Liliana Batchelor: The Complete Series
Publication date: November 25th 2016
Genres: Erotica, Romance
A seemingly inconsequential decision at an intersection.
Just one moment – a pause, a choice.
And in a split second everything changes.
Liliana had no idea that something so simple would alter two lives forever, or lead to a series of events that plunge her headlong into corporate intrigue and a passionate romance.
Now presented in one volume for the first time – all five books in the Liliana Batchelor Series. From the windswept coast of Scotland to the grey days of autumn in the Pacific Northwest, read Lily’s incredible journey of self discovery as she finds herself drawn up into an epic love affair with intense and demanding CEO Stuart Watson.
NOTE: This contemporary erotica series contains explicit depictions of sex, including BDSM, as well as a few instances of violence or attempted assault.
“An Accidental Affair”
“Step Across the Rubicon”
“The Air I Breathe”
“Banish the Darkness”
“Step In To the Light”
An excerpt from “A World Away”, book one in Holly’s fantasy erotica series.
Lily barely has time to compose her thoughts before he closes the distance. Her stomach has that gnawing, achy emptiness to it – a telltale sign that she is attracted to him. She is completely floored seeing him here.
Even with her nearly three and a half inch heels he is still over four inches taller by her estimation. She looks up into his bright blue eyes as he steps close.
“Liliana, an absolute pleasure,” he says, taking her right hand and bringing it to his lips. She nearly swoons from the contact; it is so unexpected and intimate, and his lips are soft against the top of her hand. He holds on a moment and releases his grasp and her arm floats down to her side. Lily feels as if she must be levitating off the ground.
“Stuart… My goodness,” is all she can muster. He smiles a little at having rendered her practically speechless.
His eyes carefully play over her body. “If I may say so, you look lovely this evening.” God, but his Scots accent is sexy; not too overpowering, but the trilled r’s are hot.
“Thank you. I’m glad to see you up and around.” Couldn’t think of anything better to say?
“Yes, almost as good as new, except for a little residual soreness.” He holds up his right hand.
“How did you get out of that cast so quickly? I thought you tore a tendon or something.”
“Reconstructive surgery, physical therapy.”
“But still, that should have taken months.”
“I can be very determined,” he says in a meaningful way, staring straight at her.
Lily inwardly gulps. “Apparently.” Luckily she is saved by a passing waiter proffering more champagne. Stuart removes the near empty glass from Lily’s hand, puts it on the tray and retrieves two glasses, handing her one.
He holds out his hand and tips the glass until it touches hers. “To finally meeting under auspicious circumstances,” he says and drinks. She pauses a moment and then raises the glass to her lips and takes a sip. Suddenly, everything has changed; how did this happen? He walks into a room and she becomes flustered, nervous, flushed.
“Stuart, I’m surprised to see you here.” He raises an eyebrow quizzically, his eyes dancing playfully. “I’m glad,” she hurriedly adds, “but surprised.”
“I still spend a fair amount of time in Scotland. I had some… business to take care of locally and hoped you wouldn’t mind if I dropped in, knowing you would be here. You don’t mind, do you?”
It is wholly unfair. He has surprised her, has a definite advantage and they both know it.
He had been watching her from the moment she entered the ballroom, waiting for an opportune moment, studying her. When she had walked into his hospital room there seemed to be a sensual air about her, but he tried to pass it off as the drugs, circumstances.
Watching her move, sip her champagne and savour the food, he realised it hadn’t been the circumstances at all; it was her, and what made it even more powerful was that it wasn’t forced. It was simply who she was, and she exuded it from her pores; it was in all she did. From the way her long fingers found the stem of her glass to the way her lips parted, it was wired into her and he found it incredibly sexy, utterly irresistible.
Her slight nervous discomfort at being caught off guard seems to increase her sensuality as she fidgets, playing her fingers along her glass, her lips pursing slightly as she tries to regain her composure.
Stuart’s gaze is intense and Lily feels a little flustered, and has a hard time meeting it; no man has ever affected her like this.
