Today, I have Cameron Allie visiting my blog, with an interview and an excerpt from her latest release, An Unexpected Christmas Gift :).
So pull up a chair, and let’s settle in for the interview:
Welcome, Cameron Allie! How did you get started writing in general and with the erotica in particular?
I started writing when I was in high school, and kept at it throughout university. I was determined to get published and everyone knew it. I took as many writing classes as I could and drove down to Ohio in 2010 for the RT Convention to pitch and attend workshops. My mom went with me and we had a blast!
When it comes to erotica….well, I knew I wanted to write romance. I picked up my first romance novel at 15 and decided that was what I wanted to write. I fell in love with the genre. As far as erotica goes, I thought it might be an easier path to publication, so one day I sat down and starting writing My Mistletoe Master. It all clicked into place. eXtasy Books was the first publisher I pitched it to and they signed me for a series. Personally I can’t resist an “older brother’s hot best friend” story, can you?
Well done you! Talk about knowing what you want and going for it :). And “older brother’s hot best friend” stories are yummy! :). So what was the best piece of writing advice you received?
I think the piece of advice that has stuck with me the most is to “think of the worst thing that could happen to that character, at that moment, and write that”. Conflict is so important in a story, so that’s always in my mind when I’m writing.
Very true. What do you think makes good erotica?
I’m going to speak more to the erotic romance, because that’s what I write (I love a good happily ever after). When it comes to erotic romance they say that if you remove the sex from the book then the story falls apart, therefore the sex needs to be central to the story.
In addition to that there needs to be a little realism in the sexy bits. A writer needs to think about safe sex, and consent. They need to consider location and how that plays into the moment. If they’re getting busy on a set of stairs it needs to be a little uncomfortable and maybe whoever is on the bottom has some bruises the next day.
Personally, I think the dirty talk is pretty key, and the word choice in general. Things have to be explicit, and generally it seems to be hotter when he’s a little on the aggressive side.
I do love a happy ending :). And those are some great points on writing good erotica. Where do you get your ideas and your characters from?
Ideas come from anywhere for me. It can be a song lyric, an experience, but generally they come from a question. For example, My Mistletoe Master came from this question: What would you do if you were forced to see the guy you were in love with after he broke your heart? (Then comes the “how could this be worse for this character” bit) What if he walked in on you masturbating to a spanking porno?
As for characters, they come hand in hand with the ideas. When it comes to shaping and developing characters I often (but not always) like to pick a model or actor to base their physical characteristics on. I also have a character profile that I generally use, and sometimes I read through a character trait book I picked up.
Oh, I’ve got to read My Mistletoe Master now! :D. I do similar when building my characters :). Following on from that, where did you get the idea for An Unexpected Christmas Gift?
An Unexpected Christmas Gift was an easy idea to put together because the characters appear earlier in the series. In My Mistletoe Master, Amelia (the heroine) is best friends with a woman named Amy. We get to see Amy and Amelia interact at the annual Christmas party. It was at this party a few years prior that Amelia approached Nick, kissed him beneath the mistletoe, and was rejected. (You can read that bonus prologue scene on my website)
At that point in the series Amy and Brent are already in a very committed relationship. So for the holidays this year I wanted to write them a short little holiday story that showed how they got together. I also wanted a chance to show how miserable Nick was after he rejected Amelia.
So both Amy and Brent are reluctant to attend this Christmas party, yet I wanted to get them together so that’s what I did.
Nice. I love a good series where the secondary characters get their own story. Who would play Brent and Amy in the film of the book?
Unless I’ve used an actor for my physical description I generally don’t think too much about who would play them in the film version. So to answer this one I’d have to give it some serious thought.
I can’t speak to his acting, because I picked him based on appearance, but for Brent I modelled him on actor Garrett Hedlund, so maybe him?
Now he is yummy :). Do you have a writing routine? Do you need absolute quiet to write or background music/noise?
I have a pretty flexible schedule so I often get time to write, although that doesn’t mean the muse is ready to cooperate. Sometimes I’ll put on music, but often I need quiet when I write. Lately I’ve been doing writing sprints with other authors, where we set a time limit and see who can write the most in that time. Dena Garson and I have been cranking out the words the last few months.
I do like writing sprints. I quite often use Write or Die software and sprint against myself. What a way to get a lot of words down quickly! :). Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if so, how do you get over it?
A lot of writers don’t believe in writer’s block, but there are definitely times it’s difficult to get words down. Sprinting with other writers is a big help, it pushes me to shut off my internal editor and just get words down.
Sometimes I put music on in hopes of jogging the muse. Often I’ll switch to a different story, or re-read what I’ve already written.
Another method for me is driving. Something about driving while listening to music gets the creative juices flowing.
