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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Author Interview & Contest with Laura Stamps

This week my guest is author Laura Stamps. She has a friendly website where you can find out more about her books without being worried about the kids seeing something 'pretty'. Then there is a sexy website that comes complete with warning before you enter! Make sure you are alone to look at that one ;)

So read about sex, vampires and terrible publishers and get to know an author who has four Paranormal Erotica & Romance Series to her name. Also be sure to enter the contest and win the first three issues of "A Vampire's Kiss"


Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your naughty Series?

Laura - "The Manigault Vampires" is a paranormal erotica series. It's a serial, meaning installments of 2-3 chapters are published every month in ebook (in pdf at http://www.avampskiss.blogspot.com and on Kindle). In this series, you’ll meet Drayton Manigault, the owner of Manigault Technologies and one of the richest businessmen in Columbia, South Carolina. Dray also happens to be one of the oldest vampires in the city. Get ready for lots of erotic, vampy fun with Dray, Val (Dray’s older brother), and Atwell Gibbs (their cousin). Did I mention how gorgeous these vamps are? Oh, yeah, they’re smokin’ HOT in and out of the bedroom. Trust me! *lusty grin*

"A Vampire's Kiss" is the first novel in this series and came out in March. Sara Gadsden is a Wiccan Green Witch addicted to paranormal romance novels and their gorgeous vampire heroes. Like most people, she has no idea vampires actually exist until she meets Drayton Manigault at a Samhain party. Dray is not only one of Columbia's wealthiest businessmen, but he's also been a vampire for the last 145 years. Oh, and he's totally yummy. When Dray offers Sara a job working for his computer company, Manigault Technologies, fantasy collides with reality, and Sara's future is suddenly transformed into one wild, sexy ride!"

Amber - How did you come up with the idea for the series? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?

Laura - I've always wanted to do a vampire series cause vamps are sex-on-a-stick. And I write sex. Duh. But I didn't know how I would make that work with my Witch novels, since all my series are Pagan and set in Columbia, SC. Then one day Wynn, the totally hunky boyfriend of Noelle in "The Witchery Series," mentioned he works for Drayton Manigault at Manigault Technologies. And Dray just happens to be a vampire. EUREKA! The series took off from there. I wrote the first draft of the first novel in the series ("A Vampire's Kiss") in 9 weeks.

There are lots of reasons why I wanted to do a vampire series, and none of them have to do with the fact vamps are a hot ticket right now in the marketplace. I really don't care about that. My primary goal is to write good paranormal erotica with Pagan characters, and vamps are paranormal. Anyway, I wanted to make my vamps Deep South and a bit different. That's why mine are Daywalkers who can walk in daylight. No, that doesn't mean they can go to the beach and get a tan. But it does mean they can work during the day like everyone else, which makes it hard to realize they're vamps. Of course, there are drawbacks to being a Daywalker. And there are signs they aren't human. But readers will find out all of this as they read along. Since "A Vampire's Kiss" is the first novel in this series, it's the one where I build the vampire world in Columbia, SC, and introduce the heroes in the next two novels (Val and Atwell). Yeah, I'm having a blast with this series!

Amber - How do you write the 'hot' scenes? Is it difficult? Or do you have some good inspiration? ;)

Laura - I'm so glad you asked this question! People seem to think writing a good sex scene is easy. NOT. The truth is it's hard as hell. That's because it's not what you think. It's actually a very technical thing. You become like a movie director. You have to know where all the body parts are at all times, and they have to flow in a realistic way.

Other than that, a good sex scene is made up of three parts: thoughts, action, and dialogue. And they're not equal. Ever read a sex scene that kept throwing you out? That happens when there's too much thinking in the sex scene, and it draws you away from the action. Thoughts should be the smallest part of a hot sex scene. And those thoughts should be about how good the action feels or how yummy the hero or heroine looks, and nothing else. The dialogue should also be about the action. That's because the major part of a hot sex scene is the action. The thoughts and dialogue should bring the reader back to that.

