Saturday, December 3, 2011

Interview for Lucy Felthouse


Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable Robinson, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Summerhouse Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour and Seducing the Myth. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you Lucy giving me the opportunity for this interview. I am looking forward to getting to know more about you and your work!! 
Let’s see your stories revolve around ménage (M/F/F Erotica, M/F/M Erotica, M/F/M Voyeurism Erotica) Erotic Paranormal Romance, F/F Erotica, Oral Sex Erotica, BDSM Erotica, Voyeurism Erotica, Mixed Theme Erotica, Erotic Myths & Legends, Bisexual Erotica, GLBTQ, Cop/Criminal Themed Erotica, F/F Erotic Paranormal Romance, M/F Erotica, M/F Paranormal Erotic Romance… One thing is certain you are not timid about the type of subject matter you write about.



  • What is the biggest misconception about erotica that you think most people have?

The biggest misconception is that people think the authors must have done everything they're writing about. Some people believe we are all promiscuous, whip-wielding, PVC wearing types. It’s not true! I'm in a relationship with a guy – just one! – and everything I write about is purely from my imagination. You don't really think I've had sex with a vampire, do you?

  • Is there another genre that you’ve ever thought of exploring?

Yes. I'd really like to start writing some m/m. It's definitely in the pipeline, so watch this space!

  • Is there a genre that you don’t ever see yourself writing?

Sci-fi. It's not a genre I'm a huge fan of, though there are always exceptions, of course.

  • How would you describe your writing style?

Easy-reading, with humour and hot sex. I hope!

  • Is there something you would refuse to write into a story?

Only the usual taboos; kids, incest, bestiality, etc. Anything that is morally wrong or simply disgusting and I won't go near it. I know that kind of stuff is increasingly popular, but it's just not something I'm interested in writing.

  • Am I correct that all of you titles to date are short stories? Do you have any further plans to write a full length novel?

Right now, yes, most of my stuff is short stories – though I have a couple of pieces between 10 and 12k, which some categorize as a novella. However, I have just finished a 22k novella for one of my publishers, which should be coming out next spring. I am also planning to write more novellas, and gradually work up to novel length. I'm sure I'll get there eventually!

  • How do you keep the character/relationship central to the story while still combining genres?

To be honest, I don't think too deeply about it. I just write what comes naturally, then when I'm editing and polishing things for submission I make sure that the story does what I wanted it to.

  • Has there ever been a time when a scene you were writing became too emotional, and you had to step back?

Yes. When I was writing my short story/novella for Noble Romance, Love Through Time, I found myself getting creeped out by what I was writing. The hairs on the back of my neck actually stood up at one point. It was supposed to be spooky, though, so that was a good thing!

  • Are there any guiding factors involved when you are writing a love scene?

Positioning can get difficult sometimes – particularly if there are more than two people involved. So you have to remember to pay attention to where hands, arms and legs are, who's on top, etc. Other than that, I try to remember to mix things up and make sure all love scenes don't sound the same. However, many of my characters aren't even doing it in a bed, so that's often not a problem! ;)

  • How difficult is it for you to put your characters into situations that will hurt them?

I don't think I do, really. I'm generally pretty nice to my characters. They're either falling in love, having totally hot sex or fun adventures. I've written some BDSM erotica where people are getting physically hurt, but only in a way that they enjoy!

  • How do you decide on what qualities you give your hero? Your heroine?

I don't. My characters often wander into my head fully-formed, or develop as I'm writing them. I don't make a list of attributes or personality traits before writing. I just see what happens as I write, and what fits in with the story I'm telling.

  • What keeps the pages turning for you when reading?

Tension, a fascinating plot, hot sex, engaging characters and being desperate to find out how it's all going to end!

  • Tell us about what happens when you start a book. Does the plot take form first or does the idea come first? Do you then outline the direction (plot) and follow through?

