Let’s get straight into it. What inspired you to start writing?
SL: I’ve always wanted to write ever since I was in my late teens but I didn’t get the cahonnies to publish until almost four years ago. I know writing fanfiction is what really gave me the courage. It felt great to have people give me compliments on my writing.
So, how long have you been writing?
SL: Almost four years now and I hope to be writing a lot more.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
SL: Oh what wouldn’t I say. One, always have a beta reader or two to read behind you. Two, do in depth research on publishers before you decide to sign a contract. Ask around about the company before signing on the dotted line. Three, never sget too high when things go good or too low when things aren’t exactly the way you want. There are PLENTY of ups and downs for authors. You have to stay on an even keel to not keep from losing your mind.
Are you like the rest of us keyboard tappers and suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
SL: I usually read something else and if that doesn’t work, I move on from that story and try something else. Or I’ll edit an old story. Believe me, I have plenty to be re-written. *laughs*
How about giving us a few insights? How do you develop your plot and characters?
SL: I write down important details after doing a character arc. I write under three names so I need to make sure I keep their methods and voices separate. I keep docs on my computer for stories, developed or not and add more scenes as I go along. When I feel I have enough, I find time to write the story.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
SL: At times from listening to music or as I’m writing the general thing will come to me. Sometimes I’ll have the title before the rest of the plot. *laughs* Yep, I have several like that. They don’t get written until they have a more complete story.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
SL: The ending, period. I always agonize over how I finished a book. Did I cover everything in the middle? Did I thoroughly explain myself during each scene? And when it’s time to write the end, did I sum up the characters story to the best of my ability?
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
SL: Besides spend time with family, I love live music. One of my muses is a metalhead so I attend a lot of rock shows in my spare time. I also write for an online magazine called FourteenG.net
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
SL: I’ve written 39 books. *eyes widen* I didn’t even realize it was that many until I checked the list. Some of them are no longer in publication because of the publisher folding or the contracts ending but I intend to re-publish all of them at some point. And like all moms who are asked about their favourite child, I really cannot pick a favourite book but if I had to, I’d do my latest, I Love it Rough right now. I believe I gre up a lot in this book, going outside my comfort zone of writing romance.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
SL: I’m a little bit of both. *smiles* Michael Mandrake likes a lot of details ahead of time so he and I will sit, do in depth research, write down scenes, do a character arc all before we write the novel. Rawiya does a little of that too at times but mostly in depth with characters. She’s my non complicated muse so it’s easy to write with her. And then there is BLMorticia who mostly writes from the gut. If the story is long or requires research, she will do details and research but no scene plots for her. Its tough writing with 3 different voices.
If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?
SL: I think I’d spend more time writing and learning. I started by writing shorts and they were getting published but because I didn’t really start with writing novels, that might’ve made it tougher to get my name out there. In the romance genre, readers are bigger fans of longer works, especially in m/m. Most of my early reviews are, wish the story was longer. If I could go back, I’d do longer books and have beta readers before subbing anything to publishers.
Livin’ in N’awlins ain’t all that easy…
Kajika Fortier loves his job, the attention he gets from onlookers, and Frankie Choteau. However, his new partner’s jealousy, mood swings, and over protectiveness drives Kajika to the brink but at the same time, excites him to no end.
To complicate things further, a murderer is on the loose looking for blood. All three of the killer’s victims are strippers which not only makes Frankie nervous about Kajika’s safety but leaves him questioning his love for being a homicide detective. Coupled with the stresses of cold cases as well as some fellow officers shunning him for coming out, Frankie is having second thoughts about staying in New Orleans. Despite the encouragement from Vance, Kenina, and Orrin as well as new chief Quinn Murray, Frankie is wondering if his life’s passion really is to catch the killers.
Will the new couple survive these new issues that impede their nearly perfect union? Or will the relationship fail, thus leaving Kajika alone and a target for New Orleans latest serial killer? Detective Choteau and Kajika’s commitment to one another is being tested in more ways than one and they only have one another to lean on.
Kajika stepped out of the tub, grabbing the towel nearby to dry off. He’d been looking forward to spending the night and the early part of the day with his man, but duty called, causing Frankie to run out the door without saying anything more than ‘I’m gone’ and ‘I love you’.
