Welcome back to Sexy Saturday — today’s guest is W.S. Long!
Let’s jump right into this!
A military brat, who joined the Air Force, I left the military to become a lawyer and because I realized I wasn’t happy. Now, I’m happily married to the man I fell in love with in 1995. My first long novella, “Love and Murder,” is scheduled for publication in February 2014 by JMS Books.
1) What was your first experience with erotica / erotic romance?
After some writer-friends returned from a Romance Writers’ convention, they suggested I consider writing in this genre. I had written a legal/mystery thriller where the main character has relationship issues with his ex-wife, and his boyfriend. Because of the dynamics of those characters, they thought the male/male romance audience would be more suitable for my long novella. That’s when I started reading contemporary writers who publish in the area. However, if you consider the works of Mary Renault or Edith Hamilton, whose writing featured gay or bisexual characters and mythological story lines, you could say I started reading gay romance before I graduated high school.
2) Describe your journey from reading to writing to publication.
I didn’t take a conventional path to publication. I have friends who have reputable agents in New York, and who write great stories, but I didn’t take their path. My path began when my husband wanted to write about his coming-out experience and how his family dealt with his self-realization so he brought me along to the Celebration Writers Group. Once I attended my first meeting, I got the writing bug. I’d written before, for the high school newspaper, and wrote a book review, which was published in the Florida Bar Journal, but I hadn’t seriously considered writing until that moment. Because of the support of my husband, who encouraged me to write, I wrote a legal/mystery thriller for which, after going through the submissions process, JMS Books offered me a contract to publish.
3) What scene or book was the biggest challenge to write?
I think every scene is a challenge to write. I am a slow writer. I’m constantly editing, tweaking, questioning if some words should be there, asking myself what I should add or take away so the reader understands what the action is, or what the characters are doing and thinking. I don’t think there’s any scene that’s easier than the rest, or worse than the rest.
4) Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring writers of erotica / erotic romance?
The best advice I can give is to read in that genre. Sign on to Goodreads and see what other writers are saying about books they’re reading. Also, join a writing group. They may not want to read the graphic parts (that is, the sexual) but have them read the non-sexual parts. You’ll meet interesting people in these groups, and I’ve made friends because of it. I joined Romance Writers of America recently, and some of its articles are very helpful so I would recommend that as another option. Consider following your favorite authors on social media, or on their blogs, and ask them what they do in writing, especially when they are guest-hosting or guest-blogging. Finally, the other suggestion is to go to writer conventions where you are so you can meet those writers.
5) Tell us a bit about your latest release.
This long novella, “Love and Murder,” is loosely based on my experience as an assistant public defender when I represented an accused in a second-degree murder case. It’s a complete work of fiction.
Obviously parts of my and my husband’s personality seep in, but we are not even close to the characters portrayed. What some of the characters have gone through is broadly-based on my what friends and family have undergone, though.
To give you an idea what this upcoming publication is about:
Lawyer Jake Chandler is struggling. He’s close to losing his dream to build a money- making law firm because he can’t find paying clients. After coming out, and leaving his wife, for his boyfriend, Noah, Jake suspects Noah cheats on him.
Jake hopes that a new murder case will help with his money woes, but Elena, his ex-wife, is the prosecutor, and she wants nothing more than to beat him in trial, on top of fighting about their daughter.
After Jake is shot while speaking to a former lover, people close to Jake die.
When Jake meets a handsome FBI agent, Xavier, who’s investigating the crimes surrounding him, Jake wonders if Xavier is who he says he is.
That sounds super interesting!
Thanks for being my guest, W.S.!