|My friend and fellow smut-peddler, Crystal Jordan's first release from Kensington Aphrodisia is out today! Her novella, IN ICE, is part of the Sexy Beast V anthology with the fabulous Kate Douglas and Vonna Harper. As if the cover weren't enough to tempt you, I've interviewed Crystal to find out what goes on in the mind of an erotica author. Read on...
~Tell me about your writing journey: how did you begin to write, how did you come to write erotic romance?
I started out a chick lit writer. Yeah, I know…really different from where I ended up. But I’m a fan of snarky comedy, so that’s what I wanted to write. Don’t get me wrong, I still love snarky dialogue, but I also love the angst-ridden, naughty characters that I write now. Putting it all together works for me.
Getting into writing was something I did by accident. I’d just finished graduate school and began my first “real” job where I found myself without homework or assigned reading to fill my evenings. I read like mad until I got bored with it and cranky about all the writers messing with my favorite characters. So, I decided to try it myself. The rest is history.
~Everyone always wants to know about the glamorous life of a writer. What’s your typical day like? (You can make stuff up if you want-I won’t mind!).
Well, after my morning rubdown from Fabio, I slip into silk pajamas and then the words just flow forth from my fingers onto the page. Right, then the alarm goes off, I drag my ass out of bed, dress and head for my job at a university library. I do a full day of work teaching research skills to (toootally grateful and fascinated) college freshman before I head to the gym for a half hour (where Vin Deisel is my personal trainer. Really). After sweating and kinda wanting to die, I go home and open an artery to drip words out one at a time until I make page count. Then bedtime. Wash, rinse, repeat.
~What do you feel are the particular challenges in writing erotic fiction? What do you think are the most common mistakes made by new writers or those who are new to the genre?
I think the biggest issue that writers face is making sure the sex is graphic but not gratuitous. It has to be an integral part of the story and character development or it reads like porn rather than erotica or erotic romance. And those are very different genres with very different target audiences.
~You’ve written a number of shape-shifters (although often in a very unique way!). Why do you think shape-shifters are so popular with readers?
Well, who doesn’t want a fantasy man who’s a real animal in bed…and out of it? Rowr.
~Just because it’s a personal favorite of mine, please talk a bit about your dirty pirate story. And where did you get the idea for the candle scene? *G*My dirty pirate story, TREASURED, is all my best friend’s fault. She said there wasn’t enough pirate time travel romances…and there were never any brown-haired, brown eyed, history graduate student heroines like her. And so my heroine was born.
The candle scene is all my hero James’s fault. I told him not to do it, but he’s a pirate. He doesn’t deal well with authority.
~You write for multiple publishers-is it difficult to produce enough to keep them all happy? How much do you write each year?
Oh, jeez. I’m a bit of a workaholic, so while I stress out like everyone else, I’ve never had a lot of problem writing enough to keep everyone happy. That may change as I go on, but for now I’m doing okay. I also am an OCD list maker, so I’m anal about staying on schedule and making my page count every day. It’s all about discipline…and neuroses.
Last year, I’m estimate that I wrote somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 words. Holy crap, I’m tired just looking at that.
~You’ve been pretty prolific, but it seems that all of us have those days where we doubt ourselves, where we get burned out or blocked. How do you cope with those moments?
I whine to my friends, they pick me up, dust me off, call people bad names on my behalf, and then kick me back into the game.
~Tell us about your ideal hero. And I want details!
It’s simple, really. Tall, dark, ripped, and gorgeous. Hung like a horse and knows how to use what Mother Nature blessed him with. Well-read and intelligent. Nothing is hotter than a smart man. (Nice! EB)
~If you could be any one of your characters, who would it be and why? Which of your characters do you feel is most like you?
I think the character that is most like me is the one from my very first story, EVERY WITCH WAY. They told me to write what I knew, so she’s me…with magical powers. Her name is Chloe, and she has a crazy family, weird co-workers, and a hero who decides the best way to keep her safe from werewolf terrorists is to just move in to her house…and then her bedroom. I just sold that book to Kensington Aphrodisia, and I believe it should be coming out sometime in late 2010 or early 2011.
~Tell us about your story in the SEXY BEAST V Anthology. And give us a li’l excerpt-I always like a good tease!
My story is called IN ICE and here’s what it’s about: When Jain Roberts’ ship crashes on a distant, futuristic planet, she’s rescued by Kesuk, the lusty clan leader of the Arctic Bears. This magnificent creature with white-blond hair and a potent masculinity haunts her dreams—dreams he intends to make deliciously real, as he draws her into a realm of complete sexual abandon.
And a little teaser excerpt:
“Help me! Please…somebody help.”
Jain’s teeth chattered as she scanned the foreign landscape. Snow covered the rocky ground in a thick layer, and massive trees surrounded the clearing on all sides, hemming her in so she couldn’t get her bearings. Night began to fall, and the temperature dropped rapidly. Crossing her arms over her breasts, she rubbed her numb hands over her biceps to try and stimulate circulation. God, she was so cold. Ice bit into her legs, scraping the skin away and leaving her feet raw and bleeding.
