Intro: Lucy Felthouse is a chocoholic, a writer, a marketer and a web geek. Lucy dabbles in a bit of everything; but primarily she writes and reads erotica, creates websites and does PR/Marketing. You can find out all about her professional services at Writer Marketing. Her hobbies and interests include; reading and writing (Gee, what a surprise!), watching films, checking out other writers’ websites and blogs, spending time with friends and family; walking and camping. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, and has been published since 2006 in magazines, books and online.
Q. Hi Lucy. We're so happy to have with us this month at TwoLips Reviews. You're British and a writer of erotica. Do you think the British view of erotica is any different than that of Americans? In your opinion, who's more stodgy and straight-laced, Brits or Yanks? Do you ever write more for Americans than Brits or vice versa? And which culture is the easiest to write for?
Lucy: It's difficult to say what the differences are between Americans and Brits when it comes to erotica, because the people I tend to discuss it with – from both sides of the pond – are all in the industry. I think Brits have the reputation of being very reserved, stiff upper lip and all that, but then there are parts of America which are much worse. When I'm writing, I don't write for a particular culture or audience, I just write what's in my head, the story and the characters that want to come out, and I just hope that readers, regardless of where they're from, enjoy it!
Q. Where did you grow up and has that locale influenced any of your writing? If so, how?
Lucy: I still live where I grew up, in the very same house. I live in Derbyshire in the UK and although I wouldn't say my neighbourhood has influenced my writing, the county has. I'm lucky enough that I can be within England's Peak District in around 40 minutes and I've written stories based there, as well as influenced by the surroundings. I also have more work in the planning stages that I'd like to set in the Peak District.
Q. Your final year dissertation in college was on erotic literature and how women’s roles in the genre have increased as social attitudes change. What first attracted to you writing erotica?
Lucy: It was a dare! It had never even occurred to me until a friend at University suggested it to me. At first I laughed it off, but then my friend dared me, so I couldn't say no then! ;) I accepted the challenge and have never looked back.
Q. What has you most excited about your newest release? What's coming up next?
Lucy: My latest release is a fairy tale retelling called Susie White and the Huntsman. It's based on the story of Snow White and the Huntsman, and was inspired by the casting of Chris Hemsworth in the film adaptation coming this year. He's been one of my muses ever since I saw him being delicious in Thor, so writing him into this story was great fun. The most exciting thing is finding out what people think of the story, and so far the feedback has been very positive!
In terms of what's coming next, I have a release coming on February 29th from Resplendence Publishing. It's called The Cottage in the Woods and is a lesbian shapeshifter erotic short story. It's my first piece with this publisher, which is really exciting as I've wanted to work with them for some time.
Q. Which of your wide array of erotic books would you like to live out and Why?
Lucy: Ooh, that's a tough one! I write many of my celebrity crushes into my stories so living out my books would be a great way to get down and dirty with them! I think it would have to be between Susie White and the Huntsman or Just Couldn't Wait, which is a story that appears in the anthology I edited, called Uniform Behaviour. As for why – well it means I either get to bed Chris Hemsworth or Jared Padalecki. Nuff said! ;)
Q. Are there any of your books you'd like to see written into a movie or TV series, and who would you like to see playing the main characters?
Lucy: Yes. I'd love to see my lesbian vampire short story, Bite with Height made into a movie. It's based in Paris, one of my favourite places in the world. I think Eliza Dushku would make a good Meg (the vampire) and I've always seen Grace (the human) as Julie McNiven, who plays the angel Anna in Supernatural.
Q. What impetus inspired you to branch out into lesbian erotica? How do you make your female characters likable to other women who aren't lesbians?
Lucy: I think the first piece of lesbian erotica I wrote was the story that appears in the Ravenous Romance anthology, I Kissed A Girl. I wrote it because I'd seen the call for submissions from the editor and decided to give it a go. I found I enjoyed it, so also contributed to the second volume from the same editor, as well as penning other tales.
I don't purposely write characters (lesbian or otherwise) to make them likeable to readers. Some of my characters are likeable, some are definitely not! They just develop as I write the stories, depending on what's happening and what their involvement is. So far I do seem to have had a good reception for my lesbian stuff, and have even had a couple of reviewers comment that they'd never read f/f before my work – and they liked it!
Q. Describe your writing room. What's on your desk right now?
Lucy: Actually, it's a bit of a mess. My writing room is my office, so I do all of my work in here, not just my writing. I have pens, paper, a drink, my iPhone speakers (currently belting out some very embarrassing tunes), my laptop, various office paraphernalia, some chocolate, my Kindle, some books… the list goes on.
The room is general is pretty small. It used to be our spare bedroom, which my dad converted into an office for me. It has quite a bit of desk space, a bookcase (which is full three times over!) a chair and there's not room for much else.
Q. What is your writing strategy? Do you edit as you work, or do you wait till the end and then polish? How many drafts does an average book of yours go through?