The action includes lots of physical details. Not too many, but not too few. And it should never be repetitive. That means the author has to think of a million different ways to describe the sex act and sexual body parts. And these descriptions can't sound so stupid they make readers roll their eyes. You know what I'm talking about, dontcha? So a sex scene that gives the reader a panty-melt experience is an intricate, technical formula. Each author creats her own version of this formula, which is why we all write sex scenes in a slightly different way. And why some work for you as a reader, and some don't. IMO, a sex scene works when the pace is fast and the action is hot. It's easy to tell when a sex scene doesn't work. Ever get bored in the middle of a sex scene, and put the book down? Horrors! Yeah, it takes a LOT of practice to get it right.

Even though I've been writing sex scenes for a long time, mine still go through 30-40 edits before I feel every word is right and in the correct place to give the reader the effect I have in mind for that scene.

As for inspiration, I have a verrrrrrrry active sex life (sex-obsessed grin). What can I say? I'm not like most erotica authors. I'm more like the kinky heroine in an erotica novel. Sex is truly my life as well as my career. The sex scenes in my novels have all been tested in real life by me to make sure they're safe and they can give you a fab O. I should also mention I'm a kinkster, an exhibitionist, and a voyeur. I'm totally addicted to lust, sex, trashy lingerie, and cocks. Yummy! Hey, you asked. lmao

Amber - How do you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?

Laura - That's easy. All the names of my characters are common contemporary or historical South Carolina names. All four of my series are set in South Carolina, and I want the names of my characters to be accurate to the Deep South.

Amber - Will there be more books in the series? Are you working on any other projects?

Laura - Oh, yes. Three of my series are trilogies ("The Witchery Series," "The Rune Witch Series," and "The Faery Witch Series"). "The Manigault Vampires" is the only series that will go on indefinitely. As for other projects, my naughty blog is being made into as series of memoirs. That is my only nonfiction series.

Amber - How much say do you have in the book publishing process? Eg. Do you get to pick the cover?

Laura - I've had several publishers over the years, as you might imagine. Some give me 100% say-so in the cover. Some give me none. Some give me fab editors who "get" me and my voice and understand why my readers love my books. Others have given me The Editor from Hell. It's always a crap shoot when you go with a new publisher.

Amber - I am sure that being an author has its ups and downs. What experiences have you had so far?

Laura - Damn, you would have to ask me that this year, huh? lmao! Either you've been reading my monthly newsletter, or you just got lucky. This has not been a typical year for me. It's been more like 5 years worth of ups and downs packed into one year. And I'm still recovering. Whew!

Okay, in January of 2009 I got The Editor from Hell for one of my novellas with a big ebook publisher. She butchered the book so badly she violated my contract. In February I finished the first draft of "A Vampire's Kiss." In March the big ebook publisher suddenly went out of biz, much to the shock of its authors. Me included.

That meant I had to stop working on the final edits of the vampire novel to find a new publisher for the series the ebook publisher just dumped back in my lap. I also edited the first book in my memoir series and queried nonfiction agents about that series. In June I went with an agent interested not only in the memoir series but in my fiction as well. I wasn't crazy about that, cause I was happy with my fiction publishers. But after a month I relented and that agent put all my books exclusively with one publisher. So the next few months were spent buying out all my contracts with my other publishers and building a new website for my naughty blog to reflect this change in publishers. Things went well until September when everything kinda bogged down. In December my agent let me go over a year without a new book of mine being published (I usually publish 2-3 new books every year for my readers), and my long-time fans started to leave me. Horrors! Turns out the exclusive new publisher moved slow as shit and couldn't give me a firm publishing date for any of my books: the ones it planned to republish and the new ones. And there were lots of new books cause I never stopped writing.

Things got so bad with the agent and new publisher that I dropped the agent in March of this year. Then I gave the vamp series to Kittyfeather Press, and it published "A Vampire's Kiss" in March as a serial. In the meantime, I've spent the last two months trying to repair the damage the agent did to my 23-year career. So, yeah, it's been an insane year, and it's not over yet because of the very slow new publisher. The good news is the vamp series is being published by a fab publisher (Kittyfeather Press), and because of that my fans are receiving a HAWT erotica fix from me every month in the form of this new vamp series. Thanks to my loyal fans and readers I will survive this mess, which has turned out to be the most damaging of my career.

See? You had no idea when you asked this question what a can of worms you were opening, did ya? *falls over laughing*

Amber - Did you always wanted to be an author? How did you get to where you are today?

