1. Thank you for giving me the wonderful opportunity to interview you. Before we get started could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm a married mother of two, currently staying home with them, which is its own kind of work. I love to read, am a big fan of classic movies, and of course, a hockey fan.
2. How long have you been writing erotic stories, and what other genres do you write?
I have been writing for a couple of years now, pretty much just erotic stories although I've varied the genres a bit within that. I've written contemporary romances, some nonhuman stories featuring shapeshifters, witches and vampires, and a few "one-off" stories that could qualify as stroke stories. I have other stories in the works in other genres, including sci-fi, but just haven't had time to develop them.
3. When did you know that writing this genre was for you? Did it come to you naturally, or was it something that has held your interest?
For quite some time, like many people, I was pretty dismissive of romance writing. Not erotica specifically, although I suppose that came under the heading.
Probably the first break in that was editing a paper for a friend of mine when she was in grad school. She was writing a paper on romance novels, and what makes them successful, and that gave me some insight and nudged me to think that perhaps it wasn't all about ripping bodices and heaving bosoms. I still preferred sf/fantasy generally, but I also liked a romantic component to that, so moving to more "straight out" romance was no big deal, and surprisingly fun.
A few years ago, we relocated to
and I went online to search for free romance stories. The first site that popped up was Literotica. Once I got over my initial surprise/shock, I discovered there were a number of decent-to-good writers on there. After a while of reading, I guess my competitive gene got into gear and I wanted to see if I could do it. My first posted story was called "Make a Wish." I was fortunate to get extremely supportive feedback, and so I continued. Pennsylvania
4. How do your friends and families feel about your writing?
The ones who know are quite supportive. Since a lot of people are still easily shocked by explicit sex writing -- even though most of my works fall short of shocking, I think -- I've been selective about whom I tell.
The most important person, of course, was my husband. I was concerned about his reaction at first, as I didn't want him to think I was addressing any kind of void regarding our relationship. Once we were clear that this was a hobby, and a creative outlet, it was fine. I was nervous as he read my first stories, but he was encouraging and supportive, so I couldn't ask for more.
My parents know, and my dad is quite pleased, I think, both that I have a creative outlet and that I've had some success. Dad and I are both voracious readers -- I got that from him. He hasn't read any of my stories, but they aren't the genre he prefers. He's more into nonfiction. My mother has read a few, but is weirded out about her daughter writing sex scenes.
5. When you read other people’s stories, what are you looking for to keep you interested? Are you looking for the excitement, romance, comedy, or etc?
All of those things will help keep me going, and it depends on why I chose a story in the first place. If I'm in the mood for a light romance, a heavy sf story isn't going to cut it, and I'll just drop it.
Generally I want a story to make sense and stick to any rules the author has laid out. If the characters are well-developed and the plot is logical and well-paced, that's half the battle. Dialogue can be a turn off, although I think it's one of the hardest things to write. Frequently I find that authors are as formal with their dialogue as they are with their exposition, which makes their characters then seem very stiff.
I also like accuracy. I've blogged before that it's frustrating to read a story with factual mistakes, as I did with some hockey romances written by Rachel Gibson.
When I edited that paper for my friend in grad school, one of the "rules" for a successful romance story was an "intelligent and independent heroine." I've kept this as one my most important rules. I hate reading about a weak woman. And this is not to say she has to be in-your-face, or as tall as an Amazon or anything like that. But a woman who can think -- who can weigh her options and then make her decisions -- that goes a long way.
6. What other books have you written?
I have five e-books published through Republica Press.
First there's what I refer to as my "Tiger Series:" Exiled, Young Blood, and All Too Human. Then there is The Hunted Key. Finally, I recently published a compilation of hockey romances with Tamara Clarke, called Melting the Ice.
Aside from that, I have a number of stories posted on some free erotic stories site, including AfterDark-Online.
7. In a short synopsis, please tell us about your book (title of book)?
Exiled, the first novel-length story that I wrote and then published, is about a weretiger named Angela Griet. She has lost her ability to shift, which resulted in her being banished from her pack, and by her father, who was the pack leader. Despite her feelings of betrayal towards her family and her pack, when she overhears of a possible threat to them she sets out to warn her estranged father.
8. What inspired you to write your story (title of book )?
I'm not sure exactly what sparked it, but something gave me the idea of -- what if a were couldn't shift? I ended up with a more complex story than I expected or intended, with one antagonist in fact being duped by another.
