As I love to do with all my clients, and even Indie Author friends whose books I absolutely adore, I’m bringing you an interview this week with E.C. Jarvis, author of The Blood and Destiny Series and The Consort’s Chronicles Series. Her first book, The Machine: Book one of The Blood and Destiny Series, was actually the first book I’d ever read in the Steampunk genre, and it totally turned me on to the entire realm. She also just released Desire and Duty: Book One of the Consort’s Chronicles last month, which consequently is the only piece of Erotic Fiction I’ve ever enjoyed reading. Had to bring you this interview from another insanely talented author. And I’m tellin’ ya right now – you won’t regret getting your own copy of either of these books.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing seriously for 18 months. Before that, writing was always there as a hobby since I was a kid. I remember writing a few stories in school and getting praised for them, but it was always a secret thing I would do just for myself, never as something to share with the rest of the world.
How do you balance writing with your everyday life, especially as as parent?
I have a set amount of time each day when I can write, mostly in the evenings after my daughter is in bed. It’s limiting, but I make it work. I don’t watch tv, so I guess that’s my sacrifice – I don’t miss it at all. When my husband sits at my side, watching endless fishing, logging and trucking programs (seriously Dave? Jeez), I sit tap-tippity-tapping away. Poor guy does get barked at if he tries to strike up a conversation when I’m in full flow, though.
Which of your current genres do you enjoy writing more – Steampunk or Erotic Fantasy?
Oh man…that’s like asking which of your kids you like best, isn’t it? Luckily, I only have one child, so that actual question will never get asked. They both have merits, and I guess I’d be giving a cop-out answer by saying that my mood changes and some days I prefer writing one. Then that changes the next day. If I really must choose, I will say that at the moment, the erotic fantasy is getting a lot more of my attention. But who knows? Tomorrow, that could all change.
Do you write in any other genres?
I have been known to write short stories in all manner of other genres. Sci-fi, Mystery, Noir, Grime. I also write a lot of poetry. I guess my real calling is “Fantasy” and all the sub-genres therein. I just get bored writing in the ‘real’ world and like to build a whole world from the ground up. I did have in mind to start a young adult novel at some point, but to be honest, my writing is too dark and dirty to go down that route, and I think I’d have to try too hard to silence the bad words that want to come out of my characters when they speak. Best be true to myself, right?
Desire and Duty: Book One of the Consort’s Chronicles is the first book of erotica, or Erotic Fantasy, I’ve read that I actually very much enjoyed. Did you start writing in this genre because you’d read others you thoroughly enjoyed, or because you wanted to attempt it yourself?
It started (as my Steampunk book did also) as a short shot. I just had these characters, scenes and concepts in my head that just wouldn’t go away until I wrote them down, and the more I wrote, the bigger it grew. I literally just started writing it to get rid of it so I could focus on the other series again. Damn thing had other ideas, though. I like being able to go to the extreme – where in other books the sexy bits get limited to a small scene or a ‘fade-to-black’, with erotica, you can go all out. I tend to avoid the graphic descriptions, though. No need to get anatomical. I’m learning as I go what works and what doesn’t. Too many erotic books force the sexual content to the point where it becomes comical or outright boring. I try to keep the sexy stuff in context with the plot and not just stick two characters together in a hot embrace for the sake of it.
What inspired you to write The Machine and your subsequent books in the Steampunk genre specifically?
It was born from a writing prompt on the Steampunk section of writing.com. I’d only just joined the group, looking for some inspiration. I had no idea what Steampunk was and had to send myself on a steep learning curve. I wrote about five thousand words as a short story and submitted it to the contest and won (let’s not mention the fact that I was the only entrant, okay?). But of the few people who read it, the one piece of feedback I kept getting was that it felt like it was part of something bigger. I agreed, and just kept writing. As I’m working my way through the fourth and final book in the series, I guess it really was part of something a lot bigger.
What are the top three things that compel you to write, where you just can’t help yourself and have to pump out some words?
I’m always living two steps away from or within my own imagination. At any point during any day, I’m thinking about things that I shouldn’t be thinking about. I’m imagining characters having conversations, I’m thinking up nefarious plot twists. Even when I watch movies or read other books, I’ll take the world and create my own characters and spin offs – like my own imaginary fan fiction. The words are almost always there, bubbling below the surface and when I sit down and write them out, it just feels natural.
As to top three, I guess there are certain times where the deepest inspirational moments always occur.
- The shower, guaranteed to give me the answers to tricky plot problems or some gems of dialogue. Something about the rushing water and steamy air sets my brain alight.
