Please give a warm welcome to author Alice Gaines today as we sit down to discuss her books and a few other fun things.
To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
I have a short coming in November from Changeling Press. Unfortunately, I don’t have a cover to share right now. It’s 9,000 words, and it was super fun to write. It’s called Sex After Death. I’ve included a blurb and tiny excerpt.
How would you describe yourself using only five words?
Sleepyhead, smart, imaginative, spendthrift, zany.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Judge Judy. It’s like watching a train wreck. My God, where do they find those people? I love to knit or crochet while Judge Judy is on. I think that goes back to my childhood when I’d crochet or embroider with my grandmother after school. She always had the TV on. Mostly, I remember watching General Hospital. To this day, I love to do handiwork in front of the TV on late afternoons.
Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
I’m a devout church goer. I love my church, where I serve on the altar guild. In the olden days, the altar guild ladies were the matrons of the church. They held teas and did charity work.
People think that all religion is against sex and that no church would approve of what I write. I was shy to tell the rector what I wrote until he gave a sermon on werewolf romance novels. Turns out, his wife reads romance. Now, she reads me. J
At Romantic Times convention next May, I’ll be on a panel with other religious people who write erotica and erotic romance. Besides the altar guild lady (me), we have an Episcopal priest and a Sunday school teacher.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
New Zealand. It has to be the most beautiful place on Earth. Plus, it isn’t overrun with people. They want to keep the population low, which I totally understand, but I do wish they’d find enough room for me.
How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I sit my butt in the chair. If you wait for the mood, you’ll never get anything done. I find that, even on days when I feel in the mood, the mood evaporates the minute I hit a place where I can’t find the right word or phrase. Mood counts for nothing. Discipline is everything.
Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?
God, yes. My historical from Carina, Miss Foster’s Folly, wrote itself in my head. All I had to do was transcribe it. That’s an exaggeration, of course (see mood above), but so much of it sprung from something inside me. I wish I could figure out what made that happen so I could do it over and over again. That book was pure pleasure, and it still gives me pleasure when I think of it.
When you begin your stories, do you go with the flow, or go with an outline?
Outlines paralyze me. I can’t know what’s going to happen in a story until I get to that part. I can fake an outline when I have to write a synopsis for a book that isn’t yet written, but I feel like a fraud doing it. When I write the way I like to write, I start with a situation, two characters, and some conflict. I know how the story will end (happy ending), and I discover the path from the beginning to the end as I write.
What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know?
Keep writing. Set a schedule for yourself for how many words you’ll do per week, and keep writing. Don’t let anyone else impose their schedule on you, for example, that you must write every day. As long as you’re regularly producing new pages, your system is working.
Then, keep writing. You can’t let yourself get discouraged. For every great moment, you’ll have ten moments of misery with rejections, small or non-existent checks, or bad reviews. You have to keep yourself motivated to get through those bad moments to the transcendent ones.
By the way, you can find me at http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com or mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Sex After Death” by Alice Gaines. Erotic paranormal short story. Available in November from http://www.ChangelingPress.com
“Coitus Post Mortem” said the inscription on the base of the statue. The figure himself was sure equipped for sex. He had the kind of instrument - a huge one - Katy had only seen in her dreams. She had to have him. Trouble was…he was only a foot tall. Worse…he came with a curse. Worst of all…solving the curse could get her killed.
“Oh, isn’t he cute?” Katy’s friend’s voice carried all the way across the curio shop. Katy glanced over to spot what Ginger had picked out. It seemed to be a vase of some sort made of dark material.
“This’ll make a great gag gift for Sylvia,” Ginger said. “Check it out.”
Katy joined Ginger and got a better view of the thing. Not a vase but a planter designed to be filled with soil and a bit of greenery. The shape had clearly caught Ginger’s attention -- the carved figure of a man, anatomically correct with a large sac and a flaccid cock of truly impressive proportions.
“I think you’re onto something,” Katy said. “We could have all kinds of fun with this at Sylvia’s bridal shower.”
Katy took the little man from Ginger and hefted him. “Heavy. Must be stone of some kind.”
“Marble of a very rare dark color,” a male voice said from behind her.
She nearly jumped. The owner of the store -- a small man with thinning hair and a pencil mustache -- had crept up on them. “Very old. Ancient, in fact, going back to the reign of Tiberius.”
“You’ve had it carbon dated, have you?” Katy asked him.
“Not necessary,” he said. “The style is recognized by collectors. There’s an engraving at the bottom.”
Katy squinted but couldn’t make out much of the writing. It was faded with time and in a language she didn’t understand, making it ever more difficult to decipher. “What does it say?”
“The closest anyone can tell is $coitus post mortem$,” he answered.
Ginger giggled and put her fingers over her mouth. “That sounds like it means sex after death.”
“It does.” The man didn’t crack a smile. Clearly, he was serious.
“But even if you believe in life after death,” Katy said. “Sex after death? Angels getting it on? I mean, really.”
“What I believe doesn’t matter. The inscription says sex after death.” The man almost rolled his eyes. Clearly, he’d had this conversation before.
Freaking weird, but appealing, too. A guy so well endowed. An eternity of really great fucking. Maybe he was a fertility icon or the gods’ gift to all womankind. In a few weeks, he‘d serve as a centerpiece at a rowdy bridal shower. “How much do you want for it?”
The owner smoothed his mustache with his fingertips for a moment. “I could part with it for twenty dollars.”
“For an ancient piece with fine detail?” Katy’s antennae went up. If something sounded too good to be true, it usually wasn’t on the level.
Ginger tugged her elbow. “Buy it. It’s perfect.”
She really ought to. At this price, who cared if it turned out to be something mass-produced to fool the yokels? It would make a great shower gift. They’d all get a bit tipsy on champagne and make up bawdy stories about the statue and what they’d do with a cock as big as his.