Our thanks again to Liz for agreeing to do this interview. I had a lot of fun getting to know her a little better.
Check out my review of The Cross and the Trinity.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve written off and on since I was about sixteen years old. It was around that time that I figured out I could write down the incredibly detailed erotic fantasies I’d create in my head, and that was like an epiphany. I basically honed my talent writing out my sex fantasies, which of course led me to where I am today, lol. Of course, I wrote regular stories and plays too and got lots of positive feedback. I have a diploma in Dramatic Scriptwriting and have written a full-length feature film screenplay. But when I thought of trying to get published, I knew I could write a damned good erotic book if I tried to.
Did anything prompt you to become an author? Do you have a “day job”, so to speak?
My day job is looking after my kids and our home. My husband and I both agree that we don’t want to pay for childcare, so until my oldest child can look after herself and her brother at home, that will be my job. It saves us a lot of money, but we have to live on just my husband’s income and whatever I get from sales of my books, which really doesn’t amount to much at this point. I would make more money working at the local grocery store sadly. But it’s a great hobby. 🙂
What kinds of things give you inspiration for your books? What’s the strangest thing that’s inspired you?
Well, talking to people in the gay leather/BDSM world helps a lot. I’ve made friends with many in the Ottawa fetish community and go to the monthly Leather brunches when I can. Beyond The Edge was inspired by two men I know who met while subbing for the same Dom.
I guess what might seem strange is that sometimes I’ll see a photo of a room in one of my decorating magazines and suddenly I’ll picture an erotic scene occurring there, especially if it’s a very modern and luxurious bathroom with a double shower etc. There is a scene near the beginning of Beyond The Edge that sort of happened that way…
Do you work better with a deadline or without?
I work better without an actual deadline but with a definite goal in mind. I don’t work well under pressure from others. I hate to rush.
What drew you to the GLBT genre? Have you ever considered switching sub-genres to mix things up?
I have always been turned on by the idea of two men being intimate together, but thought I was a bit weird because of that. Now that I know lots of other women feel the same way it’s very comforting and allows me to free my mind and just follow it where it wants to go.
I like to keep my stories as realistic as possible so I don’t foresee any fantasy or vampires etc. in my future. There could be a possibility of cowboys or pirates. I’d really love to write an erotic pirate adventure. One of my favourite albums is Rum, Sodomy and the Lash by the Pogues.
You seem to be leaning towards books with a BDSM theme lately. How do you research BDSM or do you have first hand knowledge?
I have accumulated a lot of knowledge about BDSM over the years because I’ve been interested in it as a fantasy since I was an adolescent. I used to write stories about Han Solo being captured by man-hungry female space pirates. Although I don’t have a lot of actual BDSM experience, I have some, and I speak to people who actively engage in the practice. I see it more as a ritual form of sexual play that can achieve a spiritual level for the people involved. I’m not as much into viewing it as a lifestyle where one person is always the sub and the other is always the Dom and they live 24-7 in that manner, although I know that does happen. I’m not sure I really understand that aspect of it. Although I love to submit to a man in a sexual context, I’m very strong-willed and controlling in other areas of my life. Just ask my husband 😉
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me about six months to write and do a preliminary edit of the rough draft of a novel. I like to take my time and enjoy the process. There is nothing like losing myself in the world of a novel and those characters and creating an original story. It’s the best feeling in the world and I won’t rush it.
It’s also really important to me that I don’t spend all my free time writing and that I give attention to the people I love (my husband and two children). I also have MS and need to get at least nine hours of sleep a night, and sometimes have a lie down in the day.
Many other writers in this genre put out so much material, so quickly, it’s kind of intimidating. I seriously don’t know how they do it since most of them have actual day jobs and some of them have kids and/or husbands as well.
Is there anything you would like your readers to know about you and/or your works?
Just that I try to be original, and as close to reality as I possibly can be. One of the nicest things anyone has said about Beyond The Edge is that they could imagine running into those characters on the street, they seemed so real. I LOVE that. My characters are just normal people who happen to be gay men who like to play interesting sexual games with each other, and end up falling in love.
Although I read a lot of this genre before actually writing it, now that I am writing it I don’t read many works by other m/m authors, for a couple of reasons:
Firstly, I am easily intimidated by the excellence of other writers and it might make me doubt my own abilities. Secondly, I would prefer my stories not to be influenced by what other people are writing. I desire my own vision to be clear and original, and I don’t want to worry that I am subconsciously copying someone else’s idea.
The other thing is that if I can get what I want from reading other people’s stories, why would I write my own?
Have you ever had any strange encounters with fans? If so, would you tell us a little about it?
I honestly find most encounters with fans to be really strange. I mean, when somebody is excited and nervous to meet me, I think, really, I’m just a middle-aged mom who gets a kick out of fantasizing about gay BDSM. I’m really not that interesting. But it’s very cool.
The best thing about being published is that people are actually reading my stories.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what do you do to overcome it?
I do experience it occasionally. Sometimes I just need to wait it out and not panic. Other times, simply switching to a different project will work. Beyond The Edge was actually a project I started because I was stalled on another story.
What are you working on now? What can we expect for the remainder of 2014?
The Cross and The Trinity, which is the sequel to Beyond The Edge, is in the final stages of editing right now. It should be out late February or early March.
I’ve just started writing the third book in the Beyond The Edge trilogy, which is called Varieties of Religious Experience. There was a point when I wondered if there really would be a third book, but it looks like it will happen. I’ve mapped out the plot and I’m very excited about it.
After that, I’m going to concentrate on writing shorter stories or novellas as it seems as though that is where the money is right now. People are into buying quick reads these days, especially in the romance genre.
I’m not primarily motivated by money, but it would sure be nice to contribute a bit more to our family income.
Where to find Ms. Lister
Liz has graciously agreed to give away a copy of Beyond The Edge. All you have to do to be entered is comment on this post! Contest ends February 22 at 7:00pm CST.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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