This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Qwillia will be awarding a grand prize of a messenger bag, pens, post-it notes, and a key-chain wallet (No geographical restrictions) as well as three Amazon gift cards: $20, $10 and $5 to randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Why do you write in your genre?
First, the genre I tend to gravitate toward the most is erotic romance with BDSM elements. This wasn’t a conscious decision on my part, honestly. I began writing when I was 12 and the scenes I wrote tended toward the more graphic end of the spectrum, whether they were romantic/sex scenes or murder scenes (yes, I also play with romantic suspense); my focus wasn’t on shock value, but on eliciting a physical and mental reaction from people. I was simply putting the movie in my head down on paper.
As my writing progressed and I delved into reading genres that better reflected what I wrote, I could see that I wasn’t an oddball. There were others out there with the same skill set as mine, and I realized it was nothing to be embarrassed about. It was even better when I discovered the books that incorporated BDSM into them (these books were out decades before Fifty Shades) and I realized the bits and pieces of stories that I’d kept hidden because they seemed “wrong” were actually celebrated.
What draws you to it?
The psychology of the relationship is the most fascinating thing to me. Whether it’s Dominant/submissive, Master/slave, or simply vanilla with a twist, the trust and respect between the couple or individuals involved is amazing. The strength that comes from that bond imbues the character with self-confidence and awareness that they carry through to other aspects of their lives—at least by the end of the story.
What research (or world-building – for fantasy/paranormal/Sci-fi) is required?
For writing, it’s a never-ending learning process on what works best to inspire and compel me to write the next story; to delve into the next bit of weirdness from my characters without worrying about the end product until I get there. There are so many opinions and tools available on the writing craft, a person could get lost trying to figure out what works best for them.
For BDSM, research is done with lots of reading and hands-on practice and keeping an open mind. It also requires an understanding of your personal limits (both hard and soft) and what you will and won’t do in any given situation. I’ve attended readings at a dungeon with other authors who write in the same genre, chatted in online groups, checked out the social networking sites that people in the Lifestyle use, talked to Doms and subs, attended a fetish conference, and even let someone use a whip on me (definitely proved I’m a sting not a thud type of girl.) I use it all when it comes to figuring out what drives my characters to be the way they are.
Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.
Never deny who you are at your core. It’s okay to tone it down for those people who get nervous or antsy when what you’re interested in is mentioned. Respect others’ right to choose, but don’t be afraid to educate someone if they are willing to listen. If a person wants to be judgmental, nothing you say is likely to change their opinion, so don’t waste your time arguing.
Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
Hmm, odd or quirky? Well, I love the number 13, feel my luckiest day is always a Friday the 13th (mainly because I was born on that day), and I tend to be obsessive-compulsive about alphabetizing Mcs and Macs before the Ms in bookstores (I was taught to shelve books by a librarian).
As for habits and quirks…when I’m working on the rough draft of a story I can’t have any noise around me and I type with my eyes closed, usually in the dark so I have no visual distractions. Once a book is done and in the editing phase, I can have a movie playing while I write if I need the “feel” of the scenes when I’m rewriting, but it has to be a movie I’ve seen at least five to ten times before. Favorites for editing right now: Prince of Persia, Poseidon, History of Violence, and Man on Fire.
Plotter or pantser?
Actually, I’m what my friend calls an ADHD writer who is now semi-medicated.
When I first started writing I would put down on the page whatever came to my mind and out of sequence, then put all the scenes together where they needed to go, and finish by writing the bridging scenes between the other scenes. Sometimes this ended up leaving me with scenes that weren’t necessary or had nothing to do with the story I was writing, so I’d have to trash them, no matter how much I loved them.
After publishing and dealing with nearly 14 months of writer’s block, I discovered that I could still enjoy my ADHD ways, but narrow the focus and stay on task by using some tools a friend of mine put together using other writing methods and theories. It’s made things interesting to say the least, but allowed me to keep my focus on the story and moving it forward instead of spinning off into directions that don’t gel with what’s going on.
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
More blog interviews and subjects that I need to finish writing for my blog tour and my two bookcases of romance novels that I’ve carried with me for the last 30 years. Ironically, the novels are predominantly series romance and historical romances (two genres I haven’t worked in—yet.)
Anything new coming up from you?
A few things, both writing and travel related.
I’m currently working on completing the fifth book in the Diablo Blanco Club series (it’s actually the fourth in the chronological order) and the second book in my Poker Posse series. The DBC book has been fighting me for the last three years, but I’m determined that it will be finished this year—damn it!
As for the Poker Posse book, this is the third or fourth permutation, because I haven’t been able to pin down the motivations of the characters until recently. It too will be done.
In October I’ll be attending Moonlight & Magnolias in Atlanta, Georgia and teaching a class at the conference on Character Growth Mechanism.
Do you have a question for our readers?
How do you feel about BDSM or erotic romance? Also, if you’ve never read BDSM (and Fifty Shades, in my opinion, is not a good representative of the genre) would you be willing to try one if you found the right author (because I’d be more than willing to suggest some excellent authors, who write in all the varying levels of the genre—from light to hardcore—if you’re willing to keep an open mind and look beyond the whips, ball-gags, and bondage?)
About the Author:
Qwillia has worked at a diverse mix of jobs including casino change person, bill collector, book store and video store clerk, and computer teacher to Kindergarten through 8th graders, but writing has always been part of her life.
In 2007 her first book (recently revised and self-published) Santa's Elf, was published, opening a whole new world where she can play with her characters and get paid for it.
Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Qwillia-Rain-Fan-Page/234065069968987
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