Erotica Writer INTERVIEW: Leslie Lee Sanders

BIO:  The author of several books of fiction and fiction with spice, Leslie Lee Sanders spends her time writing erotic romances (mostly in the gay and ménage categories). She currently has two books available for mature teen readers and several erotic romances published as e-books and in print. Published with Xcite books and Breathless Press.

Nymph Du Pave: What lead to your choice to write?

Leslie Lee Sanders: Writing has always been more of an urge rather than a choice for me. Discovering the many adventures, conflicts and characters in books made me want to create my own world. In sixth grade I did just that, writing short horror stories inspired by the scary story books by Alvin Schwartz. Even now, it’s that urge to write, to create that keep me at my computer at all kinds of crazy hours.

NDP: What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us? (it will be linked to as a PDF)

LLS: My latest release, Tongue Tied, is an MM erotic short. It’s a very erotic tale about Ryan who develops a longing for his best friend’s tongue after a night of “double dating” with sexy Katelyn. However, it’s difficult for Ryan to tell his friend what’s been nagging at him.

I’m really excited about what I call my MM, post-apocalyptic erotic romance, Before the Darkness. In short, it’s about Elliot and Adam who are survivors of an asteroid impact and are working together to get over their inner demons and their growing attraction for each other as they search for other survivors. But they get sidetracked when they find spray painted signs pointing them to a mysterious place: Refuge Inc.

Before the Darkness is the first book in the Refuge Inc. Series and it’s currently out on submission. So wish me luck!

NDP: Do you see writing as a career, either current or future?

LLS: Writing is definitely a career for me now and hopefully in the future too. I hope to continue getting promoted every year, making new friends and growing in every way possible.

NDP: Do you have a message or theme you want to get across? Is that something that is in all of your work, or just a particular line/series/piece?

LLS: One of the major themes I tend to promote in my stories is TOLERANCE. You know, tolerance for the eccentric, different, the unconventional. It comes across subtlety in my writings and sometimes blatantly. I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy writing stories with an erotic slant. I love to push the boundaries and then say, “Deal with it.” The fact that I am able to write what I please and do so unapologetically is a message itself.

NDP: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

LLS: I would like to be on the cover of magazines, have a million dollar book deal, a movie deal, and a figurine made in my image. However, although I dream big, I live in the real world and striving to gain a larger readership, produce at least one award winning tale and write better and better books doesn’t seem too out of reach. And it wouldn’t hurt to see my name on a few bestsellers lists. I think that’s every writers dream.

NDP: What books have most influenced your life most?

LLS: As a girl I read The Giver and Island of the Blue Dolphins. Back then, I used to think a book’s title was exactly what the story would be about so I anticipated reading about some blue dolphins on an island and some Santa Claus-like character giving away stuff. Now, when rereading these stories and understanding the underlying messages and themes. I like to think that reading these books as a child had something to do with the urge I have to create stories with core messages, even if I didn’t recognize the impact then.

NDP: What was the best advice you have ever heard, read or been given regarding writing?

LLS: Best writing advice by far: Know the rules, understand them, and apply them before breaking them. Now, that’s not an exact quote, but the gist of what I’ve read in dozens of books on fiction writing over the years. And it’s true, I believe. You have to know the rules of writing and publishing before you can break the rules and still succeed.

NDP: What book are you reading now?

LLS: I recently finished reading an amazing dark tale, Hushed by Kelley York. It’s a great take on a semi-romantic thriller for those who enjoy dark reads. You actually feel for the young killer who falls for another man. You understand his motive and feel his pain enough to root for him. And there’s somewhat of a happy ending. Brilliant story. Highly recommended.

NDP: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

LLS: Besides the aforementioned Kelley York, I was eyeing Damon Suede and his MM story Hot Head which has gotten a lot of attention lately.

NDP: What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

LLS: Ooh, good question! I always wanted someone to ask, “What’s something you find weird about yourself that you’d like to share?” And I would answer, “I use men’s deodorant because I’m allergic to an ingredient in women’s. It burns my pits, man!” Funnier if they asked me that question in person, because then I can use hand gestures and facial expressions to get my point across. Lol.

