Today’s stop on the Noble Romance Authors Blog Tour places us in the exquisite company of Indigo Skye, who is not only an talented author but an incredible photographer as well. She’s hear to chat about her recent release HER CAPTIVE MUSE and dish on some of her own backstory. You guys are in for a stellar interview!
Hi, Indigo, and welcome! What was the craziest story idea you’ve ever considered? Did you end up writing a version of the story?
The craziest idea I’ve considered recently is writing a screenplay. It follows several people through the events of one pivotal night in their lives. The entire film is set in the interiors of different vehicles. I wanted to capture the way a car is like a tiny world unto itself. I’ve been working on a rough draft this spring. I don’t know if anything will ever come of it, but it’s been an interesting project to work with.
Wow, that does sound really interesting. I hope you are able to pursue it – what a fascinating experience! Looking back to the beginning of your writing career, what was the plot of the first story you wrote? Whatever happened to the manuscript?
I’m a voracious reader, and I’ve been writing my own stories since I could hold a pencil. The first story I ever wrote was about a girl who lived in a haunted house. Even as a child, my writing had a dark side. I’m sure I still have the notebook somewhere- I write all my first drafts by hand. Maybe one day I’ll dust it off and send it out to a publisher.
What a blast that would be! I’d love to see it. ;c) How do you feel about your first published book? Do you feel you’ve improved since it hit the shelves?
I love my first novel, Her Captive Muse. The characters revealed themselves to me in unexpected and surprising ways- Brendan and Morgan really know how to keep a writer on her toes! I could never predict what they were going to do next, which made writing Her Captive Muse quite an adventure.
I’ve learned a lot since Her Captive Muse was published in January- I’m savvy about the ins and outs of the business in a way I wasn’t before working with Noble. I’m stepping up my game, learning to market my own work, and building followers on my blog and Twitter. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very talented editors, and feedback from other writers and fans has been invaluable.
I feel my writing has become more polished and professional, and I’m fearless about sending out my work. If I hear about an interesting call for submissions or a contest, I jump on it. I’m also networking with a lot of fabulous writers online. I’m thrilled to feature nine hot Noble Romance Authors this month on my blog. The Noble Romance team is an amazing community of writers and creative professionals- I’ve found them to be very welcoming, helpful, and supportive.
Ooh, ooh! I’m so excited to know someone else who doesn’t have their first novel tucked away. Mine is out there, too, and I’m thrilled to say I had the same wonderful experience with Noble as you did, and it’s an absolute honor to be on the tour with you! Thinking back over all the sexy scenes you’ve created between characters, which one would you most like to experience for yourself? Why?
I’ve always had a dark side. As a girl, I was fascinated by ghost stories and haunted houses. Magick and mystery were my bread and butter. Myths about incubi have always intrigued me- that was the original seed for the story “My Demon Lover,” which you can find in the anthology, Red Roses and Shattered Glass.
I’ve always speculated about what sort of sex there might be in the afterlife, so I really enjoyed writing the steamy scenes between Caitlin and Damian in “My Demon Lover.” Their first time together was very hot- I’d love to experience it for myself. My only law is passion- in this world or the next.
Sex in the afterlife … now there’s a concept! Which of your releases most reflects who you are as a writer? What gives it that distinction?
My story, “Cherry-Boy,” will always hold a special place in my heart. Seeing my byline is always a thrill, but this story was my first attempt at erotic short fiction. When it was published, I felt like a real writer.
That’s an incredible feeling! (I think mine is still sinking in, LOL.) Which of your characters reigns as your favorite? Why, and where do readers find this character?
My favorite character is Brendan Delaney, the main character of my first novel, Her Captive Muse. He’s so much fun to work with- the ultimate anti-hero. His dark side, his flaws and weaknesses, his good luck and bad judgment, made for a wild ride. From the very beginning, he seized the reins of the story and took control of the narrative. I was just a voyeur, a passenger- along for the ride.
Did you say anti-hero? Oh, YUM. While I’m hosing off, here’s another question for you. If you could change one thing about your writing career and accomplishments, what would it be?
I dream of quitting my day job to become a full-time writer. When I can afford to do that, I’ll feel like I’ve succeeded. I’d love to be able to spend all my free time writing. In an ideal world, I’d hire someone to do my marketing, word processing, and editing.
Writing as a full time gig is awesome! Let’s take a look at Her Captive Muse. How did the idea come about? How long did it take you to write the story after the plot first came to you?
