Interview with Jerica MacMillan

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What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve pretty much always written in some capacity, whether it’s just journaling, or something more formal, like stories and essays.  I got serious about it in the summer of 2015.  A lot of heavy personal stuff happened that summer, and writing regularly provided an escape from that and helped me a lot.

You’ve written a number of books, do you have a favourite and why?

Lol.  People like to ask this question, and I think I answer differently every time.  For today I’ll say that Summer Fling will always hold a special place in my heart.  It’s (very) loosely based on how my husband and I got together, and it was the first thing that got a lot of outside interest and made me think that maybe people actually did like my writing. 

Both the Players of Marycliff University and The Rebound series are romances, what initially drew you to the genre and what made you want to return to it?

I’ve been reading romances since I was in middle school.  I’ve always loved love stories, and I started reading romance more and more since I had kids.  I have a vivid imagination, so anything that has bad things happening to kids is not going to be on my reading list these days.  And I really crave the happy ending anymore, and non-romances don’t guarantee that.  Romance is often derided as silly, but there is a lot of depth and breadth in the genre, and love and relationships are central to life, so there’s a lot that can be done with it.

I (Ashleigh) personally love the style of series you have adopted, stories that link together but can also be enjoyed as standalone novels. Yet I’ve always wondered if this style was created because authors found it difficult to let go of certain characters, was this the case for you?

It’s a pretty common series style in romance.  And I think the readers are as loathe to let go of characters as authors.  At least that’s been my experience based on reader feedback.  It’s fun to see your friends again, and when readers fall in love with characters (which they’re definitely meant to do in a romance), they feel like friends.  I enjoy working old characters into new stories, too.   

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?

People will actually pay money to read about people I made up in my head.  I’m probably supposed to say something more profound or philosophical than that. But that still surprises me. 

What do you find most difficult about the writing/publishing process?

Slogging through the parts I don’t want to do. The technical stuff is annoying but necessary, and I whine a lot through the last half of the production process when it’s all details and little in the way of creativity.  I have to make schedules for myself so I hit my deadlines. 

What advice, if any, would you give to aspiring writers?

Finish your stuff. There’s a point you get to in the middle of a novel where you think it’s complete crap and no one will ever want to read it and it’s the worst thing ever and why should you bother to finish when it’s such utter dreck. That’s not true. Everyone goes through that, even the bestsellingest author out there.  Finish the book.  It’s probably not crap, and if it is, then you can figure out where it all went wrong a lot more easily if it’s done.  Plus, once you finish one, it gives you the confidence that you can, in fact, finish a book.  And if you can do it once, you can do it again. 

Besides writing, you also love to read and you have your very own book club! Tell us why we should join.

Because it’s awesome.  But seriously, you get a free book from me just for signing up, plus gobs of book recommendations.  I do tell people about what I have coming out and events I’m involved in, but I always include updates on what I’m reading and recommendations based on that.  And I love love love when people write me back and tell me what they’re reading and what they like.  I do my best to respond to everyone. 

It sounds right up our street so expect two new members!

And what are you currently reading?

I’m rereading At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey because now I have most of the other books in that series and it’s been a while since I read it so I’m refreshing my memory.

What have you got planned next?

My next book, Managed Hearts, comes out on October 24.  I also have a short story in the charity anthology Because Beards coming out November 1.  Opening Hearts, my story in the anthology, is a prequel to Managed Hearts (though you don’t really need to read them in order if you don’t want to wait).  I’m currently writing the fourth book in that series, which revisits Lance and Abby from Book 1.  I’m planning a January or February release for that one, and will firm that up once I finish writing it and have a title.

To find out more, check out Jerica’s social media pages:

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Interview with Suzannah Daniels

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What inspired you to start writing?

I grew up in a house where reading was always encouraged. My parents bought subscriptions to monthly book clubs like Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney, and I loved getting those books in the mail. Writing was a natural progression from my love of reading, and I’ve always written in some form, starting out with poems and short stories and leading up to novels. In second grade, I won a prize for my story, Pop Up World of 2000. (Keep in mind it was in the 1970s [bell bottoms, anyone?], so the year 2000 seemed like a really long ways away.)