Writing the story provided a lot of chances, though, to explore what feelings someone wrongly punished might feel, especially when one's parent did the punishing. That's something appealing about fantasy in general, and the nonhuman genre. You can explore themes in a way more easily because you are off the usual map of human feelings and emotions.
9. In the time that you have been writing erotic stories, what kind of characters do you always enjoy writing about? (the hero/heroine, dom/sub, or etc?)
I just like writing about people. And there's a difference, a different mindset, when moving from contemporary romance to a genre like nonhuman.
In nonhuman and other genres, you can go a little over the top, you can have your good guys and your bad guys, your chases and captures. Much like if you were writing a thriller, but now you have someone who can change forms, or perhaps a vampire who can move faster than a person can see. So in those books, you often have the couple united against a common enemy and coming together for that reason.
In contemporary romances, such as my hockey stories, you look at other things, like just how life in general might affect a relationship. Because really, people tend to have mundane problems like miscommunications, timing conflicts, things like that. In my first hockey romance, "Nothing Gets Through," the driving conflict is that the protagonist, Dom, is reluctant to open himself up to someone else, given his past. That's a whole different dynamic than in Young Blood, where a fugitive vampire prince teams up with a weretiger to take on a vampire queen.
10. When you’re creating a scene in your stories, how do you keep ideas fresh from other stories you’ve written?
Hopefully the basis of the story will mean that the scene itself is fresh. If you have different characters, they will interact differently than previous ones, and so that should make it easier for the writer. So I try not to always have a smart ass guy, or a quiet guy, or a feisty woman, or a shy one. Trying to mix it up is the fun as well as the difficult part of writing.
11. What advice would you give to other writers of erotica, especially to those that are starting out?
1. Just keep writing -- practice makes us all better.
2. Read, read, read. See what other authors do, not just with their sex scenes, but with their character and plot development. Look at them even for guides on punctuation; few things are more frustrating than reading a story that lacks basic punctuation or grammar.
3. Find an editor. This will take some time, likely, but will be worth it.
3a. Listen to your editor. Do not take offense, or put up a wall, because they suggest a change. As much as you love your characters and your words, you may be wrong. You may need to change them. Keep an open mind about it. An editor is there to help you improve and sometimes improving means radical change.
4. Also find a beta reader. This is someone who will read your rough draft for continuity, plot, etc., and not grammar issues. Do this before sending it to the editor.
12. Where can your books be purchased, and if you have a website, blog, or networking sites where can people follow you and your work?
My works are published and available through Republica Press (republicapress.com), but also available at Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, AllRomanceEbooks.com, and Bookstrand.com.
I blog -- or try to -- at http://evemcfadden.wordpress.com/.
I can also be found on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/evemcfadden.
The bedroom was large, and the bed looked inviting. Staring at the dark covers, Angela realized just how tired she was. Even if she could figure out a way to leave, she'd be too exhausted to get far. She'd be better to rest and examine her options in the morning.
"Here," Aidan said, pushing her gently toward the bathroom. "Everything you need is in there. Take your time. There's a toothbrush, towels, and a shirt to sleep in." He winked, teasing her, trying to lighten the mood. "If you want it."
Angela was about to argue with him, decided there was no point, and stepped into the bathroom. She washed away her makeup and felt slightly refreshed, then debated the shirt. Well, she couldn’t sleep in her dress, she decided. And she sure as hell wasn't going to sleep naked. So on went the shirt, which came down almost to mid-thigh. She wished it was longer, but it would have to do.
"That looks better on you than it ever did on me," Aidan told her when she reentered the bedroom. He'd stepped into the guest bathroom while she was in the master.
"Flattery will get you nowhere," Angela told him, trying to keep her voice steady. He was wearing boxers, and he was not unpleasant to look at. He was toned, and his muscles looked sleek. She remembered their few stolen moments years ago, and how safe and warm she had felt when he held her. It was difficult not to simply surrender to the Pull she felt, but she steeled herself. This was love, wasn't it? Sacrificing her happiness to keep him safe—that was because she loved him.
"Well, a guy can always try." He flashed a dangerous grin. She was as beautiful as he remembered, he thought. Maybe more so. He couldn’t wait to wrap his arms around her and pull her close to him in the bed.
