Naughty Nights Press is very delighted to have with us today, the incredibly talented and erotically breathtaking Elizabeth Black, one of our newest family members to be published with NNP, discussing her new book, “Don’t Call Me Baby”, an erotic contemporary romance with more than a hint of ménage’s involved.
Naughty Nights Press, will be giving one very lucky reader, who leaves a stupendous comment for Elizabeth, a copy of Don’t Call Me Baby. Please do not forget to leave your email address so we can email you if you are the winner.
NNP: Thank you for joining us today Elizabeth, Don’t Call Me Baby is your first book to be published with Naughty Nights Press, would you care to tell us a little about it?
Elizabeth: While Don't Call Me Baby takes place in 1983, it's not a time capsule revolving around important social, political, and cultural events of the time. I mention some of those events but the book's main focus is on social morés, women's role in relationships and marriage, infidelity, and sexual freedom. I hope my protagonist Catherine Stone makes you think. I also hope she pisses you off. She's certainly not a cookie cutter type of character. I took many risks with her. She's very complex and she even contradicts herself, like most people do in real life.
NNP: Where did you get the inspiration for Don’t Call Me Baby?
Elizabeth: I went to college in the early 1980s and I wanted to write about it for some time. I plan on Catherine Stone's story to be a serial, with each book representing her freshman through senior years. Don't Call Me Baby takes place in the summer of 1983, when she's a junior in college. I've noticed other erotica and romance writers setting their books in the '80s so I know I'm in good company.
NNP: Are there any parts in it that are reflective of your own life?
Elizabeth: Ha ha! Most of it is reflective of my own life. I won't say what isn't. While the characters and events were inspired by my own life and people I met and knew, all of them are works of fiction. In addition, I envision Catherine Stone's story as a series, with the first book being about her freshman year and the last book being her final year in college. I see a four or five book series depending on how long it takes her to graduate.
NNP: What is your most favorite part of Don’t Call Me Baby?
Elizabeth: Her trip to the Conquistador. I love golf resort spas and this one is based on a spa I went to in the southwest. Staying at that place was like visiting a dream world. My other favorite part of the book is Catherine's dream/quest about her Holy Grail – The Mountainside Inn. This Inn is based on a similar place I had wanted to visit when I was in college but I, unlike Catherine, never made it there. It's also based on a lovely beachfront hotel decorated in the Edwardian style I had visited several times. I hope to visit all three of these places again in the near future, especially the one I've never seen. In the book, The Conquistador and the Mountainside Inn are where she meets the man who is her match, and what a setting to meet him!
NNP: With your characters, do you have any particular person or people in mind that help you to visualize how they look, sound, react to things etc.
Elizabeth: All of my characters are combinations of people I knew and my very vivid imagination. I normally create scenarios and characters that are very much unlike myself. Don't Call Me Baby was a switch for me. Catherine is very much like me but with important differences. While Catherine is very sexually active, I wasn't quite as much as she is. I'd have been exhausted! I do share many of her attitudes, though. Some have changed quite a bit over the years of course. I wanted to create a nuanced character who was very aware of her social position and how her sexuality affected her life. I'm actually very much like Catherine, good and bad, and exposing so much of myself in book form was a risk worth taking. Catherine makes me feel vulnerable. I don't expect readers to like everything about Catherine since it's not realistic to like everything about a person to begin with. She has her weaknesses just like anyone else. I hoped that in creating Catherine with all her idiosyncrasies and contradictions that she becomes more real for my readers.
NNP: Are you married and do you have children?
Elizabeth: Yes, I’m married and I have a college-aged son who lives with us. This is my second marriage. My husband is my son's step-father. My husband and I lived together for fourteen years before finally getting married. I had already been married once and so had he. The shine had worn off marriage for us. When we married it was because we wanted to have a ceremony with the most important people in our lives – our children and my son's best friend. It was a very small event compared to my first pomp and circumstance wedding.
My views of relationships, living together, dating, sex, marriage, cheating, and divorce all play important parts in Don't Call Me Baby. What's interesting about Don't Call Me Baby is that infidelity is an important theme throughout the book. While I have never cheated on my husband, when I was younger and single I had a few affairs with married men for some of the reasons Catherine states in the book. I wouldn't recommend doing it but I understand why she did it, which is important for my readers. Like I said, I want this book to make you think. Infidelity is a touchy and uncomfortable topic to deal with and I think I handled it quite well.
NNP: If your children are young, do you explain to them what Mummy writes or do you just leave it as you write stories? If they are older, would you allow them to read your books or would you prefer them not to pick them up?
Elizabeth: Sure, my son is welcome to read my books but he won't go near them. Oh no! Mom writes about sex! He knows very well what I write because I sit right next to him tapping away at my computer in the morning, writing blog posts and descriptions of butt plugs, rabbit vibes, and other sex toys for a British sex toys company. I also write articles about sex for online magazines and I just type away at them, not hiding a thing. I'm pretty open about it without shame since I have nothing to be ashamed of. He's used to it by now. My writing is just a part of a normal day that I think is a great attitude to have with a child no matter the age. No sexual repression in this household, that's for sure. He doesn't talk about it to me to my face but I know he's mentioned my work with pride to his friends, since they told me they think it's cool I’m a sex writer.
NNP: Generally, what do your parents, siblings etc think about your writing and do they have any concerns with what you write?
