Today, I convinced fellow Evernight Publishing author, Doris O’Connor to swing by The Spicy Butterfly Garden and let me pick her brain a bit about her new book, The Billionaire’s Unwanted Virgin and life as an author. She’s a pretty awesome lady!
Doris, Give us the title and genre of your latest book and a quick 50 word or less tagline.
The Billionaire’s Unwanted Virgin
Contemporary Erotic Romance
Lay back and think of England? Sure, she could do that. It’s only sex after all. Auctioning off her virginity is the easy part. Falling in love is not part of the plan.
I’m definitely intrigued!
Did you have any inspiration for this story or its characters?
The story was sparked by a newspaper article I’d read. It got my thinking and then slowly the characters emerged. You can see my inspiration board for this story here.
What a good idea that it… gives the reader some visuals to your story!
What was your favorite scene to write? Why?
Oh, I have so many, but if I had to pick just one it’s probably the wedding. Lakota surprises Alice and they have a beautiful ceremony, and it’s the first time they acknowledge their budding feelings, at least to themselves. It’s an emotional and hot scene, when they’re stood under their wedding blankets, and I had great fun researching Native American wedding customs and prayers.
Are there any aspects of yourself in any of the characters in your book?
Not so much myself, but Alice’s mother reminds me a lot of my Gran. She would have given me exactly the talking to, Elizabeth gives Alice. I smiled to myself when I wrote their scenes.
Give us an interesting and fun fact about your book and/or its characters.
Alice is afraid of heights and Lakota doesn’t like spiders 😉
I’ll be honest… I’m not a fan of spiders either! 🙂
As an author myself, I find one of the hardest parts to completing a story is coming up with a title that captures the true essence of the story. How do you come up with the title to your stories?
Ah, I know what you mean. The working title for this book had been Unwanted Innocence, because Alice is a virgin and Lakota didn’t want her or her innocence, but that title didn’t have the WoW factor, really.
It was seeing the amount of Billionaire Titles around that made up my mind for me in the end. The Billionaire’s Unwanted Virgin pretty much sums up the story, so it stuck.
I’m one of those strange writers that needs a title before I even sit down to write the story. More often than not that original title sticks, but occasionally I end up changing it. The characters usually tell me if the title fits or not.
Three words that would best describe you.
Passionate, Determined, Loyal
What was your most rewarding experience since becoming a published author?
Without a doubt it’s when I hear from readers. It always puts such a huge smile on my face. To know that I have taken someone away from their worries and transported them into a different world, where they can forget about their daily troubles and just enjoy the story—yeah that’s awesome 🙂
What book (or books) are you reading now?
Top of my Reading Pile right now are Ann Mayburn, Zara Stoneley, Jenika Snow and Sandra Bunino. It’s a toss-up as to who’s latest book I read first.
What is your writing process from beginning to end?
Typically I wake up in the morning, having had my characters invade my dreams. I have dreamt entire stories before now, though most often it’s a scene, a dialogue, or an action. I get that little bubble of excitement in my tummy that tells me I’m onto a good thing, and the characters are chomping at the bit to tell me their story.
Next is the title, and then I open a brand new doc. I may start typing straight away, if the voices are that strong, or I might go on Pinterest and look for visual inspiration first. At the very least I will have pic for my hero and heroine.
Then, it’s a case of just letting my characters guide me. If I do as I’m told and simply take dictation we’re all good. If I start doubting them, everything grinds to a halt. When I’m actively in a story, I can write anything from 2 – 5K a day. My personal best for one day’s worth of writing is 8K.
I call that first draft word vomit. I simply write to get the story down. Once that’s done and I’ve typed The End, I whoop about for a bit. Then go back in to edit. This is when I’ll flesh out bits that need it, correct typos, clunky phrasing etc.
Then the manuscript will go to my ‘Reditor’ Raven McAllan. She will pull it to pieces and then send it back to me. I’ll fix what needs fixing—quite often whilst mumbling under my breath. We have quite a few ‘arguments’ in Skype over a phrase or a word, or whether that sex scene needs more details. Raven is very good at asking, “Why? Why does he do that, etc.”
Drives me round the proverbial twist at times, because in my mind it’s all crystal clear, but it’s not on paper, so having Raven’s input is invaluable. That extra pair of eyes is priceless, because we are all blind to our own mistakes.
Once that’s all done, I will write a blurb and the synopsis and then it gets submitted to the powers that be.
I inbox stalk like crazy and then either cry into my coffee or whoop like a loon when I get an acceptance 🙂
Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Hmm, does having produced nine beautiful babies count as a talent? 😉 I’m not sure that I do. I suppose I have a natural talent with languages. English isn’t my first language—I grew up in Germany and came over to England when I was eighteen.
I also know Latin, French, and a smattering of Italian. Just don’t ask me to speak any of it, lol. On paper I’m fine. In person, not so much.
Nine babies!? That’s amazing! I don’t know if I’d say it’s a talent, but it definitely makes you pretty special! I have three. I know my hands are full!
Do you have any tips or advice for authors trying to get published?
