Hello and welcome Lilith Duvalier to my site. She has so graciously agreed to be interviewed.
So let’s begin...
1) First, tell us a little about yourself so the readers know who you are?
I’m a little ridiculous. In my group of friends I’m the one who is always met with “That would only happen to you” after I tell a story. I’m the girl who sends text messages in the middle of that day that say things like:
“Two feet of my ceiling just fell down” or
“At my coffee shop. Spent a minute checking out a beautiful guy across the street before realizing that he is my ex-boyfriend from three years ago” or
“Got lost on the bus. Cold and Hungry. In a part of town with no English signs. Getting off at the first place that serves “sopa”. Be prepared to Google map me.”
When I’m not being ridiculous I’m looking for a job because I just moved back to the big city after two excruciatingly dull years in a small town and now I need to be able to afford things. Like fun.
2) What made you decide to write? Was it something you accidentally began? Or what you wanted to do? Or annoying character who refused to leave until their story was told?
I write compulsively. I’ve always carried a notebook around. All of the notebooks for my dull classes in college have more notes for the story I was working on at the time in them than they do notes for the class. I started buying fancy hardcover notebooks for different stories, and I have five separate ones right now.
I always have a story in progress, to the point where it’s not even something that I think about anymore. I don’t think I’ve ever sat down with the intention of starting a story. I start a story while I’m grocery shopping or driving, and then later I sit down to get as much of it written down as I can before I forget what I plotted out earlier.
3) I love hearing about first acceptances as an aspiring writer and now that I am e-published, I still love hearing about them. So tell us about that first acceptance.
“The Promise of Silk” is my first erotic novella. Evernight was my first choice for a publisher because I wanted an Evernight cover. I spent days on the query letter and synopsis. I even had a friend of mine read it over lunch. She apparently hadn’t expected the synopsis to be as graphic as it was.
I submitted on a Sunday night, went over to a friend’s house to watch True Blood and after promising myself I was not going to compulsively check my email, I actually got accepted before dinner on Monday.
4) Tell us about your current release? Where can readers buy it from?
My current release is called “The Promise of Silk”. It’s a BDSM Steampunk novella about an airship pirate who meets up with a courtesan at an illegal carnival in the English country side. It’s higher heat level than I usually write, and it was a lot of fun to just go dirty and not worry about it. It was also fun to go through some of the BDSM tropes and recontextualize them into a steampunk setting.
5) What are you currently writing?
I’m currently working on an m/m historical western romance about a couple of ranch hands who fall in love. After something happens to the ranch, they become bandits, but they are terrible at it, and it becomes a romantic comedy.
6) What inspires you most when you write?
The one thing that really inspires me to put off dishes or laundry and just sit and write is a rain storm or a blizzard. But as far as developing stories, I usually just get an image or a scene in my mind. Sometimes it’s completely out of nowhere, sometimes I can see the echoes of the last few songs I heard or the last movie I saw in it. I usually take that idea and write that, and then find the story that I need in order to get to that scene.
7) What experiences have you had working with your publisher/s?
I’m a debut author with Evernight Publishing, so this is my only experience with publishing. They’ve been really great. I love my cover art, and every step of the process has been efficient and timely. The best part about Evernight is that they’ve developed a community of authors that is really supportive and wonderful.
8) What are you reading now?
Right now I’m re-reading Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods, which is this great fantasy satire on religion, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
9) What are your guilty pleasures?
Buying clothes. Fancy tea. Going to a movie on the weekend when the tickets are so much cheaper during the week. I’m currently unemployed so all forms of spending money are guilty pleasures.
10) What would be your advice, if any, for other aspiring authors?
Just write. Find anything you want to write about and just put words on paper. Fanfic is a great way to experiment with characterization and form and find an audience willing to critique you. It’s a great way to figure out how to string characters together into a plot. It’s also fun and gives you a writing community that can be hard to find, especially if you live in a small town.
This is for you to talk more about yourself, leave your blogging details, site details and generally promote yourself.
An airship pirate who ran away from his soul crushing London life, finds himself at an infamously decadent carnival out in the English countryside. A fellow pirate does his best to convince him to go and sample the lovely women of The Row, but Buck isn’t sure he ever wants a woman again.