The original genesis for the story came from the main character himself. Brendan Delaney showed up in my head one day, getting into trouble and cracking wise. His voice was so unique, I was immediately intrigued. I knew I had to write about him.
Wow, what a great way to get acquainted! Did you face any specific roadblocks as you wrote it, or did the words come easily?
This book was truly a gift from the Muses- it practically wrote itself. I had a first draft in a couple of months. Brendan and Morgan were constantly surprising me. Since I don’t make an outline of my novels before writing them, I had no idea how the story would end until I wrote the last page. I had to keep writing to find out what would happen next.
That is an incredible way to write! What made you decide to submit this story to Noble?
Author Keta Diablo read some of my work and suggested I submit Her Captive Muse to one of the publishing houses she works with. She was kind enough to pass along one of my short stories to Jill Noble, who liked my work and agreed to take a look at the manuscript. Although I’d never been published before (I don’t even have an agent!), they took a chance on Her Captive Muse.
Jill and the Noble team are fantastic! I’m glad Keta and her sharp eye for talent sent you into our clutches. *Grin.* What is your favorite part about Her Captive Muse?
This book breaks all the rules. It’s not your typical happily-ever-after romance novel, but a gritty, exciting read that will keep you guessing from the first page to the last. It follows Brendan’s downward spiral into debauchery, addiction and obsession. My work has a dark side, and this book allowed me to indulge my twisted imagination. I loved creating the dream sequences for Brendan- his dreams are richly symbolic, menacing, and possessed of a dark beauty I found fascinating.
Um, SOLD! You tickled my fancy for the dark side, girl. ;c) What do readers most often comment about in Her Captive Muse?
Many readers and reviewers have said the plot twists in Her Captive Muse really kept them guessing. My work is unpredictable, dark, and delectable. I’ll always surprise you. Brendan and Morgan were amazing characters to work with- I had no idea what they were going to do next.
How can we resist a setup like that? Not me, guys! Check out the blurb for HER CAPTIVE MUSE:
When Brendan Delaney answered an ad for an artist’s model, he was looking for an easy way to earn some extra cash. But Morgan Roan wanted more than just a model. Soon, Brendan finds himself caught in a web of deception and desire, lust and betrayal—her captive muse. What price pleasure?
HER CAPTIVE MUSE excerpt: CHAPTER 2 “Beautiful”
Brendan rubbed his hands together to warm them. He sneaked an appraising look at Morgan’s slender form as she led him to the kitchen.
He didn’t have a chance in hell with her, so he looked anyway. She’s so far out of my league, she’s in a different time zone.
“You want a drink?” Morgan asked. She crossed the open-plan kitchen to the wet-bar and poured herself a glass of white wine.
“Scotch. Neat.” She owed him a drink after today. Hell, maybe two or three. “Make it a double.”
“You deserve it.” Morgan poured a heroic portion into a heavy, cut-glass tumbler and brought it to him at the table. “Nice work.” The swell of her breast brushed against Brendan’s upper arm as she passed him the drink.
Did she do that on purpose? He felt a rush of heat at the unexpected contact and tried to ignore the way it made him feel. Probably just an accident. Don’t get your hopes up.
Something spicy and smoky simmered in a Crockpot on the counter. He rose and crossed the room to peek under the lid.
“That smells great.” Brendan’s stomach growled. He tried to remember the last time he’d eaten a real meal—something besides pizza and junk food—and couldn’t recall. “You’re a famous painter and a gourmet chef? I’m impressed.”
Morgan laughed low. “I can’t cook to save my life,” she said. “Marie made this. She always leaves a hot dinner for me when I work late.”
“Who’s Marie—your girlfriend?” Brendan asked. He couldn’t hide the tone of disappointment in his voice. Figures. She’s gorgeous and funny, smart and talented—of course she’s a lesbian.
Morgan shook her head no and laughed even harder. “Marie is my personal chef, not my girlfriend. Our relationship is strictly professional,” Morgan said with an amused look. “The first thing I did when I made it big was hire Marie. Sick of eating my own cooking.” She grinned at Brendan. “I was living on ramen noodles when I was your age—broke all the time. When I had money, I spent it on booze and drugs—not groceries.” She sipped her wine and watched him over the rim of her glass. “Now I can afford good food and good drugs.”
“Good Scotch too.” Brendan tossed back a swallow of his drink. Pay me! Pay me, pay me, pay me so I can get the fuck out of here and go score.
