Aubrey Leatherwood Interview

Today I get to talk to one of my favorite people and a fantastic author. Aubrey Leatherwood has penned some of my favorite stories and she is a fabulous lady. Aubrey, on behalf of Fallen Angel Reviews, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us!
Thank you for having me, Tara. And I can say that you are definitely one of my favorite readers!

Fan Mail is your newest release and I absolutely loved it! It is also an offshoot from the short story Model Lover. My question is, did you always plan on continuing the story with a focus on new characters, or did it just happen?
Initially, I wanted to write two connected short stories for a particular line and I wanted it done by a certain date, because I can be painfully organized. However, in my desire to produce stories faster as opposed to languishing in the writing process the way I typically do, I think I rushed a bit. When I finished Model Lover, Tommy and Alicia were an easy couple to move on to. I finished it quickly, but, lucky for me, the acquisitions editor at Cobblestone Press came back and wanted more than the wham bam thank you ma'am aura of the piece at the time, however well written. That is a wonderful thing, because that's never really what I ought to be writing. I know better.

The first draft of this story was a lot shorter and more focused on the sexual interaction of the characters… OK so it's still focused on the sexual interaction between the characters but in a way that I hope heightens the reader's emotional investment in the story. At about three times the original length, Fan Mail offers layers of suspense from the mystery around Alicia's stalker to the palpable tension between the central couple.

What can you tell us about this book?
Lately, I've been referring to it as Aubrey's Sex Tape. If you read it, trust me, you'll understand. On the surface, it's about a supermodel who finds her life threatened and the only person she can trust is her bad boy cop ex-boyfriend. Peel back a layer and this book is about trying to have a successful private relationship in the public eye. Go deeper and it's also about recovering from either hurting a person you love or that person hurting you. Oh, and I should mention that there is sizzling sexual chemistry between Alicia and Tommy.

Imperfection is one of my all-time favorite romances. Was there something or someone who inspired you to write this story?
First, let me thank you for loving it like I love it! To answer your question: Absolutely. That story was inspired by the most important romantic relationship I've had, and by people around me who are happy with their married lives. I find it kind of funny that some people disguise their satisfaction with their relationships as if it is out of fashion. They roll their eyes at the mention of their spouses or offer mild complaints, but you can tell they are glad to be where they are. There are lots of stories about what's not right in a marriage, I wanted to do one that embraced what's good and well… what's damn good!

Do you have any other projects in the works right now?
Always. Always. Always. I always have more projects than time. Maybe I should let you help me decide where to focus my efforts. I'm working on a science-fiction erotica collection, an erotic fantasy series, and couple of short contemporary works.

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a favorite?
I don't! I love all my babies. My favorite thing in life is to rediscover something I wrote months or years ago, to see it almost from the eyes of a reader, and to really love it all over again. Makes my heart swell, and there's something about all my characters that does that for me.

Tell me, what would we find on your bookshelf?
Gosh, which one? I have a lot of bookshelves. They are organized though. On one bookshelf, I've kept all the books for foreign languages I've studied. I also have all of the books from English and Writing classes I've taken. On another, there's romance and mainstream horror. On the bookshelf next to my bed, I have a ton of erotic works. And by erotic works I mean Anais Nin, Sake, Nabokov, the Yellow Silk Anthology, a few anthologies edited by Susie Bright, Erotique Noire… Not just books with open door bedroom scenes.

What is your favorite part of a book to write?
The last word. Not in the book… but the last one that makes it finished.

Of all the things you have accomplished, is there one thing you are most proud of?
Easy answer! My first professional erotica publication, The People You Know; The Sex They Have, was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for publication year 2008. How awesome is that?

While writing, how does the story develop for you? Do you go from start to finish, or create scenes as you go?
I'm a classic pantser when it comes to my stories. I typically start out with a phrase, image, or concept that's knocking around in my brain and go from there. As a person who needs to see progress, when I think of something-a scene or even an exciting string of dialogue-that could happen in the middle of a story, or even the end, I go ahead and write it because I have momentum. Also, working with the "bones" of the story in place makes fast work of completing pieces.

Do you have a favorite movie you could watch again and again?
I don't have a favorite movie, hard to choose from so many I like. I will say that I have watched National Treasure a thousand million times on USA.

Are there any indulgent behaviors we might find surprising?
Saturday night bluegrass on our local NPR station. Maybe it's not wild, but people certainly find it surprising. It's even funnier when I drive teenagers around and blast it while dropping them off in front of all their friends.

Is there a website or blog where readers can learn more about your work?
The best place to get to know my work is on my web site. However I absolutely love new Facebook friends and I like to post contests and excerpts there. Friend me here.

Aubrey, thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. I will be impatiently waiting for your next book!
Glad you had me over!

Interviewed by: Tara