Wednesday, November 28, 2012
As part of ‘The Next Big Thing Blog Hop,’ I was tagged by the talented author and magnanimous spokesperson for gay rights, J. E. Knowles http://jeknowles.blogspot.com/, whose admirable work not only entertains but sends a message. Ms. Knowles is a tough act to follow, but I’ll do my best. The purpose of this hop is to expose you to writers who perhaps you haven’t heard of, and their work whether a new release or a Work in Progress (WIP). This is week 21.
According to the rules of the hop, I will be answering the same questions as every other blog hopper (and I’ll try hard not to bounce around too much 😉 about either my newest releases or my WIP. At the bottom of the post I’ve listed authors who will do the same thing in their blogs next Wednesday.
Okay – let’s get this party started!
What is the working title of your book? Since Attractions of the Heart won the Golden Crown Literary Award for lesbian erotica, I’ve been assembling published stories for the second anthology in the series, tentatively titled, Attractions of Another Kind. Some of my latest work, for instance, “Steam”, can be uploaded at http://www.amazon.com/Cheri-Crystal/e/B002VG3738. I hope you’ll check it out, indulge yourself and come back for more. I find there are two kinds of readers of short erotic stories, those who want to read them on e-readers in single gulps, and those who want a print book they can keep on the bedside table. I offer both options to keep every taste satisfied.
Where did the idea come from for the book? It’s a long story, but I’ll try to be brief. Little did I know way back when I began reading, reviewing, and ultimately, writing LGBT fiction, that my voracious appetite to live vicariously through my characters would someday result in real life changes. Mainly the idea for both books and the inspiration for many of my short stories came from conversations I had with fellow authors and readers, particularly my very best friend who is now my wife. We tied the knot this past August 31, 2012 and I could not have come this far without her love and support. It helps that she often reels me in when I go off on too many tangents. Don’t tell her I told you 😉
I’ve written dozens of short stories and even a couple of (unpublished WIP) novels. Each time an idea pops into my head, I simply have to run with it. For example, I wrote Going Fishing after all the women who attended Women’s Week in Ptown bragged on the literary lists about being there while I was at home reading about their great adventures. Talk about feeling left out! Going Fishing helped dispel the jealousy, especially after it was published in several editions. The idea for “Steam” came from a friend after a workout at the gym. We often meet for cappuccinos and a chat afterwards. He shared a story about a tryst he had with a really hot woman who had her way with him aboard the legendary Southwest Devon Railway. I asked if I could use the idea for my next story and he gave me his blessing. I lesbianized his tale and took quite a few other liberties. My wife shot the cover photo and we plan to take a trip as soon as we can.
What genre does your book fall under? Erotic Lesbian Romance.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Would it be too cliché to say Jodie Foster and Sandra Bullock? Or Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander? How about Lucy Lawless and Renée O’Connor? Okay, I’m getting carried away now. Still, who wouldn’t want to watch Portia de Rossi and say Kristanna Loken? The actress who played Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence, is hot. Angelina Jolie and Kate Mulgrew, have done their share, and I love Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel and Helen Hunt. For my story, Help Wanted, Clitoris Missing in Action, I would probably cast Meryl Streep or Bette Midler, yes, Bette since it’s a comic story about a woman who thinks she’s lost her libido but inadvertently finds it, thank GOD! There’s no shortage of talented actresses who could play the parts in my stories. Endless I tell you J
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? “Steam” is the first in a series of daring sexual adventures between Gwen and her lover as they travel through Europe.
What is the longer synopsis of your book?
The main characters have decided to spend their anniversary in the Southwest part of the United Kingdom. The narrator, who remains nameless in this story, suggests that she and her partner Gwen have already had sex in every room of their house and other assorted places, so why not try it aboard a “Steam” engine. Here’s the excerpt:
After we manage to walk away from the enthusiastic volunteer without appearing rude, I whisper, “I’m so freaking horny I could hump a lamppost right now.”
“I hear you,” Gwen sighs. “We have to figure out a way to do it on board despite the crowd. You claimed you wouldn’t chicken out. Am I right?”
“Not on your life.”
A group of rugged women glance in our direction. I nudge Gwen’s shoulder and point my chin in their general direction. “You think they’re—”
“Shhh, not so loud,” I warn.
“What do you think?”
“Definitely, but I’m afraid they’ll know what we’re up to if we head to the toilet together.”
“So, it’ll be embarrassing.”
“We could invite them to join in,” Gwen says, although I know damn well she’d never share. I swat her just the same and she pulls me in for a hug and a kiss on the forehead. A sandy-haired woman quirks her eyebrow seconds before leaning in to share some secret with her dark-haired partner.
I begin to sweat.
“Please let’s not be in their car, please.”
“Don’t be a spoil sport. If they are it’ll just pump up the “Steam” in our little tryst.”
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Since the rights of all my work have reverted back to me, I’ve been working hard at revising and self-publishing old and new stories on Amazon Kindle Direct. I have plans to re-release Attractions of the Heart and then Attractions of Another Kind as eBooks and print on demand.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I often whiz through the first draft of a story (a short story can take anywhere from a day to a few days not counting the time spent revising). It took about two months to write each of my novels (both WIP), but the revisions often add weeks or months to a project.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? My early stories came from deep within—a place I didn’t know existed where I could envision falling in love with a woman and making love to her. I wrote all the stories of Attractions of the Heart before I even kissed a woman. I was married to a man for 21 years and it hadn’t occurred to me that same-sex attraction was in my cards. In fact, I maintained a happy hetero existence while supporting gay rights and getting our lesbian stories out in the mainstream. The first time I fell in love with a woman, I had no idea what to do with this new phenomenon. It didn’t fit in with the scheme of my family life. I had a husband and children and a life I built here in New York. I wrote, “The Biggest Flirt This Side of the Internet” later changed to “Debut” because I was madly, deeply and completely in love with an author I was about to meet for the first time at the Lambda Literary Awards. Nothing ever became of my infatuation, but I continued to write obsessively. It was a dare on a literary list that introduced my wife and me. I wrote, “Reading In A Public Place” later titled, “Mile High Dare” after she dared me to do an author’s challenge. The rest is history. There has always been some spark or another that prompted me to write a particular story. I am not unlike most other authors. I put a part of myself in each and every sentence even if it is all FICTION. Yes, folks, fiction, but alas, hidden truths often lurk between the sheets. I had a very dear friend, may he rest in peace, who commented that reading Attractions of the Heart sounded like there was an element of my true feelings in every story. I guess he was right.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I write from the heart. I try to tell an engaging story and I hope the reader likes my characters as much as I do. While I am best known for my erotica, I promise that I put plenty of romance in too. I try to avoid Plot, What Plot (PWP) and my greatest desire is to continue to make people smile, blush, think, act, laugh, and just be happy, horny and healthy. Thank you for taking the time to read this. One more suggestion I like to dole out if I may, to cure what ails you, just have two orgasms and call me in the morning, LOL.
Next Wednesday check out the Next Big Thing from the prolific, award-winning author, SX Meagher http://briskpress.blogspot.com/. Once you start reading her work, you’ll never want to stop. Luckily for us she keeps on writing.
If you’re a fellow writer and would like to participate in this Blog Hop, please reach out to SX Meagher and let her know! The more the merrier ♥ Carsen Taite has agreed to play too! Her novels should not be missed either. Go to http://lesbianauthors.wordpress.com and http://www.youtube.com/carsentaite to find out the scoop on Carsen.
Huge thanks to J. E. Knowles for tagging me and to everyone for reading. I hope you enjoy my tales of lesbian lust and love and come back for more.