Congratulations, once again, to Amelia James, winner of “Erotica in the Cage.” I asked Amelia some questions about her experiences as a writer. Pour yourself a beverage, make yourself comfortable, and get ready to learn more about Amelia and her work.
When and why did you decide to start writing, Amelia?
I started writing short stories in the 3rd grade. Why? I don’t remember. I’ve always had an active imagination, and my teacher wrote ‘tends to daydream’ on my report card. (I’m gonna have that carved on my tombstone.) Maybe she encouraged me to write.
What life experiences have best prepared you for being a writer?
I think it was my lack of life experiences that prepared me. I write romance. I grew up in a very conservative and restricted home and community. I wasn’t taught anything about sex. I didn’t have the innocent, exciting sexual discovery teens are supposed to have. I was made to feel guilty about having sexual desires and wanting to explore them. Sex was a big dirty secret, and I learned about it through romance novels. They were my escape.
Please tell us about your latest work and what genre it falls into.
I have two contemporary romance novels: Tell Me You Want Me and Secret Storm. I also published an erotic short story collection: The Devil Made Me Do It and a paranormal romance short story: One Wild Night.
Tell Me You Want Me is a contemporary erotic romance. It’s flirty and fun, sexy and steamy. It’s the story of two people who have a lot to learn when it comes to love and relationships. Austin Sinclair is a charming bad boy who has so many women he can’t remember their names. Jane Elliot is a career-oriented woman who desperately needs some fun in her life.
Secret Storm isn’t a sequel, but it takes place after Tell Me and it involves the same characters. It’s darker than Tell Me, and it has more emotional depth and passion. Jack Wheeler is a man with a dark past, but he won’t let anyone close enough to help him deal with it. Sara Jensen is a caring, giving woman who jumps at the chance to help others, but she runs away from her own problems.
What were your inspirations for writing it?
My dirty mind. 😉 I just finished writing a short story about a man who was dark and brooding and it took a lot out of me, so I decided to write about a fun hero, a charming bad boy. After I finished having fun with Austin in Tell Me, I went back to my dark side again to write Jack’s story in Secret Storm.
Would you please describe your writing process for our readers.
I get to know my characters and listen to their stories. Then I write a basic plot so I know what I want to do to them. After I finish the first draft, I edit, re-write, nitpick, re-write, proofread, re-write, etc….
To what degree are your fictional characters based in reality?
There’s a little bit of me in my heroines, Jane Elliot and Sara Jenson. Jane is the woman is used to be, and Sara is the woman I would like to be. There’s a lot of my husband in Austin Sinclair, especially his ability to make anything Jane says dirty. Jack Wheeler is the most fictional of my characters. He was inspired by a man I don’t understand so I used my imagination to decide what drives him. Jack fascinates me.
Can you tell us about your any upcoming projects?
I’m working on another short story collection with two related novels in mind. The short story collection will be a series of stories about three characters (two men, one woman) and their relationships with each other. Each story will be told from a different character’s point of view. It’s a twisted and complicated threesome. The novels are a sequel and a prequel.
Would you like to experiment with a different genre?
One Wild Night is a paranormal romance. That’s something I’ve never written before. I think I’ll always write romance or erotica. It’s what I enjoy the most.
Describe your ideal surroundings or conditions for writing.
Lying naked in a hammock on a tropical beach, swaying in a cool breeze…. Oh, wait. For writing? Quiet. I need a quiet place with no distractions: no phone, no TV, no music. I need focus. And comfort. Sometimes I sit on my bed with lots of pillows.
Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?
I have imaginary people in my head, but I think all fiction writers do. So I guess that makes me normal among writers.
We would love to hear your thoughts on traditional publishing vs. indie.
Both are difficult. Getting published with a traditional publisher takes lots of time and a really thick skin. Self-publishing gives you more freedom and control, but you’re responsible for everything. All authors (and writers associations, agents, editors, etc.) need to realize we’re in this together, no matter how we’re published. We’re not competitors. I don’t know what the future of publishing will look like, but it won’t be pretty if we don’t work together.
What advice can you share with first-time writers?
Writing is an art. Publishing is a business. Neither one is easy. Don’t give up. Be patient and persistent. Don’t give up. Did I say that already?
Bio and Contact Information
Amelia James started reading steamy romance novels in junior high, but her mom took them away from her, so she started daydreaming instead. After she got married, she wrote some of her naughtier daydreams down and sent them to Playgirl magazine. Two of them got published. She kept daydreaming and writing stories until her dirty stories turned into trashy books.
She lives in Colorado, but she’ll always be a loyal Wisconsin Cheesehead. When she’s not lusting after her next bad boy hero, she looks for inspiration in sci-fi and action movies, football players, bloodsucking lawyers, muscle cars, and kick-butt chicks.
Web Site: http://trashystreasures.wordpress.com/
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004SJSLQE
Smashwords or other links: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AmeliaJames
Barnes & Noble; http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/amelia-james