“What business are you in?” she asks, her hand nearly trembling as she lifts the glass to her lips and steals a look at him over the rim. She loves the Van Dyke; it makes his lips look even more sensual… as if he needs that. The tightly trimmed mustache accentuates the line of his top lip, then curls down to meet the goatee on his chin and the dark patch underneath his mouth makes his slightly fuller bottom lip appear more pronounced. She inwardly sighs; what a perfect mouth.
“I run my own business,” he says. “My father and his friend started it.” He knows others are staring at her. “Why don’t we find a quiet corner to talk?”
Her eyes get wide – she can’t help it – and she nods. He reaches out his left hand and cups her elbow and gestures to the far corner of the room. “Shall we?” Her body drinks in the sensation, his touch sparking a craving for more contact.
The combination of his well educated diction and slightly rough Scots enunciation is heady. He manages to seem intelligent yet a little dangerous at the same time. He was dressed like a rock star when you found him, her voice chimes in. Most powerful business owners don’t do that.
As they approach the table, Stuart lets go of her arm and pulls the chair out for her. She places her glass on the table, and smoothes her skirt as she sits, while Stuart pulls out another chair and sits kitty-corner to her. Lily crosses her legs; she’s grateful she packed something nice for tonight, and thank goodness she went downstairs. Take that, troublesome voice.
“Are you enjoying the conference?” he asks, taking another sip. She has a weakness for hands and his are strong, with long masculine fingers; she notices a Breitling watch around his wrist. Wow.
“Well, it just started today,” she says, finally overcoming a bit of her surprise and managing more sustained looks into his face. He is gorgeous; she doesn’t want to stare, but she could look at him all day. Here, in close proximity, she feels that hum of electricity around them like a cocoon. “But so far, yes.”
She takes another sip as he speaks. “I believe you said you were going to take a holiday afterwards?”
“Good memory,” she smiles, a little embarrassed. “I… thought with the injuries and drugs you probably hadn’t…”
“Remembered much? Remembered our conversation?” the tone is playfully accusatory. “Oh, I remember it very well, Liliana.”
She finds herself blushing a little and takes another sip of champagne. Be careful, you haven’t had much to eat all day.
“Not many people call you Liliana, do you mind?” he asks suddenly, softly. “Liliana just sort of rolls off the tongue, and it’s unique. I like it.”
Why did such a simple sentiment make her heart feel like it was trying to break out of her chest? Her mouth suddenly is dry.
“When are you going to tell me the rest of YOUR name?” she blurts out boldly.
“Soon. I’m just a bit… cautious.” Who was this man? A politician? No, he said he owned a business… why so cagey?
“Tell me what types of places you’re interested in visiting whilst here in my beautiful homeland, and I’ll be happy to offer suggestions.”
She takes a deep breath. Wow, his intensity – he just seems to exude power and confidence – nearly takes her breath away. She would never have guessed this when she was trying to comfort his unconscious form as he lay on the asphalt.
“Well, to be honest I haven’t made much in the way of plans. I anticipated doing a bit of research beforehand, but with the…” she fidgets, “… accident and all, and the bustle afterwards, well.” She feels like a schoolgirl with all the flushing and fidgeting.
He nods as she continues. “I do know generalities though.” Talking makes her feel a little more calm, although she worries about prattling on too much.
He looks amused, the corner of his mouth curled up and his lips slightly parted. Oh God, PLEASE don’t do that. She wonders what his lips would feel like on hers; they felt nice against the back of her hand. She shakes her head to clear her mind.
“What is it, Lily?” he leans forward and reaches out a hand to touch her arm; desire shoots through her body. “Is anything wrong?”
“No!” she says hastily. “Nothing is wrong. Where was I? Oh yes, places in Scotland…” she nervously catches her lower lip with her teeth and touches her tongue to her top lip, her mind churning.
He watches her mouth and then raises his eyes to hers. They are smoldering, full of desire. Oh my God, he’s attracted to me. If she had been standing she would have had to sit. Her insides are turned topsy turvy.
