Good morning Lucy, and welcome to the comfiest Romaniac sofa. We’re all in awe of anyone who can write all that sizzling, steamy stuff and yet look so young, beautiful and innocent! What started you off on your writing journey, and how did you decide to go down this particular path?
Lucy: Thank you so much for having me – it’s great to be here! And thank you for your kind comments. *blushes* I guess I’ve been on my writing journey ever since I could write. As a child, I’d precociously announce that I was going to be an author when I grew up. Having no idea, of course, that people don’t pay you to sit around and write books – it just doesn’t work like that. Which is a crying shame, if you ask me As I got older, I realised the depressing truth and started thinking seriously what I was going to do when I left school, college, etc. I changed paths a couple of times, and when I was taking my A-levels, realised I still didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. So I decided to buy myself three more years by going to University. I figured I’d study something I enjoyed, which is how I ended up on the creative writing degree. It was during those three years that I was dared to write an erotic story. It went down incredibly well with the “darers” and I’ve never looked back!
Are there any other writers that have particularly inspired you?
Lucy: I’ve never tried to emulate anyone, I just found my own style and (hopefully) continue to improve on it. But writers that I admire and therefore have made me want to be as successful as them include Portia Da Costa, Saskia Walker, Janine Ashbless and more. They were some of the first writers I read when I first started learning more about erotica and erotic romance.
What are your views on the 50 Shades phenomena?
Lucy: Ahh, the eternal debate. Personally, I started reading the books because I thought I’d better see what the fuss was about. The writing itself is “meh” (that bloody inner goddess!) but there’s something (though I don’t know what) engaging enough in the storyline that I went on to read books two and three straight away. Regardless of what I think of the books themselves, I’m glad they’re out there. They’ve well and truly shone the light on the genre, and authors that were getting reasonable sales previously are now getting some seriously impressive royalty cheques, which I think is fantastic. These writers have worked so hard for so long, and now they’re getting the recognition they deserve, and gaining lots more readers that previously either didn’t read at all, or didn’t read erotica or erotic romance. For that, I know lots of writers are grateful to EL James.
Have you written in any other genres?
Lucy: No, I’ve stuck with the smut so far! I’ve written in lots of subgenres of erotica and erotic romance, but at the moment I still have so many ideas—more than I’ve got time to work on—that I don’t want to stop. Maybe in a few years I’ll try a mainstream romance, or a thriller or something. But for now, there are still lots more hot stories in my head, dying to get out.
I’m not saying which inquisitive Romaniac asked this question, but where do you get your hot and spicy ideas from?
Lucy: I’m afraid the answer is dull as dishwater. I certainly don’t experience all the things I write about; for example I’m not a vampire (though I am pale enough to get away with it), a werewolf, a man, a lesbian, a policeman, a dominatrix, etc, etc. I’m just a girl with a filthy mind and a vivid imagination. Basically, I know what men and women’s bodies look like, what it’s possible to do with or to them, and that’s all I need to know. I just make the rest up! My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. An overheard conversation, a book, a film, a character in a book, film or TV show, a place, a situation. In the same way writers get ideas for any genre, things just pop in to my head (most often in the shower) and get stored away until I have time to think about them more and see if they have legs.
What do you love most about being a writer?
Lucy: Getting stuff published never gets old! And, even better, having people read what you’ve written and say how much they enjoyed it. It’s great knowing that people are reading my stuff and that I’m doing something right!
Do you have any routines, lucky mascots, pets etc to help you concentrate?
Lucy: I write mostly onto my laptop in my office. I’m home alone during the day so I get peace and quiet (dependent on how noisy the neighbours are) and I just squeeze in the writing around whatever else I’m doing for my PR & Marketing business (http://www.writermarketing.co.uk). If I’m struggling, or finding the lure of the internet too much to resist, I’ll take my notebook into my bedroom—or in the summer if it’s dry and warm into the garden—and get some words down that way. I don’t have a routine, I just do what I can, when I can. If I’m really not feeling in the mood, I don’t force it because what I do write ends up being crap then! And as for mascots and pets—I have a dog, but he’s a puppy and is crazy so he’s a distraction more than anything. If I write in the garden he insists on sitting on my knee for a cuddle!
Which hero are you proudest of creating?
Lucy: Out of my currently published titles, it would have to be Damien from my erotic romance novella, Off the Shelf. It’s my first—and only, at the moment—novella, so writing it was a learning curve as I made the jump from short stories. But it definitely helped that I adore Damien, he’s so cute that I just loved writing about him. He’s not a typical romance hero; he’s quite nerdy, he loves books and travel and has curly hair and glasses. But I’ve had some really good feedback on the novella—so it seems that readers feel the same about him!
At 35, travel writer Annalise is fed up with insensitive comments about being left on the shelf. It’s not as if she doesn’t want a man, but her busy career doesn’t leave her much time for relationships. Sexy liaisons with passing acquaintances give Annalise physical satisfaction, but she needs more than that. She wants a man who will satisfy her mind as well as her body. But where will she find someone like that? It seems Annalise may be in luck when a new member of staff starts working in the bookshop at the airport she regularly travels through. Damien appears to tick all the boxes; he’s gorgeous, funny and intelligent, and he shares Annalise’s love of books and travel. The trouble is, Damien’s shy and Annalise is terrified of rejection. Can they overcome their fears and admit their feelings, or are they doomed to remain on the shelf? More info, excerpt and buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/off-the-shelf/
What are you working on at the moment?
Lucy: I’m working on my first novel at the moment, though I keep taking little breaks to write short stories here and there. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but never got around to it. Writing Off the Shelf made me realise I can write longer stuff than short stories, so I bit the bullet and planned out a novel. I’m almost half way through it at the moment and still having fun. I have a goal that I’d like to have a novel published by the time I’m 30, so I need to get it finished, polished and out there so I have a couple of years to try and achieve that goal!
Ok, now for some quick-fire questions: Champagne or cider?
Chocolate or chips?
What!?! I couldn’t possibly choose between them. Sorry.
Hugh Grant or Johnny Depp?
Hugh Grant. I’m a sucker for a posh accent.
Tanned or interestingly pale (in a hero)?
Big muscles or lean good looks (ditto)?
I like muscles, but not huge ones. So I guess a mixture of both.
Late nights or early mornings?
Late nights. I’m sooo not a morning person!
Spring or autumn?
Out with friends or cosy night in at home?
Cosy night in at home.
Dogs or cats?
And as a postscript, here’s a brief bio, to fill in the gaps.
Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story – so she did. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City.
Definitely a case of ‘who dares, wins.’ Thanks for being our guest today, Lucy – full steam ahead with your novel!