I am so pleased to be able to host a visit for writing team, Sloane Taylor and Robert Appleton. I am so intrigued as to how you got together and how you write your books? I can not imagine anyone tolerating my writing process enough to produce a good solid story. Tell us more!
1) Did you set any goals for 2011?
ST: Not this year. After completing six books in 2010 and promoting at every available spot, I decided a slower pace was needed before my family gave me an all expense paid vacation to a facility with padded cells. In 2011, I’ll write just four books. They are for Amber Quill Press. If there’s enough time left in the year, I’d love to dig out the story I’m dying to write. Rachel, it seems I do have a goal after all.:)
RA: Like Sloane, I went a little epub crazy last year, finishing a massive SF novel, two steampunk books, and various editing/sobbing/screeching assignments. In 2011, I’m going to tackle one of my dream projects: a haunted house novel. If it turns out well, I’m going to sub it to a traditional publisher here in England (where it’s spookier).
- 2) What is the best part of the writing process for you?
ST: Plotting the characters and the storyline are awesome highs. It’s great fun to see how much trouble my leads can get into before they come to a satisfying end. Sometimes they fight me to tell more, but I believe a couple should retain some secrets.
RA: The best part of the writing process for me is that deep, sublime sigh that follows the last word of the final draft. It’s relief, pride and victory all in one…before the prospect of writing a synopsis puckers your soul. I like to prolong that after-prose high as long as I’m animally able.
- 3) The worst part?
ST: I am a world class procrastinator who can find every excuse not to work. The worst part of my job is to stay at the keyboard and write. Sometimes I even threaten myself with no candy after dinner if I mess around too long. It never works because my self-control is as bad as my procrastination. Lol
RA: Ditto! And sometimes, an editor asking me to describe a character’s emotion as a physical reaction drives me up the blinking wall. There are only so many ways to say, Her heart pounded. One time I got fed up and wrote, Her chest-jelly wobbled hoola-style against her ribs. No, it didn’t make the final cut, but I might keep trying until it does!
- 4) What is the book you wish you’d written?
ST: Rachel, I’m a diehard suspense/mystery lover. Each of my books contains a small element, but I’d love to write a full-blown suspense with a female crime solver. I have one in the works tucked away. Some day. Definitely some day.
RA: You must pen that this year, Sloane. You’d write an awesome hard-boiled female detective. One book I wish I’d written is Olaf Stapledon’s SF classic ‘Star Maker’. It’s simply the most imaginative book I’ve ever read. The protagonist is out walking one night and looks up at the stars. The next thing he knows, he’s out of body and has embarked on an incredible journey that will span the entire lifetime of the cosmos…and beyond. Humbling and deeply empowering at the same time.
- 5) Favourite author/s & book/s?
ST: There’s not enough room to list all my favorite authors. lol. The book I cherish and read time and again is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. It’s a terrifying story of one man’s life in a manmade hellhole, a Soviet work camp in Siberia. Solzhenitsyn is a fantastic writer who makes you feel and smell everything his characters suffer. Each time I read it, I still get goose bumps.
RA: I’ll just say one for now: King Solomon’s Mines by H Rider Haggard. My favourite author and my favourite type of adventure—in uncharted places, this time in deepest, darkest Africa. I love Victorian genre writers passionately.
- 6) Tell us about your latest release?
RA: Sloane and I co-wrote Claire de Lune, an erotic SF mystery, last year. It was a unique co-op in that I’d already written the story in a shorter, less spicy form before I invited Sloane on board. Something about the characters in their setting—a luscious beauty pageant on the moon—had never really come alive the way I wanted. So I turned to my favourite erotic romance writer and…luckily she agreed to join forces and make the story all it could be and more. One of the best decisions I’ve made as a writer.
- 7) Tease us with a blurb/short except
You’re invited to the galaxy’s most prestigious beauty pageant. Clothing optional. Romance and danger…fully provided…
Cocky young detectives Gerry Rappeneau and Sebastian Thorpe-Campbell arrive at the premier lunar resort expecting a week of eye candy and long massages. With a half-billion-credit purse up for grabs, this year’s pageant is the focus of a hundred worlds. And beauty isn’t the only thing in the eye of the beholder.
One contestant, Evelyn Lyons, is attacked and her assailant killed. Surely a simple case of a stalker gone mad, as nothing bad ever happens at the Selene contest. So the brochure says.
The closer Gerry gets to Evelyn, the more he is convinced she’s hiding something. His meticulous character sparks with her wild, sassy nature, and they embark on a torrid affair. Their forbidden romance isn’t the only thing set to ignite in Pont de Reves.
Sebastian’s infatuation with demure Claire Villiers, another contestant, threatens to put all four of them in harm’s way.
A deadly trail of corporate conspiracy, monstrous assassins and hot bikini wax is more than anyone bargained for in this incendiary erotic mystery. Get ready for some serious heat on the dark side of the moon.
Evelyn’s self-esteem soared like a rocket into space as she gazed into Gerry’s dark blue eyes. All the need and desire that filled him shone through. She liked him, maybe even more than that if she were honest, and had wanted him from the moment his pompous ass walked into her hotel room. Being with him and initiating sex tonight was the right thing for her to do.
Gerry wrapped an arm around her waist, tugging her closer, as if he sensed how frail she was at that moment.
A sigh escaped her. Damn, his hard chest felt good against her achy boobs, but not as good as his rigid cock nestling into her belly.
“Don’t talk.” She hadn’t heard that name in a long time, not since her father was murdered.
He nodded and traced his index finger along her bottom lip. She nipped the tip, then sucked it in, tonguing the pad until he groaned.
“Ah, Ev—” He caught her face in both of his hands and kissed her with a passion that ignited her like none other.
His tongue toyed against the seam of her mouth and she willingly opened to welcome him. He delved in, a beautiful taste of wine and herbs, lapping and swirling until her knees trembled. With a regretful sigh, she pulled away.
“Did I do something wrong?”
“Shh. No talking. It’s my little quirk.” She gently tapped his mouth, then took his hand and led him closer to the purple sand. After she stooped, she patted the floor, inviting him to join her. He made short work of sprawling out and laid his arms at his sides.
Evelyn rose up on her knees and combed her hands down his chest, flicking his nipples until they sprang to life. Intrigued by their stiff peaks, she swiped her tongue over her dry lips and leaned into him, licking and sucking the copper-colored discs.
She continued lower to the blond tuft cradling his cock. Gently, she glided her thumb over his swollen head, teasing the drops of pre-cum from the slit to the sensitive underside. Her other hand cupped his balls, rolling the tight sacs with her fingers, taking pleasure in her teasing.
His hips jerked with each light touch. He fisted his hands and dug his heels into the floor. Through hooded eyes, he watched, but did as she had requested and maintained silence.
On a rush of air, she gave his lips a quick peck and eased over him, holding her thighs tight against his lean frame. Heat emanated from his body, soothing and stimulating, a new awareness she longed to experience more than just once.
Her breasts swayed mere inches from his mouth. He stretched up and tweaked her pebbled nipples with his thumbs and index fingers. Cuddling them together, he licked and suckled the sensitive tips, first one, then the other. A deep shiver rocketed through her, increasing the ache low in her belly.
She teased his cock along her nether lips, loving the feel of his hot flesh grazing against her clit. In slow motion, she edged onto his shaft, savoring the inches that penetrated her wet vagina.
He rocked into her, clutching her hips, holding her in place. She locked her hands around his wrists and pulled them away, the need to set the pace paramount.
Time stood still. The only sounds in the room were their pants and grunts as they ground against each other. He stopped mid-thrust, his face set in a grimace.
“Nothing,” he bit out through clenched teeth. “This is so sexy I don’t want to come.”
