Interview with HL37 and Patrick Khayler
The Quick-fire SMUTPUNK interview with HL37 & Patrick Khayler (questions by Moctezuma Johnson) is my version of American Football’s “two-minute drill”. I asked and they answered in rapid-fire succession. I find this eliminates bullshit answers. Bullshit may be America’s new official language but SMUTPUNK still speaks the goddamn truth and nothing but that shit. Well, we think. Or we don’t. You be the judge.
First, Mr. HL37, newest smutpunk
Have you ever broken someone’s bones or killed a person?
I didn’t ride in the ambulance with them, so I can’t confirm or deny this.
Pink or purple?
Honestly?! I have come to see the merits of pink over the years…
When was the last time you were in a group sex situation?
Had to look at my diary for this one, it’s been around 14 years. That’s 2 in “itch” years. See what I did there?
Do you have a six pack? Have you ever in your life?
I do have a six pack, I’m pretty vain.
Did you read FSOG? Did you read the Bible? Did you read your health insurance policy? Did you ever read SMUTPUNK? Spell “Smutpunk”! No cheating by looking on google.
I own all three FSOG just in case the plane starts going down and I have to die laughing, but I have never actually wasted time reading them. Like most folks, have paged through the Bible. That said I have been a Buddhist for over 25 years. I have never read a health insurance policy because it doesn’t seem appropriate when I am rushing to the emergency room. Like last year when a rat bit my finger. True story…. I recently found out many things I enjoy are Smutpunk, like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. SMURFPUNK, you satisfied?!
And finally…Blonde, Brunette, Straight Black, or Ginger?
Being an equal opportunity employer I try to avoid labels. That said, I do have a soft spot for Gingers where my heart used to be…
What’s your name?
HL37writes.com has all the goods. One stop smut shopping.
Second, “Everybody LOVES Patrick Khayler!“
What deodorant do you use? Why?
Whatever is on sale. Antiperspirant, I’m a sweating machine.
Do you wear cologne?
Nah. I already smell nice. The smell is from my bad attitude and lack of sleep not my body.
Have you ever broken a bone? Was it your penis?
No broken bones. A shitload of stitches. Cut my head when I was two. Ran through an arcadia door. Stepped on a rust cat food can. Opened my toe on bamboo. The only time I fractured my penis, the hospital said it had to heal on its own. They don’t make casts that big. We got a construction crew to build a scaffold.
Did you read FSOG?
No. Didn’t sound interesting.
Did you read the Bible?
When I was young. No elves or dwarves. A lack of wizards and fairly inconsistent. The only sex was Adam Cleaving into Eve. They could have expanded on that part. I thought JRR Tolkein had a more believable timeline.
Did you read your health insurance policy?
Of course. I had to make sure my wife didn’t have a reason to kill me.
Did you ever read SMUTPUNK?
On the kindle. I have been afraid it will pull me to the darkside.
Rum or Beer?
Beer. Every time I drank rum as a young idiot I got arrested (lawyers fucked me). I love all beer and brewed my own for years.
Spliff or Other?
Retired and subject to drug tests. Alcohol and pussy are my drugs of choice.
Doggy or cowgirl?
Start out slow fucking doggy until the explosions start then watch the splashing finish cowgirl. Nothing better.
Erotica or Sci-Fi
Anything that lights my fire at the time. Sci Fi fucking, between werewolves and hot elves, written in middle English prose based on historical facts with a moral message at the end before everyone dies and the hero with the odd moral code takes brutal revenge on those who wronged him then fucks the hot heroine.
When was the last time you were in a group sex situation?
I’ll defer this one for now. We can discuss it at that little cantina in Merida you own when you buy me a round and Lupita serves it by sitting on my lap sans panties.
And finally…White, Black, Latina, or Asian?
Latina (Salma Hayek) but married Caucasian. All ethnicities have beauty for those of us who appreciate the form.
If you want to know more about Patrick, check out his site http://patrickkhayler.com/
Author Interview: Moctezuma Johnson Does Shelby Kent Stewart (that was fun to write!)
