Queen of Clubs: Cora and a Giveaway
Check out the latest in the Queen of Clubs series and don't forget to enter the contest at the end of the post as Katie de Long will offer a signed paperback of Queen of Clubs: Cora and a pair of swag earrings to one randomly selected commenter and will offer a signed paperback of Queen of Clubs: Cora and a pair of swag earrings to a randomly drawn host (US only). Book tour sponsored by Goddess Fish Promotions. Check out all the tour stops HERE
So tell us about your latest or upcoming release. What is this gem about?
It's a little hard to say-- I write fast, and cycle between many projects. I've got probably 15 titles in rewrites, and 20 more in development. So my release schedule can be hectic and last minute. Right now it looks like I'll have too titles coming out within a few weeks of each other, and another next month. Queen of Clubs, my main series, is publishing monthly currently. The first season wraps up in April, I think, and I'm not sure whether I'll take a month or so break before I return to season two. I've got several other series and stories I'm dying to set free in the world.
The other February title is a standalone, Edgeplay. It's a very dark romance following a woman using BDSM to cope with trauma, though often in destructive ways.
How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae?
Well, I write full time, so my muse is generally welcome. She does keep me from sleeping though. Okay-- I'm not being quite fair. Sleep and I aren't bosom buddies. So my muse is more of a swinger booty call than a clingy piece-on-the-side.
What do readers have to look forward to in the future from you?
What do readers have to look forward to in the future from you?
A lot of new releases. My goal for the year is 15 new titles. Admittedly, some of them are novella length works or serials, but there's some novels buried in there, too.
I want to work through publishing the introductions for several new series. Queen of Clubs is kind of the flagship, in that many of the other characters are introduced in those novellas, or pass through them. The end of season one will give us an in to meet Rex Roderick, Sex Detective, and Anna, star of the Princess of Thieves series. Season Two will give us an intro for Honeypot, and Season Three will give us Exposure. The only series that currently doesn't have some crossover threads with Queen of Clubs is
's Exiles, a MC biker erotic romance. Plus, I've got some other
stuff cooking, including a series of space opera erotica, coauthored with
Michelle Browne, and a dark erotic fantasy series, to be published as K. de
Long. My superpower is speed. I am the authorial Flash. Eden
Writer’s block—real or hype?
For me, mostly hype. Going to the beginning of the story and reading and tweaking until I'm caught up, or reviewing the outline is enough. Usually when I'm stuck on something, it's because there's something in the plotting that isn't sitting well with me, and if I refresh myself and reshape that outline, I can move forward.
Do you prefer to extensively plot your stories, or do you write them as they come to you
Plot, definitely. I started as a developmental editor, so to me, the story comes first and foremost. For some shorter works, my outline might just be a simple paragraph, and smaller conflicts or themes might be added as I work. But I never begin drafting a story beyond a sample scene or two until I have a firm grasp of where the story's going.
Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write?
I'm kind of a jill of all trades. I love reading everything from specfic, horror, scifi, fantasy, dark romances... basically everything but cozy mystery or the hyperconservative sort of Cold War evocative thrillers.
What advantages or challenges does a writer in your genre face in today’s fiction market?
Well, I do a few genres, but all fall loosely under a contemporary label. Everyone and their grandmother writes contemporary romances. Nothing wrong with that-- everyone brings something different to the table, and it's a really loose genre. Really, it's just a genre that says that the fantasy is in your head, not in the world. So it's a vast, vast ocean to swim in.
I can't find a citation for the quote, but... to be irreplaceable you have to be different. Know what separates your work from everyone else in your genre, and build around that niche. For me, a lot of that is my love of unorthodox characters. I write a damn good sex worker, stripper, nude model, mentally ill person, partially disabled person, or antihero. Most of my work has people who suit one or more of those things. You want girl-next-door? Try someone else. You want an exhibitionist girl working through abandonment issues? I'm your girl.
What are you currently working on?
I cycle through projects really fast, and have ten or more in rewrites at any given time. So it's a little hard to say. I could keep you here all night talking about it!
How long did it take you to get your rough draft finished on your latest release?
It varies. The rough drafts are always a matter of days, but they might spend months in rewrites. Or, they might be ready to go in a month. Take Edgeplay, one of my newer releases, possibly my latest. It took me ten days to draft the 52k novel, and I had it basically rewritten to perfection within two weeks. Everything else was just proofreading, sitting on it before rereading it, to make sure I was still happy with my earlier work, hadn't left any continuity errors in, that sort of thing. And that one happened to be tight enough that very little reworking was required. I got it to betas pretty late, and didn't get sizeable notes back, so I've just accepted that that sucker basically went from idea to finished product in a month, at least on my end. I don't expect my editor to work that fast, poor long-suffering woman.
