Q: Introduce yourself! What is your experience with writing?
My first books were released in the early 1990’s, in my home language, Afrikaans and only in South Africa. They did very well, in that they were distributed to local libraries as well and were on the shelves for fifteen years. The usual timeframe is 8 years, so I was very pleased. Then life interfered and I became a single parent of two young kids and I didn’t write again until 2015.
Why do I write? This is the question we always have to think about, isn’t it? For me, it boils down to what Vincent Van Gogh once expressed: “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” That’s why I write. To express the deep well of passion that lives in my soul which is the part of me that I keep secreted away from my day to day existence. It’s a part of me that had been suppressed for a long time primarily due to a very conservative upbringing. It was part of my familial and cultural heritage and what was expected of me. Now, I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m able to liberate myself and share my passion with others. Blossoming out of what once was the genesis of my own confined existence! Passion is what drives my creativity. Passion is what allows me to ‘see’ and express my own sensuality through the medium of the written word; to be able to draw from that deep well to define the beauty of eroticism and all that it encompasses. I want to share what I feel with others.
Isn’t it a universal truth that it’s our singular experiences and passion, for whatever thing or things that it may be, that molds us all into the individuals that we become? Whether it’s hidden in the depths of our soul or exposed for all to see?
I am a South African born animal rights supporter with a poet’s heart, and lucky enough to be called a bestselling fiction writer of suspense filled romance erotica books; who as the latter, refuses to be bound to any one sub-genre. I prefer instead to stretch myself as a storyteller which has resulted in researching and writing historical and even paranormal themed works. My initial offering: Club Alpha Cove, a BDSM club suspense series released back in 2015, reached Amazon’s Bestseller list, and I have been on those lists ever since. Labeling me as prolific is a gross understatement as just a few short years later I have now been published over forty times; a total which fails to take into account the three other published works of my alter ego: Isabel James who co-authors—nor does it include the five additional new works marked for imminent release.
“I write from the inside out. My stories are both inside me and a part of me so it can be either pleasurable to release them or painful to carve them out. I live every moment of every story I write. So, if you’re looking for spicy and suspenseful, I’m your girl… woman… writer… you know what I mean!”
I believes that by telling stories in my own voice, I can better share with my readers the essence of my being: my passionate nature; my motivations; and my wildest fantasies. I feel every touch as I write, every kiss, every harsh word uttered, and this to me is the key to a never-ending love of writing.
Ultimately, all my books are about passion. To me, passion is the driving force of all emotion; whether it be lust, desire, hate, trust, or love. This is the underlying message contained in her books. My advice: “Believe in the passions driving your desires; live them; enjoy them; and allow them to bring you happiness.”
Q: What does literary success look like to you?
Personally, I think most writers struggle to define literary success because we always have another hill to climb. Isn’t that a “perk” of being a writer? I felt an amazing sense of achievement when I published my first book―especially as an Indie Author. But I believe it’s the lack of a clear definition of literary success that keeps Indie Authors motivated, thirsty and driven to accomplish more.
The first time I ever experienced a taste of success was not after my first book, His FBI Sub, reached bestseller status on Amazon―because to be honest, there were quite a lot of negative reviews coming in at the same time―no, it was when I received my first piece of fan mail. The e-mail was kind and generous with compliments. It lifted my spirits and made me realize that there are readers out there who I connected with. That was a great feeling and one that gave me a sense of success. To this day, I still bask in every personal e-mail I receive from one of my fans.
Q: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
I love reading and because I have such a vast imagination myself, there’s nothing out there that has shocked me out of appreciating fiction. On the other hand, I’m not a martyr when it comes to reading and if a book doesn’t grasp me within the first chapter, I chuck it.
Q: What was your hardest scene to write?
Thinking back over all my books, I wouldn’t pinpoint one scene but there was one character that I found the hardest to write.
Ryder Whitmore from His Forever Sub – who by the way, was nominated for The Golden Flogger 2016 award. He was an abused child, so I brought in flashback scenes of that abuse, to develop his personal history which was the force that eventually motivated him to act out. Child Abuse, or any kind of abuse of anyone, for that matter, whether emotional or physical is an abomination and anathema to me. To delve into the mind of an abused; that was the most difficult thing I had to write. The resultant struggles he endured to overcome and the effect it had on him throughout his life was the equivalent of living and experiencing it all while inside his head.
Q: Do you Google yourself?
I used to when I developed my website to see if my search engine definitions worked. I don’t so much anymore. Now and then when I have the time and only to see if there are any pirated copies of my work out there.
Q: What is one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
You mean apart from what I haven’t given up already? I gave up a very lucrative and successful career as a Managing Director of a Training Company two years ago to become a full-time author. At this point, I work 8 – 12-hour days, seven days a week . . . so . . . I don’t think I have more to give!!
Q: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the book I’m writing. As a full-time author, I have a rigorous and disciplined work schedule. It’s my job and I set ‘working hours’ for myself. Most novellas or novels between 20K – 60K take approximately 10 days to complete and the full-length novels of 80K and higher can take up to a month.
Q: How do you select the names of your characters?
That’s a tricky question. I like Gaelic names and have a tendency to lean toward them. When I choose a name, I dig deep into the personality of the character. A name has to fit the person―well, at least the one living inside my mind while I’m writing!
Q: Does your family support your career as a writer?
Yes, they do. My mother is my biggest fan and she has read all my books. My father―who passed away at the end of 2015―was the one who gave me the push to start writing. He said, “You can do it. Go for it.” I still remember those words every time I start a new book.
Q: Where can readers learn more about you?
Well, if you’d like to go and look me up, I need to remind you that I―and my nom de plume, Isabel James―are completely stalkable or as someone said, intensely researchable! Don’t be shy, follow any of these links!
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