Find yourself a good critique group or partner. Mine has been invaluable for the support and friendship, and that extra pair of eyes I already mentioned.
Read lots, and then read some more. It is amazing how much you pick up by simply reading, and write the stories that are on your heart. Find your voice, and use it.
Never, ever give up. I always say if I was never published again, I would still be writing, because for me it’s all about the stories.
Rejections are part of the process. I know everyone says that, but it really is true, and they are not personal, even though they might feel like it at the time. Publishing is a very subjective business.
Before you submit, do your research, and do follow the submission guidelines. It makes a difference.
Above all, have fun. Enjoy creating your stories 🙂 I love being a writer!
I couldn’t agree with you more about the fun! 🙂
Before you go, can you please provide us with a tantalizing snippet from your book?
I would love to. Here’s the blurb and excerpt:
Lay back and think of England, she could do this. It was only sex, after all. Auctioning off her virginity was the easy part—going through with it not so easy. When Alice realizes who has acquired her, keeping her emotions out of the deal seems an impossible task.
Self-made billionaire Lakota, Lance Kemnay has no time for women, let alone one, who would sell her virginity to the highest bidder. Ever practical, however, he sees in Alice a solution to his immediate need for a wife. The emotions she stirs in him are just lust, and lust can be dealt with. As they connect emotionally and physically, his resolve to keep his heart aloof is tested beyond limits.
Can he trust his tender feelings, or has he been taken for a fool by the one woman he thought he could trust?
He’d bound her to him with the ridiculous terms of their arrangement, and he had no idea how she really felt about him. That her body desired him, of that there was no doubt. Could there ever be more between them? Was the trust she exhibited in her submission to him enough to build a relationship on?
Would she want to stay with him once the arranged time was over? His little Alice was a romantic. Would she settle for a life with what little he had to offer, knowing full well that he was incapable of ever saying the words every woman wanted to hear?
“Lakota?” Her uncertain whisper shook him out his maudlin thoughts. This was here, and this was now. He would live in the moment and worry about all that later. Right now he had his woman where he wanted her.
“I’m here, my sweet. Relax.”
She drew in a breath and another, in a visible effort to calm her nerves, and he bent down and kissed her again.
“Remember those candles you admired on that stall in Colombo, my sweet?”
She stilled completely and her breaths grew choppier, and he smiled.
“I see that you do… Now, feel their kiss, and fly for me.”
He’d gone hard as nails in the middle of the crowded market at her innocent reaction to his whispered comment that these were far more than scented candles. He’d bought them on impulse, waiting for the right moment to introduce them. He knew her well enough by now to know how far he could push her, and he wanted to give her the pleasure this play brought.
She flinched at the first drop of wax hit her just below the collarbone, and he swiped the drop away, watching her closely for her reaction. Again and again he repeated the process, until she arched into the touch of the wax on her skin.
He drew patterns around her breasts, leaving the wax to settle, and letting the flame burn a little hotter each time. Her breathing changed to the slow, deep state of relaxed awareness he wanted her to be in as he scribed what was in his heart on her quivering tummy.
By the time he was done his dick was just about ready to explode, and Alice was so wet, the covers were stained under her ass. He smiled to himself at the face of housekeeping in the morning and poured one last heavy drop of wax over her hugely distended clit at the same time as he thrust his cock into the tight clasp of her body, with a growled, “Come for me, baby.”
Alice came so hard and so fast she could barely catch her breath. The sensation of the hot wax dripping over her most sensitive flesh coupled with the feel of him sliding deep into her core, his weight pinning her in place proved too much.
She was dimly aware of Lakota reaching his own pinnacle in record time, and then she was free. Released from her bonds and held securely in his arms, she blinked to get her eyes to focus.
Her body was covered in multi-colored patters of wax, and he’d traced a word into her lower abdomen—Mine.
Alice bit back her tears, and Lakota’s hands settled over her fingers tracing the word. She looked at him, and she held her breath at the emotion she glimpsed in his eyes, before he masked it.
“I will run you a bath, and you can soak it off. I’m not going near that beautiful skin of yours with a knife.”
“Do we have to take it off?”
He grew very still at her husky question, and his voice was hoarse when he finally answered.
“I don’t want you getting sore. This is your first time. We don’t know how your skin will react.”
Alice smiled at the protectiveness and concern behind those words.
“I seem to be having a lot of firsts around you, Mr. Kemnay.”
Glutton for punishment would be a good description for Doris… at least that’s what she hears on an almost daily basis when people find out that she has a brood of nine children, ranging from adult to toddler and lives happily in a far too small house, cluttered with children, pets, dust bunnies, and one very understanding and supportive husband. Domestic goddess she is not.
There is always something better to do after all, like working on the latest manuscript and trying not to scare the locals even more than usual by talking out loud to the voices in her head. Her characters tend to be pretty insistent to get their stories told, and you will find Doris burning the midnight oil on a regular basis. Only time to get any peace and quiet and besides, sleep is for wimps.
She likes to spin sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get. From contemporary to paranormal, BDSM to F/F, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Jessica 🙂
Thank you, Doris! And good luck with The Billionaire’s Unwanted Virgin!