I Interviewed Rosalie Stanton


 I was lucky enough to have one of my Loose Id authors, Rosalie Stanton, agree to an interview. I love being able to ask specific questions about her life and work!

G.G.: Your first release with Loose Id was Firsts, a contemporary romance. If I remember, that was your first erotic romance novella. How difficult was it for you to decide that’s want you wanted to write? And what was your process to create that particular story? In retrospect, it seems so simple and sweet, but it came out very hot.

R.S.: Firsts was a steppingstone for me in many ways, and not just because it was the first erotic romance novella I’ve published. I have written stories in one fashion or another since I could hold a pen. In junior high, I submitted a short story to a state-wide literary magazine and received a gold medal for my submission, as well as my first honest publication. In high school I served as the editor for our literature magazine, featuring student talent in the form of art, poems, and short stories. In college, I took as many fiction-related courses as I could, eventually turning it into my major, and for the past few years, I’ve published informally online. The group dynamic was very positive; it enabled me to write continuously, which is really the only way you learn to write well. It also opened the doors to criticism and suggestions beyond what I received in my college courses.

However, as much as I love writing informally, about a year ago I decided it was time to get serious about writing. I’ve always done it, always loved it, and I’ve always wanted to be published. I took suggestions and prompts from friends, and one of the prompts was what Firsts eventually became. The idea spoke to me, as it was about taking chances, and as I was setting out to do something I’d never done before, it seemed appropriate. I had no ambitions of it being accepted anywhere, so I pretty much bounced off walls for a good, oh, six weeks or so after receiving my acceptance letter.

A lot of the process involved taking bits from my own experience and trying to relive them. It was a very personal story in many ways.

G.G.: Possession was your second release. Why vampires? Were you afraid the market was oversaturated?

R.S.:  I suppose this is a reflection of “write what you like you read.” I love vampire romances, and I would guess one of the reasons the market is oversaturated is I’m not the only one. A few years ago, a friend sent me the first three Dead books by Charlaine Harris, and I became addicted, though I had no idea the series would explode into such a phenomenon when I first read them. Really, the first romance novels I read, and for a while the only romance novels I’d read, were paranormal urban fantasy. Writers like Lynsay Sands, Katie MaCalister, J.R Ward, and Sherrilyn Kenyon became my go-to ladies when I wanted something new to read.

I actually wasn’t afraid of entering an oversaturated market, though I know some might regard the material as having been overdone, especially in the wake of True Blood, Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, Buffy, Anita Blake, and so on. With any subgenre of erotic romance, you’re going to appeal to some readers and turn off others. It’s the risk you take.

G.G.: I have to say what pulled me into Possession was the sort of Buffy feel. I was a big fan of that and Angel and really anything by Joss Whedon; this had the same feel, but without being fanfic-y.

You mention a lot of authors above. Who are you reading now? Who or what turned you on to them?

R.S.: I’m rereading an old favorite at the moment: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I love the layers of the novel, and how she manipulates readers from her character’s POV.

When I need a break from Rebecca, though, I’ve mainly relied on a selection of stories from Loose. When Firsts was accepted, I kind of went on a buying rampage and purchased a lot of stories I haven't yet had time to read. Now that I have a Kindle, I hope to rectify that. What I read largely depends on my mood, and whether I'm in the market for escapism or inspiration.

G.G.: Your stories feature a higher sex-to-plot ratio than a lot of other erotic romance I’ve read or even that I’ve written, yet it doesn’t seem like you sacrifice character development or a good conflict. How do you find that balance?

R.S.: All romance novels I’ve read have either dealt with the union or reunion of two people, so the reader views the unfolding events of a relationship. This lends itself to the first feelings and sensations the character experiences with that partner, or for a second time after the characters have evolved. Most often, an emotional journey is already underway.

My characters tend to take sex very seriously, and it’s important to see and feel what they see and feel during the act beyond the physical. The sex scenes themselves might be longer than others as I like to connect what is experienced to the emotional journey, which lends itself to character development. It’s really the only way I know how to write sex scenes; casual sex makes me too uncomfortable, and oftentimes I really envy those authors who can write it. For me, however, I have to know what my characters are thinking, what’s changing for them, and how it might shape their future.

It also helps that the plots for the stories I have in the market right now are sex-driven. I hope to expand my horizons in terms of plot for future projects.

G.G.: Are you doing anything special to work toward that goal? I mean, obviously you’ve had plenty of preparation up to this point…

R.S.: I actually have a preference for long, complicated plots, but since they take longer to plan and write, and since my "writing time" has decreased signficantly over the last two years, I haven't been able to fully unleash the way I typically like. Both Firsts and Possession were written with a vague idea of the story I wanted to tell, and I just filled in the blocks as I went, which is not a typical process for me. I prefer detailed, often chapter-by-chapter outlines and a solid idea of where I'm going before I write a word. My next project will be thoroughly plotted before I start. I don't mind surprises along the way, granted, as oftentimes something I had planned gets derailed based on the characters' thoughts or actions. I actually prefer it when they take me by surprise, but likewise, the structure of the story rarely deviates when I have a solid outline.

G.G.: Finally, what do you have planned next?

Urban fantasy. I said I love vampires, right?

The idea I’m toying with now is sort of a play in what I’ve read. A lot of authors who write paranormal romance have “good” vampires and “bad” vampires, and stress that the good vampires are seriously misunderstood by society because of the bad ones. I’ve always wanted to read a story about one of the bad ones. Hopefully, other readers have, too.

Check out Possession.
Check out Firsts.
Check out Rosalie's blog!

Comments

  1. Great interview! I loved Firsts and have Possession on my TBR list.

    Wishing you many sales and much success! ;-)

    Jaime

    ReplyDelete

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