As an author, I’m always wondering how other writers come up with their ideas and how they write. So I decided to start asking the authors I wanted to talk to if they would be up for an author interview, and luckily a few of them said yes.
I first came across Golden Angel, the author of The Stronghold series and The Venus Rising Quartet, on Literotica. Even though I haven’t written anything for the site in awhile, I still love to read submissions. Let’s just say that I read a lot of her work, very quickly. Thankfully, I came across her blog, and I really got sucked in. Naturally, as a writer, I wanted to know more about her, her processes and what makes her tick as a writer. So today, we all get to hear the details in my Author Interview – Golden Angel.
There really were no rules for this Author Interview, just that she answer at least ten of the bazillion questions I peppered her with.
Author Interview – Golden Angel
- What influenced you to write your first piece?
I started reading long before I started writing. I’m a huge bibliophile, helped by the fact that I speed read. I remember in eighth grade, I wrote a murder mystery, after asking all of my classmates who they’d like to be in the book and – for those who chose to be victims – how they’d like to be murdered. I don’t know if that was the first story I’d ever written, but I still remember how much I loved the encouragement and attention I got from my classmates over it. I didn’t really start writing again until college when I wrote my first piece for Literotica.com. I guess the best way I can describe it is to say that I’d been looking for a certain kind of story to read, one that hit every point that turned me on, and I couldn’t find one. It frustrated me and I thought, well instead of getting mad that no one’s writing what I want to read, maybe I should try writing it… and I started writing Office Play. I found it incredibly thrilling to be writing exactly the story I was looking for, and even more exciting when I began posting and the feedback that I got was incredibly positive. I’m so grateful for those first readers and commenters, because that encouragement is what really got me invested in writing again.
- Out of all the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite? Why?
Oh wow… now that’s a really hard one. Every time I write a new book or story, the main characters become my favorites. However, the one that stuck with me throughout the years is probably Todd from Poker Loser. That was the second story I ever wrote for Literotica and now it’s also available in book format, although I basically completely rewrote it for publication. He started out as such a bad guy originally, in a lot of ways, and then I redeemed him somewhat in Allison’s New Life and even more so when I turned the series into books, but all of my main male characters seem to have a little bit of Todd in them. I love the confident alpha male character that is somehow made better by his woman, even if he does start the relationship off with blackmail.
- What are your writing goals for the next year?
Well we’re kind of in the middle of the year, so I’ll go with my writing goal for this year… I already have far too many of them, to be honest. On His Knees, my novella for Hilary and Liam’s engagement story (part of the Stronghold series) will be out July 15, and I’m super excited about that. I also hope to get the next Stronghold book out before this year is over, finish off the Domestic Discipline Quartet, and get out the book version of Marriage Training, which will also be the start to a new Victorian series, called The Society of Sin. For Literotica, I want to finish off Taken by the Wolf, which should happen this month, and then finish a series that I started years ago called From Terra.
- How do you develop your writing ideas?
It starts off with an idea in my head, usually sparked off of a book or a movie or just something that I see in my day to day life. I start writing it down in one of the tiny notebooks that I carry around in my purse. Eventually, I’ll start writing the actual story and the chapters will or will not follow the original outline from my notebook, depending on the characters. Sometimes it changes significantly, sometimes it changes just a little bit. I love my little notebooks. I’d be lost without them. Unfortunately, there are a million more ideas in my notebooks than I could probably ever write. But I’m optimistic.
- What makes you unique as a writer?
I like to think that what makes me unique right now is that I try not to throw a lot of extra drama into my stories. I read a lot of books with stalkers, criminals, fighting, weapons, etc. etc. Even the stories that don’t have mercenaries or Marines seem to have pyscho ex-girlfriends with no pride or sense of humanity, or women who want to get with the heroines man and don’t care that he’s a man-whore or that he has no interest in her and is willing to do harm to the heroine – that’s if it’s not the heroine with a crazy ex. Anyway, what I’m saying is that I do my best not to even get near those things. There are some amazing books that have those storylines, but I think it’s a delicate line to walk and I’m not ready to go there yet. I concentrate on the smaller dramas in life, there’s plenty of drama between couples every day and I like to explore those. Things like miscommunications, misjudgments and differing goals, that I’ve had to deal with in my own life and that I’ve seen my friends go through. I like to read books about that.
- What are your favorite kinds of characters to write (villains, damsels in distress)?
