June 2, 2006

HEY, LOOK WHAT SLOANE’S GONE AND DONE NOW!

Sloane Taylor’s FIRST book is out as of yesterday, June 1, 2006, a day that will go down in infamy! Sloane is one of my crit partners and a dang fine one if I do say so myself. Her book, a pretty hot erotica, is titled, TEDDI TURNS ON. (We won’t go into details here, you should go to http://www.triskelion.com and download a copy if you want the details, and with today’s huge focus on erotica novels, who doesn’t?) Or, you could visit her website at http://www.sloanetaylor.com and read a lot of things, including recipes, can you believe it. Recently I asked Sloane if she’d like to do an interview when her book is ready and although I had to beg and plead (yeah, sure ;-)) she finally agreed, so here we go:

Sloane, did you have a desire to write when you were very young?

Hey woman, I’m still young. At least I think so until I look in the mirror. Ugh! To answer your question, not really. I’ve kept a diary or journal since before paper was invented. Sometimes I wrote short stories. My favorite class was English and I loved essays. I had never thought of being a writer let alone try to make a living as one.

Oh wait, you mean we can make a LIVING doing this? Hmmm…well, when did you decide you wanted to write novels?

Ten years ago my husband died. At that time I owned a travel agency and to overcome the grief I literally traveled the world. About four years back a tremendous pressure built in me and grew daily. I began to see these short scenes before me, like watching disjointed movie clips. I wrote the damned things down because it was the only way to clear my head. A friend knew of a group of writers who met weekly, and shoved me in that direction. They welcomed me about three years ago and have suffered through my work ever since. One of the members decided she would be my mentor. I’ve always felt she was either on drugs or desperate for a good laugh. Anyhow, this well-known author who wishes to remain anonymous–the chicken–took me under her wing and spent time, which I’m sure she feels has been an eternity, teaching me the technicals of writing. To her I will always be grateful

What a wonderful, dear, sweet, beautiful and talented friend she must be! 😉 What made you decide this?

It was never a conscious decision. It was a path I stumbled onto.

You’re currently writing erotica. Tell us about your first book, TEDDI TURNS ON.

TEDDI TURNS ON is about a widow who owns a travel agency. Gee, what a surprise! She gets screwed over by a German tour operator on a group tour contract. Her only recourse is to confront him, face-to-face, and force him to honor their agreement. Along the way she meets David, who owns a successful boot manufacturing company. He’s not a cold man, sex is an important part of his life, but commitment is not. Teddi hasn’t yet learned to let go of the past. The attraction she feels for David brings on guilt she doesn’t know how to deal with. Their story is a learning experience for both people.

Ah, I see! An erotic learning experience, right? You have more books planned in this series. Tell us about the series concept that got you a four book contract right off the bat.

All the characters are older, thirty-five plus. I’m older and got sick of reading all the cutesy, perfectly shaped girls who got the guy. I wanted to read about women and how they solved real life problems. I figured the best way to do that was write it. The Magnificent Men of Munich series is based on four university friends who have become successful men in their chosen fields. Their lives weave in and out of each others’, leaving little time for women unless it’s a one-night stand. Each has a problem from their past they refuse to face. The four American women these guys hook up with all have a connection of some sort to the travel agency. Each woman has a unique strength that attracts their man, thus allowing him to recognize and overcome his weakness.

Oh, I’ve gotta read THOSE books for sure! So, after you do them, what’s next?

Wow! Do you have enough time and space for all that info? There are five more books in various stages of progress. All are romances and definitely erotic. Two are a series and two others will be suspense. (I have a lot of faith in my publisher, don’t I?)

I guess! Sloane, you’re doing a lot of promo. Tell us about it. What do you like least about doing it, and why?

