Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
My name is Cyan Bell and I live in Brisbane, Australia. I'm thirty years old, with two wonderful daughters. I've been married to my very patient husband for eleven years. I was a vet nurse before I had my first child, but I'm a full time mom and part time writer now.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
That's a hard question for me because all the woman characters I write are women I wish I could be. They are all kick-ass, take no prisoner ladies who aren't going to wait around for Prince charming to save them. They make things happen, they grab life hard and ride it. Because of this their male counterparts have to be intelligent and resourceful in order to capture the heroine's attention.
What's your favorite genre to read?
Paranormal erotica, definitely!
Who or what influences you when you write?
I like the idea of intermingling fact with fiction, like Edward Ruthfurd did in his book Dublin. I love the pace of action in all of Michael Rielly's books. And I absolutely insist on having the kind of steam you get from a book by Angela knight.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Check all of my emails, listen to some music, edit some of what I've written so I can get back into my mind set and then I write.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
I think it's important you get your main points for your book written down. Use cards or post-it's, then you can shuffle them, they don't have to be written in such and such an order. Go with the flow.
Using this, I start to write. It might be rubbish, it might be so so, it might be brilliant. I can always go back and edit, or there might be only one sentence useful but it's there. I don't stop because I'm worried if I do, I might not start again. Two other idea's for breaking out of writers block is to crit some one else's chapters. It means you're still working but not obsessing over your work. Or, (and this is totally fun!) I write a short story with just a whole lot of steamy sex. It seems to unblock the pipes. Do something just for fun and you remember why you started writing in the first place.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I'm polishing something up at the moment for submission.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
A book/series about a bounty hunter who discovers she has psychic ability when a vampire comes to her to contract her to catch a serial killer. I've written two books, and after they are submitted I'm hoping to write a third one.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
Wow five years? Hopefully happy, working and writing, with a new car. Good grief do I ever need a new car! lol
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Intelligent, sexy, challenging, encouraging and just smoking. I say intelligent because who wants a good looking hero who's short of the capability of stimulating thought. Challenging, because he should help a woman want to be more, to discover new things about themselves and encourage them to grow. Sexy and smoking? He's a hero, he should get my heart racing and my mouth salivating! Lol.
What do you do for inspiration?
Music and pictures.
I usually put together a sound track to my writing. The type of songs are dictated by the type of story. For example for the latest thing I'm working on with another writer, a book with short erotic stories about four couples at a Masked Ball, I'm listening to `The Bodyrockers.' I used `Keep your boots on' for the couple, and the song `Handel on your face' is a common theme. Pictures I use by looking at them and thinking to myself, "what's her story?" Luis Royo pictures are perfect, they have that fantasy look that has so many possibilities.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
Not at the moment. I'm just wading in and if the time comes I'll try something new.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I'm writing it! I wanted to blend sexy with action, and edge. I love giving readers that `oh now that's just cool' sensation by writing in something that has happened in real life.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
I had to do some research into a setting and medieval weaponry with Arianna's Leap. The internet is great for research, even better if you know someone to point you in the right direction.
I used Google to find a haunted castle in Ireland and I lucked out when I submitted this to my crit group. There was someone there who knew everything about medieval weaponry! The original object I used would have taken the guys head off in a bloody mass of bone, not conducive to the story at all. It's useful to have a folder with different Internet sites that could be useful for researching something in the future.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
This story was on a deadline. It didn't matter in the end because as soon as I saw the guidelines I wrote for three days until I had it all out. It then took me months to polish it. I was finished a while before it was due for submission. I think a deadline could help because then I wouldn't procrastinate!
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I was rushed to hospital in an ambulance the day after I had a biopsy for cervical cancer. Have you ever heard the term when it rains, it pours? Well I had a biopsy on Friday, admitted in hospital on Saturday with pancreatitis, an infection, and a tooth that was about to go septic. I was released on Monday and had the tooth pulled that day. I would have given anything to have morphine at that time, I was in agony! I realized I had to just give writing a go. The worst that could happen would be to have the manuscript rejected. There are worse things in life then getting a rejection letter from a pub.
What would you like to tell your readers?
I would love to hear from you! I want to be a better writer, I want to immerse you in the world I create so that you're left breathless and wanting more. Erotica is such a special genre, it can awaken the sexuality in each and every woman. That is precious.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I can't think of the worst. It always seems bad when a crit partner suggests getting rid of whole pages of writing! Lol. Best...if one person suggests something decide for yourself, if more than one person says the same, it has to have something done about it.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I use cards, or pieces of paper to jot down main things that have to happen. Then I just write. I take my time now, this means I get better quality work that I don't have to edit so much.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
My crit group is invaluable! I can get confused sometimes with so many different opinions. At that time it's best to just leave it be for a bit, take a step back and take a breath.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
Arianna's Leap (Once upon a dark castle lord) February this year.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Myspace is definitely the best at the moment. I'm going to build a site soon but I'm polishing my technique there. Also it's a great networking tool. After all I found out about NightOwl Romance through myspace. ;o) www.myspace.com/cyan_bell
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
They can go to my myspace page or there is an authors bio at www.thedarkcastlelords.com
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King