1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
I’ve always found the Beauty and the Beast story both beautiful and troubling. It involves a lot of powerful themes, about the transformative power of love, but also some that are problematic. Given that the story is starting to come back into the limelight with the release of a new film, I thought it would be an interesting subject to explore as a book.
The erotic romance audience is a new group of readers for me to interact with, and I’m excited to step my toe in the water of a complicated and still very lively genre. Because the book takes and reimagines the classic story of Beauty and the Beast, with elements of bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism, I hope that it can appeal to a wide cross-section of readers interested in erotic romance and interested in the classic story.
This is an especially difficult question, given that the book is the opening of a series; I think the major goal, for the first book, is for people to start to grasp how kinky relationships can work, be healthy, and provide valuable support for people disenchanted with the world outside the proverbial manor. If I communicate that a problematic story, like a relationship with an outwardly difficult appearance, can (in some cases) be powerful and good, then I would consider that an enormous success.
I’m still starting out in fiction, but I suppose that the thing that has served me best is really old advice: read everything, and try to write as widely as you can. It’s all well and good to find your niche, to find a family of stories that you want to tell, but it’s also important to push yourself to do new things, to explore new ideas and approaches to stories. Even if you fancy yourself a horror writer, taking the time to explore science fiction, mystery, or (in the case of this project, for me) erotic romance can expand your skills and mind, and can enrich your worlds.
I have a hard time reading the changing landscape; dystopian novels, medieval and gothic aesthetics, shifts back to American western images in science fiction, are all features that I see popping up a lot. Then again, those are also features that crop up throughout writing in various genres dating back at least a century, so I’m not sure if they count as trends. My hope is that younger writers think more closely about the medium; in a world where television is so good, it is really important to remember that there are things we can do in the written word that are more difficult to do on screen, getting into the depth of feeling, the interrelations of memories, and other features of our mental life in a way that other media can’t.
Honestly, just grinding through it every day is hard; it is really easy for me to get some ideas for a new project and then distract myself on the new project. This is especially rough if I’m being productive on that new project and I feel like I’m in a rut with the old one. One of the great bits of wisdom in Stephen King’s “On Writing” is so simple and so hard: “read a lot and write a lot.” And that isn’t just about starting projects, but also using that energy to follow through.
Does Book Industry Need Its Own Snap Chat IPO?