Lady Smut was kind enough to offer me a Q&A. My first (heart flutters).
How about a backstory, since I’m a wordy kind of girly. & a bunch of rambling (you should expect that from me by now)
I have worked nonstop for the past nine months. I don’t mean a job where you can leave your work at the office. I’m talking of every moment of you life is centered on one thing- the story. My imagination was playing out constantly: awake, asleep, during a movie, and while reading a book. My characters just wouldn’t shut the hell up. I could be holding a conversation, but my creations were loudest.
I liken being a writer to being crazy. I have countless characters chatting it up inside my head at any given moment. Sometimes they overlap from one series to the next. The majority are respectful and fade to the shadows, so the spotlight may fall upon the ones being brought to life. There isn’t much a writer can do to shut off the insanity.
Two forms of relief: Writing, spilling the words from my fingertips until my hands cramp and my eyes sting. The ache, the sleeplessness, and the hunger for sustenance & human communication scream from your well-being. Reading, I read as relief. It is a balm to my tattered mind. I immerse myself in the imagination of another. It recharges the creative process and allows new words to flow. I’m able to quiet the voice in my mind while reading a book.
5 book releases in one month’s time- almost 500k words. The writing, editing, publishing, promoting, hops & giveaways smack dab in the middle of Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years. I’d just pressed publish on Good Girl. I promised myself a few weeks to recharge. I spent a day watching endless amounts of television. I couldn’t concentrate. 3 characters were spinning threads of stories and weaving them into plot outlines. It was insanity. I grabbed my cell and headed for a bubble bath. Hot sudsy water and a Kindle app here I come…. I was immersed, chaotic voices long forgotten- BAM! You’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me!! Seriously? Book 10? 15? in the DNF pile.
By the time I’d dried off and growled my way back to my laptop, a blog post had formed inside my head. I was pissed. The posting was an outlet, a release of all the shit I was filled with. It wasn’t even the book’s fault, but I used it as my target. Saccharine Romances: why I find them annoyingly frustrating was created for comedic relief. I was quoting parts to my mom as I wrote it. She may have rolled her eyes at me and she looked vaguely confused.
I’d unleashed the bitch I keep firmly in check. She has the propensity to be sarcastic- people either love her or hate her, & no one understands her. Her name is Erica-Monster (Good Girl readers will understand) She slipped her leash.
When I was finished, I felt better… a lot better. I knew that I would piss off just as many as I entertained. It wasn’t about the readers, it was about me. A lot of people read it- a surprising number, in fact. Which meant I’d entertained and rubbed a wide variety of people the wrong way. I’ve heard from both. Ugh… that was a stressful day. I received some pats on the back, a few nasty comments, and I’d hurt a person’s feelings (I apologized & I still feel badly about that. The monster didn’t mean to, she is a nice person, just misunderstood like an alpha male). I was a mess- stressed the F*ck out with a capital F!
Highlight of the stress: ladysmut.com offered me a Q&A. Awesome sauce. I was a bit stressed out on that, too. I mean, I couldn’t very well let her slip her leash again. She might offend a large section of the populous. I let her out a tiny bit…
Madeline Iva did a beautiful job creating a flowing conversation with the Q&A. I’d love to personally thank her for the posting. If you’d like to read it, head over to ladysmut.com
Did I get that two week recharge? Nope. Nope, I sure didn’t. In the 8 days since Good Girl’s release, Widow is well on its way to being a book. 48,000 words written (14 chapters) from the dual perspectives of Clover and Malcolm. With my lovely sister’s help, it even has a final cover. & to prove that I am not a cold-hearted Erica-Monster, Widow is a HEA book for the main protagonists. It was planned all along since my characters are nearing mid-life and they’ve lived their trials though their backstory. Hopefully readers will see the softer side of me.
Widow’s first draft is nowhere near completion. I predict a March release. My target length is 120-150k since this is the only book those character will voice.
