One of the things I liked about Sweetly Bad was that Drew was a flawed main character. As a paranormal romance fan, I notice that the hero is usually as close to perfect as you can get – like he’s a conglomeration of attributes from a woman’s wish list. Did you set out to create a male character with flaws for this specific story, or is that something you have with other characters you create? What’s the appeal of writing a character like that?
I’d crafted Drew with several serious flaws for the first story, Wickedly Good. My goal in Sweetly Bad was to stay true to that character as much as possible while making a credible turn-around. He wasn’t a good kisser in the original story so I couldn’t have him miraculously suave in this one. A few other flaws were added to emphasize that women had been with him for his money, looks, and clout. I’d also heard several comments from editors and readers that heroes in romances/erotic romances were often perfect and extremely well endowed so I decided to play with that aspect this time around.
My earlier stories have character flaws here and there but nothing quite as dramatic as Drew. The appeal of writing a flawed character is the challenge of keeping it going throughout the story and making them someone the H/h might believably become involved with.
The seeds for a spin-off were planted while writing Wickedly Good but it was actually for their mother Amanda. My editor gave me the idea to write Drew's story after we’d finished. She said, and I quote, "redemption/jerk-falling-in-
Given the character, I knew this was going to be difficult for me to pull off. But that was the fun of it.
Last year Ellora's Cave had a call for submissions called "Curve Appeal". These stories had to feature curvy heroines. Being plus-sized myself, I can easily identify. I thought it would be strangely fitting to have Drew fall for a curvy girl. The pieces fell into place after that J
I really like how self-sufficient Erica was in this story. Is that something you try to do with female characters in your other books?
For me the ultimate heroine is one who knows she doesn’t need a man to complete her (but that it’s nice to have one all the same). So if my heroines aren’t self-sufficient they’re generally on the road to becoming that way.
I came in very close to the submission call's word count limit on this story so that's definitely a possibility!
Urban fantasy goes the fastest for me so in that aspect I'd call it my favorite to write.
In terms of reading, I have a soft spot for historical romance…the ones in the Regency/Victoria era. I’m a sucker for all those fancy balls, Dukes, and trying so hard to remain pure ;)
At the minute I'm working on Amanda (Drew’s mother) and Sean’s story. I’m hoping to get that one written for Ellora’s Cave “VaVa Boomers” call (featuring mature heroines and heroes). This is another challenge for me because Amanda is a seriously flawed character. She has quite a bit of growth to do in 70,000 words!
My favorite book that I’ve written changes with each new story I write. At this point I’d say Sweetly Bad because of how challenging it was.
My favorite book I haven’t written is probably Phantom by Susan Kay. It covers the Phantom of the Opera’s early and later years. We discover his loveless upbringing and disastrous relationships along the way to Paris. I rarely reread a story but I’ve read this one a few times and adore it each time.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
The advantage to having an established publisher publish an author’s work is having them take on some of the responsibility and work—such as cover art creation, the editorial process, and crafting compelling blurbs.
The advantage to self-publishing is being in complete control of every aspect.
They can wander over to my author website at http://www.anyabreton.com. I have a few freebies available!
My erotic romance is far more explicit than my regular romance. There are occasionally scenes or situations that exist for scintillation alone (such as a character pleasuring themselves). That isn’t usually acceptable in regular romances.
Writing erotic romances also gives authors the freedom to tackle subjects generally not found in regular romances. For example my first Ellora’s Cave novella Alpha Exposed contains an element of exhibitionism.
I think erotica is a little different from erotic romance. Erotica pushes the envelope even further. The goal is to arouse the reader and not necessarily worry about a long-term relationship between the characters.
And for those of you interested - here's the direct link for the review of Sweetly Bad by Anya Breton on this blog: