Suzy is single and lives in Sydney Australia's Western Suburbs with one very spoiled dog and two equally spoiled cats to keep her company. Her books always feature older heroes and heroines; ranging from mid 40s to 60s. She believes that being older does not mean we are not intriguing, desirable, open to challenges and willing to experiment. Sexy isn't just for the under 30s. When she is not writing, she is painting. An accomplished Artist, her passion is watercolours and her subject matter ranges from portraits and animals to nudes and seascapes. Oh yes … she also has a penchant for crazy coloured hair - pinks, purples and even rainbowed - and for tattoos! Visit her at Website: http: //suzyshearer.wix.com/suzy
Kat Barrett lives in her small Connecticut home with her husband of thirty years.
She loves animals and is involved with Basenji Rescue. Her two babies, Taz and Ashle are now gone, but they have a special memorial in her garden that she can see while doing dishes. Kat loves to grow her own vegetables in the summer and tries to spend time gardening every day. She is also an artist who loves to draw, paint and airbrush. She is a tattoo fan and loves to design her own tats. She currently has two, but would like to get more in the future.
After having many knee surgeries, Kat was force to sell her motorcycle. Two years ago, her husband built her a three wheel Harley trike for Christmas, and she finds it exhilarating to be able to go motorcycle riding with him again.
Kat’s characters often reflect her own feelings on things, but it is her vivid imagination, in combination with years of reading, that now fuels the stories that she writes.
1) What are you working on? I had an idea for an older author Airy Blithe-Smith who has been widowed for a year. Her husband was very straight-laced and vanilla, but now that he is gone, she is very curious about the erotic reality of her written fantasies. As Airy is trying to get her life back together she is invited out to dinner with two bi-sexual men. Airy is nervous as hell, and almost backs out of the invitation. Lance Graves is a dominate man who lives with Trevor Anex. They are both into toys and various forms of mild BDSM. They convince Airy that they can safely teach her whatever she wants to know about. Airy is terrified, but also intrigued. The two men are extremely interesting and they quickly draw her into their very chocolate world.
question 2) How does your work differ from others in your genre? I have to admit that I haven’t read much in the way of Erotic romance from other authors. The few I have read, I notice differences in writing style. I always try to make the story very intense and emotional. I love a good story line that goes into detail without being overly repetitive. Most of what I used to read was science fiction and I’m sure that influences what I write now. I like to make the reader think. I have had editors note that I always seem to throw something funny in the middle of a serious scene that catches them off guard. Most of the time I don’t even realize it is funny until I go back to do a final proof read. I also like to make the bad characters into the good guys and love finding different genres to write about. Anything goes from vampires, werewolves, shifters and magic to normal men and women. The drama of Armageddon also seems to work well and I have woven it into a few of my books.
question 3) Why do you write what you write? That’s a very good question. My original Tazarian series began with a dream I had after surgery on my neck. I found that I loved writing about things that weren’t normally possible for us plain old humans. I also had many experiences when I was growing up with witchcraft. I have friends who were into the supernatural and who had older siblings who practiced both black and white magic. It gives the book reality because some of the things actually happened to me. The Tazarian books are sexy, but not exactly into the specific, descriptive realm of erotica. More recently, when I submitted my first book to Siren Publishing, I realized that I could add that extra spice into what I write and I enjoy doing it. It becomes a personal challenge to see what odd sexual twists I can come up with that make the scenes and the characters memorable. Obviously, completely human books can’t involved those inhuman activities, so that prompted me to do research into what kinky things can be accomplished in real life. Those real life things take my imagination into a completely different sphere of thought and that’s why I tend to go back and forth between fiction and reality. Sometimes I mix the two.
question 4) How does your writing process work? I suppose that I’m horrible at the technical part. I keep a notebook on the computer that I write on and usually make the occasional note about what I’m writing. Of course, there are also bill payments, phone numbers and completely unrelated things mixed in with the notes. ☺ I usually start with an idea and once I chosen names for the main characters, I sit down and start typing. I let the story build upon itself. As time passes, the personalities seem to come to life, and the storyline flows around them. I try to make each person different, but tend to write strong, crafty, but not overly aggressive female characters. Sometimes I have an idea where it will go, others I have no idea. The ending usually comes when I feel that the tale has been completed and I write the last page.
I have been asked many times, "I wrote a book. How do I get published?"
That is a tough question to answer. In the beginning when I was trying to get my first book published tried the route of sending out manuscipts to science fiction fantasy publishing agents. It is hard to get rejections. They were all polite, but the underlying message was the same. You are an unknown writer, and your writing isn't impressive enough to take a chance on you. They also had an issue with the fact that I had combined sex and adult romance with magic, and science fiction fantasy. I was crossing genres, and it was unacceptable. Violence is okay, but not erotic romance. I didn't care. It was fun to write. I did have one publishing agent who said she was interested as long as I turned the Tazarian Saga into children's books. Back to the crossing genres. There is too much erotic romance and violence to really accomplish that, but I tried. It took me months to rewrite the first book down to young adult level. The agent charged me $300 for editing and handling fees. She never did anything with the book. I learned.
I found a new editor who didn't make big red Xs and write UGHHHH... on pages. She loved my books, but often commented that she would start reading and forget to edit. <gg> I then found Authorhouse who is a POD publisher. Print on Demand. You pay by the page. No one judges your work, they just make it available for sale. It's expensive. They do nothing for free, and don't care if your book sells. I did a book signing in New York. It cost me $500 for a space, and I had to buy my books to give away. Two years ago I took a shot at getting a movie or series deal. I thought the hotel was included. Not! It was an interesting weekend. My husband and I got to wander around time square. I sat through hours of coaching lectures on how to promote your book in five minutes (I was under the impresssion that I would have more time.) Try explaining a four hundred + page book with an intricate story line in five minutes. I was allowed to pitch my story, and I was asked a few questions and then I had to move to the next table. I did this six times, (I was under the impression that I would be pitching to a room full of agents, not just six.) The end result was that my book was not what any of them were looking for just now. I'm not sure if any of us who shared that dream got a contract. Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting Authorhouse down. They offer you advertising deals, and you choose what you want to buy. It was exciting to see my books in print. That doesn't mean it hasn't cost me a fortune, and you have to consider that when you go POD.
Your third option is to go on the internet, and search out publishers in your Genre. Read their submission guidelines very carefully, and make sure they are accepting new writers. If their guidelines match what you are writing, take a shot and submit it. The worst that will happen is you get an email back saying they aren't interested. I have gotten books back from Siren that my friends loved, but Siren didn't. They have issues with shifters having sex while one is in a human form. All he did was lick her p***y while he was still a lion, but it didn't fly. I appreciated the fact that they took the time to let me know why that particular book didn't fit into their publishing imprints. I always have the option of submitting it somewhere else.
The most important thing you can do is to read it over and over. I have read books five of more times, and the editor still sends it back with stupid typos that shouldn't be there. I've gotten really careful about using the words effect and affect, because I always put the wrong one. :) Microsoft word is famous for replacing definitely with defiantly if you spell it wrong.
Also, have your friends read it. Friends who will give you honest feedback. Not friends who will say they love it to your face, and then hate it behind your back. They may be trying to spare your feelings, but they aren't helping you in the long run.
Write what you know is also good advice. I had friends who were into witchcraft and magic when I was younger. Some of the creepy things I experienced have become inspiration, others I have written down as they happened. The fun part is that no one but me knows what is the truth or what is simply fantasy from my mind. If you were given a choice, would you become a vampire or a shape shifter? Questions like that can lead to a very interesting book. If you were the survivor of Armageddon, what would be your dream for the future? If you question things and learn things, you will always have something to write about.
I hope this helps. You do what you can, or what you can afford. If you enjoy writing a book or more than one book, then keep doing it. If you enjoy writing science fiction that is outside the genre, then there is no need to conform to the norm. I started in 2003 and didn't publish with a standard publisher until 2012. I like to write so I kept doing it. I entered a few contests along the way, and got two honory mentions from The Writers Of The Future Contest. I learned and adapted, changing my writing style for the better. I suppose all writers secretly hope to be the next Steven King or Anne Rice. If it happens, great. If it doesn't... I still get to see my books in print and read feedback from people who I have never met. That's what keeps me writing.
The second question that I have been asked many times is, "How do you write a book? Do you do an outline and shit?"
"No." A book usually starts with a stray thought or even a person's name. Once I start putting the words on the computer screen, it just seems to flow together. I often have no prethoughts on what will happen, it just happens. An event or a conversation will cause another event or conversation, ect. ect. ect. I often go back and read things at a later time and think. "Wow. I wrote that?" I will find myself laughing at something funny I had forgotten was there. I don't know if this is common or unusual, but that's how my mind works. I sit down, write and see what happens. If the main conflict isn't resolved until the very end, then I probably didn't know which way it was going to go until it happened. Usually when I over think something, and have an idea of what will happen, the book takes a twist and goes in a totally different direction.
This is probably not very helpful, but it's my only answer. My inspiration is often nothing more than an interesting name or something I see while taking a walk. My last book started when I was looking up a word. One website made note that the word Angel was in Strangely. I should honestly be working on the book rather then writing this, but...
Thanks for reading and checking out my website. Kat...