Friday, March 11, 2011
Romance Author Lesley Hastings
Romance author shares what got her started in writing and introduces her newest release The Dream Catcher-
Grab some coffee, sit back and enjoy
Title: The Demon Catcher
Author: Lesley Hastings
Brother Euan has always been skeptical about the existence of demons. He may have spent his life in a monastery dedicated to the God Ajen, but that doesn't mean he has to indulge in superstition. Even the unnatural storm that batters the monastery one night isn't enough to make Euan believe.
But superstition becomes the least of Euan's worries when Leon of Tremea arrives at the monastery to investigate the reports of demonic activity. Leon is nothing like the frightened, shame-filled monks, and when Euan is assigned to assist Leon in his work, he finds himself struggling with desires he'd thought firmly under control. After a second demon attack on the monastery—one that not even Euan can explain away—Euan's beliefs and assumptions about the world are shattered, and with nothing to hold him back, he opens himself to his feelings for Leon. But then Euan discovers that Leon is not all he seems to be....
Before we get started talking about your books, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What is your occupation outside of writing?
I live in Sydney, Australia—although I grew up in a rural area outside of Sydney. I love the warm climate here—although for some reason, I tend to keep writing stories about people from cold and rainy places! Outside of writing, I’m a student, studying English Literature.
What are your favorite books to read?
Fantasy fiction has always been my great love, although of course, I read a lot of m/m romance too—it’s no accident that my first novella combines both of these! However, I tend to read all over the place—I enjoy classics and contemporary sci-fi, and dystopian fiction… my tastes are eclectic.
Aside from your successes in the writing industry, what in your life has given you the greatest sense of accomplishment?
I’m really proud of the fact that my partner and I have a strong egalitarian relationship, in which we’re both honest with each other. We’ve been together eight years, and we just keep getting stronger.
You write in the erotica genre. How did you decide this was the best genre fit for you?
It’s not a conscious decision that I made—really, it just turned out that that’s where I felt most comfortable writing. I feel like I can say things about my characters when I’m writing sex; for all that some people may see erotica as lacking in depth, I think that sex is when we’re raw and vulnerable—but it’s also when we can experience joy and laughter and silliness—all of those things that really make us relate to characters and want to know more about them.
When you’re painting an erotic scene in your novels, how do you keep your ideas fresh and different from what everyone else writes?
I think that they key here is to make sure that every sex scene has a purpose in the story—that it’s going to tell us something about the characters or advance the plot in some way—or both. Of course, it also helps to be mindful of certain clichés, and to avoid them, but doing that is much easier if you have a clear vision of why your characters are having sex and what that sex means for the story as a whole.
How many books have you written and how many of those are published? And any exciting publishing plans for the New Year?
So far, I only have The Demon Catcher, which was published by Dreamspinner Press on January 5th, 2011, but I definitely have more in the works. While I haven’t yet submitted anything else for publication, I have several works in progress—including a sequel to The Demon Catcher—that I hope to have ready for submission at different points throughout 2011.
How much character and plot detailing do you plan out before you begin writing a novel, or are you a “pantser” (fly by the seat of your pants)?
Honestly, it’s a bit of both. I’ll often start with one or two scenes or ideas, and I’ll write those, before going on to build a plot around them. But that plot is always subject to change—the story is always a living thing. Characters tend to reveal themselves to me as I write them—I learn something new about them with every scene.
How and when do you write? Do you keep yourself on a schedule or do you work while the muse is with you?
I don’t have a schedule as such, but I do tend to do a lot of writing work in the evenings, after a day of study. But I suppose when I write is more about when I feel inspired than it is about doing a set number of hours/words each day.
If you could give one piece of advice to writers trying to get published, what would that advice be?
That’s difficult, because “writers trying to get published” can range from people who’ve only just started writing to people who are very experienced, and probably don’t need any advice from me—so I’ll direct this answer to the former group.
I think it’s really important to remember that writing is a craft, and like any craft you need to hone your skills. You need to put effort into working out what makes a sentence sound good, what makes your work elegant (or not elegant, if that’s what your story requires). You need to have all the basics down in terms of punctuation and grammar.
I also think that fanfiction can be a great way of honing your craft, since it gives you a chance to receive feedback, and read the work of others. The skills that you learn while participating in fanfiction communities will inevitably transfer over into your original fiction—that is, the fiction you aim to have published.
Where can we read more about you and your work?
You can find my blog - I love using this blog to talk about writing.
You can also find my via Twitter, Facebook and by Email: