Many thanks to the lovely, and kinky, Ms. Imogen Linn, for nominating me for this blog tour! Author of the indelibly sexy Pessumae Christi novels, where sexy young nuns get disciplined and dominated by the men of the church. I must admit, I really love clergy on clergy, and Ms. Linns stories get nice and kinky!
She is currently working on an exciting new project titled ‘Untouched’ that sounds really interesting. Read more about it on her blog tour entry.
So, here is my contribution to the tour, and apparently the last stop. Enjoy!
1. What am I working on?
I’m one of those ADD authors who always has a million irons in the fire. I try to winnow down, but it never happens. So the best answer I can give to this question is actually the answer to the question ‘What am I currently working on?’ And the answer to that is the Veil of Undoing. I have been working on my contribution to our debut double feature bundle for Halloween this year: The Wild Hunt. I am so excited about this project that it’s really hard to put into words. All of Veil of Undoing is a labor of love, that J. D. Harding and I have been working on for almost a year!
Veil of Undoing is a fantasy eromance setting inspired by movies like The Labyrinth, Legend, The Last Unicorn, The Princess Bride, Pan’s Labyrinth, and The Dark Crystal. All the writer’s involved grew up with these movies and we created a world with them in mind. We also take a healthy does of inspiration from the various folklore of the world, from superstitions about the wee folk, and traditional stories like those in Brothers Grimm collection. So the world in Veil of Undoing is steeped in magic, mystery, and faerie glamour. Seeming like something from out a fairy tale, and different around every corner and turn. The denizens of the Veil are no less mystical, and the stories we have to share with you about them, and about the world of the Veil of Undoing itself, are nothing short of epic.
My contribution was strongly inspired by the Brothers Grimm stories, along with the musical Into the Woods, both of which show the darker side of traditional fairy stories.
In my story a young woman struggles with the hand that life has dealt her as the motherless daughter of the Miller in a burgeoning German town in the 18th century. On Samhain night she slips into the dark, black, forest. Now she knows that she shouldn’t go there, especially on the night of All Hallow’s Eve, but she’s a bit of a daredevil. She has two older brothers and they’ve already got into the forest for a night of drinking. She is sick of feeling stuck at home tending the fire, so she goes out too.
In the forest all of the meet up with some strange men who seem, ultimately, to be otherworldly. None of them are left untouched by the events of that night, and my story is about what happened to them. It focuses mainly on the Miller’s daughter, Grete, and is told from her perspective.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I kind of hate answering questions like this, because everyone has their own style. And when you start to say oh I’m different in this way, or, oh I’m different in that way, it can start to seem like you’re saying your way is better. But really, in art, above a certain threshold of quality, there is no “better”, there’s just different. And because there are a lot of different people in the world, with a lot of different demands for media of any kind, it’s sort of important that there’s a lot of people out there all doing their own, different, thing.
Some kind of a dance around that, and answer with what is important to me, in my stories. And what I hope I’m bringing to the table as an author.
I’m not ashamed of what I’m writing. I’m not saying anyone else is, but I’m definitely not. I have loved steamy literature since I was a teen. I think it really helped me to be unashamed of my own sexuality, to read about women pursuing their own desires and having them fulfilled quite regularly. I try to bring that open-minded perspective to everything I write, no matter how kinky. Just like there are millions and billions of people there are millions and billions of perspectives on what is sexy, so I try to embrace the philosophy that if it’s sexy to you, it’s sexy. I don’t write a kink I can’t understand. It seems disrespectful and disingenuous.
I love the concept of taboo. Not specifically what “taboo” means in current erotica short hand, but the definition of the word. It’s what brings me back to historical settings, and what makes totalitarian sci-fi grimdark future scenarios so interesting to me. There is nothing sexier, than breaking the rules. I mean not really, but in fantasies… Omygod. So I really love situations where people have to break the rules to satisfy their lust, or at least, vaguely transgress them. Find a clever loophole, whatever. That’s part of why I love the ménage story because we are such a one man, one woman, society, and being bisexual is still pretty taboo to a lot of people, bringing in that second guy just makes it awesome. And obviously, breaking rules about sexuality, sensuality, and violence is what brings me to love the BDSM themes so much.
