Friday, April 29, 2011

Twenty Questions with Author Paris Brandon!!!

Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.

I’ve worn many hats in my lifetime. I’ve been a bookkeeper, bank teller, librarian and lamb wrangler—okay, that’s a made up term but I lived in a small rural community for years and ended up basically running a rescue operation for animals that didn’t have a place in the food chain or anyone else’s life. These days my husband and I live in a larger town and the only thing I’m wrangling are words. My decision to try my hand at writing erotic romance paid off when Ellora’s Cave published my first novella, an older woman/younger man story, “No Holds Barred”. I sold a short story, “IOU” that was part of the Carnal Reunions anthology to Resplendence followed by more sales to EC with my paranormal/shifter novel “Assassin’s Kiss” and a contemporary novella, a 2011 Passionate Plume Finalist, “Head Over Heels” (Book One—Red Stilettos) and my latest romantic suspense novella, “Cross My Heart”. Readers can find me at http://parisbrandon.com.

How do you usually come up with a story idea? Dreams? Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations? Newspaper?

My ideas literally come from all of the above. I never know what’s going to spark that “what if” question that eventually leads to a story.

What is your process from idea to first draft?

I usually journal when an idea sparks the “what if” question until I have the bare bones of a story and the characters evolve because “what if” invariably evokes the kind of hero and heroine I need to tell the story. Kira, the heroine of “Assassin’s Kiss” literally took form when I asked myself the question: “What could happen if someone didn’t know they were a shifter until their first shift?” Sebastian, the hero was born when I asked: “What’s the worst situation you could throw the heroine into?” Incidentally, he was an Assassin who was sworn by oath to terminate half-human shifters. Did I mention that Kira is half-human? After that comes the working synopsis that evolves throughout the first draft and I start a file for scene ideas that I think I’ll need.

Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?

When my mojo is lagging I know that I need to take a break and I’ve learned that lunch with friends is one of the most positive activities to get my creativity flowing again. If that isn’t possible I’ll watch a movie(s) and just relax. Of course movie-watching involves large amounts of chocolate, popcorn and anything else that appeals to me!

Who is your Yoda—your seasoned mentor?

That would have to be my long-time friend and critique buddy, author Lynn Michaels.

What importance do you place on writing workshops? What workshops would you recommend to us?

The minute you think you know everything about this business I think you’re in serious trouble. I try to do at least one craft and one career/business workshop per year. I belong to RWA and they offer many online courses on anything from beginning craft to building a website. They literally have something for every stage of your career. I don’t attend as many conferences these days and I find the online RWA community very helpful.

What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations? How did this person help you?

My husband. Years ago he found out how much I enjoyed writing and brought me home a typewriter (remember those) and told me to go for it. Kids, EDJ and life interrupted the flow but I found a local chapter of RWA several years ago and have been seriously writing since.

Have you ever used songs for inspiration?

Oh yes! I find music very inspiring. I wrote “Assassin’s Kiss” to “The Last of the Mohicans” soundtrack and used Enrique Iglesias’, “Hero” for my romantic suspense, “Cross My Heart”.

Do you play music when you write? If so, what kind? Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?

I like music but “Hero” is the only song with lyrics that I’ve ever been able to write to. I actually prefer instrumentals and the theme depends upon what I’m writing.

Do you read in a different genre than you write? If yes, why? If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?

I tend to stay away from reading the same genre that I’m writing and if something sounds the least bit familiar, I edit it out.

Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer? Has another writer ever come to your aide? How?

I believe in paying it forward. I have been helped at all stages of my writing career, sometimes by people who didn’t really know me but were willing to help by answering my questions. I have an open-door policy when it comes to giving assistance to new writers and can always be contacted through my website. If I don’t know the answer to their question, I’ll try and point them in the right direction to find the answers they need.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?

That’s a good question. I haven’t won any major awards and I’m hardly a household name but I’d have to say my first sale. For years, I literally edited my voice out of my work in an attempt to make it perfect. I wrote “No Holds Barred” from idea to final draft in two months and then sent it off without anymore edits. It was nerve wracking but it taught me a valuable lesson.

If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money? Would give any of it to charity? If so, which one?

Believe it or not my husband and I have discussed this very thing. We tend to do things anonymously but family would come first and then homeless shelters and food banks.

What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?

Never give up and trust yourself enough to believe in your voice!

If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be? What do you admire about this animal? Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal? If so, what are they?

Have you seen the online video of the baby rhino that was abandoned by his mother? He is the cutest most cuddly thing I’ve ever seen but I know he’s going to grow up and have a pretty tough hide and a nose he isn’t afraid of sticking anywhere—uhm, it sounds a little bit like me.

If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?

Something in the entertainment field. I’d love to study acting and perform onstage—Shakespeare. I’d love to sing professionally (trust me, you don’t want to hear me, professionally or otherwise) but I also think I’d be perfectly happy doing something creative in the art world. I have a friend who is a master weaver and I could see myself designing and weaving projects.

If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?

