I found Smashwords after doing a relatively thorough search into whatever I could find on e-publishing. I had already understood the model of licensing my creative work, from both the board game world as well as in my agreements with House of Erotica Books. However, I was looking for an e-publishing platform and distribution system because I was getting a lot of requests from folks that had already read my work to provide more stories with my flagship characters and my own experiences--and I just didn't want to wait for that "perfect" submission request or that "unique" print publisher. I'm having too much fun to wait!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
You may have heard that one ought to write "for oneself." This is certainly true: I love watching my characters grow and develop, and it is a passion of mine to imbue meaning and power into my stories--things that only I can conceptualize yet only I can translate. However, I recognize in my own writing style and approach that I also love to see a concept resonate in someone who has read what I have written. It's a way that I can have a "shared sacred experience" with someone else; yes, the idea came from my mind and has reached someone else's, but now we both share that idea. To me, that's the secret enjoyment under the surface of things.
What do your fans mean to you?
They're my mirrors: I see myself in them, but I also have a burning desire to reach out to them and pull out of them what they want to read (but may not know it at the time). They're my voice: I want desperately to hear from them, since the feedback, questions, and comments that they become are like my own thoughts. When I know what someone wants to read about, I am far more likely to pour my imagination and enthusiasm into my writing, exciting me in the process.
What are you working on next?
Currently I am hoping to launch three characters, three heroines who are as alluring as they are brilliant, as sensual as they are visionary, and as captivating as they are courageous. The insightful Emily Thorpe with her sensitivity to the supernatural, the genius of Juliette LaBeau and her entrepreneurial spirit, and the dashing but dangerous Countess Tabitha Covington on the bridge of her airship--these are the women that I want to put forward as the new voices of fantasy erotica.
Who are your favorite authors?
JRR Tolkien reigns supreme among whomever else I mention, but there are many still worthy of note: Roger Zelazny, H.P. Lovecraft, Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, Iain Pears, George R.R. Martin.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wonderful polyamorous family and our children, the hope and joy I feel every day in the little moments of life. Telling stories is certainly a draw, and indeed erotica has a special nuance of fun: but the stuff and pith of life is found in the presence of being, and not on the face of a clock or the numbers on a scoreboard.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am full-time employed by a state department of education, and I run a small team of dedicated professionals that provide various services within the world of educator certification and preparation. I derive a great deal of satisfaction from my job, but I know that my life, as anyone else's, is multi-dimensional, and a creative side must be cultivated as a key to life. Outside of this time and writing, I am happy to build my family of five adults and six children.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Typically I search for them on a site such as Amazon: but lately I am finding the value of Twitter, as I have now followed several interesting and trending authors. I confess I am much more a writer as I am a reader, so it helps having some voracious readers in my family--I typically take recommendations for reading materials from them.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I do; it must have been in seventh grade, when I finally cracked open a certain curious book that had been given to me by a relative some Christmases before, and had been stored in a closet untouched. That book was the Player's Handbook to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and it took my imagination hostage and never let it go. I recall that a story I wrote for a middle school short story contest about a group of Dwarves on a mission (I did mention JRR Tolkien, didn't I, in an earlier question?) later formed the basis for a set of "adventure modules" that I typed up on my father's expensive IBM Selectric Typewriter, bound with red Duo-Tang three-ring paper covers.
What is your writing process?
A field in my mind's eye left fallow, and many measures of patience in the harvesting. Most often I find myself putting a thought away, in a drawer, until some later time when the drawer bursts open fully of its own accord, filling me with a sense of urgent inspiration. I honestly don't have any other writing process, except to say that when I feel I can carry that inspiration to the fullest, my Friday afternoons, Saturday mornings, and Sunday afternoons are spent trying to make some sort of translated sense of the thoughts!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.