Nights of Passion is excited to welcome erotic romance author Ari Thatcher. Your newest release at Ellora’s Cave, Death by Sex. Ari will also be giving away a free ebook of Death by Sex to one lucky commenter, so be sure to comment at the end. The contest ends at 10 PM Eastern Time on Sunday, Aug. 23rd.
Ari, before we get into the details of your book, please, tell us about yourself.
I’ve been writing since I was a kid, getting extra credit in school or just trying to copy the feeling of my favorite stories. As an adult, my first efforts, while working on my novel through the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Workshop, were dark fantasy short stories. Some really dark! My first sale was Saturday Night, about a woman who discovered she existed only in men’s fantasies. Is it any wonder I gravitated to erotic romance?
I am a mom to two grown daughters who are living their happily ever after. One actually helps me come up with scenarios for my stories. The other tolerates the fact that her mom writes those things. But my whole family is behind me in my work, so I’m really blessed! My mom’s uncle wrote travelogues in the early part of the 20th century, and I have a niece whose paranormal characters sound more interesting than mine, so it appears to be a genetic trait.
I’ve lived most of my life in southern California, except for a five year stint in Missouri. The Midwest is such an amazing, beautiful friendly place, if I could convince the family to move there with me I’d start packing this minute.
How did you know you were a writer? When did the writing bug strike?
When I was in the third or fourth grade I told the mom next door that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, because I loved making up stories. I just hated writing them down. That last part, the discipline, is still a problem. I could be happy just created the characters and the set up, then move on.
Over the years, though, I found that traveling along with my characters was actually rather interesting. I truly love it when a character says or does something that makes me sit back and say, “What? Where did that come from?” You know they are finally real in your story when they tell you what to write.
You know, one of the standard questions I’ve gotten when I seek treatment for depression is, “Do you hear voices? Do they tell you what to do?” Maybe I should strike that last paragraph! They’re my stories, my ideas, and I’m putting the words in my character’s mouth. Truly.
Did you always want to write romance?
The first stories in my head were more adventurous than romantic. Maybe romantic elements, but they weren’t like what I read in the Harlequin books. Then I read a time travel romance by Constance O’day-Flannery and realized that was what I wanted to write. A man comes from another time in search of you as his only true love.
When I mentioned that to my then-husband’s coworker, he asked if I’d seen “The Terminator”. I don’t like sci-fi so I hadn’t yet. He told me I needed to, and I did. There was what I found so romantic, a man coming through time in search of love.
What authors, books, or movies have inspired you?
As I mentioned, O’Day-Flannery was an early one, and Jude Deveraux. The biggest inspiration came from an online friend, Cindy K Green. I was working on stories for epublishers, but not working hard. Then she sold a story and I cheered. And she sold another, and another. Other online friends were also celebrating sales, and I realized I needed to be the one announcing sales. That was the kick in the pants to finish something and submit it.
This new book, Death by Sex, has a great title. How did you come up with it?
It’s the name of a drink. I originally wrote it to submit to a themed series for Ellora’s Cave, but ended up deciding to make it a stand-alone story. My daughter has a bartender’s guide and began reading all the naughty drink names. I knew I was writing a menage, so when she said “Death by Sex” I knew we had a winner.
Please, tell us about it?
Joely is a bridesmaid in her sister’s wedding, but her sister is marrying Joely’s ex-boyfriend. She’s in a time of transition with her job, too, so she thinks a few strong drinks might just be the trick to enjoying the event.
Tucker and Beck, the groomsmen, were friend of Joely and the ex back in college. Secretly they always had a crush on her. When Joely asks for a “killer” drink, the bartender whips up Death by Sex. When Joely ends up in bed with her two old friends, she begins to wonder if it’s really possible to die by too much sex. Is there even such a thing as too much sex?
Tucker stood. “I forgot to get us a drink. What would you like, Joely?”
