I'd like to introduce you all to an amazing writer I recently met...well, 'internet met', anyway. :) She's smart, hilarious and she writes a really hot book. I had the extreme pleasure of reading an advance copy of Waiting in Vain (out today from TEB) and I freaking LOVED it. I laughed my ass off all the way through it and was left with a happy sigh when it ended.
I can't tell you how excited I am that Charlotte has joined the TEB family. Please read more about this amazing writer and say hi. Also, I highly recommend that you scamper off to TEB and get your copy of Waiting in Vain!
Tell us about a typical day (and night) in the life of Charlotte Stein.
Weird. Very weird. When I tell people what I did yesterday, their eyebrows always disappear into their hair. Mainly because I’m nocturnal- I sleep all day until about 2pm, then I teach creative writing until about 9pm. Then I play a bazillion games of poker on my DS, or watch something rubbish, like Masterchef, or read, or eat. Then I write from around midnight, to about 6am. This is a very bad routine on the days when I have to get up at 9am.
How did your writing path evolve?
I don’t know, really. I just remember that when I was about ten, I copied the entirety of the story Sleeping Beauty out, into an exercise book. Word for word copy, not a story of my own. When I look back on it now it seems almost like a practice, before the big game that has consumed my whole life. Like I somehow knew that I was supposed to be doing something with a pen, and this was it. By the time I got to thirteen, I’d written an entire and very, very crappy novel about a vampire and his immortal beloved. Because I was so cool, and original. And then I just couldn’t stop.
What type of research do you do for your books?
I have a terrible, awful “fill in the blanks” kind of approach. Instead of the make of gun and how it works, for example, I’ll say this in my story: “She picked up the macguffin and macguffined the macguffin”. And then once done, google that mofo like whoa.
I know. Very, very unprofessional.
From what or where do you derive the most inspiration for your stories?
Hot men and my favourite films. No word of a lie. I know some people like to say “the face of my newborn” or “the works of Vladimir Nabokov”. But that’s not me. Whatever man I’m crushing on at that moment- he will inspire me to write a story all about him. And my love of film - Aliens, Return To Oz, Twelve Monkeys, Terminator - fuels the rest. Different images in all of them- things I’ve remembered from childhood. One of the most potent images that has stayed with me for years and years – and that I thought I had imagined – was in the awful eighties nightmare film, My Demon Lover. The guy turns into a demon as the girl runs a hand up his bare back, and as she does, little ridges pop out along his spine.
I’ve never forgotten that image, and what it meant. That a guy was so hot for his girl, he turned into a demon.
I sound like an idiot, don’t I.
Tell us about your upcoming releases?
Well, my Total–E-Bound release, Waiting In Vain, of course! It’s out 28th December and it’s about a girl who gets persuaded to be very kinky and naughty one Christmas eve night, while surrounded by most of her family.
And I have a book from Xcite coming out in Autumn of next year (hopefully! I’m terrified of jinxing myself), called Control. That’s about a girl who can’t decide between a dominant, and a submissive. And all the fun they have together!
What are you working on at the moment?
The aforementioned Control, and something for TEB. Oh, and about a million shorts and novellas for various calls.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like least?
There is nothing I like the least. Nothing. This is what I’ve wanted all my life- for sixteen years of writing and never daring to send anything off. Rejections and publishers closing suck, but without them there wouldn’t be the glorious highs.
What would you do if you weren’t a writer?
I would likely lecture full time- besides being a writer, I also teach creative writing at a local college.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Hanging out with my best friend- my husband. Reading, watching movies, watching TV. Playing my DS. I’m not a big party girl by any stretch of the imagination.
Of all of the characters you’ve created, who is your favourite and why?
Charlotte Stein. Ha! That’s weird, huh? I picked my pen name based on one of the first characters I ever created, and over time she evolved into this weird, cowardly, neurotic, witty little creature, who lives in a permanent eighties B-movie inside my head. So she’s my fave. Her novel is written, but it can never see the light of day.
And then there’s Jake Baum. Because he’s hot.
Do you find it difficult to keep love/sex scenes fresh and interesting?
Keep? Are my love scenes fresh and interesting at all? I don’t even know! But I don’t find it hard to write different takes on love scenes, because for me it’s less about “oh, here’s ménage scene number 186” and more about how did this ménage come about. I want the approach and tension to be there, so that when the sex hits, the freshness will come not from using dick instead of cock, but because the characters have never been to this place before.
What genre of books least appeals to you and why?
Ones about modern day cowboys. I’ll never say that there’s a genre that cannot be written well- Emma Holly’s The Top of Her Game has what I would call a modern day cowboy and it’s awesome. But you’ve got to write as well as Holly for me to pick a book with a cowboy in it.
I do not know why. Just my v. obnoxious pet peeve, I guess. Some sort of irrational hatred of cowboys.
Do you listen to music when you write or do you need quiet? If you listen to music – what kind?
I always, always listen to music. Music on, muted TV playing something with a hot dude in it, then work. I make playlists on my itunes for every story I write, but I have the worst musical taste in the world. Sugababes, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga. Some good stuff- La Roux, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos.
What makes a man sexy?
Black hair, side parted. Glasses. Big nose. Sweater vest with shirt and tie underneath. Basically Clark Kent.
Do you family and friends know you write erotic romance – if so, how have they reacted?
Everyone – even my Gran – knows. Some of them can’t quite bring themselves to read my work, considering that doing so is almost like incest, but they are so massively proud of me. They always knew I’d be a writer, and it’s only me that’s doubted.
What’s your favourite food?
Oh God…seafood paella. Chicken satays with peanut sauce. Red Lobster’s cheese biscuits. Baskin and Robbins’ watermelon sorbet (they haven’t done it for years, but I can still taste it). Rare tuna. Fizzy worms. Chocolate raisins. Cherry liqueurs.
I could go on.
Do you have any bad habits?
See above. Stuffing my face with crap. Oh, and worrying in a paranoid way about everything. She hasn’t emailed me- she doesn’t like me! The website is down- my publisher has folded! My finger hurts- it must be my heart!
Etc. If you were stranded on a desert isle, what five things would you want to have with you?
My husband. My laptop with unlimited battery power. A Chinese restaurant that only sells chicken satays with peanut sauce. My film library. A shower.
Hey- you didn’t say it had to be a reasonable list!
Do you have any pet peeves?
Just people being arseholes for no apparent reason.
What do you like about where you live?
Everything. It’s the best home anyone could have.
If you could travel back in time, would you? If so, what time period would you visit and why?
Can I travel to the future? You know, the one where we’ve all forgotten what sex is, and I have to teach some really, really hot dudes how it’s done?
Yeah, I’ll take that. Especially if they’re wearing sweater vests.
Please visit Charlotte at her blog to learn more about this fanfreakingtastic writer! I heart me some Charlotte!