Whether I was lucky enough to meet Shelby Kent-Stewart in a smoky pool hall while on tour hustling folks across the globe or in the ill-fated and now defunct I Love Erotica group (the first group I would be kicked out of, incidentally) can be neither confirmed nor denied. Either way, we have remained in contact ever since and I’ve come to admire her as a person, an activist, a thinker, a pool hustler, and a writer. Her prose is the cogent writing of an avid reader, a clear thinker, and a person in full control of herself and her craft. Like a pianist playing long legato stretches, her words cascade down the page seemingly effortlessly (although I suspect a ton of blood, sweat, coffee, and tears goes into it) as she wraps you in her delicate erotic tales and hooks you with an elite depth of character that I’ve rarely come across in the erotic genre.
For some crazy reason, I never thought to interview Shelby before. Don’t worry I’ve already kicked myself in the balls about that and now finally have a long overdue conversation on the record for all of you to enjoy. Whether writer, reader, political analyst, or WIB agent, you need to read what Shelby says. She offers wisdom, humor, and sanity in a world that drastically lacks and needs those elements.
A quick note on the formatting, my questions are in black (technically, for those perfectionists out there, it’s very dark gray and Shelby’s eloquent answers are in Pinkish/Purple.
Conversation with the Spectacular and Sane Shelby:
First, let’s get some basics on the table. I know you for a long time (maybe longer than anyone I have met on twitter, but let’s leave how we twitter-met where it belongs deep in the dungeons of Amazon and not here). Hopefully, all of my fans know you too but let’s assume a few of those lovely folks out there are busy having copious amounts of mind-bending sex so they haven’t had a fair chance to get to know who you are. Tell us your name and and a little bit about who you are.
Hey, MJ! Thanks for the lovely introduction. You’re a brave man for daring to plumb my psyche, but then I’ve always known that. Okay, here goes…
I’m Shelby Kent-Stewart, writer, fighter, asshole-smiter, surfer, dancer, necromancer, pool hustler, bullshit rustler. I’m the broad your mama warned you about, sweet as pie one day, the devil’s own handmaiden the next. As for the rumor I’m the love-child of William S. Burroughs and Sylvia Plath, I’ll neither confirm nor deny.
So, what are you working on and what genres do you think it fits into?
My current work-in-progress is For Love of Honor, the third and final book in the Wicked Tails Series. Like the first two in the series, Surviving Sydney and Blessing, it’s erotic romance with a bit more intrigue, danger and heat.
Now, the burning question my s.punky readers are begging me to ask: what’s your stance on cam2cam with your twitter followers? Yay, Nay, or May(be).
Ooh, naughty. I’m not averse to cam2cam interaction but it would depend on the follower. As my sainted grand-mum would say, “Skypin’ ain’t for pussies.” May she rest in peace.
Where do you publish your writing and why? Where have you had the most success?
Until someone comes up with a viable alternative, I publish on Amazon because that’s where the action is. My former publisher has four of my books on B&N, but I’ve never been to the site. Success, what’s that? The jury’s still out on that, but I’m in no hurry. My other writing gigs finance the necessities. I write Erotic Romance because it keeps me sane. The day I equate that to sales is the day I pull the plug.
Not that plug, silly. The other one!
Now, the hardest and most profound question of them all, why do you write?
It’s difficult to frame an answer that doesn’t fall on cliché, but it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. From a very young age, I was fortunate to have teachers and mentors who recognized my need to write and nurtured me every step of the way. In high school, one teacher threatened to haunt me from the grave if I didn’t pursue a career in writing. Creepy? Definitely. But as an inducement, it was genius. I write for the same reason people take a breath. Without it, I’d disappear into the void. Poof.
How would you describe your writing style?
Typical of most novelists, my style is narrative, often first-person deep POV, and almost always from two perspectives; or in the case of Blessing, three. It was risky but readers seem to like it, so what the hell do I know?
Fun fact: In lieu of an outline, I write my books as screenplays first. I find it helps with character and scene development.
Unfortunately, when I read my own writing, I cringe at some of the things that I don’t like about my writing style and even myself as a person. I’m not saying that you scream out your own name in absolute horror like I do, but surely there are a few spots you wish you could strengthen. What are they? What would you say is the weakest part of your writing?
This is an easy one. I’m horrified by the culture of violence in which we find ourselves and obsess daily over where humanity is headed. In my first six books, I tackled incest, domestic violence, capitalism, guns, bad cops, bigotry, hate AND Somali piracy a year before Captain Phillips was released. Where I fall short is not hitting harder on issues I find abhorrent for fear of offending a reader. I need to work on that. If I have to look at my other literary shortcomings, I might stop writing altogether.