Lucy: I try extremely hard not to edit as I work as it slows me down, but I can't help it. When I pause writing to think, I always end up re-reading the previous few sentences and paragraphs and tweaking them. In a way, that helps though, as it means I have less editing and polishing to do when the story is finished.
I probably go through two or three drafts before submitting something, depending on the length of the piece. Then of course I go through the editing process with the publisher, which is usually only minor tweaks.
Q. Which book length do you most like to write: novel, novella or short story? And why?
Lucy: Well I haven't yet written a novel, so I can't comment on that. However, I did recently write my first novella and I actually found it pretty tough going. It was a huge learning curve in terms of keeping things interesting, developing the characters, making sure everything was consistent, etc. Having said that, I have lots of stories in my head that I'd like to tell which are much longer than short stories, so I'm glad I had that learning experience. I have more novellas in the pipeline, as well as a couple of novel ideas.
I do like to write short stories because they're so gratifying – a quick win. I've written short stories in one day before, and even penned a very short story in just one hour once. Most surprisingly, it was accepted for publication and comes out this year. Increasingly, though, I'm finding my short stories are getting longer and longer, so I just hope I don't lose the knack of writing them!
Q. Name one scene that you've written that you go back to re-read often because you like it so much.
Lucy: I don't really re-read my work once it's been published, especially since most of my work is standalone and so I don’t need to use it for fact-checking and consistency. Having said that, I'm in the planning stages of writing a sequel to Bite with Height, so I'll be re-reading that probably more than once. I don't mind, though, as it's one of my favourite stories because I just love the setting (Paris) so much.
Q. If only one of your books could have been published, which one would you choose (C’mon now, no saying -- ‘Oh, I love them all or there’s no way I could choose)?
Lucy: Definitely Bite with Height. It's the first story I wrote that made me really think there was more to the story of the characters and inspired me to continue their story. And if the sequel pushes me into novel territory, then all the better!
Q. When you're writing, do you have any rituals that you maintain? Do you have any writing quirks?
Lucy: No, not really. It depends on my mood. If I'm finding myself easily distracted, I'll take a notebook and pen and go and work in another room, otherwise I'll just end up messing around online. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I don’t. I just do whatever works for me at that point in time, in order to get the words on the page.
Q. How do you get past writers' block?
Lucy: It depends what's causing it. If I'm really, really not in the mood to write, I'll stop and do something else, otherwise what I produce is utter rubbish. If I'm struggling with the story itself, I look at why. It could be that I'm not 'feeling' the story or it needs considerable change – in which case I'll either do that or drop it and work on something else.
Q. What is the best thing about being a writer? And the worst?
Lucy: The best thing about being a writer is finding out people are enjoying your work. Without readers, I wouldn't be a writer, so although it may sound cheesy, I'm grateful for them. The worst is probably editing, especially if I have the whole UK/US English thing to contend with!
Q. What natural abilities or interests do you think are needed for someone to have a successful career in writing?
Lucy: I think it helps if you're interested in the world around you because that's where the inspiration comes from from, for me at least. You also have to be disciplined because there are always deadlines to meet!
Q. Who is your favorite author and what are you reading right now?
Lucy: I honestly couldn't choose a single favourite author. I read very widely, both erotica and non-erotica so I'm always discovering new-to-me authors as well as enjoying established writers. I'm currently reading Sculpting a Demon by Lisa Fox, which I'm enjoying very much!
Q. Do you have a favorite book from childhood? Is there one special book that changed your life as you were growing up?
Lucy: There isn't a single book that stands out, but I always loved Enid Blyton's books. There was always an adventure happening which totally engrossed me, and I think my love of reading was what made me want to be a writer so I have a lot to thank her for!
Q. Aside from writing and PR/marketing/web design, what is one talent you wish you had?
Lucy: I'm naturally a very inquisitive person and I love to learn new things so there are several things. But if we're talking pure talent (which I don't think you can teach) I would love to be able to draw.
Q. Where can your fans find you on the Internet?
Lucy: I'm an internet addict, so you can find me at the following places:
Q. You manage to instill such romantic, touching love in your erotic books. Are you a romantic in your personal life?
Lucy: I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. I've been with my other half for three and a half years so we're not all hearts and roses, but there's still chocolate!
Q. What three personal things do you bring with you when you travel?
Lucy: iPhone, Kindle, camera.
Q. What is the most embarrassing story your mother breaks out in mixed company?
Q. If you knew you had one day left to live, what would you spend it doing?
Lucy: I guess I'd spend some of it with my family and friends, and some of it climbing a hill in the Peak District. I'd probably blog, too, and let the internet know what was happening!
Q. If you could go back in time and change something you did in your life what would it be? And what would you do differently?
Lucy: I wouldn’t change anything. I'm a big believer in regretting the things you don't do, rather than what you have done, so I work hard not to miss out on any opportunities that life throws at me.