When did you first realize you wanted to become a Writer/author?
LB: Becoming a published author has been my dream as long as I can remember. Now my dream is to be a best-selling author. ;)
Where do you get your ideas for your book?
LB: Sometimes they start with differences I would have liked to have seen in books I've read or shows/movies I've watched. A good example would be my Jaded Series. I read a book series about a couple with a BDSM relationship, and through the whole thing, I was just waiting for the woman to pick up the whip and turn the tables on the man. It never happened, but it's what got the wheels turning in my head for this series. Then as I began to flesh out the idea, it took on a life of its own. As for my next idea? Well, I'm not too happy with how this season of The Walking Dead is playing out... LOL
What kind of things do you enjoy when not writing?
LB: My husband and I write and record music together. We haven't really done much of anything with it, but I have a trailer for my book series in the works using a bluesy song we wrote called "It Gets Loud." I'm really looking forward to getting that finished.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
LB: So far, I've only published the books in the Jaded Series, the fourth and final of which I am currently working on. Of that series, this last one is my favorite. I'm finally able to wrap up all of the mysteries that started in the other three, and I'm really excited to share that with readers.
Do you have any suggestions to help others who have a passion for writing?
LB: If you're going to self-publish, start looking into it online before you finish your book. There is so much I could have learned in advance that I didn't because I was bent on having my book finished first. I'm still learning every day, but knowing up front what it took me six months to figure out would have been very helpful.
What do you think makes a great story?
Lot of sex. LOL Actually, I love the erotic romance genre, but even if the erotic component is highly successful, it needs a well-thought-out, unique plot to keep my interest. Some of the books in this genre that have droves of fans have really fallen short with me. They're still sitting on my Kindle unfinished while I've devoured the books of indie authors who may have only sold a few copies.
Which Writer/Authors inspire you?
LB: Honestly? I'm shy about admitting this, but I'll tell you a secret. I actually hadn't read a single book in the erotic romance genre until a friend of mine pressured me into reading my first ER novel, and if you look at my list of favorite authors, you can see that she really had to strong arm me because I was convinced that it wasn't my thing. She and I would go on these weekend adventures out of town to see rock bands, and I'd always drag her to a sex shop to buy a souvenir for my husband...well, not just to a sex shop but to the back rooms where they keep the leather and chains. One summer between adventures, she read the Fifty Shade trilogy, and though she could never understand why anyone would want to flip the script, she had at least started to understand the appeal of sensual bondage. So, she pushed until I gave in and read the books, and I have to say that they did inspire me. I was so jealous of the red room that I finally got off my ass and converted a spare room in my house into a playroom, though instead of red, much to my friend's disappointment, I painted it a deep, dark, cold blue. I also started reading more erotic romance, and then ultimately decided to abandon what I had been working on in favor of writing in this genre that was completely new and exciting for me.
What are you working on at the moment?(optional)
LB: I'm finishing up the fourth and final book in the Jaded Series, UnJaded, but inside my head, I'm working on about ten others. There are two in particular that I find myself thinking about most often, so when I wrap this series up, I think I'm going to try to work on the next two books simultaneously. I'll have a little sample of both at the end of UnJaded when it come out, but I don't have titles for them at this point.
What genre are your books?
LB: My genre is erotic romance, but that's a bit narrow a description because it's important to me to have a story that goes far beyond just romance. The Jaded series has a murder mystery plot, and all of the future books I'm working on are about more than just relationships and sex. I wouldn't even call the sex gratuitous as many times it's a part of the plot, particularly in the first book of the Jaded Series, A Jade's Trick, which chronicles the heroine's quest to overcome sexual abuse-driven, self-diagnosed frigidity. So the sex scenes themselves are contingent to the storyline, and in many case, they could not be lifted out to get a PG-13 rating without doing damage to the story itself.
What drew you to the genre you write?
LB: I had actually been working on a comprehensive fantasy series for years, fantasy being one of my favorite genres. I had written about three books worth of material, complete with maps and a whole mythology backstory involving various worlds and planes of existence, but upon editing, I noticed that while I had begun something that was like adult Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings (just for reference - not that I am comparing myself to these authors), about half way in, it had become more like an episode of True Blood. I had written dozens of sex scenes that really did not jibe with original intent of the book, so I switched over to erotic romance to get it out of my system, but it isn't out of my system yet. I just keep coming up with more ideas, more stories I want to tell.
Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead character from your most recent book?(any book you like)
LB: I guess I would have to say that I'd pick Alexander Skarsgård to play Cain Ballantyne in the Jaded Series. He's a bit older than Cain, but he's 6'4", blonde, and a really versatile, amazing actor. I could see him doing an incredible job with a character like Cain.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Part-time. I wish I could write full-time, but I have vision problems that limit me to the number of hours a day I can spend in front of my computer. If I could write as often as I'd like, Book IV would definitely be out by now.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
LB: I obsess over every, last word, and even when I edit until I think I'm completely satisfied, I can go back and read it after publishing and still find things I wish I had said differently. So, the hardest part for me is calling it finished. I still find myself making changes to the electronic versions, but I'm going to start doing some hard copies soon, so I'll have to get used accepting them as actual finished products. I'm going to be giving away some free paperbacks as well as a lot of swag and prizes to celebrate when I get the final book ready for publication.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded Writer’s block?
LB: When I come to a section where I just can't seem to get the words out, I'll either skip it until later or write it anyway just to get the idea in there, then I can sort it out in the editing process. I will often write every thought I have on a scene then pare it down in editing, choosing which parts work best.
Do you read much, and if so who are your favorite Authors or genres?
I read when I can, but when I'm writing, I try to avoid reading in the genre I'm writing in for fear of assimilating the author's style. My favorite authors are Brian Lumley, Kurt Vonnegut, J.R.R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert, and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Brian Lumley is amazing if you like vampires and horror/sci-fi.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
LB: Right now I have the first book in my Jaded Series, A Jade's Trick, available for free on Smashwords, Nook, iBooks, and a few others. I'm keeping it free for the first 1000 downloads. The rest of the series can be found on links through my website (www.lillyblackauthor.com). They're on Amazon right now, but I hope to have them up soon on other sites.
How can Readers discovery more about you and your work?(please provide proper links)
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/lillyblackauthor
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview 😊