Yes, I worry regularly about offending people. I share your pain and support your quest to hit harder. The world is messed up and hitting harder seems to be a necessity falling on your shoulders. This election alone is proof that people are in need of more help than I ever thought possible. I know you are active in many communities such as animal rescue, politics, social equality, and domestic abuse. You’re truly one of the good gals. This leads me to my next question regarding how you interact with writers. Are you part of any crazy writing groups? If so, how’s that going for you?
Shit, meet fan. Since you asked…I tend to shy away from groups, especially large groups where support and trust are sacrificed for numbers. The only way a writing group is beneficial is with the following provisos: 1) Rules regarding reciprocity are clearly spelled out by the organizer(s); 2) Drama is kept to a minimum; 3) Egos are left at the door; and 4) Anyone who utters the words “me me me” in a group discussion or forum is escorted to the air-lock.
Provisos. This is why all of you have to read Shelby. She’s smart and sane; how often does that come along? You need to get your work out there. People need Shelby. Do you have a publicist?
To paraphrase Groucho Marx: Any publicist who would have me as a client is one I’d never hire.
Many writers might simply get some kind of bot, load it with links to their books, and set it on BLAST muhfucka BLAST. As I gain experience in this genre, I’m realizing there are better ways to get your voice heard than to cockslap people with “Look at me! Look at me! I’m a beautiful, filthy peacock! Clean the mud off me and enjoy!” What kind of publicity do you (or those around you) do for your books? How did you start out? What advice can you offer newbies?
Nope, no bots for me. While I know it’s important to have a presence, I take the ‘less is more approach’, rarely posting more than 3 book promos per week. I’m a human first, writer second, so limiting my posts to all things book-related doesn’t work for me. Within the the first few weeks of joining Twitter, I made the conscious decision to follow people unaffiliated with the literary world. The Twitterverse is vast, filled with fascinating people, and trapping myself inside a bubble with other writers didn’t make sense. Do they buy books? Sure, but so do stay-at-home moms and dads, doctors, nurses, artists, musicians, journalists and politicians. Many of my best reviews are from non-writers who found me on Twitter.
To newbie writers, I suggest they mix it up. Tweet out a joke, a quote, their favorite song on YouTube, a photo of their dog, something representative of who they are, not what they do.
I hear you on that. Plus, there are too many damn cats on Twitter! Where my dogs at?
Shelby, I’m always curious to know what other writers like and who they read. I think a writer’s tastes in books says something about herself and the artist she likes. What’s your favorite line of somebody else’s writing?
Several come to mind, but the opening line of the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude blows me away. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
Yes! I love that book and was immediately caught by that line. I love how he makes ice magical. And see? This question worked because I noticed while reading Blessing – A Wicked Tales Story that you have a knack for pulling magic out of somewhat innocuous situations. I think this, like Marquez, stems from the fact that the emotional depth of your characters is vast. I think that’s your real strong suit. I find that you have an incredible way of revealing to readers that your characters are larger than life, intelligent, good-looking, and wrapped in intense dramas yet human. You just have a wonderful way with words that shows you are sane yet spectacular. Any tips for newbies and slow-learners like myself that can help us improve?
That’s a wonderful compliment, MJ, thank you. Trust me, you need no advice from me. There’s a reason I coined the title Smutpunk Scholar just for you.
For those starting out, I advise them to write as truthfully as they can and avoid the trap of writing what they think readers want. Savvy readers will sense when something is real and when it’s forced.
My last question and then I’ll open the floor to Q&A.
With which writer would you secretly trade places?
K. Rowling, but not for the fame or money. She created a brilliant and engaging world, and in so doing encouraged kids to put down their video games and read. I like to think one of those boys or girls will be tomorrow’s Steinbeck or Morrison. What a legacy!
Now, from the mailbag.
Little Jay Scott of Carson City wants to know, do you really write in lingerie on a chair with dildo strapped to it, or is that make believe invented by the Republicans?
Well, Little Jay, I hate to disappoint you but I tried the dildo thing and it interferes with my tutu. While we’re at it, let’s give Republicans their due. Conservative Evangelicals purchase more porn and erotica than any other group. Bless their hearts.
(Hearty laughter) Very true. I have it on good intel that you are absolutely correct.
The Real Donald Trump asks, are you writing speeches for that yuge fucktard Clinton? Weird this guy has sent a picture of himself, I suppose, with his red hair all over the place wearing pink nylons with a big lipsticky kiss mark where the balls and cock should be. That’s not right. Skip that one. Weirdos.