“Yes. Speaking of which—let me top you off.” Morgan took his glass and filled it to the brim with the fiery elixir. Then—as if she’d read his mind—she excused herself to retrieve an expensive little Chanel bag from the next room. She rifled through her purse and pulled out three crisp, hundred-dollar bills. She leaned close to press the money into his hand.
What’s this shit? He eyed the money, his suspicions rising. He’d worked four hours—and she’d paid him for six. Why?
“You made a mistake. This is too much.” He held out the extra bill and tried to hand it back. “Way too much.”
“You look hungry.” Morgan sounded matter of fact. “Want some soup?”
He nodded, but watched her warily. Never trust found money. That’s what his mom always said. Brendan wondered what Morgan had up her sleeve.
Morgan dished up a huge bowl of green chili chicken stew and handed him a spoon.
“You didn’t answer my question.” Brendan took a bite and looked up at her, waiting for a reply.
“Yes, I did. I said, ‘You look hungry.’ Was I wrong?” She tilted her head and pierced him with an intense gaze.
“I’m doin’ okay.” Her predatory blue eyes made him shift in his chair. She knows all my secrets.
“You look fucking strung out—like your last decent meal was weeks ago. I remember the way it feels—running on empty.” She offered a distant smile. “Take the money. You need it a hell of a lot more than I do.”
“I think you should take the extra cash and invest in a heater for your fucking studio.” Brendan tried to hand the money back again.
She waved it away. “It’s yours. I insist.”
Brendan sighed and pocketed the cash. Something about the whole exchange made him feel dirty, but she was right. He was hungry—too hungry to care. He shrugged off his guilty conscience and attacked the stew with gusto. “Fine—I’ll buy a heater. I almost froze my balls off today.”
Morgan laughed. “Poor baby.” She stroked his arm and gave him a warm smile. She watched him eat for a long moment. “Don’t worry. You’ll be nice and toasty next time. I’ll make sure of it. Can you come back tomorrow at noon? I’d like a longer session, if you’re up for it.”
“I’ll still be in bed.” Brendan saw her frown and took another bite of the spicy chicken stew.
“Make it three. I’m going out tonight—won’t be home until late. Gotta make sure I get my beauty sleep.” He chuckled and finished the soup.
Morgan reached for his bowl. Their fingertips touched for the briefest moment—just long enough for both to feel the spark of desire. Or, at least Brendan felt it. She probably didn’t feel a thing.
“Seconds?” she asked.
“Please.” He watched as she filled his bowl with soup and brought it to him at the table. She moved with the calm and studied grace of a ballet dancer. When she set the bowl before him, she let one hand linger on his shoulder for a moment. Brendan relished her nearness. He spooned up a bite, savoring the tender, smoky chicken. “Thank you. This is delicious.”
“Come over whenever you’re ready. I’ll be in the studio all day.” She ran her fingers through his hair. “You’ll inspire my greatest painting yet. I can feel it. The work’s developing so fast.” Morgan gazed past him, a far-off look in her eyes.
She did that all the time. Got lost in her thoughts, in some other world where Brendan didn’t exist—only Morgan’s idea of him. He watched her blue eyes go cold and distant. It seemed as if Morgan was seeing only her vision of him, superimposed over the real Brendan eating a bowl of soup in her kitchen. It felt spooky—like being turned invisible against his will. Is this the way a bad poem feels when I erase it?
While she dwelled in some distant realm, Brendan took the opportunity to look at her. Really look at her. He couldn’t bear to meet her strange, unseeing eyes, so he stared at her hands. Strong, capable hands with elegant, long fingers—a little rough—streaked with gold and ochre and cerulean. They are beautiful hands, artists’ hands—imbued with a certain magic.
Brendan re-assessed her and discovered Morgan Roan was a beautiful woman. The revelation shocked him; he hadn’t noticed her looks until now. He’d been more concerned with avoiding frostbite and staving off his hangover. After a solid meal and a big knock of Scotch, he saw the artist with a kinder eye.
Morgan was a cool, lethal blonde with indigo eyes and porcelain skin. He wanted to run his fingers through her silky, moon-milk blonde hair, which she wore up in a messy bun. What would it look like spread across a pillow? He had a sudden urge to write a poem about her, an itch he couldn’t wait to scratch.
She took her hair down with a sigh of pleasure. Her face was beautiful—delicate and fierce—framed by long, pale hair streaked with amethyst and violet paint. She finished her glass of wine and went to the bar to pour another.
“You did well today, Brendan.”
“You’re not making it easy. I think I got frostbite of the prick.”
