Thursday, November 30, 2017

Interview with Wicked Pen Writer Linzi Basset

Greetings readers, writers, and fiction enthusiasts! Today Wicked Pen Writer Linzi Basset gives us some insight into her writing and inspiration. AND CHECK OUT the end of interview for information on how to win a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate from this author!

Q: How long have you been writing and why do you write?

Linzi: 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?

Q: What's the most challenging thing about writing or telling a story?

Linzi: Let me start by saying this, and it may come as a surprise to many people, but English is not my first language. When I started writing again a few years ago, I struggled with the enormous versatility of American English. All my stories are American-based, so I obviously needed to ensure that they would appeal to the American people. It was a massive struggle until I found an American editor that “Americanized” my writing! 

The one thing that I battle with that needs constant work and attention is the passive voice…ahh!…and when I get a script back from my editor with notes indicating where I need to correct it. I do actually scream. And why…why does English have so many tenses? Good heavens! Why can’t everything just be in past, present and future? Why do we need past present, future present, past perfect…or is it perfect past…geez!! 

And when it comes to writing a story, for me it’s to ensure every character has his or her own voice and not mine. In other words. there has to be a differentiation between each character that sets them apart from all the others I’ve written about or that others write about.

I enjoy the challenge to write well. To write a good story and make the emotional content and depth of my characters feel authentic. I enjoy the responses from my readers; how they become drawn into the stories, so much so, that they can’t wait for the next one. Mostly, I enjoy creating something special, unique and satisfying to fulfill my own expectation of what I set out to do when I type, Chapter One.

Q: Where do your ideas come from?

Linzi: Life, in all of its existential forms and wonders. All one needs to do is reach out and embrace it. It’s an enormous treasure trove of inspiration, isn’t it? It teems with emotions, passions, hate, laughter, tears, regrets, inner demons and so much more. One is only limited by one’s own imagination.

Q:  What advice would you give to new writers?

Linzi: By explanation, I need to share what my believes are about writing to share some advice with others.

I believe that telling stories in my own voice, driven by my own passion is what motivates me and that is the very essence that gets insinuated into each and every one of my stories. It's a distillation of who and what inhabits my being. I truly experience and live each and every scene. I feel every touch, every kiss, every harsh word uttered and that to me is the key. I write from the inside out. My stories are me. I live them. I couldn’t imagine writing a story looking in from the outside to try to describe something that I cannot see or feel. When I feel myself laboring unnecessarily to write a scene that I can’t connect to, I know it’s going to come out wrong. My editor always tells me to leave some things to the reader's imagination, because I become so involved with describing what I see and feel.

It may be that my advice to the writer in you, whoever you are, might sound overly simplistic, but it's essentially the discovery over time of listening to your own singular voice and the application of it, through hard work and passion to speak through the medium of the written word. Be comfortable within yourself. Write every story as if it's your own, your dirty little secrets that you're telling…and yes…maybe some of them are mine! Find your voice with the words that truly express what you think and what you feel, and it will flow into your story. Make each one stand out, make each chapter shine and make each scene come alive in every reader's mind. Let your passion come through and connect and your words will have the power to transport the reader into the story as a voyeur, or better yet, as a participant. You really want them to read your erotica books with just one hand….wink*wink!

Q: Who are your favorite authors?

Linzi: John Grisham. I just love his writing. I’ve read a variety of genres, but I have to say that I greatly favor legal suspense and thrillers. And then of course, there is Johanna Lindsey, who is a historical romance writer. I just love the humor and emotions she brings into her stories.

Q: What are you currently writing about?

Linzi: Many, many things! I currently have 8 WIPs. Yeah, frightening isn’t it! My new series I just started publishing is Club Devil’s Cove. A spin-off from the very first bestselling series I published, Club Alpha Cove. My fans have been driving me crazy to start with this one. And I love that they’re so passionate to read Rhone and Keon’s series.

Then there is the second novella series, Their Command series, that is continuing in the same trend as the first, Their Sub Series. The first book in this series will be released toward the end of November. After this series, Their Love Series will follow. Each a trilogy on its own.

There is also the continuance of The Alastor Chronicles, The Rebel Angels, The Tycoon Series, The Caught Series, The Madam Series, The Guthrie Sister and one which I’ve been hounded for but haven’t had the time to get to, The Dragon Shifter series. 

And of course, my co-writer and I, under the nom de plume, Isabel James, are also currently working on a suspense novella, The Alibi, which I’m hoping we’ll publish either toward the end of the year or early in the new year.