Now would be a perfect time to tell you how much I loved Dump the Futa President. It’s been on my reading list for months and I finally read it last night. How much did I love it? Read my review, the one I hope to write before the election is over and Trump is hiding in a dacha playing patty-cake with Putin.
Punk E. Shmooster of Hallandale writes, if I read your books will my breasts grow like promised on the generic erotica I bought at the bus stop?
That would depend on what you’re doing while reading my books. I have it on good authority that manual stimulation of the naughty bits can cause swelling so…
Ursula Van Savage from a yurt in the Steppes of Kazakhstan wants to know which book of yours is your favorite and why?
I vacillate on this but currently Once Upon a Faerie is my favorite. Perhaps because it reflects the chaos in the world right now, it was emotionally draining but immensely satisfying to examine it in another context. At its heart, the book is about love and courage and sacrifice, three things we’re a bit short of at the moment. A sequel is planned for 2017.
You said it! And finally, Jaime Johnson from NYC wants to know do you consider your books to be smutpunk? Why or why not?
I’m not nearly talented enough to pull that off and am quite content to leave that to the masters like you, Callie Press and Kat Crimson. When I read something you’ve written, my inclination is to fall prostate and whimper, “I’m not worthy.”
Total bullshit but very diplomatic. Smutpunk would be extremely lucky to have you in the cadre!
Shelby, thank you for having the courage to come on the MJ blog and answer my inane questions. It’s been my total pleasure to ask!
Nah, the pleasure was all mine. Inane? Hardly. In fact, they were some of the best questions I’ve ever been asked. Thank you for that!
All links can take you to urls in your home country, just mouse-over for a drop-down list of flags
Thank you for reading this Author Interview
Now, I’m not one to tell you what to do but you MUST read the NAYA FREE interview of me on her site. That’s an order, soldier.
This interview is what she calls a “mini” interview, which means even she doesn’t have any idea what the hell is going on. It’s a good lot of fun with a little bit of insight sneaked in for good measure.
Click the Sexy Newsgirl for the interview and she may remove her clothes. Enjoy!
Due to the success of the illustrious Linzi Basset’s interview, I’ve decided to try my hand and chatting with a few more writers. Hopefully readers can learn how other writers go about their craft and get to know about the author answering the questions. Today’s interview is with R.B. O’Brien. I admittedly know very little her. So please get to know Miss O’Brien with me.
A Note About Formatting: my questions are in purple and everything else is R.B.
First, since I don’t know anything about you, let’s get some basics on the table. Tell us your name and who you are.
R.B. O’Brien. The initials are named after my Nana and my great aunt. I’ll leave it at that. It is a pen name for a reason, right? I write erotic romance. The Natalie’s Edge series is contemporary BDSM Romance. The last in the series is loosely based on a real-life experience and is nominated for the Golden Flogger Award for Best BDSM Romance of 2015.
I’m a huge Shakespeare fan and teach for a living. I’m a seeker of knowledge and never stop asking questions and even when I have the answer, I’m never satisfied. I know this may be a cop-out, MJ, and I apologize. But the best way to get to know me is to direct you to my blog. I wear my heart on my sleeve there. It is the essence of who I am. A writer. A dancer. A teacher. A thinker. A dreamer. A hopeless romantic. An artist.
What’s the name of your latest book and what genre it is considered.
My latest book is Thorne: Rose’s Dark Contract, coming out this month, god willing (or something like that). I’m struggling to classify it. BDSM; dark romance; dubious consent; erotic romance; suspense. Ha! Here is the blog I wrote about it. Take from it what you will:
This is a book I started quite a while ago. I was in a rather dark place when I began writing it. I never thought it would see the light of day. I almost just bled the words and didn’t give much thought to it. When I put an excerpt up on Mr. Blackthorne’s site as well as here on my website, I got a lot of interest. People asked me to finish it. Seems I’m not the only one who likes dark characters, damaged men, and an exploration of human motivation.
So I decided that as soon as I could, I would get back to it.
When I picked it back up a few weeks ago, I realized that dark place I was in was no longer at the forefront of my emotions. I had buried, or at least accepted, certain things in my life as truths and the depth of my confusion and sadness had worked itself out.
Well. That may not be fully true. The struggle continues, but it’s not debilitating. There is life again after hurt. Love abounds. All around me. In all different forms. And the love I thought I might have felt seems sort of surreal now, almost like an out-of-body experience. That’s what distance does. Writing doesn’t hurt either.