She’d been wandering around naked since her ship crashed, and her personal pod had released her from cryogenic freeze. Had anyone else made it out? The ship had held a full crew and one other passenger besides her. It had exploded in a fiery array of reds, yellows, and oranges, but she’d seen no one else from the ship. The roiling smoke had spun through the towering trees and into the afternoon sky in twists of black soot. Since no rescue party had responded to the crash, she assumed she’d landed in an uninhabited area.
“Hellooooo!” Her voice echoed over the frozen landscape.
With each moment that passed, she felt her strength draining, her ability to reason slipping away. She struggled to collect her wandering thoughts, to plan how to save herself. Fading in and out of consciousness, she wondered how much longer she could last without shelter. She had no idea what planet she was on. She should have landed on Aquatilis, where her brother worked as a marine geneticist, but Aquatilis was almost completely covered in water, and she was in the middle of a mountain range. Something had gone seriously wrong. There weren’t supposed to be any other inhabitable planets in this solar system, but she could breathe and the gravity was almost normal. Where the hell was she?
Kesuk had seen the fiery explosion in the distance and had come to investigate. His sentries fanned out to surround the clearing. The feud with the Browns had just been settled, but it looked as though they wished to start again. He heaved a weary sigh, his paws crunching through the thick sheet of ice as he drew nearer the inferno. Would they never learn?
Their leaders smiled and bowed to his face while their warriors slaughtered his livestock and stole his women. He slid his tongue over his long fangs, enjoying the idea of catching them breaking the pact. His young daughter might enjoy a Brown slave. A low growl of pleasure rumbled through his chest at the thought. He hadn’t started this feud, but he’d finish it.
Relishing the prospect of a good fight, he quickened his pace. Rolling his shoulders, he stretched into a lumbering run, his long strides eating the distance. Pricking his ears, he stayed alert for signs of an ambush.
The ragged cry sounded to his left, bringing him up short. His breath snorted clouds in the icy air as he waited to hear it again. Padding lightly, he crept between the trees, winding his way toward the origin of the noise.
A woman. A woman unlike any he’d ever seen. Naked, glorious, tiny, her short tufts of brown hair sleek against her skull. Her eyes drew him, greener than the leaves of a Sitka tree. He ran his tongue down a curved canine tooth, eyeing her softly curved form, the thatch of tight dark curls between her slim thighs. Perhaps it was not his daughter who would gain a slave this day. Her sudden appearance and odd coloring demanded he examine her more closely. His men would investigate the explosion and seek him out to report their findings. They knew their duty because he trained them well.
Foolish of her clan to allow her out alone. What was she doing in the borderlands? Her skin was too pale to be a Black or a Brown. He sighed in regret as he drew near. Perhaps she was addled; such birth defects or misfortunes were known to happen. She wandered through the snow, her broken gait and dazed expression making it obvious she would freeze to death. And soon. He raised his nose to the wind, trying to catch her scent. She wasn’t of his clan, that much he knew, but she was on his land.
She belonged to him.
…And now for some silly questions…
~Choose five words your closest friends would use to describe you.
snarky, smart, batshit-crazy (because if you hyphenate, it’s totally one word), irreverent, bossy
~What are your favorite comfort foods?
Turkey club sandwiches, spaghetti, enchiladas, pizza
~Describe your perfect vacation: where would it be? What would you do?
A Tahitian beach with a hot naked Tahitian man…and he is what I would do.
~If you could visit any fictional place (Oz, Narnia, post-apocalyptic Road Warrior world), where would you go?
I’d be on board the Serenity, flying around space with a genius crazy chick, a hot doctor, hotter mercenaries, and a space hooker.
~Do you have a dream car?
A Harley Davidson motorcycle…and a hot man to drive me around on it.
~Do you have a star crush?
Vin Deisel. The bod, the voice. He could make me come on command.
~On a man: boxers, briefs or commando?
Boxers, I like a present to unwrap. And briefs are just…no.
~Is there anything people would be shocked to know about you? C’mon-you know you want to tell!
Nope, sorry. I’m a (very dirty) open book. Ask me anything.
…Now back to the serious stuff…
~What projects are you working on and what can we expect to see released soon?
I have several books coming out in the next year. For e-books, I have BLACK OPALS coming out from Ellora’s Cave and TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART from Samhain Publishing in October of 2008. Later this year, I have a short story coming out from Harlequin Spice Briefs called WILD. In January, the sequel to my Samhain release comes out, BIG GIRLS DON’T DIE.
For print books, the sequel to “In Ice” comes out in December of 2008, called CARNAL DESIRES. Another erotic shape-shifter releases in May 2009, ON THE PROWL. In October of 2009, I have a novella in a holiday anthology from Kensington Aphrodisia called NAUGHTY OR NICE.
And I just sold three new erotic romances to Kensington, two dark futuristic shape-shifters, DANGEROUS TEMPTATION and KITH AND KIN, and one urban fantasy erotic romance, EVERY WITCH WAY. They should come out in 2009-2011.
~Where can we find you on the Internet?
My website: http://www.crystaljordan.com
My blog: http://www.crystaljordan.com/blog
My Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crystal-jordan
Labels: Crystal Jordan, erotic romance, erotica, Kate Douglas, pirates, Sexy Beast, Shape shifter, Vonna harper