All the way from sunny California, I’m delighted to welcome Suz De Mello to the grill today. Welcome, Suz!
First, thanks for the opportunity, Justine!
- What was the first book you fell in love with?
I don’t remember the name of the book, but I distinctly recall getting the same book from the library several times when I was about four. It was about a train, and had lots of pix showing what the train was carrying. I remember renewing it again and again.
- Have you ever written a story inspired by music or art?
Yes! A short story called Gypsy Witch was inspired by the doorway of the Masonic Temple in my town. It features two somber knights on each side of the door fashioned out of stone, and in the story, they are awakened from their enchanted slumber by magic.
- Why did you decide to start writing erotica?
About ten years ago, I had reached a crossroads in my career. I had been orphaned by Silhouette Romance, which was absorbed by Harlequin Romance. A didn’t know in what direction I wanted to go, and a couple of my friends, who had been writing erotic romance, encouraged me to go in that direction.
- Looking at your work for Ellora’s Cave, I see that you have a foot in most camps – Taboo, Moderne, Presents. Which one of these sub-genre camps feels most like home to you?
OF the three you list, it would have to be Taboo—I’m a fan of BSDM and most of my stories have a BDSM element. However, Legend—historicals—appeal to me the most.
- Do you think the erotic romance scene has changed during your career?
I think that stories are becoming kinkier, more hardcore, often including elements I personally find unappealing. I’m not into Daddy/daughter roleplay, breeding, milking, needle play and the like. My tastes run to what I’d call “BDSM lite,” but to each his (or her) own. Kink is personal and individual.
- You were once my editor at Totally Bound *nostalgic sigh*. Did you have any editing pet peeves?
Some authors (not you, darling Justine) are more interested in speed than in quality, and send in work that is sloppy and hasn’t been self-edited. That really annoys me. As a writer, I put my best foot forward always.
- Are your stories influenced by where you live?
Occasionally—as I mentioned, I set a story in Sacramento inspired by a bit of local architecture. I have set other stories in northern California also.
- Your latest story is called Rakes In Tartan. What’s the erotic pull of olden Scotland?
When I was a tween, I was really into the Highland thing and found myself returning to that when I wanted to write a series with vampires. I reasoned that vamps would be attracted to cool, cloudy northern climes. I wanted also to write historicals, and couldn’t see basing my series in olden Alaska or Russia. So I chose Scotland.
- What’s the sexiest holiday destination?
Somewhere one can be naked constantly, such as a deserted tropical island with a great beach and a waterfall or two. The most romantic location is, of course, Venice.
- What are you working on now?
When my muse pays attention to me, another Scottish vampire tale! Plus another treatise on writing to match Write This, Not That! More or less to fill in the blanks, cover the material I didn’t before.
Hooray, many thanks, Suz! I love the idea of these tartan vamps – perhaps I’ll have to check them out!Read More