Sometimes Kajika wished Frankie worked a nine to five instead of the dreaded detective position he held at the police station. They hadn’t had much time with the workload being so large due to shortage of staff, and it affected their relationship more than Kajika would’ve liked. At first he thought he could handle it; the excitement of his hot homicide detective out in the streets solving murders. Such a dangerous career but with it came nice money and accolades. Although Kajika was scared to death of blood and dead bodies, he loved hearing about some of Frankie’s cases, including the more intriguing ones that had yet to be solved. Tonight though, he would’ve traded all that in for his Frankie to be by his side.
In bed with me, where he should be.
Kajika finished wiping down and wrapped himself in his terry cloth robe to get ready for bed. He’d thought about staying up and watching some television, hoping that Frankie might return sooner than later, but he knew the truth. When called in, detectives don’t make it back home within a couple of hours. More like a few hours, or even half the day, would pass before he’d see his man again. As long as he came home safe, Kajika would deal with the amount of hours he spent away from their warm bed in Kenner, Louisiana.
On the way to the bedroom, Kajika wrapped his hair in the towel, drying his long strands. He glanced at the clock on the wall and grimaced when he noticed the big and small hand hovering over the two.
“Shit. Now I know I won’t see you until breakfast.” Kajika clicked his teeth and stomped on the trail of rose petals, angered by their night being interrupted. He pushed their bedroom door closed and leaned against the wood. “Damnit. We haven’t done a whole lot other than late night cuddling, quickies in the bathroom or on the kitchen floor. I need more than that, Frankie…I need−”
A long buzz sounded from the dresser, and Kajika moved quickly to see who was calling.
Frankie, or at least Kajika hoped it was, calling him with the news he’d be returning home sooner than expected. Although farfetched, Kajika could still wish his husband to be back early. He gulped hard and said a little prayer before clicking the connect button. “Hello?”
Silence then a sigh. “Babe, it’s me… I… I got some real bad news to tell you, sweetheart, but I’d rather you hear it from me as opposed to anyone else.”
Kajika released a deep breath and shrugged. “Are you okay, love? Something bothering−”
“Naw, I’m good, boo, but−” Frankie stopped a moment and blew hard through the phone.
Kajika plopped on the bed and crossed his legs, wondering what the heck his man was talking about. Bad news? What could it possibly be? Kajika nibbled on his bottom lip while he toyed with the frayed threads on his housecoat. “What is it, lover?”
“Babe, the murder I got called in for was…” Frankie ceased speaking again and sounded a little choked up about it.
Kajika held his breath and blinked twice in succession. “Who Frankie? Come on, just spit it out, right…who…”
“Lana Miles, babe. Lana’s been strangled to death.” Frankie spoke quickly to get the words out.
Kajika stared straight ahead, and his heart caught in his chest. Oh my God! Unable to cope with what he’d just heard, he dropped his phone and immediately the tears welled under his eyelids. Lana? Oh my God, who killed her? She was a good person…she…
“Kajika? Babe, you there? You okay, love? Talk to me, honey.”
Overall Series Blurb
The N’awlins Exotica/Paranormal series
The city of New Orleans is rich in tradition, diverse, and known for the inspiration it provides. In the “Big Easy” there lies the hunger for the erotic as well as the unknown. The residents here feel that sexual energy and it reveals itself through their various creative activities.
Join the characters as they take a wild ride on the edge, enjoying their town for all it has to offer. There’s a certain magic in the air, an erotic magic that cannot be ignored.
To find out more about book one, I Like Em Pretty, click the banner
Follow the blogtour for more chances to win
2/23 The Rainbow Studio
2/25 Lily Velden
2/26 Its Raining Men
3/4 Raine O’ Tierney
3/8 JC Wallace
3/9 Chris T Kat
3/10 LM Brown
3/11 Rob Colton
3/12 Shira Anthony
3/15 QueerTown Abbey
* * * *
About the Author and the muse
Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Thorough these, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media. To find out more please visit http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com.
Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.
This happily married mother of two beautiful children loves music, computers, reading, and still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction. She’s a proud member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, as well as an advocate for rights of LGBT citizens. She’s also a contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.
The Literary Triad – http://www.thelitriad.com/#!
Michael Mandrake – http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com
BLMorticia – http://blmorticia.wordpress.com
Rawiya – http://rawiyaerotica.wordpress.com
TriadPromo – http://triadliteraryworks.blogspot.com/
Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/rawiyamikembl
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/TheLiteraryTriad
AuthorGraph – http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/rawiyamikembl