R&R: You have a total of six books with Phaze. I Heart You, Melting the Ice Queen, An Erotic Bouquet, and Touch Me, Baby are all available for purchase now, Bitter Harvest releases October 8th, and Potent Spirits is coming out this December. All of these titles are erotic romance; what drew you to write erotic romance as opposed to say, sensual romance?
Aurora: Before anything else, I need to point out that An Erotic Bouquet and Touch Me, Baby are free downloads for the public, not books for sale. They are my gifts to readers and part of the Phaze Flare line, which is free erotic fiction written by the best authors that Phaze has to offer.
As for erotic romance and how I came to write it, I just followed my instinct. Love and sex have always fascinated me, and I write from my soul whenever I feel the need to tell a story that expresses my deepest emotions and yearnings. I try to make my stories both erotic and sensual while writing them, but I guess erotic always wins out because that's what I relate to. I enjoy reading stories with plenty of detail, both in and out of the bedroom, and that comes out naturally when I write. Earthy (I refuse to call it "dirty") language is more real to me than the flowery kind, and "fade-to-black" love scenes disappoint me most of the time. So when I decided to write professionally, I promised myself that I wouldn't take those steps unless they were required for the story.
R&R: In your bio, it says you spent six years in Greece. Has this influenced your writing in any way, and if so, how?
Aurora: My time overseas was a HUGE influence on my writing, without a doubt. Living in a foreign country showed me that there is literally an entire world outside of the US, and I'm very thankful for that experience because I know that many spend their whole lives without ever leaving the country. I went to Greece fresh out of college and rather naive, and over time I was exposed to beautiful sights, cultural marvels and sensual delights that I wouldn't have found anywhere else. Europeans are a lot more comfortable with the human body and sexuality in general, and from them I quickly adopted the way of thinking that has allowed me to write the way I do today. Those six lovely and challenging years in paradise made the pleasantly plump Midwestern girl wake up, mature and become a sensual woman & erotica author, and I have no regrets.
R&R In Bitter Harvest, Claire brings Jack back from the dead. Where did you get this idea, for a twist like that, as it is not seen too often in Paranormal literature?
Aurora: For me, the twist was the driving force that made me write the entire novella in five days, which was an insane writing rate for me at the time (I wrote Bitter Harvest in July 2006). The idea first came to me while I was listening to the song "Even In Death," by Evanescence:
Give me a reason to believe that you're gone
I see your shadow so I know they're all wrong
Moonlight on the soft brown earth
It leads me to where you lay
They took you away from me
But now I'm taking you home...
The moment I heard the beginning lyrics, my heart almost burst from excitement and I knew I had to write something spectacular that would do justice to the feelings of love and melancholy I felt in that moment. Soon afterward, the initial spark of creativity became a wild bonfire when fate stepped in and my boyfriend at the time and I were separated because he was drafted into the military. I began work on Bitter Harvest the day he left. I poured my anguish into each word, each syllable. I became Claire, a woman who desperately clung to her love at all costs, and my Halloween novella was born.
R&R: What was one of the best, and one of the worst parts for you while writing Bitter Harvest?
Aurora: The best part was the entire creative process. It was a wonderful feeling of being "in the zone" while writing, and that's when I'm at my absolute happiest as a writer and as a person. The worst part of it was the editing process, but not for the reason some may think: someone else looking over my work and pointing out my mistakes. To prepare Bitter Harvest for release through Phaze, I returned to the novella a year after I originally wrote it and added several scenes. Neither was the time gap the reason it was so tough for me, although it was no picnic. I dreaded the editing and revisions because I had just ended a seven-year relationship with the man I wrote the novella for, my inspiration for Jack and the passionate, all-consuming love that my characters shared. And I thought that working on Bitter Harvest was rough the first time around... *laughs* Anyway, the split was amicable but the timing really sucked where the editing was concerned.
R&R: I saw that you are also a Jazz singer by night. Besides writing and Jazz, what else do you like to do in your spare time?
Aurora: Uh-oh, I really need to update my bio now! *grins* I retired from the nightclub circuit in June, shortly after I decided to return to the States.
Whenever I have time to catch my breath (which isn't often these days), I love to immerse myself in a book or a very good movie. Strangely enough, I don't read a lot of romances anymore, not since I started writing them. Instead, I read books on Psychology (a passion of mine) and the Classics. When it comes to movies, I gravitate toward dramas and foreign films, and the occasional action flick. I adore nature walks, and when I'm not writing or doing the day job thing, I'm outside.
R&R: Now, if you could ask Mandy and I a question, what would it be?
Aurora: Dee & Mandy, what are the qualities that you feel make the perfect romantic hero?
Dee: First, the hero has to have a connection, mental, emotional, and physical with the heroine, and vice versa. He has to be strong, and be willing to “get the job done,” so to speak, no matter if it’s business or pleasure. He also has to be physically appealing and physically strong. My perfect romantic hero needs to be strong on the outside, but soft and tender on the inside. I think for many (as well as myself), he needs to be that “dream guy,” but also someone who is realistic to the reader. I need to see just how perfectly romantic a man can be, while still knowing that perfect romanticism really does exist! He has to be just that, perfect! :-)
Mandy: First, the most important thing is that the hero must be completely enamored by the heroine. As soon as he meets her, he should be irrevocably an unequivocally lost to her, and no other woman exists. Second, he must be mentally and physically strong. I like for the hero to be dominate over the heroine, but not to domi-NATE her; without changing and still appreciating who she is. Third, there has to be a mental connection, and he has to show an interest in knowing her mind as well as he does her body. He should see things in her that while are there, no one else sees- as in her tenderness towards animals or her keen intelligence.
Thank you Aurora! I really enjoyed this question- I had never thought about it before, and it was fun. I can't tell you how thrilled we are to have you interviewed on our site!
Win a copy of Bitter Harvest by Aurora Black!
If you would like to be entered to win an ebook copy of Bitter Harvest,
just leave your name and working e-mail addy!
To keep any spambots at bay, leave your email in this format:
username (at) emailprovider (dot) com
More info about the contest: This will be in conjunction with Aurora Black's Bitter Harvest giveaway over at her blog. The winners will be announced on Halloween, and we will keep you all posted! Don't worry though! She has told us that of the 10 winners she will be choosing, one or two will definately be from Rogues and Romance!
You can also comment and not enter the drawing-
just leave out your email addy from your comment and we'll
know you would like to be excluded.
Winners will be announced on Halloween!