1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
First of all, I'm a Southern girl. Most people don't know this, but my parents are from two different cultures, so I got fantastic exposure to different cuisines and traditions. I've also done some traveling in and out of the United States. As far as writing goes, I'm a first-time author who has just self-published two pieces of work for a themed project. I've been writing off and on all my life, but finally decided to dip my toe into the novel-writing waters just to see if I could do it. I like to educate myself on different subjects, and I've enjoyed dabbling in several hobbies such as music, fine art, and dancing. Most people, if they really knew me, would be surprised at all the things I've tried in my life.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Boy, my time is so precious, because I don't have a lot of it anymore. I love reading non-fiction, like subjects concerning spirituality and developing your higher self. The more I read, the more I realize how far I have to go! For example, I'm easily given over to harsh speech (lot's of swearing when I'm mad; I know I need lots of work in that department!) I also like to spend some time on my blogs so I can not only try to sell my work, but express myself in a more non-formal manner. Working out used to be a big part of my life, but other things have taken over. I need to get back to the gym because the workout kept not only my body in better shape, but my mind as well. The gym was a place where I could listen to music and just relax while I pedaled away on a cycle.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
I'm one who spends quiet time working on a story, whether it's the time in bed before I drift off to sleep, or when I'm driving in my car. I'll try to plot out each section, piece by piece, and determine what needs to happen next. It's a little informal, but so far it works for me. I usually do most of my writing on the weekends or in the evenings when I'm home. My day job allows no time for anything, much less for writing.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
I get my ideas from anywhere and everywhere. I can see something on the ground, or see a certain type of person, or look at a particular situation I'm in to get ideas for stories. Sometimes when my spouse and I are driving around on a pretty day, parts of the scenery can inspire story elements. I'm experiencing something right now that might make for a good story. An old childhood classmate has suddenly been coming to mind, and for the life of me, I can't understand why. We weren't good friends, but we were pleasant with each other. A friend of mine suggested we were in the same soul group, and maybe he was trying to get a message to me, or I needed to help him. Odd in and of itself, but wow, that would make for a neat storyline!
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
I'm liking my current WIP, Master Of The House, and wondering if it won't be my favorite. I'm not sure why, but maybe because it focuses on two characters who are truly in love with each other. I like all the pieces I've written because each one, to me, is like a tiny gem in a collection of a whole. Kind of like the box of chocolates. You have the whole box, but in each little slot you have the unique chocolate and its own particular filling.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
Interesting question. I can't think of anything necessarily humorous, but it should be noted that though I write erotica, I'm pretty straight-laced. However, I'm a cupcake fanatic, and if you ever want to appease me in any way, bring a nice fat cupcake as an offering!
7. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
I'll tell you the honest truth, though I hate to admit it: I wouldn't work at The House (the setting for Pleasure House and the novella series, House Tales From The Archives) for anything in the world. You couldn't pay me enough to be a staff member there! I do not in any way practice what my characters do. So yes, everything comes from my imagination. Whew, that feels good!
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
You know, I've heard of people having names for their muse. One person I know has one of the characters in his book serving as his muse. But really now, that's not me. So no, I don't have a name for my muse. I let my muse work as intuition through my gut or my head, using the sudden flashes of inspiration that finally turn into what I hope are good scenes for my work. I do find that when I'm on a roll, the ideas and words just come. If I take several days off and get distracted doing other things, I have to work hard to get back into the groove again. I go lie down somewhere and start thinking about things . . . and fast!
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
I think gothic, historical fiction, and chic lit would be fun. I just wish I had the talent for humor to write good chic lit. I know in my bio I've also added romance, paranormal, and horror. Once I finish The House project, I'm curious to see what I'll do next. I'm just not sure right now, but I do know there will be a "next." Maybe as a paranormal novel, I should consider the old classmate I mentioned earlier. Hm-m-m.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
I love Louisa Burton's "Hidden Grotto" series. My other favorite authors are actually in the non-fiction setting: Caroline Myss is a huge favorite, and I was delighted to have found some of her newest works a couple of year ago. I bought the books and wrapped them up as Christmas presents to myself. Surprisingly enough, I don't have a favorite author, though I'm discovering new people who are incredible writers. Even when they're answering back on a Facebook page, their way of putting words together is simply amazing.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
My favorite male character is Daren, and I must admit, I have dreams about him sometimes. When I was writing Pleasure House, I wanted to create one of the male characters who didn't fit tall, dark, and handsome. I've noticed many a time that red-heads are striking and attractive, though they seem to be touted as undesirable; and I never could figure out why. So I created Daren, a compassionate attendant, though a little on the strange side at times. My favorite character is slowly becoming Louise in Master of The House. And the reason I'm picking her is because she was only a "mention" in Pleasure House. I've enjoyed seeing her come to life. She's a bold, talky kind of person, but Willie seems to be able to make her tear up in a second--and basically over nothing, really. He's the only one who can silence her a little. I've had fun seeing these two emerge into their own, and I'm having fun writing their story.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
