Interview with Opal Carew

Published 2018-07-06.
What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
I love the emotion. I love sharing in the characters’ journey to find love. And I love the happy ending.
What made you decide to write erotic romance?
When I first started writing, I tried a lot of different genres, including sci fi and fantasy. I quickly found that romance is what I enjoyed writing most. Since intimacy is a major part of a romantic relationship, love scenes were a big part of the stories I wrote, and I found I really enjoyed writing them. The characters are so open and vulnerable during those intimate encounters.

At that time, I was trying to write category romance and I found that even though I was targeting the spiciest lines, I had to hold back. When erotic romances started becoming popular, it seemed a natural direction for me to go.

I’ve always been one who likes to push boundaries and I like the fact that writing erotic romance allows me to do that. I especially like having my characters break through the need for other people’s approval on their journey to find happiness.
Some people are afraid to try erotic romance because they think that it’s not for them based on the sexual content, but your books have a strong, well-written storyline. What would you say to readers to get them to try out the genre?
An erotic romance is first and foremost a love story. The story is driven by a sexual premise, but the characters are still struggling with strong emotional issues and trying to find love.

When I write a scene with characters having sex, I strip them down (in more ways than one), opening them up to show them at their most vulnerable. You can see their desires, their hopes, and their fears in a very raw state. I find that exciting, and often very poignant.
What is your favorite scenario to write about and why?
One of my favourite scenarios is where an authoritative male—or two or three—takes control, hopefully with a pair of handcuffs. What I love most about that is that the strong, virile guys sweep the heroine off her feet, but it’s very clear that it is the heroine who is in total control.

I also love very poignant tales where a strong, protective and sensitive hero helps the heroine face fears she has as a result of a huge trauma. In Dirty Talk, for instance, the heroine, Sonny, has a debilitating fear of men, and Tal is a scary looking tattooed bad-ass with painful issue in his past. With great sensitivity, understanding, and tenderness, Tal helps Sonny past her fear so she can become whole again.
I like that your characters really push themselves to confront and conquer their fears. Is that a situation that you’ve found yourself having to do? What is your typical method of attack when you find yourself faced with one of your fears?
I believe we all have challenges in our lives to overcome. We want to grow and thrive, but situations from our past—traumas that have left us fearful of certain situations—can hold us back.

Just like the characters in books, if we want to achieve our goals, we need to push past these fears. Whenever I find myself striving to achieve something and making no headway, I look at what I’m doing and how I might be self-sabotaging. I sit down and think about what might be holding me back. It could be that I fear failure, or success, that I believe I don’t deserve the goal, that I’m too weak, that I don’t work hard enough, that I’m not smart enough, etc.

Once I determine what it might be, I go to a list of possible methods to help counteract the fear. Meditation, left-hand writing (a technique to draw on the right brain to draw out the subconscious beliefs), talking to someone who knows me well and knows about energy healing, affirmations, and many others.

I have taken many workshops and worked with a holistic healer for many years to help release blocks to my success and happiness. I think this is why I love writing so much. I take my characters through the growth they need to make in order to find love. In my books, a major part of that path is healing attitudes about sexuality. Dirty Talk is a good example of this.
According to the old saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” What has made you stronger?
I would say my husband and my kids. Not that they would try to kill me! LOL

I say my kids because when you have children, you draw on your inner strength to protect them and help them grow, but also for them I want to be the best I can possibly be. That goes for my husband, too, but also being with him makes me stronger because of the support and encouragement he gives me, and the fact that he believes in me so deeply.

Less than a year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer, and that experience has definitely made me stronger. It kicked me in the butt to make major lifestyle changes to get healthier, including losing weight. After surgery, the cancer has been eliminated, and because of the changes I’ve made, I’ve lost over 60 lbs and will continue to slim down until I reach my goal weight. Now I feel better, I look better, and I have more energy!
I love your “list of 20” process that you mention on your website. Can you explain it to our readers? How often do you use a concept you’ve thought up after your “easy” ones?
This was an idea I’ve heard at many writing workshops. I think I heard it originally from Jo Beverley at our local writing chapter (when she lived in Ottawa).

I use the list of 20 when I’m stuck on a scene (or any idea, really). The idea is to sit down and list 20 ideas or directions you can go. What I find is that this helps to de-clutter the brain from the more straightforward ideas clunking around in there. You list the obvious ideas, then you have to push yourself. I usually find I first get stuck after about 7 ideas. After some time, I can usually continue for another 7 or 8, then I really get stuck. It’s important to push through to the end, though, because you’re forcing yourself to dig deep. Finally, I seem to break through some kind of barrier and the really original ideas come.

How often do I use a concept after the “easy” ones? All the time. It’s always one of the last few I use.
Considering how unique each of your characters are, what methods did you use to distinguish each one to keep them that way?
I create very simple charts to track specific character attributes and appearance, but mostly their personalities evolve naturally from the main issue each one needs to grow through during the course of the book.
What do you find sexy in a man? How about a woman?
With my husband, it’s the look of absolute love in his eyes when he looks at me. With men in general, it’s when you get a sense of absolute strength and confidence, mixed with sensitivity, and protectiveness. With a woman, it’s someone who is comfortable with her body and has confidence in who she is, paired with a strong sensuality.
Who is the sexiest hero in literature? Heroine? Couple? Why?
For the hero, I can’t help thinking Hercules and Sinbad. Hercules because of his strength and sensitivity, Sinbad because of his great adventures and the perils he confronted.

