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!