Today, we welcome erotica writer Rob Graham. We hope you’ll enjoy hearing a male perspective on our world of romance–I know we did.
His most recent release is Breaking the Covenants, a tale about a vampire coupling that could lead to all-out vampire civil war.
Romantic Journey: Rob, thanks for joining us today. We’re excited to get to know a little more about you and your work. How did you first get published?
Rob Graham: That depends on how you describe ‘first’.
The first piece I signed, called Discovery, was what I call ‘a quick piece of smut’. It had been up at Literotica for a while when I heard that Phaze was publishing a set of what are known as HeatSheets. Discovery fit into the criteria they were looking for so I submitted it. And it was accepted. That made me smile big, let me tell you.
The first one that hit the market was In The Dark, a collection of short stories and novellas centered around a vampire by the name of Georges Belleveau. I was at a chat promoting Discovery when the publisher of Aspen Mountain Press, Sandra Hicks, mentioned she was looking for vampire stories. So I threw the stories together and sent them off. Sandra really liked them and sent me the contract the next day. That led to some more big smiles.
RJ: Do you have another job? If so, what is it?
RG: I’m on the disabled list I’m afraid, so my time is my own.
RJ: How does a typical work day unfold? How do you let your family know when you are in serious writing mode?
RG: My day is kind of backwards from most people’s. Morning is my slow time. I hang out on line, shower, have breakfast and play games in no particular order. I usually do my promoting in the morning. I’ve got a system where I can do ten Yahoo loops in as many minutes.
After lunch is when I usually write. Brainstorming and research falls under the writing category. I’ll usually take a walk as well.
After dinner will be a little more writing and then I spend a while on the phone with the woman I love.
I’ve got some roommates but we keep to ourselves so I don’t have to inform any one of what I’m up to.
RJ: What is the biggest blooper you’ve written?
RG: According to Mrs. Giggles it was a story I wrote called Buzz Me. *wink*
RJ: It definitely sounds as if there is a story there.
What are your five favorite books? What lessons have you applied from them to your own writing?
RG: Do I have to pick just five? Because I have quite a few authors I love to read again and again. An author is the main reason I’ll pick up a book.
These days my favorite author is Jim Butcher, the guy that wrote the Harry Dresden books. I love those stories. The world building is wonderful and there are so many good characters in them. That’s something I appreciate and try to put into my own writing.
I also love Alan Moore who wrote Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He showed that great stories aren’t limited to genre. So a lot of my work is hard to categorize.
RJ: I couldn’t help but notice that you are a little different than most of the writers we feature here—you are a dude. How did you get into the field? What joys and challenges have you experienced working in such a female-dominated genre?
RG: Well, I had been hanging around Literotica for a while, for just the reasons you suspect. I noticed one day that they had a forum there and I surfed over to it. I ended up in a place called The Author’s Hangout where, you guessed it, authors who had stories posted on Lit hung out. I ended up staying. They were all smart, articulate people that it was a lot of fun to spend time with.
But I wasn’t an author, and I felt a bit guilty about that. So I wrote a story I called Fatima, after the main character in it. I posted it on Lit and it was well received. Best of all my fellow writers on the AH had nice things to say about it.
I enjoyed the experience so much I continued writing. It was fun.
I hadn’t considered trying to be published until I entered a story into Literotica’s Halloween 2005 contest. That story was Abyss and the first of my Georges Belleveau stories. It won. A good trick considering that there were over 160 entries and some were by very good writers. That made up my mind for me and I started looking for publishers.
As far as joys go, I’m glad this is a female-dominated genre. I like women better than my own gender. The biggest challenge is being taken seriously. A lot of people don’t think a man can write romance or erotica.
RJ: If they made a movie of your life, who would play you and the important people in your life?
RG: My life’s too boring to be made into a movie. *wink*
RJ: How about if Breaking the Covenants were filmed? Do you have any dream actors or actresses in mind?
RG: Hmmmm. I think Paul Newman, from forty years ago, would be great as Ritter Gunther von Wittershiem.
My choice for Lady Marguerite Giffard would be Vivien Leigh. That’s appropriate as she played Emma Hamilton and Lady Hamilton was my co-author, Celina Summers’, inspiration for Marguerite. The woman I love thinks that Anne Hathaway could play the part well.
Alphonse de Brunel would be performed by Basil Rathbone. He always made a great villain.
Grigori Volkonsky would be best played by Gary Oldman. He’s done great vampires in the past and he does exceptional villains as well.
Augustin Calmet would be played by Werner Stocker. He had the part of an immortal holy man in the Highlander series and would make a great vampire monk.
The best actor for the role of Marcellin Dautin would Johnny Depp. Mr. Depp would bring just the right tone of debonair power to the role.
Cool questions. Thanks for this opportunity.
RJ: Thank you, Rob. We enjoyed having you.