I am really not a planner when it comes to short stories. I just get a spark of an idea and start writing, and see how it goes. With the novella I just finished, though, I had my outline but I had to make sure it stayed within a word count and the genre that the publisher was looking for. I also had to make sure things stayed consistent and that the tension and interest was maintained over the longer word count, so I did some planning there. It was only basic notes about the main characters and a rough outline of the story. I didn't stick to it rigidly, though. The story still took on a life of its own as I'd originally planned five chapters and ended up with ten!

  • What kind of reactions do you get from your family about your chosen fields in story writing? (You know I had to ask this question)

Not all of them know. I basically tell people if I think they'll be cool with it. The others are in the dark, though I suspect some of them know but just haven't said anything.

  • A few of you stories feature BDSM themes. When does BDSM become abuse?

You're asking the wrong person. The BDSM I've written tends to stay on the very mild end of the scale – a bit of light bondage, some playful spanking, etc. Anything heaver is not something I could ever see myself writing as I don't understand the lifestyle and relationships fully enough.

  • What do you think is more acceptable to readers, emotional domination or physical pain?

That's a question I can't really answer. It depends on the reader. Some will accept one more than the other, or both, or none. Everyone is different.

  • Is D/s different from BDSM?

Again, I don't know enough about the lifestyle to give an informed answer, but I suspect yes. I think there's a difference between a couple engaging in some playful spanking and tying up, than a couple being fully into the power play of domination and submission. But I'm far from being an expert, so please take this as my opinion only!

  • What is your favorite gender combination in ménage?

I don't mind, really. Men and women are both sexy in their own ways so it's easy to take that sexiness and times it by however many are in a story. I've only written a few ménage tales as sometimes I find it difficult to come up with a realistic plot in which a ménage would take place, but it's definitely something I'll be writing more of in the future. One of my upcoming projects is going to be a m/f/m ménage.

  • Do you think there is a difference between ménage sex and ménage relationship? Are the two one and the same? Or can one be without the other?

Yes, there's definitely a difference, in exactly the same way you can have sex with someone without there being a relationship there. There are so many different connotations, as a couple could invite someone into their bed on a one-off basis, or a more permanent one. However, the part I find most difficult to write is how three or more people could make it work on a permanent basis, purely because I don't know enough about it. There are many authors out there that do a brilliant job of writing it, though, so I don't need to! ;)

  • What does Lucy Felthouse do when she isn’t writing?

I read, I watch films and TV, spend time with my other half, go out walking and exploring the British countryside, country houses, castles, etc. I also run my own PR & Marketing business, so I do an awful lot of that, too!

Thank you Lucy for taking the time out of your busy schedule and letting us have this opportunity to get to know you!

Be sure to check out the excerpt below for Love Though Time.

*****

Westbury Hall is a stately home with a fascinating past, and when book conservator Emily Stone starts uncovering it, she’s startled by what she finds . . . .

Emily arrives at Westbury Hall with a job to do. She’s to clean and conserve all of the books in their impressive library, preserving them for future generations. Not long into her stay at the house, she bumps into the night guard, George. She’d expected an old, balding guy with a comb over, so the hunky chap she actually meets is a very pleasant surprise. The introductions complete, George leaves Emily in peace to get on with her job. But when a falling photograph sets off a chain reaction of ghostly events, Emily and George are thrown together in order to find out who—or what—is causing them. Their investigation uncovers a tragic past, a lost love, and a stunning secret.





Thursday, October 13, 2011

When Was The Last Time You Read A Good Book?




The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.

~Mark Twain~




 




That was the quote that got me thinking about writing this. It has been rolling around inside my head for a while. So here it goes Mark…wish me luck!


Sitting here working on some new postings and changes on my website I was telling some friends about some of the stuff I’m doing, and; giggling, one said me… “you and those sexy vampires you read about all the time, how do you find the time”? Well the first thing I realized was even though she’d said she seen my site, clearly that wasn’t the case. Then I found myself trying to defend the “types” of books by explaining that while yes there is plenty of sexy vampires… werewolves… dragons oh gosh even a few misunderstood demons, well you get the point; it’s the paranormal factor I like most. Again laughing added, “yea OK sure it’s just the superheroes you like, as long as there is a lot of (and then she whispered)… sex. I thought “what the hell” she’s saying sex like it’s a bad thing.

