Privileged Hyde Park socialite, Susan Leland, wants more from life than being a rich man’s daughter. She wants excitement, daring, but most of all, she wants to explore her sexuality. A chance meeting with artist Evan Forrester, a man she’d met purely by ‘accident’ months earlier, leads Susan on a journey of sensual discovery that not only includes the handsome Evan, but also sultry torch singer, Holly Winters. Together, the singer and the artist uncover Susan’s utmost desires and unleash her inner vamp.
- Where did you get the idea for the novel?
I’d just completed a holiday novella for inclusion in one of my publisher’s anthologies. It was set in the 1920s. During my research, I was struck by the outright decadence of the time period. I found some of the information on prohibition to be very interesting, including the fact that not everyone had to abide by the laws. One article I read summed up the era as one of experimentation and sexual discovery. What better catalyst for an erotic romance?
- Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I did. I’d honestly found myself in somewhat of a rut while righting conventional romance (no matter how steamy). I needed to jumpstart my creativity. My muse seemed to be pointing me in the direction of erotica and demanding I step out of my comfort zone. So, the book is named in her honor.
- Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
Actually, it kind of picked me. There was a submission call for one of my publishers. They were looking for over-the-top historical romances with nothing off limits. I began the story with them in mind. However, about 3 chapters in, the call was cancelled. I thought of setting the story aside, but my muse wouldn’t let me. What I like most about writing erotica (I now have 3 under my belt) is the freedom to do or say anything you want, and to have your character’s also step out of their comfort zone.
- Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Probably the most exciting is still receiving my first box of books in the mail … way back in 1996. A writer never forgets their first book. Also, hitting the Amazon Top 100 historical authors on two occasions was a big thrill. Each book brings a new sense of excitement with it, whether it’s signing at RWA’s literacy event or receiving a great review.
- What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
Right at the moment, I’m not reading anything, I’m just writing. The last book I read was a research book on post-Civil war Mississippi.
- What is your writing process?
I’d like to say I have one, but my discipline and writing schedule isn’t nearly as tight as I’d like. I do keep a calendar of writing goals and try to stick to it as best as I can. I’m an organizer, so each book has its own nook on my computer. Once I’ve created a virtual home for my new project, I create a basic chapter outline and start my book-specific media kit. Then, I begin from page one. IF an idea comes to me that I know I’ll use later, I do keep a “notebook” where I jot down ideas, full paragraphs if the mood strikes me, or a witty piece of dialogue I may want her heroine to share with the hero.
- 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?
I always personalize my autographs. I ask the person’s name and then, most often, I’ll thank them for buying my book. With so many romance novels out there to choose from, I feel humbled that they’ve chosen mine. My most used phrase would have to be: Thank you so much for choosing my book today. It means a lot to me. I wish you happy reading. (Or some variation of this.)
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Most likely my age. When I tell a perfect stranger that I write sexy romances/erotica, I get some really weird looks. Hey, people, romance and even steamy sex doesn’t stop with age. Most often, it only gets better.
- How do you react to a bad review?
I’d be lying if I said they don’t affect me. Nobody wants a bad review. I’ve been around long enough to know you can’t please everyone all the time. However, as I try to impress on younger/new authors, a review is one person’s opinion only and subjective at that. When mixed in with a number of good reviews, a bad review can also help you. It often piques a reader’s curiosity to know whether they’d side with the few or the many. In the long run, though, chocolate and Bailey’s over ice can ease the sting of any poor review.
- How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
With my critique partners over an expensive steak dinner. Two of us in the four-person critique group sold to Kensington and became part of their launch books for their new (at the time) Precious Gems line. It was a joint venture between Kensington and Walmart, and it died a quick and painful death just three years after it began.
Susan Leland handed her fox stole to the scantily dressed coat-check girl, took possession of the claim stub, and tucked it into her clutch. Off in the distance, she heard the smooth tones of jazz music, the clink and clatter of fine china and fancy glassware, the raucous laughter of the well-heeled patrons as they dined in elegance and gossiped about their friends and neighbors.
“Good evening, Miss Leland.”
“Good evening, Andre. Is Mr. Adams here yet?”
“No, but Mr. Carlson arrived a few moments ago. I seated him at your usual spot.”
Susan wound her way through the richly adorned tables until she reached the far side of the large stage. “Hello, Steven.”
Steven Carlson stood, captured Susan’s hand in his, pressed a quick kiss to her fingertips and then waited while she accepted the chair Andre pulled out for her.
“Hi, Susie-Q. You look absolutely ravishing, as always.”
“Thank you. You’re pretty well turned out yourself, for someone who’s spent his entire day behind a desk, pushing a pencil over some stuffy legal papers.”
“It’s called a job, Susan,” Steven replied sarcastically. “You should try it some time.”
“I do work,” she insisted. “I volunteer three days a month at the home for the aged. And, I’m thinking about writing a book, a tawdry little novel about a woman who falls in love with an absolute cad. I’ll call him Steven.” Not expecting a response, she glanced toward the door and asked, “Any idea how long we’ll have to wait for Will this evening?”
Steven turned as she had, scanning the large dining room. “Knowing Will, it’s likely he’s just now leaving his friend’s apartment on the north side.”
She settled back into her chair. The revelation that the young man she’d known since their teenage years had been hiding a huge secret from her sat uncomfortably on her shoulders. “Is he doing all right since his family turned him out?”
“He’s doing fine. Justin is a good man and won’t let any harm come to Will.”
For as long as their illicit liaison lasts. Susan pursed her lips, holding in the first thought that came to mind.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor @nfraserauthor
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