Sweet, innocent Ophelia--she wants nothing more than to marry Hamlet Elsinore. But what does a simple virgin know about pleasing a man like the sophisticated and charming Hamlet? Not a whole lot, but when her seductive roommate, Portia, learns of Ophelia’s interest, she gets Horatio to “teach” the innocent girl everything she’ll need to know to seduce his best friend, Hamlet.
Set in modern day, this prequel to Hamlet is steamy enough to have even the Bard blushing! Enjoy this first book of Literotica in the Naughty Shakespeare series.
Thanks for having me on your blog today! I love reaching new readers about my Naughty Shakespeare series and the book Ophelia’s Lessons. This was a fun interview!--Esmae Browder
- Where did you get the idea for the novel?
Well, I’m sort of in love with William Shakespeare. Have you heard of him? Old guy? Lived about 400 years ago? Had a thing for iambic pentameter? Anyway, as a writer, I can’t help but admire his turn of phrase. My only hang up with Will is that he doesn’t write the strongest, most developed female characters. The idea for the Naughty Shakespeare series came to me when I started thinking about that. Specifically for Ophelia’s Lessons, I started to wonder about Ophelia’s back story. In the play Hamlet, she’s a good girl who is bossed around by her father, her brother, and then totally dumped on by Hamlet. But who was she really? What if she wasn’t as innocent as we were all led to believe? Viola! Ophelia’s Lessons was born!
- Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I came up with the title. It just sort of fit the story line--young Ophelia is taught sexual lessons on how to capture Hamlet’s attention with the help of her roommate Portia and Hamlet’s best friend, Horatio. I think titles are important. They should not give everything away, but yet should offer a clue as to what the story is about.
- Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I’ve actually written in the genres of romance, urban fantasy, YA, and even middle grade. I do have a pen name that I go under which helps me with genre writing. I love erotic fiction because it’s a challenge to write great sex scenes, but also keep a story line that keeps the erotic fiction fan interested. I’m always up for a challenge!
- Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Having people buy my books is pretty exciting! But I loved the moment when I held my first published book in my hands. It was like finally seeing your baby without all the disgusting after birth and goo on it. This was the clean product, the one that everyone wants! The Naughty Shakespeare series is currently only available as in ebook so I didn’t get quite the same experience. But that’s okay! It’s still exciting!
- What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
The last book I read was Something Blue by Emily Giffen. I really enjoyed the way she took a spoiled, selfish, somewhat unlikeable character and made me root for her.
- What is your writing process?
I hate that question, because I never have a great answer. My writing process changes as the story style changes. Sometimes I outline, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I edit as I go along, and sometimes I just write hard and fast. With Ophelia’s Lessons, I had a clear picture and thanks to Shakespeare, a working knowledge of where the story would end--though Ophelia’s Lessons is a modern day prequel.
- At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
Typically, I just sign my name. If it’s a book giveaway or someone I know, I try to write a note in the book to make it even more personal. I never know what to say, and I’m the absolute queen of messing up my signature. I even spell my own name wrong sometimes! Still, book signings are so much fun!
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a true fear of wooden spoons. The texture of them freaks me out. Please do not send wooden spoons as presents.
- How do you react to a bad review?
I pout. I admit it. I’m human. However, if the review is bad, but the criticism constructive, then I pay attention. Maybe this reviewer has a point! On the other hand, if the review is just negative about how much they hate the book, but don’t tell me why they hate it, I kind of ignore it. It is what it is and you can’t please everyone.
- How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
With vodka. And champagne. And then a really bad hangover the next day. Still, it was one of the best reasons to have a bad hangover. I kind of do the same thing anytime I sell a book--whether it’s through a traditional publisher or as an indie writer.
Thanks again for having me! Just to let all you readers know, from July 23-26 I will be attending the Romance Writers of America 2014 Conference. For those days, all the stories in the Naughty Shakespeare series will be free at Amazon.
“There’s a difference between flirting and sex.”
“Are you sure?” Horatio moved to her, his gaze intense, as he tucked a stray ringlet of her dark hair behind her ear. “Why don’t we find out?”
“Portia, you can go now.” He cut off her protests, but never took his eyes off Ophelia. “Come back in a few hours.”
“Have fun!” Portia winked at Ophelia. “You look fabulous.”
The click of the door behind her best friend caused Ophelia jump.
Could she do this? Should she do this? It was one thing to want to learn the art of sex to please the man you loved--even if he didn’t really see her like that yet--but another altogether to be seduced by his best friend.
And could she even claim seduction? After all, she was a willing party. She’d gone along with Portia’s plan without much thought.
Anything that would make her better for Hamlet.
“I didn’t know it would be you.” Ophelia swallowed hard. “I assumed it would one of Portia’s ex-lovers.”
“And who’s to say I’m not one of those?” Horatio laughed lightly. “Would you like a drink?”
He gestured to the champagne Portia had prepared for them, and without waiting for her answer, went to it. He popped the cork with expertise, filled their glasses and handed one to her.
“To you, Ophelia,” he said, raising his glass. “To the woman you are about to unleash.”
She drank deeply, letting the bubbles tickle her throat, letting the warmth of it relax her.
“Come here.” Horatio took her hand and led her to the mirror. “I want to show you something.”
He twirled her so she could see herself in the wide mirror on the wall above the couch.
“You are gorgeous.” Horatio stood behind her, barely pressing against her back. He sipped from his champagne glass. “Have you ever really looked at yourself?”
“No,” she whispered and to avoid doing so any longer, Ophelia drained the rest of her glass of champagne. “It’s not right to think about yourself like that. Very vain.”
“Who told you that?”
“My father, maybe my brother.”
“They were fools, afraid of the power you represent as a woman.”
“What do you mean?”
“You have everything a man wants.” His voice rumbled as he wrapped an arm around her and placed his hand over her heart. “We want this.”
She could feel him pressed harder against her, could feel his breath tickle her neck.
“And we want this.” He moved his hand to rest on her crotch. “Your heart and your desire. That’s what we want. Fathers and brothers don’t like seeing it in their sisters and daughters. It reminds them of the sexual animal inside all men.”
He dropped his hand, but didn’t move away from her. For a long moment, their eyes met in the mirror. Then Horatio stepped back just far enough to put down his glass of champagne.
He placed both hands on her shoulders.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Esmae Browder is an ex-Catholic school girl from New Orleans who loves vodka tonics and romance. Combining her love of literature with a flair for erotic fiction, she has created a unique series which includes prequels and retellings of some of the Bard’s most famous works. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew--nothing is sacred in Esmae’s Literotica world. You may know your Shakespeare, but you haven’t heard the whole erotic story! An avid blogger at All Things Writing, you can learn more about Esmae there or stop by her website: www.esmaebrowder.com
Author Website: www.esmaebrowder.com
All Things Writing Blog: http://allthingswriting.blogspot.com
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Ophelias-Lessons-Naughty-Shakespeare-Series-ebook/dp/B00JA269VS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1399426433&sr=8-2&keywords=Ophelia%27s+lessons
Esmae will be awarding the first three ebooks in the series: Ophelia's Lessons, Ravishing Rosaline, and The Taming of the Prude to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
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