First: I thought it might be nice, and a little more personal, to actually say hello and welcome everyone to this special post – part of a blog tour (which I’ll explain momentarily) – by literally saying hello! If ever you doubted that I am who I am – or that I’m secretly a 50-year-old Danish dude in his basement – this audio might help allay your uncertainties. And as I mention in the very brief verbal message, just imagine the potential! I write erotica and New Adult, for goodness’ sake. A podcast? Oh, hell, yes.
Now, on with the show/tour! Many thanks to my esteemed fellow author, Aimee Easterling, for inviting me to be a part of this insightful little project. In case you’re unfamiliar with her work, Aimee is the author of, among other things, “Shiftless,” a book I read in my very limited spare time over the past couple of months, and I loved it.
She’s currently working on a follow-up to the novel, too, which is exciting. You can get hooked by clicking the above link and picking it up for a mere 99 cents on Amazon, too, so you now officially have no excuse to remain unfamiliar with the lovely Ms. Easterling and her gorgeous paranormal fantasy-world of werewolves.
By now you’re asking what a “blog tour” is. I was, too, frankly, until Aimee explained it. The concept is simple: authors get together and answer questions (in this case about the writing process each of us use) while also introducing our audiences to one another. You get to “meet” new writers, and you can learn about those you already follow (like me!). There are four questions I was tapped to answer for the “My Writing Process” blog tour, so without further ado, I shall make my responses known.
What am I working on?
Yeah, and I thought we’d be starting with an easy question, too. Ha! The short answer: a lot of things. The longer answer: I’m just about to launch into a three-part series of standalone stories, all of which will fall under the title ROCK HARD. Yes, after months of talking about it, I’ve finally gotten a few ducks in a row and will be releasing some short, sexy and fun tales about the lives of rock stars and the women who love (or simply lust after) them. My brilliant cover designer already has the concept ready, and we’ve chosen the three images that will act as eye candy for readers (and, okay, yes, for me, too – I cannot tell a lie), so expect an announcement about the first installment very soon. I’m pretty stoked to unleash it upon you guys.
How does my writing differ from others of its genre?
I struggled with this response for a while before I was satisfied with it. I think the main thing that separates what I write from a lot of what’s popular in the New Adult/erotica world right now is (oh, God, I really hope my parents don’t read this) that so much of it is pulled from real life experience. Now, that’s not to say I’ve done every little thing my characters do, or that any of my characters are a version of me – far from it. But I’ve led an interesting life so far, which has afforded me glimpses into very different fields and lifestyles…so I’m not writing out my own fantasies. I’m writing what I already know, and what I hope will serve to fuel the fantasies of others. I suppose I ought to ask my readers: How am I doing so far?
Why do I write what I do?
I actually blogged about this quite a while back, and explained how I began writing erotica in the first place – beginning as something I did for the men in my life, and eventually evolving into something people were offering to pay me to do. It doesn’t hurt that I genuinely enjoy writing, and I’ve always had an appreciation for the more sensual things in life, you might say…so why not? If I can write stories that make me happy and that serve to entertain (ahem) an audience, I’d be crazy not to!
How does my writing process work?
You know all of those rules you read about on LitReactor and the like? Yeah, toss those out the window. I seem to have the artist’s temperament when it comes to getting stuff done. A daily word count? Tried that. Didn’t stick. I binge-write the way other people watch Breaking Bad – ten thousand words in one sitting, then a welcome week of brain death. Deadlines? Sure, I can make ’em, but I have perfected the art of procrastination, so I’ll only make it by a few hours. Plotting things out in advance? I do it, yes, but the story doesn’t always end up going where I expected it to go. The only tried-and-true things that have to happen every single time I sit down to write are 1) I must either love or hate my characters, and they’ve got to seem real enough in my mind to come out sounding like someone you or I would know, and 2) I cannot write without a very specific playlist of music. That one has gotten so big that I’ve actually developed a sense memory about the songs I listen to as I write, and I deny myself the pleasure of hearing them unless I’m being productive on my current project. Apparently I’m a masochist. But it works.
There are also two of my closest friends – writers themselves – who tend to get frustrated messages or questions from me at all hours, day and night, as I muddle through looking for the right word or twisting a sentence out of its pretzel-shaped mess to make it sound better in my head. Cee and EssKay keep me sane on nights like those.
Once I’m in the zone, though, it’s smoother sailing. I tend to write something as a whole before handing it off to one of my trusted editors or letting my friends read over it, and I make changes to the first and second drafts that way. I try to write a very clean draft, though, before it escapes my hands and ends up in anyone else’s. I’d rather not think of them having to wear out the proverbial red Sharpie (bonus points to all of you who immediately thought of “Secretary“ there!) as they slog through an error-riddled, nonsensical manuscript. Besides, the longer I spend on editing, the longer I get to listen to my beloved playlist, so it’s win-win.
Now I pass the torch! Two of my fellow authors who were meant to join this blog tour aren’t able to do so this round (one due to illness, the other due to a clash in deadlines), but the two who remain are decidedly worth your attention. I’ve mentioned them before, and I think it’s safe to say you’ll love finding out more about them. Go forth and discover!
CATE MARSDEN is the pseudonym of a self-published romance novelist. She shares a home with her husband (the sinister Dr. M.), two adorable children and an adopted zombie baby. That, and her addiction to Harlequin Presents, resulted in her first novel, The Zombie She Carried. A sequel (Playboy Zombie, Innocent Secretary) is due out in October 2014. You can find her on Facebook or on Twitter (@Cate.Marsden).
GREER HARTLEY, the author of the Killer B’s series (Bitten and Unleashed) and co-author of Ghosts of Christmas Past (written with Ella Blythe), is an avid reader herself. She enjoys paranormal suspense, gothic, and cozy mysteries, especially if there’s a love story included. When she isn’t haunting bookstores, libraries, and the occasional graveyard, she can be found lurking behind her Nikon D600 camera, or watching her favorite shows (Castle, The Blacklist, True Blood, and Game of Thrones). As an old-cat-lady-in-training she loves various critters (not that way). Her upcoming release will be a paranormal suspense novella, Death Becomes Her.