Today on my blog I have the lovely Felicity Kates. She is the author of Steam Bunny an erotic romance novella brimming with originality and naughtiness.
1. I loved the originality of your debut erotic romance novella ‘Steam Bunny’. What inspired you to write this story?
It was almost a dare, actually. My good writing friend, Zara Cox, saw I was struggling with what I was working on at the time and said, “Take a break and try something new. 1000 words a day and you’ll have a novella written in a month. I know you can do it if you try.” So that’s what I did. I put together a brief outline of all the things I like best—art, romance, Steam-punk and fan expos—mixed in some seriously smexy characters and out popped Steam Bunny.
I’d never written erotic romance before. I’d never written first person before. So this is a definite debut book for me in many respects. And I’m really pleased with how well it’s been received. It’s very exciting.
2. Can you describe your writing process if you have one?
It always starts with a word. Something I hear that makes me think of a title or a phrase. The imagining happens next and scenes play out in my mind. I write them down. A plot takes form as characters begin to come to life. I don’t know them yet, but I discover them as I begin to write their journey. They often reveal to me the most unexpected things by about chapter 3. So I have to go back and change things again, always keeping in my mind where the story is headed in the end. The first rough draft—it’s not pretty. I let it come out as fast as my fingers can fly. Then I spend weeks and weeks revising that into something people can read and (hopefully) enjoy.
3. What’s next after ‘Steam Bunny’?
Steam Bunny is the first in a new series of erotic romance novellas called Little Miss Kick-Ass. The next book, Fit To Be Tied is due out in December of this year.
4. How important is writing in your life?
Writing is my obsession. If I don’t write, I get cranky. If I had to choose between writing and sleeping (which I often do), I’d choose writing 🙂
5. It’s increasingly important for authors to have a social media presence. Is this something you enjoy? Do you have a favourite social media platform and why?
I love talking with readers and other writers. It’s the self-promotion part I have a hard time with. I’m a reclusive wall flower by nature and running around to different online groups and saying, “Hey look at me!”…that’s something I need to work on. But it gets easier the more I learn and try. 🙂
I’m most visible on Facebook. But am also on Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest. I also have my blog, Kates Korner, where I talk about things more in-depth.
6.What types of books do you like to read?
I really enjoy all types of books. But anything with a bit of romance and adventure, whether it’s contemporary or historical, fantasy or sci-fi, those I enjoy the most.
7. I enjoy reading all types of romance, women’s fiction, thrillers and mysteries and plan to experiment with all these genres in my writing. Do want to specialise in erotic romance or would you like to write something different? If so what.
My main writing has been in romantic sci-fi/steam-punk under the pen name of Kate Reedwood. I’m hoping to have an exciting announcement about that soon. Erotic romance is a new adventure for me, but one I thoroughly enjoy and will continue to pursue as well.
8. What made you decide to self-publish?
I needed a way to publish my work in a way that could fit with me and my lifestyle. Most people don’t know it, but I have Multiple Sclerosis. It’s not very advanced yet and I refuse to let it stop me from living a full life, but it does slow me down. Self-publishing seemed a good option for its flexibility.
9. What do you see as the advantages of self- publishing?
You set your own deadlines. You have creative say over your covers and content. It’s nice if you are an established author looking for more control over your work. There isn’t any middleman taking a cut of your profits if that’s what you’re in the business for.
10. Are there any disadvantages?
It’s hard if you are a new author. Without a publisher giving your work credibility and an established fan base, it can be very challenging to attract readers. You aren’t going to be a number one bestseller on your first try. Not unless a lightning bolt of publicity strikes you at the right time.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve written the best book in the Universe, self-publishing as a brand new author is a bit like being at a fair and standing on a ratty soap box, waving your arms around saying, “Who wants to try a new book?” and having ninety percent of the crowd pass you by as they go to the next stall over where the author is impeccably dressed with a flashy banner ad and a handful of professional people creating a buzz in the crowd.
There’s a lot to learn about promotion and business and you really need to work hard every day to expand your reach and broaden your market.
But creating a fan base takes a lot of time and effort, whether you’re traditionally published or indie, so my advice to new writers out there is to make your books the very best they can be and never, ever give up. Listen to feedback, but understand you can’t please everyone, so don’t even try. Keep the vision in your mind of where you want to go and what you want to do. Then go out there and do it.
Thank you so much for having me on you blog today, Jane. It’s been both a pleasure and an honour.