NDP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? (OR) What is the hardest part of writing for you?

LLS: The hardest part of writing, for me and probably most fiction writers, is to FINISH writing the story. It’s always so easy to start a novel or novella, but to keep the momentum going requires a lot of determination.

NDP: Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get through it?

LLS: I don’t really believe in writer’s block. To me, writer’s block is just an excuse not to write. The problem is you’re losing interest in the part of the story you’re stuck on. A good solution is to skip ahead. Start writing the next chapter, the climax or even the ending. That way you’re still writing and stimulating your imagination at the same time. So when you get to the end, you can go back to the part you skipped and finish writing it, rewrite it, or scrap it with ease.

NDP: How do you find inspiration?

LLS: I’m inspired by movies, music, other stories, dreams, headlines and everyday life. Everything is inspiration for writing, either by inspiring ideas, characters or scenes, etc., or by inspiring me to keep writing and keep improving.

NDP: How do you keep the love of writing alive?

LLS: I think part of my love for writing comes from the “creating” part of it. I’m an artist. I have to make things, invent this, and bring things to life. I have an intense urge to leave my mark on the world. I need to mold something into existence with my hands or my voice, use my mind, my imagination, my concepts, and share it with the masses. It’s an addiction, which is the only way I can explain why I do the creative things I do. I’ll never stop. And money has never been a factor. Even if I were a billionaire I would still write fiction.

NDP: Have you learned anything from writing? What was it?

LLS: If it’s too easy, you’re not doing it right. That’s my motto. It can be applied to almost anything really; writing, exercising, sex. Kind of like that old saying: No pain, no gain. I picked up this motto after realizing … just because I finished writing a 60k word novel in 30 days doesn’t mean it’s ready for publication. Some things you have to learn the hard way. It’s better to fail and learn from it than to fail and fail again, right?

NDP: What do you feel are your strong points? What about things you’re working to improve?

LLS: I think I deal with criticism and rejection quite well publically. I understand everyone has their own idea of what’s good or bad, and I respect that. However, I think I need to work on dealing with criticism and rejection in private. Hubby is often subjected to an earful. Poor hubby. Thankfully, after I get it all out of my system I move on.


NDP: Do you have any advice for other writers?

LLS: A critique partner is priceless. Whether you are indie published or established, seeking publication or representation from an agent, a critique partner is invaluable and every writer needs one. Get a critique partner or two!

NDP: Do you write an outline before every book/story you write?

LLS: Not every book. I do write an outline for the big projects like series or novels with lots of characters and subplots. It a great way to keep organized. Otherwise, I know where I’m headed in the story and just write until I get there.

NDP: How do you come up with characters that are not only real to you and your readers but continue to intrigue you through the life of their in-book/series time?

LLS: Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the journey you take with the character that makes you hold on to them and their roller-coaster ride. Creating a character with enough background, personality and inner issues might be the trick. I’m in love with the characters of my MMF novel (turned free online serial), Three’s a Crowd. I haven’t written about them in a while and I actually miss them. They each have so many issues to explore, you can’t forget about them so easily. They just don’t allow you to move on.

NDP: What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily/weekly writing goal?

LLS: I work mainly in my home office on my computer when I can. Honestly, I have no daily or weekly writing goals. I pick a month and tell myself I have till then to finish my current project. That’s how I’ve been rolling recently. There are too many tasks in a day or week for me to complete, and forcing myself to write when I absolutely don’t have the time to seems ludicrous. However, I always finish what I start.

Links:

Email: LLS4SANDERS@YAHOO.COM

Website & Blog

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Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon Page

ARe Profile

 

Writing Has Suffered & Aweber (Newsletter Service) Seems to Hate Me

Suffering

This has been the busiest month (with the day job) I have ever had without any huge advertising promotion, and even with the large promotions, they gave a quick burst – not a sustained one.  That being said I am also hitting 1000 sales (might have this morning, haven’t received payment for the item just yet so it doesn’t count) which triggers a very large giveaway that I have been planning for two months.  It’s not even a giveaway in which I gain anything – it’s all for my previous customers.