OK I’ll admit I like a story that revolves around romance and where there is romance there should be sex. I just find when I’m reading a story where the sexual chemistry is stimulating between the characters makes it soooo much more…interesting. So sue me!

It’s not just genetic instincts anymore driving us to have sex in order to procreate, hell we don’t even need the act for that anymore; it’s also a very human need for touch that drives us. And man...it just feels so damn good.
 Then I was really floored when another gal there said to me “besides not everyone has the time to read like you do”. Whoa, I think I was just sucker punched...

Suddenly I stopped, and thought... OK I’m out numbered here so maybe I’d better cut my losses and move on the another subject. However, anyone who knows me knows I just don’t know when to shut up, and just couldn’t let it go. So I asked what it was about “these” books they had a problem with. There was a pause and then somebody finally said “well to be honest I for one don’t understand what is so appealing about them. They are so unrealistic. And besides if my husband saw me reading those books he’d expect more sex, especially the ones with M/F/M or that BDSM stuff...ewww!!" (Dear God women who said anything about that???...me thinks someone might be hiding a dirty girl mmmm?)

Clearly the poor dear doesn’t get the idea behind fantasy, and I looked at her husband and felt kinda bad for the guy. That really seemed to open a can of worms, and bang we were back to the sex. Evidently Watson I think we may be on to something here.

Sex such a small word for so much ambiguity.

I went on to listen to some of the other comments, and here is what I heard...



  • “I read all day at work or for school, the last thing I want is to read something else”
  • “All I want to do at the end of the day is turn on the TV and stop thinking”.

Those two have to be the saddest one of all. What better way to escape or “stop thinking” then with a good novel? Reading a book shouldn’t be deemed a chore, it should be looked upon as an adventure that’s just a page away.


·  God I wish I had time to read like you do” (again what the hell does that mean?)

So is it just “those” books or recreational reading in general that they don’t have the time for? Could it be that when they say “no time” it’s meant literally? Why? What has us so busy that we can’t take a moment to relax with a good book? Are we afraid we’re going to miss something if we take the time to read? Could the latest tweet or FB post be that important we couldn’t stand to miss it? (Don’t worry I’ll be twitting about this as soon as it’s posted) Or does it have more to do with the attention required sitting and focusing on one thing only, that is the problem? I think with all the new venues we have at our finger tips today, Kindle, IPad, even our phones now have apps that will allow us to download books it would be easier now more than ever to find the time to read. So maybe it’s not so much finding time, and more to do with finding something that might be worth taking time for.
·  “I use to like to read romances” …so what happened? “I got bored”…
Ah, now there’s something I can relate too.

I hear this alot; they just became bored with what use to keep them interested.

Romances today folks are more than the sum of its part, regardless if they are set in a paranormal genre or not. I think that a lot are still thinking about the old historical romance of yesteryear with more testosterone then brains, and swooning women looking to be saved. I began to think authors weren’t even trying anymore, they were just writing the same story over and over again and changes the names and locations. For a long time I to was so dishearten I almost thought I’d never find a romance that was stimulating enough to keep me turning the pages, until I found the paranormal genre, add a bit of erotica and “SHAZAM” it was off to the races once again and a whole new world for me.
 