Seriously, I would like to travel the world and just learn about other cultures. I’d like to be able to fit everything I’d need into a duffel bag and go. Right now.

What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?

Both my hero and heroine, no matter what their agendas have their own code of honor that they won’t deviate from—until it becomes necessary to compromise for one another, of course. Seriously, honor is more important in my characters than flowing locks, piercing eyes or huge biceps—although, I’m not going to throw rocks at the characteristics that may attract me.

If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?

Number one would be to balance the financial disparity between the rich and the poor. Number Two would be over-turning the ruling that allowed one person/organization to control the media. Come to think of it, achieving number two might pave the way to achieving number one.

If you could have a super power for a day, what would it be? Why?

On a lighter note because that last one did get a bit serious, I think I’d like to know what the next big “thing” in publishing was going to be. Trust me, I’d share.

Head Over Heels –2011 Passionate Plume Finalist


Height-challenged Bella Jacienski literally falls head over magic red stilettos into sexy philanthropist’s Rhys Vincent’s arms and wonders if the legend attached to the shoes is true. Has she found her heart’s desire, a passionate, lust-crazed lover who wants only her¬—always?


"I love your fingers inside me but I want more. I need to know two things,” she whispered, as her muscles gathered and her blood pooled, low and heavy. “Do you have a condom and did you lock the door?”

“Yes and yes,” he growled as he slid his fingers out of her and stood, still clasping her in his arms. He kissed her all the way into the adjoining bathroom and sat her on the counter before he turned and locked the door.

“Two and a half minutes,” he said, unzipping his pants. He pushed them down and she moaned when his erection sprang free. Thick and roped with heavy veins, it was crowned with a knob of velvety flesh that made her mouth water. The sight of his big hands wrapped around his cock as he positioned the condom made her pussy throb and when he rolled it down, smoothing his hands over the rigid column of warm, hard flesh, moisture seeped from her pussy. The tension in the tiny room was palpable, exciting her even more.

She hiked up her dress until it was around her waist and then his fingers were twisting into her lace panties, pulling them over her hips and thighs. He balanced her legs across his forearms.

“My boots…”

“Leave them on.” He groaned and leaned into her, pressing her back on the counter. “This isn’t how I wanted our first time to be.”

“It’s perfect.” She moaned as he plunged inside her without any semblance of finesse. It was raw and primitive and sex had never been so exciting. “Fuck me,” she whispered and sent him into a frenzy of desperate strokes, each one pulling a moan from her.

He fucked like he kissed, with his eyes open, his penetrating gaze spearing her with his frantic, soulful intent, twisting into her as she writhed, chasing after the perfect fevered thrust. They were all perfect. The sudden electrifying jolt of her orgasm seized her and she gave up all control and let it take her. She moaned but his mouth was there and he swallowed her cry as he followed her down, coming in a series of bucks and jerks.

Panting, she sprawled under him and marveled that at last his eyes were closed. “I think we may have broken the sandwich man’s record.”


Sarah J. McNeal said...

I love that your husband gave you a typewriter. Yes. I remember them. I still have my blue Brother typrwriter from my dad.
Thank you for supporting and encouraging writers to take workshops. I, like you, believe in keeping up with changes in the publishing business.
Your book, Head Over Heels, looks like a wonderful story and the cover is lovely.
I wish you all the best.

Tina Donahue said...

Congrats on being a finalist in Passionate Plume - keeping my fingers crossed for you! :)

Delaney Diamond said...

What's a typewriter? Just kidding! I wrote my first story on a typewriter back in high school. Don't know how I managed. Thank goodness for word processing.

Your stories sound great, Paris!

Paris said...

First, I'd like to thank you for having me in the spotlight today!

Sarah, thanks and yeah, my Brother is in the attic, packed away with some other memorabilia from my early days:)

Tina, thanks for your encouragement!

Delaney, haha--but I'm with you. I'm so glad that my days of dealing with White-out and correcting tape are over! Thanks:)

Fran Lee said...

Love that book, Paris! I have read it three times!

Rawiya said...

Your story sounds awesome! What a lovely interview too!

Paris said...

Hey Fran! Thanks, so glad you stopped by:)

Paris said...

Rawiya, thanks so much!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Congrats on the final, but I'm sure not surprised. Great interview, ladies!

Adele Dubois said...

Paris-- I think it's great you've worn many hats, because that keeps life interesting. I wish you the best while wearing your 'author hat'. Congratulations on your releases and your success!


Paris said...

Thanks Cindy and Adele!

Sandy said...

LOL My sister just finished one of my stories, and she didn't like the raunchy sex in it. I wonder what she would say about your story. I thought it was great, Paris.

Paris said...

I always tell people (my mother-oy vey) that my stories aren't for everyone. That's the beauty of all levels of sensuality being available:)

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

Congrats! Love the excerpt. *S*
Thank you for another author to enjoy and books to add to my gotta have list...*S*


Paris said...

Thanks, Darcy!

Fiona McGier said...

Lot of interesting answers to Sarah's ever-changing questions. Love the cover of this book..and the excerpt was great! Made my hair sweat!