Elizabeth: My relationship with my parents and sister is rather distant, but I don't get any grief from them. Mostly indifference. I don't think my sister and father would have a problem with what I write but if my mother knew how… er… detailed my writing is she's get the vapors because she's a born-again Christian. She knows I make my living working online as a writer for a company in England but she doesn’t know details. I prefer to keep it that way. My husband is an amazing amount of support. He edits when I ask. Boosts my ego when I need it. He doesn't get all "woman, git me a sammich!" on me when I'm busy writing. He and my son take my work seriously. I contribute to the household as much as they do and they give me lots of support.
NNP: Now the nitty-gritty bits. When you begin a new story, what is it that you have to do before you can put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? Is there some type of ritual you need to go through?
Elizabeth: I took to heart a recommendation from a fellow writer who said start close to the end or the middle of the story. That way, the action flows well and you don't get bogged down in exposition. I do have a routine I follow every day. I start off the early morning with coffee and my day job work writing for a British sex toys company. Then I work on fiction for a few hours until just before noon. Then it's time for promo like blog posts, articles, and posting on Facebook, Yahoo groups, and Kindle Boards. I hang out and I try to avoid spamming although I do post lots of notices on some Yahoo groups for erotic romance books. By mid-afternoon I'm beat and ready for movies and champagne or red wine! I don't necessarily have a reason to drink champagne. I just like it.
NNP: Is writing a full time career for you or do you have a day job as well and if you do how do you juggle the two?
Elizabeth: I write as my full time career. I work as a copywriter for a sex toys company as I mentioned earlier. I also write fiction and non-fiction. Promotions are a necessary evil and they take up a good part of my day as well. I'm currently working on a sequel to my best-selling erotic bisexual werewolf novel Feral Heat, a mystery/family saga called Secrets and Lies, a horror novel called Hell Time, and two short stories. I also plan to participate in NaNoWriMo, mostly to finish my mystery/family saga novel.
NNP: What goals have you set yourself as a writer and have you met them?
Elizabeth: I've met the goals I made for 2011, which were to submit as many short stories to as many publishers with great reputations as possible. I spent from last November until about July doing all that. I'd say about 85% of my stories were accepted. Some were rejected. A few are still sitting at the publishers waiting for a decision. I have new goals for 2012. First, finish three novels I've been working on. One is an erotic romance (the sequel to my best-seller Feral Heat), a horror novel, and a mystery/family saga I've been working on for about a decade.
NNP: If you could be awarded a literary award, what one would you like to win?
Elizabeth: It depends on what I’m writing since I write in several genres. I'd like to win an EPIC for erotic romance. I'm also about to begin writing a horror novel. I'd love to win the Edgar Award or the Stoker Award. I would like to tackle fantasy and/or science fiction for the Writers Of The Future contest and win publication plus one of the monetary awards. I'd be happy being a runner-up for any of these awards. Finally, I'd be tickled if I won the grand prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Awards. That's a contest for very bad prose. It takes real talent to be that bad. I've read the winners and runners-up. I have my work cut out for me.
NNP: Now it wouldn’t be an interview without this question. Are there any words of wisdom that you have been given along the way that you would want to share with up and coming writers out there?
Elizabeth: Yes, never get upset when you get rejected. It's part of a writer's life. I set up a list of publishers and once one pub rejects my story I immediately pack it up and send it to the next publisher in line. I don't give myself time to be depressed. Read good literature including books not written in your chosen genres. Read the classics to learn how to write. And finally, write from your heart. If you write according to what you think will sell your readers will know and your works won't have the passion they need.
NNP: For our last question today Elizabeth, can you tell our readers and fans how they can get in touch with you or view your other books?
Elizabeth: I'm all over the Internet. You can't avoid me if you tried.
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org. Just address your subject line to Elizabeth Black.
Elizabeth Black - Blog and Web Site
Elizabeth Black - Facebook
Elizabeth Black - Amazon Author Page
Elizabeth Black - Yahoo Group
Well what a wonderful and interesting interview we have had with Elizabeth Black. It is amazing what you get to know about someone when you ask the right questions.
Don’t forget to leave Elizabeth a comment and include your email address, so you can be in the running to win a copy of Don’t Call Me Baby.
Synopsis of Don’t Call Me Baby by Elizabeth Black.
Due Date of Release 30th September 2011
DON'T CALL ME 'BABY' is a fast-paced, quick-witted, sexy, 150,379 word completed novel about a young woman exploring her sexuality and the cultural morés she collides with on a daily basis. It's 1983 in Maryland and Catherine Stone is sex on wheels. She plays the field the way men have done for aeons. Not content to strive for her MRS degree like so many young women her age, she seduces men of all stripes - married college professors, theatre students, virgins, complete strangers who intrigue her. She has already cost one man his job. But she asks herself lots of questions on her search to enjoy her sexuality. Why don't other women enjoy their sex as much as she does? Why do so many women and men look down on sexually free women, calling them sluts while sexually free men are called studs and Lotharios? She bucks at the double standards! Catherine has made no commitment to any man. She's free to explore and she gladly does so. No man can tie her down and no woman's judgment will stop her from playing the field to her heart's content. Does she meet her match in a new man who introduces her to sexual bliss she had never before experienced? When she tries multiple partners and bondage for the first time as a submissive, she believes she's found the sexual bliss she is looking for - and with a man who not only introduces her to the fineries in life but also cares about her like no man ever has before.