Monday, May 23, 2011
How did you come up with the title of your book?
As the story unfolded in my imagination, I discovered my main character Vivienne had been on a student’s architectural tour in Greece and had a whirlwind romance there. This brought the Greek gods to mind. The myths are full of gods meddling in mortal lives. Winging missives between the gods and the mortals below, the god Hermes was often the messenger for this meddling. As the tale is a modern one, I chose the computer rather than a scroll to get that message across. The result – Hermes Online.
What is Hermes Online about?
I’d have to say first and foremost it has to do with self rediscovery and returning from despair. At a low point in her life, Vivienne allows the cruel words of another to steal her vitality and dictate how she sees herself. As a woman in this society, I believe women in our culture do this all the time. We allow others to determine how we see ourselves. Hermes Online is Vivienne’s journey back to her true self, back to her true feminine power.
What books have most influenced your life?
It’s hard to say. For the most part I’m an informational reader. Books have come to me when I’ve needed them, if that makes sense. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring helped form my environmental ethic. Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People helped me be a better friend (by the exercise of writing my own obituary). The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan helped build my sense of self as a teenage girl. I’ve read the entire 1985 Worldbook Encyclopedia (yes I am rather nerdy) and that certainly helped me as a writer by giving me a broad knowledge base to draw upon. There are many others – To Kill a Mockingbird, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Cosmos, The Color Purple, Leaves of Grass… Like I said, they came into my life when I needed them. All of the above have influenced me in some way and I am sure there are more were I to think about it.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Is it ok to have two? I’d have to say Michael Crichton and Diana Gabaldon for their ability to craft dynamic scenes you can actually smell while reading. I like the total sensorial immersion to be had in good story telling. I strive to do that in my own writing.
What are your current projects?
I have three irons in the fire right now – my five-book magnum opus on the ultimate battle of light and dark/ good and evil, my erotic romance set in the Isle of Skye, and a rewrite of another I wrote more than five years ago that I submitted way too soon and had to pull from production because the editor saw something I didn’t intend the story to have.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Good god yes. My inadequate public school education that contributes to regular butchering of grammar and the fact I grew up in Chicago. We Chicagoans have our own way of speaking. If readers knew how much care I take to avoid things like “where’s my keys” instead of “where are my keys”, they’d laugh.
What naughty pleasures do you believe erotica readers like the best?
I read a study recently regarding the average healthy human’s sexuality. It said being privy to the intimate details between lovers, be they M/M, M/F, F/F, stimulated both male and female minds regardless if the act was something they would personally take part in, regardless if the act was heterosexual or homosexual. I find that fascinating. I suppose this means readers enjoy peeking through the keyhole and like being swept away in the sensual tide erotic romance writers create. I do.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you like then walk away. Read it later when your emotional involvement has had a chance to mellow. If you clearly see your interest and passion in your chosen words and are enjoying the images they evoke, then your other readers will too. When I first met the characters who populate my five-book novel-in-progress as a reader, I thought Wow, I really like this family.
Met them? You say that as if they’re real.
That’s the funny thing about my characters – they are! Think about it. They must be real on some level or they wouldn’t experience life in the story. Their world is like cellophane over mine. The things I know about each and every one of them, their loves and hates, their quirks, habits, and idiosyncrasies, make them tangible beings with substantial personalities. I hear their voices when they speak to one another and I feel their internal dialog as they move through their world. I even know whether or not they put both socks on before their shoes or one sock one shoe at a time. I suppose every writer is just a tad schizophrenic.
Left bruised and brokenhearted after a cruel breakup, Vivienne Bennet finds herself mired in a world of self-doubt. To her surprise, she receives an email that challenges her to rediscover the sensual woman she once was. Together Vivienne and the enigmatic man known only as S embark upon the world of anonymous Internet communication where suggestive emails lead to erotic chat, where cybersex leads to Skype, and C2C sends both into the arms of a love they’d believed lost forever.
Hermes Online Excerpt:
I closed the Word document and absently twirled my hair, lost in thought. There was so much of me in there – even the decorations in Jonathan’s house said much about me. The fact that Lily looks identical to me was rather Freudian too, come to think. I laughed out loud at the thought. It’s funny how our subconscious mind tells us what’s what sometimes. The subconscious mind intuits what the conscious mind misses at first glance. Yes, the phone sex story was a whim, and who would have thought six years later, it would help me find my way back to myself? I wished in that moment my pen pal stood right here so I could say thank you. I’d thank him for lighting the match that eventually relit the candle of my self-confidence. I’d kiss him for real.
I pressed my fingers to my lips, imagining this curious and compelling green-eyed, chestnut-haired, large-handed, well-endowed man kissing me. And unbelievably, my panties got soaking wet. I flexed my fingers and crafted a scene from the sizzling phantom fire playing over my lips.
Having experienced amazing kisses in my life added just enough realism to the blend of movie kisses. I told the screen, “So, you want a kiss, eh? Then what will you think of this?”
There is so much more to kissing for the first time than meets the eye. The would-be lovers laugh and smile and delight in each other’s company. They talk, getting to know each other, trying to find the choicest morsels of their life and personality to share. They might hold hands for hours as they wander here and there. And when they sit side by side, perhaps on a bench at a museum, they’ll look in feigned interest at the passersby, glance again and again at the exhibit, but not really seeing it. First, one will turn inward, the movement slight, barely noticeable. And then with no clear knowledge of doing so, the one will magically mirror the other. Their knees may touch, and one set of clasped hands might rest innocently upon a knee.
And then a noise, a temporary distraction, might take their attention for a second, and both heads will turn to the sound, inadvertently closer now than before. When one turns back, their faces will be mere inches apart. Their eyes, green and gray, will hold each other’s gazes, darting from one sparkling pupil to the other. They might unfocus to drink in the entire face for a second, perhaps lingering on the person’s smile before meeting the gaze once more, a gaze noticeably warmer than a moment ago.
One face may turn a little, and in mirrored image, the other follows, only slightly tipped in the opposite direction. And the eyes ask the silent question as two thoughts become superimposed—“May I kiss you?”-“Will you kiss me?” The answer is subtle, missed by nearly everyone passing by, everyone save the smiling elder couple holding gnarled hands and assisted by their canes. Perhaps they, too, once shared a kiss sitting there, or plan to again later. But locked in their own world, they don’t notice the elder pair walk by.
They are aware now only of each other, aware of little things, the flush on her cheeks, the gleam in his eye, the color of her moist lips, the imperceptible flare of his nostrils as he subconsciously reminds his body to breathe. They touch now. The kiss is at first soft, the lips asking permission for the firmness they crave. Another kiss grants this and another and another as faces turn to fit around chins and cheeks and noses. And then loose and pliable, those lips part now to make way for tentative tongues. These too begin their searching, gently at first then becoming bolder as they instinctively react to the warmth of each other’s mouths and thrust as hands cup cheeks and arms wind around shoulders, drawing each other ever inward into the private space that shuts the waking world out and lets the dream begin.
Little did I realize when I began this kissing scene that I would abandon the amalgamated movie kisses. I stopped and read those words, my words, my kiss. That kiss had been real, as had the love behind it. My eyes filled with tears, but I sent it on. Feeling alone, I rose from my chair and walked away.
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