Her voice cracks slightly. “I’d like to visit some distilleries. Go see the rockiness of northern Scotland, perhaps the Isle of Skye, or Islay. Ruins…” her voice almost falters again; he hasn’t taken his eyes off of her, and the words are fleeing her as she is caught up in his gaze. “I love old ruins. Manor houses, castles…” It’s difficult to continue; she feels hypnotized by him, completely disoriented.
She is aware of a voice. “May I get either of you anything else to drink?” She shakes her head, the thrall he had over her broken. It seems like she is taking a breath for the first time in minutes. She should leave; Stuart is dangerous, being around him is too heady, distracting. She stands up to go. “I’m a bit tired, actually. I was thinking of heading out,” she uncharacteristically lies.
He puts his hand on her arm and she finds herself sinking slowly back into her seat. How did he do that? His touch is like life spreading through her body, all she wants is more.
“Surely you can spare a few more minutes Liliana?” He says her name as if he is making love to it, rolling it around in his mouth, tasting it. She sits, and he turns to the waiter.
“A bottle of La Grande Dame unopened, two glasses, and an assortment of the canapés would be perfect.” He makes it a request, but something in his tone lets you know he fully expects you to deliver. What company does he own?, she wonders, not for the first time. He’s not arrogant, but you don’t want to disappoint him. He must be difficult to negotiate with.
The waiter nods in assent and leaves. Stuart turns his piercing eyes to her and smiles amiably. “Now, where were we?”
Holly was born in New Jersey and moved to the Pacific Northwest at the age of eighteen. She’s always loved writing and expressing herself and scrupulously kept a journal at a young age. She started her first book around the age of eight, although she never completed it, and in high school was co-editor of her school’s literary magazine. She enjoys blogging, reading, and writing poetry and novels. Although an American, Holly is fascinated with British and Scottish history and culture; this interest is reflected in her choice to often use British spellings for words because she likes them better.
Holly likes exploring how a character’s personality changes and adapts as they are introduced to new experiences that are challenging. She also enjoys creating worlds and tales that are deep and complex and are driven by a solid story, yet have intense erotic elements.
Much to her chagrin, Holly has many interests and has a hard time keeping up with them all. She enjoys cooking and has made wine with friends; she likes gardening, drawing, reading, video and board games, dancing, eighties music and yoga, to name a few of her more regular preoccupations.
She welcomes comments and questions at her website: http://www.hollyblackstone.com
1) What is the first book you read that comes to mind? Why is it so important to you?
I love reading and always would try to find something to read, whether
it was a catalog of my mom’s, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic or
her Archeology magazine. Probably the earliest ‘reading’ memory I have
is of grabbing one of those and finding an article. My parents also
didn’t let us read at the supper table, but at the time Kleenex’s ‘Man
Size’ tissues had blurbs about America printed on the bottom, my dad
kept a box of them at the table and I would periodically sneak a peek at
it; I memorized Patrick Henry’s ‘Give me Liberty’ speech from the
bottom of a box of tissues!
regard to books specifically, one of the earliest memories I have about
them is reading the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis – I still have
the original box set from when I was six or seven. I loved the series
because there was depth to them, (from a child’s point of view anyway!);
the characters even in retrospect were more complex than you might
expect, (for example, Eustance Clarence Scrubb), and some of them made
mistakes, (Edmund is the easiest example), and grow from them. The world
was rich, the story was interesting, and even though the series
eventually dealt with difficult themes, (dying and materialism in the
“The Last Battle”), I thought it was done well. I fully appreciate that
there are clear religious overtones to the series, and am familiar with
Lewis’ life and realise how big a part faith played in it, but it
doesn’t detract. There are good lessons children can learn from the
series, whilst being entertained simultaneously.
a year or two later, I began to branch out and read other books that
shaped me, particularly “A Night to Remember”, “Blade Runner” and a book
about airship disasters, (I’m not joking!). If you’re tempted to think I
couldn’t possibly have read those books at the tender age of seven or
eight, I should add that I entered Kindergarten at four, knew my
alphabet and could read at that time, and I kept a diary for nearly a
decade beginning around the age of six. I’ve always loved words.
