Halloween is almost here, so I thought I'd drag a skeleton out of the closet. Or maybe a werewolf. I first ran into Emily Veinglory at The Fish Tank about the time her second novella, "Eclipse of the Heart" came out. This homoerotic tale deals with a gay man who's quite comfortable out of the closet.
The werewolf part of him, however, isn't quite so open.
Laura: Can you tell us about "Eclipse of the Heart" and your e-book before that, "Broken Sword"?
Emily: I started to write back in 1998 when I first became aware of 'slash' fan-fiction which created stories about characters on TV and other media, with homoerotic content. My first major story was a 10,000 word melodrama about Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, which frankly contained some stuff that surprised even me. I think that all my stories so far contain a strong dark element whether it is outright paranormal horror of a personal darkness and despair that the characters are struggling with.
I then wrote two Arthurian novellas which were published by a small press called AngelWings. It struck me that I might be able to reach a larger audience, and even make some money. My only novel length work is the frankly self-indulgent "Broken Sword." It contains all the things I adore, men in love, vampires, magic, angst and a dangerous adventure—in this case a full scale war between two nations. Torquere Press gave me my first break and my editor taught me a lot about writing, which I have put to use in later works.
"Eclipse of the Heart" is the first story I wrote deliberately as an erotic romance for an e-publisher. It is my firm favorite and current best-seller. Loose Id suggested that I might like to write another story in the same setting and so readers who liked "Eclipse of the Heart" may want to keep an eye out for "Wildest Dreams" which will be released early in the New Year.
Laura: Your latest novella, "Dealing Straight" is a homoerotic western. To me, this seems like a refreshing mix of genres, which makes me wonder if you are one of many writers breaking the boundaries of erotic romance in this way or are you one of a few. Since you're writing in this sub-genre, can you comment on this and tell us about what's new on the M/M scene?
Emily: I would have to admit that I was inspired by the gay western series written by Cap Iversen, and a number of gay westerns are currently coming out—some of the best at Torquere Press. So I wasn't exactly leading the way in this sub-genre although I was in the first wave of e-books that took on this theme. I would probably have written this story regardless as I have an enormous love for the kind of western books that came out when I was a kid—Louis Lamour, Zane Grey and so on. I see these formulaic westerns as being very close cousin to genre romance. They offer the same certainty that despite all the perils that the hero will face, in the end right will triumph over might. However I do have some ideas that might bring a fresh twist to things, paranormal gay western—I figure I will just keep mixing the
genre's until the cauldron can't take it any more!
Laura: Congratulations on your short story, "Ebb Moon," which was one of six 'Shivers' entries accepted at Phaze - I about fell out of my chair when you told me it was actually M/F! Please tell us a little bit about "Ebb Moon" coming out just in time for Halloween.
Emily: Well, I don't know how many times I have heard the phrase 'write what you know'. And most of the romantic, and sexual, relationships that I have been in were with men. It finally struck me that I should at least try to write a heterosexual romance. When the Shivers contest was posted this seemed like a perfect opportunity.
I wrote this story with much less planning than usual. I basically started with a young woman who has been bitten by a dying 'bukri' which is a wolf-like animal that can send its soul into another creature's body. Young Kyne is then sent off to be fostered in a foreign court. So there she is, losing the struggle to control her
own body, floundering with the strange customs of the court — and to top it all off, falling in love. Fortunately before things got totally out of hand, my hero 'Jasper' came up with a daring plan to allow himself to become Kyne's lover rather than her dinner.
It is rather odd that I keep returning to werewolf themes as my bookshelves are full of about 500 vampire stories with only 5 non-fiction books on shape-changing. However, I find this idea seems to have so much depth to it and hasn't been mined quite so fully by other writers!
Laura: As I said earlier, I first 'met' you at Desdmona's Fish Tank forum for erotica writers. Now we share a publisher (Phaze) and we run into each other at www.RomanceDivas.com. How difficult is it for you to switch between erotica and more romantic fiction?
