1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.
I’d say I’m at level 10… but that’s situation normal for me. I am crazy. LOL! I think the main insanity inducing thing in my writing life at the moment is this sequel I’m writing. But I’ve also been trying to develop some new story outlines at the same time, and my poor old brain gears start to grind and seize up when I’m multi-tasking. But I keep on persevering. I’m a great believer in scribbling story snippets and ideas down in notebooks, whenever I think of them. Now, if only I could remember where I put all my notebooks…
2. You were, I think, one of the early authors to e-publish after being print published. Why did you go down that route?
Really? I didn’t realize that. I’d assumed there were lots of people crossing over both ways. Ebook to print, and print to ebook. I suppose I branched out into ebooks by chance really. A writer friend of mine was hanging out with an Ellora’s Cave editor at RWA a few years ago, and they fell to talking about me. The EC editor said, ‘Tell her to send me something’, so I did, and that idea later became my Ellora’s Cave contemporary LESSONS AND LOVERS. I’ve since also written for Phaze, and now for the new British erotic romance epublisher Total-E-Bound. I really like doing both print and ebook.
3. Recently, you announced that you sold a sequel to a novel you wrote some twelve years earlier, Gothic Blue. In that time, your voice has probably changed quite a bit. Is that change making it especially difficult to write the sequel?
Yes, see above! No, seriously, it is quite a challenge to revisit the world of Gothic Blue. For one thing, I’d largely forgotten a lot of what happened in that book, so I’ve had to re-read it myself in order to reacquaint myself with the details of the plot and characters. And yes, my voice has changed quite a bit since then. I think my style is slightly more streamlined and down to earth than it was at that time. Writing a couple of books and some stories in first person has also tended to make my voice more intense and intimate, even when I’m writing in third person. Gothic Blue was slightly poetic in places whereas Gothic Heat is going to be more ‘realistic’ in tone, but with a strong emotional punch. Marrying the paranormal with this realism is quite a tall order but I’m relishing the process.
4. Dorothy Starr. Portia Da Costa. Those are just two of your other past pseudonyms. Was there a reason why you picked those names?
Dorothy Starr was one of my earliest pseudonyms, and I chose Dorothy because it was my mother’s name, and Starr because I liked the sound of being a ‘star’. Portia Da Costa came about because the Black Lace editor at the time of my first book for them said I had to have a new name. Apart from ‘Dorothy’ I tend to make up my pen names in much the way I do the names of my characters. By sheer chance. In the case of PDC, while I was mulling over the need for a new pseudonym, I watched ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ in which John Cleese’s character has a daughter called ‘Portia’. Probably the next day, I was watching Motor Cycle Grand Prix, and I heard someone talking about the orthopaedic surgeon who looks after the injured riders, a guy called ‘Dr Da Costa’… so I just put the two elements together and Bob’s your uncle, Portia Da Costa was born!
5. If you could have a do-over, would you still use a pseudonym?
Yes, I probably would. Publishers mostly seem to want you to use a pseudonym.
6. Do you think it’s necessary for the hero and heroine to get together and have a Happy Ever After in a romance novel?
Oh, absolutely… It’s what romance and erotic romance is all about. Some of my earlier erotic novels don’t have what you’d call conventional HEAs, but I think there’s always been the promise of a HEA, or at least an emotionally satisfying ending where people are happy, either with one person, or even in a more open relationship. Nowadays, I’m much more inclined to go for a more generally recognizable HEA though. It’s what I want to read, so it’s what I want to write. They might not actually be on the point of marriage, or a formal engagement, but at the end of a book, my hero and heroine are usually lovingly committed to each other for good.
She will have stories in the Love On The Dark Side (just released), Hide And Seek (September ’07), Buddies Don’t Bite (January ’08) and Magic And Desire (’08)anthologies, to be released in the near future.
All dates given are US release dates.
Now that all that release day info has hopefully been imprinted in your heads, Portia’s doing a giveaway! Lucky commenter gets 2 books from her print backlist!