1. How did you first start writing erotica?
I’ve been writing erotic romance for a few years now. Originally, I hadn’t even considered the erotic angle. Sure I loved to read them, but at the time I wanted to write futuristic romances. Well, it turned out that my first book was hot enough for Ellora’s Cave to pick it up, and the rest developed from there. Over the years, I’ve expanded out from futuristics to contemporary erotic romance. I love both types of stories, but my contemporary books challenge me more as an author.
It was only recently that I’ve wanted to push the envelope more and dip my toes into the world of erotica. It’s a different style of book from erotic romance with different reader expectations. I have no doubt some of my romance readers will be caught up by the change. I promise, I’ll be back to traditional (but kinky) romances in no time.
2. Tell us about writing an interactive story? Talk about hot!
Thank you!! This book was a personal challenge I’d set out for myself. I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid and had always wanted to write one. But I wanted to keep with the genre that I’ve grown to love – erotic romance. As I progressed with the story, I realized that Tegan’s story was as much about her sexual identity as it was about which hero she’d pick in the end. That’s why so many of the decisions the reader is faced with centers around sex.
The overall structure of the story was a huge thing I had to sort out. I’m not normally a plotter, but with each decision point I added in, I had to ensure that it would circle back around to a proper conclusion. I have an impressive flow chart that I had to create so I could keep things straight!
3. How many endings do you usually offer when you do an interactive piece?
This was my first attempt at an Interactive book, and at the time I was writing it there weren’t a lot of examples out there for me to go by. I wanted to have a few jumping out points for the reader, so they could have a certain sense of closure in the story. Given the nature of this book and my heroine, I decided to go with three heroes to choose from – a Dom, a sub and a switch. I wanted to give the book enough meat that a reader could come back to it a week, month, year from now and still gain enjoyment from Tegan’s adventures.
4. What are some of your favorite characters to write about?
I love writing about people who are strong willed, but are hiding a core of vulnerability. These people (both in books and in life) have the most interesting stories to tell. I want to know how they developed that outer shell. What kind of person would it take to break through and get to their core? These people are not weak, though their strength can often cause them just as many issues.
5. Heels or flats?
My default is flats, simply because I’m 5’ 11” tall. LOL! My husband is a bit shorter than I am, so we have a good giggle whenever I have to put the heels on.
6. Sushi or cheeseburgers?
Sushi!!! I usually make it a point of going out for sushi every month, more if I can find a willing victim…err partner to go with me.
7. Tell us about some of your pet peeves in erotica today.
The biggest thing that bothers me is the prevalence of stereotypes, especially when it comes to kink. All submissives aren’t weak, or have issues, or are doormats. They can be CEOs, firefighters, cops, and wanting to submit to someone in the bedroom doesn’t make them a pushover. Likewise, being a dominant doesn’t make you an asshole or a bitch. They do have a sense of humor and can enjoy romantic comedies along with anyone else.
Personally, I try to avoid that and show a different side to my characters. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I have to try harder.
8. What advice would you give someone who is considering working on a choose your own erotic adventure story?
Plan!! I can’t stress this enough. And write down in an outline which links go to which chapters. You will need this to save your sanity when it comes to edits and production. It would have saved me so many tears…
9. Do you have an excerpt you would like to share?
I’d love to! Here’s a little bit from the opening chapter, showing Tegan as she approaches the club for the first time in a year.
The lineup was less organized than what she would have expected, but far less crazy than she would have imagined, given the significance of the evening. Like many of the club’s members, she’d been devastated when she’d learned of the attack on Josh and the subsequent fire that had destroyed much of the inside of the building. Mavericks was one of the few places she could let her guard down and be herself. Even now as she stood outside, wearing her black corset, leather skirt and high heels, she wasn’t scared to let anyone see her.
It had taken her a long time to come to that level of peace when it came to her sexual preferences. She’d been uneasy in her own skin growing up, not fully understanding the mixed signals her body continued to send her during her awakening sexuality. And while her parents were awesome, she couldn’t imagine going to her mom with questions like, “I get aroused when I pinch my nipples really hard and slap my own ass. Is that normal?”
Thank God for the internet.
Still, that was years ago and she now knew not only what she liked, but exactly where to go to scratch the various itches she developed. Wouldn’t her coworkers freak if they realized what she liked to do on a Friday night.
Tie me up. Tie me down. Turn around and let me flog you.
The crowd continued to buzz as the line grew. Tegan found her spot quickly, chatting quietly with some of the others she recognized from before the fire. Even as she laughed about the crappy remake that was the current big release in the theaters, her mind was distracted. She couldn’t imagine they’d have made too many changes to Mavericks during the rebuilding. While Josh was known for his creativity, he’d also prided himself on consistency. Not that Josh was running the club anymore—which still felt weird to her—so things were definitely up in the air.
Her anticipation stretched tight from the waiting, making her squirm. There were so many possibilities and with her imagination she couldn’t help but make the possible scenarios more elaborate with each passing moment. Were there new rooms? Equipment? Would she find someone who’d be willing to play with her?
The answer to that last question better be an unequivocal yes. If nothing else, Mavericks would give her the chance to find the right person, someone new or someone familiar. They’d find that spark, a connection that she’d hoped would last beyond a night.
Because if truth be told, she was getting tired of being single. The year away from the club had shown her that. It wasn’t simply enough to have a place to go and have kinky sex. She was looking for the right man to go with her. More than that, she wanted to share the rest of her life with him. Her work friends only saw part of who she was. Likewise, her Mavericks friends. There had to be someone out there who would want to know all of her. Who’d want to curl up on her couch and watch cheesy action flicks before going off to the bedroom for some kinky fun.
She just had to find the right him.
10. What is next for your writing projects?
My next release is Club Wonderland, a BDSM contemporary novel that plays on the themes of Alice in Wonderland. It’s a direct follow-up to Sexcapades and we discover what happens to Petra’s friend Alice when she disappeared.
I’m also a part of the Carina Press erotic holiday anthology. My story, Naughty Nicks (stripper Santas!) appears in the Seasons of Seduction anthology.
Thank you Christine for popping over to talk about how exciting interactive erotica can be. As soon as I saw the story, I remembered how much I loved this type of book as a kid and now with my love of erotica, I can’t put it down. I love your books and can’t wait to find out how my ending will turn out! Thank you for being a woman with the courage to tackle such a project! Your fans are going to thank you. There is nothing better than interacting with a story and falling in head first.