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Saturday, April 16, 2011
Author Interview: Jasmine Haynes
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Jasmine Haynes, whose newest book Past Midnight, Book 1 in The DeKnight Tales series, is being released next month by Berkley Press. She is also the author of the award-winning Max Starr psychic mystery series and masquerades as Jennifer Skully and JB Skully.
I asked her to tell us a little bit about Past Midnight.
Erin and Dominic had the perfect life—until a devastating blow rocked their marriage to the core. Now they only reconnect after dark, when sleepless nights become hours of ecstasy as they soothe emotional pain with physical pleasure—but still wake up feeling distant and alone.
Dominic refuses to give up on the relationship. To save their marriage, he sets up erotic adventures that take them far beyond the boundaries of both their comfort zones. As their love life moves from the privacy of their bedroom to public parties and sex retreats where anything is possible, will Dominic and Erin form a deeper bond…or will they lose it all?
Jasmine actually wrote her first story when she was six and wrote her first novel in high school as part of a creative writing class.
"In order to get published, I had to learn a lot more about life and the writing business. I wrote mysteries, ghost stories, then finally erotica. Oddly, it was the erotica that sold first, then the mysteries," she told me. "I also discovered that I wrote humor into my mysteries as well, something I never would have figured out when I was younger."
She told me she finds writing erotica a challenge, but not for the reason you might think.
"I have to figure out how to write 90,000 words without killing someone!" she said. "In addition, since there’s a LOT of sex, it’s a challenge how to make the sex different and interesting. But mystery romance also has the challenge of making your mystery believable, getting your research correct as to police procedures, etc."
The most embarrassing sex scene she's ever written, however, was for Desperate to the Max, part of the Max Starr paranormal mystery series.
"It was a love scene that must have gone on for 20 pages, and Max kept trying to talk Witt out of having sex with her and interrupting him at crucial moments. I remember thinking as I was writing that it was the love scene that would never end!" she explained. "But in reading it again recently when I was updating for release on Kindle/Smashwords/Nook and in print, I found the scene really worked for those two characters."
In Jasmine's opinon, the biggest public misconception about erotica is that it's just another name for porn.
"The difference, however, is the emotion and the story. Porn is sex without emotion or many times even without a story. In erotica, it’s the emotion that readers want."
It's also important that authors who want to write erotica remember that.
" It’s not just slot A into Slot B or more, more and more sex," she told me. "It’s why your characters are doing what they’re doing, their motivation, how they feel about the sex, their partner, and how the sex changes them or the relationship."
Jasmine does a lot of her research using the Internet.
"You can find the answer to just about anything out there!" she assured me. "But I also like to feature different locales for the books, and I do travel research trips to find something unique to write about. For example, in my Dec 2010 book, Mine Until Morning, in the third story, my couple went on a hiking trip through the slot canyons in The Painted Canyon, just south of Palm Springs. Which is something I did. Now you’ll have to read the book to find out what they did on the hike!"
"Is there a boundary between porn and erotic romance that you personally would never cross?" I wondered.
"I don’t like violence for violence sake. In a BDSM premise, I like a good spanking, but I wouldn’t want to write a scene where someone is intentionally made to bleed or whipped to that point. I also wouldn’t do a real rape scene as part of an erotic scenario."
On a personal note, I asked Jasmine, "If you could be anyone you wanted, who would it be?"
"Judy Garland. I would love to be able to sing like she did."
If she had to pierce a body part, she would choose a nipple. "It's sexy," she explained, "because it's not seen by everyone."
Some quick tidbits about Jasmine you might not know:
~she considers whipped cream to be best for eating off tummies, or actually any body part—particularly erogenous zone.
~her favorite food is bread pudding with brandy sauce.
~her least favorite food is escargot.
~she once knocked over a buffet table in the center of a crowded restaurant.
~she loves painted toenails: red in winter and bright orange in summer.
~she enjoys listening to audio books while she cleans, does laundry, and walks the dog.
"What is your strangest habit?" I asked her.
"I have to have the piles of paper on my desk stacked very neatly right at the corner. The pile can be two feet high and I have no idea what on earth’s in it, but I’m okay as long as it’s neat."
Finally, I asked what one piece of advice she would give a new writer.
"Finish the book," she said. "Don’t endlessly rewrite the beginning chapters, just finish. Then be prepared to throw it all way. That is truly part of the process of learning to write."
Jasmine is going a free erotic read on her blog for her readers. Every week, she posts a new chapter of Kinky Neighbors, an erotic foursome tale. Previous chapters will remain on the blog for several weeks, but for those readers who want to read it all at once, she'll soon be making it available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
You can keep up with Jasmine on her blog, http://jasminehaynes.blogspot.com