Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Last week my fellow Siren author, Laurie Roma, tagged me in her Next Big Thing, so now it's my turn to answer the questions.
What is the title of your book?

My current release is Woman on Top, an MMF erotic romance set at a posh resort in southeastern Utah.
I got the title, Woman on Top, from some NRA gun classes I was taking. The classes are actually called Women on Target but for some reason we kept making Freudian slips, going, “Are you attending that Women on Top class?”
How did you come by the idea?

I was watching that show Wild Justice, about the California state game wardens who track down and bust those odious criminals who harm and kill animals.  I never realized the wardens have all the skills and privileges of “regular” cops, and they are hunting down drug smugglers, polluters, and poachers, too.  Except they’re in the middle of nowhere, the wilderness with no backup, just staking out these lowbrow assholes in subfreezing temperatures.   In fact, I got one of my hero’s lines from a game warden: “Why do we always get stuck with these low-budget motherfuckers?”

It struck me that these guys would make fantastic erotic romance heroes.  You’ve got your gorgeous natural scenery for a backdrop already, the heroes are acting noble by saving animals, and wait, you’re in the middle of nowhere…

Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?

I always cast actors as my heroes.  It helps for me to be able to envision them walking and talking if I can watch the actor in a film.  I’ve had some pretty bizarre combinations, believe you me.  In Woman on Top I used the incomparable Damian Lewis (Homeland) as the black ops hero, Adrian Kinsey.  For the beta game warden hero, Joe Manganiello came in extremely handy.  Part of my research involved watching him strip in Magic Mike.  Let me tell you, this job can be stressful.  The research is intense.  We leave no stones unturned in our relentless pursuit of excellence.

Right now I’m on a roll with Timothy V. Murphy.  He’s the quintessential “Oh, That Guy” badass actor who recently had long stints on Criminal Minds and Sons of Anarchy.  He’s so ridiculously handsome it hurts.  I almost collapsed when he stripped and boxed with Jax Teller.  It’s nice to be able to write a hero a little bit older.

Will your book be self-published or traditional?

It’s my twelfth book in two years for Siren Publishing.  They release the books in print about two months after they release them in-house.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I logged Chapter One on 10/10 and I logged the Epilogue on 11/05.  We have to go very fast in this business because the readers are so voracious.  Back in the day, you were doing OK if you put out four books per year.  Now, it seems like one a month and you’re a sluggish laggard.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, I write Sextreme MMF with a fair amount of explicit MM scenes.  I’ve heard from several reviewers that my MM scenes are hotter than the ones where the female dares intrude.  I like keeping the F in there, though, even if she’s only chained up to a radiator being “forced” to watch the men.  I—and I think female readers—want to identify with the female in the book.  She is often torn between her love and lust for two different men, and the men fight each other for her loyalty, resulting in some homoerotic wrestling scenes, each man struggling to get the upper hand.  Hey, something good came of reading Women in Love in high school.

My male characters are often at war with each other, their animosity stoking their lust.  One reviewer said she was surprised I wasn’t a Mr., that I was a Ms., I was able to get into the men’s minds so completely.  That was probably the best compliment I’ve ever received.  I frankly don’t know where this insight comes from, since I didn’t grow up with my brothers.  But my teen years were spent mostly with boys, fellow students, boyfriends.  My formative years involved watching teenage boys smoke bongs, play Frisbee and cribbage, hit each other over the head with pool cues, and strangle each other, so that’s where I get a lot of my Three Stooges slapstick stuff from.  Men have an odd way of showing affection and that’s one of my themes throughout all of my books.