This week we are joined by erotic romance author: Amy Valenti. Amy attained ‘crazy cat lady’ status at four years old, but took a little longer to get to the ‘published author’ stage, which was her other goal in life. Now in her late twenties, she tries to minimize the number of cats she puts into her erotic romance stories, but more than one has slipped into a character’s home while her back’s been turned. After all, the ultimate test of a man’s worth is what his new partner’s pets think of him…
Cats aside, Amy enjoys writing about intelligent female characters who know themselves and their desires. She’s been fascinated by sex, relationship and power-play dynamics for many years, and experiments with different sub-genres under the overarching category of BDSM, concentrating on Domination and submission romance in particular.
We decided to ask Amy few probing questions and below are her answers.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing terrible stories and poems as soon as I was confident with a pen – so about five or six years old, maybe. Thankfully, I stopped writing poems soon after the first set, and with practice the awful stories got slowly and successively less cringe-worthy. It took me until my late teens to start writing the smutty stuff, though!
2: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I play computer games – anything from old-school Tetris to Bioshock and Tomb Raider. The puzzle games give my mind a break from turning over plot ideas, and the violent ones are good for working out aggression.
I also read a lot of books. I used to read a lot more crime, young adult, urban fantasy and horror, but these days it’s almost all erotic romance – it’s like a drug! Ten years ago, if you told me I’d soon be obsessed with reading romance books, I would have laughed at you.
3: Do you have any suggestions/tips for aspiring writers and authors you’d like to share?
Read a lot, write a lot, do things that inspire you. If you really want it badly enough, you’ll find the time to sit down and write. Plan if it feels right for you, but don’t force it if it doesn’t work for you. You should know your ending in advance, though.
Don’t overanalyse what you’ve put on the page, just get it down. I use writeordie.com to make sure I stay focused on the next words rather than the ones before. When you’ve got the whole thing down, you can start to worry about editing then. It took me forever to start finishing projects, because I would edit too soon and end up hating every word and second-guessing myself. Don’t do that.
4. What book do you wish you could have written?
From a financial perspective? Fifty Shades of Grey. I’d love to earn that kind of money!
From an author fangirl standpoint, I’d have to say the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey (book 1 is Kushiel’s Dart). They’re fantasy books with religion, mythology and geography inspired by this world, and the main character is a courtesan chosen by one of the gods to feel intense pleasure with intense pain. It’s got a lot of political intrigue and twists and turns, and some very sexy parts, too.
5. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
My main shout-out would have to be to Marianne de Pierres, who’s an Australian speculative fiction author. A long time ago I picked up her debut novel, Nylon Angel, and fell in love with it. I scoured the internet looking for more people who’d read it so I could talk to them about it, didn’t find any, created a LiveJournal community in the hopes I’d draw a few people to it, and Marianne connected with me through that. She’s been a sort of mentor/friend to me ever since, and I’m hugely grateful for the inspiration she and her books give me.
Name-dropping some other authors I’ve found inspiring: Jacqueline Carey, Kelley Armstrong, Mira Grant a.k.a. Seanan McGuire, Ilona Andrews, Karin Slaughter, Tamora Pierce, Karen Rose… None of them are actually erotic romance authors, but their romance sub-plots have influenced me a lot. Oh, and Cherise Sinclair. She’s the erotic romance author I love the most.
6: Tea or Coffee?
Tea, every time! Occasionally I get a coffee craving, but usually tea.
7: How would you describe your latest book?
Dominance and Deception is actually a re-release of a book originally published in 2011. It’s the story of a dominant cop and a submissive forensic scientist who start off colleagues and friends, but progress into a committed relationship that’s probably closest to Master/slave. Every BDSM relationship is different, and obviously Faye, the submissive character, still has her autonomy at work and in her social life. But most of the time they’re together, he calls the shots and she loves it.
There are some elements of criminal investigation in the book, and some romantic suspense perilous parts, but most of the book focuses on the trust and love between the two characters, no matter what comes their way.
8: What are you working on now? What is your next project?
There are a few different things I’m bouncing between – a wolf shifter story, a story set in a fetish club, and a ménage book about a scriptwriter submissive who attracts the attention of two Doms, a producer and a director. I’m not sure which I’ll finish first, but all of them will be fun to focus on.
9: If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
I had to think about this question for ages before choosing an answer! Probably ‘oddball’. In a good way, overall. In day-to-day life I tend to strike out on my own rather than do what other people do, and I like that about myself, but occasionally I can get strange looks. For becoming an author of naughty books, for one thing…
A huge thanks to Amy for taking the time from her busy writing schedule to talk to Clitical. She has also been kind enough to supply us an excerpt from her new book: Dominance and Deception. Enjoy!
He pulled out wrist cuffs, fleece-lined leather for comfort, though his police-issue handcuffs must have been close by. I wondered how many times he’d used them in situations like this.
“Kneel on the bed. Hold onto the headboard with both hands and spread your legs, little tease.”
Blushing, I knelt up in the middle of the mattress, knees apart, and leant forward to curl my fingers around the wrought iron of my headboard.
“More.” Pierce sat casually on the edge of the bed, looking me over, and I closed my eyes in titillating self-consciousness as I widened the space between my knees.
He cuffed my wrists to the headboard, his fingers practised against the leather and metal. Then he sat back again, satisfied.
“Now I know your fetishes, let’s talk about mine. We’ll explore them over time…but let’s start with this one.”
He took a small tube of something out of his pocket, uncapping it and holding it close enough to my nose that I could smell it.
“Sir…” He hadn’t even used it yet, but my imagination offered up enough predictions to set me squirming. I didn’t know whether I was asking him for it, or pleading for him not to go there.
Pierce set the tube down on the bed, then leaned over to leave a trail of teasing kisses over my abdomen, gradually working his way south. Supporting himself on one elbow, he lay across the bed, slowly caressing my clit with his tongue.
I bit back a moan of encouragement, but wow—the man had some serious technique. My spread legs trembled, threatening to give out and leave me sitting on my heels—which would not make Pierce happy.
He drew back, sitting up and substituting his fingers for his tongue, watching me writhe and sigh. Then he squeezed a little of the mentholated hand moisturiser onto one fingertip, and I closed my eyes, waiting for the inevitable.
He rubbed it into my skin, starting at the outer edges and moving gradually inwards. For a moment, I didn’t feel anything, then a cool tingle began to creep across the area.
“Please,” I begged, just as he coated my clit with moisturiser. “Sir—”
He sat back with a tiny smile…and the menthol kicked in, a cold, mild burn that shocked the breath from my lungs and sent a wave of intense want through me.
“You have permission to come, little tease. If you can.”
As long as my hands were tied, I didn’t have a chance. I gave a quick tug at my bonds, just in case, but it was wishful thinking. And I got the feeling he wouldn’t let me close my legs enough to generate any kind of friction…
“I need your help, Sir.”
Pierce laughed softly. “I know that.”
While I groaned with frustrated resignation, tingling and trembling and completely helpless, he shrugged out of his shirt and returned to my toy chest. Ignoring me.
If you enjoyed this except you can read the whole story of Dominance and Deception by simply clicking on the link.