That is until a mysterious woman in a red dress and mask sits down across from him, entrancing him instantly. He follows her back to her red silk tent, where she puts him through his paces, whetting his appetite for more erotic delights. Each time he returns, she brings him further beyond his boundaries, while learning that he can help her break her bonds.
A small white hand appeared to one side of the tent flap and pulled it aside. The masked woman stood, still and silent, with the red silk of the tent flap draped over her arm. She said nothing.
She did look like a demon now, with deep shadows carved into the ruches of her dress by the far off carnival lights, her mask rising over her head like devil’s horns. Buck hesitated under her stony gaze, and then, with a gulp, he stepped out of the light and into the black interior of the tent.
A spicy, sweet smell filled his lungs the instant he stepped inside. He wondered why he hadn’t been able to smell it from the outside but continued in, shuffling carefully in the darkness. The woman walked behind him, the fabric of her dress making a soft sound as it moved over the ground.
“Who are you?” he asked. She didn’t answer. There was a light scraping noise and a match flared in the darkness, illuminating her face and throwing the edges of her mask into sharp relief. She lit a candle, shedding light on nothing more than a stretch of red silk and the corner of a table, then stepped forward and lit another candle, bringing a muddled shape of something standing on the table into view. She walked farther into the room, lighting another candle every few steps. Buck stood by the tent opening, heart throbbing as though he were still running. Bit by bit, the room came into view.
A rug was spread out over most of the bare ground, grass peeking around the edges of it. A large wooden box sat on top of it, occupying the entire middle of the tent. A small wooden vanity, with a large round mirror attached, stood against the back wall, directly across from the box. A few trunks were neatly arranged in a corner. The table with the statue of the woman on it, incense burning in front of it like it was an Eastern idol, was near the tent entrance.
The Red Lady stood across from Buck, eyes drilling into him just as they had at the pub.
“Tell me your name.” Her voice was soft, deep, and steady. It was like a river speaking.
She tilted her head, the corners of her mouth tipping upward in contrast to the dripping points of her mask. “Tell me your real name.”
“Alaric,” Buck admitted. He hadn’t used it since that last day at the factory. Alaric was a clerk and a doormat. Buck had some status, even if it was only among criminals. He had gone out of his way to make sure none of his fellow pirates ever found out he wasn’t called Buck. Not that pirates bothered about a man’s real name.
The Red Lady’s expression returned to blank beneath the mask.
“What’s your name?” Alaric asked.
“I haven’t decided what you’ll call me yet.”
His heart beat picked up again, and a tremor started in his legs.
“Why did you follow me here, Alaric?”
He shrugged, not sure of the answer. “Well…this is The Row isn’t it?”
“And you’re a woman on the Row right?”
She didn’t reply. Alaric felt his face heating, a faint prickle starting in his cock despite it. This was worse than in China, when that beautiful girl pretended to react to his clumsy fumbling and then tried not to laugh when he paid her for an hour and only lasted a handful of minutes.
“Look, my ship’s just back from a long tour. I can pay you.”
“We’ll see,” the Lady said, a small smile quirking her lips up. “You’ve accompanied a prostitute before?”
“Of course.” He pointed at himself with a touch of bravado. “Pirate.”
The Red Lady let a silence land there, stretching out before him.
“It didn’t go well.”
Now she was reading his mind. He should go, simply turn around, leave, and never see a prostitute again. Maybe she really was a demon. Maybe the mask was hiding the demon parts of her face.
His mind was trying to move his limbs, turn his feet, push him out the door, but his body was entranced. The tremor in his legs climbed up to his groin, making him very aware of the way the dim candle light moved across her rounded body.
“Why didn’t it go well, Alaric?”
His mouth was starting to go dry. His hands were beginning to shake.
“She laughed at me,” he told her, dropping his eyes to the floor.
“Because I…I couldn’t,I didn’t…,” He stopped, gulped, wondered again what magic he had run across.
“Look at me when you speak, Alaric.”
He lifted his gaze up from the pattern of pomegranates running along the border of the red rug and met her shadowed eyes.
“I couldn’t…. I barely got inside her before….”
The Red Lady didn’t reply. Alaric suffered a terrible moment of fear she would throw him right back out of her tent and let him find a lower class prostitute who would welcome a quick trick like him between the carnival crowd.
“Fortunately, that won’t be a problem here,” the Red Lady told him, a smile spreading over her red lips. “Undo your trousers, Alaric.”