Friday, March 30, 2012
K.D. Grace, the Pagan Spirits Interview
How did you get started writing in this genre?
I got started writing erotica when I submitted a short piece to the now defunct UK magazine, Scarlet, which ran a section called ‘Cliterature’ at the time. I had two pieces published with them, then went on to publish with Black Lace and have never looked back. I got into paranormal probably because of my love for mythology and for the wonderful cross-over novels of authors like Diana Gabaldon and Nora Roberts, in which the paranormal bleeds into an otherwise normal world completely oblivious to the dangerous otherness that threatens destruction while at the same time promises heightened lust. And of course, I had my love affair with Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton.
Basically I love the idea that dangerous, exciting otherness can bleed into our world unbeknownst to the average person. It’s like imaginary friends coming to life. It makes all the ‘what ifs’ more intense and adds a new dimension to the road to HEA without taking it completely out of the everyday world. I like the fact that the two intersect, and when they do, dangerous, amazing, exciting things happen.
What made you decide to write Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising?
It’s a serious bit of magic that Body Temperature and Rising got written at all really. The story evolved out of a personal experience of being caught in the mist in a storm while walking the fells in the Lake District. That experience inspired the opening scene of a novel that was my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project three years ago. I knew it would be an erotic novel, and I knew it would be paranormal, neither of which I’d tried my hand at before. After I finished it, it lay untouched for two more years. In the meantime, Xcite Books published my first two contemporary erotic romances, The Initiation of Ms Holly and The Pet Shop. One day, on a lark, I dusted off the original manuscript that was then called Love Spells and decided it had some serious potential. On a lark, I sent Xcite the reworked first three chapters and a synopsis of what would become BTR, and within less than an hour, they responded with a yes!
I was a little taken aback by Xcite’s enthusiasm, and for the first time ever, I found myself with writer’s block. Usually once I set myself a task to write it just happens. The writing flows, the story takes shape, and that’s that. Not this time! I was really beginning to worry that I might not be able to do it after all. Finally, after a long hard walk, I realized the reason it wasn’t coming together for me was that the story was too big for one novel. It needed to be a trilogy. I proposed the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy to Xcite, they said yes, and from there the book and the changes needed to make it publishable practically exploded onto the page, with the path to the rest of the trilogy clear ahead. I’m still amazed how it all came together as it has, and I have to say it has been an absolute blast to write.
If Hollywood made this book into a movie, who would you imagine playing Anderson, Marie, Tim and Tara?
People always ask that, and it’s one of the hardest questions for me because I never write my characters with anyone in mind. Since the second novel, Riding the Ether, is essentially Anderson’s story, I spent a long walk a couple of weeks ago thinking about who would play him in a film, while trying to get my head around Anderson’s darkness and his lust. Anderson is powerful, dangerous and yet the epitome of old world charm and sophistication. The closest I could come was Hugh Jackman, who seems to embody both in the rolls he’s played. Tim might be Sam Worthington. Marie could possibly be Olivia Wilde. Tara is hard. Tara is really hard, but at the moment I’m leaning toward Anne Hathaway. The last book, Elemental Fire, is ultimately Tara’s tale, so maybe I’ll change my mind by then. Hard to say.
Do you believe that sex magic is real?
I believe that sex is the only kind of magic, actually, and certainly the only kind of magic we all have access to. That’s why I write erotica. That being said, it was the perfect jumping-off place for my foray into paranormal erotica. Sex is the true creative force in the world, so it makes sense that the place where two people become one, the only place where we can actually get inside another person’s skin, the place where life begins with la petite mort would be the place where the magic is most powerful. That’s the premise for all three novels and the reason I chose to write about sex magic.
What project are you working on right now?
I’m working on the second and third novels of the trilogy right now. I’ve just finished the first draft of Riding the Ether, book two, and will go right into Elemental Fire. It’s easier for me to write the two books together because the events in the books lend themselves to it, and because I actually have the time to do it that way. I think the writing of the two, almost as one, will make for a much more powerful climax to the trilogy. It’ll also make the whole experience psychologically easier on me if I can just stay in the story.
Would you say your work has been influenced by any other erotica writers? Do you have a favorite erotica writer?
I actually started writing erotica on a lark before I’d ever read anything by anyone in the genre. It was only after I’d had a few works published that I started seriously reading other writers. I really don’t want to be influenced by anyone else too much because I want my voice to stay as unique as possible. However, I’m a great admirer of Charlotte Stein and Justine Elyot. There are lots I really enjoy, but these two wonderful writers consistently awe me with their work. I admire them deeply.
Do you have a favorite paranormal writer?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a real fan of the paranormal crossover, for lack of a better word. I like the bleed-through into the real world to be subtle and therefore more dangerous because it can lend itself to denial. I love Diana Gabaldon’s mix of historical novel and time travel. I like the way Nora Roberts mixes romance with paranormal. I suppose her mix of witches and magic probably influenced me most. And the Lakeland setting so easily lends itself to witches and ghosts that it was perfect.
Where do you stand on the vampire issue: should they sparkle, not sparkle, or no opinion?
I’m definitely in the sparkle-free camp.
Other than sex and love, what subject most fascinates you?
I’m an avid long-distance walker. I love nature and being outside. My husband and I did the Wainwright Coast-to-Coast walk across England last summer, and have another stonking good walk planned for this summer. I walk most of my stories, and if I ever get stuck in the plot, a good walk solves the problem and offers the best inspiration for new tales. I’m a firm believer that a good walk will solve almost anything.
And if the walking doesn’t, vegetable gardening will. We grow our own vegetables, and getting my hands in the earth, then eating what I’ve grown myself, well, that’s a different kind of magic. I also find veg gardening inspirational. I have a reputation for writing garden porn.
American transplant to the Lake District, MARIE WARREN, didn’t know she could unleash demons and enflesh ghosts until a voyeuristic encounter on the fells ends in sex with the charming ghost, ANDERSON, and night visits from a demon. To help her cope with her embarrassing and dangerous new abilities, Anderson brings her to the ELEMENTALS, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allows needy ghosts access to the pleasures of the flesh.
DEACON, the demon Marie has unleashed, holds an ancient grudge against TARA STONE, coven high priestess, and will stop at nothing to destroy all she holds dear. Marie and her landlord, the reluctant young farmer, TIM MERIWETHER, are at the top of his list. Marie and Tim must learn to wield coven magic and the numinous power of their lust to stop Deacon’s bloody rampage before the coven is torn apart and more innocent people die.
More info & buy links: http://kdgrace.co.uk/books/lakeland-heatwave-book-i/
K D Grace was born with a writing obsession. It got worse once she actually learned HOW to write. There's no treatment for it. It's progressive and chronic and quite often interferes with normal, everyday functioning. She might actually be concerned if it wasn't so damned much fun most of the time.
K D's erotic romance novels, The Initiation of Ms Holly, The Pet Shop and Lakeland Heatwave Book 1: Body Temperature and Rising are published by Xcite Books and are available from all good paperback and eBook retailers.
Her erotica has been published with Xcite Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and Scarlet Magazine.
Find out more about K D Grace on her website, http://kdgrace.co.uk. She's also on Facebook and Twitter.