MAN'S WORLD | Published by Circlet Press | Science Fiction Erotica | Release date: Jan 5, 2011
For the wealthy, or the lucky, the universe is a vast and wonderful place. There are planets to visit, luxury space ships to patronize, designer drugs to take, and luxurious sex to purchase. However, for Stella Blue Darter, courtesan and gambling addict, the universe is just filled with accidents waiting to happen. When her beautiful body and chronic haplessness land her on Moulton, a planet ruled by a patriarchy and plagued by various female uprisings, she's not terribly surprised by the trouble she's in. But she hadn't counted on meeting Harker Merman and his dashing, dominating siblings. Stella's in over her head, and she'll have to find a way to survive on nothing but her wits and looks in Man's World.
Please describe your writing environment.
My writing environment reflects my writing style and themes - there's a little bit of everything on my desk! From gargoyles to a plush stuffed dragon, I've got trinkets and treasures around my computer, along with plenty of post-it notes with scribbled story ideas dotting most surfaces. It's a mess, but it's home!
Please tell us your latest news!
I'm thrilled to announce the release of MAN'S WORLD (http://www.circlet.com/?p=2458), an erotic science fiction novel, and also the recent release of my first erotica short story collection, DARKNESS & DELIGHT (http://shop.renebooks.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=CAPERTON-01), published by Renaissance eBooks!
Do you have a specific writing style?
I think I do. I am pretty much committed to a third person limited view point in my writing (some first person for short stories) and I tend to be a little more adjective-rich than some writers, something I sometimes have to guard against. I aim for a particular effect in dialogue that may be a little different too, closer to a script than a story sometimes. That said, my style varies depending on the nature of the story. In a historical setting, I probably write with longer sentences and more clauses than in a contemporary tale.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, write, write. I know that's clich‚, but it is SO true. Write as much as you can, and read a wide variety of stories. Stretch beyond whatever genre you might prefer. Reading different kinds of books can result in some really interesting cross-pollination. Inspiration can come from reading histories or even recipe books!
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
My family has been great about my writing life. It wasn't the easiest conversation to have, but once I "came out" as an erotica author, they've been wonderfully supportive. Do they read my books? Yes, some of my family does, but not all, and I don't hold it against them. Let's be honest, erotica isn't everyone's cup of spiced tea.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
A combination of both, and it really does depend on what I'm writing. If I'm writing a short story, the story is usually pretty fluid in my brain and doesn't need an outline. For longer work, I find I need an outline to (hopefully!) keep me on track! I like writing on the fly, but I know myself well enough to realize that I need an outline to keep my twisted plot complications straight!
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing?
You know, I didn't think I did, but I do. I need to have something to drink - soda, tea, maybe coffee if it's in the morning, sometimes wine - and I need some kind of background noise - usually classical music. I then tend to "circle" my writing like a dog circling a spot on the floor before settling down. My circle tends to be a check on my email, maybe browse a website or two, then I get started and let the world melt away into the world I'm creating in words.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
My main characters are pretty firm in my mind, but trust me, they take me by surprise sometimes and before I know it, they develop a quirk or passion that I hadn't planned for. Sometimes I change the events in a story if the character has developed over the course of writing it in a way that clashes with what I had originally intended.
What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?
The balance between work/life/writing. Even after all these years, I still find myself challenged to find the time to get it all done.
Who has been your best supporter? How have they been there for you?
Drake, my partner. He is my companion in all things, my sounding board, editor, idea man, collaborator, conspirator, and my endless inspiration. He knows when to push me, and knows when I just need to decompress, and he always, always listens to me, and is honest in his critiques. I need that, and rely on it. I can honestly say, I wouldn't be where I am now without him.
Did you pick the title for your book? If it has been changed please tell us about the process.
I do pick the titles of my books. MAN'S WORLD went through a couple of changes, but about half way through the book, I knew MAN'S WORLD was perfect. It reflects the mid-century viewpoint I was aiming for and has the right touch of irony. The planet Stella lands on is named after William Moulton Marston (creator of Wonder Woman and known for his polyamorous lifestyle), and MAN'S WORLD has some resonance there too.
Do you like to mix genres?
I thrive on mixing genres. I honestly don't like the idea of genres - I don't like being shoeboxed - so I tend to write the story that forms in my head, genre be damned. If you look at my work, I constantly roam between erotica and X,Y,Z - horror, pulp, noir, fantasy, sci fi, contemporary. What can I say? I'm a vagabond.
What inspires your writing?
Everything, but recently a lot of my inspiration has come from pulp and occult histories, Lovecraft and Ewers, Poe. That's not to say all my writing is dark or paranormal. I'm actually working on a contemporary erotica novel now, and the inspiration for that book is completely centered in the here and now and in the idea of pushing sexual boundaries. But yes, I am inspired by my past, by seasonal fruit, by birds at my bird feeder. Sexuality is universal, and I love to examine it all.
How many books do you plan on writing each year?
I don't have a set number of books I plan to write each year. I prefer to just write as much as I can, and if books are produced, so be it. I write a lot of short stories, and I also write for my blog, so the word count is there, but the results tend to be scattered over several projects.
What has surprised you about being a published writer?
I love that the delicious thrill I get when a publisher accepts one of my stories still puts a big smile on my face. I have to admit, I grinned like a drunken fool for hours after my first story was accepted, but I still get that kick even after dozens of acceptances, and each one is special to me. On the flip side, I'm proud that I handle rejection better now - and yes, I do still get rejections - but experience has given me perspective and an understanding that it's not personal, it's business.
How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
I don't have a set amount of research, and really it depends on the story, but I do try to be as accurate as possible, so I do take the time to fact-check. I love research, and I love that when trying to determine a set of facts, I often discover a world of related information that I tuck away for later stories. Cool tidbits? Oh yes! In fact, researching another story helped me develop part of the plot for MAN'S WORLD. Did you know that, besides creating Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston developed the DISC personality analysis testing that is still used today to evaluate management fitness? And that his work led to the invention of the lie detector?
Do you have any animals? Do they influence your writing?
I don't currently have any pets, but I've shared my home with two wonderful cats in the past. Have they influenced my writing? Absolutely! Some of their antics and quirks have been incorporated in stories.
If a bookstore was putting up "Is Like" plaques, who would be listed as being like you?
That's not an easy question to answer. I write many types of stories, but for some of them, I'd say "Is Like..the love child of H.P. Lovecraft and Anais Nin."
If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?
I'm presuming you mean a living person? Maybe Ray Bradbury. He wrote some amazing books and stories, was involved in Hollywood at an interesting time, and generally seems to be someone very thoughtful in his approach to life. There is a simplicity and a beauty to his best work that I admire. I would listen far more than I talked!
Do you have a website recommendation for other writers?
Absolutely. If the writer is interested in erotica, I cannot recommend highly enough the Erotica Readers and Writers Association site. They have wonderful mailing lists where authors can submit their work for honest critiques. They are also a great source of market information. http://www.erotica-readers.com/ERA/index.htm
What's your favorite drink?
I love wine, and have recently learned to appreciate good California Cabernets, but my heart still belongs to good German Rhingau Rieslings.
What main genre do you write in?
Erotica / Spicy Romance
Thank you so much for the interview. Be as bad as you can be, and always stay sexy!