I’m happy to present my interview with C.P. Foster. Her books Dark Studies, Secret Studies, and Lord Lucien’s Lessons.
Arcaneology Book One
Professional victim. Escaped slave. Grad student. Angie Clark is all three.
Arcaneology Book Two
If she could only stop running, she could start living…
(blurb and excerpt below for Lord Lucien’s Lessons)
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Hi C.P., Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let’s jump right in!
What would you like readers to know about Dark Studies and Secret Studies?
These were originally one (enormous!) book. Because of the size, it was decided that it should be split into two, which makes sense from a marketing perspective. I thought I was going to pull out every hair in my head trying to make it work though. These two are actually one complex story, not two separate ones complete in and of themselves, though we tried very hard to make them stand alone. I think some readers are frustrated that Dark Studies doesn’t tie up all of the story lines in a neat bow, so I want to reassure them that Secret Studies does!
How much do exotic locations play in crafting your stories? Do you tend to start with a location or setting and then create characters and a plot, or vice versa?
Setting is secondary. The characters are always my starting point. Usually, I get a single scene loud and clear in my head, and from that scene I flesh out the characters and build a plot. Then I choose the location that best suits the story—preferably somewhere that I’ve spent a fair amount of time.
I’m leery of writing about places I’ve never visited, because I like to be accurate and capture the right feel for the setting. I always wince when I’m reading something set in Seattle that gets details wrong and totally misses the character of the city, and I assume other people feel the same way about their home towns. Sadly, I haven’t been to many exotic places. I wonder if I could claim a tax write-off for a trip around the world? The times that I choose a setting I’ve never been to, I research it like crazy first. Thank gods for Google maps with the street view, and especially for people who write blogs that bring their cities to life for the reader. Relying on maps and photographs is like looking at pictures of food on a menu: you see what the dish looks like, but that doesn’t tell you much about how it tastes.
Were your characters difficult to write, or did they seem to spring easily from your mind to the page?
Characters are my favorite part of writing. I wouldn’t say they leap off the page immediately, though. I approach characterization in much the same way that an actor approaches a role. For each of the major characters, I create a profile that includes a detailed background and life history. Where and how were they raised? Did they have pets? What’s their medical history? Do they watch TV? What music do they like? Favorite color, food, sport? Education level? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The bulk of it will never appear in the story, but it gives the person all sorts of layers of personality that will add nuance and depth to how I write them. It’s time consuming and takes a lot of effort, but I love doing it.
How important is writing momentum to you?
Very. Once I lose momentum, it takes forever for me to get back into the groove.
Do you enjoy research? Or is research a necessary evil?
I am a total research geek. Sometimes I get so caught up in it that I forget to actually write the story. (Oops.) One really cool discovery I’ve made is that my friends have an incredibly diverse range of knowledge. For instance, while I was writing Secret Studies, I needed to learn as much as I could about how a person could disappear and go into hiding, something very difficult in this day and age. I mentioned this on Facebook, and an old friend popped up to tell me that she worked with the Center for Missing Children. She gave me piles of information on how the authorities search for fugitives and what it takes to avoid capture. There is nothing like firsthand experience.
Can you tell readers who are interested the general difference between erotica and erotic romance?
I’ve heard differing opinions on this. Here’s mine: in erotic romance, the sex scenes serve the romantic relationship between the main characters, and there has to be a HEA or a HFN ending. In erotica, there doesn’t have to be a happy ending, and the sex doesn’t have to focus on that agenda. Erotica comes in many forms (ar ar). Sometimes it’s pure smut, but it can also be an artistic statement, a journey of self-discovery for the characters, or any number of things. Personally, I like a nice bit of smut now and then. Just for…fun.
What do readers have to look forward to in the future from C.P. Foster?
Lord Lucien’s Lessons, a short, erotic romp in Regency era London has just released!
