Interview With S. L. Carpenter:
Hi there, Scott. I want to tell you how pleased we are that you have taken time out of your schedule to participate in this interview. I was glad that you were able to answer so many of my questions, and I am sure that our readers, and members will be pleasantly surprised. OK, enough of my blathering, Here is Scott:
- Please tell us about your latest book.
Well, “Betty and the Beast” just came out from Ellora’s Cave. It is my take on the Beauty and the Beast story. It was fun to just go off and play with a timeless tale of a beautiful woman falling in love with a hideous beast.
I took some liberties with it. Hey, it was my telling of it so why not.
- What can we expect from you in the future?
Sahara Kelly and I are working on the second Partners In Passion book.
I am really proud of this one because parts of it are my own personal fantasy that I got to write about. The first book with her was so easy to write. We really clicked together. This one is a little different and deeper. Um, in a lot of different ways.
After that I have a Fable to write, the Dark Lord stories and maybe Strange Lust 3. I just love to write stuff.
- How do we find out about you and your books?
My site. http://www.slcarpenter.net.
- Do your fans' comments and letters influence you in any way?
I must admit, having someone tell me they like or dislike something I write is hard to get used to. I have truly been blessed. The readers are honest and send me emails telling me I made them laugh or inspired them to jump their mates. Either way I get great satisfaction.
- Why did you decide to write romance novels?
This is tricky. I am a romantic at heart and read some erotica and thought that it was very unrealistic. Not a bad thing, just not reality.
So I started writing short stories about people in different situations and added reality. In other words, people have flaws and life is funny. Think about it. In the heat of passion don’t you ever get a leg cramp or make a funny noise?
So I just unlocked my mind and let it free . . . scary thing to do. Strange Lust happened and that led to Strange Lust 2 and so on.
- How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I am in all of the characters. Hard not to be. I have a rather twisted imagination and it shows. In “Toys 4 Us” I have the guy with a set of toys for the girl. That was me thinking of a way to surprise and shock a woman.
If I did most of the things I write about not only would my wife never let me leave the house, I would be in traction.
- Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I consider myself a mood writer. I write when the mood hits. I think it is weird but hear other writers talk about it too. I just try to not force it. My thoughts will flow when they are ready.
- Where do your ideas come from?
Life. I see or hear something sometimes and just get a wicked thought. The Strange Lust stories are like that. Just spontaneous ideas. The longer stories have more thought involved and I want to get the characters out so a reader can relate to them. Then I goof off with them.
- Do you feel humour is important in women's fiction and why?
Not so much humor as realism. I love what so many authors write and how they take a readers mind away from the humdrum place they are in. It’s a great relief. I just add things to bring a smile or make someone shake their head and think, “Ya, this has happened to me too.”
- What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
Don’t tell anyone this but the love scenes are basic fantasies and thoughts I have. I close my eyes and wonder what the people feel, think and react to. There are only so many ways to DO-IT and you need to make each one a little different.
I honestly admire the writers that write 20 books a year. I know I can write a lot but . . . . hmmm, they must be closet nymphomaniacs writing them. I need some phone numbers.
- Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?
I have a humor book called “Men Get Pregnant Too” at http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com.
I wrote this for my wife when she was pregnant the last time with my son. It was fun and semi-therapeutic.
- Do you ever ask him/her for advice?
My wife is my fiercest critic sometimes. Mostly she reads some things, shakes her head and walks off. I do ask her about some things, mainly character ideas. A few times she told me I was way off base.
Then we had sex and showed me why.
- Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
Married, 3 brats, I mean kids, some college, likes Chinese food, sports on TV, and try to be a good hubby, daddy and friend to people.
- Who are some of your favorite authors?
Sahara Kelly and a bunch at EC are so good. It depends on my mood. For comedy, Steve Martin. I don’t really have a group of favorites as much as just books that attract me. I like poetry also.
- Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
My mom. She was so funny. Of everyone, she told me to just be Me.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Just writing and having fun. I would love to think I could sell millions and all that story. But I am a realist and know that as long as I try hard, keep writing, and have people enjoy my thoughts, that is more then most people have.
Of course a couple million wouldn’t hurt either.
- How many books have you written, how many have been published?
7 books at Ellora’s Cave and one at Whiskey Creek Press have been published. I have three more written but not sure what to do with them yet.
- After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and read it?
This may sound bad but no. By the time I am done writing and editing and re-editing I have read it a dozen times. The Strange Lust books I have gone back and read the stories again if I get a comment. I still get a kick out of them.
- Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
Let’s ask easy questions OK?
Don’t have a favorite. I am really proud of Toys 4 Us. That book started as an idea and I wrote the whole thing from the simple idea. It was my first full-length story with a central set of characters.
- What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
Easiest was with Sahara Kelly. This just flowed out of me. I compare writing with her to great sex. Natural and satisfying. Every now and then you meet someone and you connect. I was blessed this time. We compliment each other’s style. Plus, that woman is a nymphomaniac. Her husband must be constantly worn out.
Hardest was Toys 4 Us. I had to make sure I wrote it right. I didn’t want to make the character Dana, be anything but a real woman discovering herself. The hardest part of being a man writing in this genre is how to depict women. I love and adore women and won’t write anything to insult nor degrade them. I dedicated the book to a dear friend that helped me. She read what I wrote and would tell me to keep going. She inspired me.
Most fun was Strange Lust 2. I love to just cut loose the inner beast.
- What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest?
Hardest part is time. I work full time, do cover art, and write. Not a lot of time in the day. Easiest is the release. When ideas flow and you type them up, it is refreshing.
- Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?
Oh ya. Just give me some Toni Braxton, Sade or some good jazz music and the mood always comes back.
- What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Hearing that someone enjoyed what I wrote. To know I made someone smile, laugh or get horny is empowering. That’s why I write.
- Any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Keep writing. If you feel strong about what you are writing just keep doing it.
- What question would you love to answer that I didn't ask?
HAHAHA Thanks so very much Scott. I greatly appreciate the time you have taken today for this interview. I know the members, and readers have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed asking the questions. We shall be looking out for Partners in Passion II at Ellora’s Cave.
Yours in good reading,