I think a difficult time about being a writer, especially for me right now, is trying to gauge how people might view my work. In the Erotica genre, people seem to have differing ideas on what they expect to read. And a whole debate can be had about how it should be written and what elements should be included. The list goes on. I personally enjoy true erotica, where I don't have to think too much. I just want a fun story where I can sit back, let my hair down, and just enjoy myself. Most erotica is woven in some form of a story, with some works having more story, some less. As for writing in general, I think presenting the story and setting it up can be a challenge, as well as trying to decide how you want the events to flow. It's like being a reader. It takes a little bit to settle into a story. The other thing I think is hard is trying to promote your work to get more sales. With so many people offering their books for free, it's hard to make sales. Authors think they're getting people interested in buying their other work, but as far as I'm concerned, I think readers are waiting for you to put your other work out there for free. Maybe I'm being jaded, but I wonder sometimes. I've never put my work out for free, and I just wish other authors would consider getting money for all their work. They put so much time and effort into what they've created, and readers need to see the value of that.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Take a writing course or read some books on the craft of writing. It will help you tremendously in getting your story out there. But you'll always be polishing your work with each piece you write. At some point, you'll feel compelled to just jump in and start putting words on paper. I've enjoyed the journey of writing, and I love the feeling of working on a project. I think I'd start to feel empty now without it.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Strange as it may sound, I really don't consider myself a writer. I'm not sure at what point I'll ever call myself one (scratches head a moment). If I had my way about it, I'd ditch the day job, work my own business, and write. I'd be completely happy, I think. I'd also be attending more writers groups and finding out what everyone else is doing. Most likely I'd be meeting new people and forming new networks and friendships.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
I'm one who heads for the mountains. Fancy cruises and long travels abroad somehow don't interest me. I say, show me the Travel Channel, and I enjoy that just as much. I like staying in a nice cabin or fun condo suite where I can kick back with my spouse and enjoy the local color and activities. To me, romantic really doesn't entail just sex. It can be just being close to the one you love, having fun conversations, and going for scenic drives and checking out artisan shops.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
My latest story I have out now is Dance of Desire, which is the first in a series of stories surrounding select characters in my novel, Pleasure House. This whole project is based on the theme of the local insane asylum and activities that occur there. The House, as it's known in the book, has two sides, one naughty, and the other for the truly insane. For my series, House Tales From The Archives, this first story focuses on Daren, the sexy red-head attendant who works on the naughty side of The House. When he sees a young lady dancing, he's smitten by her, and vows to lure her over to his world, where he can teach her how to enjoy pleasures of the flesh, as well as help her find her heart's desire. In the excerpt below, Daren has given his admit (patient) an assignment, a one-shot opportunity to win (or lose) her freedom. She's about to engage in some activities that could help or cost her:
“You dance? Really? How come you never told me that?”
“You like to dance?” She turned up a raised eyebrow in his direction.
“Well, no, I don’t dance, but I sure like to watch others do it.” His fingers squeezed her flesh harder now, kneading with more determination. She stifled the urge to cry out. He whispered in her ear once again, “Why don’t you dance for me? Won’t you . . . please? I want to see you.”
Her eyes widened, the blood rushed to her face, and from deep inside, her arousal started to rise. Should she do as he requested, or give an excuse and decline? Now was the moment. ‘It’s a make or break deal.’ Serena made her decision. She reached over and pulled open the bag, dragging out the scarf. “Fine, I’ll dance for you.” Moving several feet away from him, she prepared herself to perform in the light of day, what she usually reserved for the darkness of night and a full moon. She lifted her face to the sky, closed her eyes, and after a few seconds, began the dance. Her feet and arms moved according to the pattern and rhythm she’d created long ago, and the scarf sailed merrily along, flowing in the direction guided by her hands.
For just a moment, she lost herself in the cadence of the dance . . . her dance, the one created from the depths of her heart and soul, the one that expressed all the desires and frustrations she held inside. Her feet tapped against the ground as she moved; her arms sailed the scarf easily over her head, and lightly around her.
Caught up in the whirl and heat of her own excitement, time seemed to stand still, with no worries about the past or the future. She commended her spirit to the universe and nature, even for just a short time, wishing never to return. But like all things, time and the universe stay still for no one, and she would soon be compelled to return to her communion with the inhabitants of her present world.
When she finished several moments later, she returned to Martin’s side. “I’m not quite done yet.”
“Fine, then show me all of it . . . everything.” His eyes glowed with passion, and a soft smile lit his face.
My current work in progress, Master Of The House, will be released in several weeks. This story is the second in the House Tales From The Archives series. In this work, more will take place in the main character's house than at The House. After returning home from a stay at The House, Willie is going to find himself in a unique, powerful position to win the girl of his heart. This piece should be coming out in a few weeks.
If you would like to purchase Pleasure House or Dance Of Desire, the links are below:
Dance of Desire: http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Desire-House-Archives-ebook/dp/B00B8L5424/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363968097&sr=1-2&keywords=scarlet+darkwood
Pleasure House: http://www.amazon.com/Pleasure-House-Tales-ebook/dp/B009BDS9VO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363968097&sr=1-1&keywords=scarlet+darkwood
Dance of Desire: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dance-of-desire-scarlet-darkwood/1114274991?ean=2940015963175
Pleasure House: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pleasure-house-scarlet-darkwood/1112956210?ean=2940015695380
My blog site is: www.scarletdarkwood.com