m taken aback. I wasn’t really trying to be funny. I’m over the moon that I brought someone laughter and that they liked her, but still… it was a total accident. Except for her calling a guy “Dorito in a Speedo” in Book 2. That was all me.
What books have most influenced your life most?
This is totally off the wall but James Redfield’s THE CELESTINE PROPHECY really changed the way I viewed myself and the world around me. I know it’s fiction, but there’s a ton of science to back up his message. The moral of the story is basically that life is like a bank account – the more positivity you put into it, the more you get (out of it.) If you feed it negativity, that’s all you’re left with. The book is a really horrible dry read IMHO but the message stuck to me.
The book spoke to me on a personal level, but I’ve carried with me in my professional life. I’m very giving to my fellow authors when I can be. I donate my services as a member of the Board of Directors for the Erotic Authors Guild and mostly I try to empower women. I’m a very sex positive person and I try to lend that to others…if that makes sense.
What book would we find you reading right now?
I literally just finished The Road to Redemption by Nicky Charles. And after I’m finished with this interview, I’m going to leave her a great review. As an author, I know how valuable each review is – and yes, even the bad ones are valuable—hard to swallow, but valuable. This is Book Two of a storyline but book 6 in a series Law of the Lycans. I’m totally hooked on Nicky Charles and I’m glad she’s planning on adding to this fantastic series.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Houston FREAKING Havens. She’s an absolute doll and a fantastic writer. Her debut was released this year by the same house that published mine. When you get two Irish Lass’ together, things get interesting. I joke that she’s my soul sister, but I often wonder if that might be true. I adore her as a person and her writing…OMG. She’s interlaced so many genres in one novel that some might be wary. Don’t be. She has done a beautiful job of crossing genres and writing STEAM. I mean, it’s a ménage book for Pete’s sake!
What are you currently working on? Can you give us a sneak peek?
I’m working on an erotic short I considered putting up for free. It’s straight up erotica – no love story. It’s pretty hot but I don’t want to be thrown into the “book porn” category. Perma-free books seem to attract horrid reviews so the jury is still out on whether or not I put it up, or stuff it away.
Do you see writing as a career? Do you write full time? Or in addition to another job?
I work between 13-16 hours a day. If I’m not writing, editing, marketing or reading, I’m trying to interact with readers. It’s a hellacious schedule and I literally work for peanuts. So…maybe it’s not a career – it’s a compulsion.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I don’t look back, I keep my eyes firmly on the road ahead. There is one editing blunder that I, my editor, my final line editor and my copyeditor missed. A character’s name has two different spellings throughout the series. It annoyed one professional reviewer. I might fix that. Aside from that one little irritating detail – leave it alone. The baby was born, let it grow.
What was the hardest part of writing your book(s)?
Keeping a story hot, but not redundant was probably the biggest challenge. The series is about Candy’s sexual journey. I had to start off slow, with very basic experiences and build to the insanity that became her life. I thought a lot about the readers and how they would receive the message. The reader is going to follow Candy through three novels… there had to be something new for them to see and learn.
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