With that said I have been “slacking” in the writing department.  I got off schedule and started putting the day job before everything else.  This is not only mentally draining, it’s just plain stupid; I have a work-from-home day job.  I make my own schedule.  One of the pros is that even when you’re busy you can decide what goes where in the puzzle of your daily life.  Sure, to squeeze more in that means I have to wake up earlier or go to bed later; but I can do things in an order that makes sense for me.

I’ve been letting my damn job control me again… at that point I might as well still be working at my old job for 60 to 80 hours a week.  So, I’ll be getting up earlier to get my priority items done – one item of that list is my writing.

Aweber

Thanks to being swamped with the day job, and the subsequent fact that I haven’t been prioritizing properly, it took me until today to find out what the HECK was wrong with my Aweber account.  I know it wasn’t a payment problem – I see the bill paid every month and chastise myself for not using the service to the utmost of it’s abilities, but whatever.

I found the issue that has kept me two weeks behind on my Free Erotic Serial that goes out to my newsletter subscribers.  I’ll be putting those two weeks together for the 25th and two more together for the 1st of June and I’ll also be releasing the next in the ‘Master’ series for free just for the subscribers because of this problem :/

Now I must leave.  Off to work on my to do list today.  Hope you all have a great day!

Erotica Writer INTERVIEW: Cassandra Carr

BIO: Cassandra Carr is a multi-published, award-winning erotic romance writer with Ellora’s Cave, Siren, and Loose Id who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Cassandra’s book Caught was recently named Best BDSM Book 2011 by LoveRomancesCafe.

Nymph Du Pave: What lead to your choice to write?

Cassandra Carr: Funny enough, getting laid off and deciding to have a baby. I know that’s not a real traditional route to take, but it worked for me.

NDP: What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us? (it will be linked to as a PDF)

CC: I’m currently working on the first book of a five-book series which revolves around IT geek heroes. I love geeks (I married one) and think they’re underrepresented in the romance market. 😉  Here’s a snippet – UNEDITED, as the book has not sold:

A knock sounded at the door and Keith rose to answer it. When the woman Michael assumed was Juliet stepped into the room he made a distinctly undignified gurgling sound. This gorgeous, elegant woman was their director of IT? He thanked the heavens for small favors when it appeared she hadn’t heard him. She glanced around and Michael took a few seconds to assess her.

Her brown, shiny hair hung to just below her ears, and even though her mouth was currently drawn into a thin line, it was obvious she had a beautiful set of lips that Michael could think of about a thousand uses for. Her gaze was cold, but an undeniable source of heat lurked in their depths, as if she was at once furious and also completely disapproving of SOS being there. She was wearing a snug red sweater and a slim black skirt with black high-heeled boots that lovingly wrapped around her calves, and she was currently tapping her foot in a staccato beat. A throat cleared beside him.

“Michael?” PJ prompted.

Shit. No doubt PJ had noticed his reaction to Juliet.

“Um…”

Fucking brilliant, man.

“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” Juliet snapped. She stepped forward and held out her hand. “Juliet Brun, director of IT.”

NDP: Do you see writing as a career, either current or future?

CC: It’s definitely my career now! I’m a full-time writer, or as full-time as you can be with a toddler at home part of the time. I fully intend to make this my life’s work.

NDP: Do you have a message or theme you want to get across? Is that something that is in all of your work, or just a particular line/series/piece?

CC: There are different themes in different pieces. Overall, love conquers all.

NDP: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

CC: On a bestsellers’ list. But seriously, if I can make enough money from my writing to help send my daughter to college I’ll feel like my mission in life is complete.

NDP: What books have most influenced your life most?

CC: The Westing Game, when I was younger. It was a Newberry Award Winner in the late 1970’s (dating myself, eek!) and I read it until it fell apart. I still have a copy of it.

I also enjoy books like Pride and Prejudice.

NDP: What book are you reading now?

CC: Fifty Shades of Grey. I figure since it’s in my genre I should see what all the hype is about. I’m about halfway through it. I have all three of the trilogy but I’m not sure I’ll read them all since I have over 200 books on my to-be-read list.

