How did you start writing erotica?
I joined a romance writing group at my local writing centre, where I meet a group of really inspirational woman. One of the women in the group had published an erotic novella with Ellora’s cave, so I downloaded it to have a read. I never dreamed I would start writing in that genre myself, but I enjoyed her story. I then downloaded some other books from the site, which made me start to ponder the idea of writing some myself.
What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
I really enjoyed writing His Target His Desire, Bryant was a great character to develop. However my favourite would have to be my latest, just released Agent Provocator. Both my previous novels have been suspense with a serious tone, and while AP is suspense, I wrote it with a lighter edge. I added some humor in amongst the story and sex, which made it such a fun write.
What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
I guess everyone could point a finger at EL James. You can either love or hate her book, but what you can’t deny was her ability to bring erotica into mainstream. Sylia Day also managed to mainstream erotic romance with her series Crossfire. Big congratulations to both women. I stumbled across Eve Silver about a year ago with her series Otherkin and became instantly addicted to the storyline and characters. Recently I purchased a self-published book Captive in the dark by CJ Roberts and was astounded by the quality of her writing. She paints an edgy dark erotica with perfect flare.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From all around me. I get inspiration from reading novels, newpapers, magazines, watching TV, movies, or hearing people’s stories. The world is a great place for inspiration, you just have to take the time to look. Sometimes I’ve even looked at a sunset and stories have begun to form from that view, or I’ve been driving along listening to music, then all of a sudden I have a scene in mind.
Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
None. I do love the idea of rituals, and my husband and I have developed some for certain events in the year, but I‘ve never extended this too my writing. It’s always a fantastic relief to arrive at the end of a manuscript, but I’ve never done anything to celebrate it or ritualize the achievement. Perhaps I should. I find starting a story to be the most exciting time. Since I don’t outline or plan, the story could go any way, and I’m never really sure what the next writing session will bring. Sometimes it has me sitting at my computer staring at the screen for minutes at a time. Sometimes I may reread the previous paragraph ten tens before I realize I’ve read it ten times. Sometimes my fingers can’t go quick enough. I’ve signed three contracts, so I’ve shared three bottles of champagne with my husband. I guess that counts as a ritual.
Where’s your favourite place to write?
My favourite place is at my kitchen table. We have floor to ceiling window next to our table. In summer it can get a little hot, but in winter it’s cosy and warm. I also have a terrific view to waste my time when I get stuck on a line, or struggle with my inspiration to write that day.
Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
I loved Vicky Roach in my first novella Slipping Through His Fingers. She is smart, plucky and not afraid to make the hard decisions. She was faithful to her brother throughout and willing to make sacrifices for those she loved. She also won the sexy detective, Matias, in the end.
Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
Only a few. My husband, because he’s one of my beta readers. He doesn’t really care what I wrote as long as I enjoying writing it. My sisters know and were kind of shocked, never thinking I would do something like that. And I would have to say, they have never read any of them. My parents are both deceased as is my husband’s father, but it’s a big dark secret from his mother. She would probably be horrified. She has no idea how to navigate the internet and has no idea what my pen name is so I’m safe. Although she does keep asking me when she will be able to read one of my novels.
What was your ideal career when you were a child?
When I was in kindergarten, I remember the teacher asking us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and I can remember saying a princess, which is kind of embarrassing to think of now. Well, I didn’t quite manage my childhood dream, but I think I’ve come close enough.
How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I re-read what I have written. It usually takes me a chapter for the muse juices to start flowing. In the mean time, I get lost in editing the previous chapter and forgetting I’m only doing this to kick-start my typing. Sometimes I flip back over notes I’ve written for the chapter (if I have any) to remind myself what it is I want to write. If I’m really stuck, I try jumping ahead to the next chapter, or even another story, if I have one on the go.
What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Write. It sounds so ridiculously simple, but it is the best thing any writer can do. It’s important to learn the craft, research the conventions of your genre and attend workshops, but nothing will improve your writing like doing it. The first novel I wrote took my forever. I agonized over words and sentences for hours and couldn’t seem to find my voice. Finishing it was like finishing a marathon. I was exhausted, thoroughly sick of it and totally elated that it was done. But a couple of novels later and I’m flying. My speed has increased and I’m now confident in all areas of novel creation. That is simply because I write every day.
If you get writer’s block, how do you get around it?
I haven’t had writers block yet and that’s the truth. I figure I am really lucky. Sometimes I find it difficult to get into a scene, but as I explained above, I will skip on to the next chapter, or flip to another story and attempt that. Sometimes it helps to start jotting down information you want to appear in a chapter. Forcing yourself to create beautiful prose can sometimes block your flow. Bullet points allows you to brain storm what you want, it gets you thinking about what it is you are writing and that can sometimes kick start your writing.