Thanks again for stopping by, C.P.! Readers can discover more about C.P. Foster here:
Lord Lucien’s Lessons
C. P. Foster
Genre: Historical Erotica
Page Count: 63
Release Date: 5-15-2015
‘Tis a rake’s solemn duty to teach his friends how to please a lady.
No rake in London has a better reputation for pleasing the ladies than the handsome Lord Lucien. When his friends beg him for a bit of advice, how can he refuse? It would be downright churlish not to pass on the skills he has acquired. Of course, teaching such things requires more than a few words and naughty images, and hands-on experience is by far the best way to learn. Which means he’s going to need a willing wench to offer some demonstrations. And he knows just the lass for the job.
Cora, a sassy barmaid at Lord Lucien’s favorite tavern, has enjoyed his particular talents more than once. She’s shocked at first by his request that she help him show the lads a thing or two. Sharing her bed with him is one thing, but having an audience is quite another. Yet wouldn’t she be doing a favor to ladies and low-born girls alike if she helped teach these gents what to do? It would be an act of kindness, really. She certainly wouldn’t mind earning a hefty fee in exchange for having the time of her life. Why, with a bit of luck, it might even be the start of a new career.
Reader discretion: contains voyeurism, menage/multiple partners elements, public sex
An Excerpt from Lord Lucien’s Lessons
The tavern was already crowded with sweaty, half-drunk men when Cora came downstairs for work. The din of their laughter and raised voices echoed off the ceiling’s crude wooden beams. It was payday at the cotton mill, and full pockets put them all in good moods.
Two men grabbed her arse before she even reached the bar. Cora tossed her head and fended them off with a joke, knowing she’d make better tips if she let them have their bit of fun. She needed whatever she could get; a barmaid’s wages barely paid the rent on her room above the tavern. The only way she managed to save any money at all was by taking a man upstairs for a few extra quid now and then. She enjoyed a good tumble if a bloke caught her fancy, and if he offered to pay, so much the better.
“About bleedin’ time you got down here.” Her boss wiped his damp forehead. He’d rolled up his shirtsleeves, and one of his suspenders drooped off his shoulder as he plunked four mugs of ale onto a tray. “Lord Lucien’s having a card game in the cellar. He’s asked for you, so go keep him and the toffs happy. Kitty and I’ll take care of this lot.”
Cora grinned. Whenever Lord Lucien held one of his card games, the tavern doubled its profits, so her boss encouraged her to give them whatever they wanted. She was more than glad to oblige. Serving gentlemen was a sight better than slinging ale for the usual crowd. On top of that, she’d spend the evening in the cellar, which was much cooler than the main room on a hot summer night like this. Cora ducked into the back and fiddled with her bodice until it pushed her tits up high, fair ready to burst out of her blouse. Then she grabbed the tray and hurried off.
“Comin’ through,” she called as she went down the narrow steps, not wanting anyone to bump into her and dump ale all over the place. Boxes and kegs filled the front half of the cellar, so she had to wind a path through them to get to the private room. An alcove with three brick walls had been curtained off especially for Lord Lucien and his ne’er-do-well friends. It boasted a table big enough to seat six, and enough extra space that they wouldn’t trip over each other coming and going. Her boss had even put down a rug to cover the rough, wood floor.
Tonight there were only four gents lounging around the table. Cora gave them her brightest smile and bent low so they’d get a look at her plump breasts as she served the ale.
“Evenin’, girl.” Lucien took in the view, and his eyes gleamed when he raised them to meet hers. “Busy upstairs? I suppose they’ll be wanting you back?”
He was a handsome rake, with his chocolate brown hair and broad shoulders, and had a way of looking at her that made Cora flush from head to toe. She’d take him to her room right then and there if he asked.
Cora winked. “I’m to keep you and the lads happy. Never mind ’bout the oafs up there.”
“How happy?” He caught her by the waist and pulled her onto his lap without so much as a by your leave.
She giggled. “Very.”
Lucien turned her so her back rested against his chest, and he planted a kiss on her cheek. “Then be a good girl and open your legs for me.”