Hello Opal! Welcome to Coffee Time Romance & More’s "Inquiring Minds Want To Know" or a.k.a. Our Interview Hot Seat.
Hi, and thanks for inviting me! I’m pleased to be in your Hot Seat!
First off, let me tell you that I love Blush’s new cover (the book of interest today). It is fabulous. I understand it is a re-release through St. Martin’s, can you give us some history on that?
The huge popularity of the Shades of Grey trilogy has spawned a new trend in covers. So many Shades readers are looking for what to read next, and how better to draw the attention of those readers than to have a similar type of cover? My publisher wanted to alert that audience to my books, because they have opened to the idea of reading erotic romance and I’ve been writing that for years. My publisher chose Blush, my third book, to repackage because they felt it had the right romance feel for the readers of Shades.
What an apt title "Blush" is. Tell us how you learned to write those steamy hot sex scenes.
I just seem to do it naturally. I find the sex scenes the easiest part of writing.
I loved how wonderful the characters of Hannah, Grey and J.M. are. Who inspired their different and delightful personalities?
No one really inspired them. They were totally made up.
Considering how unique each of your characters are, what methods did you use to distinguish each one to keep them that way?
I create very simple charts to track specific character attributes and appearance, but mostly their personalities evolve naturally from the main issue each one needs to grow through during the course of the book.
The conflict is quite exciting. When did the idea of Blush emerge and how long did it take you to write it?
My editor suggested I write a book about the ancient sexual arts, like the Kama Sutra. Since the Kama Sutra seems to be mostly about positions, I wanted to do something more. My husband and I had taken a weekend workshop on Tantric sex, so I suggested writing a book about that and my editor loved the idea. After that, the idea of a heroine who couldn’t orgasm seemed like a natural way to go.
If you could make Blush three dimensional, which sense would you bring into play? Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell, or Taste?
Definitely touch. Tantra is a very sensual art, with both physical touching but also with the flow of Kundalini energy through the body. In Bliss, which follows J.M. on another adventure, I actually have the heroine explore the joys of having a purely energy orgasm.
Now a few questions about Opal Carew.
If you could be any animal what would you be?
I would be a panther. Sleek, silent, and graceful!
Has anyone ever told you that you couldn't write or that you just couldn't do it? If so, how did you handle that?
I’ve actually been very lucky in that way. My husband is extremely supportive and has always believed in me. My sons were just toddlers when I started, so they grew up seeing me writing and working towards my dream. They always believed in me. My mom and dad always told me I could be anything I put my mind to. (My dad wanted me to become an engineer. I think computer programmer/analyst was close enough. Lol) With a support group like that, I was able to believe in myself and brave the long, frustrating years of striving toward my goal to be a published author.
Do any of your fantasies every get put into a story?
Grin. Well, yeah.
What was the last movie you saw? Liked it, loved it, hated it?
I watched Melancholia on the recommendation of friends. It was very disturbing and emotional, but I did like it. It’s one of those movies you want to watch again knowing what you know after having watched the whole thing. I needed to watch a lot of Dr. Who (the current TV series I’m following) to shake myself out of the mood.
Do you have any hobbies?
I’ve had many hobbies. Knitting, quilting, beaded jewelry, stained glass. Anything working with colour and design. I like to put colours together and come up with my own designs. Since I became a writer, however, I’ve stopped doing those things because writing is my obsession.
I do love having another creative outlet, though, so recently I’ve become enamoured of nail polish. Sounds weird, I guess, but there are so many wonderful polishes out there, with different textures and colour possibilities. Doing my nails is like doing a little art project. It doesn’t take the multiple hours of my previous hobbies and I take it with me wherever I go!
If I don’t have much time, I put on fancy nail polish (actually, I usually layer at least two) that does the work for me. If I have more time, I might do a colour block design, or use a stamping plate, or use rhinestones or beads. Something new I haven’t tried yet are foils that you apply to the nail. I just received some from an on-line store and hope to find time to use them soon. (I’ve just started a blog for nails, so please check it out.)
What comes to mind when I say whipped cream?
Smooth, sweet, and decadent. (You probably thought I’d say something like an edible bikini! LOL)
If you could sit down with any of your characters for lunch, which would it be and why?
Really? Does it have to be lunch, not a nooner? LOL
Okay, well, I’d be way too tongue-tied to actually sit down with one of my sexy heroes. And too distracted!
I think I’d like to lunch with Aimee from Total Abandon, because she’s adventurous and a little wild and crazy and I think she’d be a lot of fun to hang out with.
Rumor has it that you have a couple of new projects on the horizon for next year. We would love to hear all about that.
Thank you for asking! In addition to Illicit, which will be released on February 26th, I’m currently doing final revisions on a serial novel which will come out in six parts. It’s called His To Command and the first two parts will be released on January 8th, then each subsequent week another part will follow.
Is there any other news you’d like your readers to know?
Yes, something a little different for me. I’m Canadian and was pleased to be asked to take part in an anthology of the best Canadian erotic romance stories. Actually, I’ve been asked to be the acquiring editor in addition to including one of my stories in the collection. This is a different role for me, so will be a change of pace. (I will be working on my next novel at the same time.) The anthology is slated for release around Valentine’s Day.
Finally, a question we insist on knowing the answer to, what is your favorite beverage and what does that say about your personality?
I love hot chocolate because it’s steamy and creamy and oh, so sweet.
Thank you so much Opal. We hope you’ve enjoyed your time at Coffee Time Romance & More, I know your readers are excited to hear from you and your journey. We welcome you back any time and I hope you’ll keep us in mind in your future endeavors.
It’s been a pleasure. I look forward to joining you again in the future.