In The Chair 48: Alaina Drake

Welcome, Alaina Drake.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words? 

Alaina: Driven by characters.

If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

11377274_846296885454623_8396144851526442251_nAlaina: I would like to have a friendship with Hannah, my heroine in Forbidden Touch. When I set out to write this book, I wanted to create a female character that women would like. In so much of contemporary romance, I find the heroines to be difficult to relate to. Either they have hard edges with not enough compassion or self-actualization, or they are waifs who are led around by their lust. All women can point to their favorite “book-boyfriends,” the guys of romance novels that grace the covers with their rock-hard abs and those delicious jeans that hang from those narrow hips. We’ve all read them; we’ve all loved them to a certain degree. But when I ask fellow women readers to name their favorite heroine, they stumble. Why is that? Are women more inherently critical of other women? Do we read romances only for the heroes or do we truly value the transformation of a strong yet vulnerable woman? Why is it that so many women have trouble relating to romance heroines? Is it a problem if we don’t? I wanted to explore those questions, and as I wrote Hannah in Forbidden Touch, I fell in love with her for her strength, her ability to laugh, her courage late in the book (something that really surprised me when it happened), and so much more. She was a heroine that I could see as a friend of mine, and that’s what spurred me to write a four book series that centers around Hannah and her friendship with three other women.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Alaina: In Forbidden Touch, there is a scene where Hannah and Beckett meet for the first time. I would really like to see the look in his eyes as Hannah comes onto him. I want to see her confidence as she approaches him, something that rarely happens in contemporary romances. I find the electricity of the first meeting to be the most difficult to write because I struggle with the words to communicate the attraction between them. I would love to be a “fly on the wall” in that room when they first meet if only to say “yep, that’s what I thought it looked like.”

Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Alaina Drake - Head Shot (2)Alaina: I’m going to show my English Professor roots here. My master’s degree is in nineteenth-century literature, so I would probably invite Jane Austen for her wit and dialogue, Walt Whitman for his lyricism, Mark Twain for his humor, and Kate Chopin for her symbolism. Hmmm…I just noticed I invited two men and two women…I truly am a romance writer at heart! I would serve pizza from a local pizza place because I’m a terrible cook. But, I could pair an amazing wine with the pizza—let’s say a crisp Riesling to start us out!

If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Alaina: I would love to write a play someday. I studied Shakespeare extensively, and although I would never claim to have a fraction of his genius, he made me fall in love with plays. I love the idea that I’d get to write the spoken word—that people would interact with my writing in a much different way than flipping through the pages of a book. I would love to see how the actors and actresses interpreted the writing, and I would love to get away with no more dialogue tags! Hooray!

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Alaina: This is my first novel, so the process of querying and finding the right match is still fresh in my mind. I am a sensitive person who needed to get a tougher skin for this business, and I had to develop it quickly. I was shocked by the lack of personal responses, the lack of responses at all sometimes, but I’m forever grateful that my editor at Accent Press saw the potential in a new author. The payoff so far has been worth all the heartache of querying.

Favourite word? Alaina: Apolmb—the world doesn’t have enough of it.

Alaina Drake was in the naughty chair, author of: Forbidden Touch; releasing September 25th 2015. 

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Published by Accent Press.

Web: http://ow.ly/SjXtV

Authors: Fancy pulling out a chair? Send your answers to the same set of questions with a profile pic and one web link to jan@janruth.com

In The Chair 30: Jade West

Welcome, Jade West.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Jade: Dirty. Bad. Wrong.

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If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Jade: James / Masque. I’d enjoy the sex with him more than Callum, although I’d adopt Callum’s dog, Casey, any day.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Jade: I’d exist happily for a week in Dirty Bad Wrong as club Explicit. As for being a central character or watching from the sidelines, it depends how much I’d had to drink.

Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Jade: This is the hardest question so far! I have so many lovely author friends now that it would have to be a bit of an open house party, I’m desperate to meet so many of them! I’d especially love to invite Jason Luke, as I’d talk to him about Jonah Noble forever, Jaden Wilkes as she makes me laugh so goddamn much with her Facebook statuses. Robert Holdstock, Martyn Bedford and Storm Constantine too, because their books spoke to much to me when I read them. 

As for what I’d serve, well, options are limited. I suck at cooking. A member of my family said a while ago, quite aptly, that I have the taste in food of a child at a birthday party. I’d probably crack open the party rings and the sausages on sticks.

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If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Jade: Paranormal, most likely. I have a strong interest in Jungian psychology, so would quite enjoy taking on the strange, elusive, archetypal potentials of the paranormal. Hmm, maybe watch this space at some point.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Jade: I dislike nothing about being an author. I’ve racked my brain and there is no answer to be found, I love everything about it! I thank my lucky stars every morning that I get to live the life I’m living and wouldn’t change a thing about it.

 Favourite word? 

Jade: Most likely one of the expletives, sorry. That or aluminium, or maybe the word absolutely, or fantastic. I have a few, I think. No, wait… Photosynthesis. I was about seven and won my parents a game of Trivial Pursuit using that word. It’s definitely my favourite. Photosynthesis or f**k. Final answers.

Jade West was in the naughty chair: Author of The Dirty Bad Series.

Web: http://www.jadewestauthor.com/

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In The Chair 28: Kay Jaybee

Welcome, Kay Jaybee.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Kay: Dark, sexy, relatable.

If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Kay: It would have to be John the courier from Not Her Type – he is very much my type. I’ll say no more…

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 If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Kay: I’d never last a whole week in one of my books! But if I dared to try, I’d be a voyeur on the sidelines of The Perfect Submissive Trilogy. I am not brave enough for anything else! Perhaps I’d be a waitress in the Fables Hotel, where the trilogy is set. I’d make sure Mrs Peters, the manageress, didn’t spot me watching her though!

 Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Kay: The Marquis de Sade! Think of all the material he could share. His outlook, although a little frightening, and certainly flawed, was revolutionary- and honest. Probably far too honest.
I’d feed him a good old British roast! Can you imagine the reaction?

 If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Kay: I already write contemporary fiction and children’s fiction (as Jenny Kane), but I would love to branch out into thrillers as well. The way people think has always fascinated me. There is endless material in considering why some people act on their baser desires, and some don’t. Much of my erotica teeters towards the psychological mystery genre. I am keen to expand the darker side of my work, and create a twisted thriller where people keep their clothes on!

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What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Kay: The assumption that erotica is an easy option.

Favourite word?

Kay: Unbuttoning

Kay Jaybee was in the naughty chair: Author of  The Perfect Submissive Trilogy, The VoyeurMaking Him Wait, A Sticky Situation, Digging DeepNot Her Type & The Collector.

Published by Accent Press.

Web: www.kayjaybee.me.uk 

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In The Chair 27: Siobhan Daiko

Welcome, Siobhan Daiko 

How would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Siobhan: Succinct, sensuous, sensual.

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If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Siobhan: Luca in Lady of Asolo. Strong, caring, sexy. A really lovely man.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Siobhan: I’d go back to the post-war Hong Kong of The Orchid Tree. It was a magical time in the ex-colony. I’d be a friend to Kate, my heroine, and support her in her struggle to be with the man she loves.

Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Siobhan: I’d invite Veronica Franco, the heroine of my soon to be published erotic novella, Veronica COURTESAN. She was a published poet and writer, unusual for a woman in 16th Century Venice. Oh, and I’d definitely include John Hudspith, my editor, who is also a published writer. Veronica loved to duel with words and Johnny has a wicked sense of humour so I think it would be a fun do. I’d serve an Italian feast: antipasto of Parma ham and melon; asparagus risotto; thinly sliced fillet steak with roast potatoes and peperonata; and pannacotta with summer fruits for pud. We’d have a light Pinot Grigio to start, a heady Barolo with the main course, and Prosecco with the desert.

