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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Author Interview: Phyllis Campbell

Whipped Cream is pleased to have Phyllis Campbell with us today. Most of her reviewers have given her the title of "Queen of Sexual Tension." Her first erotic romance, Breaking All the Rules, was released by Carnal Passions this year, but it was by no means her first book. Phyllis is an award-winning, multi-published author with several publishers.

Phyllis started reading romance novels in 1985, a year after she was married, and fell in love with them. She admits to being a romance novel junkie. Then, she started dreaming her own stories like she was watching a movie. One night, she'd watched a romance movie that didn't have a happily ever after and she went to be angry. That night, once again, she had a dream in movie form. This time, however, when she woke up she realized it would make a good book.

"So, I bought a notebook and a package of pencils, and started writing," she told me. "That’s all it took to kick-start my muse. Now the stories come to me all the time. It’s a great feeling! "

Phyllis had several books published when she wrote her first erotic romance and, as a matter of fact, when she wrote Breaking All the Rules, she didn't really intend to write erotica.

"I was one of those writers that was never going to write erotica. Never! So one day I was trying to figure out a premise that was very sexy, yet all I wanted to do was tease my readers, and my characters. I’m good at doing that you know," she said with a wink. "So I started writing Breaking All the Rules. Story takes place in a sex resort. Hello! That should have been a dead giveaway that my story was going to turn really hot. So yeah, it did. I submitted this to my publisher, who about died from shock…then from laughter when she told me my story was erotic and not a typical romance. I thought she was joking. Nope, she sent it to the erotic line, Carnal Passion." She added with a laugh, "I think I’m still in shock."

Even though Phyllis mostly writes "straight" romance, she told me, "Now that I’ve crossed over to the dark side…it’s hard for me to write a straight romance because my characters want to be naughty. I want to explain more…show more. So yes, it’s a little hard to cross over like that without wanting to write naughtier. "

Regardless of whether the story is romance or erotic romance, however, Phyllis believes that the plot is what makes a good story.

"For some reason, some erotic writers don’t think they need a good plot in order to write," she said. "I don’t care how many of the characters are horny…the plot MUST be good! In my opinion, the more you tease the reader (and your characters) before their first sex scene, the better the story is going to be. Yeah, bring on the sexual tension, baby! "

"How do you do your research for your books?" I asked.

She laughed. "Well…it’s not the way you think. I have a very vivid imagination. Not only that, I have fantasies, too, you know." She winked. " Besides that, I read other erotic romances, which is mainly my research. I don’t have any ‘different positions’ kind of books. Nope. Just my fantasies. "

Speaking of fantasies, Phyllis shared with me that since writing the jet tub scene in Breaking All the Rules she would like to try that one out, if she could entertain a character from a book. "Don't care which hero I was with," she said, "because I know it'll be very exciting...THEY will be very exciting."

I asked Phyllis if her family reads her erotic fiction.

"Oh, hell no! My family doesn’t even approve of my ‘straight’ romances. Sheesh! My husband would have a fit if he knew I had written an erotic. My daughters would wear bags over their heads if the neighbors knew…. You get the picture. And…I don’t even dare tell my mom. Oh dear!"

She added, with a laugh, "She doesn’t need to die that way."

On a more personal note, Phyllis said if she could be anyone she wanted, it wouldn't matter who it was as long as she had a perfect figure, could eat all she wanted without getting fat, and be drop-dead gorgeous. "Guess I'm still in my fiction world, right?" she quipped.

"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked.

"Gads, which one? According to my kids, anything I do or say is embarrassing…well, to them, anyway. lol But for me, personally, it was a year or so after I had married. Hubby and I were moving. My ex-boyfriend (who happened to be friends with my brother) was helping us move. So, they helped move the waterbed…and behind it was a couple of used condoms." She shook her head. "I blame hubby for that one! "

Her favorite food is brownies. "But, they have to be the ones with nuts in them," she stressed. "Yup, nuts always make things taste better. (Take that how you want...)."

She can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi and is a Coke drinker (even winning a taste test at work. And, if anyone knows someone who can tie a cherry stem with his tongue, Phyllis would like an introduction...for research purposes.

Phyllis is a fan of painted toenails, especially if you wear a lot of open-toe shoes. She made this stipulation, though. "If you let your body get big and fat and can’t bend over, then no, unless you have a wonderful husband (or daughter) who’ll do it for you. "

And she thinks, even though the hair color is different, if anyone would portray her in a movie she would like it to be Meg Ryan. "She’s silly…which I happen to think fits me perfectly," Phyllis explained. "And I can’t help it…I love her snorty laugh! "

Finally, I asked Phyllis what advise she would give to authors who want to write erotica.

"Write what’s hot," she said, "but whatever you do, make sure it has a plot. Pile your characters together naked in one scene, it doesn’t matter, as long as you let the reader feel the emotion in your story. Your characters must have goals and motivations. They must be three-dimensional and not cardboard. " You can keep up with Phyllis on her website, http://phyllismariecampbell.com

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