Today I’m welcoming Justine Elyot as part of the Noble Romance Authors Blog Tour. I’ve gotta tell you, she’s a bit of a tease but it sure makes for a great interview! Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment at the end of the interview to qualify for giveaways, as well as the grand prize $100 gift certificate to EDEN FANTASYS. But first, let’s get acquainted with Justine, shall we?
What was the craziest story idea you’ve ever considered? Did you end up writing a version of the story?
I come up with a crazy idea almost every day. One of the strangest was a story I wrote after the UK General Election of 2010, inspired by the way the leader of the third-placed party held a pivotal position and found himself wooed by the leaders of the other two. This struck me as a great, if unusual, springboard for a story of a struggle for power and dominance – perennial themes in erotica as well as in politics. The story was called Kingmaker and it was published in an anthology called Sex at Work last month.
WOW! That sounds intense! Looking back to the beginning of your writing career, what was the plot of the first story you wrote? Whatever happened to the manuscript?
When I was ten I wrote a story called Edward’s Gang, about the adventures of some of the people from my Fisher-Price toys. It was all in a spiral-bound notebook, but I’ve long since lost it.
In terms of my writing career, the first original story I wrote was pirate-themed erotica. I believe it can still be found on Literotica, but I’m not giving out the link, haha.
Aw, c’mon. No link? I’d love to read both of those stories, lol! How do you feel about your first published book? Do you feel you’ve improved since it hit the shelves?
I love my first published book and to be honest I’m not sure I’ve improved at all, though I’ve become more aware of the rules and conventions.
Thinking back over all the sexy scenes you’ve created between characters, which one would you most like to experience for yourself? Why?
There’s an abduction fantasy in my second novel, The Business of Pleasure, that I wouldn’t mind giving a go. It would take a hell of a lot of setting up though.
Abduction fantasy … yum. Which of your releases most reflects who you are as a writer? What gives it that distinction?
In one sense, I would have to say it’s my Noble release, The Choirmaster, because it contains the essence of the romantic relationship I’m always trying to capture and articulate. I write and re-write this basic plot of rescue leading to a power exchange relationship, but this is definitely my favourite version, probably because of the music and the hero. In another, it’s my first novel, On Demand, because I was flying high and full of exuberance when I wrote it and I didn’t stop to worry about how this, that and the other would come across. I wish I still had that confidence, actually.
I bet! Confidence can be a tough gig, and it sounds like you had an amazing ride with that story! Which of your characters reigns as your favorite? Why, and where do readers find this character?
My favourite female character is Sophie, the narrator of On Demand, because she is endlessly curious, unjudgemental, smart, sexy but with that crack of vulnerability that makes her real. My favourite male character is Matthew in The Choirmaster because I want him to take me home and…well…yeah. Him.
I’m sure you’d have to wrestle a reader or two to steal him from the pages of your book! If you could change one thing about your writing career and accomplishments, what would it be?
I would have started earlier.
Yes, that. (*points at self*) Let’s take a look at The Choirmaster. How did the idea come about? How long did it take you to write the story after the plot first came to you?
I’ve been a choral singer since I was at school and I’ve never, alas, had a choirmaster who inspired feelings of more than respect and admiration, but I’ve often thought that sexual charisma coupled with the passion a choirmaster or mistress needs would make a devastating combination. So the story proceeded from that idea, really. I wrote the first three chapters in a rush, then got sidetracked by other projects and came back to it about a year later, and wrote the rest over about a month.
Wow! Sounds like you were ready for it when you revisited the story. Did you face any specific roadblocks as you wrote it, or did the words come easily?
The words came easily, but I didn’t end it properly, and wrote a final chapter at the publisher’s very sensible request.
What made you decide to submit this story to Noble?
I was wary of submitting it because there is a lot of build-up to the romance and I know most publishers want ‘action’ a bit earlier in the story (especially where BDSM erotica is concerned) – so I decided to take Noble up on their mission statement of ‘daring to be different’. I found that they were telling the truth! They took a chance on my story and I’m very glad I took it to them.
I suspect Noble has found company with a great many talented authors with their open approach, and you are certainly among them! What is your favorite part about The Choirmaster?
The relationship between Matthew and Loveday as it develops is intense but also rather sweet. I don’t think I’ve managed that combination before.
An incredible combination, to say the least! What do readers most often comment about in The Choirmaster?
In the words of one “What I loved most was the tenderly beautiful and believable relationship between Matthew and Loveday.” The same thing I love the most about it – win!
On that “winning” note, let’s take a look at the blurb for The Choirmaster:
When Matthew auditions the waiflike Loveday for his prestigious choir, he does not realise that his controlled and ordered life is about to be turned upside down. In rescuing her from a chaotic lifestyle and brutal boyfriend, he also rescues himself from a future of repressed emotions and meaningless liaisons. Loveday uncovers his secret desires, and, rather than recoiling, she embraces them without reservation. Matthew, at last, can be master of more than his choir.
Thanks so much for joining us today – it’s been a pleasure. Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment! Include your email address for a chance to win author swag and to enter the drawing for the $100 grand prize from EDEN FANTASYS, then click the tour button below to see what Indigo is up to at Gianna’s blog.