“I do.” She slapped his hip. “Again and again.”
Rising up on her knees, Evelyn again found her momentum and rode him harder, faster, loving
the feel of him pounding inside her. Her breath hitched as he thrust higher, deeper, tapping her womb, the sensation sublime.
Sweat beaded on her forehead. Her body tensed. She gritted her teeth, unable to control the emotion skyrocketing through her…
- 8) What is your favourite attribute of the hero and heroine?
ST: We have two heroes and heroines. My favorites are Sebastian Thorpe-Campbell and Claire Villiers.
Sebastian is a man’s man in every sense of the word with a rakish sense of humor. I love how Rob created both his strong and gentle sides.
Svelte Claire is a social goddess who knows which fork to use, but also can get down and dirty if necessary.
RA: My favourite couple is Gerard Rappeneau and Evelyn Lyons. They’re both eccentric and huge fun to be around. He’s a posh dandy with an analytical brain, while she’s a sassy Scandinavian beauty who definitely doesn’t know which fork to use. Evelyn’s really the fish out of water in this story. Sloane and I collaborated most on her, and we made her a flawed but flavoursome heroine.
- 9) What’s next?
RA: We’re currently working on a prequel-of-sorts to Claire de Lune, featuring our favourite supporting character, the pageant’s irreverent doctor, Grace Peters. We’re going to tell her tale, and it’s a wild, unpredictable one. Lots of hot encounters and sci-fi intrigue on the Dark Side of the Moon.
- 10) Tell me where you write?
ST: I have a dedicated office that looks like it was taken hostage by a gang of kleptomaniacs. The lavender walls are covered with story boards and items such as jewelry, scarves, undies, a couple of handguns and whatever else is pertinent to the lead characters and plot in my future books. My glass desk is weighed down with dictionaries, thesauruses, and strewn with enough paper to start my own daily newspaper. I vow every Monday I’ll clean it up or at least organize the chaos. Somehow it never happens.
RA: I write on a desk under my bookshelves (mostly filled with DVDs). It’s a cosy little nook where the world can’t touch me and where I am master of all I survey. Until the bloody phone rings, that is. I heart (wobbly hoola-style) my writing space.
- 11) Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?
ST: Living and writing in a magnificent chalet on a mountainside in Austria. Of course I’ll have made enough money to also have a houseman to answer my every whim. Well, a girl can dream. lol.
What I’m striving for is to create more bestsellers in both erotic romance and mainstream suspense. An added plus would be to do my heart’s dream - a cookbook. I’m an avid cook and have hundreds of recipes to share.
RA: In 5 years, I’d like to have written at least three of my dream projects and have them in bookstores. It would take some fancy genre-juggling—as they’d be in separate sections of the store—but it’d be worth it. I’d hate to leave any of my dream projects unwritten. That thought scares the bejesus out of me.
- 12) Where can we find you?
ST: Just a few places so I can keep my head on straight.:) My website is www.sloanetaylor.com where each month guest authors share easy and tasty recipes. My main blog is located there, too. I’m also on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php and finally figured out how to create a fan page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sloane-Taylor/130811866964428?v=info&edit_info=all#!/pages/Sloane-Taylor/130811866964428?v=wall.
RA: You can find me at my website www.robertappleton.co.uk , my Mercurial Times blog http://robertbappleton.blogspot.com , and I also blog fortnightly at CONTACT: Infinite Futures, the Carina Press SF hub. I’d also be glad to friend you on twitter: www.twitter.com/robertappleton and Facebook: www.facebook.com/robertbappleton
Hot excerpt, guys! Phew-wee!! And a great interview - fascinating! So you are here in the UK too, Robert? I live in the South West. Where are you, Sloane? In the UK too? Please tell us more about your writing process - I think it's great.
Oh, and Robert, you've inspired me to read King Solomon's Mines - never read and Victoriana is one of my many passions!