On a happy note: I’m rereading the BDB- the WARDen (Bathtub time) for a read-along with my buds at Wicked Reads on Goodreads. I’m skimming like a little bitch since it’s my 7th or 8th time thru, but I’m enjoying the comfort of repetition. I’m also watching season 6 of Dexter. That show makes me tuck the laptop away and I get sucked into the television. How that man goes from geek to badass in a heartbeat is beyond me. Amazing actor- amazing. I’m also arranging a huge giveaway on FB for Valentines Day. Vampire Valentines that Bite! Wicked Reads (Amber & I) is pooling all the vampire related swag and a few items I’m picking up for the lovey dovey day and posting a pic. Just click like on the pic and post a comment to be entered. I should have the picture up on February 7th (Waiting on a shipment from FL-PA of the swag) Be on the lookout!
Off to write Widow… & rub the crap outta my aching hands!
~Happy Wicked Reading~
The past six days since Good Girl’s release, I’ve been a very busy girl. I dreamed of a break, but if the muse is firing stories into your imagination, ya better grab it and run. She’s rather demanding at the moment, but we’re getting along just fine. One of these days I’ll name her, but for now I’ll just call her muse. She thinks she’s too important to have a simple name. I think she might be satisfied if I have Kieren Mason name her. He is, after all, my nicknamer.
Widow is well on its way to becoming a book. Five days into writing I have a rough outline created, almost 30,000 words of story written, and a book cover. I’ll release the cover and synopsis when the first draft is completed.
Not a Synopsis and spoiler-free: What is Widow?
As I’ve posted before, Widow is Clover Webster (the Widow) & Malcolm Mason (the Widower). The book is broken into chapters titled with either the Widow or the Widower. I don’t like to compare stories, but the easiest way to describe Widow is to simply say it’s my own rendition of Cheaper by the dozen. Two families combining into one. This is the most romancy book I’ve ever written. This will be my first HEA book as well. The story revolves around our Widow/Widower and their relationship, but it’s the side-characters they show through their voice that sets up the rest of the series. I’ve said before that I make my characters earn their HEA. In this case, the backstory of the main protagonists was their journey to their HEA.
I think it’s time to explain why I began the Playroom series. M&M of Restraint is DARK. Sometimes it’s a bit too dark for me to handle. After writing 7 books back-to-back within this series, I had to step back and find some light. The powerful premise weighs heavily on my soul at times. Fans of M&M may be disappointed in the Playroom if they are looking for twists, turns, secrets, and conspiracies. While the Playroom does have a few hard truths, they are truths we deal with on a day-to-day basis.
I read reviews when a book is first released and especially while I’m writing the continuation. In M&M of Restraint’s case, fans wanted to know more about Ezra, so I gave him a spotlight in Checkmate. Sometimes you have so many characters that it’s hard to give everyone face-time. I don’t forget them, they just blend into the scenery. When looked at constructively, reviews are a great tool, and I am thankful for each and every one of them.
A Good Girl review that I’m not defending myself against brought light to another topic that needs addressed. Opinion is opinion, & I’m okay with that. But it was a great opportunity to explain what the Playroom series was about. Readers are used to my twisted imaginings & that isn’t why I wrote the Playroom. I didn’t write it as BDSM Fiction, either. The Playroom is simply the nexus that connects the characters or frees the character from self-imposed binds. It’s called the Playroom series for a reason. It’s about play.
I would like to thank Bec for this review: Not sure about this one, I enjoyed Willow’s journey and growth, though the ‘surprise’ was entirely too predictable.
After I read this review I realized that I should explain myself. Not to Bec, but readers in general who are expecting more Darkness. I like to write different stories for different readers because I read everything. While I can’t write a saccharine romance novel, because I don’t have the sweet tooth for it, I like something light with a punch to the gut. While M&M of Restraint is a ball-peen hammer to the skull, the Playroom is a slap to the ass. The story revolves around the characters, their interactions and connections, a strong sense of family, and finding your true-self. There is a surprise in Good Girl, but it’s not meant to be a surprise for the readers, rather, a surprise for Willow. She is a kid that’s trying too hard to be an adult. She believes in her family and friends. Remember yourself at 18, a punch to the face is the only clue you’d ever see coming, but not until you’re dealing with the pain.
