And now it's time for a second trip to Breathless Monday with the delicious new title by Raven ShadowHawk. This one just might find itself on my to be read list...
Author Interview Questions for Erzabet’s Enchantments
1. How did you start writing erotic romance?
If I’m honest, completely by accident. At once point I though erotica was utterly separate from romance and then figured out that erotic romance is actually a thing. I never considered myself to be a writer of romance in any form, then I looked at some of the stuff falling from my brain onto the screen and realized that’s exactly what it was.
The first piece of writing I recognized as erotic romance is the story that eventually became Vicki & Lara, one of my independently published short stories. I had pretty much romanticized one of my own encounters and embellished it to be far more sweet than the reality (though the reality was damn good too). And only after reading it back did I realize that it really was romantic in a sweet, and totally awkward sort of way.
2. Plotter or pantster?
Plan-ster! I plot enough to give myself a vague outline of where I want to end up and then fill in the middle as I go. Think about it as walking to the shops. You know where you’re going and what’s on the way, but you haven’t decided exactly what streets to take. Or if you’ll cycle instead of walk. Hell, you may even take a car, but the end of the journey is the same. My writing is kinda like that these days.
3. What are three things you have on your writing desk?
Just three? O.o Okay sensible answer: a biro with four colours, a note book and my desktop computer. Not-so-sensible answer: an empty packet of crisps, two mugs of abandoned tea and a lottery ticket I’m too scared to check.
4. Favorite food?
Damn it. Such a simple question and yet really hard to answer. Ugh. Erm… okay, this is a bit of a cheat, but it’s the most honest: anything cooked by my mum. Anything. Hell, I don’t even like cabbage, but when she cooks it, it just tastes good. No idea how she does that.
5. Tell us a little about your new release. What character in the book really spoke to you?
My latest release is Sugar Dust, first in the Slippers & Chains series. It follows Karen Owusu and Daniel Scotney the ups and downs of their BDSM relationship with focuses most on the D/s aspect. It’s kinda like a soap, but funnier and with more sex. O.o Imagine Fifty Shades, mixed with Friends, coated in Eastenders (for UK readers, not sure what the US equivalent is!) and you’ve got Slippers & Chains. It takes the simple and the mundane and makes it both funny (I hope) and interesting (I really hope) while exploring the different relationships surrounding one loving couple.
The character that spoke to me most I think has to be Cindy. She’s really just a bit-part in this novella, but I modelled her a little on an old friend of mine. She’s so vulgar and forthright, and yet quite tender. She manages to hide the tenderness really well beneath her exterior of thinly veiled violence and sass, but it’s clear that she loves her friend and housemate Karen. That relationship (aside from Dan and Karen) has to be my absolute favourite.
6. I write because ____
…I’d probably explode if I didn’t. All these ideas, these questions, these ‘what if’ scenarios. I first started writing because I wanted to read stories that didn’t yet exist. Now I want other people to know these stories can exist. It’s also important to me to explore different things I learn about human nature, sexuality and friendship and I think all of my writings reflect this in some degree.
7. What is your favorite type of character to write about?
Submissives, funnily enough. I like to get into their headspace. I don’t (personally) think it’s healthy for people to assume that someone who prefers to be sexually submissive is emotionally damaged or unwell in anyway. Certainly that may be the case for some people, just as it could be for any sexual preference, but I like to dwell on why people submit. What drives them to give themselves over, in any form, to the control of another human being. This idea is explored a lot more in Second Base, which is the second in the Slippers & Chains series.
8. What is the sexiest scene you ever wrote?
In this book? It has to be the scene in which Dan inserts a vibrating egg into Karen then tells her to go off and work. It’s a very short scene and not particularly explicit, but the tension is what makes it. The pair of them are so clearly into each other and the power-exchange feeds off that. Dan clearly loves the fact that Karen wants to give herself to him and Karen couldn’t be happier to do so. I feel that the act of submission, in of itself, can be very sexy. Then of course you know, as a reader, that Karen has to work on her PhD knowing that Dan could switch on the egg at any moment. Or that he could choose to leave it off. The mind games… now that’s sexy.
9. What advice would you give new authors in the erotica/romance field?
Don’t hold back and be careful what advice you accept. Heh. I realise that’s a bit rich but hear me out. Erotica and/or romance is very personal. Accept, right from the start that not everybody is going to like what you write. Once you’ve done that, it’s easy to write for the people who do enjoy your pennings and you’ll be far freer to write about what turns you on. I think that’s key: write the stuff that makes you want to cross your legs, or take a cold shower and (so long as you’re not breaking any laws) readers will flock to you because it’s real. Don’t follow trends, don’t write to a market, write what you feel and the rest will come.
10. What is next on your writerly horizon?
I need to finish the rest of the Slippers & Chains series first, but once I’m done with that I’ll hopefully be working on a collaboration with my ‘other half’ Ileandra Young. Paranormal erotica I suppose with less of an angle toward the romance and more toward the action in which the sexual shenanigans take place. Not sure when that will come to pass, but it will. You have my promise on that. ^_^
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Thirty-*mumbles* year old Raven ShadowHawk lives in Leicester (UK) with her twin sons (Sprog1 andSprog2), her partner (The Funk Master) and a stubbornly barren dwarf lemon tree.
She turned to writing erotica when she realized that many of the stories told by her friends were just too good not to share (and after realizing, after seven years, that working in finance was far too boring and far too comfortable a career to maintain forever).