Don’t think this isn’t dark though. It is. If you’ve read Natalie’s Edge, you’ll know that a story without angst, upheaval, insecurities, and flaws is not something I’m capable of writing. And this is from the male’s POV and let me tell you: This dude is indeed flawed! But his story is interesting and I think there is a twist that you will not at all see coming.
I hope you’ll read it when it’s complete. And if you hate him or think he’s too controlling or that he has too many issues, keep reading. You just may be quite surprised at what happens.
Now, the burning question my readers have for you, what’s your stance on getting dick pics from your twitter followers? Yay, Nay, or May(be).
Hahahahahaha. Get one every day and when I don’t I wonder what is going on in the universe. Dicks aren’t all that attractive. That’s what I feel about that. J What one does what said dick, that is far more important. I think there’s a reason that the female nude body far outweighs the male in art!
Now, straight to the hardest and most profound question of them all, do you really write in lingerie on a chair with dildo strapped to it, or is that make believe? No, seriously, why do you write? How did this hard, lonely life become your passion?
In all seriousness, I write my life. I write to escape real life. I write to live moments over again. I write to rewrite the moments I’ve lived over in a way that makes more sense to me. I write the moments to heal. I write the moments I hope never happen. And I write the moments I hope will happen.
I’ve also learned that much of my writing comes from my subconscious. And I’ve discovered so much about myself in my writing. I don’t see it on the surface necessarily. But then I go back and realize how much of myself is in my work. The Natalie’s Edge series was taken from a lot of my reality and is autobiographical in places. But the story is fictionalized…until I go back and really read it. It is a self examination—no question.
I can’t just write a little each day like many writers. I have to sequester myself for long periods of time. I have to travel into the world, immerse myself as if I’m actually living it myself. I have to become lost in my imagination and in the minds of my characters. I often tell people that I live two lives. My waking world and the world of my writing. If I don’t find that place, that quiet spot in my mind to let the world exist, it simply doesn’t come together for me. Again, because I teach, I get long stretches where I can do that.
Where do you publish your writing and why?
I have a publisher, EXtasy Books. So my books from the Natalie’s Edge series are everywhere and coming to print. Thorne: Rose’s Dark Contract will be self-published and I will try Amazon and KU.
I really like to know what other writers like, similar to what songs musicians like to cover. It says something about both artists. What’s your favorite line of somebody else’s writing? Something tells me you’re going to quote the bard.
Nope. I love the Bard, but you’re right. Too obvious. And choosing just one? God, MJ. How cruel. If I must it is this: “To write is to descend, excavate, to go underground.”—Anais Nin
With which writer would you secretly trade places? (so, no Shakespeare is not an option, use your brain!)
If I tell you, it will no longer be a secret! All my favorite writers led tragic lives it seems. Depression. Suicide. Mental insanity. Or, they led “lives of quiet desperation.” Hemingway, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Kate Chopin, Emily Bronte, on and on and on. So….my favorite works do not equate to trading places, you sneaky interviewer you!
To answer, I think I would wish to trade places with E.E. Cummings. A male. An artist. A writer. A genius. Someone who did want he wanted instead of what others expected of him. A glutton. A sexual deviant who loved and lusted many at one time. But only to see what it’s like to have that lack of conscience and to live in moment (“since feeling is first”) without the fear I carry. The fear of guilt. The fear of consequences. And the fear to really fly and live. But then, deep down, I don’t dislike myself or my life so much that I would REALLY want to trade places. In fact, I rather like the life I’ve had, the life I have, and the life I will continue. After all, it is me. It was who I was meant to be this time around. I like that I care. I like that I care for others and their feelings. And I like that I want love and loyalty and honesty. I think it’s important to live life in the moment but also with conviction and attention to those around us. I don’t really WANT to be a glutton or a sexual deviant. I think it would get old. Fast. But… for a day or a week or a month? I’d like that!
Thank you for stopping in to chat with me, R.B. Best of luck with your new book. Let us know when it’s out so we can have a look!
Find more about R.B. O’Brien
LINZI BASSET – Interview on The Bullshit Blog Tour Bus Stop Smutpunk Show | #SSRTG #LPRTG #EARTG | Real questions and answers, erotica’s version of 60 Minutes
Interview with Linzi Basset
Many people know Linzi. I verified this by checking how many people Amazon search her name each month and the number is staggering. After reading two of her books, I can see why readers are hooked on this writer who I’ve taken to calling the Vladimir Nabokov of erotica. Read the interview to see why! A quick note about the formatting, Linzi’s answers are in italics, my questions are in regular text. Enjoy!