You’ve written a number of books, do you have a favourite and why?

As most writers will tell you, it’s difficult to pick a favorite. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Dangerous Trilogy, a mature young adult trilogy featuring Stone Hamilton and Dara Golding. Since their story spans over three books, I was able to spend a lot of time with them, and I love the growth they go through as a couple.

I also love the camaraderie in the Whiskey Nights series, a new adult contemporary romance series that focuses on a group of friends who are learning a lot about life as they find their places in the world as adults. Just like real life, this series covers a gambit of emotions from being snarky to your siblings and friends to the struggles of dealing with life, love, and loss.

And Shaman’s Curse (Vampire’s Bane #2), will be releasing soon. I happen to love vampires, so Thane Warwick is one of my faves.

When considered generally, your books are all romances but you’ve actually experimented with different sub-genres such as paranormal, historical and contemporary. Why is that?

I love to read different genres, which also means I enjoy writing different genres. Each genre has its own unique challenges, and I’ve always loved a good challenge. Writing in different genres allows me to push myself and each genre gives me the opportunity to use my creativity in very different ways.

Which sub-genre is your favourite? Why?

Wow! That’s a hard question to answer. I love them all! I absolutely love medieval history, so if I had to choose, I would lean toward historical romance. And I just got back from the breathtakingly beautiful country of Ireland, so I have lots of mental images to inspire me. If I just started writing something strictly for fun, it would probably involve a vampire and a castle and would include romance written for an adult audience. If it didn’t involve a vampire, it would probably include a prince and/or princess.

Here at Page One we love paranormal/supernatural romances, so can you tell us a little bit more about your experience with the genre, what personally drew you to write not one, but two series that fit into this category?

There are no boundaries when writing paranormal, which makes it extremely fun. I’ve lived my entire life in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area, which is rich in Civil War history. The first paranormal book I wrote was Ghostly Encounter, which includes a well-known ghost in this area, Old Green Eyes. More recently, I wrote Vampire’s Bane, which is an ongoing series that encompasses a little bit of everything: paranormal, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, action and adventure. It’s fast-paced, and you never know who or what might pop up. It’s also a bit mysterious. Typically, the reader is discovering revelations at the same time characters do.

You also have a couple of ongoing series, do you find it difficult to shift between worlds?

In some ways, it would probably be easier to stay in one world, but after spending so much time in one world, shifting gives me the opportunity to do something fresh and new. I do sometimes go back and re-read stories in a series to get back in those characters’ heads.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?

Characters have minds of their own. I think I know what they’re going to do, but sometimes they’re rebels and they do what they want to do. Kind of like my ShihTzu.

What do you find most difficult about the writing/publishing process?

It’s a lot of hard work. Even if I hire out some duties, I’m ultimately in charge of the finished product, which means I have to oversee writing, editing, formatting, marketing, social media, publishing, accounting, events, travel arrangements, and the list goes on and on. This is why writers, including myself, love bloggers so much! #bloggersrock

Why thank you! Where would we be without authors though?!

What advice, if any, would you give to aspiring writers?

Make sure this is what you want to do because it won’t be easy. For most writers, it’s not really a choice. All we can think about is writing.

If it is what you want, then go for it. You should educate yourself about the industry, network, and never, ever give up.

What have you got planned next?

I’ll be releasing Shaman’s Curse, Vampire’s Bane #2, this month. After that, I’ll begin working on Seduced, Whiskey Nights #5, which is due out in January. I have a new cover in the works for another new adult contemporary romance. I haven’t decided yet if it will be a stand-alone or a new series. I’ve also got another fun story idea bouncing around in my head, which shall remain a secret for now. The possibilities are endless.

Don’t miss out! Be sure to follow Suzannah on social media:
FB: https://www.facebook.com/SuzannahDanielsAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzannahDaniels
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suzannahdaniels/

Interview – Dahlia Donovan

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Who is your favourite Austen character and why?

Anne Elliot from Persuasion.  I think she has a quiet sort of courage which I greatly admire.

What book are you currently reading?

Sadly, nothing interesting, I’m reading a book on creating characters by Writer’s Digest, but I’m too busy with writing for anything else.