Morgan laughed. Her snowy cheeks flushed rose pink. “Now, that would be a crying shame. I’m so sorry. Let me make it up to you.” She placed a slender hand on his shoulder and leaned in close. She stroked his jaw with one cool finger and whispered in his ear. “Still cold?”
What the fuck? He pulled away and gave her a questioning look. “A little.”
“Come into the library. There’s a fire. Warmest room in the house.”
Before Brendan could protest, Morgan was leading him through the house’s labyrinth of corridors. He followed her into a cozy library with a roaring fire in the grate. She gestured for him to take a seat in one of the overstuffed chairs before the hearth. He sank down into the buttery suede and looked around. The room was alive with books. Morgan took a slim volume from one of the shelves near the fireplace and handed it to him. Brendan studied the cover—an old, hardbound copy of Alice in Wonderland.
“This was my favorite book when I was a little girl,” she said with a smile.
“I’m too old for bedtime stories.” Brendan started to hand the book back.
“Open it,” she said. He rolled his eyes. What game is she playing at now?
Deciding to humor her, he opened the book. “Holy . . . .” Shit! The damn thing was hollowed out inside, and packed full of pot and rolling papers and pills and all kinds of other goodies. His mouth watered at the sight of white powder—balloons and glassine envelopes packed full of blow, H. Damn—Christmas came early this year.
“Roll us a joint, will you?” Morgan topped off their drinks.
“I’d love to.” He surveyed the array of pills and powders with greedy eyes.
“Fabulous. I’m going to wash up. I won’t be long.” Morgan turned and walked out of the room, leaving him alone with her stash.
He couldn’t believe she’d be stupid enough to trust him. It’d be so easy to clean her out and make a run for it. His hands shook, and sweat peppered his brow. Goddamn, I want to get high. Tap up a nice fat vein, cook it up right here in front of the fire. Fill a needle and shoot up right here in front of the fire.
Something inside Brendan wouldn’t let him cut and run. I don’t want to burn this bridge—not yet. He’d roll a joint and wait for Morgan’s return.
When Morgan reappeared, Brendan saw she had taken the time to shower and change. She’d washed most of the paint out of her hair, but a few stubborn streaks of violet and rose still stained her pale locks. Clad in a scanty, blue sheath, she moved across the room with leonine grace. The silk clung to her slight curves, drawing his eyes to her perfect breasts. As Morgan brushed past him, Brendan smelled sandalwood and cedar. Musk. Sweet smoke. She lit the joint. Passed it to Brendan. Poured him another drink, playing hostess. She handed him the tumbler of Scotch and sat at his feet on the hearth rug, staring into the flames.
Brendan passed her the jay. She took a toke and leaned against him, resting her head against his thigh. They smoked in silence for a few moments. He relished in her proximity.
“You’re beautiful, you know.” Her voice was low and confidential, rich with sweet smoke. “Anybody ever tell you that? Not that you’d believe it.”
“No. You’re stoned.” He laughed at the idea. Beautiful? I’m just a club rat—a fucking junkie. Nothing but a street kid with three hundred bucks in his pocket. Chump change to her—but more money than he’d seen in months. The fact she saw something she liked in his features only made him feel worse. He couldn’t wait to go score some skank and get low.
Every time Brendan looked in the mirror, he hated himself more. Not just for what he’d allowed himself to become, but for who he used to be. A kid with big dreams. When he was ten years old, Brendan wanted to be a pitcher for the New York Yankees. By the time he was twelve, he’d decided a career as an astronaut was what he desired. When he was thirteen, he’d harbored dreams of becoming a big-time artist like Morgan or a famous writer. But by the time he was fifteen he was lost. Stealing cars. Fucking up. Screwing and smoking and snorting whatever he could get his hands on.
Beautiful? Hell—who’s she kidding? I’m just a small-time hood with a big, fat monkey on my back.
Also check out UNIFORM BEHAVIOR on Kindle: CLICK HERE
Indigo Skye is a writer and photographer living in the American Southwest. Her first novel, Her Captive Muse, was released by Noble Romance Publishers in January. Her work has been widely published online. Last fall, her short story “True Confession” was published in the anthology Uniform Behavior. A full list of her published works is available on her blog, Indigo Skye: Ink and Art.
Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for the insanely talented Indigo Skye before you head off on the next stop with the Noble Romance Authors Blog Tour, which just happens to be Bianca’s chat with Indigo! Your comment enters you for the grand prize of $100 from EDEN FANTASYS and qualifies you for daily prizes, so show us some love before you take off, wouldya?