"Aidan, we can't—"
"It's all right, my own angel," he said, using his old pet name for her. He stood up and once more reached for her hand. "Just come here and sleep. That's all. We'll talk more tomorrow." She took a tentative step towards him and suddenly Aidan slid his arms around her and nearly crushed her against him. Before she could protest, he kissed her. Her lips were soft and warm and when Aidan touched them gently with the tip of his tongue, they parted hesitantly.
Angela had faltered when he used his endearment, and again when their lips met. God, she had missed him. She hadn't even known how much until now. She'd dated a few times, but it had never been serious. No one else was like him, and even subconsciously, she'd known that and couldn't let things continue with anyone else. When his tongue touched hers, however, it jolted her back to reality and she pushed back so hard that he fell to the bed and she stumbled back to the bathroom doorway.
"Don’t," she choked out. "Please, don't. We can't." She hugged herself and shrank back further.
Aidan closed his eyes and took a deep breath. That had taken him by surprise as well. It was as though he couldn’t control his actions. "I'm sorry I scared you," he said. The fear in her eyes tore at him. "I'm not sorry I kissed you; I've wanted to do that for I can't remember how long."
She nodded but made no move to come to the bed.
"Angela, please, come here." She eyed him warily and moved around the foot of the bed to the other side. He fought the urge to grab her again. "Just lay down. I promise nothing will happen." She slid under the covers, staying as close to the edge as possible, her eyes never leaving his.
"I'm sorry," he said again, reaching over and stroking her cheek. He wanted to make the fear go away, but he wasn't sure how.
"It isn't your fault." Outside she was still, but inside she was frantic. This just could not happen. She wanted to cry in frustration from the opposing desires of her heart and her mind, not to mention her body. She sat up. "This is a bad idea, I should just go home."
"No." Aidan raised his voice just slightly and she clutched at the comforter, nervous at the dark expression on his face. Aidan closed his eyes and tried to get a handle on his emotions. Whatever was going on, she was terrified, and he had to remember that. Ordering her about was not going to gain her trust. But he couldn’t let her go. Neither of them would sleep for one thing. He knew that, and he knew it would hurt. His uncle and aunt had tried to deny the Pull when they felt it, and his uncle had told him how it felt as though something was tearing his heart out when they tried to get physically further away from each other.
"You know it will hurt, physically hurt, if you leave," he said. She nodded, her eyes downcast. "So, please, just stay. It's late and we both need to sleep. We're too tired to deal with everything now." Angela certainly couldn't argue with that. "So you'll stay?" he asked quietly.
"Yes," she said softly. He was right, and there was no denying that she wanted to stay.
"All right, then." Aidan reached behind him and turned off the light, then slid under the covers himself. His muscles cried out in relief at being horizontal after the tension of the last couple of hours. He felt Angela lay back down, although she stayed as far to the other side of the bed as she could. His eyes adjusted quickly to the darkness, and he could only think how beautiful she looked. He wanted to say something, but couldn't think what, so they lay there quietly.
"I'm sorry," Angela said after a while. Aidan was surprised, he thought she'd fallen asleep.
"For what?" he asked, reaching out to find her hand and hold it in his.
"I'm sorry I didn't…say good bye, or at least tell you I had to leave." That had weighed on her the entire time she'd been gone. Angela had desperately wanted to tell him something, anything, but it had all happened so quickly there hadn't been time. Nor had she been permitted to tell him. Suddenly, she was on her own and she'd never lost the bereft feeling of leaving her family and friends.
"I am, too," he said. Then, after a pause. "I've missed you a lot."
"I've missed you, too." She tried to keep her voice even. "But I couldn't contact you after I left. It was one of the…the conditions."
"My father wanted to keep any future contact I might have with the pack to an absolute minimum. So I was only allowed to call him, or your father if I couldn’t find mine for some reason." Tears started to fall from her eyes despite her best efforts. "I wanted so badly to call you, or write you, but I was afraid you would get in trouble…or that my father would send me further away…"
Aidan couldn't stand it anymore. He rose up on one arm, reached over and pulled Angela to him. The warmth of her body was intoxicating, as was her scent, but he knew he needed to keep himself in check. There was too much to discuss, too much to learn, to move too quickly.
The sudden movement took Angela by surprise, but she didn't move away. Instead, she found herself winding her arms around his shoulders and holding him as tightly as she could. If they only had this time, she would at least allow herself the comfort of his body, the comfort of him holding her. Aidan stroked her hair, and after some time, they were both asleep.