This week's edition of Interview Monday welcomes London Saint James, erotic writer, to the blog.
Hi London and welcome to Booked Up.
*Waves* Thanks so much for having me!
Like many successful writers, the pull to writing hit you early. I'm glad you chose to pursue it rather than let societal "sensibilities", as you referred to them on your own site, dissuade you. A good love story seems to have been of interest to you from the time you were in grade school. After years of writing, what made you try to publish your work?
I had written a short story with a BDSM twist, so when I saw a submission call for a BDSM anthology called Master of Mine from Evernight Publishing, I decided to submit it. I figured what’s the worst thing that could happen? I pondered it and imagined being told, “You suck as a writer.” I prepared for the worst, but thankfully that didn’t happen. Evernight liked my submission and offered me a place in the anthology.
What character that you've written do you most identify with? What is your favorite story from the ones you written and can you tell us a little about it?
I suppose I identify with parts of several characters that I’ve written about, but the one heroine that really holds a place in my own heart is, Winter Shae Perri from The Heart Of Winter Series. One of my favorite stories comes from that series. Requiem, book 2 in The Heart Of Winter series was a challenge to write, but it is my favorite.
In book 1, Enchanted, Winter Shae Perri is a small town girl from a rural farming community in Colorado, who takes a huge step by leaving home and going to college in the Big Apple. She has to face her fears and insecurities, and allow the perfect man (Austin) to love her. As the series moves on, book 2 Requiem, she faces the ultimate loss the night before her wedding to Austin. Her fairy tale has been shattered in a car crash which takes Austin from her. Years later the recluse romance writer, Winter Wells (her pen name) finds the re-emergence of a love that she thought was long gone. But when her long lost love makes a startling appearance in the form of a Hollywood mega star named Cayden Cain, she can’t deny the pull nor the fact he’s a carbon copy of Austin. From here, she faces more conflicts than you can shake a stick at.
Where do you find the ideas for your paranormal books?
*Smiles* Truly, I’m not real sure how the ideas come. For instance. I think I was actually doing the dishes (I know. Not very inspiring) when the thought came about Winter. I wanted to tell the story of a girl who fell in love despite her disbelief in love. From there the characters took the lead, and the story told itself. My main inspiration was the idea of true love, soul mates, and can two people love each other so much that nothing can keep them apart. Not even death. I thought over the idea of soul transfer and I sat down and wrote a huge book, which turned into the 4-book continuing series that I mentioned above. The Heart Of Winter.
You have an extensive music listening list on your website. I'm curious—do you attach a piece of music to each book you write and does its lyrics or perhaps its rhythm serve as a muse for your work?
Yes. I love music, and often I write while listening to music. I sort of put together a soundtrack that reflects the storyline, and yes this serves as a muse for my work.
What writers do you read the works of? What have been your influences to pursue a writing career in this genre?
Like music, I love to read. Sadly it seems my reading time gets shorter and shorter, but I read many different authors and genres, however, romance and its many sub-genres would be at the top of my lists. As far as what writer I read, and influences there are many. Sarah McCarty (I love the Hell’s Eight series). Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark Hunter series. Lynsay Sands, Rhyannon Byrd, Megan Hart, Victoria Dahl, Gena Showalter, Charlaine Harris... and on and on.
Was it hard say goodbye to your characters in The Heart of Winter?
Book 4, Eternal, is being released March 21st. This will be the end to the series, and yes to answer your question. Once you have been with your characters for such a long time, it is a bit hard to say goodbye.
What’s next for your readers?
Currently I do have a finished erotic novel. The working title: La Bonne Soeur (The Good Sister) I need the time to go over it, polish it, edit it, etc… I’m also working on a BDSM story for the naughty fairy tale line through Evernight. And I’m in collaboration with another author, working on a sci-fi series.
Would you share with us your writing environment? Do you write at home? Do you write longhand or only on a computer? Do you have a dedicated office workspace for yourself?
Sure. My writing environment would be at home, on my laptop, sitting on my couch. I do have a office, but I very rarely write using the desktop computer. I like to be able to move around, so the laptop is what I use the most.
How do you structure your day to allow you to write? Do you get out of bed and get on your machine and write for a specific number of hours or do you write as the mood suits you?
I love the word, structure. I wish I could say I have achieved structure in my writing habits. LOL. I seem to write more often than not, late at night. It would be great to write over the weekends, but other obligations always pop up. I sort of find the time to write. In fact. If I don’t write for a few days, I get a sort of an anxiety about it.
What advice would you give a person wanting to pursue a career writing?
Read. Read. And read some more. Find your voice and writing style, and write about what you love, what you find inspiring. Regardless of being published, write because you enjoy it. Allow your passion to show in your work. Never give up or allow others to discourage you.