Willow is a version of my idiot 18 yr old self. I thought I knew everything and would take no advice. Now I’m a 34 yr old idiot, who knows how to take advice and wants to shake the shit out of that 18 yr old girl. Since I can’t do that, I’ll do it to Willow.
I love a good frustrating read, but I can only take so much. I’ve tried to find a happy medium with the Playroom. It has everyday issues that impact most of us that are dampened down with humor. It’s light and romancy, but not so sweet that you get a tummy ache and a cavity. I can’t read books like that, but a lot of readers love them. I thought that the Playroom series is a good middle ground of the dark and twisted nature of Dark Erotica, the sweetness of Erotic Romance, and the coming of age situations of New Adult.
Sometimes when I’m too stressed I love the predictable nature of a reread. I wanted that warm feeling in the Playroom series from the first read-thru. I believe this is what makes the romance reader tick. The comfort, warm feelings, and true-to-life situations. I’ve loved books before but had to put them down when they became too frustrating. I’m sure M&M does this to many a reader.
While hard and edgy readers may find the premise too predictable, I hope that romance readers will find it sweet with a slap to the behind. I am one of those edgy readers. I love a great surprise and that heart palpitating feeling of a thrilling AH-HA moment. But this girl needs some light as she writes. A reader can never understand the stress of living the story out inside your own mind- I’ve lived out every word of Mistress & Master of Restraint series and all the threads that have yet to be revealed. I need to live in a world where there is some warm and fuzzy for a time before I get back to the twisted, dark world that I have to create for KING.
I began my career as a writer because I was dissatisfied with many of the books I was reading. My current reading list screams of this. I currently have at least 10 novels started, most well over 50% read.
(I will not say titles or authors)My current book is the epitome of my issues. I’m a woman who loves an alpha male, as most of my female followers do. The first 25% or so of these saccharine romance novels is the best of the book. The male is strong, gruff, often misunderstood.Yummy, angsty goodness ensues!
(I find this annoying, too)The female is usually a career woman in her early twenties, who is a spunky little spitfire. Hot as F*ck, too! Yet, she is always a mary sue virgin. Yup, they manage to make it through high school, college, and work, without anyone tapping that hot, tight ass… and here comes the alpha male to win her innocence away- this happens without fail, ever freakin’ time. Um… how can you be a mary sue and a spitfire? It’s like saying you’re a geeky badass or a short, tall person. These females are always so cookie cutter, meek, and annoying as hell. and it turns me off. Yeah… us ladies read for the guys.
Back to our alpha male. He is so fine that he woos that lacy thong (on a virgin, no less. *rolls eyes*) right off her perfect ass within hours of meeting her. He is so hot he could melt paint or burn Satan. He’s also a total badass.*Fans self*
Cut to a hot smutty sex scene where our virgin is always shaved bare and an expert (no fumbling embarrassment whatsoever). They connect on a deeper level just hours after meeting. The I love yous flow like water. *Gags*
Next morning my alpha male is a pussy-whipped, spineless doormat. EVERY FREAKIN’ TIME! I get turned the hell off. I’m done- goodbye! “Honey, let me do that for you. We don’t want you to break a nail. Let me carry that for you. Don’t worry your pretty, empty head for a moment…” You get the point… *caresses her cheek and tucks her hair behind her delicate ear*
Does the sun rise in the East? F*ck, yeah, it does. Does our Alpha turn into a doormat? F*ck, yeah, he sure does. I’m like, “What the F*ck, Batman. Where did my alpha go?” *Looks around and only finds vaginas.* “SHIT! I’m not a lesbian. I want a man with a massive set of testicles, because this bitch is the only bitch in this relationship!”
Now I read edgy shit to avoid this kind of trainwreck read. I realize woman love this shit- NOT ME- EVER! Even in small doses. Yeah, out of 10 books I’ve written, I’ve had two virgins. Both were barely legal- like 24-hours legal. One driven by school work and one completely awkward. & never did I make them an irresistible beauty. & their first experiences where filled with an awkward lack of knowledge that said alpha male had to show them the ropes… & no I love yous were spoken. No the sky parted and angel’s descended singing songs of forever. Cut months later in my books… my chicks are still trying to find their way. Why, you ask… Because that is reality.
