Interview with Hedonist Six

What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest release, At First Sight (just out on Amazon this week), is a short story about a couple who met online.The reader gets to follow Alice and Scott as they hope to meet for the first time on Christmas Day at Heathrow Airport. Both are heavily invested in the relationship and although they've seen pictures of each other, they never video chatted so there is still a bit of a risk that perhaps all is not as it seems.

I'm fascinated by the topic because at one point a decade ago, I was in Alice's position, stood at the airport more nervous than I'd ever been. Skype didn't exist yet, so my relationship with my then-boyfriend existed purely in black & white on a computer screen with the odd photograph sent back and forth, though it was all completely naive and innocent. Oh and I really love watching Catfish on MTV.
When did you first start writing?
If I had answered this last year, I would've said only recently and I would've been wrong.
The issue is, I'm very present-focused; the past doesn't mean much to me, so I've forgotten a lot of it.

I started writing pretty much the moment I learnt how to. I can recall one particular story which I wrote on copier paper using colour pencil (with illustrations) about an adventure I had with my butler(?!) and my pet velociraptor. Of course at the time I didn't know how to spell velociraptor (I barely do now, had to look it up), but that didn't stop me from writing the story and stapling the pages together like a little booklet. That's my first writing memory and after that I don't remember too much. I do believe there was a comic book collaboration with a cousin at one point but those memories are very vague. Then as a hormonal and fairly tragic teenager I remember dabbling in fanfiction so embarrassing I'm not willing to elaborate on it any further.
I didn't seriously write fiction until the summer of 2012, though I've tried my hand at blogging before and the odd (beginning of a) short story here or there.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Unexpectedly perhaps, I consider myself somewhat of a late adopter of ereading as a concept. Of course I knew about it already, but didn't think it was for me. Then last summer, around a month or so after getting a new smart phone I discovered the usefulness of Kindle for Android, which kept me busy for many months after that. The two main downsides I found were battery life and glare, so I bought a very basic kindle not too long ago. I did look into other ereaders, but enjoyed the ability of emailing documents to all my devices, plus my library on amazon was already developing nicely.
What is your writing process?
My process is probably one of the main things I should work on. I started off without having much of a process at all, but recently I've tried to create outlines because with all the stuff I get up to at once, it would be impossible to remember story ideas and "pantsing" totally.

So here's what I've been working towards in terms of process:
1. I get an idea, sometimes as small as just a character or a scene or a line of dialogue and I think it over for a while.
2. Taking notes: as many of them as I can manage, character profiles, essential scenes, ideally an ending.
3. I've tried to get away from thinking of a whole story as "this is what happens" and instead thinking more in terms of scenes. If I cut it up into scenes, it allows me to write them on post-it notes and decide on what order they should happen in later. I know, I know, I could simply use a software for that and it'd be easier to shuffle things around but for some reason I find it easier to "think" on actual paper..
4. Write.
5. Write!
6. Stop looking at Facebook!
7. Write... often skipping sex scenes or other things which are slowing me down and require more thought.
(8. Give up and start at step 1. for new idea)
(9. Give up on new idea and read through existing parts of older story)
10. Finish (filling in any blanks I've left) and get an extra set of eyes on it.
11. Sit on the story for a while before going back and looking at it with a critical eye to decide if I'm happy with how it turned out.
12. Edits, etc.

Cover design might happen at any step in the process, depending on whether I have a pressing idea for it. I'm pretty sure the above isn't ideal, especially the steps in brackets which I'd like to get away from but can't in all honesty leave them out or my answer would be incomplete.
How do you approach cover design?
Covers can be a lot of fun and they can also be a huge distraction. Sometimes I have an idea for a cover before I start a new story, sometimes I have to really work on it. Lately, I've had situations where halfway through a project I get an idea and feel restless until I design the cover, thus distracting me from writing and making it even less likely that the story will get finished any time soon.

The overwhelming advice for indies seems to be: get covers done professionally. I support this idea, but at the same time feel like my "previous life" as a freelance web designer gives me a leg up. I may try outsourcing covers in future but I'm certain I'd miss not getting to play with pretty pictures anymore.
Describe your desk
In short: a war zone. There is paper everywhere, half finished work, notebooks, pens, a snack is usually not too far away and there has to be a tea stained mug as well.. It's no wonder I feel a huge sense of relief when I finish a story, because the inside of my head often feels as chaotic as my desk looks. I get distracted extremely easily and find it hard to sit down and finish one thing before moving on to the next.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Of writing? Typing "the end". It's a similar sense of accomplishment one gets when completing a painting or a sculpture. Writing a story or a book and seeing it, whether as a paperback or even an ebook, is the point when I feel like I've really done something. It's a high when the actual writing often feels like a struggle between what's in my head and getting the right words out.

