The Passionate Ink Party July 2015
RWA, PI Members, and industry members can now sign up to attend our annual party at RWA Nationals!
Tech CEO-turned-erotic romance novelist’s double life
Inside the Push for a More Diverse Romance Genre
What is Passionate Ink?
We’re the online erotic romance Special Interest Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Our goal is to promote erotic romance through education, and to encourage good will and respect for all romance writers, regardless of the genre in which they write. This is the place for erotic romance writers to be heard, understood, educated, supported, and encouraged. Learn more
- To educate new, almost-there and published erotic romance writers by offering a safe place to exchange ideas, resources, craft advice and industry news.
- To create a safe forum for networking with all members of Passionate Ink.
- To support and encourage all erotic romance writers.
- To educate others about the different sub-genres, styles and heat levels within erotic romance.
What’s your next upcoming book?
I have a new novel, The Klockwerk Kraken coming out this summer. I’m so excited since it’s my first novel (I’ve published short stories and a novella before, but never a novel!!!). I wish I had a cover, but it’s not ready yet. But I have the blurb (that I worked on in the PI Perfecting the Pitch class):
When the supply shipments stop coming, Teo Houdin needs all his tentacles to keep his bar on Switchpoint Waystation open. Desperate to restock or face a riot from the miners stranded on the backwater edge of the galaxy, Teo helps a greenie space pilot buy a ship in return for a regular haul of liquor. But he longs for the courage to invite the enigmatic spacer to fill his lonely bed as well.
Still smarting from the newly implanted navigational ports, Jimenez knows owning his own ship will prevent him from ever being bought and sold again. For a former slave, transporting cargo through the emptiness of space sounds like paradise–no slavers, no people, no social judgement, just freedom. But after meeting the compassionate and sexy Teo, his heart feels empty, too.
At the end of the galaxy’s spiral arm, can Teo convince Jimenez that the heart has its own tentacles and theirs should be entwined forever?
Your next project?
I’m currently writing on a lot of projects (my sure fire way of avoiding writer’s block) but two of them have my heart at the moment. One is The Cabinet of the Dead. It’s the lead-in to a trilogy of steampunk stories set in a very different US of the 1800s. The cabinet refers to the place where a spiritualist talks to the souls of those who have passed. The other story is a paranormal YA about a young woman who can see “smudges” or silent ghosts that repeat the same action over and over unable to be wiped clean from reality.
Are you a pantser or plotter
I’m a hybrid. I plot and plot and plot but when I sit down to write, my writing suddenly veers off on a tangent that takes the story in a whole new direction. I have to keep writing to find out where it goes.
How do you set the mood for writing?
My favorite place to write is on my living room couch, taking up all the space with my legs across the cushions. I’m bundled under two blankets and my cats are snuggled up next to me sleeping. The fireplace (electric so no heat) is always on and there’s a beverage at my elbow, hot in the winter, cold in the summer.
What are your favorite tools and habits for successful writing / getting through a project?
My favorite tools that work every single time are three things. 1) Going to bed at a decent hour and getting enough sleep. 2) An alarm clock that wakes me up one hour before everyone else gets up so I have peace and quiet to write (hence the needing to get to sleep at a reasonable time the night before). 3) Time management. It’s essential to finding an hour here or there to write during the day in addition to my morning time. I have a busy day job and lots of family responsibilities, but as long as I manage my time efficiently, I can jot a few words down.
How do you overcome procrastination?
I struggle with procrastination daily. Or maybe it’s just ADD. There are so many wonderful things to see and do, so many adventures waiting. It’s hard to give those up sometimes. And as long as it’s a valuable experience, I don’t think of it as procrastination. But if it’s not valuable, (like editing the same story for over a year), I try to find the reason for the procrastination (which in the editing instance was fear of submitting). And sometimes I need a kick in the pants. That’s what writing friends are for.
What’s your Achilles’ heel as a writer?
I’m the world’s slowest writer. I’m lucky if I get one short story out a year. And I like first drafts better than editing. I have at least five first drafts in my folders right now that haven’t been edited at all. I should really stop procrastinating over them!
What’s your strength as a writer?
My quirky characters, of course. And I love world-building. I always put my characters someplace I’d like to live or visit. Since I’m a writer, there are endless vacation spots in the universe for me and my characters.
What genre would you secretly like to write for, if you haven’t already?
This is a hard question as I’m pretty good at just writing whatever I want. But if I’m truthful, I think my answer would be narrative non-fiction. I love books like Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City or Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit but I’ve never felt the confidence to write something like that. Fiction, I can do all day long, but tying real events into a cohesive whole always escapes me. I think it’s because those are big picture books. What happens in them affects the world and culture for decades to come and the authors are so good at getting that information across. When I write I focus on a specific moment in time and how that moment alone is affecting my characters. I write small, intimate, and ultimately fictional because in real life, everything we do affects others and ourselves for the rest of our lives.
Have you dabbled in self-pubbing online, and if so, what are some pros/cons and advice you’d give re: navigating this?
I have not tried it yet, but I’m considering it. I’ve been taking classes, reading books, as well as establishing relationships with editors, cover artists, and distributors.
What advice would you give to a new author just starting out and looking up to authors like you?
The adage that butt+chair=written pages is true, true, true. Find time to write every day. Find time to read, too. It’s only a reader that can ultimately become a writer. Because the written word puts a hunger in us to see more, do more, experience more. Writers are the dreamers and the keepers of dreams.
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