Yes, romance is supposed to be fantasy, but the Alpha males in these books are throwing off more estrogen than a ff novel. The alpha male’s testosterone dries up once he has a taste of that irresistible, personality-changing cunny.
Edgy reads, dark erotica, slit your wrist reads New Adult, Urban Fanstasy & Paranormal romance is what I read. I try, I really try to get through these books. I even went with menage and mmf or mm. I’m a girl who loves men and women. STRONG personalities! MM just trips my trigger. What’s better than one alpha male? TWO alpha males butting heads over each other. *Fans self for realz* but f*ck if those books didn’t morph into pussy-whipped doormats, too. The mm books just confused the hell out of me. We have two alpha men, and yet, once the deed is done, both are pussy-whipped. Where the hell did the vaginas come from? You’re a dude who gets hot over other dudes, why do you want a dude with a vagina now? Did you suddenly wake up straight?
Oh, I know why… Because it’s some fantasy-living woman writing hardcore stories and she’s never experienced one hardcore moment in her life. You can feel when a female writer just gets the way two men interact or how a man behaves. Ya know why… because they write what flips that switch in their mind, they don’t write what they think a reader wants to read. The chemistry bleeds from the story- and it makes an epic, scorching, hot as f*ck read!
My alpha can go ahead and try to take me in hand, yank my hair and slap my ass… But beware, this bitch has teeth. I’ll fight back because I want a man who earns the right to be alpha. You EARN the right to be my partner, to stand by my side. If I woke up to a pussy in my bed the morning after, there would never be a rematch. I’m not some wilting flower. I’ll ask your ass for help if I need it, and you better do the same in return. We’re equals.
*shrugs* Maybe I’m an original. Maybe everyone else with ovaries find this shit hot. It just annoys the f*ck out of me!
Here’s to the writer who makes an alpha male, perfectly flawed, who behaves as an alpha male from the beginning, middle, and end of the story! *cough cough* make that mary sue a mary sue. If you want a spunk bitch, create a spunky bitch. They are the most entertaining to write, after all.
No one is just a good girl or a bad girl. We are just varying shades of human!
Good Girl is live on Amazon & will be available shortly on B&N.
My current work in progress is Widow. Without spoiling the experience of Good Girl, Widow is book 2 in the Playroom series.
When I was near the finish line of GG, my muse took an annoying vacation. She was nowhere to be found. Thank goodness for plot outlines or I’d have been stalled in my progress. I was worried that she’d fled me for good. I didn’t know the direction to take next. I planned on taking a few weeks off and reading my ass off, and then reading some more.
The muse had a decision to make: Chrysalis, Widow, or KING. I have KING momentarily on the back burner. I’ve written 7 M&M books back-to-back & my imagination needed a reboot. With the Playroom’s cast of characters fresh in my head, I knew Widow would be the next step.
Last night after I pressed publish on GG, I laid down to some much needed sleep, & that absent muse slammed an idea into my brain. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t read to fall asleep. She wanted to to perfect her idea and she was unrelenting.
Widow will be from two perspectives: The Widow & The Widower. I can tell you the name of the Widow, Clover Webster, I, however, will refrain from naming the Widower. I don’t want to ruin the reading experience. The Widower is obvious by mid-GG.
I’ve never written a book from 2 perspectives. It will be an entirely new experience for me. I fear for my sanity as I live inside Clover’s mind, then the Widower’s. I’ve always had a difficult time reading multi pov books. Sometimes it would take a chapter or two to figure out WHO’s voice I was reading. Some authors are better at the change-up than others. To avoid this issue, each chapter in Widow will be marked with Widow or Widower. It will not necessarily be every other chapter in their voice, but it will be clearly marked to avoid confusion.
I am writing Chapter one in the exact same location that GG ended. GG’s final chapter is Widow’s first chapter. The second chapter will be from the perspective of the Widower, and he will show us a character that many will be disappointed in (Him or me for creating him the way I did).