If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
I would bring Bryant Holt from His target His Desire to life. He was such a fun character to write. He is strong, uncompromising, determine, faithful, passionate, and dedicated. What more could you want.
I would love to meet an indie author I have recently discovered called CJ Roberts. While her book was a little risqué, it was beautifully written. She has a great way of expressing herself. I googled her and from her profile and media reads, she sounds like she would be a sassy, fun woman to know.
What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I think paranormal and erotic blend beautifully. Having said that though, I’m willing to read anything in erotica. The typical powerful boss or billionaire in contemporary is a well used theme, but there is a reason for that. It really works. I think men in uniform erotic also goes really well. If you pick any erotica where you can create a strong alpha male, then you’re heading in the right direction for an enjoyable read.
What are you working on at the moment?
With my latest Agent Provocator released on the 25th Of June, I’m ready for my next. I have two vying for top position. One will be a dystopian, because dystopian is one of my all time favourite genres and the other is a contemporary with a lot of humor. Both are stepping away from the last three themes, which have been suspense. I feel I’m ready for a change.
What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
Finishing my first manuscript. It really was a major hill I thought I would never summit. Now I have, I feel like I can take on any writing venture. At times storylines may seem complex or impossible to write, but I’ve learned that anything can be broken down into small parts, wrangled and crafted and made work. I’m not daunted by too much now.
What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
My biggest achievement would have to be finishing my first. Every word in the end felt timeless, like it would never diminish the finish line. But I got there.
She did a cute bottom-lip suck, which reinforced his initial perception. She had sexy, full lips with a pronounced dip in the middle top one, which gave the impression of a permanent pout similar to the classic lip imprints found on car stickers or in cheeky advertising.
Bryant loved lips. He loved looking at them, kissing them and imagining what other sport a sexy pair of lips could do. Lips were as unique as fingerprints, only far more delicious. Some people even claimed a person’s personality traits were echoed on the pattern of the lips. Bryant suspected that wasn’t a fact, and he couldn’t care less. The only thing interesting him was if they were a pair he wished to kiss. Hers were, but the cutesy-pie show was not he’s usual style. Looks and body were a definite bonus for the short hops, but Bryant tended to stick around longer for a woman with bite.
He pocketed his cell and they remained facing each other for a few moments while the smack of shoes and the clip of high-heels manoeuvred around them. The silence stretched out, and he was about to smooth it with some filler words when awkwardness overcame her.
“Okay. I’m off. I guess I’ll hear from you tomorrow.”
No doubt deciding the comment sounded desperate, her cheeks reddened, and she attempted a half-turn as if fighting an internal battle. He quirked one side of his mouth in an encouraging smile, and to his satisfaction, she noticed, her eyes dipping to trace the action.
The rules of survival in this line of work: trust no one, hold no assumptions, don’t fall for your target. Bryant Holt breaks all three.
For 1.5 million, Cypress Howard is now his target. Ex-black ops, Bryant finds he can’t resist her temptations.
He’s way out of her league, sexy as hell and asking her out for dinner. It just doesn’t make sense. But Cypress is frightened of letting any one in.
Why? Because Cypress now lives incognito. The real her is dead, or so everyone thinks.
A deal is struck between secret factions and Cypress is now being hunted. Bryant’s claimed her, and he’ll do anything to save her. But first he must unravel the maze of her past.
When her life begins to implode, Cypress’s lover turns into James Bond. Who the hell is he? It’s too late to question, Bryant’s already chained her heart. All she can do is hold on.
Buy Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/aspen-j-lee
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
After joining her local writers’ centre and attending a workshop on romance writing, Aspen J lee decided she was set on the wrong career path. Swapping sides from factualising to fictionalizing life, she quit her job and started a Masters in Writing.
Soon after she discovered passion rather than academics was the key ingredient, so picked up the pen and began to fashion her own stories. Another workshop introduced her into the world of spicy writing. The end result was Slipping Through His Fingers, published by Siren-Bookstrand (2014). Two novels followed His Target His Desire (Siren-Bookstrand, 2015) and Bound (Eternal Press, 2015).
Aspen is currently crafting her fourth erotic romance and dipping her quill into a dystopian, both of which she hopes to have published later this year.
When Aspen can extract herself from her characters, she can be found in her kitchen, crafting magic of a different nature, with dogs and cats in tow. She lives on 6.5 acres, which she shares with the wildlife, a husband and three children.
You can follow Aspen on her website aspenjlee.com and her blog aspenjleeauthor.com.
Facebook friends page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006113446067
Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aspenjlee/1521352168114372?ref=hl
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