How did you start writing erotica?
As a teenager, I’d written some non-erotic fanfic, and that was probably my first foray into writing in general. In college, I wrote a couple erotic original stories and posted them on a website, but then life happened (as it tends to do!), and I abandoned writing for a number of years.
Eventually, I waded back into the writing waters with my old love, fanfic. Then before leaving for my honeymoon, I loaded up my Kindle with a ton of books to read on the beach. One erotic novella I read had me saying “THIS got published?! I can write just as well, if not better!” When we got home, I got right to work and set out to get some erotica published. Luckily, within a few months, I found success!
What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
Elysium is my favorite, because everything just came together for me. I love the characters, I love the difficult emotions they dealt with and the journey they went through to wind up together, and it has one of my most creative plots. I refer to it as “contemporary sci-fi”, even though that sounds like an oxymoron. Here, have a blurb:
“Two years have passed since April Patterson’s husband was shot and killed in the line of duty, and she’s trapped in a haze of grief and uncertainty. Having grown frustrated by all other efforts to engage her in activities where she could meet new people, her cousin pays for a date via 1Night Stand. Not thrilled with the idea, April nevertheless contacts Madame Eve and requests the impossible: a date with her deceased husband.
Brilliant software engineer Drew Monroe created his company, Elysium, to help give closure to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, through the use of virtual reality. Though passionate about his work, being constantly surrounded by heartache and death has taken a toll on his mental health. When he accepts the case of a young widow referred to him by Madame Eve, her tragic tale depresses him further, but he commits himself to programming April the romantic date she desires.
April arrives at Elysium and prepares to enter Drew’s virtual realm. Will she find the solace she seeks within? Or will she discover she doesn’t need a fantasy world to discover happiness again?”
What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy the books by my fellow Decadent Publishing author Katherine McIntyre – there’s always something unexpected in her stories, and I love when I can’t predict exactly where a plot is headed. And Selena Kitt, of course – who hasn’t eagerly devoured one of her books?
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I steal…ahem, BORROW from anyone who creates fiction better than I do. The medium doesn’t matter; everything from books to movies to video games has inspired me somewhere along the way. Seductive Suspect is my homage to the old-fashioned whodunnits I love to read (my favorite being And Then There Were None).
Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
Nothing in particular comes to mind. I do like to make sure that all my obligations are taken care of (dinner cooked, email checked, etc.) before I sit down to write.
Where’s your favourite place to write?
Anywhere that’s quiet, or at least without distractions. Part of the climax for Seductive Suspect was written when I was in the hospital for a few days. (I’m fine now, don’t worry!) With everything else I had going on, it was the only place where I could finally focus!
Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
Ro from the Disintegration series has always been my favorite. She’s a fighter and survivor, literally and figuratively. For example, in the opening scene of The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions, she breaks someone’s nose because he didn’t pay her the amount they’d agreed on when she accepted a job from him. Sometimes writing her made me a little sad, because damn, I really put her through the wringer a number of times. But no matter what, she always manages to keep fighting. (And maybe falls in love along the way….)
Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
My husband and my mother know. I believe my mother has read some of my books, but when I told her what I do, I was very clear that we WOULD NOT BE DISCUSSING THEM. Ever. Once or twice she brought them up, and I shut that down quickly, because NOPE. We’re very close, but she’s still my mother.
My husband has yet to read anything I’ve written, and that’s fine with me. We usually don’t enjoy the same type of stories, anyway.
What was your ideal career when you were a child?
You mean this isn’t it? Just kidding! (Sort of!) I think I always knew I would wind up doing something creative. My actual day job doesn’t allow for a lot of creativity, but I do get to meet a lot of new people and hear interesting things, so that makes up for it.
How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
Some days are easier than others. Some days I wish I had a better answer to this question. For a lot of things, I am a creature of habit and do well with a steady routine. I try to do at least a few words every day around the same time and build up some momentum.
What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Don’t overuse adverbs. Most of the time, they’re not necessary, and if you feel they are, chances are you just need a stronger verb in the first place.
If you get writer’s block, how do you get around it?
For most of my books, I can usually find at least one song that fits with what I’m writing. Sometimes I wind up with a whole playlist! If I’m really struggling to get into the right mindset to write, the music helps light that spark.
If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. I think I’m going to choose Aras, the hero from Out of Orbit, because how awesome would a sexy alien be in real life?
Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
This book wasn’t a romance, erotic or otherwise, but when I read Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia, I knew we must have had a lot of the same experiences in high school and college. When I got to her bio at the end of the book (which was great, especially if you ever participated in any sort of music group in school), all my suspicions were confirmed. We’d have a LOT to talk about, and I’d love to congratulate her in person on how well she managed to perfectly capture the teenage melodrama of my youth.
What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I love sci-fi (as I’m sure you’ve noticed already). The sky’s the limit when it comes to innovative worlds and plots, and that allows for a fresh take on the usual romance tropes.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on sort of the spiritual successor to Elysium – another couple uses virtual reality to enhance their romance and fall in love all over again.
What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
A number of years ago, I applied to do some writing for an indie video game company. The assignments were complex, the turnaround time was fast, and I very nearly called it quits without finishing the first assignment/my “audition”. I eventually got the hang of it, though, and contributed to a number of fun projects. (And got paid for it, which is a major goal for aspiring writers!)
What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
I was thrilled to have a story accepted into The Big Book of Orgasms; all my publications up to that point had been either e-books or print on demand, so it was fun to be able to get a physical copy of a book with something I wrote in it!
The crisp mountain air no longer felt so cold. Heat spread over my body. His head ducked down, and he captured my mouth in a gentle kiss. Soft lips pressed against mine. I melted farther into his embrace. His tongue slid forward, and I welcomed it, reveling in his sweet taste.
I ran my hands over his shoulders and laced my fingers behind his neck. Lost in his kiss, I pretended we were two normal people surrounded by beautiful scenery, doing nothing more than succumbing to a mutual attraction in one exhilarating moment. Even if something terrible happened to me later on, I could say I chose happiness over fear.
Our kiss grew more fervent, and his grip on me tightened. I let out a small whimper when he pulled away, but he beamed at me.
“Stay with me tonight,” he said.
The edge in his voice sent a shiver through me, although my cheeks burned hot.
“Since we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, let’s be together now.”
A tremble shook my knees, and I was glad his strength supported me. Several tiny wisps of doubt flitted through the back of my mind, yet my desire for him overpowered them.
“Okay,” I said, the single word all I managed to get out.
Adam took me by the hand and led me toward his room. I floated across the balcony behind him in a dreamy haze. Once he opened the door, though, all semblances of tenderness disappeared.
A murder mystery weekend goes awry when the guests start dying for real. Veronica is desperate to survive and escape, but can’t deny her growing attraction to Adam, the handsome man staying in the room next door. Can she trust his intentions, or has she wound up in the arms of a cold-blooded killer?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Thea Landen lives in New York with her husband and two children. She strives to encourage creativity and passion in all those around her, and uses writing to help inspire. Though she reads and writes in nearly all genres, she has a special fondness for science fiction, fantasy, and adventure and anything that pushes the imagination beyond its usual limits. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, her hands and mind are occupied by either yarn crafts or role-playing games.
Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.