Interview with Annabel Joseph

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up military, all over the place, and I never lived anywhere more than two or three years. In a way it was a lonely existence, since I was always losing my friends, but it forced me to live in my head a lot. I became very good at studying people and situations, and that's helped a lot in my writing for sure.
When did you first start writing?
As soon as I figured out how, I started writing! I remember my first "book" I made was this little four page deal about a grumpy worm. By the end of the book, the worm had cheered up and made a friend. Even back then, it seems I was drawn to Happily Ever After. I got serious about writing in college and took several creative writing classes, and was published in some literary magazines.

I've done it all: poetry, short stories, plays, screenwriting, and finally full length novels. I think I finished the first one of those when I was in my 30s.
What's the story behind your latest series, Waking Kiss and Fever Dream?
With Waking Kiss, I started with three characters in my mind: a really damaged ballerina, a playboy, and a hotheaded Brazilian superstar dancer. I wanted to explore the ways people can change each other, and the way two wrongs can sometimes make a right. I loved my Brazilian character so much I decided he needed his own story, and that became Fever Dream.

I love to write about characters who are quirky and a little messed up. It's so much more interesting to me than writing characters who are perfect in every way. Because no one's like that!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Well, I started as an e-published author at Loose Id and Ellora's Cave, and I enjoyed that experience and learned a lot. But then I put a book up independently, just on a whim, and I was perhaps lucky in that it was a big seller. Since I'd found my audience, I chose the indie route for the greater royalties and the wonderful amount of control. With publishers, you have so little control over pricing, covers, timing, all those things. With indie publishing, you have all the control, but also all the responsibility to make your book work.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
What I like about Smashwords is that they take the legwork out of mass distribution. They distribute to places like Sony, Kobo, and the Apple store and take all that work off my plate. It helps me focus on the writing rather than the distribution side of things.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For sure, the greatest joy is being able to touch people, to affect them emotionally, to inspire them, to give them new dreams. When someone tells me that my book touched them in some way, I'm so happy. It makes everything worth while.
What do your fans mean to you?
They give me the energy to keep writing, and so often they inspire me with their own stories. I can think of four books off hand that were sparked by a reader's comments or inspirations. They are one of the main reasons I write.
What are you working on next?
My thoughts are all over the place. I'm not sure what's coming next! Something hawt and sexy, I hope.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Laura Kinsale. I think she's my favorite author of all time, because she's so creative and she creates such intense moments through plot. I like Flannery O'Connor for her originality, and because she makes me think about life. For kinky, sexy stuff I like Anneke Jacob, Molly Weatherfield, and the anthologies of Rachel Kramer Bussel.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My kids, my husband, my life, my writing. I have been so lucky to be able to do what I LOVE to do and make a living at it. I am determined to appreciate every second of this amazing life.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to read, walk, hike... I like to do very mindless things, because in the back of my mind I'm always working on a story. My brain doesn't want anything too complex or challenging. Just words, and more words!
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