As you can see, there are lots of writing to be done! I need more hours in a day!!

Q: Who's your favorite character/most fun character/sassiest character/most interesting?

Linzi: That’s a tough one. Every character I write has his/her own strength and vices. Nawh . . . I can’t. It’ll feel like betrayal to those I don’t pick! They are all favorites and fun to write!

Q: What can readers expect from you in the future?

Linzi: The suspense Club series within a BDSM club scenes have become so popular and so far, all the books released have been in the top 10 Amazon bestsellers ranking, so of course, I will continue with them. But, each series has a theme that sets it apart from the others.

Apart from the projects listed, I am also working on a time travel series, involving Pirates of the Blackbeard era and hope to finish the first book soon – it’s already on Chapter 6. 

I aim to produce a drama which will be a combination of suspense/thriller with a touch of romance, entitled, Forgotten. Not erotica, though, and I am exceedingly excited to start with this project.

I just wish there were more hours in a day!


Have you accepted our invitation yet?? We're having a RELEASE PARTY for SAY YES by Linz Basset, on Facebook. Filled with lots of fun, games and amazing freebies and prizes. Not to mention the talented line-up of authors participating. The participation will only be considered by comments. Most comments from today (I'm doing daily games for fun) will win! Make sure that if you post or share you use the hashtag #LinziBuzz

Want a chance at winning a $25 Amazon gift card? 
Then don't delay, join this group

Accept this invitation to join the party. The more you participate, the better your chances of winning!

Find Linzi Basset Online

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Writer's World: Topics, Writing & Inspiration

This blog post reflects the information I shared during the WPW FaceBook Event on November 7th, 2017. This event focused on authors and their world, including how they decide their subject matter, writing habits, and sources of information. You can find the entirety of the event here.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Angora Shade, American expat living in Europe and writing erotica & romance. You can find all my books on my Amazon author page, and many of my titles now appear on the Radish Fiction app. Feel free to check me out!

How does someone become a writer and where do all the ideas come from?

I’ve always believed that people who write do so because they have to. It’s a compulsion, a necessity. Imagine having a third arm and never using it. A person either has the predisposition for writing or they don’t. It’s true that some people at whatever point in time in their life might say, “Hey, that’d make a great story; I should write it down!” and they do; it sells and they get to call themselves “author.” But in most cases, I think people who tell stories can’t function or find some semblance of happiness, inner peace, or whatever name you want to give it, without writing.

When you’re a writer and you’re telling a story, you sometimes write for yourself, the reader, or both. But for whatever reason you’re putting words down, there’s a high involved. It’s not the after effects of too much booze or the chill sensation some people get when stoned, but something completely different and unique to every author. For me I’d say I feel satisfaction, accomplishment, or full. I’d go as far as saying that I feel whole.

I first began writing as a child. I was fascinated with creating my own stories and illustrations in grade school, and later became focused on poetry as a means of self-expression. Ideas for stories when I was a kid stemmed from retelling other stories I had heard in my own way, but as I grew, I drew topics from my emotions.

I didn’t have the typical childhood or teen years. My early life was tragic by most standards, and the safest outlet was through writing. The things I couldn’t outwardly express I found a way to communicate through paper and pen. Writing is therapeutic whether a person chooses to share their words or not, and I’m grateful I was able to work through issues with writing as my tool. I was able to heal damaged parts of my heart and mind through my writing.

As an adult, I still find writing to be a tool for expressing emotions, but not a must. I’ve grown up and I deal with communication of my feelings in an adult way. This has left a gaping hole in my reservoir of writing topics. I’ve had to search out new methods of inspiration.

Motivation and inspiration often go hand-in-hand.

This was a topic of fascination for me when I first began writing seriously and publishing or self-publishing my work. I wanted to better understand how I fit in with other authors, and did a series of interviews from the pool of authors I’d come in contact with.

Here is an interview on Motivation In Writing:

How do writers prepare to write? Here’s what numerous authors had to say:

Another interesting aspect of writing is how writers are affected by the concentration involved in creating a story. You can read about this here:

The research I’ve done also expands into the writing habits of other authors, specifically in the erotica, erotic romance, romance, and (let’s just call it porn) genres.

You can read interviews on how writing sex scenes relates to the lives of the authors who write them on my blog. If you’re familiar with these genres, chances are you know of or have heard of these fabulous writers, including the multitalented Wicked Pen Writers Reed James and Bryce Calderwood.

