Mistress of Making with the Hot and Sexy, Missy Jane stopped by (some time ago but was very patient with me while I have been dying) and chatted with me about the steamy parts of her novel Erotic Images. Missy is no freshman to Romance and Erotica, she has written over fifteen novels and novellas across several genres. She will be releasing the first in her newest series Gargoyle Masters: Born of Stone, later this month. I’m waiting for it like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I can almost taste it!
Missy Jane’s Making Love 101:
You have written books covering a lot of different genres, what do you feel are the most basic building blocks for a great love story? What elements in romance writing make storytelling succeed or fail?
In my opinion, the basic building blocks are realistic characters, a believable plot, and an engaging setting. When it comes to romance, a hero and heroine are paramount. Making them interesting and people the readers can relate to is what makes or breaks a story.
I read Erotic Images and I apparently am more on board with erotic photography than I had realized. What came first for you as far as this novella was concerned: the inspiration for a photographer who took artistic erotic photos or the concept of a woman down on her luck and needed a lot of money quickly?
Definitely the photographer. I’ve been a shutterbug for almost two-thirds of my life, since around 13 years old. I love photography and wanted to use a photographer in a book. Wes was a bit unexpected as the whole package, but I’m very happy with him.
Your heroine in Erotic Images, Lynn Graves, is not in as unlikely a position as a lot of people might assume. A good many women come to desperate ends and have to make desperate choices. You rode a very fine edge with her character by making her a nude model because she isn’t really selling out her body for sex, but she is renting out her body for something sexy. How do you hope readers see Lynn and her choice to pose for Wes?
I really hope readers can see the strength of will in Lynn. She is the type of woman who isn’t going down without a fight, despite what life throws at her.
Wes is very professional about what he does but also somewhat casual and off the cuff from having so many years of experience of dealing with naked bodies. He is very sensitive to Lynn’s embarrassment and discomfort, yet her innocence and determination get him hot unlike most of his previous models. When you were developing Wes’ character were you trying to keep your hero on the fence or were you trying to make him a reluctant suitor where his feelings for Lynn were concerned?
My characters very much write themselves. I did try to keep him on the fence as long as possible because I hate the too-quick-after-meeting sex that happens in some books. So it was a little of me and a little of what came across from Wes.
Lynn is guileless and somewhat naive when she first enters Wes’ studio. Her reaction to the erotic photo series display he has hung titillates her and it is a bit of a sexual awakening to her considering her marriage had been anything but fulfilling. Is Erotic Images a bit of a late coming of age story?
Definitely. There’s a little bit of me in all of my heroines and I have to admit I didn’t really ‘get’ sex until fully an adult and after having my first child. That might sound odd, but it’s true.
For most of the book we are learn a lot about Lynn from her inner dialogue; her parents death, her bad marriage and her incredible debt overwhelm her all the time. However, when we are seeing Wes’ POV we learn little of his past, his family or friends. Almost nothing at all about his career beyond the gallery images he’s doing with Lynn at the moment come across in any of his thoughts or conversations. Why was it that you put so much more focus on Lynn? Do you think that the novella could have used more information about Wes?
I honestly didn’t realize there was a lack until the first review that mentioned it. I’m a pantser and the story just comes out. When writing Erotic Images, I guess my focus was so much more on Lynn because I really felt it was her story. Wes is her hero, but he’s not the one who goes through the most changes. If I could go back to add more about Wes, I definitely would. But I don’t think it would change the readers’ feelings about him.
The love story between Lynn and Wes is very sweet and tender. What is it about these two characters that you feel work as a couple? How did you create them to compliment one another and what might be a problem in their relationship in the future because of how their characters have been developed?
I think they compliment each other because while Lynn didn’t know she needed someone, Wes saw it right away. He also realized her gentle soul was what he’d been needing in his life. The only problem would be Lynn’s stubbornness on fixing her own problems. That would be a problem if Wes ever got tired of other men seeing her nude photos. Other than that, they work very well together.
If you were to review your own book what would you have to say about it? Tell me what you feel are the stronger parts and the weaker parts about your novel and in hindsight is there anything that you might have changed.
I would definitely lengthen it and give more about Wes. I think that’s been the number one mark against the book and I definitely see it in hindsight. I don’t think I really would change anything in particular. I think the chemistry between Lynn and Wes is great and one of the stronger parts of the book. The weak part is the length and backstory.
What is the difference between how you structure love stories when you first began writing erotic novels and how you do it today?
I’m not certain about the structure, as I don’t really map out my stories. I do feel my writing is better overall from when I was first published five years ago.
You have a new novel called Born of Stone coming out in May. What can you say about it?
It’s a fantasy romance about men who can turn into Gargoyles. They were created to protect a fantasy kingdom I created. One of them becomes intrigued by a human woman for the first time, and one thing leads to another.
Born of Stone will be your third novel published with Samhain, what made you choose to publish these novels with Samhain rather than Ellora’s Cave?
Samhain was actually my first publisher. When I decided to try my hand at erotic contemporary I knew Ellora’s Cave was well known for that genre. I prefer to keep different genres separated by publisher rather than use different pen names like some other authors.
Do you have any other upcoming novels that you are currently working on now that we might expect to be released this year?
Yes. I have a novella releasing from Entangled Publishing soon, but I can’t give any details about that one yet.
If someone who had never read any of your stories was to ask you to recommend them a book from each genre you have written what would be the list you would give them and why would you choose those books?
Winning Back Wednesday as a contemporary Romance, Lunchtime Sex as an erotic Romance, and Day Shift as a Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy. Those are my strongest in each of those genres that fit the genre well.
What is the ultimate love story ever told as far as you are concerned?
Princess Bride (movie version). It has all the best elements of a romance story, and I just love it.
Thank you so much for being part of Making Love 101!
Thank you for having me!
Meet this Love Maker:
Ms. Missy Jane is the alter ego of a married mother of four who was born and raised in Texas. A few years ago she finished reading a book by Mercedes Lackey and thought, “Now, what if…” and a monster was created.
Missy now spends most of her time lost in worlds of her own making, alternately loving and hating such creatures as vampires, shape-shifters and gargoyles (to name a few). When not writing, she spends her time reading, taking photos of her beautiful daughters and training her husband to believe she’s always right.
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Erotic Images Synopsis:
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Lynn Graves has already cut her expenses to the bone. When an ad for a modeling job is brought to her attention, she simply can’t refuse the quick money. But once she meets the sexy photographer, it doesn’t seem so simple anymore.
Weston Myers is in a bind. Short on time, he’s looking for the perfect body since the face won’t matter. Now that he’s met Lynn, no one else will do, but breaking down her inhibitions will take patience. And when she gets under his skin, he’s desperate to have her luscious body under him… But he doesn’t have long to ready his artistic photo exhibit and convince Lynn she belongs in his bed. Hopefully in the end, she won’t be afraid of a few erotic images.
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Erotic Influence Synopsis:
Sequel to Erotic Images.
Annie may be a shy twentysomething who spends her days keeping track of her wayward teenage sister, but Rick noticed her living across the street as soon as he moved in. Now he can’t stop fantasizing his sweet, innocent neighbor and wanting her has become an obsession. He just has to convince her to give him a chance instead of always running away.
Annie has plans for her life but has to help her sister get into college first. Then Rick comes along and proves to be a help as much as a distraction. All she has to do is pose for his friend, an erotic photographer. Not only will she earn the money needs for her sister’s college fund, Rick’s erotic influence just might liberate her enough to become his woman too. It’s a chance she’s more than willing to take…so long as no one finds out what she’s doing.
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