Definitely alpha males and sassy females. Even my more tame females get a little bit of sass now and then. I prefer females with an inner core of strength; they might be submissive, but they aren’t pushovers. The alpha males are my favorite guys, of course. Doesn’t mean they don’t have a soft side, in fact they’re better with one, but I like them to be dominant and confident. And snarky. I also like my characters with a little bit of nerd in them, because I’m a big nerd.
- Any advice for new writers?
Read. Read so much. Never stop reading. I read almost as much as I write every day. Of course, I’m a weird case because I both speed-read and speed-write. But both are important. Read every day and write every day. Don’t get out of practice with either. Think about what you’re reading, what you like and don’t like about the book, and how you can apply it to your own writing. Write every day. Just for practice. Doesn’t even matter what. Write in a journal, write on a blog, write a short story, write just an idea or write a paragraph. The main point is not to get out of practice. The next thing is – ask for criticism. Actual CRITICISM and develop a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like what you write. Sometimes they’ll have a point, sometimes they won’t. You have to learn how to glean through criticism and figure out where they’re right – even if you don’t want to admit it.
- Do the people in your life know that you write? Do they know that you write erotica? Have you ever let them read your work?
Yep, everyone in my life knows that I write erotic romances. Most of them don’t know my pen name. Although, some of them have gone ahead and figured it out, which has made for some awkward conversations with my in-laws – although they’re very supportive. And yes. Apparently they’ve read it. LOL.
- Would you recommend self-‐publishing to others?
Honestly, it depends on what you’re trying to do. I write because I love writing and I publish because fans on Literotica asked me to. I wouldn’t stop now, definitely, but it’s not something I could make an actual living off of really. It’s hard. Editing is the hardest. I get help, but things always get through and readers always complain. That’s why I keep my prices so low, because I know the books aren’t perfect. Hiring an editor would cost me around $1,000 a book, if not more, and the books don’t make enough for me to be able to do that. I’m also extremely lucky in that I started self-publishing with a fan base. I’ve had a lot of other self-published authors comment on how many comments I have on my books, people following my blog, etc. and it’s really because I started off on a free site, and my fans from there followed me to my published books (which I am so thankful for, it’s wonderful knowing that people love my work that much). It’s a hard road for someone who actually writes for a living, but for someone who does it out of love and because they want to share their work and maybe make a little extra on the side (it does help to pay the debts), it’s a great way to go.
- How has your success grown since the first work you published?
Oh goodness… in leaps and bounds. Part of that is that I think I’ve gotten a lot better at writing. Part of it is that people have been wonderful about helping me with reviews and spreading the word about my books. Can I quit my day job? Nope. But I’d love to think that might be a possibility one day.
- How fast do you type? Do you use software to write your books?
I don’t use software, because I don’t need to. I type ridiculously fast, even for someone who touch types. At my fastest, I’m going over 100 wpm, at my slowest about 80. I usually try to write at least 1000 words a day, but on my best days I can get out 10k-15k. It’s pretty awesome. I took a keyboarding class in high school, and I love typing because I like the clacking sound the keys make and I’ve always liked pushing buttons. I like the sounds it makes when I type =) So I go fast.
- Briefly, describe a day in your life.
I wake up and hit the alarm snooze button about 5 times. When I finally drag myself out of bed, I head out to my day job, do that all day long, read during my lunch hour , spend the evening with hubby, usually watching something on the TV. Lately that’s been Supernatural. Boring right? Those are my normal days.My favorite days, I wake up, jumping out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off (which is the Doctor Who theme music, btw) and poke at hubby telling him that it’s time to wake up! Then I shower, do my hair up fancy, yank on my skirt and shirt, lace up my corset, then realize I forgot to put my boots on first and go interrupt hubby’s routine to ask him to lace those up. Then I follow him around, getting in his way while he’s trying to get his many layers of garb on, stealing kisses, smacking his butt and being a general nuisance until he threatens me and I run away squealing and giggling. Around this time, one of my friends usually texts or calls to be let in. We admire each other’s outfits, poke each other’s boobs a little bit, and complain about the fact that we’re ready and hubby’s not.Then we head out to wherever we’re going, whether it be a Renn Fair or a Convention or whatever, and we spend the day having people ask to take pictures with or of us, drinking beer and/or mead, and having a seriously good time being super nerdy (by which I mean super awesome).
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