Everybody fantasizes about breaking the rules, rights? I write those stories.
3. Why do I write what I do?
It may sound trite, but I write what I write because I love it. I don’t even know how to finish a story I don’t love, and I’m pretty sure if it doesn’t have sex in it I could never love it. Actually, that’s not so far from my real life relationships. But I digress. I love writing erotic romance and erotica because I love writing about sex, and sexuality. I love exploring the psychology behind sex. I love researching different trends in human thoughts on sexuality. Sex is kind of the intersection of all of my interests where my history nerdiness, and my literature fan girliness, and my quirky creativity all come together. So that’s why I write what I do. It’s why I write in general.
I publish for a whole different reason, though. I publish because I remember being a much younger woman reading steamy stories and learning a whole lot about all the exciting things that adulthood had in store for her, so I want to get stories out there with new ideas and different sexual scripts and more varied roles for everyone. So maybe people who are reading my books might have their minds opened, might try something new, make it a little experimental, and discover whole new sides to themselves. And whole new levels of happiness. Or at least be comforted to know that they aren’t the only one perverted enough to think that some things seem awfully fun to try.
4. How does my writing process work?
It’s always changing. I actually keep up interest board, technically, to share the stuff. But I am terrible at updating it, so mostly it just sits there.
At the moment, I am adding Dragon Dictation to my process. It has really helped me to get my word count back up since the injuries I incurred in a recent car accident. Nothing serious, just the sort of little thing that interrupts every little thing that you do somehow. But, it does make it hard to type for long periods of time, so I have to adapt to that.
But the whole process is a little more… Numinous? Jules and I talked about this all the time, how it makes a sound sort of crazy whenever we talk about “how we write”. To me it always feels like the ideas come to me fully realized. As a sort of perfect image in my mind, a movie that plays out the scenes that I need to see and shows me every important detail of the story. The problem is, I’m some sort of weird one-eyed half-blind person looking through a tiny tube at the movie frame by frame. So it’s all right there, and the challenge for me, as an author, is to reach out and pull those ideas out of the movie and put them down into words without losing sight of the whole big picture.
I do a lot of brainstorming with pictures especially. So I really love we heart it, and I really love Pinterest. I do most of my plotting type brainstorming on we heart it, cover planning and sometimes research goes on Pinterest.
So after I have my idea, and I have some pictures that I can refer to like ‘oh, these are the pictures of what basically I saw in my idea in my head’. At that point I pull out my plot book and I actually start to put the plots in line. Sometimes the outline is mostly pictures, sometimes the outline is mostly written points, and I have pictures that I move around through the outline as I’m writing through it. This is an actual real life analog wood pulp paper book. I carry it around with me, not everywhere, but a lot of places. And I find that referring to that for my plots instead of keeping them somewhere on the computer helps keep me focused on using the computer only for typing my story, or dictating it as the case may be.
At some point, I’ll end up making a playlist on Spotify. If it’s one of my shorter stories, I’ll probably just make use of one already exists, because I have a huge list of playlists mostly based on different historical eras, and some based on different genres, or moods. Longer things, like novels, will almost always get their own playlist. So of course I have a Veil of Undoing playlist and it’s a million years long. 😉
So when I sit down to write, or dictate, I have the whole shebang. I turn on a playlist of music specially selected to fit the mood of what I’m working on. I open up my plot book, which is half collage, half outline. Then I open up my actual wordprocessing program, and you know that is also part of my whole immersion thing. I use a program called Focuswriter. I like it because unlike most wordprocessing programs it doesn’t have any buttons anywhere on the screen it just shows you your words and your background. There are mouse over screens that lets you use bold, italics, save, minimize, etc. And a toolbar that shows you how close to your daily word count goal you are. You can customize the background to any picture you want, you can customize the size, color, and font of the text. There are even typewriter noises when you’re actually typing in the program. Of course you can turn those off if you don’t like that. It’s also it a little file size, but it gets a lot done. I might be the only author I know who isn’t obsessed with Scrivener, but I don’t really care for it.
Aaaand that’s about it. Everything after that is really more about my publishing process. Thanks for reading!
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