Sunday, December 19, 2010
Intimate Author Interview with CJ Black today!
CJ Black joins Naughty Nights Press today to share with her fans a sneak peak into a little bit of the intimate details of her regular daily life and her successes as an author, in particular her recent release “Illusions of Night”. Welcome CJ.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an author of erotic fiction, usually male/male, although I have a few male/female stories online. I usually write fantasy or contemporary. My most recent work, Illusion of Night is available through Liquid Silver Books. When I’m not writing (or working) I’m gaming, usually RPG’s.
When it’s warm out, I garden. I grow pretty much everything, flowers, fruits and vegetables. And fresh vegetables are good for my other hobby, cooking. I’m a bit of a homebody, although I don’t mind the occasional outing.
2. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
Well I didn’t officially realize it until I was a teenager however I developed a love for books and writing at a much earlier age – five to be exact. I began writing when my aunt gave me an old typewriter (yes I know I’m dating myself) and I created these little super-hero story books with whatever blank paper I could find. They were very bad little efforts that I thought were the greatest thing in the world. I suppose we could call them early tries at fan-fiction.
I wrote my first novel at fourteen after a friend gave me an ad for a publisher, which unfortunately turned out to be a vanity press (we still use the term correct?). Realize that back then there was no Internet or Google for me to check these places. I look back on that now and I know the work was in no way ready for publication and I’m glad I dodged that bullet.
3. What was the first fiction you ever wrote? Was it for publication? What reaction did you get?
The first fiction I wrote was definitely not for publication, see above. The first full-length novel I wrote was a young adult mystery, which I was really into and was very popular at the time. I actually wrote several of these, which were well liked by my peers, unfortunately, the publishers weren’t as enthusiastic.
I also would write short stories and put the names of my friends as the protagonists. They were also very well received.
I was given a lot of encouragement and editing by my English teacher and her husband who taught lit at the local university. I appreciate their help to this day. I wish I knew where they were so I could thank them.
4. What author or book, if any, influenced your writing? Why?
Well for erotica, there are several but the one author that first piqued my interest in the genre was Claire Thompson. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything she’s written. I suppose I could say she has a flare for making her stories and characters real. They’re not perfect, they have flaws and they grow and change throughout the story. They make mistakes.
I believe your characters should be as human as possible. We all do thing that defy common sense but the point is to learn.
5. What is your most & least favorite part of writing?
Editing! It drives me crazy! We as writers believe everything we write is perfect as is when deep down we know it’s not. We know we have to take a red pen to our pride and joy, our perfect little baby. I suppose coming in second is writing that first sentence. Sometimes, the perfect one comes to me and other times…
6. Do you have a ritual to get you ready to write? Something special you do to psyche you up?
I don’t have a ritual per se but I do like listening to music. Usually something New Age or Jazz oriented in the background. Other times, I’ll actually stream a video or TV show but that’s seldom as it proves to be a distraction. I also like to have snacks nearby. I’ll write for a few hours then take a break so I don’t burn out.
Awhile back I would get up early, write for an hour, then when I came home from work write from six to eleven. I want to get back to doing that.
7. After writing for hours at a time how do you relax?
Like in the previous question, I’ll stream a video or play a game. If it’s spring or summer, I’ll go out and sit in my garden for awhile. I actually want to get a laptop soon so I can write outside on nice days.
8. Where do you write?
In my home office. Everything I need is nearby. My reference books and music. My drawing pad and pencils which I use to do maps and interiors. And the bookcases with the three hundred plus books I own.
9. Does your environment have an impact on what or how you write?
Yes. If I’m out and about and an idea pops into my head I can pretty much block out everything around me and focus on the story. Now there are also times, when what’s going on around me can give me an idea. Perhaps a conversation overheard or something I see around me.
A good example of this is my car broke down awhile back and the tow-truck driver gave me a ride to the mechanic shop, all the while, he’s telling me about how he started the business and how they’re about to expand. He was your average working guy and I thought, what if he picks up some stuffy suit who doesn’t want to interact but is forced too? Could the two of then develop an attraction?
10. What is your opinion of writer's groups? Do you find them helpful? And how did you find yours if you have one?
I think they can be of enormous help if you find the right one. It’s always good to have people who can give you feedback and help you get through the rough spots. I’m not part of one at this time. I unfortunately had a few bad experiences in writer’s groups in the past. The people who ran them pretty much didn’t have any set rules and basically let their close friends do and say whatever they chose to the newcomers. Some of it was pretty brutal.
If you’re going to join a group, make certain there’s some type of leadership structure and/or rules of conduct and if you feel you’ve been wronged, a grievance committee.
11. What are some of your pet peeves in life?
People who take and don’t want to give in return. Or those that want sympathy when they have problems but don’t have time to lend a shoulder to cry on when the other person needs one. Also those that feel the world owes them and they don’t believe they should have to work hard to get what they want.
12. What is your advice to aspiring writers?
The same advice I give every time – write for yourself first and then for others. If you don’t like what you’ve written, no one else will either. Don’t try and copy another writer’s style. That’s the worst advice I was ever given. You’ll never be able to do it and it will only frustrate you.
Develop your own style where you feel reasonably comfortable with everything you write. And take care of your readers. They’re the reason you’re where you are today.
13. What can you tell us about your newest book?
My most recent release is Illusion of Night. A male/male fantasy erotic. Here’s the blurb:
A spectral war has torn the veils that separate life and death into pieces. Beings of the darkness slip through these rifts as armies of man wage a losing battle against the corporeal invaders.
Dane Tanderes was once a mortal man condemned to an unjust death, cursed to live as a fiend until such time as the gods decree him worthy of forgiveness. Now that he has escaped back to the world of the living he is determined to never again live in darkness. Dane is instrumental in the war against those he once called brethren, fighting to give his people a chance return to the light.
Vanlyn Sarn is the second son of a cruel lord. He lives a life of one of misery and degradation, despised by his brother and father for reasons known only to them. He is tasked by his father to journey deep into enemy territory and escort troops to aid in the fighting. However, Vanlyn knows the true nature of this mission. He is not expected to return.
When Dane takes Vanlyn prisoner, he plans to use the young prince as a pawn to seduce Vanlyn into betraying his kingdom and his people. But passion ignites red hot and Dane is torn between his burgeoning feelings for the young prince and doing what his honor demands. Which decision will lead him to what he desires most?
You can read a the first chapter at: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/books/illusionofnightexcerpt.htm
And here’s some additional news! I’ve started on the sequel! As some of you may know, I had a PC crash last month and it took all my works with it. It’s taken me a bit to get things together but now I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. Wish me luck!
14. Is there anything else you would like to add that we might have missed here today?
Well I like to hear from fellow writers and readers all the time! I’m pretty much everywhere, so feel free to drop me a line if you like. Here are the places where I spend most of my time:
My blog, Black Satin: http://cjblacksatin.blogspot.com/
My site: http://cjblack.net/
And my publisher Liquid Silver Books: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
If you go to my blog or site you can find places where I have my free reads throughout the net. Can’t wait to hear from you!
And my thanks to you, Gina for giving me this opportunity. I had a blast!
You are very welcome CJ. Naughty Nights Press, our fans and I were thrilled to have this opportunity to learn more about you today. I know I speak for us all when I say it was nice to know more about CJ. Black, the person, and the author.
Best of luck to you in your future endeavours and we hope to see you back here real soon!