2) What made you start writing books?
Well, as I said I’ve always loved words, and the concept of ‘a book’ is
powerful and frankly, beguiling. At any given moment, hundreds or
thousands of people could be – unbeknownst to you – reading something
you have created. Words are, (when taken care of), immortal, and can
convey powerful and moving ideas about any topic you care to name, and
the only barriers are language and access. (When I say language, what I
mean is whether or not someone reads the language you’re writing in and
access is whether a person can obtain books.) I started my first ‘novel’
at around nine or so, (I believe), presaging the fascination with a
post apocalyptic world by decades. I never finished it, and lamented
that I ever would. In late grammar school/high school I wrote a fair
amount of poetry and short parable-style stories, was on my school’s
literary magazine, but didn’t revisit the novel concept until a few
years ago, although I’ve continued to read during that time.
four years ago I had an idea for a fantasy story and tried to write it,
but was apprehensive about finishing it, and whether it would be any
good; I don’t want to write, (pardon my French), shitty books, and
frankly, I think I was bogged down in a lot of minutiae, although some
of the ideas were good and one in particular was clever.
eventually put it aside until I once more became motivated to write
something big; I was away from home managing a project, had my computer
with me, and started reading erotica. (I had already read the ‘Sleeping
Beauty’ series and other erotica years before.) I read “Fifty Shades of
Grey” to see what all the hoopla was about and on the whole I was
gobsmacked, but not in a good way. I was shocked at the poor portrayal
of BDSM, how immature supposedly adult characters were, (gave it a
creepy vibe for me), the sophomoric story and dialogue and how terrible
the grammar was, yet it sold. I had some time, was in a small town and
had little to do, so I decided to see if I could write an erotica novel
and I finished, “An Accidental Affair”, in about two and a half weeks.
How much of you and/or your surroundings is a part of your stories? Is
the influence based on a conscious decision, or do you periodically
recognize yourself in one of your characters and it wasn’t planned?
I consider myself an observer of life and I write what I see and what I
know,( to a good degree). I haven’t rescued anyone from a car, nor am I
famous, so clearly the reactions of my characters to those events are
extrapolations based on other things I have seen, and how I feel the
characters I have created would respond.
is at least a little bit of me in all of my, (major), characters,
emotionally (as an investment), but also as a human. For example, I put a
lot of heart, thought and emotion into trying to construct believable
characters on paper, but many of them also contain certain attributes
that I feel I have. I have been broken up with a lot, so I possess some
of Lily’s relationship insecurity for example, but clearly that’s not
all *I* am, and so I wanted to ensure it’s not all you come away with
when you think about Lily either – although with regard to the story, it
is an important aspect, especially in the beginning.
set the first series in Washington because I love the Pacific
Northwest, I live here and it felt good to write about it, to try to
bring it alive for people, but when I describe places I haven’t been to,
I read about the location to try and represent it faithfully.
the whole then, there is a lot of planned inclusion of familiar themes
and locations, but periodically I do re-read something and realise it is
more telling or reflects something familiar to me more than I
4) What author/actor or musician do you ‘fangirl/fanboy’ over?
