Long story short – I wasn’t getting enough sex in my marriage, so I wrote my husband a guide in the form of a romance novel. It didn’t improve my sex life, but I found I really enjoyed writing.
If you’re looking for a bit more: I’ve always been an avid reader. I wrote a terrible novel in high school (USA); my Dad and teachers were brutally honest about it. I was in the special education program because of dyslexia and a hearing impairment, so writing wasn’t easy for me. I put the concept out of my mind and focused on more attainable goals. Fast forward twenty years, I’m now a displaced classical clarinetist living in England – away from my family, my friends, and the orchestra (Symphonic Anime Orchestra) that I founded and wrote a ridiculous amount of music for every year.
I’d gone from a career-oriented woman with big goals to basically a decorator wife. It was fun for a bit, but wow, not having my creative outlet got really old, really fast. Which also messed with my marriage. In a fit of rage, I just barfed all my issues into a story and gave it to a friend, who was really encouraging. That led to another book, not about my issues, which led to my first trilogy. Writing words lights up the same happy creativity that music notes did in my brain.
I’m still married, my husband is super supportive, and yes, he read the original book.
What’s your favorite family tradition?
Playing Catchphrase with my family. We have no shame and are very competitive. It’s men against women. Winner takes all!
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Parental advisory, explicit lyrics, best ingested with liquor.
What do you remember most about your first job?
My first job was on a dude ranch when I was fourteen. I woke up my first morning with a horse eating the bed I’d made for myself in the barn. I cried I was so happy. It was a dream come true. I’d spent so much of my life wanting to work with horses. By the end of the summer, when I woke up with a horse eating my bed, I still cried, but for a different reason. I was about to spend the next three hours walking a fence line trying to figure out where the too-smart for-their-own-good bastards busted out. I worked that job every summer for six years. Love it.
About The Thorns of Charbon Institute trilogy:
I knew nothing but the touch of my master until the Magical Authorities killed him and set my world on fire.
Now, I’m a prisoner at an institute stressing students beyond their limits.
I’m a sorceress who can’t access her magic and wanted by wickedly handsome mages who all have their own agenda.
I spent my life following directions. Now I can make my own decisions, I don’t know the right ones. Why is saying ‘no’ so hard?
With the administration judging every action I take and weighing them on their uneven scales of morality, I must come to terms with my darkness to survive and, if I’m lucky, even gain my freedom.
Self studies is a fast burn, reverse harem, dark bully romance with M/M/F and M/F themes. The trilogy is a college-age academy setting, 18+. All three books are written and complete the story. Please be aware there may be triggers, see inside of book for the list.
Tell us a little about the book. How did you come up with the idea for the books?
This is an answer in two parts:
I’d written a different trilogy and been submitting it to publishers. Book one of Kinnia’s trilogy got turned down for not having enough sex in it. So, I decided I wanted to see if I could write a book with a lot of sex in it, that still included the depth of plot and characters I enjoyed.
I wrote Aphrodite’s story during the pandemic. I live in England, but my family spreads over six US states with radically different political views. Knowing what the ‘right’ thing to do was and is impossible in the eyes of so much diversity. I channeled my frustration into my writing. The books have nothing to do with the pandemic, but I think Aphrodite’s journey reflects what a lot of us feel. From little decisions to the big, is there truly a right answer?
I know it is hard to pick, especially in this case, but out of all the men in Aphrodite’s life, who is your favorite and why?
Ohh, this is really hard. RH is all about why choose. For Aphrodite, I think Ashe forced her to grow the most. Though they all grew together, Ashe had freedoms the others didn’t and could look beyond his situation and grow with her. I’m a big fan of tough love. Professor Garnet was the embodiment of that, but he didn’t get the opportunity to explore with her. I’m very excited to see how the group does when the roles are reversed. The follow-up trilogy will be in Colorado, outside of the rules and microcosm of the Institute. It will be an exciting swap of power.