First, let’s get some basics on the table. Tell us the name of your latest book and what genre it is considered.
This is the final book in the Club Alpha Cove BDSM club series but it’s written as a complete standalone. This one came about by demand from my readers and it’s the story about the children of the couple in, ‘His Defiant Sub’, book 8 in the series – seven years later.
Now, straight to the hardest and most profound question of them all, why do you write?
This is the question we always have to think about, isn’t it? For me, it boils down to what Vincent Van Gogh once expressed: “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” That’s why I write. To express the deep well of passion that lives in my soul which is the part of me that I keep secreted away from my day to day existence. It’s a part of me that had been suppressed for a long time primarily due to a very conservative upbringing. It was part of my familial and cultural heritage and what was expected of me. Now, I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m able to liberate myself and share my passion with others. Blossoming out of what once was the genesis of my own confined existence! Passion is what drives my creativity. Passion is what allows me to ‘see’ and express my own sensuality through the medium of the written word; to be able to draw from that deep well to define the beauty of eroticism and all that it encompasses. I want to share what I feel with others.
Isn’t it a universal truth that it’s our singular experiences and passion, for whatever thing or things that it may be, that molds us all into the individuals that we become? Whether it’s hidden in the depths of our soul or exposed for all to see?
How would you describe your writing style?
Now that’s a question I’ve never considered and the honest answer is that I really don’t know. I guess you could say I shoot from the hip…lol!
If I had to define it, I’d have to say that it’s somewhat stream-of-consciousness, descriptive, emotional. It’s what makes me tick. Every book starts out with just an outline of sorts of who the main characters will be and how the ‘theme’ of the book might be woven into the fabric of their lives. Then I sit down in front of my laptop, I type Chapter One … and off I go. The plot and character development and slowly emerge. I come alive within every story. When I write, I become the character, I live each and every scene. A part of me is engrained in every story that I write…hahaha …no, MJ, I won’t tell you which part! Does it always work? I hope it does. I made some mistakes in the first few books of the Club Alpha Cove series, which is why I did some rewrites. I do a lot of research, factual research, logistical research etc., but ultimately, of course, the story and the characters have to “work” for me. If I don’t feel connected with either one, I’ll ditch it and begin anew because it won’t feel authentic. It’ll lack the depth and the passion I “live” into my writing.
Unfortunately, there are flaws and facets in and of ourselves that we don’t necessarily like. When I read my own writing, I cringe at some of the things that I don’t like about myself and my style. I’m not saying that you scream out your own name in absolute horror, but surely there are a few spots you wish you could strengthen. What are they? What would you say is the weakest part of your writing?
That’s a tough one, a difficult question to answer and one that I’ll come back to later …so off I go to the next question for now!
Okay, I’m back. Let me start by saying this, and it may come as a surprise to many people, but English is not my first language. When I started writing again a few years ago, I struggled with the enormous versatility of American English. All my stories are American-based, so I obviously needed to ensure that they would appeal to the American people. It was a massive struggle until I found an American editor that “Americanized” my writing!
The one thing that I battle with that needs constant work and attention is the passive voice…ahh!…and when I get a script back from my editor with notes indicating where I need to correct it. I do actually scream. And why…why does English have so many tenses? Good heavens! Why can’t everything just be in past, present and future? Why do we need past present, future present, past perfect…or is it perfect past…geez!!
What I’m saying is, don’t let anything stand in the way of your dream to be a writer. I’ve grown so much over the past year and have confidence in every story that I produce, but it’s hard work. Even though my thoughts, my words and my stories flow easily, I have to work on each and every sentence I write because no matter that I “think” in English, there is still a basic interpretation of my thoughts from my mother tongue to not just English, but American English in all of its formal and idiomatic shapes. It can be absolutely daunting at times, extremely so, but I refuse to let it faze me. I approach it with just as much passion as I do with the stories I write.
Many writers might simply get some kind of bot, load it with links to their books, and set it on BLAST. As I gain experience in this genre, I’m realizing there are better ways to get your voice heard.
