Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Welcome to Stephanie Beck's guest blog

Welcome Ms. Stephanie Beck to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.

Thanks for having me.

Did you always want to become a writer?

I’ve always liked writing but never thought I’d actually be a writer. For years I wanted to be a lawyer because I thought that would be a fun job. Then I wanted to be a librarian because I loved books so much. Life came about and I became a full time wife and mommy. The being a writer part was always a hobby, something I enjoyed fiddling with, but now it’s got a spot in the forefront of my mind and I like that a lot.

What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?

The most interesting part for me is the research. I can lose a lot of time just tooling around the web or old books while learning all sorts of crazy things. Like some birds mate in mid-flight and have equipment to put all mammals to shame. Learning that made my week. The least interesting part of writing is probably the sheer amount of time I spend sitting on my butt to get the work done.

How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?

My first book is an ebook so I’m celebrating today actually, by running around to my favourite sites to remind people the long wait for Poppy’s Passions is finally over and can be purchased online at Lyrical Press and most other eBook retailers. Tonight I’m thinking I’ll have deserved a night out with my family. Maybe somewhere fancy...where my husband can carry the tray.

How did your family react to fact that you write romance novels? Have your family read your book?

I don’t think my family was surprised all that much. They knew before I did that one day I’d try my hand at doing more with my little stories, especially my mom. The other members of my family thought I wrote children’s books…right up until I posted Poppy’s Passions cover on my website. They are all excited to get their copies online, for most of them their first e-book experience, and see what I really write.

Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?

Oh definitely. I love to read and am in good standings with all my local librarians. With my own writing taking so much time, I’ve mostly been reading kids books at night for my two girls, but when I do get the chance to read I love Shelly Laurenstone’s shifter books and Lora Leigh’s Nauti series as well. They probably have influenced the way I write because both opened my eyes to the different faces erotica and romance can present. Serious and playful and sexy can coexist and that was good to know.

Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?

I have had that happen where it feels like I take on my characters’ emotions or they take on mine. I’ll be having a great day, then write something that is very emotionally challenging for my characters and suddenly…I’m not feeling so great. I find I need to finish the scene and make things okay again before I’m back at the top of my game. I can also tell when my bad day is affecting my characters. Suddenly they start swearing all the time and I have to go back and tweak it a bit when I’m calmer.

There are parts of people I know and observe in my characters. I come from a family and background with strong personalities. Bits and pieces of them find their way into the smart mouths of my characters or the quiet patience some have.

Where do you get the inspirations for your books?

I’m a people and situation watcher. I often look at what is happening around me; a happy marriage here, a tough one there, lifestyle choices that are presented and I wonder how it would be if things were a little different. That seems to keep me in inspiration and situation fodder. I find a lot of joy in the world around me and that leads me to search out that same feeling even in situations that should be too hard or complex to have it.

Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?

Sometimes I do. I’ll have to skip ahead to the next, but that is even harder I think, because the love scenes help build affection and layers to relationships. Lots of love scenes get written during naptimes when my mommy hat can be put aside for a while. Having a fruit snack request right in the middle of intimate business throws me off every time.

Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writers block?

Deadlines haven’t been a problem for me so far. I have had some writers block before when a story just won’t flesh out for me. I fight fire with fire though and just keep writing even if it’s not what it should be. The words have to out and down before I can delete or fix them, that’s my theory anyway and seems to work.

Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer) ?

I love a good series and follow a few. But a stand alone is great too. I like the freedom of a stand alone because you can tie all the bows and send them off into the sunset. But in a series it’s nice too because characters I’ve grown to love can come back again and again with friends and new struggles. So, I think I just love stories to read and to write, doesn’t really matter which form they take.

If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?

Hmm, that’s a tough question. I give my characters lots of good loving, but lots of challenges too. Would I want to be Poppy with three sexy men driving me crazy in and out of the bedroom? Would I want to be Polly in my next story coming out this fall who is a submissive in her relationship to a good man who loves her and shares her kink? For a day or two, I think I’d like to be each but if I had to choose one I’d head into my Freak Sorority series, which is posted on my website and be Pammy the demon hunter. She’s more up my personal ally with some badass sprinkled on top. Less emotional drama, more demon smacking.

What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine, and why?

Poppy’s Passions is my first book out, but I’ve got a whole disk I’m slowly working my way through to make them what they need to be. Michael in Poppy’s Passions is my favourite guy. I adore him because he’s quiet and steady, but also funny. He’s real. For ladies I’d have to say there is a lovely young lady name Deir who will find her way to paper one day. She’s an urban spelunker who uncovers a veil to another reality. She’s young, determined and incredibly strong in most things, but soft and unsure in others. I like the duality she presents.

Would you like to give another genre a try?

Maybe? I’m pretty much a fan of romance though. I love watching affection and love grow between people. To me that’s more interesting than most other genres. I’m too impatient to set down the clues for a good mystery, but within the family of romance I’m pretty comfortable writing almost anything.

Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?

