What lead to your choice to write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing since I was a young girl. I took creative writing in high school, and I loved it. But writing a novel had always intrigued me. I’m impressed by the way some people who just seem to have a knack for telling a story, creating interesting charters, and coming up with plots that make their story sizzle. I didn’t think I had the ability to even attempt such a thing. After putting some time and energy into learning some of the craft of writing, the time came when I suddenly wanted to dive in and give it a whirl. Voi-la, I birthed my first novel. The journey and self-discovery has been amazing.
Do your family and friends know you write erotica? If so are they supportive?
Only my spouse, a cousin, and a few friends. They are supportive, but I have chosen to keep my writing in this category separate from my “real” life. I know my mother would be horrified, as she simply does not care for the subject matter of erotica. I think if my other friends and colleagues knew about it, they would definitely be surprised. To them, I’m just not that kind of girl! Since I’m not a full-time writer, I don’t need employers raising an eyebrow at what I do on my off-time.
Do you see writing as a career, either current or future?
I would love to make a career of writing–anytime–the sooner the better. But I do see how this is so hard to accomplish. The problem I have right now is that I’m not an especially prolific writer, one who can push out book after book. I have to muddle through things and look at everything from all kinds of angles, so it takes me a little more time than it might take other authors. I find this frustrating because I keep hearing how important it is to have several pieces of work under your belt before you can even begin to think of being successful.
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?
I don’t have a particular theme or message captured in my work. For the Pleasure House Tales, there is the theme of the asylum and the twist I give by making it an erotic place–or one side of it anyway. I have always been intrigued by asylums and what went on in them. They were such horrible places, and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to create an asylum where the staff care
d about and indulged their admits (or patients, rather).
Where would you like to be 5 years from now?
I would like to be an entrepreneur, running my own business, and writing would definitely figure in there. I love being my own boss and taking control of my life. In this scenario, I want to be the dominant one, not the submissive.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Oddly enough, I adore the Anne of Green Gables series. Far from being erotic, the tales are sweet and wholesome, and the writing is incredibly beautiful. I’ve enjoyed the Castle of The Hidden Grotto series, which is erotica, by the way. The writing style and the stories win on both sides of the equation. The characters and world the author created are just amazing.
What was the best advice you have ever heard, read or been giving regarding writing?
Simply: Just write. One well-know author indicated that it was silly of someone to ask her about writing advice because all a writer had to do was simply write. I find that most people talk more about writing than actually sitting down to do it. What surprises me more is that I feel many “writers” are lazy, in that they don’t want to invest some time in learning the art and craft of writing and learning punctuation and grammar as well. They just seem to dive in with no idea of how to put a story together. When it’s suggested that they invest some time into taking a course in writing, they seem to blow off this important piece of advice. My learning some of this to start with helped me in getting a book out there to the public.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Defying Gravity, by Caroline Myss, which outlines all the spiritual graces and how to invoke them. I love reading books on spirituality because I always need work in finding my highest potential or trying to understand my own divinity. I like understanding how cosmic laws work and how we all are a part of that. On the flip side, I finally purchased a copy of Selena Kitt’s “Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed.” I’d heard that it was controversial enough for Amazon to pull it off their shelves. So I went to Barnes and Noble and purchas
ed a Nook copy. It was an interesting read, but the ending had a very unusual twist. And I love twists.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Oddly enough, I usually don’t find myself necessarily favoring a particular author. I read a book based on the type of genre I enjoy as well as the subject matter. If that author happens to hook me enough and writes several books, I’ll most likely purchase other works of theirs.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Interesting question! Probably this one: “Does writing erotica make you feel like a sexaholic?” The answer: “Somewhat.” Let’s face it, when I write in this genre, I’m constantly thinking about the sex and how I can present this subject in a more interesting light. I’m trying to discover how I can weave it into an interesting, fun story. I still find it fascinating that someone can take the subject of sex and write about it for many, many pages, weaving it into a story that captures your attention.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? (OR) What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing is, again, being a prolific writer. I seem to have a hard time being creative and coming up with fabulous plots. I have to work hard at it. Some people just seem to do it so easily. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I spend a good part of my time looking at the different angles of a particular scene, and trying to pick which one would work the best.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get through it?