You have quite a loyal following actively searching for your work to the tune of eight hundred plus people per month typing your name into Amazon. What kind of publicity do you (or those around you) do for your books? How did you start out? What advice can you offer newbies?
Oh dear…another question I’ll have to come back to…off to the next question!
I am sad to say that I haven’t done much as far as publicity is concerned. I have a very demanding full time job, therefore to find the time to properly market and promote my books is a challenge. I do make use of Twitter to promote my work and I’ve developed a more “social” profile on Facebook to connect with followers. Most of the promotional marketing aspects of my work is generated by its very own popularity and that’s the best kind there is. Word of mouth. You can’t buy that. I’m amazed at the number of readers that tell me that someone told them about me which got them interested in reading my books.
I’m starting to do book trailers and the odd teasers, but not enough. Most of my followers connect with me via my website. I do direct mail shots to them and the responses I receive are a clear indication of how much the personal connection I make means to them. I personally respond to every email I receive from fans. For 2016, I plan to start a blog page as soon as someone can tell me how to stretch time to slot it in with everything else!
This advice is not just for others, but for myself as well. You have to create a ‘presence’ in your work, of yourself as an author. Decide in advance what that presence and profile should be and make sure it’s the right one for you and for the type of books that you write. When you market and promote your work, mix it up, don’t get caught in a rut by doing the same thing over and over. It’s something we all tend to forget and I have to admit that I have, too, on occasion forgotten to take my own advice. Join other groups of authors who share the same interest and love of the genre that inspires you. Do guest blogs, interviews and be honest about mistakes you’ve made. Help others and mentor them by way of short articles that might address their concerns. Above all else, never harbor doubt in your ability to write and never give you power away to negativity.
I’m curious to know what other writers like in the same way maybe that musicians share among themselves what other songs they like to cover. It says something about both artists. What’s your favorite line of somebody else’s writing?
Considering the genre I write in, most of you will find this amusing, but this line has stuck with me throughout my life. It’s what has informed my life in a way. It’s what has driven many life changing decisions that I’ve made recently and something I believe that ultimately guides all of us…helping us to decide the path of our own destiny. My good friend RB O’Brien will love this.
It’s from William Shakespeare: “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven stages.”
With which writer would you secretly trade places?
John Grisham. I just love his writing. I’ve read a variety of genres, but I have to say that I greatly favor legal suspense and thrillers.
Lastly, I really love your writing style. I find that you have an incredible way with words. How did you become such an incredible writer? Any tips for us newbies and lackeys that can help us improve?
Thank you, MJ. That’s high praise coming from someone who has the prodigious talent to be able to paint a canvas with words the way you do.
I believe that telling stories in my own voice, driven by my own passion is what motivates me and that is the very essence that gets insinuated into each and every one of my stories. It’s a distillation of who and what inhabits my being. I truly experience and live each and every scene. I feel every touch, every kiss, every harsh word uttered and that to me is the key. I write from the inside out. My stories are me. I live them. I couldn’t imagine writing a story looking in from the outside to try to describe something that I cannot see or feel. When I feel myself laboring unnecessarily to write a scene that I can’t connect to, I know it’s going to come out wrong. My editor always tells me to leave some things to the reader’s imagination, because I become so involved with describing what I see and feel.
It may be that my advice to the writer in you, whoever you are, might sound overly simplistic, but it’s essentially the discovery over time of listening to your own singular voice and the application of it, through hard work and passion to speak through the medium of the written word. Be comfortable within yourself. Write every story as if it’s your own, your dirty little secrets that you’re telling…and yes…maybe some of them are mine…lol! Find your voice with the words that truly express what you think and what you feel and it will flow into your story, make each one stand out, make each chapter shine and make each scene come alive in every reader’s mind. Let your passion come through and connect and your words will have the power to transport the reader into the story as a voyeur, or better yet, as a participant. You really want them to read your erotica books with just one hand….wink*wink!
Thank you, Linzi, for taking the time to answer these questions and the many that led to this interview taking place. It’s a pleasure to be in the company of someone who commands the English language in such a powerful way. You really are like Nabokov in that regard. English wasn’t his native language and he has penned one of the most powerful voices in the literary canon. You, my dear, are most definitely erotica’s Nabokov. Best of luck with For Amy – Their Beloved Sub. As of posting this, For Amy was #5 on Amazon’s bestseller’s list for Suspense.
Want to appear on my blog? Contact me
I’m happy to have people guest post and would like to do short interviews.
Let me know if you’re interested.