If you could be any paranormal creature what would you be?
A succubus. The sexuality angle is usually secondary to paranormal creatures, largely left in the subtext and the way the mythos is structured around that subtext. But a succubus owns it. In the words of Aletta, a succubus in an upcoming work of mine-- “I am sex, made flesh.” Yum.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I play video games with my man-beast, binge-watch shows, while playing “chewing gum” with our cats. Basically, I've theorized that our kittens are like chewing gum. You pick them up and put them somewhere, and 9 times out of 10 they stick around. They give you a little pissy look, but they lay the fuck down and cuddle. And I've got a lot of cats to play with, so I make a game of seeing how many of them I can get to cuddle with my man-beast at a time. Obviously it's rare to get all of them. All the cats in bed is Catpocalypse. Add the dog to that and you've got Petpocalypse.
Are any of your characters like you?
I don't really know. I'm sure I've influenced them, but most of them are only like me in sporadic chunks. My man-beast is my earliest reader, sees things even before betas or editors do, and he says he continually sees my fingerprints on them. Honestly, I rarely do in anything other than a general “that situation sucks, I feel her pain,” kind of way.
Some of them have larger pieces of me than others, though. There's a lot more of me in Malia than Cora (The first two Queen of Clubs heroines). Cora's got a bit more of me when I was young, but even then, she's a much more naive person than I ever was. Completely different upbringing and range of experiences. Malia, she knows hardship, knows loss. I've gone through some of her losses, too.
What genres do you write in?
What genres don't I write in? That's far easier to answer.
Most of my work is contemporary erotic romances of some kind or another. Maybe there's thriller or suspense elements. Maybe it's a dark erotic urban fantasy. I kind of flit around- the fantasy-leaning stuff is to be published under K. de Long so that my contemporary readers don't have to sift through it. I don't quite have the worldbuilding chops for hardcore specfic or scifi, though I love reading those genres. So those ones only get dabbled in when someone dares me to, or when I have a coauthor who actually likes the whole worldbuilding schtick.
Is there anything you will never write about?
There's lots of stuff that doesn't interest me to write about. I'm not sure if that's the same thing. In general, I don't like writing the mainstream alpha/alphhole narratives. I like me some BDSM, but only in proper BDSM settings. I understand why it's a fantasy so many readers and writers love, but it's not one I'm comfortable with participating in, myself. So it's not so much a “will never” so much as that I wouldn't be terribly engaged with it if I did.
I'm a pretty flexible person-- not everything is necessarily my kink, but I can usually look for something sensual in it to pull from. Exceptions to this are watersports, medical fetishes, scat, some of the less mainstream niches. I'm a bit OCD, so I just can't let go of my own shit (no pun intended) enough to find anything sensual in those bodily wastes. More power to those who enjoy those kinks, but that's not me, and I just don't have enough happy shit of my own to feed into it to make it work well. I think y'all would laugh if you read anything I might attempt if dared to create convincing scaterotica.
That said, I did actually do a sex scene with a monster, a bit back. Fun times. It was a short story in Michelle Browne's Cult Classics For The Modern Cult anthology, premised entirely around the sentence “She had tentacles in all the right places,” and riffing off old-school film-noir private investigator storylines. It starred Mrs. Cthulhu trying to locate her missing husband. I suppose the whole thing's kind of an inside joke, but it was fun to write.
Do you have a favorite quote from your book(s)?
Oooh! Teaser time!
Yes. And at this point, I have hundreds of thousands of words to pull from. Y'all are gonna have to bear with me now-- some of these works may not make it to your eyes for a year or two, with my release schedule being what it is... But I hope you enjoy them, and if you're really curious to see the rest of the project, you can sign up for my mailing list to get an email when it's out. ( http://eepurl.com/CSk3n ) Final text for the unreleased ones is subject to change. I, uh, think this is a pretty comprehensive overview of me. Sex workers, sugarbabies, rough-edged guys, strong women, and just for the hell of it, a little paranormal corpse possession.
I loved awkward guys. Guys with rough edges, who were interesting to look at not because they were beautiful, but because they were unique. Under other circumstances, Kirk would have been right up my alley. Maybe literally in an alley.
Queen of Clubs: Cora (Now available.)
Being pretty is always a double-edged sword, and I choose to wield it, not just be cut by it.
Queen of Clubs: Marina (Coming Soon.)
The first rule of being a sugarbaby is don't fall in love. The second rule of being a sugarbaby is don't fall in love. And, to be honest, I kind of suck at that part.
Queen of Clubs: Candy (Coming Soon.)