What three words would you used to describe After the Scrum?

Fun, Sweet, Quirky

How much input did you have in the cover design?

A bit. My publisher, Hot Tree Publishing, handled it for the most part. They did ask for some input, but not much.  I love the cover so I won’t complain lol.

Why did you choose rugby as the sport focus in your novel?

I’ll loosely quote Francis for this answer. Hot, sweaty men in shorts running around and tackling each other.

As a female writer, how did you find writing a romance about two men? Were there any parts you found difficult/needed to research etc.?

Romance is romance.  If you can write a realistic male character, I think you can write m/m romance. The only tricky part is figuring out the mechanics of what happens once they’ve gotten starkers.  Much research…if by research you mean looking at pictures of men.

How do you find the writing process? Which bit did you struggle with the most and why?

I enjoy writing.  Sometimes words flow, other times I’m pulling teeth, but it’s all a part of the process. I struggle most with writing the synopsis. I hate it with a passion.

What have you got planned next?

I have a m/f romance novella coming out in September, All Lathered Up in the Unintentional anthology.  In November, I’ve got the last of my paranormal romances for a long time, The Misguided Confession. And into next year, I’ll hopefully have the follow up to After the Scrum, a novel featuring Graham Hodson, one of Francis’ closest friends.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Take all advice with a grain of salt.

It sounds like I’m taking the mickey, but it’s serious advice. You’ll find in writing everyone has an opinion on how to approach the craft of putting words on paper, opinions which often contradict themselves.  The best advice I can give is to always take advice with a grain of salt.

Most important question, how do you eat your Jaffa cakes?

Frequently and without sharing.

Thank you Dahlia for the fabulous interview!

You can follow her on social media here: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads. 

 

L.J. Shen Interview

 

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Sparrow and Blood To Dust are considered dark fiction. What got you into dark fiction?

I honestly have no idea. My first book, Tyed, was more rom com. I thought I’d be writing rom-coms for sure my whole life. But then I started writing Sparrow and things got a *little* out of hand. I’ve only been intrigued about the human nature when you face a fight or flight situation. Putting my characters through hell and see how they walk out of there unscathed is just something I find fulfilling.

Having said that, I am working on a rom-com, so I try to keep things interesting and fresh for both me and my readers J

You have some brilliant, quick one liners – how would you describe your sense of humour?

Dry, I guess. I like my characters witty and intellectual, even if they’re felons and ex-cons. Also, I love to see banter between my h and my H. I love it when my heroines are sassy and don’t take any bullsh*t from their love interest. So I always try and keep the conversation crisp and realistic.

The covers of all your books are gorgeous. Which is your favourite and why?

It’s really difficult to choose because I love all of them, and all of them have been made by different designers who are very, very talented. I’ll have to go with Sparrow’s though. Sofie Hartley nailed it. I was so vague and annoying (I basically told her I wanted something ‘unique’) and she came up with this cover and it still blows my mind sometimes when I look at it.

I also love Tyed’s cover, because it’s sweet and it gives you the right idea of what you’re getting into. Of course, I love Blood to Dust’s gritty cover. My designer, Letitia, and I worked real hard to achieve this kind of look.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere. From movies, other books and the news. From listening to a couple arguing next to me when I take the subway to the way I see a boy looking at a girl from across the restaurant. I find inspiration in absolutely everything and that’s why I make sure I always go and watch a lot of movies, follow three thousand TV shows, read 3-4 books a week and try to make sure my artistic side is never hungry.

How did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I think I always knew. I was a music journalist for five years before I’d decided to “retire” and started a career in the fitness industry. I was a personal trainer, and I’d come back home and devour like six books a week. Until one day my husband told me “You one-click 12 books a week. I think you better start writing them if you wanna keep it up.” And he was annoyingly right, of course, as per usual.

What do you find to be the hardest part of the writing process?

I try and keep it fun and positive, but the edits part is definitely a headache. My text is always littered with grammatical mistakes, and frantically searching for a plot hole in every word can be tiring, but it’s an important part of the process.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Write every day, even if you don’t like what you see on the page. Never let anyone tell you it’s a stupid dream, it’s not, and a lot of people have fulfilled it with little to no means. And be kind. Always be kind. To fellow authors and to your readers. Because it’s a journey that’s not worth taking without making great friends along the way.