This is that most difficult question yet! I actually don’t have a lot
of people I fangirl over when I think about it. A long time ago I loved
The Police and Def Leppard, and I’ve been periodically obsessed with Big
Country and some other bands. When I saw “Man of Steel”, I saw a little
of the pull that women felt for Henry Cavill. I guess the CLOSEST to
someone I would fangirl over is the model David Gandy , and there is a
reason for that. I was writing the Lily series and talking to my
boyfriend, (Ray), and describing Stuart; we were waiting for a car to be
serviced, and Ray was flipping through a “Men’s Health” magazine as we
chatted. He stopped suddenly and said, ‘Is this what Stuart looks
like?’, and showed me a picture of David Gandy in a Dolce &
Gabbana ad for their Light Blue fragrance. Except for the slicked back
hair in the ad, he looked A LOT like what I imagined Stuart to look
like, and I’ve seen several pictures since where he looks just about
you probably think I am a bloody moron because David Gandy has been
around for years; I’m sure I had seen him previously in advertisements
but it didn’t click, or subliminally the archetype he represents was
working on me, and it fell into place when Ray showed me that photo. As a
result, I have a soft spot in my heart for him, and that’s probably as
fangirl-y as I would get, although I would be absolutely petrified to
for the closest author I would fangirl over… I actually sent an email
to Sir Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill’s official biographer because I
LOVED “Churchill: A Life” so much. It is an amazing chronicle of the
life of one of the greatest men in history and Sir Martin was kind
enough to email me back! I couldn’t believe it, and I think I yelled
out, “Holy shit, holy shit, he wrote back!”, or something similar and
scared the cats. =) I don’t know how Sir Martin managed to keep so many
facts and details straight but he did, and it resulted in a masterpiece
5) What does your perfect writing day look like? Do you plan when and how long you write, or does it happen without planning?
Well, things needs to be attended to in life and I can’t support myself
entirely by writing yet, so “the best laid schemes of mice and men gang
aft aglay”; as a result, it is difficult to plan a schedule and adhere
to it daily, (for me, anyway). At the minimum, I promise myself that I
will do at least one writing/book related item a day, (including
Saturday), and at maximum, spend a good six hours or so writing.
being an author is more than just putting fingers to keyboard, and
requires managing your book distribution, engaging in social media,
proofreading, answering mail, writing blogs, doing research, etc. Some
of it I don’t mind, (like the research bit and interacting with readers
personally), whilst some of it – like managing distribution or figuring
out how to market – are difficult.
ideal writing day would mean my calendar is pretty clear, and I get to
sit down and just WRITE. I actually write very quickly when I can get on
a roll because I’m not interrupted and seem to just write faster and
faster; this is how I was able to write my first book in just about
seventeen days. If I get ‘stuck’, (I don’t usually get writers block,
but might need to ruminate on how to work in something to the story),
I’ll edit a book, do research or write in one of my other projects until
I feel I can go back to my primary book.
are some days where I try to clear everything off the docket as much as
I can and devote it to writing, and those are great days!
6) What genre is the most intimidating when you think about writing in it? Explain why!
LOL. It took me a second and then I realised what it was – (male) gay
erotica! I’m not a gay man, and so I would be worried that the fact I
have no frame of reference would make the book terrible, that the
characters, situations and interactions wouldn’t be believable and would
7) What do you like to do when you are not writing? What do you think your profession would be if you were not an author?
Writing is never far from my mind, but when I’m not actively engaged in
it, I have a lot of hobbies and interests to keep me busy. Besides my
furry quadruped children, (my beloved cats), I love cooking and
gardening, (it’s mostly container gardening, unfortunately). I love
computers, and computer and board games; I REALLY enjoy art and like oil
painting, sketching and watercolouring, and of course I also read. I
like yoga, walking and spending time with Ray and my friends, and
answering questions from awesome readers. =)
for my alternate profession, I’ve been in the computer industry off and
on for years, and I love science and math; my other ‘dream job’ would
be working on nuclear rockets with someone like Robert Zubrin and trying
to get humans to Mars.
8) What is the most touching reaction you have ever received from a fan?
