Helena Maeve is the author of the erotic romance novel: Feint and Misdirection
, and she took some time out of her busy writing schedule to answer a few question and tell us a little more about herself and her new book.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. Wee Helena couldn’t spell all that well, but she used to jot down stories her grandmothers told her. Slightly older (but not by much) Helena wrote complicated soap opera plays, in which she starred, of course, with her friends. But from writing more or less religiously my whole life to saying I wanted to be a writer was a bit of a leap. It took admitting it to myself, first, then to my inner circle. Then finding someone willing to publish my books. For my first submission to Totally Bound I must have sent and recalled my email for a good fifteen minutes before I let it go through.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
I have the attention span of the dog from Up! (squirrel!) so if I don’t start writing as soon as an idea has sunk its claws into my cerebellum, I’m never going to get it out. From then on, it depends on how fast I can type. I hate to talk about characters as voices in my head because it makes the process seem a lot less deliberate, but the truth is I rely on inspiration as much as any writer. Trying to write a story once I’ve already ‘told’ myself how it ends is like pulling teeth.
3: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Yoga. I practice every day, sometimes twice a day if I find the time. I’ve never been particularly sporty and every time I’ve tried to pick up a workout routine, I dropped it sooner rather than later. Yoga is a nifty compromise between meditation, which I need in order to rest my brain, and going to the gym, which I hate. Although I like to pair my practice with jazz covers or Queen, so I guess that means it’s not quite proper yoga. For whatever reason, it just works better.
4: Do you have any suggestions/tips for aspiring writers and authors you’d like to share?
Stick with it. Finish as many manuscripts as you can, even if you leave them in draft form in a drawer somewhere before moving on to the next best thing. I’m a serial starter, seldom finisher myself, so I’m very familiar with the internal bully telling me that what I’m working on is crap or this other idea that just flashed through my mind is so much better. The truth is that taking a story from point A to point Z is the only way to learn how to write good beginnings and good endings. A story has to have both. If you leap at every new idea, you’ll miss out on one or the other.
5: Tea or Coffee?
Tea, but only if I can have about eleventy cups of it per day.
6: How would you describe your latest book?
Rocky au feminin. I’ve read a lot of stories about manly men fighting in MMA tournaments, vanquishing their inner demons and getting the girl (or boy) at the end of the day. I was really curious to see what that trope would look like from the other side, genderflipped. So I came up with Imogen Dao, a second-generation Vietnamese-American who’s more than willing to get her hands dirty. Her relationship with her coach and mentor is as important as her tolerance for pain, but it’s a love affair smack in the middle of the tournament that proves to be the real monkey-wrench jammed into her hopes of glory in the ring.
7: Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior?
Feint and Misdirection is my seventh title. I’ve genre-hopped a bit since I started publishing with Totally Bound, going from sci-fi and post-apocalyptic (Eden’s Embers, Collision Course) to vampires (Courting Treason) that, alas, do not sparkle, to spies and inconvenient truths (In the Presence of Mine Enemy). I also have another ménage title in A Touch of Spice, my first published novel with Totally Bound.
8: What are you working on now? What is your next project?
Depending on the day of the week, I’m either furiously engaged in muddling a suspicious death on a private island, stirring up court intrigue, or arranging a political marriage. Officially, my next title is part of an anthology of short stories set in the rowdy world of motorcycle clubs. Bad boys and engine grease abound!
9: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Before this week, I would’ve said plotter. I like my outlines. They’re a nice, comfy place to retire to when I feel like the quality of my writing leaves to be desired. Then I got an idea for a short story and I wrote it out from start to finish without a single word of summary, let alone outlining. So instead I’ll say I’m whatever the story calls for. Yes, that’s better.
10 : If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
Independent. My first thought was backseat driver, but that’s not one word. (Math! They warned me I would need it!) And also, it’s so unflattering. I’ll go with independent instead. I have a very tight-knit family and a solid group of friends, but I adore being and working on my own. I’ve never felt at ease following instructions and I tend to chafe under authority. Writing is a huge outlet. My stories are the perfect way to break all the rules and still come out swinging.
Thanks so much to Helena for taking the time to talk to us at Clitical!
Oh and if you’re wondering about Helena’s new book Feint and Misdirection, here is tiny taster of what waits for you inside:
“Are you stroking yourself, Imogen?”
She couldn’t lie, not even if she’d wanted to. “Y-yeah. It feels so good—”
“Does it? Tell me what it’s like. Are you fucking yourself with your fingers?”
Imogen groaned, closing her knees around her hand. “Yes.” She had barely touched herself and she already felt like she was teetering on the edge. “I’m picturing your hands instead of mine. I-I wonder how you’d touch me. If you’d fuck me hard and fast… If you’d take your time.”
“I’d tease you, at first,” said Jaime. “I’d want to feel your cunt squeezing down around my fingers before I pulled them out and watched you writhe and plead for me. I’d kiss my way up your body while you tried to break loose from your bonds…”
It was almost too much, but Imogen found it within herself to gasp, “And-and after that?” She could see herself splayed out and struggling on his bed while Jaime loomed over her with almost detached curiosity. He’d play her like a spinet before he let her find her pleasure. The thought was heady, overwhelming.
“I’d stroke my fingers into you again. Faster this time,” Jaime said, a note of urgency in his voice, like he was straining for something. “I’d watch your pretty mouth fall open. You’d worry it was just another one of my tricks, but then you’d feel it, the scrape of my finger against your clit.”
“Oh, fuck,” Imogen swore. She nearly dropped the phone as she pressed the heel of her palm down against that bundle of nerves at the summit of her sex, revelling in the pleasure that skittered ferociously down her spine. It was a zing of electricity, her whole body singing with it as she rode the sensation into the hazy, breathless tremors of an orgasm.
You can purchase Helena’s novel, Feint And Misdirection by clicking HERE.