I do experience writer’s block, and I find myself at times struggling just to get simple sentences just the way I want them. Sometimes I just write out the closest thing I can to get to it, and then I come back later after I’ve thought through the situation more. Sometimes I just get quite, go lie down on my bed for a while, and really think about my scene and what I want to accomplish. The most fascina
ting thing I find is that just right before awakening from sleep, I get some of the most clear writing ideas.
How do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from life, people, situations, and just riding through a new town or parts of a neighborhood I’ve never ridden through before. Sometimes I get inspiration from finding a piece of wrapped candy on the sidewalk. Many times viewing a beautiful tree or rolling hills can be inspirational. Things just come out of nowhere, then everywhere. I’ll tell you where I don’t get inspiration: from writing prompts. I hate those!
How do you keep the love of writing alive?
I keep thinking of the next thing I can write. I’m learning to keep notebooks on ideas and jotting down different character types, plot lines, and the like. I actually enjoy the feeling I get from being in the middle of writing a novel. It’s difficult to describe, but I like knowing in the back of my mind that I’m working on a project. I’ll be driving down the road and trying to work through a particular scene or trying to come up with a new chapter.
Have you learned anything from writing? What was it?
I’ve discovered that yes, I can put a story together from start to finish. I’ve learned to be more creative and how to work my way through tough spots. I’ve found that I can keep a secret! I mean, I haven’t shared with the world that I have written an erotica novel. I like keeping it as my own dirty little secret. So readers will only know my work through my author name.
What do you feel are your strong points? What about things you’re working to improve?
I’m very organized, dedicated, and determined. That helps me realize my dream and get my work done. I’m trying to improve my speed, coming up with the ability to put out a story faster and faster. My first book took me a year, so I’d like the companion novel to take at least half the time or less. As far as what I’m working on to improve: concentrate more on writing when I’m at the computer and stay off the Internet.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice is to first learn the craft of writing and how to plot, create characters, and simply learn how to put a story together. Take some online courses, read some books–anything. My second piece of advice would be to learn punctuation, especially comma usage. Other than that, put your nose to the grindstone and just write. Don’t just talk about it: DO IT! The other thing I suggest is to not be so attached to your work that you can’t take suggestions from beta readers or editors. I love the challenge of writing most of all, so I don’t get too easily attached to the work. I’m simply trying to fulfill a challenge.
Do you write an outline before every book/story you write?
Not formally. If I’m having a hard time putting a timeline together or trying to figure out how I want the story to go, I will get a notebook and start jotting down characters and what I want them to do, as well as include ideas for scenes.
The problem is I don’t have a full complete story in my head at any given time, so I wouldn’t be able to create a full outline anyway.
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?
As I create the story and the characters, they seem to pop into my head, and from then on, they slowly begin to come alive as I build the story. It’s interesting because I did a blog posting about how totally unique my characters are to me. So much so that I cannot find any images of people who resemble the way the character looks in my mind’s eye. In Pleasure House, Daren is actually my favorite character, but no other reader ever points him out. So perhaps I missed the mark in making him a compelling character to others. That’s what I wonder. And sometimes, the main character may not always be my favorite, and the villain seem to be a favorite of others. Everyone notices Joe, though he didn’t figure much in the novel until near the end. The characters become real to me as I write about them, developing their personalities, their physical features, and their ways of thinking. They each have their own personal style.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily/weekly writing goal?
Usually I write in the evenings at home or on the weekends in my place of business. Day jobs have a way of interfering with writing, and with the job I have now, I don’t even get the hour lunch break. Too bad, I really miss those.
What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us? (it will be linked to as a PDF)
I’m working on the companion novel to Pleasure House. The work is: Pleasure House: Tales From The Isolation Chambers. I’ll be addressing characters who reside on the “other side” of The House. In the first novel, the readers are exposed to the erotic side of The House. In the current novel, the good Dr. James has a project he wants to try, so he solicits the help of the characters in the first novel. For the first time, they are exposed to regular people who had the misfortune of ending up in an asylum–and on the other side of The House. They are forced to put their clinical skills to work and try to find ways to introduce their admits into a different world they’ve experienced so far. In this novel, some of the characters, such as Joe, will get more stage time. I’m having fun writing this companion novel.
Scarlet Darkwood Blog: http://www.scarletdarkwood.com
Works For Sale: http://scarletdarkwood.com/for-sale/
I want to thank Scarlet 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a direct message on Twitter (@nymphdupave). Thanks!