Welcome to My Parlor: Erotica author Michele Hope!
As promised, today in the Parlor we have erotica writer, Michele Hope! If you missed Saturday's post—SHAME ON YOU! LOL! I'm kidding...a little. *snerk* If you missed it, go HERE to read a steamy little lick from Michele's new releases, Service Rendered.
Okay, Michele's in the chair and ready to get INKed, so let's get this tatt party started, shall we?
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Sable: Hey, Michele! Thanks for joining us here in the Parlor. Can you tell the readers a bit about yourself?
Michele: I'm just a girl living the good life. I moved to this incredibly romantic place some years ago to be with this Southern man I fell in love with. I would never have imagined such a place existed. We live on our farm where, and if I can take liberties, "a bayou runs through it." Actually it flows in a slow time continuum at the edge of our back yard. I have ancient trees, alligators, my own animal companions, voodoo and bien sur, that Southern boy. I am indeed a lucky girl!
Sable: Oooh, sounds both mysterious and romantic. You ARE lucky! What's Service Rendered about and what inspired you to INK it? Love this cover, right?
Michele: My, or should I say 'our' latest effort will release from Rebel Ink Press on Nov. 3. We have developed our protagonists, our actors and have fun placing them in different settings. This is only my third book, another just recently contracted by Rebel so our characters have remained consistent. So far, we've arranged them in classic and charmed settings in the South. My husband reminds he cannot write about loggers in the northwest or lobster fishermen in Maine. These places, he knows from heart and life itself. Service Rendered is set in an ante bellum home in Louisiana, an 'invitation only' soiree and our players seize the opportunity to seek sexual adventure. They do like to play!
Sable: My kind'a party! Writing is such an organic thing, it grows from a little idea into this full-blown monster that overtakes your brain—at least in my experience. *grins* So, how do you know when you’re done and the story on the page is "all growed up" and ready for the world?
Michele: HA! The story begins with a simple notion and writes itself. We know our primary characters, see with insight our setting, and allow them to play out a scenario. Like a painting, it could be overwork, so we like a clever, but never cute ending that allows the reader to write or envision the next chapter or paragraph, to leave them having been witness to the adventure. And of course, turned on!
Sable: I get a few newbies that swing by the parlor and try to give them a glimpse into the typical day of an author. Tell us about your writing day and space.
Michele: We seem to write in spurts, never feeling any sense of urgency. This place, this timeless primordial place simply doesn't permit being in a hurry. It compels you to slow down and watch out for the damn snake you might be about to step on. But mostly we write at night. The house, our animals are quiet, we listen to jazz.
Sable: Ahh jazz. That and classical seem to be the soundtracks for a great many masterpieces. Do you INK in other genres?
Michele: Separately, we write different stuff. About a yr. or so ago, we wrote a full length true romance novel. Upon suggestion, we began writing erotic shorts in an effort to be published., feeling that having published works, no matter the genre, would give us some credibility. That novel is still unedited and we're looking for takers. My husband has written a collection of short stories, all Southern genre about a place and time and event he's most familiar with. He lived it. Each story is seen through the eyes of a different character, all witness to the same event. Written in 'dialect, the characters a richly developed. I wondered how in the world he could put himself in the mind of a ten yr old black child. He said, "I have reels of it in my head." Quite amazing really.
Sable: I know you have works in progress—the work of a writer is never done. Care to tell us about them?
Michele: We have a Christmas story with witches and sex I could only make up. Always set in this land of sorcieres and voodoo, the work moves quickly from one scene to the next. Likely we won't finish it in time for a release this year. Did I mention we're just not in a hurry?
Sable: Slow and easy is usually the best way. What things do you need in order to write?
Michele: Mostly just quiet with as few interruptions as possible. I suspect that's the case with most of us. It's easy for me to stay up into the AM, sleep all day if I want. BUT I DON'T!
Sable: Mmm, hmmm. Suuuure! LOL! When you INK, are you a plotter or a pantser?
