To get us started, can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Oh, I’m bubbling with projects, WIPs and releases. Just a month ago, I released Bondage Slave For Hire, my first BDSM and VAMPIRE novel ever! Still can’t believe I pulled it off! Now the book is out, and it’s all about sex and slavery, pain and pleasure, masters and slaves. Or rather three unique masters and one special slave. With Halloween coming up to spill the fun for everyone.
As for the future, I’m working on concluding my Virtus Saga. The Princess, Virtus #7, and The Lord, Virtus #8, will be released first semester 2014. Those who know the saga must’ve already guessed that the final two books are dedicated to the two of the three protagonists: Ylianor and Christopher Templeton. With Duncan Caldwell, their mate and leader of Sendar, Chris and Ylianor have survived The Pledge, only to plunge in the infernal torture of The Heat, Book 6. Which manages to divide them. Now The Leader is alone. With his beloved princess lying unconscious. And quarreling with his beloved angel doesn’t help either. Pieces need to be picked up. Trust needs to be re-established. Love needs to flow again. Unhampered by gossips or by secrets. The prince, his lover and their woman need to come clean with each other and start sharing again. Especially since Virtus isn’t going to stand idle while The Leader plots to undermine its hold on Sendar.
Finally, I’m about to conclude another very important and dear series to me–the ReScue Series. After the recent release of Re-Scue the Audio Book, I knew I had to get a move on writing the third and final chapter of the ReScue Series. The working title is Traveling Through Souls, and it’ll start off where Tasting Leon’s Mark, ReScue #2, left off–with Leon, Sean and Janet going to Atlanta. All that will follow will only prove there’s more to Janet than meets either man’s eyes.
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
That really depends on the book. For my Virtus Saga, for example, each book takes a long time because they are part of a greater picture. Details have to fit. Storyline must be consistent as must be character growth. Just to give you an idea, I wrote the first installment of the Virtus Saga – which includes The Sex Virtus #1, The Game Virtus #2 and The Festival Virtus #3 – back in 2006. The second installment – The Leader Virtus #4 and The Pledge Virtus #5 – dates back to 2007, while the last installment – The Heat Virtus #6, The Princess, Virtus #7 and The Lord, Virtus #8 – is of 2008. None of these books have been released in their original versions. I had to work on them time and time again. To double check everything made sense. That I wasn’t leaving any loose ends behind. So you can do the math and come up with the number of years it has taken me to write every single one of these books.
Fortunately, the books in my other series, ReScue and Soulmate, took me less time to write. Thanks to the Virtus Saga experience, I wrote each book in about two to three months’ time, but again, especially with the ReScue Series, I had to do an extensive work on the editing. Which is why, I wrote Re-Scue, ReScue #1, in 2008 but only released it in 2011.
Luckily, not all my books take that much time. My last release, Bondage Slave For Hire, only took me a couple of months between the writing and editing. It’s stand-alone, which helps tremendously. Also, I had a definite deadline, something I didn’t have with the other books. Since eXtasy Books always has special Halloween releases, I submitted my idea of a novel in July, then wrote and edited it in just two months. By mid-September, Bondage Slave For Hire was ready for its Oct. 15 release date. And for being such new territory for me, it really didn’t take me all that long LOL
What is your writing routine once you start a book?
Don’t have much of a routing. I write whenever I have time, which could be an hour up to an entire day. I write wherever I am, which could be in a crowded environment, at work or at home. I write late at night or early in the morning, which means my inspiration can’t be scheduled. The only thing that never changes while I’m writing is listening to music. I simply can’t write without music. Or rather, I can but I’m less focused. Less inspired. Music helps my brain think better. It helps the words flow more smoothly. Believe it or not, it also gives meaning to the hammering on my keyboard. And that’s the real secret to my Romance with an Edge!
Among your own books, have you a favorite? A favorite Character that you enjoy writing or reading about?
I have several favorites, which makes it difficult to be synthetic. But I’ll try to keep it simple.
Bondage Slave For Hire is fast becoming one of my favorite books. Partly because it was an achievement for me. Mostly because my female protagonist is my strongest female character to date. I have to be honest with myself and with you. Up to Lilly, Bondage Slave For Hire, I never had great female characters. My male characters are stronger, more believable and life-like than any of the female ones. But Lilly took me completely by surprise. She turned out so very different from what I originally thought. She made it abundantly clear she was her own woman, which explains why the ending left me speechless. To say the least. But you’ll have to read it to understand what I mean.