Do you have a favorite scene or quote from the books? What is it?
The scene I can still picture when I close my eyes is the opening to the shower in Group Studies, where Ashe has just learned about Beryl’s existence. Ashe has his powerful arms resting above the door frame as he eyes Beryl, trying to figure out the correct action. For me, this moment is a culmination of the growth he and Aphy are going through. Regardless of Ashe’s job, emotions, or heart, he can’t see the object of his affections (Aphrodite) hidden in the steam. He only sees Beryl. A mage below him whose been making Aphrodite cry because she misses him so much. This mage could be his rival or his friend. What is the right thing to do? Go against everything he’s been taught? Or open himself up to a future he’s never even considered.
Given a chance to choose, what colour rims would your eyes have and what type of power would that signify?
Hands down blue for me. Blue is internal. My magic would only affect me. I am probably one of the least feminine women you will ever meet. I’ve been powerlifting since I was 19. One of my life goals is to bench my husband. Blue rims = husband in the air.
If you were to attend the ‘school’ yourself, who’d you befriend with? Would you try to keep a low profile and strive to pass of your aptitudes or enjoy your time being ‘locked up’ and find ways to break the rules?
I really badly want to say I would break the rules. But, honestly, unless I found something worth breaking them for, I would keep my head down and do my best to enjoy my time ‘locked up.’ I probably wouldn’t reach out to others. I think not interacting is the only true way not to offend anyone. Which is terrible, I know. I’m so lame. It’s why I write about women like Aphrodite!! I want to have her strength.
Are you a plotter or a pantser and what are your writing habits?
Pantser. I write personalities, put them in a world with rules, and see what happens. I only write when I feel like it. Interestingly I get big creative spirts a few days before I menstruate and write until I fall asleep, then wake up and keep writing until the ideas are on paper. Obviously, I write in-between as well, but if I’m stuck, I just reread, knowing hormones will help me out soon enough.
I strongly believe in peer review and crave (especially negative) feedback from beta readers to help me streamline my ideas into something more universally understood.
Do you do a lot of research when writing? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve earth while writing a book?
Yes. Wow, the amount of research is unreal. My search history is terrifying. When writing Aphrodite’s story, FaceBook started customizing my ads for online counseling and victims’ abuse hotlines.
I don’t know if I have a most interesting thing, outside of some sexual positions I didn’t realize the human body was capable of and am still questioning if they are hot or not. I spent a lot of time going down rabbit holes of information which usually end in videos of cats.
What are you currently working on?
There is a planned follow-up for Aphrodite, going further into her past, Tanwyn’s magic, and some unexpected family connections between the guys. I’m very excited to see what type of trouble Beryl gets into in the outside world and how his relationship, especially with our resident MA officer, Ashe copes. I also plan on writing a series of short stories about her years at the Institute between Class Studies and the new trilogy.
I didn’t start writing any of that because I honestly wasn’t sure if anyone would read my books! I have massive imposter syndrome as I’m not a trained writer, so I struggle with confidence.
While I wallow in indecision about Aphrodite, I’m tinkering with an urban fantasy duet tentatively titled: “Dragons Taste Like Chocolate.” It has a more streamlined plot and is ‘light-hearted’ (ha, as much as I can write that). Book one is with a few beta readers right now, and assuming they like it. I’ll write book two and start going through the massive rounds of edits needed.
Just another question:
You are creating your own harem. Who do you pick to join and why?
Ah, you are trying to get me in trouble with my husband on this one. Although I gave Aphrodite a larger harem, 3-4 is my sweet spot.
Jason Momoa – because every girl needs a muscle-bound teddy bear.
Henry Cavill – he’s king of the nerds, and we need someone to run our Dungeons & Dragons game.
Ryan Reynolds – because I’m way too serious of a person, someone’s got to make me laugh.
Chris Hemsworth can be our trainer and occasionally join us for board games, but he needs to prove he’s all in before he can join our group.