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Saturday, December 10, 2011
Interview with Natasha Blackthorne
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Natasha Blackthorne, whose latest book Grey's Lady, Book One in the Carte Blanche series is available from Total-e-Bound. The sequel, White Lace and Promises, is scheduled to be published on December 26.
Grey's Lady is an erotic fairy tale set in Philadelphia in 1812—a very different Cinderella story.
Seeking sexual excitement and conquest, poor but beautiful Beth seduces wealthy merchant prince Grey Sexton, only to find herself the pursued as he seeks to own her body and soul.
Flouting the moral standards of Jeffersonian America, temptress Beth McConnell lets no man touch her heart. Her motto is love them once and leave them burning.
But when she boldly seduces Grey Sexton, a self-controlled merchant prince from New York, she finds herself too fascinated by his ice-over-fire nature to stay away. His possessive determination to own her, body and soul, threatens to expose her secret erotic life to public shame.
But Beth will only surrender her love to a man she can trust. And Grey's materialistic approach to relationships leaves her little reason to believe he can ever give her what she truly needs.
For these two cynical yet lonely people, can deep sexual intimacy work a miracle and lead to the opening of their hearts?
I, also, asked her to tell us a little bit about the sequel.
Beth and Grey’s passionate battle of wills continues...
New York Merchant Prince Grey Sexton loves the audacious, spirited young temptress who seduced him in a Philadelphia bookseller’s and made passionate love to him in his carriage. Her fiery nature broke through his cold self-protection. But in a time of war and trade disruption, he cannot allow himself to be distracted. He vows to put business above all else in his life, including his bride.
Shocked and hurt by Grey's distance, Beth wonders whether he truly returns the burning love she feels for him. Beth demands that Grey prove he can truly change once and for all or else she will not start a family with him. But will the dark, sensual secrets she yet keeps repel this arrogant, self-controlled gentleman she has married?
When Natasha first learned to write in school, she had the urge to put her daydreams down in words and pictures in a little spiral notebook—stories about cat people and such.
"This did not go over well with the adults around me at the time so I started out having complex daydreams in my head that continued for weeks and months and then years," she said. "Then as an adult I would write to record the stories because I had to; I just had this drive that I had to. I had to do it or go insane. But I really didn’t see it going anywhere. It was just for me, my private world. And one day it was no longer enough to just write for myself. I was driven by something inside myself to write something that I could present for publication. It wasn’t a choice or a decision; it was something I just had to do."
It was at this point Natasha learned she had a lot to learn about the whole art and craft of writing.
"I applied myself to its study and at that point I can say I became a Writer with a capital W," she explained. "I am very grateful also to my critique partners. They were so patient with me and taught me so much. In the spring of this year I began to feel that the time had come to submit something and so I made my first submissions: Grey’s Lady and Waltz of Seduction."
"How do you do your research for your books?" I wondered.
"I read voraciously, not just erotic romance but everything. I used to go to the library in college intending to get some real work done and end up wandering around the bookshelves reading and letting my mind attend to whatever interested it the most that day. I adore reading social history, especially history of relations between the sexes and same-sex relations. Usually I get my better ideas when I am wandering around the world of books just for fun rather than when I am purposely looking for information. I also read books and articles specifically about sex and sexual practices but this is also something I have always done for enjoyment. I love studying people and their relationships with each other whether it is through history, sociology or psychology."
Pornography centers on physical sensation while erotica is more sensual and emotional—sometimes even poetic, Natasha told me. Erotic romance, on the other hand, focuses on a developed story line with love scenes rich in physical sensation, emotions, and ends with a HEA or a HFN.
"I strive to convey deep emotions and sensuality and to be true to what those particular characters feel and think and do in that specific moment," she said, about writing her own work.
"What are the biggest public misconceptions about erotica?" I wondered.
"That it is nothing but the most extreme sex told in the most salacious way. That is simply porn but for women. And the worse one of all is that it is easy to write and anyone who applies even half an effort can do it."
Sexual things don't easily embarrass Natasha, and she told me she's never written anything that embarrassed her—unless it was badly written.
"As long as no one gets hurt and everyone is old enough and has given their consent I don’t think sex is something to be ashamed of," she explained. "So if a sexual scene of mine embarrassed me it must be because I have rendered it badly. In that case I would work on it until I wasn’t embarrassed any longer."
Finally, I asked Natasha what advice she would give to writers who wanted to write erotica.
"Read as much of what is out there as you can, the good, the bad and the in-between. Analyze what you read," she said. "Work with critique partners and study all you can about writing craft but always respect your own processes."
You can keep up with Natasha on her blog, http://natashablackthorne.blogspot.com.