NDP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? (OR) What is CC: the hardest part of writing for you?

CC: Productivity is by far my biggest challenge. I only have part-time childcare so when I do I really need to put words down on the screen. It’s hard to fly into productivity and stay there all day, though. I also write at night after my daughter has gone to bed, but I’m tired then and sometimes it’s a struggle to get up the energy to sit down and write a few thousand words. I do sprints with other writers on Twitter – that helps a lot!

NDP: Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get through it?

CC: Every writer does. Here’s my advice for beating writer’s block: keep writing. Don’t allow yourself to stop; you’ll lose all momentum and compound the problem. You will eventually write yourself out of writer’s block, so even if you have to re-work or delete part of what you did it’s better than nothing.

NDP: How do you find inspiration?

CC: Oh wow. Inspiration is everywhere! I am often inspired by one small kernel which turns into an entire book. In my release, Collision, the whole story was started with the idea of the King of Rodeo and the Ice Queen. The plot and characters grew entirely out of that.

NDP: How do you keep the love of writing alive?

CC: I keep selling books. 😉 Seriously, this is what I love to do, and when it gets hard I just look at my friends and family who are struggling in Corporate America. Do I want to change places with them? Hell no!

NDP: Have you learned anything from writing? What was it?

CC: You mean like life lessons? That you if you want something badly enough and work hard enough for it, combined with doing the proper research into how to do it, you will have a much greater likelihood of succeeding.

NDP: What do you feel are your strong points? What about things you’re working to improve?

CC: I’m told my sex scenes are my strong points, along with heroes my readers can fall in love with. My weaknesses? Hmm. Probably secondary plotting. I tend to keep a very tight focus on my hero and heroine. That’s okay in a shorter work, but in the longer works it’s a problem because you need subplots and secondary characters to keep the story moving.

NDP: Do you have any advice for other writers?

CC: Everyone has advice, and I’m no exception. 🙂 If you really want to be a writer, write. Finish that book. Don’t say you’re going to; actually do it. Lots of people WANT to be writers, but not very many really are.

NDP: Do you write an outline before every book/story you write?

CC: HAHAHAHAHA No. I’m a pantser, to the point that sometimes I end a chapter and literally have no idea what I’m going to write next. I oftentimes don’t know how a book is going to end. I’ll be typing along and cock my head. “That looks like a good place to finish.” The End. There, done.

NDP: How do you come up with characters that are not only real to you and your readers but continue to intrigue you through the life of their in-book/series time?

CC: I write characters I’d like to read about. It’s as simple as that.

NDP: What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily/weekly writing goal?

CC: I don’t have a typical day since my childcare is somewhat in flux, but when I write I try to sit down at the computer for at least an hour at a time. I don’t always write during that entire hour, sometimes I check email and the like, but I try not to get up more than once an hour. I write mostly in the corner of my living room (remember that toddler I mentioned?) and at cafes if I need to leave the house. I don’t set writing goals. I think they’d stress me out. I’m pretty prolific so I don’t really need them either.

 

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I want to thank Cassandra for taking the time for this interview!  I hope you enjoyed reading it.

If you are an author and would like to be interviewed please contact me at ndpave@gmail.com or send me a direct message on Twitter (@nymphdupave).  Thanks.

Concern Regarding the Free Serial

I have been working on the free erotica for my newsletter subscribers and I’ve been left with a big concern.

My original intention was to create a cast of 6 main characters and at least 2 secondary (if not 4) and rotate between the main characters every week with a possible interlude now and again with one of the secondaries.  But I’m wondering now if this is not too wide a range of characters for a weekly erotica.  It would be 7 weeks before you get back to the character who started the entire thing.  By then it would be possible to have lost interest or even forgotten what had happened previously.

I’m thinking about cutting this down to particular storylines and creating several solid pieces with just two main characters each.  At the same time the other characters are in the background and things are being set up, like dominoes.  Different things fall into place with each story and that way I’ll give my readers a better sense of fulfillment.