To Tame A Countess
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Series: Properly Spanked. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,150. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Regency
Lord Warren is making little progress in taming his wild countess. But her wildness pleases him in the bedroom, where they spend hours at uninhibited play, fulfilling licentious and carnal lusts. While Josephine struggles to understand her feelings toward her authoritative husband, Warren must decide if having a tame wife is worth the anguish of damaging her already vulnerable heart.
Training Lady Townsend
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Series: Properly Spanked, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,340. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Regency
Aurelia has been promised in marriage to the Marquess of Townsend since she was four and he was fourteen. Unfortunately, she grew up into a pillar of propriety while her betrothed grew up into a renowned rake. Of course, no one would expect such an unsuitable match to go forward…which is why they find themselves at a loss when circumstances force them to the altar and into each other’s arms.
Master's Flame
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Series: Cirque Masters, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,960. Language: English. Published: May 14, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
In the sexually charged world of Cirque du Monde, CEO Michel Lemaitre reigns as king of depravity. He finds himself drawn to tempestuous Valentina--known as the Flame of Napoli--even as he tries his hardest to resist her. He finally engages her in a one-month, no-holds-barred Master-slave relationship to prove their incompatibility. And that’s when the circus really begins...
Bound in Blue
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Series: Cirque Masters, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,330. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
At a small circus in Ulaanbaatar, a fearless trapezist fascinates talent scout Jason Beck. Sara’s thrilled to join Cirque du Monde, but her trapeze partner, Baat, is less cooperative. When tensions threaten the future of Sara and Baat’s act, she finds solace in a sexy, consuming Master/slave relationship with Jason. Soon they’re barreling toward deeper commitments, even love…
Fever Dream
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Series: BDSM Ballet, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 83,860. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Petra Hewitt’s the top ballerina in the world, and The Great Rubio her obvious counterpart, so why does she want to strangle him whenever he’s around? She knows he's dangerous to her heart, to her peace of mind, and worst of all, to her career, but his rough flirtation compels her. When she gets a chance to play with him at a BDSM party, their professional partnership takes a feverish left turn...
Waking Kiss
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Series: BDSM Ballet, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,350. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Ashleigh meets Liam, a lifestyle dominant, he awakens hidden desires she thought long lost. Liam pursues Ashleigh, but she has secrets—an abusive past and a crippling fear of intimacy that prevents her from connecting to anyone. Can Liam help Ashleigh defeat her demons? And what secrets does he hide behind his inscrutable amber gaze?
Disciplining the Duchess
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,750. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Historical/Regency
Over five seasons, Miss Harmony Barrett has managed to repel every gentleman of consequence and engineer a debacle at Almack’s so horrifying that her waltzing privileges are revoked. Enter the Duke of Courtland, a man known for his love of duty and decorum. Through a vexing series of events, he finds himself shackled to Miss Barrett in matrimony. Will the couple find their way to happiness?
Command Performance
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Series: Comfort, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 85,430. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Mason Cooke has it all: fame, wealth, and a successful film career--until tales of his kinky exploits break wide. To repair his image, he starts dating Miri Durand, a former child actress once known for her innocent grin and shiny curls. She's all grown up now, with nagging image problems of her own. Their relationship is only meant to be a PR scheme...until they realize they're falling in love.
Burn For You
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Series: Mephisto, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,640. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
When Molly loses her longtime Master, she feels lost, angry. Confused. She knows her Master intended her to go to his friend Mephisto next, but their history is a confusion of desire and fear in her mind. Mephisto wants to help Molly, but doesn’t want to force her into service she’s not sure she wants. As they untangle their feelings, it seems their tense standoff will only end one way…
Molly's Lips: Club Mephisto Retold
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Series: Mephisto, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 33,720. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
Mephisto agrees to look after a friend's slave for a week--but Molly is no ordinary slave. While providing a specialized program of training for her, he soon finds himself craving to possess her himself. Over the course of the week, he's also plagued by persistent questions. Is she happy being a 24/7 slave? Or is there another Molly trapped beneath her submissive, surrendered gaze?
Cirque de Minuit
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Series: Cirque Masters, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,830. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Kelsey, a novice acrobat, finds herself fascinated by Theo Zamora, a fellow performer at the Cirque. The mysterious, tortured aerialist twists her tentative offer of friendship into a depraved night she will always remember. Soon they are creating an act together, and they must trust one another as he leads her deeper and deeper into a dangerous world of control and desire.
Odalisque
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Series: Comfort, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,890. Language: English. Published: November 5, 2011. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
Where does a wealthy but lonely man turn after his marriage ends and he doesn't have the heart to go after love again? To Maison Odalisque, where he chooses a woman to live with him as his pleasure slave. The world stops when they are in one another's arms, but then reality starts to intrude into their haven of sexual bliss and they both must make difficult choices about life and love.
Comfort Object
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Series: Comfort, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,800. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2011. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
An out of work waitress agrees to become a high-profile actor's on-location "personal assistant," a position that comes with some very sensual and intimate responsibilities. But will the impersonal job develop into something deeper and more emotionally involved?
Caressa's Knees
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Series: Comfort, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 71,030. Language: English. Published: February 3, 2011. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
Kyle Winchell of Comfort Object re-locates to New York City to work at an agency catering to the needs of the rich and famous. He accepts a job as personal assistant to well-respected concert cellist Caressa Gallo, only to find she's not as respectable as she seems. Soon he's involved in a world of lust and dark inspiration, and emotional stakes beyond anything he's encountered before.
Club Mephisto
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Series: Mephisto, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,580. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2010. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
A slave living contentedly in a TPE relationship is entrusted to the owner of Club Mephisto for safekeeping when her Master must take a trip. Master Mephisto begins a week-long odyssey of exploration and training with the eager-to-learn slave. She is returned to her Master with a whole new perspective on service and the depths to which someone can submit. (contains strong BDSM content)
Cait and the Devil
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 67,110. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2010. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
Cait's life is turned upside down when she learns she's to be wed to a devilish Scottish earl, but they find they are better suited to one another than expected, her innocent submission the perfect complement to his dominant desires. But an unforeseen menace threatens...can the Devil protect his precious Cait? (contains BDSM/spanking content)
Mercy
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 73,890. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2010. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
Lucy, a dancer, begins a rigorous relationship with a rich patron of the company. He has her completely at his mercy with his erotic, creative requirements, and yet persistently holds her at arm's length. When things begin to unravel, will they grow closer or push each other further away? Will their strict arrangement ever find its way to romantic love? (contains BDSM themes)