I swap stories too, if I feel a bit stuck. And I quite often find that doing something that’s nothing to do with writing gets my brain going, like washing up or doing the crossword :). Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Mostly a pantser, but I try to have some notes and character profiles while I craft a story. Timelines are really important as well, so often I have a document with a chart of when things happen.
I find timelines really helpful, too. Do you have any advice for new writers?
Being a writer is hard. Like really hard.
Most of us write as a second job because we love it so much, and hope to one day make it a full time career (I’m in this category). Sitting your butt in the chair and getting the words down is hard.
Having to deal with rejection is hard. But once you get that first yes, that first contract be sure to celebrate. But after that an editor is going to take a good long look at your story and might tell you things you didn’t want to hear.
Then, you have to start building a readership, working on promo and advertising. As a writer you have to not only be a writer, but an editor, a business person, and a marketing guru. It takes a long time to build the sales you wished you’d seen on that first royalty check.
Writing is difficult, so celebrate each and every accomplishment, and don’t give up.
Yes, that pretty much covers it! :). Out of all your books, which one is your favourite hero and why?
It always seems to be the one I’m currently working on, or an upcoming one. I have a few heroes I’m looking forward to writing, but for right now, I have a soft spot for Nick from My Mistletoe Master. I also really enjoyed writing Ed in The Perfect Fix.
Final question, what’s next for you?
Currently I have two series on the go. The Unexpected Changes series, which Amy and Brent’s story is a part of, and Our Love Story an M/M series. Between the two series I have five more short stories/novellas that I hope to have completed before my baby arrives in April.
After that I have several other stories I’ve been working on. I have a BDSM contemporary series I’m itching to get back to, as well as a paranormal wolf-shifter series, and a sci-fi series. Too many ideas and they are all so exciting!
Brilliant! So glad to hear there’s plenty more to come. Great to chat to you, Cameron, and thanks for taking the time to visit me today :).
See below for buying links for both books, and an excerpt from An Unexpected Christmas Gift. You can just feel how much he does not want to go to that party, and I love the promise of what might happen next :).
Check out Cameron Allie’s blog and connect with her here: https://www.cameronallie.com/
Buying Link for An Unexpected Christmas Gift:
Buying Links for My Mistletoe Master:
Excerpt from An Unexpected Christmas Gift:
“I really don’t want to go to this party,” Brent complained as he and his cousin Josh stepped out of the cab.
“It’s a little late for that,” Josh replied. They stared up at the Manor, an extravagant building usually reserved for weddings and proms, but each year at Christmas the Fuller family rented it to throw the biggest Christmas bash in town.
“It wasn’t too late the first five times I said it. The first of which was last week.”
Josh’s shoulders tensed. “Listen, you’ve been bumming me out for weeks now.”
It wasn’t his fault Mia had dumped him right before the holidays.
“I needed to get you out of the house, and this seemed like a good time to do it. Come in, have a few drinks, talk to a few pretty girls, and dance a bit. That’s all I’m asking.”
“You make it sound like I’ve been sitting around the house in my boxers eating cheese puffs all day.”
Following Josh, Brent climbed up the front steps of the Manor. After giving their names at the door, Josh glanced at him. “When was the last time you left the apartment?”
“I go to work every day.”
“Not for work. To socialize.” Josh took them to the coat check area, where they abandoned their outer wear to a volunteer.
“I’ve been busy at work.”
“That’s a load of crap.” Josh headed into the crowd. Brent had dragged his feet, so they were late arriving, and now it seemed the party was in full swing. A buffet line started in the hallway and wound through a dining room, past a long table of food. In another giant room was a DJ and what seemed to be a full dance party. “Where do you want to start?”
Back at the apartment with a new Netflix original, and an icy beer, Brent thought. He knew better than to voice it though, but that didn’t seem to matter. His cousin read him like a book.
“This. Will. Be. Fun.” Obviously losing patience, Josh gritted his teeth and punctuated each word. Relaxing a bit, he patted Brent on the shoulder. “You didn’t even notice the coat check girl checking you out.”
“What?” Brent looked back toward the entrance.
“Come on.” Josh threw his arm around Brent’s shoulders to lead him further into the party. “That girl was probably still in high school, only here as a volunteer. Let’s see if we can’t find you someone more age appropriate.”
Brent hoped this wasn’t going to turn into a whole big production. If he had to suffer through tonight, first he wanted a beer, and then a little breathing room to survey the crowd. He wasn’t ready to get back into the dating scene so soon after being dumped, but Josh was right. It didn’t hurt to look.
Buying Link for An Unexpected Christmas Gift:
Want to read more of my author interviews? Click here for interviews with Victoria Blisse, Natasha Knight, Cassandre Dayne, and more! 🙂