·  “Oh I couldn’t buy that book, I be too embarrass of what people would think” (hello, can we say Internet)








OK sure maybe you don’t want to take “20 ways to tie up you lover” to work or the PTA meeting. That might be bad. So don’t. Worried the kiddies might find them? Hide them with your sex toys then. (Oh don’t look so shocked. If you didn’t have a “spot” that has stuff for your eyes only would be more shocking, if you ask me). My first“adult” erotic book was one I found in my mom’s stash. The Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann… Thanks mom! I remember when she walked in my room and saw me reading it, I thought for sure my ass was grass; she laughed and said “well what do you think”? I asked her if she had more. That’s when she gave me my first historical romance. I thought“oh if all pirates were like this the Queen of England (because you have to admit most were set in merry old England) herself would have demanded much more of them than just an audience and she would be one very Merry Yo..ho...ho..ho Queen to boot! "







Oh and here’s a bit of trivia you might find interesting the word SHAZAM originally came from captain marvel comics. Captain Marvel is the alter ego of Billy Bats and was chosen to be a champion of good by the wizard Shazam. Whenever Billy speaks the wizard's name, he is struck by a magic lightning bolt that transforms him into an adult superhero empowered with the abilities of six legenday figures.






Remember all those old children’s fairy tales that began with; “Once upon a time…” wouldn’t those just packed full of hidden connotation? Well let me just say the fairy tales today are all grown up, and they want do so much more with those big teeth then eat you (well they do just not figuratively).



Regardless of what your reading preference, don’t limit yourself, find the time, and explore. So tonight, after you finish reading the kiddies a bedtime story about heroes and castles in the sky, instead of just plopping down to watch TV; ask yourself when was the last time you read a good book?




The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.



~Anaïs Nin~







This was previously published On March2011, some corrections have been made…


This was originally posted in March of 2011. There have been some changes made.





Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Welcome My Two Guest Authors Alisha Paige and Skhye Moncrief

What Pushes a Regular Steamy-Sexy-Hot-Romance Novel Into The Realm Of Erotica?

Today I’d like to welcome two authors Alisha Paige and Skhye Moncrief who will be helping me and hopefully a few of you understand what it takes to push a regular romance novel and turn it into The Realm Of Erotica.





Let’s start with my first guest on this quest, Alisha Paige, author of Paranormal Fantasy, Time Travel, and Vintage Romance…



Alisha, thank you so much for joining us on our quest and welcome!


Pushing Sexiness into Erotica from a Paranormal Point of View...

 I'm a paranormal romance author so when asked
the question, what pushes a regular steamy,hot,sexy romance novel into the realm of erotica...my answer is always WOLVES! Can you say wolf pack? A wolf pack is the perfect excuse to have steamy, sweaty, hot, passionate sex with multiple partners. In Circle City, the Lord of the Wolfen has a haremlik, taken from the word harem adding the word lik...as in lick..as in yum...if you get tired of one lover, try another or if your lover is exhausted, take your pick from the haremlik. And lick away!


 Something kinda hot about a man who loves his woman so much that he understands she needs her beauty rest and can't tolerate the extreme sex drive of her mate. Oh sure..they have plenty of hot sex themselves but there are times when he must visit the haremlik and the women are totally devoted to their master, proud to serve him, living like queens in their quarters, in close proximity to the king.

 Hell, Lord of the Wolfen's coming out party is called The Unleashing, an all out orgy with his entire harem. Oh…and all the male Wolfen come to the Pit to watch. Just like a boxing match, everyone seated around in a circle, waiting and watching to see who lasts the most rounds. A nakked boxing match. Only the wolves aren't fighting and they look as human as you and I.


Within a paranormal, you can push the boundaries and I try to do just that not only with paranormal elements but in the bedroom as well or wherever my shifters make love.

 Explicit sex defines erotica and when described graphically, giving attention to every tiny detail, sexual literature can and does arouse. In a big way. Many women read erotica in bed as their partner snores. It has been said that women who write and who read erotica have much healthier sex lives. With good reason too. Many a lover has been nudged awake after reading a hot scene…Or fondled awake…Kissed awake…Dare I say sucked awake?


Some couples read erotica together. Just as visual porn arouses, so does erotica, but it arouses more than the loins. Literature describes feeling, both emotional and physical and nothing is sexier than appealing to the heart while engaging in mind blowing sex!


 This is what I strive to do as a writer of erotica. To dive deep into my characters' emotions and thoughts while describing the oldest sport of all: the language of love through speech, body language, verbal flirtation and hard core fornication; two people communicating with lips, hands, giving their bodies to one another or to multiple partners as in some modern day cultures. As in the Wolfen. This is perfectly acceptable to some and in a paranormal world, it is easy to do, easy to justify and a fantasy for many, though they won't admit it.




 So I can write about it, you can read about it and then you can jump your lover's bones and the world is all the sexier for it. ;)
Alisha Paige/Ruby Vines
www.alishapaige.com

Now Available ~ Deadly R&R











Circle City: Lord of the Wolfen~Book I...is NOW AVAILABLE for Kindle and Nook!









Ok now that Alisha has started our engines running let's make sure we keep them rolling  to the second part our journey with my next Guest Author Skhye Moncrief for her titillating spin into the Realm of Erotica...

Welcome Skhye and thank you for joining us today and helping us on our quest...


I've always wondered where to draw the line between romance and erotica. Since I started writing hotter stories, I couldn't determine if five sex scenes in a Gena Showalter Lords of the Underworld novel pushed the story over the romance line to erotica when the novel seemed clearly labeled paranormal romance. ??? But the sex scenes were detailed and very explicit and some of the darkness involved was clearly not for the faint of heart. And, lord, talk about sexual tension. Oh boy! I read that series in one week. I'm a sexual-tension junkie aside from my fascination with world building! Showalter produces on both. 


Now, if I differentiate between romantica and erotica, I see a clearer definition. An erotica is just one sex scene after another where romantica has the standard romance layout and its supporting romantic growth with a happily ever, but the sex is more frequent and smoking hot. Erotica has no plot though. However, romantica does. That's two different erotic animals. At least that's the way it was defined for me at a Romance Writers of America National conference. Sex is physical. Love is mental (internal with supportive goals, motivation, and conflict). As for defining plot... 



WHAT'S IN A STORY?
I've always heard characters make a story whereas plot is a series of scenes, i.e. plot points. These points are only significant when a character reaches a point of character growth where the character's perspective (views) changes, i.e. growing for the greater good of the individual. My favorite reference here is Joseph Campbell's metaphysical moment in The Hero With a 1000 Faces (I actually couldn't read the thought-draining dry book and watched THE POWER OF MYTH) when the individual realizes the needs of the many (or other) outweigh the selfish-to-narcissistic needs of the one. {Thank you, Mr. Spock!} That right there is enough to draw a line between carnal romance and erotica. 

One might ask why is it important for a character to grow though? Well, story has purpose. If romance is a true story, it's about character(s) in a setting that has something for the audience to gain. Story inspires the reader or gives the reader aspirations. Okay, you're thinking whoopie I'm reading a romance. But it's true about the aspirations, because romance has two plots. That's double the pleasure and fun!!! Let me explain...

Every romance has a romance plot and a second embedded plot--the external issue driving the internal (romance) plot forward. For instance, a sci-fi romance has a sci-fi plot driving the romance plot. My Feral stories have a werewolf space opera driving the romance between the were-assassins who must blood bond as mates to become were-assassins and save the universe! That's werewolf space opera fused with romance, 2 plots! How the characters interact with the romance aspect of the story is the character-driven, internal, aspect of a romance--a separate plot with character growth where the hero and heroine overcome their issues with their intimate relationship to find happiness together while saving the universe. Think end-of-the-world kinda ambiance while the hero and heroine face the external obstacle that's forcing the hero and heroine together. The external plot requires the characters deal with said external obstacles as much as their romantic interpersonal issues though.

Well, the external plot gets enough page time to make it significant. *clears throat* We all know romance readers want the hero and heroine together as much as possible! But in the end, both plots show us something by example--how it's good to fight to save the farm or universe while showing us that love conquers all. Yes, I ended with that old romance theme. Well, if it works, don't fix it. So, the countless ways a character can approach resolving the dilemma and get the prize (love) keep romance readers returning for another story. The combinations are endless. Hence, the number of romances circulating for  our reading pleasure. Ultimately, the word plot simply refers to genre or subgenre classification... a stamp of what to expect with your story selection. So, why in the world bother with one plot if a romance has two?