I'm waiting for my last stage set. My hands smell like sanitizer and baby wipes, but there aren't old man pubes under my nails, so it's a good day.
Queen of Clubs: Lee (Coming Soon.)
I wish I could say I had no idea why I fucked a guy like Jay, much less why I paid a friend to help set that whole thing up, distracting my ex so he wouldn't get jealous. Going so far out of the way for a one-night-stand isn't exactly model behavior, and it was a bad use of my money.
But I knew exactly why I did it.
You don't chase a guy like that.
There's no happily-ever-after, no emotional commitments, no putting up with constant stares that make you feel your inadequacy every time you have a bad pain day.
Jay represented everything reckless and presumptive that I was deprived of, trapped in a body with ligaments that behaved like rubber bands. I wanted to have a one night fling, to feel normal, like I was playing only with the normal range of action-and-consequence.
And I told myself I was relieved when he never called.
Queen of Clubs: Petaline (Coming Soon.)
I could cane you, force myself on you, and still not break you. So I'm going to love you, and show you that you won't break when everything else is out of the picture.
Edgeplay (Now Available.)
Her eyes meet mine, and she shivers. I exude danger, of the sweaty kind. I think I'm someone she knows-- this face, and a name, popped into her head as she read the story she most engaged with.
Until she comes, my name is Red.
Inkubus (Inkubus #1) (Coming Soon.)
I am reborn. I am sex, made flesh. Or at least made dream.
Dreamers (Inkubus #2) (Coming Soon.)
It's unsettling, seeing through the eyes of a corpse. I've never been to Ann Arbor, Michigan before, but the body I'm in must have lived here his whole life. It's burned into his
DNA, along with a few scattered remnants of his grandmother's
I take a deep breath, try to clear the new corpse smell from my lungs. My mouth still tastes like vomit; my meatsuit died of an overdose. The waitress has been great about keeping my glass full, but the water can't wash away the aftertaste, and she keeps shooting me anxious glances. I can't blame her-- I don't doubt I look like I've gone to hell and back.
Mind you, that's not terribly far off. I just call it 'home' now.
Reaper (Inkubus #3) (Coming Soon.)
Okay, so maybe I'm going a little overboard on the quotes. But these are some of the sections that make me smirk every time I read them to myself during rewrites. It's probably not ladylike to say awwww, yeahhhh, to your own writing, but fuck that noise. I write stripperotica-- I don't think that kind of ladylike is especially in my job description.
Is there anything you would tell aspiring writers?
Just keep writing, and know when to walk away. The market nowadays can be pretty brutal, and I know a lot of writers who've just gotten burnt out on it: the pressure to release fast, write more, manage ten social media outlets... it can be soul-killing, if you let it. Who knows. Maybe in a year or two that will be me, too. I doubt it, if only because I have enough of a backlog of written projects to take a break, barely write, and still maintain regular releases. I have room to back away and recharge, if need be. But you'll be really lucky if you get that-- not everyone has the authorial Flash production capacity. And even then, having that safety buffer isn't a reason to slack off.
So just keep writing. Don't take reviews too seriously unless they show a pattern of the same complaint. Don't dwell on why one project didn't take off-- move on to the next.
And know when to walk away. Know what your writing is to you, and make sure that it stays in that place.
About 'Queen of Clubs: Cora'.....
Queen of Clubs: Cora
The exotic dancers and employees of the Queen of Clubs walk a fine line, with only wits, beauty, and market savvy to keep them from toppling into the shark pit. Ride shotgun through lapdances, romance, and sexual awakenings. Don't worry, these girls won't ask what your hands are doing under the tip rail.
Cora, an adventurous student, finds herself auditioning for a stripping gig...and it comes with more than the asking price, including a very attractive DJ.
Queen of Clubs contains adult content, and is intended for mature readers. Each Queen of Clubs title is a standalone novella length work.
I still felt Kirk's eyes following me, as they had for every set on stage, every lap dance along the wall of the club. It was somewhat unsettling, somewhat flattering, and entirely captivating. A part of me wanted to give in to it, to revel in someone who so plainly appreciated my sensuality, rather than punishing me for it.
Queen of Clubs is currently published monthly. Visit delongkatie.com for preorder and purchase links, or sign up for the mailing list, to be notified when new titles are available.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Katie de Long lives in the
Pacific northwest, realizing her dream of being a crazy
cat-lady. As a kid, Katie flagged the fade-to-blacks in every adult book she
encountered, and when she began writing, she vowed to use cutaways sparingly.
After all, that's when the good stuff happens. And on a kindle, no one asks why
there's so many bookmarks in her library.
Stay in touch with Katie:
Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/CSk3n