Poppy’s Passions was both. It was easy to write, but the most difficult too because I learned so much as I went along. It wasn’t just the story I had to get out, but I had to learn how to add to it and make it better. Then punctuation came into play and sentence structure re-tooling. It was just a lot of work! Since then the actual writing part is a lot easier because I know how to grammatically do it more correctly the first time.

If you could choose of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you as the cast?

Hmm, Poppy’s story would certainly be beautiful in the Rocky Mountains. But I don’t think my books would translate well to the big screen. I think they are better for cuddling up with cocoa or a glass of wine and enjoying. That’s why books are so awesome, you don’t have to rely on an actor to make you believe and you can put any face on the character, even yourself.

If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?

I always hate that question! There’s too much I’d want to see and do and talk about, but if it was one trip and one person, I’d go walk a day with Jesus. I’ve always been a fan and with so much written about him, I can’t imagine the meeting with him being less than epic. If I went and visited the Beatles or someone else, we’d probably spend the day on the couch eating cheetos.

Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?

I don’t usually love music while I write. Infomercials playing on TV while I write providing background noise works well when I just need white noise. Music does help if I want to write and keep the kids busy. Lately the Chipmunk squeekwill has been playing. That works very well and makes me smile while writing.

Big congrats to your latest release, can you please tell us something about the book?

Thanks! I can tell you everything about the book. I’ve read it a million times and I still love it. Poppy’s Passions is a ménage romance about three brothers and the woman they love. It also brings in the earlier generation with their parents being in a ménage relationship. They all agree to try and make the family part of the relationship work because Poppy is pregnant with one of the brothers’ babies. It is erotic and passionate, but also fun and family themed. I love my characters to be normal and lead normal lives, but have extraordinary love lives. Poppy, my lady lead, has that ‘normal’ when she hooks up with the men and she keeps it afterward too. Some are afraid of really amazing love because, in Poppy’s case, any kind of love and affection she’s ever had has been taken back. Learning to love and accept love from her men to build the foundation of family is going to take some work on everyone’s part.

Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?

I’m always working! My next book was actually just contracted with Lyrical Press. David’s Angel is in house edits at the moment and is a BDSM themed novel about a widow’s struggle to start a new BDSM relationship after her husband’s death. With family and history involved with the participants, she has to tread lightly, but also confidently to get what she wants and needs. I’m very excited about it and can’t wait to see what it’ll be after all the edits. It will be available in October.

PG-13 excerpt:

Aggravation and desperation mixed to make anger bubble at her words. “Don’t tell me what I feel, Poppy. I’m a big boy, I know what you mean to me.”

“It might be love. I won’t say it’s not because I don’t really know what it’s supposed to feel like, but I need you to hold off saying it for at least a while longer.” She pulled out another cookie when his stomach growled loudly and offered it to him.

Cody took it hesitantly. “What do you mean, a while longer?”

“I mean it’s been thirteen days. We had an amazing week months ago but that’s not enough time. We’ve got a long way to go before the love stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I adore you and your brothers. Trevor made me feel bad yesterday but that wasn’t all him. I’m still learning to handle myself and the hormones—”

“You’re fine, darlin’. Put the blame where it’s supposed to be.”

“I don’t want to blame anyone.” She was getting louder as her aggravation grew.

“So, you don’t want any emotions?” He stopped himself. Anger wasn’t what he wanted and not what she needed. “Look. I don’t want to fight. You shouldn’t get worked up about anything right now. We can talk again tomorrow.”

She grabbed his arm when he tried to stand. He wished she wouldn’t. He needed to walk away before he said something stupid. Trevor had done enough, and Michael would kick both of their asses when he had to talk Poppy into staying. Again.

“Cody. I need to slow down. I don’t want to go backward or stop but I’m not ready for you to love me.” The tears in her eyes made him sit back down. “What if you do love me? What if I love you? Do I quit my job and move away from the only home I know? Do you really think I can do that after thirteen days? Even if I wanted to, it would be crazy.”

“Love makes people do crazy things.” He watched as she shook her head and wished he could change her mind, though he was beginning to understand they were expecting too much too fast.

“What you are offering is like…like eating too much chocolate. I love chocolate, but if I ate ten pounds I would probably vomit. I don’t want that to happen with us.”

“Love makes you vomit?”

“Love makes me nervous.”

He relaxed at her admission. He could understand needing some time and having nerves.

“I’ve never had it, Cody. My family requires something for the love and affection they pass my way. What have I done to deserve this wonderful gift you’re giving me? I’m still working on this crappy need I have to deserve your love. I’m trying and it’s getting better, but please, be patient.”

Her time with them had helped her gain weight, but he had no problem lifting her across the cushions to his lap. Relief flooded him. She didn’t want to leave. They kept screwing up, but she continued to forgive. She was better than she thought at the love thing, but time was something they had.

“Well, I don’t want you to throw up my good love.”

She snorted against his neck and looped her arms around his shoulders in a loose hug.

“I would hate to do that to your good love. Seems wasteful.”


steph said...

Thanks for having me here today to help celebrate Poppy's Passions debut!

Beth said...

Definitely looking forward to getting this one.