Today, a fun interview with author Naima Simone. She's talking about Under His Wings, an erotic paranormal romance.
About Author and Author's Most Recent Release
Q: Do you have a favorite quote or line from Under His Wings? If so, please share.
A: “Long shadows stretched across the uneven cement, casting the night in a murky gloom reminiscent of a B-horror movie. She was only half-black but that part more than qualified her as a candidate for being killed off first by a machete-wielding maniac.”
Q: Who is your favorite main character from Under His Wings? Why?
A: Dang! This is a hard question! I love both my hero and heroine. Okay, okay. If I absolutely had to choose I would say my heroine, Tamar. She is a middle-school history teacher who has overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to recapture the life she once took for granted. She’s physically scarred, has phobias but is strong, intelligent, not easily cowed and has an awesome sense of humor. I love her and loved writing her.
Q: Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?
A: I adore Lukas, my hero’s second-in-command. He’s brooding, stalwart, level-headed, the perfect soldier but has a dry wit. And oh yeah! He’s sexy with dark hair and arctic blue eyes. Yuuummm.
Q: What was the hardest part of writing Under His Wings?
A: Getting out of my own head. Under His Wings is my first paranormal. The genre is my fave! Most of the books on my shelf and Kindle are paranormals but I never had the guts to write one. But 2012 was a year of incredible change for me. And since practically nothing was the same, I decided to drag my big girl panties on and write the book! I still had to fight the epic battle of Doubt vs Just-Do-the-Damn-Thing. Thank God I have amazing critique partners and friends who encouraged me with everything from “This is awesome stuff” to “Shut your whining pie-hole and get to writing!” Well…maybe they didn’t say it exactly like that but I’m sure that’s what they were thinking! LOL!
Q: What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book?
A: Where can I get it?
Q: Convince readers to buy your book in 25 words or less.
A: A sexy, protective hero. Courageous heroine. Mythical creatures and show tunes. C’mon. You know you want it!
On Writing and Writing Erotica
Q: Why did you choose to write in this genre/subgenre?
A: I’ve always loved romance. From Sweet Valley High to Harlequin to Nalini Singh, I adore it! And I write what I love. Now erotic romance because sex and sexual tension is an important part of a story. It can add conflict, intensify the connection, make the relationship more troubled or give healing. It can be the only instance of touch and affection a person has ever experienced. A person’s sexual tastes, experiences and needs are as much a part of their characterization as their hobbies. I enjoy writing how people interact and feel during sex, how it touches their hearts as well as their desires. How it affects them and their lives. Plus…I get to use all the naughty words I wouldn’t normally say aloud…Hee-hee!
Q: Do you outline or do you start with a basic idea and let it flow? (plotter or pantser)
A: Not only am I a plotter, I am an anal plotter. Like OCD-ish plotter. Yeah, that deep.
Q: Do your family and friends know what you write? If so, what do they think about it?
A: Absolutely! My family is completely supportive of my career. My husband encouraged me to write full time and my children pick up the slack around the house when the dishes start to grow mold. Even my father, who is a pastor, cheers me on. He enjoys telling his congregation members I’m a writer and sending them to my website. Then he sits back and waits for the phone call that inevitably starts with, “Uh…Pastor…this is, uh…” LOL! He likes to say I get my talent from him because he LOVES preaching the Song of Solomon.
Q: In erotica/erotic romance, the sex is depicted graphically. Are there any specific words or phrases you aren't comfortable using in your stories? Word or phrase that makes you say “ick”?
A: I don’t like the word “cunt”. I guess it might be a hang up from back in the day when I was in elementary and high school. The boys would call a girl this because it was the dirtiest word they could think of. For me, it’s worse than bitch and isn’t sexy.
Q: What is your favorite part of writing erotica/erotic romance?
A: The freedom. And not just the sex but the plot and characters as well. It’s not easier—God knows it’s not—but the restrictions are less.
Q: How long ago was your first story accepted by a publisher and did you pee your pants? J
A: My first book, Sweet Ultimatum, was accepted by Ellora’s Cave in 2009. I didn’t pee in my pants but I did take off running down the hall of the office I worked in at the time.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the publishing process?
A: Not to be cheesy, but there isn’t much I don’t enjoy about the publishing process. I guess because I’m so incredibly thankful to be a part of it, there’s at least one thing I love about every aspect. But my least favorite? Promotion! Definitely! Hands-freakin’-down!
Q: Tattoos. Hot or not? And do you have any?
A: HAWT!! I have 5! A rose, an armband (that I’m trying to get on Nightmare Tattoos to get covered up!!), a sun, phoenix and mermaid on a crescent moon. This summer I want to add a hippogryph to the collection! What can I say?? They’re addictive!
Q: Wine, Beer or Liquor?
A: Cherry Coke!
Q: Dogs, cats or other?
A: Mr. won’t let me have a dog…for some reason he doesn’t think I am responsible enough to house-break it…and he may have a point but I want one to love it and squeeze it and keep it for my very own! Ahem. I watch a little too much Looney Tunes…
Q: Kindle, Nook, Paper? Other?
Q: Vibrators, nipple clamps or butt plugs? J
A: Gary. Hee-hee!
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: Because Vin Diesel was standing on the other side with a smile and some hot sauce.
Q: What is the meaning of life?
A: Finding your God-given purpose and pursuing it with all the passion inside you. Because with purpose, there’s peace.
Final thoughts: Anything else you’d like to say? Advice you’d like to give? Joke you’d like to tell? If nothing, no problem. J
The Past, The Present and The Future walk into a bar.
It was tense.
Thank you! I’m here all day!
Back cover blurb:Warrior, lover…savior. A winged avenger with chocolate feathers and lavender eyes haunts Tamar Ridgeway’s dreams—her erotic escape after surviving a horrible plane crash and enduring years of painful physical therapy. But fantasy becomes terrifying reality when she’s attacked by a mythical creature from her darkest nightmares. Now her sexy warrior is vowing to save her, whether she wants his protection or not.
Nicolai Abioud, judge and executioner of the hippogryph, is stunned when the woman he rescues is the same who submits to him nightly in his dreams…and a replica of his dead wife. He’s fascinated by her beauty and spirit, consumed by the craving to touch…to take. Yet he lost his one true bondmate five-hundred years ago. And falling for a human—no matter how beautiful—is a foolish risk. But the choice to love may be snatched away. Danger is closing in. They must conquer their enemy and fears. Or be doomed to lose the love of a millennium.
Visit Naima on the web!