Part ONE          Part TWO

The journey into writing erotica, erotic romance, and romance...

I didn’t always write about sex. I didn’t even write about romance. Hell, I didn’t even read anything except horror, adventure, and science fiction until recently. So what happened? What drove me to explore these new genres?

After moving to Sheep Shit Nowhere, Europe, I was unemployed, had no friends, and didn’t speak the language. I was bored. So I poured all my energy into writing my first official novel under a different pen name. The story was a young adult dark fantasy that included a small element of romance, which picked up speed as the story developed. My climactic moment fell a little flat due to the fact that nothing more than a kiss took place. I began questioning traditional rules: can you put a sex scene into a young adult book, is sex allowed for minors, is sex necessary for my story and characters? 

I learned that no, you can’t have underage characters screwing in young adult fiction (traditionally. I’m not saying it never happens, just that it’s usually a big no-no). Everything has to take place “behind the scenes” if something more than legal happens. But it wasn’t satisfying!!!!! To this day, I still feel like there needs to be more for my protagonist and her surprise love interest.

Understanding the rules, I abandoned writing young adult literature and tried my hand at something completely new: smut. I spoke at length with another erotic author and discussed the basic elements of sex scenes, got drunk, and penned my own. I needed to know if I could do it. I needed to see if I was any good at it. Would I even be comfortable with it?

My story was fun to write and pushed me further creatively than I had ever pushed myself before. The original short story “Adventures In Plastic Wrap” ballooned into “Cat & Mouse” and eventually into “Cat Games,” published by my former publishing house. I learned that you can write a story that means something as well as write a story with steamy sex. I was satisfied.

This story is available on Amazon and is coming soon to Radish Fiction:

After writing my debut story, I struggled with what to write next

I don’t like repeating myself. I don’t enjoy tropes and have no desire to be “that author who writes only BDSM.” I wanted to diversify. So I asked myself: what interests you and what do you want to learn about? From there I took those topics and formed stories around them, asking myself what sort of character would be as interested as I am and what would they do?

I’ve explored gay, lesbian, and heterosexual fiction on my writing journey. I’ve dabbled in themes of revenge, BDSM, voyeurism, age diversity, paranormal, religion, and pushing against societal norms. Some stories are PG, some are XXX, others somewhere between. I’m not certain I’ll always write under the erotic, erotica, or erotic romance genres, but I’m going to exhaust all the possibilities I can before I move on to something else. Sex is as diverse and complex as life gets, is something most of us include in our lives, and makes for a wonderful mass of relatable, fantastic, and vivid story fodder.

My Writing Process

Every writer will have a different routine for writing. Mine is completely random, changing a lot between stories and even while working on the same story. Most writers would tell you that my methods are plain stupid and unproductive, and it’s probably true. But whatever. Works for me.

1) I find a subject that interests me.

2) I research.

3) I think about characters and how a story could come of my subject.

4) I start writing. I never outline. My stories fill themselves out inside my head, plot holes and all. When something doesn’t work I take a break and do something else. If for some reason I have to outline, it’s basically a note or two here and there, and not the detailed information authors go into.

5) I do more research when I get stuck, and speak through my ideas with my writing partners (you should have numerous. Very helpful. You can check out my blog post about writing partners here).

6) I kick myself until I finish a story. It’s a struggle for me to get the point of writing “The End,” and I’m sure it always will be. Writing is a labor of love, but it’s not easy.

Advice for other authors

Once in a while an author finds themselves in a rut. This is only normal. It happens. We push through it and get on with whatever. Sometimes we pick up an old manuscript that we shelved a while back, dust it off, and experiment with a new idea, or we sit down and spin a web of something new. 

It’s good to stay fresh. I suggest authors flex their writing muscles whenever possible, whether that means setting daily or weekly goals, participating in author circles and events, or researching and reading about the subjects they like to write about. Don't shy away from keeping up with your craft or you're going to struggle. You have to be a badass.

But even with the best intentions we can end up in a rut. Or maybe we just need a break from what we’re working on. Flash fiction can be a great way to flex sore or rusty writing muscles. 

I’ve participated twice in a Thursday Flash Fiction challenge hosted by author Siobhan Muir. Every Thursday a new prompt is given to authors taken directly the previous week’s winning story. Stories must be original, within a specific word count, and contain the prompt. 

Check out her blog for the latest prompts and stories, and ask to join the FaceBook group if you’re interested.