I get the most joy out of the associated activities: daydreaming, coming up with the story and spending hours just thinking about it. It turns into a close relationship, I start to really care for the characters and share them with other people. Once the writing is done, feedback is another source of joy. I love to hear from readers and find out whether they've seen what I see or felt what I have.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Without readers, I would still come up with stories and daydream about them, but I'd lose a lot of motivation to record these thoughts. Coming into this, I didn't expect to get fans, I didn't think anybody would read my work, but the feedback I've received so far has been such a pleasant surprise. It's the perfect fuel to try harder and write better and actually finish projects rather than just start them.
Published 2013-12-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Chance Encounters: The Collection
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 104,240. Language: British English. Published: March 5, 2017 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Romance » New adult
Chance Encounters is a series of stand-alone novellas set in jolly old England, following a set of loosely connected people as they find love in unexpected places. Can love conquer all, from class differences to age gaps? Read on and find out.
Beautiful Stranger (A Sexy Older Man / Younger Woman Romance)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 39,390. Language: British English. Published: February 4, 2017 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Twenty-four-year-old Claudia has always been the sensible one; flash and extravagant are not part of her vocabulary. Peter could not be more different. Older, established, and unapologetically middle class; he's used to enjoying the finer things in life. What starts as a chance meeting with Claudia on the worst day of his life develops into one night of passion. But that's all, surely?
Only a Taste (A Sexy Multicultural/British Indian Romance)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,930. Language: British English. Published: July 31, 2015 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
When Mandi (Mandeep Grewal) is forced to move back in with her conservative parents, she's preparing to say goodbye to all the freedoms she's enjoyed so far: no curfews, no questions, and the freedom to date or hang out with whoever she wants. She spends her last night of independence with Callum, whom she has only just met.Sparks fly almost immediately. Can she let him go?
Gratis : Summer Fling
Series: Gratis Anthologies, Book 4. Price: Free! Words: 84,240. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2015 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Erotica Anthologies, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
In this fourth and final installment of the free of charge Gratis Anthologies, you'll again find a variety of erotic literature by seven authors well versed in their genre. From BDSM to romantic erotica, we're sure you'll find something to your taste in this collection.
One Night Stand (A Sexy Geek / Biker Romance)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,890. Language: British English. Published: February 28, 2015 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A one night stand with George - the tall, husky biker whose rough exterior hides a gentler side - changes everything. Lucy’s usual approach doesn’t work anymore: come morning, she doesn’t want to say goodbye. Perhaps it’s time to let someone into her life for more than just one night?
Sally
Series: Newtowne. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,730. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 14, 2015 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Sally is a self-confessed player and party girl. Her life revolves around fun nights out, casual encounters and no emotional attachments other than with her best friend and colleague, Becky. When she is faced with a ghost from her past – Gareth – all the walls she’s carefully constructed around herself fall apart, revealing old wounds she thought had healed a long time ago.
Gratis : Transformation
Series: Gratis Anthologies, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 78,790. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2014 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Erotica Anthologies, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
Gratis : Transformation, the third of the well received free-of-charge erotic short story collections in the Gratis Anthologies series, is set to be the autumn release of 2014! Themes include BDSM, Romantic Erotica, F/F, straight, paranormal, etc.
The Rebound List
Series: Newtowne. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 48,640. Language: British English. Published: July 27, 2014 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
What would you do to celebrate your freedom after your first serious relationship breaks down?After nearly four years with Jeff, everything fell apart. I found myself single, scared, but somehow liberated as well. Rather than stumble into another ill advised relationship, my best friend Sally helped me find focus. I would spend the next few months “finding myself” sexually.
Gratis : New Beginnings
Series: Gratis Anthologies, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 74,590. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2014 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Erotica Anthologies, Fiction » Erotica » Literary Erotica
(4.00)
Spring is a time perfect for falling in love or lust and the ten authors of Gratis: New Beginnings are keen to sweep you up in their erotic fantasies. This collection contains stories by Erzabet Bishop, M.J. Carey, KM Dylan, Jason Jaxx, Kay Jaybee, Livilla Sanders, Hedonist Six, Molly Synthia, Chloe Thurlow and Elizabeth Woodham. Themes include: Lesbian, BDSM, Romance
The Rebound List: Virgin
Series: Newtowne. Price: Free! Words: 14,430. Language: British English. Published: February 10, 2014 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
This is a FREE sample of The Rebound List; a Steamy Women's Fiction Novel by Hedonist Six. After nearly four years with Jeff, everything fell apart. I found myself single, scared, but somehow liberated as well. Rather than stumble into another ill advised relationship, my best friend Sally helped me find focus. I would spend the next few months “finding myself” sexually.
Gratis : Midwinter Tales
Series: Gratis Anthologies, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 75,530. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2013 by WriteHit. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Erotica Anthologies, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Nine writers work together to create the must-read Free Holiday release of 2013. Every one of the twelve stories contained within Gratis : Midwinter Tales serves as a satisfying bite out of each author's repertoire, to tempt and seduce and sweep you off your feet. Our stories comfortably straddle both erotica and romance genres and cover a variety of themes.