I’m a “not in your face” type of person, so for me it’s daunting and a hell of a lot of work, but it has to be done if I want people to know about my book. On my publisher’s loops I read everything other writers were doing to promote but some of it just didn’t suit my personality. I did feel comfortable about pens, so with the help of friends we built the Ink Infantry. (Stop laughing. It works.) Each of these people took a bag full of pens and my postcards then distributed them to everyone they know. Conferences need goody bag items so I selected five across the US and one in Germany to ship pens and postcards. To celebrate the release of TEDDI TURNS ON we are doing drawings on June 1, 5, and 8. Each day two people will win a bath scrubby and two bars of honey soap featured in each of my books. Also, I hooked up with Coffee Time Romance, Road to Romance, and Romance Junkies to advertise my book. Copies of Teddi Turns On were sent to them, along with Rendezvous and Wantz Upon a Time, for reviews. Now I’m biting my nails to the quick, waiting to see what’s said about my baby.

And your baby was finally born yesterday, congratulations! (SECRETARY, OH SECRETARY, please order a silver mug and have it sent to Sloane, will you?) So what do you like best about doing promo, Sloane?

That I hired Karen Simpson as my publicist. The woman is a dynamo and sets up reviews, interviews, lectures, anything she can think of.

How do your family and friends feel about your writing career?

My true friends were elated when they heard the good news that my first book was being published. My adult daughter is supportive, but wishes I didn’t write erotica. I guess no kid, no matter how old, wants mom to know too much about sex. Studly, my S/O, thinks it’s cool and prods me forward daily. My critique partners are brilliant writers who have no problem offering advice or vetoing a scene. My mentor faithfully wields her 2×4 across my backside when I get lazy. See? This is all good stuff and uplifting to a writer.

Now…the other part of the family and other friends…by their reaction you’d think I’d authored the DaVinci Code and they were the Spanish Inquisition. They had a variety of reactions. Some were glad to know I’d developed a little hobby to fill in my spare time. Others were positive “this little fancy” would pass when I realized no one was interested in anything I had to write. My favorites were the ones who, after I announced the book was sold, immediately changed the subject. Nice people, huh? What they haven’t figured out is, their negativity and jealousy won’t hold me back.

Now that you’ve done the deed, what do you think is the most important thing anybody who wants to write novels has to do first?

Decide if writing is a hobby or a career. If you want it as your career then treat it as such. Develop a writing regimen. Join a critique group. And learn, learn everything you can get your hands on. No one is so good they have nothing to learn from another human being.

And after that?

Get your ass into the chair and write.

You’ve traveled extensively all over the world. If you had a choice, where would you love to live right now?

I would never give up my American citizenship, nor would I become an ex-patriot. So with that in mind, I’d like to live on the Geisberg, a mountain just outside Salzburg, Austria, for one year. I’d have to have a roof over my head and that roof would be the Hotel Kobenzl, a luxury spa hotel with all the balconies overlooking Salzburg. That atmosphere would be very conducive for my writing.

When you’re writing, what holds you up most, if anything?

Myself. I procrastinate unless I’m super excited about my project and then I won’t stop to sleep.

What do you feel is the most important thing to understand when you become a published author, and how did you go about understanding it yourself?

Unlike the diet du jour we switch off whenever a tempting dessert appears, or in my case a fresh jar of mayonnaise, you’ve made a commitment. There’s now a publisher who had enough faith in you to offer a contract. Readers have decided to spend their hard earned money on your book. You have to live up to that commitment and produce better books.

How do I understand that myself? That’s another toughie. After all the excitement and celebrating settled down I had an epiphany. This wasn’t a game or a fluke. This was the real thing, and my life had made a major right turn onto the high road. It scared me to death, so I had a long talk with myself to determine if I could handle being an author. After I tossed aside my barf bag and calmed down, I knew I could because I love writing and I’m good at it. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not an Ernest Hemingway nor do I profess to be like him. I’ve just learned there’s a God given talent in me and I need to use it, cause I don’t want to mess with the Big Guy.

This JUST cracks me up–you’re also a gourmet cook. What’s your favorite food that you love to cook?

Italian because it’s the easiest. No measuring. It’s all by taste and the aroma that fills the house is the best.

So what’s your favorite food when you go to a restaurant?

