Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Hi Tammie. I'm happy to be here. My name is PG Forte and I write erotic romance (along with paranormal, romantic suspense, women's fiction and more). I consider myself a Naturalized Californian--my kids were born here and if I ever have to move out of state again, I'm sure I'll be kicking and screaming the whole way. That's also where all my books to date are set, including my most recent release, (book two in the LA Love Lessons series) Love From A to Z. I've been writing stories since I was a kid (mostly paranormal) then I moved on to creating a somewhat racy series when I was a teenager. I guess it's one of those plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose situations.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Oh, wow. That'll be hard to answer. I usually torment my characters way beyond anything I'd ever want to endure myself. Maybe I'll choose Gabby Browne, heroine of Waiting for the Big One, to be on the safe side. We're both Pisces, after all, and her hero is modeled (somewhat) on my own very adorable Scorpio husband. But Gabby is also blonde with a capital B, and much more out-going than I am. She's sensitive, caring but also hard-headed and not afraid of going after what she wants.
What's your favorite genre to read?
All the same genres as I write, to be honest. I love sexy paranormals and read mostly contemporary stories although the occasional historical is also fun.
Who or what influences you when you write?
Oh, it could be anyone or anything. A dream. A vacation. A conversation I overhear in a restaurant (yes, there are authors among you. pay no attention to that woman at the next table taking notes.) . Sometimes a sentence will just pop into my head out of the blue. The first scene in chapter one in Love From A to Z, for example, is based on something that actually happened...albeit under very different and, sadly, very mundane circumstances--no drugs, no amnesia, no hot guy. *sigh* And since setting is usually pretty important to my stories, I'm also very influenced by my environment.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Wake up, make coffee, power up my computer, make a quick sweep of my various email accounts and then get to work. I swear, if it weren't for the usual obligations and necessities--family, pets, exercise, meals, other work, etc--I'd keep going until I fell asleep. And then get up the next morning and start over again.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
Argh. Writer's block. I don't even like to think of it. First thing I do is go back to the beginning of the book I'm working on and read through it until I get to where I'm stuck. If I'm lucky, that'll get me back on track. Although if I'm stuck at the beginning of a book I may have to go back to the previous book (assuming it's a series) and read that one through. If that technique doesn't work it usually means there's a problem with the storyline, so I either have to go back to the drawing board and re-work the plot/outline until I find the problem. If that doesn't work I might have to put that book aside for a while and work on something else.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Love to! The third book in my LA Love Lessons
series, Let Me Count the Ways, was just
accepted for publication. It's an erotic romance, set in present day Los Angeles, and it
tells the story of former film star Claire Calhoun.
Claire is used to calling the shots, both in and out of bed. But that's
all about to change. The sexy former actress and owner of The Body
Electric--LA's hottest new exercise studio--finds herself in over her head when
she takes up with Mike Sherman, her accountant and devoted fan.
There's an excerpt on my website, if you'd like to find out more. Here's
the link: http://www.pgforte.com/CountExc
Please tell us what you have planned next?
Well, I have a series of nine paranormal romantic suspense novels (info at: http://www.oberoncalifornia.us) that are no longer available and I'm trying to find them a new home. I also have quite a few works in progress. You can check them out at: http://www.pgforte.com/WIP.htm
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
Doing more of the same, really, although I hope to be doing a little more traveling than I've been able to do lately. Several of my works in progress are set in somewhat exotic locations so that would be helpful. I'd also like to be writing at least half of my stories for the print market. I love ebooks but the money is just not there yet. And, last but not least, my kids will both be in their twenties by then, so I'm sure that will mean a lot of changes for me...I'm just not sure yet what they'll be.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Ooh, another tough one. I love all my heroes. But I must admit I have a special fondness for Zach Harris, hero of Love From A to Z (book two in the LA Love Lessons series, and my latest release). Zach's a sweetheart. He's playful, funny, inventive, gentle and seriously HOT! He plays guitar, and a guy who serenades you is always a good thing! But the best thing about him, IMO, is that even though he can be a total Alpha he has no problem letting a woman take the lead--in bed or out. Life is a game to Zach. He loves to win but he can lose gracefully.
What do you do for inspiration?
Well, that depends. First of all, whenever I start a new book I like to clean and rearrange my desk. I usually listen to music when I write so while I'm outlining a book I also spend some time picking out songs that'll put me in the proper mood for the story. I'm very much into sensual stimuli. So there might be a particular scented candle or incense that will relate to the book. Even the mug I use, and whether I'm drinking coffee or tea, will depend on the story or the characters. And, of course, I'll also tack up pictures of my 'characters' or story locations on the walls around my desk.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I have an erotic, paranormal, historical romance that I'm plotting right now. I've never written anything that wasn't contemporary and I'm actually somewhat scared. But it's an exciting project so I'm really looking forward to see how it will turn out.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
Cozy mysteries. Love 'em. Can't write 'em. Although, who knows? Maybe someday...
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
LOL! Do I enjoy doing research for erotic romance? You better believe it! Of course, I do have a very able and enthusiastic research assistant. Oh, wait, I guess he prefers the title 'husband'. All kidding aside, I really do love research. I learned the most fascinating things while researching the Oberon series! As Hamlet said, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I don't mind deadlines per se. The trouble arises because deadlines are so magnetic. As soon as you have one thing due dozens of other chores, assignments, etc will be attracted to that same point in time. One thing I find very counter-productive is to set artificial deadlines for myself in the form of word-per-day or page-per-day goals. For some reason that strategy never fails to backfire on me.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I guess I'd have to credit Carol Emschwiller with that when I studied with her at NYU...a really long time ago.
What would you like to tell your readers?
That I'd love to hear from them? Readers are a big part of why I write (right up there next to the number one reason which is: I can't help myself!) and it's always great to hear people's responses to something I've written.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
I had an agent tell me I should submit Oberon to 'regional publishers'--that was some seriously bad advice. Not only is Oberon a fictional location (which really complicated the 'regional' issue!) but it also turned out that all the small press publishers located in my region publish mostly non-fiction although some will consider an occasional work of 'important' fiction--not the kind of book I write. I wasted a lot of time in that pursuit. Best advice...overall I suppose the best advice I've gotten was to join various writers' organizations, such as RWA. That was a short-cut to a wealth of information, contacts, friendships...and more advice.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I plot and outline obsessively. It's kind of funny because most of my critique partners are exactly the opposite. But I simply cannot write until I know exactly where I'm going.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
Oh! I was about to say 'how could they possibly hinder me?' then I remembered horror stories I've heard from other authors. I've been blessed with The World's Best Critique Partners. They are awesome. They keep me motivated and on track, they pester me when I fall prey to the procrastination demons, they cheer me up when I'm depressed. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do without their support.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
My very first published piece ever was a short story called Landfall that appeared in a very small regional magazine out of the Bahamas a long, long time ago. The first book I had published is Scent of the Roses, book one in the Oberon series (http://www.oberoncalifornia.us is the link if you want more information on that series). Oberon is a nine part series that was published between 2003 and 2006. I was a very busy girl. *grin* I loved my publisher but I think the books were just too long for the ebook market. I'm currently hoping to get them re-released in print.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
All of the Above?
Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pgforte/ How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Signing up for my newsletter is one way. Or my author group. And I also really like posting excerpts on my blog--I've been remiss in posting there recently and I really have to get back to that soon. Plus there's a lot of information on my website--excerpts, news, blurbs, reviews, links, my bio. Plus, as I've said, I'm always thrilled to receive email from readers.
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King