Emily: I think I really started out in romance that contained very little sexual content. It became clear to me that most readers really want to see the erotic side of a romantic relationship and it was only my residual prudishness and lack of expertise in writing sex scenes that was holding me back. I joined Desdmona's Fish Tank because I'd heard that the group there offered great critiques on any sort of erotic writing. So I set about the task of getting my sex scenes not only sizzling but working as part of an overall story. As a result, I wrote a few short erotic stories that went out to various magazines and e-zines—but only one of them doesn't contain a strong element of romance.
Laura: Describe your writing space. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Emily:I get up and go to work at 7 am, six days a week. I get home and walk the dog and get to the sofa by about 6pm most days and have until 10 or 11 to do everything else. Generally this leaves me an hour or so to write every day, and since my laptop has broken down that has sunk even lower. So my work space is sitting on the sofa with my feet on a chair and a laptop pretty much where the name suggests it should go. However, given my budget for buying a new computer is about $100, I may have to move things around to accommodate a budget desktop instead...
Laura: Ugh! That sucks. Let's say you've just won a contest that will enable you to live anywhere in the world for year and write (with the computer of your dreams LOL). Where will you go and what will you write?
Emily: That's an easy one. I would move to Wellington, New Zealand which is easily the best place on the planet as far as I am concerned. I would live in the bush covered hills just at the edge of the city, somewhere near a bus stop that could whip me into town or off to the beach. I would write my first attempt novel length attempt mainstream slash with romance, drama gay protagonists and sex scenes. I would also continue to write novellas for e-publishing and attempt to get an agent.
Laura: Sounds wonderful. You do a lot more than write. Tell us where readers can find you and what other neat stuff you do in your spare time.
Emily: I am something of an internet addict, although currently that is a habit that is proving difficult to satisfy. The easiest place to find me online is The Erotic Romance Writers Forum which I run along with Kay Derwydd and Fiona Glass. I also fill in as the moderator of the erotic forum at Absolute Write and as the non-fiction editor at the great original slash e-zine Forbidden Fruit.
My most recent idea was to start a yahoogroup allowing writers of MM (MM+ and FF) erotic romance to chat with each other and with readers at Homo Promo (a name which I feared might be a little over the top but nobody seems to have been offended .
And of course I try and keep my personal page, Veinglory.com, and associated blog up. Recently I started a Veinglory yahoogroup for anyone who wants to let me know what I should write next, as well as hear about new releases and win prizes (I'm currently giving away copies of my small press Arthurian novellas "Alas, the Red Dragon" and "Among New Men").
Laura: In closing, please tell readers about your latest WIP and any other parting words you care to share. Thank you so much for letting us get to know you!
Emily: Currently there are a lot of stories in editing that will be released soon. At Loose Id this includes a return to the world of "Eclipse" with "Wildest Dream" as well as the first in a new trilogy (following from the short story "Knowing Patrick") — "The Pilgrim Heart." I return to Torquere Press with my first science fiction story - "Star Crossed" is a shorter length 'single shot'. And of course there is my first boy-girl romance coming out as a Phaze Shiver, and a number of short stories upcoming from Chippewa Press.
At the moment I am finishing a short novella about a muse who falls in love with his mortal charge. I am not sure what I will write next, perhaps a story I have been toying with for a while in which a closeted university Professor who is also a male witch meets up with a gorgeous vampire—with chaotic consequences. This story has a working title of "The Wicca Man: Tongue Tied."
My main message to any readers out there would be – please drop me a line. After selling hundreds and hundred of copies I have received exactly two reader's responses! I am open at all times to feedback, suggestions and bribes for sequels either through my yahoogroup or by direct email to veinglory @ gmail.com
Laura: LOL! Bribes are always good! Thank you so much, and I wish you lots of success with your current and upcoming projects :)