What are you currently reading?

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. It’s absolutely fantastic.

You’re at a book signing, who are you currently fangirling over?

Penelope Douglas for sure. Oh my god, this woman. I admire everything about her, from her talent, craft and mind to the way she carries herself and manages her career.

What’ve got planned next?

I have an early December release – the name of the book is Vicious and you do not wanna miss it. You can add it to your TBR here – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30839185-vicious

I am also working on a romantic comedy that’s due early ’17.

Thank you L.J.Shen for the fabulous interview!

You can follow her on social media here:Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads 

Interview with J.L. Leslie

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After binge reading almost everything by J.L. Leslie, we just had to find out more!

What inspired you to start writing?

It’s more of who. My mom was always a big supporter of mine. I’ve always loved reading and writing since I was really young. When I was a kid, I’d say I was going to be the next Stephen King. I haven’t really gone in that direction, although I’m not saying I’ll never write horror. My mom always encouraged me to write. In my early twenties I wrote a historical romance (not-published) and then I just couldn’t seem to finish anything so I stopped writing for a while. I started talking to my mom about writing again when I realized I could just self-publish online and she told me to go for it. So here I am. Sadly, my mom passed away earlier this year, but she was my biggest fan (and I’m sure she still is).

You’ve written a number of books, do you have a favourite and why? I personally love Let the Waves Come In.

I do also love Let The Waves Come In and Finding Dawn. I think these are my favorites because I tossed the ideas for these two around with my mom. I was working on Let The Waves Come In when she passed away. She told me to let Aubrey and Drew just strictly be friends. She said that’s so rare in a book for a female and male to have a strong, close friendship and it never turn into anything more. Usually when I write I don’t throw my ideas around with anyone. These two books were different and I think that’s why they’re my favorites because my mom’s input is in these.

Your approach to the Romance genre usually involves complex backstories was this a conscious decision or did your characters lead you there?

I believe my characters lead me there. I don’t think I even realize the backstories are complex until I start getting feedback from reviewers. I get the ideas and just start writing.

Does this also require a lot of research?

Some of the time I do have to do a lot of research, but worry that I don’t do enough at times. With Declan’s character in Let The Waves Come In, I had to do some research for his Air Force job. I had to do some research for Olivia’s character in Tame Me. The Morgan Family Series I’m working on now (book two) is requiring quite a bit of research. It can be a little time consuming, but I want it to be as accurate as possible. I think readers know it’s fiction, so it should be okay to embellish a little.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?

Honestly, how easy it is to fall in love with your own characters. It’s easy to start to feel that they’re real people and the things happening in their lives (in the books) are really happening. When I finished the Zane Series, it was the first series I wrote and it was so hard to move on and start writing something else. I felt like I was cheating on the Zane siblings and their significant others. It was strange to start writing a new book. I didn’t want to leave them behind because I was so invested in them and their stories.

What do you find most difficult about the writing/publishing process?

As for the writing process, it’s difficult for me to focus on one idea. There’s so many floating around in my head that I have to make myself focus on one book at a time. Editing is also difficult for me too. I use beta-readers now, but I try to edit my own work as much as possible prior to sending it out to beta-readers. After my work is published and it’s ready for the public, it’s really hard to get it out there and advertise it. Self-promoting- which I refer to as book-pimping- is just as time consuming as writing. I try to let everyone know that a release is coming up, when my book is out, or when a sale is going on and it can be pure exhausting. When you’re a self-published author, you typically pay for everything out-of-pocket so you have to watch the spending.

What advice, if any, would you give to aspiring writers?

It’s funny because I definitely consider myself an aspiring writer. I’ve learned pretty quickly that I’m doing this for myself. Me and only me. My writing has to make me happy and as long as it does then I’ll keep doing it. Don’t expect to receive great (or even good) reviews all the time. Don’t lash out at the reviewer when you receive a bad one or when they give you constructive advice on what you should do to improve your writing. Take the advice to heart and learn from it. It can and will help you grow as a writer. Be patient and keep writing.

