Afton Locke

Read more about Afton Locke.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: March 16, 2011

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Seven Minutes of Seduction | Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing | Genre: corporate erotic romance | Release Date: 16 March 2011

Despite Eliza Worth's attraction to her boss, Zach Taunton, she's so fed up with his unreasonable demands she's decided to look for another job. Her matchmaking friend Margo, determined to give Eliza some sexual healing for her work stress, invites her to a singles mixer, where Eliza reluctantly agrees to play a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven.

In a dark closet, Eliza is quickly brought to the edge and beyond by a sexy mystery man. Her initial intrigue quickly turns to horror when she discovers her masterful, anonymous lover is none other than her slave-driving boss himself-and Zach seems to want her for a lot longer than seven minutes.

But first he'll have to relinquish some control and negotiate his way into her heart.

What main genre do you write in?

Spicy Romance

Please describe your writing environment.

The best thing about writing is being able to work in my own office surrounded by books, nature, natural sunlight, and most importantly, peace and quiet! Noisy cubicles and fluorescent lights are not for me.

I usually have a collage, consisting of magazine pictures taped to the wall, of the latest WIP for inspiration. I don't let anyone else sit in my chair because it's not manufactured anymore and it's one of the few that keeps my back happy after hours of "butt in chair" time.

Please tell us your latest news!

Seven Minutes of Seduction releases on 16 March 2011.

Sexual Energy, my futuristic m‚nage, is now available in print.

Stop by my shared blog, Six Sexy Sirens:

And sign up for my shared newsletter, The Love Chronicle:

Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?

I WISH more than anything I could afford to write full time. I have taken a couple of breaks between jobs to experience full time writing. There's nothing like being able to continue the project every day with the story fresh in my mind instead of constantly being interrupted to go to work. I WAS an application developer. Now I have no clue what I am because I'm in the middle of career confusion. (I always thought midlife crisis was supposed to be more fun, like dyeing my hair purple or something.)

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

This is a paradox because in Myers-Briggs personality terms, I'm extreme J, which means I have lists for everything, need structure as much as oxygen, and absolutely must know what I'll be doing next week, the next month, and even the next year. Yet I write by the seat of my pants. I outline a few big plot points before I start writing and plot a little ahead of myself as I go. I've tried doing detailed outlines beforehand, and it just doesn't work. My experiment with note cards was a complete disaster. I need the flexibility and adventure.

Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing?

For first drafts, the most important thing is that I do it in the morning when my brain works the best. So here goes: breakfast, basic grooming (hair brushing is optional), quick email check, and off I go until about noon.

Revisions are another story. I can spend all day on that. I do part on paper, so I like to take it outside or lie on the floor since I hate sitting at a computer very long. (And then there was that one book where I was so obsessed with it I actually woke up in the middle of the night to work on it.)

Did you pick the title for your book? If it has been changed please tell us about the process.

Yes and no. Since the book is based on the teen party game Seven Minutes in Heaven, that was my first choice for the title. My publisher already had a book out with that title, so I came up with something similar with alliteration -- Seven Minutes of Madness. My editor let me know it may not be sexy enough, so I went back to the drawing board and came up with Seven Minutes of Seduction, which is even better. Similarly, the title of my book Sexual Energy began as Energy. I enjoy having input into my titles and learning what titles sell best.

Do you have an interesting quirk?

I have lots of them! One of the most puzzling is that I'm becoming a hippy hermit. Sit me under a tree with a book that I'm either reading, writing, or revising, and I'm in nirvana. Some of this transition was by choice and some by circumstance. Twenty years ago I was a real social butterfly and loved mainstream life. Interestingly enough, the more I've grown as a writer the less mainstream I've become. This is my biggest struggle because writing doesn't pay the bills--yet.

Do you like to mix genres?

Oh, yeah. That's pretty obvious by looking at my covers. I started in erotic romance with paranormal, went to futuristic, and here I am with a contemporary. I read different genres too. It keeps life interesting. After a dry spell of not being able to sell the paranormal/fantasy novels I'd written, I took stock of things. I realized I was getting too caught up in world building, attempting more than I could pull off, and losing the essence of romance--the love story.

With SMOS, I returned to the basics, focusing on the love story, and I enjoyed writing contemporary more than I thought I would. In a way, it's harder because you have to stick with reality. People can't float through space or turn their enemies into demons. I'm even trying my hand at inspirational, under a different name, of course. I will also be returning to paranormal. Variety is the spice of life.

Tell us all about "The Call" or "The Email"!

It was the "The Email" for Cicada, and it came while I was vacationing in Maine. I almost didn't notice it among the deluge of emails I waded through when I got home. I even had to read it twice to be sure I was seeing it right. Cicada was the first erotic romance I'd ever written, so selling it was fantastic.

After selling my first book ever, the thrill was never quite the same with the later ones until SMOS. My writing dry spell seemed so permanent I'd pretty much given up on ever getting published again. Despite working harder on my writing than ever and developing my skill, my career seemed to be going backward instead of forward. So when I received the email saying this book sold, I literally cried with joy. It was a very emotional moment.

What inspires your writing?

Most of my inspiration comes from trips or hunky guys I see. The inspiration for SMOS, though, has a weird story behind it. I was reading Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, and I'd always visualized Jamie as Ryan from the T.V. show "The O.C." (pretending his hair was red) and Claire as Taylor. I needed a visual refresh, so I rented a DVD of an old episode. The plot happened to include a teen party with the game Seven Minutes in Heaven, and I thought that was the best fantasy ever. The book was born.

What's your favorite drink?

I enjoy a glass of white wine in a nice restaurant. It makes me feel European, historical, and elegant. For years, my ultimate fantasy was to lounge in a Tuscan villa with a glass of wine in hand. Two years ago I got to travel to Italy and live the dream. Never mind the fact that a cold front had just come through and I was freezing. It was the best drink I ever had.

Thank you for having me and allowing readers a glimpse into my strange but fulfilling life!

Afton Locke

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