Aspirations.

Why is Skhye rambling about aspirations when discussing romantica and erotica? Story is a dydactic or teaching tool. Story teaches by example. This is the easiest form of sharing ideas among the most social creature that's ever existed on the planet... Homo sapiens sapiens. {Don't worry. I know what I'm talking about. I'm an anthropologist.} Back before writing and television, humans sat around the fire telling stories to teach their little ones all about the world--life. So story is all about how to live. Remember, story is supposed to give us something to aspire to in life. But forget that moment of pontification until later, and let's move onward with delineating between romantica vs. erotica with my publishing story here at NCP.

SKHYE'S EXPERIENCE 

When I contracted FERAL FASCINATIONS with NCP, I had no idea my work would be classified as carnal. My editor just asked for more explicit sex because it correlates with sales, and I produced. Then fearing I'd shock readers who bought my work based on my backlist, I asked if the increase in the explicit sex made the story carnal... So, maybe the explicit sex is the selling factor? Maybe it doesn't matter if erotic romance (romantica) and erotica are apples and oranges. Maybe it only matters if readers get their explicit sex?


I think the sexy steamy hot romance novel becomes erotica when the inclusion of explicit sex has no purpose (refer back to my points about plot and character growth). I wrote an epic-length novel, FERAL FEVER, with the heroine landing 5 Tiger Lord mates by the end and each Lord has his romance and happily ever after. The novel includes 15-20 sex scenes. I really lost count. *snort* But that's a lot of sex. Readers found me to tell me how incredible Feral Fever was. But if I hadn't had the romantic growth for each male, would they have cared as much about the story? I don't know. I don't. Really. I can name two out of hundreds of romantica novels I've read in the past year that failed to keep me in the story. These were clearly erotica with gratuitous sex--sex that functioned as nothing more than the act of titillation. I can remember the titles, sadly enough for the wrong reason. I don't want people to remember my stories for that reason. So, don't expect straight erotica from moi


Now, for the clincher... My latest novel, Werescape: COUGAR, is much shorter, and the same readers hunted me down to tell me it was the best yet. But the heroine only gets one mate. These are ménage readers preferring my "traditional" romance. Albeit, it's definitely carnal because the heroine has sex with the hero in his wolfskin, but the kiss doesn't come until the characters have gotten to know each other about a fourth of the way through the story. That's not sex, sex, sex. It's romantica with the heat cranked up in a romance when it's time to get the show on the road--or rolling in the hay. But in the end, I shake my head. I don't think anyone can draw a line between erotica and romance. Doesn't it vary from publisher to publisher? I know this after buying 15 top bestsellers from the Fictionwise erotic futuristic romance list on more than one occasion. I can't forget waiting 200 pages to get to the boring first sex scene in that book... ~Skhye Moncrief http://skhyemoncrief.com/


WHAT INSTIGATED THIS RAMBLING... 

The subject of romance vs. erotica came with these choices to choose from when thinking about the options for my answers: 

1. Love scenes are frequent, extremely detailed and very explicit

2. The storyline pushes the envelope, as do the sex scenes and may involve multiple partners, partner swapping, extreme BDSM, and fisting. The story may also contain controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.

3. These stories are more explicit and may involve exclusive couples or multiple partners. The love scenes are described in graphic language and may involve light bondage, BDSM, toys, and/or anal play.

4. An erotica story would have no plot without the sex

5. The sex needs to be described clearly and at length to the point where it’s clearly meant to arouse.

6. All of the above

Well there you have it folks two very interesting takes from two very talented authors on one very provoking subject. Now I don't know if this has helped answer the question or raised more. All I know is I can't wait to get back to reading, because I am ready for some experencing of my own....

I want to thank both Alisha and Skhye today for taking the some of their time and spending it with us today...