What have you got planned next?

I just released 30 Days (Morgan Family Series: Book One) and I’m currently working on book two in this series. It’s a three book series, and each book will be stand-alone (like the Zane Series is). I’ve already fallen in love with these characters as well. It’ll be hard to move on from them, but I’m so excited to be working on this series. Book two has a baseball player as the H, so I’m doing a good amount of research for him. My son wanted a catcher for the Yankees so he got his wish!

And if you still want to learn more check out J.L. Leslie’s Goodreads and Blogspot.

Interview with Roisin Black

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To celebrate the recent release of Someone To Come Back To, we thought we’d catch up with Roisin Black and run some of our all important fangirl questions by her! 

How does it feel to have your first, full-length debut novel published?

Wonderful!

Describe Someone To Come Back To in three words.

Epic love story.

What, if anything, was the inspiration behind Someone To Come Back To?

I saw a story about a U.S. Navy SEAL who was killed in action and he didn’t have a wife or girlfriend, despite the fact he was an incredibly handsome, fit and intelligent man. I was intrigued and started wondering why a guy like that wouldn’t have someone to come back to. I came up with all sorts of ideas but ultimately decided that a guy like him wouldn’t have someone to come back to because he chose not to. Then I got to thinking, what if? What if his world was rocked by a woman he didn’t see coming? What if this Navy SEAL who thinks he has control in all things is completely floored by love? And Someone To Come Back To was born!

You have previously published short stories and novellas, was the writing process different this time around? What did you struggle with the most and why?

Time! Time is my big enemy, just finding the time to write is always my greatest challenge. Also, with a larger body of work you have to pay attention to your plot and timeline and make sure everything follows and connects up. Someone To Come Back To also required a lot more research than my novellas but this is something I really enjoy as I’m a natural snoop.

If Someone To Come Back To was made into a film, who would you chose to play John and Maggie?

John is described as being a mix between Henry Cavill and Eric Bana so either of those would do nicely and Jessica Chastain as Maggie.

Someone To Come Back To is part of the Omega Security Series can you tell us anything about it? Will we be seeing more of John and Maggie in the later instalments?

Someone To Come Back To originally started out as a novella but grew into a much bigger piece of work and a number of other characters developed along the way. All these characters are part of John’s platoon and are gorgeous guys in their own right and each has a story to tell.   Their stories will form the basis of The Omega Security Series. I’m currently planning seven books. John and Maggie will feature intermittently throughout the series.

What advice, if any, would you give to aspiring writers?

Make sure writing is what you want to do because it is what you really want to do and not because you think it is a glamorous life full of riches and fame. This business is not for the faint-hearted. It’s tough and getting tougher by the day. Also, if you go down the Indie route, just being able to write a good story is not enough, you need to also be able to sell it and that requires other skills.

What have you got planned next?

I plan to put my butt in front of my computer and write All The Little Pieces, Snake and Ruby’s story and book two in the series. I’m hoping to have it out at the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Someone To Come Back To is available now on Amazon.

To find out more visit Roisin’s website.

 

 

Five Questions for Katie Fforde

Katie Fforde lives in the beautiful Cotswolds with her family and loves being a writer. She believes falling in love is the best thing in the world and wants her readers to share in her character’s journey as they live, laugh and love. All her books explore a different profession, and her own life feeds into this. To find out more about Katie Fforde visit her website www.katiefforde.com or follow her on Twitter @KatieFforde.

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All of your female characters are independent with just a touch of sass, but who is your personal favourite and why?

I think Polly, the heroine of Living Dangerously is my favourite if I have to choose.

What would be your dream valentine’s day date and with whom?

Dream date would be DAVID Locking-Hill from the same book. He’d take you somewhere lovely and get you home safely afterwards.

What advice would you give to aspiring romance writers?

Top advice for any writing but especially romance would be read a lot of examples of the genre and find out why some books work better than others.

What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you and how do you deal with it?

The hardest part is getting into a new book. But it’s also the most exciting.

Which three writers inspire you?

Georgette Heyer, Diana Norman, all my friends at the RNA (cheating)

A huge thank you to Katie for taking five minutes to answer our five questions. Also thank you to Becke for making this happen. 

