1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
Let's see . . . I'm a sword carrying Buddhist author of transgressive homoerotic fiction. I own a few dozen japanese swords – katana and ninjato. I shy away from publicity, preferring to live quietly with my husband, son and very old cat. I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland – then moved to Detroit, the New York and now reside in Baltimore (yes, I'm doing the tour of most dangerous cities to reside in!)
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spare time! What's that? Seriously, aside from writing, of course, I also work as a graphic artist so much of my time is filled with creating covers, banners and trailers. Other than that I practice battojutso and tai chi daily, and work on renovating my old victorian hovel.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
I'm fairly disciplined – I get up early (around 4:30 most mornings) do my tai chi and sword kata, then sit down and spend a couple hours working on promotion and social networking. Then I write or revise (depending on my mood and deadlines) until about 3:00. I pick my son up from school, head home and work on any art projects/commissions I have on tap – then a bit more social networking, dinner and then family time. Sleep, wake, repeat – it's kind of boring really!
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Anywhere and everywhere – sometimes I see a picture or hear a snippet of conversation that get my mind turning, other times the ideas just pop into my head seemingly from nowhere.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
That's tough – books are like children, it's hard to choose a favorite. I would have to say the Shinobi saga (Geisha, Shadow Wolf and the upcoming Ripples). The characters and their story speak to me in a very personal way. I also love the idea of ninja, secret societies hidden in plain sight, devoted to duty at their own peril – I find it very sexy.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
I admit it – I went to law school way back in the dark ages. Thankfully I realized it wasn't for me before I got sucked into the world of power suits and billable hours!
7. Are any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
I'm a woman who writes homoerotic fiction – no real life experience at being a man, I'm afraid.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
Yoshi (the main character from Shinobi) is my muse – no matter what story I'm working on he whispers dirty little secrets in my ear to urge me along ;)
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
None – I love my genre and have no interest in branching out. Instead my goal is to stretch the boundaries of homoerotic fiction.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
Favorite authors . . . that is SO tough, I love to read. My favorite erotic author is definitely Remittance Girl – believable plots, hot sex and she walks the line of transgression with grace and truth.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
I don't write women as a general rule. I am working on a book that includes a main female MC, she has a pivotal role but no sex ;) Her name is Mai, and she's the emperor of Japan's sister – her greatest desire is to be a warrior, he duty is an arranged marriage to strengthen political ties.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Promotion is definitely the hardest part for me. Writing is a solitary craft, and I'm an introvert by nature. It goes against my natural tendencies to push my work and talk about myself.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Read, read, read. When you've read a few thousand books you might be ready to start putting words on the page. When you do write, let others read it, and accept all their comments gracefully. Revise, revise, revise, and then let an editor look at it – then, of course, revise some more!
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Well, before I started writing I spent 25 years working as a video editor and motion graphic artist – I imagine I would still be doing that.
15. What do you like on a man…..briefs, boxer briefs or boxer shorts or nothing at all?
Boxer briefs or, even better, nothing at all ;)
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 release is actually a complete re-working of my no longer in print first novel Strength of Will. My former publisher asked for extensive changes, including changing location, and it never really jelled for me. Now it's rewritten and set back in Japan where it belongs (and, I admit, where I feel comfortable).
An enslaved scribe whose worst nightmare is becoming a pleasure slave, a warlord who can command men, but not his own desires. When they come together both of their expectations are overturned. Will their budding relationship threaten everything they have managed to accomplish?
Oshiro Ryuu has not had an easy life. Orphaned at a young age and sold into slavery by uncaring relatives, happiness was never an outcome he expected. Still, his life as a scribe and teacher was bearable.
Fujiwara Aoshi's life was different from Ryuu's in every conceivable way. Son of a soldier, he fought and killed while other boys were still learning to read and write. Now his goal is nearly in reach, uniting the warring kingdoms of Japan under one benevolent rule.
When the warlord purchases a scribe to help with his paperwork he never anticipates it will change his world forever. Thrown together by fate, attraction turns to love, uncovering a web of deception, intrigue and passion that threaten to tear Aoshi's rule apart.
Fujiwara Aoshi idly observed the group of slaves for sale as scribes. They were mostly older men with serious expressions who were passing the time debating each other in hopes of attracting buyers. All in all an unimpressive lot, he decided. Still, anything is more interesting than that. That being the group of pleasure slaves his men were currently examining.
The warlord was not a man who indulged in pleasure. He was a soldier, a formidable opponent who never wavered once he had set himself a goal. A man who, at the tender age of thirty, had built his reputation on the strength of his sword and his men’s devotion.
His generals worried about his isolation. Believing they understood, he'd been pushed to purchase a pleasure slave. What was I thinking when I agreed to this? he chastised himself, imagining the groans of complaint after a day in the field. He studied the over-ripe odalisques and soft-skinned boys on display with disdain before turning again to the group of scholars.
This time, however, the crowd had shifted and his gaze locked with a slender young man sitting slightly apart. Now he looks like a man who could handle the rigors of my lifestyle. Aoshi's gaze roved over the bronze body before locking with sparkling chocolate eyes. A scribe would be a useful thing to have. Besides, if he’s educated he’ll be more interesting to talk to.
Decision made, the warlord merely pointed at the man he had been observing. “That one,” he told his aide, turning to head back to camp.
“But, my lord,” one of the generals protested. “He is a scribe, not a pleasure slave.”
“A slave is a slave,” the warlord replied. “He does his master’s bidding, like it or not. I have made my choice. If you will excuse me, I have business to attend to. Leave the slave in my tent and I will deal with him when I have finished.” With that he turned and strode away, his mind already drifting to more pressing matters.
Check out Sessha page http://sesshabattousai.com
Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Strength-of-Will-ebook/dp/B00BJQBWR4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1361631818&sr=8-4&keywords=Sessha+Batto
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strength-of-Will-ebook/dp/B00BJQBWR4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361632335&sr=8-1
As for what's up next – I have two more in the pipeline due out before summer. The first is Ripples, the last book in the Shinobi Saga. Does marriage equal happily ever after? Retired and married to the love of his life, Yoshi looks forward to a life of peace and pleasure. Old habits don't die so easily, though, and the past is harder to outrun than he thought. Set after the end of Shadow Wolf, Yoshi and Makoto find that desire and its consequences take many forms.
The other is an anthology of my short fiction title Sex Ray Specs – the stories range from sweet, to sad, to violently transgressive – hopefully there's a little bit of homoerotic yumminess to fit everyone's tastes.