Michele: What the hell is a pantser?
Sable: *checks box for "plotter"* Being an erotica writer, what makes a good love scene?
Michele: Oh geez Sable, I don't know. Maybe I should get out the home videos and find out!
Sable: Will there be popcorn? Kettle corn, if you've got it, please and thank you! :D Sex scenes. Do they come easy for you, and how do you approach them?
Sable: Hey! These are the hard-hitting questions the people want to know, Michele. And you can't say no to the people, right?
Sable: See? The people have voted! (And yes, they're contractually obligated to vote in my favor). Now, about those sex scenes...
Michele: :) Why, yes, they do come easy. I can see the scene in my mind and know what's going on in his. Like our bayou and les loup garous that run through our woods at night, I don't need to actually look at them to know they’re there. And . . . we like to practice!
Sable: Okay, we'll move away from the sex (I know, people, I know) and get back to the writing stuff. Are your books more plot driven or character driven?
Michele: I think the plots are fairly simple, but the characters compound situations with charm and sometimes slightly devious intent. All harmless and delectable, everybody has fun.
Sable: I'm a stickler about research, blame my inner geek. How much goes into your stories?
Michele: More on the last story. We have been to some of the very places where the stories are set. And remember, my husband, my partner in life and crime has spent much of life in these places. It's all so easy to see because of that romance that has existed here forever. It's simply everywhere I go.
Sable: Who is your favorite character from Service Rendered?
Michele: Our chatelaine, our belle. She is such a sexual, intelligent and cunning character.
Sable: Every time I hear the word "cunning" my brain takes a trip to naughty land. LOL! I'm terrible. Anyhow, can you sum up your book in one sentence?*
Michele: Extreme sexual introspection!
Sable: ESI—like ESP only better! What are your fave and least fave parts about writing?
Michele: The satisfaction of completing the story and feeling good about sending it off for submission.. We've been quite lucky so far, someone grabs up the stories overnight. I find myself totally amazed by that since I have no idea what I'm doing.
Sable: "No idea what I'm doing"? Psshht! You're getting contracted, so you're doing something right! Any advice on marketing?
Michele: We're still on the ascending part of that curve. I'd ask you the same question . . . any tips?
Sable: Tips? Ummm... Damn. Y'know, I didn't realize that was such a difficult question until you asked me back! I guess I'd have to say be persistent, which sounds like such a cliche, but it is sooo true. Don't stop writing, 'cause nothing sells your backlist like a new release. Oh, and chocolate tastes good on just about everything. Just a tip. :) What is your biggest fear as a writer?
Michele: I'm absolutely fearless! If the writing thang' doesn't work out, well . . . I'll go fishing
Sable: She is writer! READ HER ROAR!!! LOL! I love that Plan B, too. Hey, there's a tip. Have a Plan B until Plan A pans out. What's your greatest accomplishment thus far as an author?
Michele: In writing? I suppose it's when that first contract was offered just last spring. I know greater things are to come. There is a sense of accomplishment when publishers recognize the quality of your submission,. Great reviews are pretty cool too.
Sable: Sweet! And, yes, great things are in the works for you. I can feel it! Okay, Michele, last question, when you're not INKing, what are you out doing?
Michele: I am a Big Bass Fisherwoman and my husband, woodsy boy that he is, is an extreme guide. He has taken me places on this bayou that causes me to wonder, when was the last human ever here? I have a successful jewelry making business, growing everyday with retail outlets and a very cool event at a very cool gallery this month. I love to walk our woods with my dogs and my man, to pick wild flowers (used in my jewelry pendants). Also, it's college football season, I'm learning the nuances of the game and love a good tight end. HA! Geaux Tigres!
Sable: Mmmm...tight end. *giggles uncontrollably* Thanks, Michele, for Dripping INK in the parlor today. Readers, you can ask your questions and leave comments below. And don't forget to pick up your copy of Service Rendered NOW!!