Another of my favorite books is Re-Scue, ReScue Series #1, with Sean Davis a particularly dear character to me. Knowing his ordeal through the many lifetimes that have tied him to Leon, I could only cheer when he found a way to gain the upper hand. Just that one time when he actually slipped control right under Leon’s nose. Which turned the tables not just on Leon. On their bloody and passionate game, too. And I’m still wondering how he managed to pull it off LOL
Then there’s Martin, from my Soulmate Series. He is special. Based on a real person, one I never met, I heard all about him from a friend of mine who talked about him constantly. Like my character, the real Martin was searching for his soul mate, though he never said it in so many words. I just let my imagination build on what I perceived was his intent and out came Martin Shaw, the protagonist of To Seduce A Soul Mate, Soulmate #1, and The Pirate’s Surrender, Soulmate #2.
Finally, how can I not mention Christopher Templeton from my Virtus Saga? How can anyone not love this angel-demon character? This man capable of the hottest passion and the cruelest revenges? Capable of loving and hating with equal intensity and determination? Erasing Ylianor from his lover’s mind only to fall in love with her once he realizes he has been beat? And opening his heart to let her, his most despised enemy, inside? I just can’t get enough of reading him!
Which of your books has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
The easiest to write are in fact two. The first is The Pirate’s Surrender, Soulmate #2. I knew pretty much what the plot was all about, and how the characters would develop. All it took me was one day at the beach where I detailed everything in my head. Then started writing and in two weeks it was done. The second easy write is Bloody Passion. Real easy to write ‘cause my husband provided the core of this story: the first person POV of Cedric, the protagonist. How else could I, a woman, write a man’s POV so convincingly? In just ten days, I had it all on file, thanks to my husband’s coaching about men’s feelings and reactions to sex, love and friendship.
The hardest book I wrote isn’t even in English. It’s a novel I wrote in Italian–Piccolo Crocevia A Cinque (loosely translated Little Five Points). It’s all about me and a very significant experience I had while living in the States. An experience that changed the perception of myself and the people around me. An experience that made me what I am today. Which is why it was the damnest, hardest piece of fiction I ever got to write. But needed to write it to understand it myself. And that also started my thirst for more stories.
The most fun book I wrote is Spying the Alcove. I had loads of fun with the narrative structure, which has two different POVs–first and a third person. Unlike other stories, I related Lidia’s voice in first person, because I could practically hear her whispering in my ear. And her experience was just so close to home. I simply had to write it in first person. This is also the first book–and so far the only–with Italian characters. Not Ancient Romans. Their Italian descendents. And the story takes place in Italy, in Sicily to be precise, a place very near and dear to me. So it was extra fun writing it!
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
The characters. Definitely the characters. I cannot think of a story unless I know who is in it. Without a character, the story just doesn’t come to life for me. Take The Demon Waiter. My husband had suggested the idea for the novel. Of someone looking for a special sign during Halloween, in order to cross over to the demon dimension and have one special wish come true. Well, however interesting, I couldn’t write a single line of it. I just couldn’t give a face or a name to the protagonist. About a year later, my husband and I go on vacation to the Côte Azure in France. Where we meet Laurent, a Frenchman. He tells us his life story, and it blended in perfectly with the plot my husband had outlined the year before. The man just clicked in my head and in my novel. He brought it alive the way it hadn’t been before. Thing was–while real Laurent talked, I was fitting him inside fictional Laurent, the protagonist of my Halloween book. That night, I straightened out the details of Lauren’s story and next day I began writing The Demon Waiter. In ten days, I completed it.
This also happened with Spying the Alcove, another of my husband’s suggestions. He had read about the finding of a medallion while excavating the ruins of an Ancient Roman city. But it didn’t click until I pictured Lidia and her unique story, strangely twisted to Valerio and Andrea’s modern day finding. Only then, their story became alive.
What part of a book has been the easiest to write? The hardest?
Sex scenes are the easiest and most fun to write. I really have no trouble with them. Love to imagine new positions. New ways of sharing bodies and fluids. Also new ways to express what my characters feel through their passion. Which makes me really creative. Gotta be with books like the Virtus Saga, the ReScue Series or the Soulmate Series. All books where sex is first and foremost!
What I sometimes find more tasking are the dialogues. I like them to be fast, snappy and to the point. Which entails a whole lot of work, in order to give them just the right flow and rhythm. But in the end, I always love them.