For the heroine, I think Scheherazade ( She was beautiful, brave, and took action to save many innocent young women from the king who would kill them.
Besides writing, what do you do with your free time?
I used to say:” Free time? What’s that?” ☺

But after being diagnosed with cancer, I now understand how important it is to take time for myself. I allowed myself to be overloaded by work for far too long. Now that I’ve recovered from my illness, I ensure I free up time to de-stress on a regular basis.

I’ve taken up drawing and colouring which is relaxing and feeds my creative spirit. My husband and I like to play board games, as do my sons. I’m not talking kids’ games. We like complex strategy games, sometimes based on economics, sometimes based on politics, and sometimes saving the world from global threats. (There’s nothing like working together as a family to save the world!) Okay, sometimes we just play games that involve growing crops and sheep, looping through time, or flying hot air balloons. As long as it’s fun and we’re together. ☺
What three things can’t you live without?
My husband, my kids, and my cats, in no particular order, unless my husband is reading this.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Latest books by This Author

Mastered by the Genie
Series: Mastered By, #7. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,620. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2021 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Celeste is sure it’s her lucky day when a powerful and sinfully sexy genie appears. But Zurvan is more interested in what he wants than granting her wishes. And what he wants is her! Mastered by the Genie is a fantasy romance which has been called “NOT your average genie story”, “highly original”, and “unique and refreshing”. Buy this sexy, enchantingly poignant story of everlasting love today!
Plus Three
Series: Three, #4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,330. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2019 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
She's in love with the perfect man, but can't stop fantasizing about his sexy triplet brothers. Plus Three is the fourth book in Opal Carew’s steamy Three series. If you love stories with edgy sexual scenarios (such as menage with four men and one woman) that are still poignant and inspiring stories of true love, you'll want to grab this book.
Illicit Mate
Series: Abducted, #4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 30,360. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2018 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » General
In Illicit Mate, the fourth book in Opal Carew’s exciting sci-fi romance series, Abducted, get ready for a relationship that will rock the lives of three wounded souls and take you on a journey that will open your mind to the depth of true and everlasting love. Buy this book to continue the exciting series today!
Series: Penthouse Pleasures, #4. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 45,180. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2018 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Elle distrusts love and relationships. Avi wants to fall in love and get married. Can he help her past her trauma so she can see how right they are together? From New York Times bestselling authors Opal Carew, Jayne Rylon, and Avery Aster comes the fourth sizzling story in the Penthouse Pleasures series. (Note: The heroine is in her mid-20s & this story includes the short audio she listens to.)
Rebel Mate
Series: Abducted, #3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,740. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2018 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Rebel Mate is the third book in Opal Carew’s exciting sci-fi romance series, Abducted. If you enjoy an intense, sexy love story with an adventurous take-charge woman and the man determined to prove to her that giving in to love doesn’t mean giving up her freedom, then you’ll love this book! Buy this book to continue the exciting series today!
Unwilling Mate
Series: Abducted, #2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,900. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2018 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Unwilling Mate is the second book in Opal Carew’s sexy sci-fi romance series, Abducted. If you love poignant stories about a woman struggling with her past traumas and a patient loving man willing to do whatever it takes to win her heart, then this story is definitely for you! Buy this sexy, heart-rending sci-fi romance today and get ready for a wild ride!
Forbidden Mate
Series: Abducted, #1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,520. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2018 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Forbidden Mate is the first book in Opal Carew’s sexy sci-fi romance series, Abducted. If you love stories with a captivity theme that lead to passion and everlasting love, then you’ll love every story in the Abducted series. Buy this passionate and sexy sci-fi romance today for some serious heat!
Owned by the Sheikh
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 87,860. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2018 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
This trilogy of steamy captivity-themed romances feature bold, dominating sheikhs and the strong-willed woman who are at their mercy. If you love red-hot sex, dominating alpha sheikh heroes, and captivating love stories, then you'll adore this collection which includes Mastered by the Sheikh, Debt of Honor, and Slaves of Love. Buy this exciting, sizzling set of sexy erotic sheikh romances today!
Stacy and Her Dad's Best Friend, Collection 2
Series: Stacy and Her Dad's Best Friend Collection, #2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,140. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2018 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Erotica » Romance
Stacy and Her Dad’s Best Friend, Collection 2 contains the third and fourth stories in the series. If you love sizzling stories of forbidden love between a younger woman and older man, especially with a touch of discipline, then this series if just what you’re looking for! Buy Stacy and Her Dad’s Best Friend, Collection 2 today and enjoy a totally satisfying erotic adventure!
Stacy's First Menage
Series: Stacy and Her Dad's Best Friend, #4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 9,950. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2018 by Opal Carew. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Erotica » Romance
I’ve been living and sleeping with my dad’s best friend, Ray. But when his best friend came to stay, Jake and I had a totally hot encounter. I knew I needed to tell Ray about it. And I expected him to be mad. Maybe even punish me. What I didn’t expect was that he’d get super turned on and… well, make a suggestion about something exciting that he, Jake and I could do together.
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