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If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Siobhan: I can’t see myself veering away from writing historical fiction. I’ve just switched from romantic historical to erotic historical romance. One day I might diversify and write a mystery about a medieval monk who sets out to solve a murder, but I think that’s been done before. Laughs.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Siobhan: There’s nothing I dislike. It’s the best job in the world.

Favourite word?

Siobhan: Susurrus. It’s a great word and you can hear the sound of a gentle breeze rustling through leaves when you say it.

Siobhan Daiko was in the chair: author of Lady of Asolo, The Orchid Tree, Fragrant Haven & Veronica (erotica) 

Web: https://siobhandaiko.wordpress.com/

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In The Chair 12: Alice Raine

Welcome, Alice Raine.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Alice: Humorous. Expressive. Sexy.
(I asked my husband and he replied Smut, Smut and Smut).

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If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Alice: If we are talking platonic, then I’d go with Caitlin, a character in the Revealed series I am currently writing, because she is loyal, funny, strong and caring. She’d make a great best friend and I could imagine many a good night out would be had. If you mean relationship as in a physical one / love, then it would have to be Jack, he’s another character from the new series not yet revealed to the world – a slightly older, tall, broad, protective hunk of a man, and of course charming and handsome to boot!

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Alice: Hmm… that’s a tricky one. I think actually I’d quite like to share a bit of time in London with the Jackson brothers in my Untwisted series. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t necessarily want to ‘be’ with them as they are a fairly intense, dominant duo, but to experience the world they live in as a spectator might be quite fun. And no doubt a bit of an eye-opener!

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Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Alice: Guests… I would need a large table: I think for perverse curiosity I would like Edgar Allan Poe at the head of the table to recite his poem ‘The Raven’ to get us all started (or should that be ‘startled’!!) Stephen Fry would be next to him, just because he is, well, the Stephen Fry, and would no doubt make a fabulously interesting and witty guest. Michael Palin would be on one side of me so I could pick his brains about the best travel destinations in the world (and because I love his gentle, dry humour). Jane Austin would be there, and would hopefully have the dashing Mr Darcy with her as her ‘plus one’ – who would of course be seated on the other side on me. Maya Angelou would feature because I have huge respect for what she did for the civil rights movement and Harper Lee could have an invite for historic interest (and because she would no doubt get on well with Maya). I also think that because of the genre I write I would love to have Accent Press’s Kay Jaybee there so we could discuss all things saucy, and to finish the table I would seat Graham Norton (yes, he has written several books!) at the other end because I’m sure there would never be a dull moment with him in the room!

Food wise, I would definitely serve something from the Far East as I love pretty much all cuisines from that part of the world. I was lucky enough to have cookery lessons in Thailand from an amazing local lady who taught me to make a pretty good Penang curry, so perhaps I’d serve that, with a fresh and zesty papaya salad on the side. Come prepared for chilli, because I like my food spicy!

 If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

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Alice: That’s a tricky one, because although I have been published with my erotic books, my laptop is stuffed with story ideas that span a huge variety of genres – I’ve written everything from teenage paranormal stories to gentle real life comedies, some of which I hope might see the light of day at some point. I would also veer towards historical novels too, because I have a degree in Archaeology and love all things ancient – particularly from the Roman period.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Alice: The self-doubt is a fairly big dislike, but then again, constantly asking myself ‘Is it good enough?’ does at least push me to always strive to be better. I also have a large dislike for proof reading my own work. Ugh, I hate it! I can read someone else’s work and spot mistakes a mile off, but as soon as it comes to my writing I read right over the errors. I think I fall into the category of reading what I think should be there, not reading what is actually there!

Favourite word?

Alice:  Bibliobibuli. Try saying that after a glass of wine! (It refers to those who read to much!!)

Alice Raine was in the naughty chair: Author of the Untwisted Series, published by Accent Press.

Web: www.aliceraineauthor.com

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