This might tick off the animal rights activists, but it’s veal. All menus I see have a big neon arrow pointing right at those tender little medallions.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?

Let’s see, the phone never rings, my cup of hot water and fresh lime juice is endless, and 4,000 flawless words magically appear on my computer. Don’t ask for much do I? .

Okay, we get the picture, you never have perfect days. What keeps you going as a writer?

My mentor and Studly. I’ve built this image in my mind that if I let either of them down by not producing, I’ve failed them and they’ll be disappointed in me. (Giving away too much info here.)

Anything else you’d like to add, either personal or professional, or both?

Professionally – If a person is serious about writing as their career choice they must remember that writing is a business. There’s no room or time to be anything but being professional. You can’t run and hide after a rejection or negative comment. Those things must spur you on to be better. Keep your mind open to new things. You’ll never stop learning unless you choose to, and that’s a shame because no one is that smart. Should writing become “work”, get the hell out of the profession. Negative attitudes will shine through in your writing.

Personally – Life should be fun or at least have many happy aspects to it. People make their own fun. You can’t rely on others to do it for you. So how do I do it? Many years ago a very good friend said she eliminated anyone from her life that dragged her down. Gwen didn’t mean the person who had problems they needed to discuss and wanted to resolve, she meant the whiners and bitchers who never let up and therefore change you. I’ve adopted her policy and my life has changed one hundred percent.

Sloane, thanks for dropping by and allowing me to blast to the entire universe that you’ve got a new book out. Folks, I read it and it is very, very good. Go nab it.

And thanks, loves, for dropping by my blog. I’m leaving in a few days for Mt. McKinley with Count Babbalallapaloozo, mountain climbing, don’tcha know, and don’t worry, our chefs and assistants are coming with us. I’ll have my laptop, so you’ll see me again in a few days. Until then, stay well, stay safe, and I love y’all,
Hotclue Herself

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Comments

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  1. Congrats, Sloane! Bestof luck to you!

    Reply

  2. Hmm, I think your mentor is on drugs (legal) and crazy (but not certifiable). Congrats Lady! I’m so damn proud of you! For me, it’s soooo better to be able to pick your friends, since you can’t pick your relatives. I’ll blog about you later today. Love Ya, Miss Ya, Keep Writing.

    Also, ‘Studly, ‘prods’ you. My, my you do write erotica, don’t you!

    Reply

  3. Thanks, Girls. I’m very appreciative of all your support.

    Ahh, yes, dear Studly. Hmm, proding you say. Sounds good too me!!

    Reply

  4. Congrats to Sloane on publication of her first, and to Hotclue for being quick and savvy enough to spread the word. This is one of the more interesting interviews I’ve read lately. I haven’t really read erotica, but a widowed travel agent — boy, can I identify. This is a book I’ll have to read!

    Sloane, I’m so glad for your success. The only thing I’m jealous of is your critique group. (-: I’m sitting here on the equivalent of a desert island and I really miss the brainstorming and feedback.

    By the way, what’s with the cup of hot water and fresh lime juice? Do you just like the taste or is it exceptionally good for the old bod?

    Pat Browning

    Reply

  5. I’ve been wondering about the water and lime juice too, but it sure sounds good. I’ve done that with lemon, but never lime. I think you’ll enjoy Sloane’s book, Pat, it’s very good. We actually have a very small crit group, only six of us, that’s our limit, but it sure comes in handy for brainstorming sessions!
    Hugs, Hotclue Herself

    Reply

  6. Hi Pat!! Should you read Teddi Turns On please share your thoughts with me. It’s very important for me to know what people think of it.

    The hot water and lime isn’t especially great for this old bod, but it’s refreshing in the morning. I like soemthing warm first thing and since Studly’s at work – sorry I digress.

    I used to drink a LOT of coffee. It got to where my stomach was sore all the time. A few years back I switched to hot water and lime, easier than lemon. Amazingly I noticed a difference in my skin. I guess what they say about caffeine aging our skin is true.

    Give it a try and let me know what you think.

    Sloane

    Reply

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