Can we talk steamy romance?

Name: Ari Thatcher
Genre: contemporary erotic romance
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

Celtic Rhythm (In Flavors of Ecstasy II)
Death by Sex

What is the one book you never tire of re-reading?
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. And almost anything by Dorothy Garlock & Stephanie Laurens. Isn’t it funny that the first ones that come to mind are “sweet” and I write steamy? I’ve only recently begun reading erotic romance, over the past few years. I admit to buying ebooks like they came with chocolate, so I am still trying to get through everything the first time. I know that Maya Banks and Shayla Black have a few that I will be reading again. And again.

When did you realize you needed to write? And what was the first story you
completed that you were really proud of?

I knew I wanted to write as a kid. Some wonderful teachers encouraged creativity and that was so much more fun than doing assignments. I started my first novel in junior high, but I only began working at it seriously in my twenties.

My first big accomplishment was a short story I wrote. I submitted it to a speculative fiction magazine and received a nice rejection letter telling me it was great until about the middle. About that time I saw a contest for another magazine that wanted fewer than 1,000 words. I looked over my story and discovered it fell apart at about 1,000 words. I hacked it apart, gave it a Twilight Zone ending and it was accepted by the new magazine!

I only received a penny a word for that, but it told me I have what it takes to make it in the long run. I wasn’t so married to my words that I refused to change them. I was capable of taking suggestions and putting them to good use. It took a few more years of letting life get in the way before I made my writing important enough to keep producing.

Do you write things other than romantic fiction?
My early work was speculative fiction, but I didn’t like going to the places it sometimes took me. Now I’m combining romance and paranormal elements, so in the near future I hope to have some paranormal romances published.

When you aren’t writing, what sorts of activities do you engage in?
I only do things that I can obsess over and that make me sit in a chair and get no exercise. I’m a quilter, crocheter and knitter. I have some old needlework kits waiting to be finished. In writing we have WIPs (works in progress), and in the craft world we have UFOs (unfinished objects). As I get better at finishing manuscripts, which often means taking it apart and redoing it, I am getting better at finishing craft projects. I just need to get a voice recognition program that lets me “write” while I sew!

What is the worst job you ever held? Has it shown up in any of your writing?
Worst can be taken in many ways. One of the most dirty jobs I’ve had is changing oil on semi trucks at a truck stop. It’s hard, hot work and doesn’t pay enough for the physical pain involved at the end of a busy day. I later worked at the fuel desk and as a service writer, which weren’t as greasy by half. I only have one story set in the truck stop, hopefully it will be out later this year.

Working beside men in a man’s world has been invaluable to my male characters. I got further into my coworkers heads, sex lives and fantasies than I ever imagined, or ever want to do again. Talk about TMI! I have to tone it down a bunch because when I write it too real, my critique partners don’t like the characters.


2 Responses to “Can we talk steamy romance?”

  1. 6 October, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Hi Ari 🙂
    Thank you for the great post on steamy romance.
    I really liked the wisdom in it.
    All the best,

  2. 2 Anaïs Snow
    13 October, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I love how you use your experience in a man’s world to give your male characters some depth. Especially in steamy situations – there’s a testosterone injection right there. Very sexy! Really looking forward to reading Celtic Rhythms, living in Ireland always makes the Celtic thing even racier lol

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