C. Margery Kempe is a writer of erotic romance distinguished by its humour, intelligence, and fearless sensual pleasures. Her stories range from contemporary thrillers to medieval era fairy tales. An English professor by day, she also writes on medieval literature, film, creative writing and New Media, as well as humor, drama, mainstream and genre fiction under her real name <http://www.kalaity.com> and non-explicit romance as Kit Marlowe<http://www.kit-marlowe.com> . She blogs Fridays at LadySmut.com.
Thank you for joining us at Scribbler’s today, Margery.
What would you most like your reader’s to know about you that they might not read in your official bio?
I really like a story that’s fun to write! I write lots of different kinds of stories, but I really like them to be fun with unexpected developments.
Tell us about your book?
This is the second in the ménage series and it deals with an art historian who’s finding it difficult to make a choice. Her boyfriend Nigel wants the two of them to be exclusive. He’s gorgeous, successful and a fabulous cook. So what could be the problem? Jake — impulsive, sexy, devil-may-care Jake. Lizzie wants them both. She has a bright idea: what if he had them both in front of her at the same time?
What comes first for you, the title or the story?
Most often it’s the idea which is either a “what if” of some kind, but often the title is the hook for me. My MAN CITY series started out with a single novelette which was a play on the football team’s nick name, but now it’s lent its name to a ménage series which extends the meaning in a different way (the next one is an all male ménage!).
What inspires a story idea for you?
Often it’s a location. I love to travel and often when I’m wandering through a wonderful place I think what’s happening here and immediately stories start to unspool.
What three ingredients do you consider an absolute necessity to writing a hot sex scene?
Number one has to be sensory detail. You have to make the reader feel it, taste it, shiver. Second is the emotional investment. It’s easy to show ardent excitement, but it’s good to convey doubt or self-consciousness too. The third thing is delight. When you find the one you love apart from the passion there’s the delight of knowing you have found that.
As a writer of erotic romance, do you feel the story line is as important as the sex scenes?
Oh absolutely! I do have fun writing the sex scenes, but they’re so much more resonant if you’ve done the work of building the suspense and the characters. You want the characters to earn their happiness, and you want the reader to worry it might not happen.
When brainstorming a story idea, do you begin with character or plot?
I have to hear the character’s voice. I might have a general idea in my head, especially if it’s a fairy tale, but the character’s voice tells me the tone of the story and suggests how it will grow.
Are you an outliner or a panster?
For short stories, I’m happy to fly without a net, but for novels I absolutely want an outline. It saves so much time! It doesn’t have to be detailed, but a chapter breakdown with the important plot development and payoff of each one.
How do you choose the names of your character’s?
They’re usually meaningful but hopefully not obvious. In MAN CITY: LIZZIE’S, she’s an art historian who specialises in the Pre-Raphaelites, so her name came from Elizabeth Siddal, whose face and wild red hair appear in so many of that group’s paintings. Stunning beauty.
This is the second of the Man City stories, do you plan more in the series?
Yes, the third one will be out for the holidays and features more ménage fun, this time with three guys. It’s always fun to fit in a holiday theme, my publisher is always happy to push me into new ideas 🙂
Can we have an excerpt from Man City: Lizzie?
Lizzie had been grateful for the impromptu docent duties that morning as it had mostly kept her from thinking about her own potential trap. Seated behind her desk once more with a lot of paperwork waiting, it became impossible not to ruminate on ‘the Nigel problem’ as she had begun to think of it.
Six little words.
“I want us to be exclusive,” he had said to her last night, taking her hand across the table. She hoped the dismay didn’t show too clearly on her face, but he had at least recognized surprise. Studying his earnest face, Lizzie had to admit not many women would say no to that offer.
Nigel was tall, dark and handsome for sure. He cooked like a dream and he had a laugh that warmed like a stove on a winter’s afternoon. Lizzie enjoyed the strength of his arms and the concentration in his face when they made love. Nigel made sure she was satisfied, whether he was preparing dinner or eating her out.
So why in the world wouldn’t she want to have that all to herself?
Her phone buzzed and Lizzie saw the number she had been half-expecting to flash there.
He was why.
“Hello, Jake,” Lizzie could almost hear herself purr.
“Can you meet for lunch?” His tone was casual, but that didn’t fool her.
She snorted. “Will I get any food out of this?”
“You could pick something up on the way!” He rang off without even saying good-bye.
That was Jake: impetuous, fun-filled, demanding and unpredictable.
And that was why she didn’t immediately agree to Nigel’s proposal. She had strong feelings for both of them; why did she have to choose? A gorgeous guy who cooks? A life-of-the-party guy who thrilled her? She had three favourite restaurants and at least a dozen favourite artists. Why only one boyfriend? It made her want to stomp her foot and cry in her best two-year-old voice, “It’s not fair!”
Are you one of those writers born with a pen in your hand and stories percolating in your mind, or di your interest develop later?
Pretty much always making stories, often with my toys. I can hardly believe just how elaborate their worlds were, but I only wrote things for my friends until quite late. Silly really, but I was afraid of rejection. Now I have a thick skin.
Do you consider yourself to be a one genre writer or do you feel you will cross over to others?
Do you have a particular writing schedule or process you stick to?
Write every day is the only truly consistent rule. If I’m in Scotland, I write when I first get up; if I’m in NY, it tends to be afternoons because I’m teaching some days.
If you could become one fictional character for a week, who would it be and why?
hmmmm, Elizabeth Bennett so I could enjoy her wealth and see how life with Darcy worked out after all.
Favorite all time author?
Oh far far too many! So I’ll just say Anaïs Nin, or Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer, or Charlotte Brontë…
Do you have a favorite quote?
“I never want to see anyone, and I never want to go anywhere or do anything. I just want to write.” P. G. Wodehouse
Go to snack when writing?
Well, it’s not really a snack, but I must have endless cups of tea and I’m lucky the tea fairy brings them (aka my sweetie)
Cat or dog person?
What one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Just write. Worry about everything else once you have a few things written.
What project is up for you next?
MAN CITY 3 in November, another fairy tale, a short in a Rachel Kramer Bussell BDSM anthology and probably another novel when I get a minute.
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