I’ve been really lucky and I have great readers! There were so many
people who were kind when my mom got sick and died – people who
emailed/messaged and said, “I’m so sorry – take your time, don’t worry
about the book”, to “My mom is in remission, I understand some of the
stress of cancer”, or similar comments. I tried to get the last book in
‘The Liliana Batchelor Series’ out before Christmas, but it was a
difficult Christmas for a lot of reasons, not least among them because
it was the first one since my mom died and also my birthday, so I knew
there were no birthday wishes or cards from her any more, and I was
depressed. When I mentioned why I couldn’t finish on time, that I was
struggling with being sad about it all, I got a lot of support from
people who commiserated and reached out; that meant a lot.
had someone from Europe make contact with me, and we’ve become good
friends and communicate pretty regularly, despite the time difference,
and we’ve even met! I was so surprised that someone would have a strong
reaction to something I created, and be moved enough that they wanted to
chat; it’s humbling. I also had one reader say she got a reading
hangover from one of my books because she stayed up all night reading
would love to be able to have a, (monetarily), successful career as a
writer, but those moments… when you connect with someone, when you make a
friend, when someone is so taken by what you have produced, the words
you’ve typed, that they forgo sleep – that is pretty awesome and is
incredibly gratifying! It’s difficult to throw your personal creations
to the aether for judgment, so when someone takes a moment and says,
‘Hey, I like this!’, it makes you feel good, and takes away some of the
apprehension, (for me, anyway!).
9) In your opinion, what is the most important feature a book needs to have?
I need to connect with the characters ; even if they are a bit dark, I
don’t want them to be one-dimensional – they need to have depth and
complexity. I go back to something I’ve mentioned in my comments and
blog – erotica is an amazing genre because the whole of the adult
experience is spread out before you, but even though a story has
sexual/sensual elements, the remainder of a person should not be
ignored. I want to see the sensual side, the parts of a person that are
in conflict, that are imperfect and please *show* me some of it, don’t
tell me. I am not a huge fan of flashbacks in books for this reason,
because you are taking a person who is ostensibly the product of all
their life experiences and the character is shown to you, but not the
components that made them the way they are, so it can feel as if they
are constructed of whole cloth, flimsy, especially if they have some
really dramatic behaviour or traits.
including erotica, are generally about people and their relationships
and interactions with the world, so as far as I am concerned it is vital
to make the character breathe for you and the readers. I also want
something a little intriguing, I like the character to be a bit unique
and not just superficially unique – as in they like seafoam green ; I
want who they are to be thought out. When I put down a book, I want to
feel as if I’ve had a bittersweet parting from a friend.
10) What is the most difficult part of writing a book, (including the preparations and after-publication-process)?
For me, without a doubt it would be marketing. The fact that
Independent publishing has taken off is a mixed blessing in some ways
because the barrier for entry is low. What I mean by that is, if you
write something, even seventeen pages like some ‘books’, you can get it
published pretty easily though any of several venues.
is great, because it means that the big publishers aren’t the
gatekeepers any more, and books can be published that might not fit into
whatever niche they are chasing after at that point, (sort of the Indie
musician idea). The way it ties in with your question is that there
are now a LOT more books out in electronic format and it is difficult to
get noticed in the sea of published erotica that is out there. I was
told by someone who works for a marketing service that reviews are
important, but only a tiny percentage of people who read my books
publish a review, and the few two-star reviews I’ve received have no
explanation, so readers can’t easily judge what it was about the novel
that specific reader disliked. You can plop a bunch of money down and
try to get a review in Romance Times or Kirkus or Publisher’s Weekly,
but we’re talking $400 or more and it’s not certain that you can make
that back, or how easily anyway.
there is the whole idea of what tack do you take when you present your
book to the public; for example, what do you want the cover to look
like? I thought I wouldn’t make any money, so the first few covers I
made were just photos I took and didn’t spend a great deal of time on
them, but when I started to make a little money I invested some of that
in buying professional photos.
have to also think about your book summary, keywords and all that –
what do you put in the synopsis, what do you reveal, and how do you get
someone interested? Keywords I have yet to figure out, so I won’t even
go there! But all of that isn’t enough… how does someone stumble across
your book in the first place, how do you get the word out and try to
distinguish yourself? That is what I am struggling with – how do I reach
all those readers that don’t know about my books?
also have three series – one of them is contemporary, the other two are
cyberpunk and fantasy. The latter are specific and unusual genres that
are not nearly as popular as paranormal, mob, MC, or a dozen other
erotica sub-genres, so how do I market those books? Traditional science
fiction can have erotic elements in it, and some sword and sorcery has
too and both series have interesting stories, so do I focus on the
erotica or the genre story aspects more?
probably have gone on in too much detail to try to drive home my
frustration – you can write a book, even be told it’s pretty good, but
there are still so many people out there who haven’t heard of it and you
want to just hit the keyboard and continue to write, but you also have
If you had the chance to influence the questions people ask you in
interviews, what question is the most annoying and you would love to
never hear again? What question would you really like to answer that you
have not been asked yet, and what is your answer to that question?