From the corner of her eye she saw Shanna lean over and suck face with Derrick in as long and sloppy a kiss as one could do with one’s minister sitting nearby. “Something deadly,” she answered and offered him a sugary smile.
He winked and made his way through the tables toward the bar. “Looking to get drunk?” Beck asked, setting down his fork and pushing his plate aside.
“Isn’t that what weddings are for? Getting drunk and having ‘I’m not lonely’ sex with a total stranger?”
His eyes smiled and his tongue swiped across his lips before the grin reached his mouth. “What do they call it when it’s not with a stranger?”
Tucker spoke from behind her. “Death by Sex.” He set a highball glass down in front of Joely.
“What is this?” she asked, eyeing the fruity-looking concoction.
“Death by Sex. I told the bartender you wanted something deadly and this is what he made.” He sank into his seat and took a swig from his tall glass of what looked like dark ale.
She bit her tongue, wishing she could lean over and suck the foamy head off his upper lip. “I can’t think of a better way to go.” She held up her glass and offered a toast. “To old friends.”
“Watch who you’re calling old,” Beck grumbled, then took a drink. “Just because I graduated a year ahead of you two…”
She recognized the teasing glint in his eye and realized how much she missed the laughter they had shared as a group. Life had been perfect then, three outrageously handsome men at her side, keeping her safe and happy.
Her drink went down warm and smooth, very close to the way Tucker’s voice hit her ears.
“I take it you’re single these days?” he asked.
Joely nodded and shoved a fork full of salad in her mouth. I will not play the poor me card. Crunching the clump of iceberg lettuce stalled things for only a few moments. “How ‘bout you two? No brides in waiting?” Neither had come with a guest, she knew that much. And what was that look passing between them?
What scene was the most fun to write?
I really enjoyed the reception, where Joely and the guys are flirting, teasing and reminiscing. Joely had been the life of the party on more than one occasion in college, and they are quick to remind her of some of her antics.
The most difficult scenes were the sex scenes. It gets really complicated when you have extra body parts in a menage!
Tell us about your other work.
Honey visits a couple looking to bring some spice back in their relationship, but their lack of communication leads to some stolen sexual moments when the husband brings his boss home unannounced. It is part of a collection of stories written to help raise funds for the
family of Lara Punches, who died tragically, way too young.
You also write romance under the name of Aileen Fish. Please, tell us about this work.
Aileen writes mostly paranormal, although I haven’t sold any of those stories yet. Still waiting to hear about “The Morrigan: A Date with Death,” which I submitted to Nocturne Bites. I’m also working on the first book in the Devil’s Promenade series, which follows Morrigan.
Since Ari has done so well with the lighter side of contemporary erotic romance, I am polishing some paranormal chick lit for submission, too. Once I find what sells, I can focus on getting more of it written and submitted.
Do you have any other works being released soon?
No sales, but I will be submitting “Kyle’s Redemption” soon, which features Lily from “Celtic Rhythm”. I’m hoping it will be the first in a series of stories featuring couples given a second chance at love.
Ari, many of the viewers of Nights of Passion are writers. Do you have any advice or writing tips you could share?
Write what you love. Write daily. Find an honest critique partner or group who will tell you where your work reeks and where it’s strong. Polish the daylights out of your story and then submit. Submit to contests, agents, or publishers, just submit! You will never be published until you do. Then start your next story.
And keep in mind that rejections are proof you are a writer. They aren’t always a reflection of your ability to write. Try to think of each rejection letter as one step closer to publication.
Thank you so much for visiting us here at Nights of Passion. Ari, please, tell our viewers where they can buy your work, especially Death by Sex?
You can find them at Ellora’s Cave
The website of Ari Thatcher is: http://arithatcher.com (Readers, please, be aware that this is a site for 18 and above.)
Thanks for letting me talk about my work. Just remember, the difference between a writer and an author is the persistence to continue polishing and submitting, and constantly working on the next project.
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