A word for when you finish GG: Good Girl was a progression- a journey of Willow finding her true voice. It was a snapshot of real life. It’s messy, complicated, and not a damned one of us knows what the hell we’re doing at any given time. Life is about making educated guesses and hoping to God that it was the correct choice. I would never make an eighteen-year-old pick the love of her life. Why, you ask… because at eighteen you don’t know who you are, let alone who someone else is. The Premise of the Playroom series is self-exploration, enlightenment, and finding your way in the dark. Hopefully when you enter the light you’ll still like yourself after all the mistakes you’ve made along the way.
Sometimes I read reviews for my work. Most of the time I avoid it like the plague. No matter how harsh or glowing, it can be very insightful.
One such review, and I’ve heard this comment before, is that my books aren’t Happily Ever After (HEA) or even Happy for Now (HFN). In a way this isn’t true. As a girl who grew up thinking her life depended on a boy, and as an adult, a woman who’s happiness depended on a grown-boy, I learned quickly and harshly that HEA and HFN does not exist in reality.
My books are closer to reality than you’d believe. Genre aside, I write psychologically- emotions, and the actions that are driven by said emotions.
Ultimately it is about HEA- the character’s HEA, not as a couple, but within yourself. People in our lives leave us, betray us, or die on us, and we are left in the ashes of our wrecked lives- alone. Yes, I sound pessimistic. I’m not. You have to love yourself, learn to rely on yourself, and never give yourself away to another human being. That is what my books are about. It’s a journey of character growth, and I don’t mean character development in the sense of fictional creations. I mean personality, your constitution, your soul.
I write for empowerment, whether female or male. The right to own your needs and wants, and explore them fully, to experience enlightenment. I want everyone to be comfortable in their own skin, to love themselves, and see themselves as good enough just as they are.
So my characters may not have a prince charming, because he doesn’t exist, but they do have a champion- themselves. There isn’t a greater gift in life to give, then to know who you are, what you want, and strive to get it. You will be able to love fully, and appreciate all the qualities in your friends and family that they do not like in themselves.
The saying goes: you have to learn to walk before you run. Well, you have to love yourself and be happy within yourself, before you can love someone else and be happy with them.
Since I’m on my way there, I won’t make a fatal mistake. I refuse to accept anyone as my partner that hasn’t reached this level within themselves, because they can’t love you back. There is no such thing as healing someone- it beings inside YOU!
Keep this in mind as you read my works. You will see the story from a fresh pair of eyes. I make them go through trial after trial, and notice that it isn’t about a coupling, it’s about personal growth. My stories will make sense if read from this perspective.
Back to Good Girl. She has grown a lot. I used Willow to show how fulfilling it is to be happy just being who you are…
Today is the one year anniversary of Wicked Reads creation. I’m kind of proud of that. This past year has brought on a profound change in my life, and not only that, but a different way of thinking. The small step of creating a book review site showed me that I could accomplish a lot in small time frame… and I went with it. In one year’s time I created and sustained 2 blogs, twitter, 2 Facebook groups, 2 Facebook pages, a Facebook personal page, a Goodreads author page, a Goodreads group- hell, I even became a Goodreads librarian! In that time frame I wrote and published 8 books with several others near completion and ready for publishing. By all accounts I should be exhausted, but I’m invigorated and ready to make 2013 an even more prosperous year!
I couldn’t have done a fraction of any of that without the support and understanding of my parents. A writer can be testy when drawn away from its muse. The muse claws your mind to shreds when it’s ignored, so I’m thankful that my parents leave me alone in my imagination. The only way to pacify the muse is to tap on my keyboard and create its story. Another thanks goes out to all these amazing ladies who grace my life through the internet. I can’t thank my Betas and fellow authors enough for a shoulder to cry on and a ear to vent into. & my Wicked Readers who read my books and take the time out of their day to let me know what they think of my stories- it motivates me to continue.