This is my first interview and you all have been gentle with me since
it’s my first time, so I am lucky in that no question has been quite
worn out yet, but I will say this: every time I tell someone that I
write erotic story driven fiction, people think immediately of “Fifty
Shades of Grey”. They ask if my book ‘is like that’, and to me, that’s
akin to saying, ‘do you use words in your books?’ On a basic level,
books all have something in common – there are words, characters and a
setting. Erotica books can vary SO much that it’s a pretty shallow
observation to combine all erotica into one pot; it’s such an open ended
question that I can’t even begin to adequately parse it. In what way
are you trying to draw a comparison? Is there explicit sex? Yes. Is
there BDSM? Well, not the ‘BDSM’ portrayed in “Fifty Shades…”, no. Are
there heterosexual characters? Is one of them successful? Is it set in
America? Do you write in first person? I mean, what is the interrogator
really asking? In some ways that question is perhaps more indicative of a
stereotype that people have about erotica than anything else, but it
still grates a bit. =)Wow, a question I’ve never been asked… so far
you’ve been pretty thorough. I guess I am expecting people to ask,
“Stuart, book five… what the fuck?!” I should maybe make inroads in
addressing that. =)
know Stuart seems a bit off sometimes… a lot off perhaps. I wanted it
to be clear that there were a lot of things going on for him, and he was
under a lot of pressure; people under huge stress can say and do things
that are surprising. Stuart loves Lily… loves her immensely, but I
think it is clear in book five that he takes her and what they have for
granted; that he becomes so consumed with everything else that he
becomes callous and neglectful when it comes to them. He is so certain
he has found his soul mate and that bond is inviolate that he can borrow
against it. How often do you hear people using ‘the greater good’ as an
excuse for poor behaviour? People use it as a flimsy excuse all the
time, and when you learn what Megan accused him of… I was hoping people
could see how that would have affected him.
I was writing it, I was trying to think of this; Stuart is clearly
capable of deep, abiding love and is protective – you’ve seen it in all
the books. Take that emotion and extend it for how he would feel for his
child and then CRUSH those emotions the way Megan did; try to strip him
of his sense of self decency.
has been great for him because their relationship has renewed his
faith, but it has also inadvertently brought up things that he has
suppressed; because he wants to get rid of the negative things in his
life, it is inevitable he will clash with Megan and that will bring up
the betrayal, which he conveniently put into a little box and didn’t
deal with, and instead surrounded himself with beautiful women and
casual sex as distractions. Once he meets Lily and realises their
potential, he holds off on making love to her for the first time until
she is committed – he doesn’t want to risk himself and be hurt again,
and he wants reassurance that Lily is as dedicated to seeing things
through as he is. He realises he wants a committed relationship with
her, which just dredges up the ghosts of the past and what happened the
last time he made that choice.
he tries to expunge Megan once and for all, the bitterness, anger and
hurt finally come to the fore – they’ve been suppressed all this time,
and have been simmering, which has only made them more powerful and they
are so consuming, so painful that it is all he really has room for. Can
you imagine realising the person you wanted to share your life with
tried to emotionally destroy you, and that you’ve put a lid on it for a
year and a half only to have it suddenly erupt in your face because the
feelings can’t be contained anymore? I think I have used the term ‘man
possessed’ but in this case he is consumed with the need for resolution,
for revenge, for closure. I wanted Stuart’s out of character behaviour
to be an indicator not of some hidden side, character flaw or something
similar, but a barometer for just how deeply and fundamentally he was
affected by Megan.
all have dark aspects to us – everyone has their hot buttons, people
with calm and composed demeanors can get angry and in book five we saw a
limit of Stuart’s. So that’s what happened. =)
12) Name three characteristics of your writing style that are important yet different from other authors.