Raven’s unique humor, sauciness, well observed realism and unforgiving sass, gives her a brand of erotica she calls Smut With Brains.
Under the series title ‘Meeting Each Other,’ Raven has released a mini series of six short stories through her imprint Little Vamp Press. Future projects include fantasy and/or horror based collaborative efforts with her ‘other half’ Ileandra Young.
Dan loves submissive women and longs to build a harem of willing females to fill what he lovingly calls his ‘Slave Library.’ He shares his plans for sexual bliss with Karen, the first of his submissives in both his mind and his heart. But when an unexpected visit from his mother leads to uncomfortable questions about his ex, Dan realizes that past mistakes are catching up to him, faster than he can run.
The first D/s relationship to blend comfortably with her vanilla life is the one Karen shares with Dan. She treasures the freedom in the act of submission and wants nothing more than to share it with her Master for as long as possible. Why then, does he insist on bringing other women into their beds? And why can’t he say he loves her?
As Dan battles his inner demons, Karen hopes a sexy mini break at the exclusive fetish club, Sugar Dust will allow them time to relax and reconnect. There she meets Beth, personification of Dan’s past storming in to demolish her present. Can she show Dan that their relationship is strong enough to break the chains of his past, before Beth drives an immoveable wedge between them with her tales of what once was?
"Master," she ground her thighs together and shuddered. "Please, no."
"You know I can't concentrate while wearing that thing."
His gleeful expression said he knew full well. He held it out without saying a word.
Karen took the bullet. Her lips twitched, but the part of her mind able to resist the order had already stepped aside. Karen saw the gleam in Dan's eyes and the quiet expectation that came from his dominant self. He wasn't asking, he was telling, and that, more than anything else, spoke to parts of Karen's anatomy that quickly wrested control from her rational head. Even his voice changed and plucked the strings of submission within her as surely as a musician manipulates a violin. She became a tool, just like a musical instrument, ready to be pulled, stroked, and plucked at a moment's notice.
"Now?" she whispered.
"Right now and until we get to Sugar Dust."
She glanced at the wall clock. "It's barely midday."
He raised an eyebrow at her.
"But your mum—"
"What about her?" Dan "The Dom" wavered. "I don't want to talk about her right now. This is about us. Just us. You wear that bullet and we'll talk. You can even do some uni work."
Karen bit her lip.
"Come on. Just open your legs. Slip it in. Remember last time? I kept you on the edge for a whole hour. Quivering. Begging. Creaming all over my hands. Fucking beautiful. Remember?" Dan "The Dom" snapped back into place and held firm. He shoved a hand down the front of his waistband in a deliberate provocative display. As his fingers worked, his breathing hitched, and Karen realized then that he was copying her.
"You were hogtied while I sucked your beautiful tits and whipped your fantastic ass. You exploded afterwards," he added, still grinning. "On the sheets. The pillow. My face. Never took you for a squirter, Kaz."
The memory made her squirm. More shivers rippled over her skin until she could almost feel the ropes about her wrists and ankles once more. "I'm sorry, Sir."
"No, it was good. I want to see you do it again. You taste amazing."
Still gnawing her lip, she plucked the bullet from his hands and unfastened her jeans. She let them fall, stepped free, and pulled the front of her panties forward.
"Slow down, Kaz. I want to help." He took it back. "Arms up, please. And stand near the wall."
The bite in his voice acted like a cattle prod. Karen snapped to attention and, never once breaking eye contact, she lifted her hands and linked them behind her head, backing toward the hallway wall.
The praise brought a grin to her lips, and she tilted her hips toward him as he traced one finger over the top of her underwear. She watched him bend down, lifting her vest just high enough to tongue her belly button on the way. The hot moisture of his tongue traveled down, leaving a wet trail in its wake. She shivered, locked her knees and pressed her hips forward, to invite the touch of his strong, confident hands. Slow, teasing, he tucked his fingers into the waistband and pulled them down. Karen felt the fabric catch on her backside before sliding down as far as her knees.
"Open." His voice cracked like a whip, making her jump, just like she might beneath the lash of physical one.
Awareness of every extremity made her lightheaded. The tip of each finger, the end of every toe, each inch of skin buzzing, prickling, tickling beneath the intensity of his gaze.
At once she spread her legs, wide enough to stretch the panties between her knees and hold them there.
"Very good." Dan crouched in front of her, bullet still clasped in one hand. His gaze traveled over her exposed pussy, so intense she could almost feel it. "Wet already? Naughty girl."
"It's your fault."
"Is it?" He touched her thigh with the tip of his finger and traced a path that felt very much like his name. The contact made muscles low in her stomach clench.
"You say that like you don't enjoy it." The finger stroked higher, stopping an agonizing inch away from the curls of dark pubic hair. "Should I stop?"
The answer was yes, she knew that, but as his finger stroked slow circles on her inner thigh Karen could no longer remember why. "No."
"Okay then." The finger pushed up, sliding past her outer lips with no effort at all and sinking into Karen's body as far as the second knuckle.
She grunted, steadied her knees, and took several deep breaths. His calm possession of her body rubbed clean the frustration of moments ago. The anger of the night before. If only he could touch her like this all the time, lay claim to her body with a whispered word, a gesture, a glance. It invigorated her and gave her something that no other part of her life allowed: absolute freedom.