Laura - No. Actually, I majored in studio art in college and was a professional artist until I was 30. I was a watercolor and acrylic painter, and my paintings and art prints were sold in galleries worldwide. In fact, my art prints and posters are still sold worldwide by my art print publisher, Haddad's Fine Arts, Inc. My paintings also illustrate all the covers of "The Witchery Series" novels. Then when I was 30 I changed careers and became a writer. That's because I was never completely satisfied as an artist. I realized later I'd been trying to paint stories with color. What I needed to do was paint stories with words.

So I taught myself how to write, and over the years I learned my craft. 23 years later my fiction and poetry have appeared in over 1000 magazines, literary journals, and anthologies worldwide. My resume of awards and publication credits is over 80 pages long, including a "Pulitzer Prize" nomination and seven "Pushcart Award" nominations. And I have published over 45 books with several publishers. Amazing, isn't it? You'd never think this slut could work that hard. But I did, and I still do.

Amber - How do you relax? Do you have any hobbies?

Laura - Relax? What's that? *lmao* Relaxing in not in the game plan at the moment, while I'm doing damage control after the mess my ex-agent made. Currently, I work 7 days a week until 4:00am (okay, I'm a night owl). Then I get up at noon and start all over again. One of my readers said I keep vampire hours, and she's right. But I receive 4-8 hours of fan mail every day and love networking with my readers. After midnight things are kinda quiet, and I can get a lot of work done on my novels.

I do have a few hobbies. My fav hobbie is sex, and I make sure I do that one EVERY week (as many times as possible) . Gee, what a surprise. *lmao* I've also been in feral cat rescue for 30+ years, and at the moment I have 6 cats. Plus, I care for a feral cat colony that grew to be 21 cats and kittens before I got them all fixed and socialized and found homes for all but 3 of them. And I'm a gardener with three gardens outside and an indoor container garden where I grow spinach 365 days a year for spinach pizzas and salads. Yeah, I'm a vegetarian and eat organic. Oh, and I love to work out. I also run 5-6 miles every week. LOVE jogging. Major fun! Hey, I have more hobbies than I thought. Cool!

Amber - A lot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music influenced your books?

Laura - No, because my books are character-driven I need complete silence when I work so I can hear what they're saying to me. However I'm totally addicted to classic rock, and drive around with it cranked up really LOUD in my car. Love Journey, Aerosmith, and at the moment Def Leppard. Wes (my husband) says I like stripper music. True. I love any kind of music with a good dance beat that makes me wanna fuck. So you could call all my fav songs sex music. When I hear one on the radio and I'm in the car with Wes I usually say, "Damn, that song makes me HORNY!" And he always responds, "Everything makes you horny, darlin'." True. *sex-obsessed grin*

Amber - What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favorite authors/series?

Laura - Absolutely. I love to read erotica and read that almost exclusively. My fav authors are Emma Holly (all her novels ROCK!), Lora Leigh's "Bound Heart" series, Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Dark Hunters," Sunny's "Mona Lisa" series, and Kathy Love's "Young Brothers" vamp/demon series. I'd have to say my fav novel is Emma Holly's "Demon's Fire" (Damnation, Prince Pahndir is HAWT!). And I loved Cam in "Wicked Pleasure" by Lora Leigh. *swoon*

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?

Laura - A vampire. No doubt about it. Why? Cause they're night owls like me, and all the vamps I read about in erotic novels are oversexed. Sounds a lot like me, doesn't it? Hey, maybe I'm already a vamp and just don't know it. Alrightyyyy, bite me!! Speaking of that, Wes likes to do the vamp thing and bite me on the neck during sex. Sometimes he growls and turns it into a Werewolf kinda thing. If you read my blog you know this, since my sex life is all over my blog and the web. But I digress...

Anyway, if your readers would like to get in touch with me, they can find me here:

Laura Stamps
The Magickal SexWitch
Author of Paranormal Erotica & Romance Novels
(HOT Vampires, Shapeshifters, Witches)

To see all my novel series

My verrrrry naughty blog

My “Laura Stamps” Fan Page at Facebook

Follow me on Twitter!

Amber - Thank you for being a guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog!!

Laura - Hey, I had a blast. And I even tried to keep my slutty talk to a minimum. Kinda. Maybe. Not! lmao


Contest Time!