This posting isn’t a suck my ass fest… I want to say Happy Birthday to my baby, Wicked Reads, & let you all know I’m going off the grid. This evening I’m starting on Good Girl Rewrites and Edits. I will be ghosting about, but for the most part I’m avoiding the addictive nature of the internet. It is amazing how a simple check of my email can evolve into 3 hours of surfing, chatting, and posting. As entertaining as that may be, it’s a HUGE progress killer. So I’m avoiding it at all costs- or trying at least. I’ll be back when Good Girl is completed.
After Good Girl I have no idea where I will go from there. I’m hoping my muse will let me know like she does everything else. I apologize for the Good Girl delay, but Willow wasn’t ready for her story to be told. The muse demanded that I change the majority of the manuscript and nearly double it in length. The only thing I know is that the muse will have a pick between 3 books as my next work-in-progress. KING- Daniel Whittenhower II, aka Whitt, Mistress & Master of Restraint #8. Widow- Clover’s story, Playroom #2. Chrysalis, Lilies #1 (over 100k that needs completely revamped). Each of those projects sounds daunting to me at the moment. Widow being the least difficult. Chrysalis is an Urban Fantasy novel that has sat for almost a year. KING will be the most difficult for me. It is the turning-point in the M&M of Restraint series and its foundation will hold the rest of the series. Restraint wasn’t strong enough to sustain the weight of 20 or so books, but KING will have to be. As much as I’d love to give fans our Gentleman’s book, I don’t want to rush it and ruin my series. I have a feeling I will be working on KING in between other works and I’m scared to say… it may take a long time.
What I’ve been doing to de-stress- Reading, reading, and more reading. I’ve read a hellacious amount of books lately- 50 or so in the past 5 weeks. The majority I named ‘slit your wrists reads’. Finally I went back to the comfort of a good reread. If you’d like to know what I’ve been reading visit my Goodreads page and check out my shelves. If you’d like to add me as a bud or follow me, I’d be happy for that as well. I may be a writer, but I’m a book junkie first and foremost. My love of reading makes me a better writer. Visit the Contact Erica Chilson tab for information on all my wicked reading sites!
Before I get to rewriting Good Girl I have a hobby to feed first. I visited my sister over the weekend (you can thank Annette for all the covers that grace my books) She showed my mom and me lampwork glass beads and how to create bracelets with them. I have 3 craft stores to hit this afternoon for some more goodies. I’ll post some pics later on of our creations. So far the pink/black/sliver combo and the teal/turquoise combo are my favorites!
What I didn’t get to do on my hiatus is watching up my tv shows. After Good Girl I will have an abundance of shows to watch- I already have 8 episodes of the Vampire Diaries. But a few shows will not wait for my muse. I’ll tell her to shut up while I watch Revenge- and I’m squee-ing like a fangirl- The Lying Game and Pretty Little Liars returns tonight *YAAAAAYYYYYY* Since Revolution is on Hiatus I’ll have time to get some work done. I watch that show live vs dvr-ing it for later.
I have an epic playlist to create to drown out the world around me as I write. Willow (Good Girl) is a awkward kind of girl. I’ll experiment to find out what she likes the best.
~Happy Wicked Reading~
Happy Wicked New Year! Let’s celebrate the start of a whole new beginning by hopping around to over 200 blogs and entering countless giveaways. Each blog stop gains you an entry into the HUGE Grand Prize! Just leave a comment on each of the blogs to enter- that’s over 200 chances to win the Grand Prize and over 200 chances to win a prize at each blog stop!
Just click the Naughty New Years Bloghop photo to the left to gain a list of links to all the participating blogs!
~Welcome to Erica Chilson’s Written Word~
One lucky winner will win a bundle of Erica Chilson’s titles!
Please comment on this posting for a chance to win the Grand Prize and a bundle of Erica Chilson’s books. Don’t forget to visit all the blogs on this hop for more chances to enter. If you didn’t click the above picture here is the link…
Check out my various pages on the Contact tab of this blog. Thanks for playing!! Don’t forget to to Thank Skye Warren for organizing this epic hop! Thanks, Skye!
~Happy Wicked Reading~