I did want to create this crazy soap opera feel, but I think this isn’t the right format.  Unless I gave my readers a piece of everyone’s puzzle with each installment.  I would think that would be once every two weeks or even once a month.  With 6 main characters (3 separate erotic stories) and 2 to 4 secondaries (lots of possibility here too) that’s a lot of writing to be reading in one sitting.

So, decision made.  Take one erotic adventure at a time.

This certainly opens up different avenues for me!  Yay!

Erotica/Romance Writer INTERVIEW: Rebecca Royce

Bio: (edited down for space, for the longer version visit Rebecca’s Amazon page!)  Rebecca is the mother of three adorable boys and is fortunate to be married to her best friend.  She’s in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and tries to use all of these elements in her writing. She’s been told she’s a little bloodthirsty so she hopes that when you read her work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. Rebecca loves to write series because she loves to see characters develop over time and it always makes her happy to see her favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

 

Nymph Du Pave: What lead to your choice to write?

Rebecca Royce: I was always an avid reader.  But, truthfully, I wrote my first book in fourth grade so I think I was always going to write.  My actual choice to seek publication came when I was pregnant with my second son.  Let’s blame the hormones.

 

NDP: What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us?

RR: Right now I’m working on two things. A stand-alone new story and Love Beyond Expectations, the fifth book in my Outsider series.

 

NDP: Do you see writing as a career, either current or future?

RR: Writing is my career. Officially. As of this year, it is not my hobby, its my job.

 

NDP: Do you have a message or theme you want to get across?

RR: No, I kind of just let the characters tell their stories.

 

NDP: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

RR: I hope I’m still writing, telling stories people want to read, and reaching an even wider audience.

 

NDP: What books have most influenced your life most?

RR: In terms of writing…  Um, Steven King has a wonderful book on writing. I recommend all potential authors read it.

 

NDP: What was the best advice you have ever heard, read or been giving regarding writing?

RR: Treat it like your job. Write every day.

 

NDP: What book are you reading now?

RR: Shannon K. Butcher has a Sentinal series and I am reading one of them now.

 

NDP: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

RR: I love finding new authors. I think everyone should check out Flesh and Feathers by April Ffeifer and Danielle Hylton-Outland. Its co-authored, their first novel, and really exceptional.

 

NDP: What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

RR: Oh my gosh. I’ve been asked so many questions.  Um. I guess no one has ever asked me what my favorite movie is.  I love movies. Really love them.  And my favorite movie of all time is The Usual Suspects.

 

NDP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

RR: Every book has a new challenge for me. Sometimes it’s starting a book. Sometimes it’s the love scenes. Sometimes it’s the fight scenes. Sometimes its the end.

 

NDP: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

RR: Getting through whatever the tough part of that book is.

 

NDP: Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get through it?

RR: I’ve got a little right now. My critique partner suggested I just write something else.  And it worked beautifully.

 

NDP: How do you find inspiration?

RR: Inspiration comes all over the place for me.  Sometimes its just standing in line at the deli.

 

NDP: How do you keep the love of writing alive?

RR: My imagination is very active. I’m very lucky that it just keeps going.

 

NDP: Have you learned anything from writing? What was it?

RR: I’ve learned to trust myself, my instincts, and my own writing.

 

NDP: What do you feel are your strong points? What about things you’re working to improve?

RR: I’m told that dialogue and world building are strong for me. I’m always working on my craft, trying to not make the same mistakes from book to book.

 

NDP: Do you have any advice for other writers?

RR: The same advice I was given—write everyday.

 

NDP: Do you write an outline before every book/story you write?

RR: No. I’m usually about one chapter ahead of where I’m actually writing but not more than that.

 

NDP: What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily/weekly writing goal?

RR: I try to write 3000 words a day.  I write as much as I can in between driving my children around.

 

You can find Rebecca Royce here on Twitter @rebeccaroyce

 

I want to thank Rebecca for taking the time for this interview!

I hope you enjoyed this interview.  If you are an author and would like to be interviewed please contact me at ndpave@gmail.com or send me a direct message on Twitter (@nymphdupave).  Thanks!