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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Author Interview: Roz Lee

Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Roz Lee, whose newest book Show Me the Ropes has just been released by Red Sage Publishing. Show Me the Ropes is the sequel to The Lust Boat.

I asked Roz how she researched her work.

"Let’s just say thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the internet!" she said. "My husband of thirty-two years is always eager to assist me, but there are some things I write about that even he refuses to try! I take pity on him and surf the web. There’s a YouTube video for just about anything these days."

Roz started out writing mainstream romance and she's still not given up on that.

"I’m a hopeless romantic, and not all my characters need the depth of erotic experience that others do," she explained. "I write their story, and let them decide the heat level. Not that my 'straight' romances don’t have sex. They do, and plenty of it. But in my erotic romances, the sex is the primary catalyst that fuels character growth. All writing is a challenge. In order to make the characters come alive, be someone the reader wants to know, or loves to hate, you have to dig deep into that person’s soul. That’s not easy, no matter what genre you’re writing in."

She has a lot of favorites when it comes to authors. She started out reading Thea Devine, then found the Secrets anthologies from Red Sage. She's also a big fan of Jan Springer and Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin.

"I recently found a new author I want to read more from, Em Petrova. Even though I write contemporary, I’ll read anything from historical to paranormal and fantasy. I love it all!"

When is it comes to her own writing, she knows it's not up to her standards if she's not reaching for a fan, a chocolate, a tissue, or all three.

"Every scene needs to elicit some sort of response from the reader," she said. "Preferably a good one."

Porn, to Roz, is just the physical—insert tab A into slot B—no matter how creatively they manage to do it.

"The physical without the mental, without feelings, emotions, is boring to me," Roz told me. "I’m a firm believer that porn does a disservice to relationships. Men grow up watching that stuff, and they think that’s the way it’s done. They think women really want to be twisted into those camera perfect positions, and that women are satisfied as long as the guy is satisfied. Men could learn a thing or two by reading erotic romance. My two cents."

Her husband reads everything Roz writes, but she said she's forbidden her college age daughters from reading it.

"I told them they have to buy it, but they can’t read it! Not that I’m ashamed of what I’m writing, but I’d rather they not learn any of this stuff from their mother! Both the girls are very proud of my accomplishment, and have no qualms about telling all their friends. My oldest proudly claims, 'My mother writes smut!' Gotta love that!"

She blames the whole writing thing on her daughters, telling me, "It's all their fault."

Roz read a lot of romance novels when they were little—no matter where they were. Both of the girls played competitive softball and they spent a lot of time on the road and at ballparks all over the country.

"I perfected the art of reading during a game, and never missed a pitch or a play. I sure wish I’d had my eReader back then. I had a book tucked in every bag, car pocket and suitcase. When the oldest was in high school, they both commented that I’d read so many romance novels that I could probably write my own. It’s cliché, but true. They planted the idea, and a few years later, when the oldest was in college, I wrote my first one. It stunk. It still stinks, but I didn’t give up. My family encouraged me to try again, and I did. Again and again, until I got it right."

On a more personal note, I asked Roz, "If you could be anyone you wanted, who would it be?"

"Me. I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. I have the perfect husband and family. I do what I love best, write, and I have a great group of friends who cheer me on. I can’t imagine being someone else. Why would I want to be?"

She shared with me that she doesn't personally find piercings sexy. She doesn't even have her ears pierced.

"Just the thought of poking holes in my skin gives me the creeps! That goes for tattoos too. I don’t have anything against them for other people, they just aren’t for me," she said."I understand many people find piercings sexy, and there may be one or two show up in an upcoming book, but this is one bit of research I’m doing online."

Her favorite food? It was hard for her to pick just one, but she finally settled on chocolate.

"Any kind," she expanded. "I’d probably eat a grasshopper if it was covered in chocolate. Well, maybe not, but you get the idea. I LOVE chocolate. I even won a Best of Show at the fair once with my Chocolate Mousse Cake. It has three ingredients, chocolate, butter and eggs. To die for!"

On the other hand, she can't stand guacamole, saying, "It looks like vomit and tastes like wet lettuce put in a blender. And, it's slimy. Three strikes, you're out."

"Can you tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi?" I wondered.

"Oh yes, easy. Pepsi is flat and sweeter than coke. When I was a kid we had the longneck coke bottles. I loved pouring a package of salted peanuts down the neck of an ice cold bottle on a hot summer day. Try that with Pepsi and the result just isn’t the same."

Her strangest habit?

"I don’t drink coffee, but I’m a tea drinker. I love a good cup of tea, but it has to be brewed just right. I have my own ritual for the perfect cup and I don’t vary from it often. I might even be a bit OCD in that regard."

When Roz isn't writing, she's reading and eating chocolate. She has a huge TBR pile, both physical and eBook. About the only show she watches on television is Castle.

"I also go to the gym at least five days a week in an effort to counteract all the chocolate I eat," she said.

Finally, I asked Roz, "If you could give a new writer one piece of advice, what would it be?"

"Read. Write. Study," she said. "Okay, that’s three pieces of advice."

You can keep up with Roz on her blog,

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