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
Great characters. That’s all it takes. Like in real life, it’s the people that make the romance. Not the other way around.
Great characters. That’s all it takes. Like in real life, it’s the people that make the romance. Not the other way around.
What is the hardest/the easiest part of writing for you?
The easiest is building my characters. It’s so easy. Sometimes I think they do it on their own LOL
The hardest is adjusting the details. Making sure there are no loose ends. That everything fits and flows together. I hate leaving the reader with a question about what happened. I like my readers to have no doubts about what went on. Their only question should be–when will Laura’s next book be released?
Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?
Practically never. My characters are always in control. They rarely tell me what goes on until I reach the end. This happens over and over again. With Lilly in Bondage Slave For Hire, for instance. She had her own agenda, which I didn’t figure out until the very end. Or with Chris, Duncan and Ylianor of Virtus the Saga. Those three really kept things to themselves and shared a few of them at times. I couldn’t get a straight answer out of them, not even for the purpose of writing their story LOL But the worst are Leon and Sean of the ReScue Series. All the time, I thought theirs was a story about a couple and their very particular relationship. Just recently, however, I discovered it is actually a ménage. Which freaked me out ‘cause I for sure didn’t plan it. But it is. Which is why I absolutely have to write the third and final installment Traveling Through Souls.
What are some of your favorite things or hobbies to do?
My absolute favorite, besides reading and writing, is music. I love just about all genres, with the exception of heavy metal, folk, bluegrass, hard rock. All day long, I have music on, keeping me company, setting off my imagination to new stories and fantasies. So that’s one passion. Another one is my cats. Which fill my life in so many ways. I couldn’t begin to describe them. I could go on and also add traveling among the list of things I love to do. In fact, I love it so much I have a day job that gives me ample opportunities to do it without using too many of my limited financial resources. A true advantage!
If you could go anywhere in the world to write, where would it be and why?
I’d go anywhere there are archaeological sites, particularly relating to the times of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Every time I visited one, I always got the urge to set a story in it. It was like the place pulled me inside it. Like it wanted to bury me under the weight of its history, its traditions and its cultures. All of which aren’t dead. Just surviving beneath the ruins.
What books are currently on your nightstand or e-reader that you are itching to read?
The one book I’m itching to read is Re/Paired by Michele Zurlo. A BDSM novel about two close friends, Doms and fellow agents, and the woman who is sister to one of them. I really can’t wait!!!
Anything you would like to add?
Yeah. Remember that Laura Tolomei is now tagged as Author of Erotic Romance with an Edge. So look for my books when you’re in need of hard, borderline stories.
About the Author
Laura Tolomei lives in Rome, Italy, and is the author of 21+ books. She has been traveling the globe since age five and has no intention of quitting. After having been an avid reader her entire life, she decided at age forty to write her own stories, the erotic romances with an edge she’s known for, and has not looked back since. Writing novels that are on the edge of accepted conventions is her trademark, and she guarantees an erotic earthquake with each book! Among others, they include the Virtus Saga books, all eight of them, not to mention the Soulmate and ReScue Series, along with several horror novels and a few historical ones, too.
Extasy Books is one of my premier publishers specializing in erotic literature, but look for my work also on WCPT and Romance Divine LLC.
For more info, check my website http://www.lallagatta.com.
Just because you are a bondage slave for hire, do you deserve to die on Halloween night?
AUTHOR Laura Tolomei
FACEBOOK THREADS: Laura Tolomei Horror Side
GENRE: Erotica, BDSM, Gay, GLBT, Ménage à trois/quatre, Multiple Partners, Paranormal, Horror, Shapeshiter, Vampires, Demons, Holiday, m/m/m, m/m/m/f
HEAT LEVEL: 4
WORD COUNT: 90.558
RELEASE DATE: 15 October 2013
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Carmen Waters
Nothing satisfies Lilly. Not even working at The Dungeon BDSM Club as a bondage slave for hire. A slave looking for her true master. None have fit the bill so far. Until Terry. He spins her craving to fever pitch. And she might just fall in love with him, if she could only be his slave. Not just his. Julien and André’s, too. His gorgeous Creole lovers. Because they are the perfect Masters. But also keepers of the Black Room. On Halloween, she’ll discover just how bad and dangerous their pain-lust game can really be. Will she be able to fulfill their true needs? Or will she perish in the attempt?