Katie’s latest book A Summer at Sea is out now.

You can pick up a copy from Amazon here: A SUMMER AT SEA

You can find out about her other books here: Katie Fforde Books

 

My fangirl moment of the week…

It’s no secret that I’m am a huge Katie Fforde fan – I rushed to her book signing in Cowbridge a few years ago after spending the whole day in a state of excitement. I picked up a copy of Highland Fling at a market stall when I was a teenager and fell in love with Katie’s books. In all honestly, Highland Fling is what got me into reading romance – it made me the romance addict I am now. I have three signed books and I treasure them, I don’t lend them out and they have a prime position on my bookshelf.

So I thought, given that February is the month of love here at Page One, I’d email Katie’s team and see if I could ask a few questions. Nothing major – just five easy questions because I know Katie Fforde is a busy woman. So imagine my delight and utter excitement when Katie Fforde tweeted me back putting me in touch with someone from her PR team. The lovely lady then put me in touch with someone at Penguin Random House UK who passed on my questions to Katie.

Not only that…but sent me a copy of the latest book to review! In hardback! So a huge thank you to the wonderful Charlotte and Becke – you have made my week.

Now I have the brand new book and a mini interview with my favourite author. I am in fangirl heaven. I am literally walking around with a huge grin right now. I’m going to leave the husband fend for himself, sneak up to bed early tonight with my new book and lose myself in another Katie Fforde romance. 

Keep an eye out for my review and the interview!

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You can pick up your copy here: A Summer at Sea

Interview with Cheri Marie

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How does it feel to have your debut novel published?

The feeling I have is simply indescribable. When I first started writing Hearts Aligned I never thought I would even finish it let alone actually publish it! Now here we are, days from the release and it’s so surreal.

What three words would you used to describe Hearts Aligned?

Three words to describe Hearts Aligned: Real, Sincere, and Passionate.

How do you find the writing process? Which bit did you struggle with the most and why?

Usually when I sit down to write, I think about the scene I’m writing and pick a playlist that fits the emotions I’m looking for. After I find the perfect playlist I put in my earbuds, turn up the music and let my fingertips flow. The part I struggle with the most is the internal thought from the characters in the story. I tend to want to write more dialogue than necessary.

If Hearts Aligned was to be made into a film, who would you chose to play Arianna and Landon?

For Arianna it would have to be Canadian plus size model and actress, Christina Schmidt. She’s stunningly beautiful and fits Arianna completely. For Landon, I would have to say Dietrich Riley. He isn’t an actor, he’s a football player but he’s who I picture for Landon.

What book are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Driven by K. Bromberg and loving every minute of it!

What advice, if any, would you give your younger self?

Don’t let other people define who you are. Live your dreams no matter how ridiculous anyone else thinks they are. As long as you believe in yourself, you can succeed.

Any advice for people looking to write erotica?

My advice to anyone that wants to write erotica is, just do it! Some people will love it, others will hate it, it’s inevitable. Love what you write and write what you love. You never know, you could be the next EL James!

How did you decide upon the cover of Hearts Aligned? How much input did you have?

I worked with Kari Ayasha with Cover to Cover designs and she’s amazing. I told her what I had pictured for the characters, a bit of the story and any ideas that I had in mind for the cover. She took everything into consideration and made a cover that I couldn’t love more.

Erotica is a genre that is often looked down on, what made you want to write erotica fiction?

Four words: Fifty Shades of Grey! I read the series more than once and I loved it! Of course with erotica, the hot steamy sex scenes are what people are looking for but it’s also the love stories behind it.

What have you got planned next?

I currently have two books in the works. One of which is another erotica type love story about a musician who is in love with his childhood best friend. The other is more of a military romance/family type story. I’m madly in love with the characters in both and their stories, I hope that everyone else will be too.

YOU CAN BUY HEARTS ALIGNED ONLINE AT AMAZON FROM THE 14th of FEB.

Amazon UK: Hearts Aligned

Amazon US: Hearts Aligned

Cheri Marie also has a group on Facebook for discussing her books.

You can join it here: Facebook Group