- The drive to or from work. Okay, I know I should be focused on the road, and I am, I promise, but like I said, there is a running commentary at the back of my mind at all times and it tends to get loud as I trundle along the same stretch of road every day.
- In bed. No…not the kinky sort. I like sleeping. I think I was a cat in a former life. If I could sleep for 16 hours a day, I probably would. I also love to dream and I frequently practice lucid dreaming, there’s gold in those moments.
What’s coming up next for you?
Book 2 of the Steampunk Blood and Destiny series will be published soon. I will finish the first draft of book 2 of the erotic romance series in the next month or so. Then I reeeeally need to finish writing the fourth and final book of the Steampunk bunch. Then publish book 3 and 4. Then write book 3 of the erotic romance (did I mention it would be a trilogy? Well it will). Is that enough? Oh yeah, I’m working on a couple of anthology submissions on the side, plus my blog, plus now I have been accepted as a frequent contributor to http://ourwriteside.com/ …
THEN after all that is done, I need to start a new series…
What genres would you never write?
As I mentioned before, I don’t think I could pull off a YA book. I’m too rude and my head is filled with inappropriate language and scenarios. I can’t edit those parts out long enough to write a whole novel.
It’s not really a genre, but I cannot write in first person. Finally, I just can’t put out trashy work. I need my own stories to be interesting, funny, intriguing, captivating, multi-layered, and entertaining for me to write. If they don’t tick those boxes, then I don’t bother writing them.
Excerpts: Click on the book cover to grab your copy!
Averys was the Emperor of Kienia. Most women across the nation, if not the world, would throw themselves at his feet for the chance to share his bed. Lenora would have counted herself among them, of course, twelve months ago, and had been overwhelmed with joy when he’d chosen her as his new wife. Things were a little different now. The shine and glamour had worn off and the grim reality of the marriage grew clearer every day. His nightly routine was now so ingrained in her mind that it threw her when he didn’t bend down to touch his toes—not that he could quite reach them—before getting into bed.
“Not touching your toes today, love?” she asked.
He paused, one knee perched on the end of the bed, hands splayed out at her feet. He grunted through his nose and stood up again to finish his stretches, giving her a not-so-pleasant display of his hairy rear-end in the mirror as he bent over. She snapped her eyes shut and bit her tongue to suppress a laugh. Laughing at a man—Emperor or not—prior to engaging in amorous activities was a sure-fire way to put him in a bad mood.
He lurched onto the bed, dragging the silk bedsheet away from her fingers, and crawled closer. His thick arms and legs held his looming body above. As he reached her face, his nose to hers, a hand snaked down the side of her chest and across her hip bone. He’d declared admiration for her “child-bearing hips” more than once. His hand trailed her inner thigh and then pulled her knee up, draping her leg across his shoulder. His other hand gave her breast a firm squeeze, eliciting a grunt of approval from deep within his chest. Such was the extent of his foreplay; he didn’t bother with a kiss these days. As she felt him bearing down to join with her, his eyes narrowed.
“Give me a son,” he said.
The ship was silent save for the constant humming from the rotors until the quiet was pierced by a short whoosh, followed by a dull thud. On another barrel opposite Imago, the protruding handle of a throwing knife wobbled side to side for a moment and then stopped.
“Relax your elbow,” Holt called, though he trained his attention on the rudder as he steered the ship away from a town that had appeared on the horizon. A great mushroom cloud of smog billowed into the air above it like an aura. Larissa stared at the barrel; the knife hit the center of the black dot Holt had painted on as a target. She wrinkled her nose and poked her tongue out at the back of his head as she retrieved the knife.
“Being juvenile won’t improve your aim,” he stated flatly.
“I hit the target dead on,” she muttered under her breath, and made a mental note that this man seemed to have eyes in the back of his head.
“You did hit it, though it is stationary and large. The real skill comes from hitting a small and fast-moving target, and you won’t achieve that if you don’t relax your elbow.”
“Fine. I bet I could still surprise you if I had a moving target to practise on.”
“You could use the cat.”
“What is it with people and my cat? He’s the perfect companion, he never judges, criticizes, or complains, and he’s much better company than you.”
“If you say so.”
Larissa lobbed the knife again and it smacked into the barrel side on, ricocheting across the ship deck and sticking into the bottom of Imago’s barrel. The cat gave Larissa one long stare, jumped down, and headed into the cabin.
“Well, at least he’s silent about his criticisms,” she conceded.