Well, I generally write in third person present tense which is unusual,
especially for erotica.It’s because I prefer third person over first
person, and I feel present tense sounds more immediate and interesting. I
can appreciate why some people might like first person, and several
readers have commented on how my writing is from a nonstandard point of
view and how it took getting used to – I realise it can be a barrier for
some people because they expect first person.
elaborate further on why I write in third person… there are a few
reasons. I don’t enjoy books that switch narrators –I feel if you’re
going to do that, you can just write in third person and not have the
flow of the book change when you switch to a different PoV, (point of
view). Also, a lot of authors don’t try to significantly change the
‘feel’ of the stream of consciousness when switching between two
narrators (the H and h). No two people think exactly the same, yet when a
book changes from ‘Sue’ to ‘Joey’ both of them think in the same voice,
they sound the same, but I’m told it’s now Joey. This doesn’t feel
genuine to me, and pulls me out of the narrative. You also do not get
the benefit of other character’s reactions, and I feel first person
really limits the part that ancillary characters can play in a novel
because the focus is solely from one PoV and therefore minimises the
role that other actors in the story can play. Present tense was an
interesting choice and after a while I decided I really wanted my
stories to feel as if they are unfolding in front of you as opposed to
the reader getting a revue of stale events.
also write in my own bastardized version of American and British
English, which is unique, and perhaps not in a good way! I like some
British spellings or terms better, so I’ve adopted them and use them in
also my intention to write erotica that isn’t just about getting to the
exciting bits, (pardon the pun! =), but publish novels that tell an
interesting story. I want the whole package to be there – hot sex, a
compelling story, complex characters and a believable setting and events
– I hope that all comes through! I also try to do research on things I
am not familiar with so I get the facts correct. While these other
elements aren’t perhaps unique, they are not necessarily part and parcel
of every erotica book you pick up either.
13) Which of your characters seems to be the most independent, and has taken on a life of their own?
Actually, all of them to a different degree but Lily and Stuart more
than any, probably because I’ve written a lot more about them.
Sometimes I would write dialogue or a reaction and it wouldn’t sit well
and I’d go back because I realised it was out of character; other times I
thought perhaps I wasn’t getting enough of their personalities through,
or I struggled with slightly exaggerating their reactions and words in
order to emphasize a trait they had. This is the curse and joy of
writing, especially a series – you may have a good idea in your head
about who the players in your story are, but you probably don’t
appreciate their full depth and breadth until you put them through the
paces and they have some mileage under their belt; at some point I think
they come into their own and you feel you’ve hit a bit of a sweet spot
when it happens. =) I feel like I’m getting to that point with Julianna
(‘The Void Chronicles’ series), and to a slightly lesser degree with
Abigail, (‘Sine Qua Non Cycle’), and I’m excited to write more of their
14) What do you want tell your readers at the end of this interview?
H: A few things…
I appreciate that they spent their money and time on my creations; I’ve
been writing a little over two years, I’m not a big name, there are a
lot of choices out there, and despite the fact that I’m an Indie nobody,
a lot of people, (more than I imagined I would see in my first two
years), picked up my books! Thanks for taking a chance on me. =)
Second, I enjoy interacting with readers, answering questions, and getting to know them, and I look forward to more of that!
I wanted to give a little preview of my next project; I’m working on
the follow-on books in my two remaining series but before they are
published, I will complete a standalone paranormal dark erotica novel.
Right now it’s at 80,000 words, and I’ll need another 50,000 or so
before the first draft is done; I’ll post more details on my site when I
am closer to completing it.
And last, thanks to the lovely bloggers at Jeri’s Book Attic for a chance to chat. =)
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