Laura is very kindly giving away a set of the first three issues of "A Vampire's Kiss". These are pdf format so be sure you have the right means to read them!

How to Enter!

June is already here and that means that 2010 has reached the halfway mark. What has the year been like for you so far?

No Comment about 2010 = No Entry

Earn more entries for each place you link this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your info in one post.

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Amazon link below and around the site!

The contest will stay open until Sunday 13th of June 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


Linda Henderson said...

So far for me this year it's been all about family. My granddaughter had a big graduation ceremony from pre-school. My youngest daughter is pregnant with number three so we've been getting ready for that. Family sickness, surgery, just seems to be one thing after the other. Hopefully the rest of the year will settle down. I enjoyed the interview very much. I haven't read any of her books yet, but I'd like to.

seriousreader at live dot com

SiNn said...

so far my year has kind of sucked really been sick had to have sergry one move after another but hey its at the half way mark can only go up from here

heidi330 said...

So far this year has flown by...I can't beleive this is June already...It's been very busy for us between birthdays, preschool and my writing I feel like a missed something and I'm not sure what it was. Well for the next half I hpe to slow down, relax,(ha)watch my 4 yr old son play in the pool, keep writing and read a lot more books.
Great interview..I really enjoyed it...

Rosie said...

So far, it's been a great year. I'm keeping busy reading and transporting my sons all over creation . . . and I mean it . . . son 2 plays hockey. Ugh! It's keeping me young, though!

k_sunshine1977 said...

well, it's had highs and lows....i got engaged with the new year, just to find out a few days later that the store i worked at was closing (our location and seven others, so there was nowhere to transfer to). so i've been unemployed since the beginning of march, but my fiance has stood by me through it all.

loved the interview - thank you for the contest!

All This Silence... said...

-Got my heart torn out
-Got over it
-Got my heart torn out again by the same guy
-Started falling for a guy I started falling for 2 years ago
-Started falling for a guy I never expected to fall for
-Juggling like 4 guys at once and I actually have no options, believe it or not
-My dad gives me guilt trips every day
-And I only have one more year before I have to leave home

Andrea I said...

I always enjoy Laura's interviews.
2010 has been a very good year:
Very busy at work.
Was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hands, not much fun as I'm an accountant. Learning to deal with it, could be something worse.
Looking forward to beach vacation in July.


emmad said...

To be honest 2010 has not been good to me. Mainly because the results of the depression are striking very hard with us now. Currently have our home and horse truck up for sale.
Hoping one sells soon so the rest of 2010 will be brigher.

Lanae T. said...

2010 has been interesting. I've been trying to take a good close look at my life and decide what I really want. I'm still not sure on a few things but I have made some decisions. We'll see how the outcome is. I've got my fingers crossed for happy endings, but I'll make the best of whatever happens.
ftatman5 at yahoo.com

Good Choice Reading said...

2010 has been my best year yet. Me and my husband just had our second little boy on Feb 5th. We have a four year old already and just watching the two of them is amazing! We are doing much better financially this year and are having a blast so far. I am a stay at home mother and get to read all I want. hehe Just recently started my own blog http://goodchoicereading.blogspot.com on books since I read 3-4 books a week lol.

love it!

Anyway, its been a great year!

I posted your contest on my twitter and facebook.


Unknown said...

This year has kinda sucked for me because I'm going off to college and had to take SAT and Had to apply to colleges. argggg. I'm glad where finally to the half way point

Jessica Louise said...

This year has been so much better then the last (no one died). So far this year I have got back into reading and been to vist my nan in spain. Revsion for exmas and doing them now. Few odd trips of london and camden market. Left school (very sad). This year is going by so far and can't wait for prom in a month!

I've tweeted.. http://twitter.com/JessicaXxXLW/status/16028716929

I've facebooked.. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&suggest&note_id=10150185225330088

I've myspaced.. http://activities.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=stream&friendId=351912449&f=7
Thanks for entering me! :) x

Deirdre said...

Twitted about it here: http://twitter.com/wyvernfriend/status/16067268853

2010 has been a year of having to find more money, make some decisions about money and decide to reduce the number of nights out. It's been a hard year so far but I really would like it to be a little less hard! Heading to Frankfurt for a wedding next weekend and hoping that it will be enjoyable.