Today I had I chance to interview Nancy Fraser, but first here’s a bit about her latest book, The Muse, an historical erotic romance published by Decadent Publishing:
Privileged Hyde Park socialite, Susan Leland, wants more from life than being a rich man’s daughter. She wants excitement, daring, but most of all, she wants to explore her sexuality. A chance meeting with artist Evan Forrester, a man she’d met purely by “accident” months earlier, leads Susan on a journey of sensual discovery that not only includes the handsome Evan, but also sultry torch singer, Holly Winters. Together, the singer and the artist uncover Susan’s utmost desires and unleash her inner vamp.
Excerpt from The Muse
Susan tapped lightly on the solid oak door leading to Evan Forrester’s downtown loft. The building was old, in parts dilapidated and smelling of mold. The three-story climb to his studio had been precarious, with more broken stairs than good ones. The urge to turn and flee ran rampant through her thoughts. She still couldn’t believe she was actually taking him up on his suggestion.
She hesitated. She hadn’t pictured him being destitute, a starving artist unable to afford something better than this run-down building. As hard as she tried to ignore her inner voice, she couldn’t hide her concern for the safety of her situation. Eager to be out of the dark, damp hallway, she knuckled the door a bit harder, stopping just short of actually using her balled-up fist to pound the old wood.
From behind the barrier, she could hear the shuffle of footsteps, and held her breath in anticipation. When the door opened, she let her breath out on a sigh of relief.
“You’re here,” Evan said, his gaze flaring as if she’d caught him by surprise.
“You said one o’clock,” Susan reminded him. She made a rather deliberate show of staring at her bare wrist. “It’s five minutes of, according to my watch.”
He stepped back and allowed her inside. Unlike the dark entryway and corridors leading to the third floor, his loft was filled with color, vivid splashes of paint adorning walls full of original artwork. Windows rose from floor to ceiling, allowing the early afternoon sun to shine through, unimpeded by draperies of any kind. Sparsely furnished with nothing more than a few chairs and a small kitchen table. Susan wondered what lay behind each of the three doors along the back wall.
“Truthfully, I didn’t think you’d show.” He waved his hand in a circle, the arc encompassing the entire open living area. “I don’t get many Hyde Park society girls in my studio.”
She raised her chin a notch. “Whether you realize it or not, I’m not like most Hyde Park girls.” When he didn’t comment, she reminded him, “You said I could make up for the accident by posing for you. I’m here to make amends for—as you put it – the pain and suffering my recklessness caused.”
He chuckled, the teasing lilt of his voice drawing her attention to where he stood. It was then she realized he was dressed in little more than a pair of tight- fitting denim rousers and an unbuttoned shirt. A sparse patch of short curls adorned his well-muscled chest, trailing downward to disappear inside the waistband of his pants. His feet were bare and his dark hair tousled, as if she’d awoken him from a sound sleep. His second laugh, this one much heartier than the first, told her she’d been caught staring. A sudden wave of heat rushed her cheeks. Her pulse raced.
“As I said last night, I don’t do formal portraits.”
His words drew her gaze back to his face, his mouth, the fullness of his lips. She raised her head and nodded. “Let’s just get this over with, please.”
He crooked his finger and motioned for her to follow. “Bathroom’s through there, if you need the facilities.” He opened the door to the middle room. “This is my bedroom. You can change in here, if you’d like. There’s a dressing gown hanging on the back of the door.”
“Change into what?” she asked. Her throat suddenly as dry as a pile of cotton batting, she slipped out of her lightweight coat and cloche and laid them at the foot of the bed.
Evan shook his head; his eyebrows arched and wagged teasingly. “Into as very little as you’re comfortable with, Miss Leland. I prefer totally nude, but if you’d like to leave your fancy drawers on, I can use my imagination.” He motioned toward the wooden table in the corner of the room. “There are some props, jewelry and the sort, over there, if you’d like to doll yourself up.”
“Anything else?” She did her best to put a sarcastic bent to her question yet feared her voice trembled too much to make the right impression.
He lowered his gaze from her face, across her body, down her legs, settling at last on her ankles. The intensity of his perusal made her toes curl.
“Take off those shoes and put on a pair with ankle straps. Preferably black. There should be a pair in the closet that will fit you.” He turned toward the door, stopping to add, “My studio is in the next room over. I’ll prepare a fresh canvas. Don’t take forever. I have someone coming at three.”
How long have you been writing erotica, and what inspired you to get into this genre?
While I’ve been writing steamy love scenes for years, this is my first erotica romance. My inspiration came from the fact that I felt my creativity needed redirection. I found I was relying on the same-old, same-old when crafting a love scene. What better way to jumpstart your muse than to step out of your comfort zone? Now that I’ve written one, I see myself writing many, many more. There is a certain freedom that comes with erotica that you have in no other type of romance.
What gave you the idea for your latest book?
I’ve always been a fan of the Roaring 20’s. I was researching the time period for a previously released holiday novella and the era stuck with me. I was enthralled with the way the young people and the rich pushed the envelope, often snubbing their noses at both the police and society.
In The Muse, my heroine is a gently raised debutante who is tired of her good-two-shoes lifestyle and craves something new and exciting. What better way to discover who you are than with some really hot sex?
Who are some of your favorite erotica writers or other literary inspirations?
I really like Sylvia Day. I only started reading erotica this past summer and she was my first exposure. For romantic inspiration, I adore Elizabeth Lowell. She writes with such flare.
Describe your typical writing routine. Where do you usually write? How many words/pages per day? Do you keep set hours? What does your workspace look like?
I retired from working outside the home last December. At the time I was living in a cozy one bedroom with my office at the foot of my bed. When I realized I’d now be able to write full time, I decided to enlarge my living space to accommodate an actual office. I’m especially proud of my wall of book covers. When I’m not doing promo for a new release, I do my best to write between 3 and 4K per day. I do take two days off per week, one for myself and one for my family. As for routine, I’m an early bird so I like to write when I’m fresh and edit when I’m gearing down.
Do you have any favorite foods or beverages that help keep your creativity flowing?
Coffee, chocolate and more coffee. I love the convenience of my Keurig. If I’m really sequestered in my office, I can take the pot with me.
Do you have any writing superstitions or rituals when starting (or ending) a new book?
I don’t have any real superstitions, at least not that I’m aware of. I do have an organizational ritual. When I begin a book, I start by setting up a new file on the computer and sub-folders for promo, covers, contracts/paperwork, and the actual manuscript itself. In the promo folder, I set up my press kit – each one is individual to the project.
What do you think makes for a good erotic story?
Characters that the readers will not only lust after but also want to be their best friend. What I have found to be very prevalent in the erotic romances that I’ve read is that I don’t always like the characters. They seem to be far less sympathetic than your usual romantic leads. I hope to keep my H/H someone you’d want to get to know. I want every story to also be a romance, in addition to having very hot, sometimes kinky sex.
What’s your favorite euphemism for genitalia?
Call me old-school but I still find some of the bolder words very un-romantic, especially the “c” words used for a woman’s body parts. Fortunately, the 1920’s had their own lingo for genitalia and I could pull from that. Once I get around to doing a contemporary, I’ll have to work around my feelings and use what’s popular at the time – but hopefully with a softer edge.
What else have you written, and where can people learn more about you and your work?
I just signed a second contract with Decadent for another 1920’s erotica. Prior to making the move to erotic romance, I published 15 romances in the historical, contemporary and vintage historical genres. I also made one foray into paranormal with a futuristic time travel and, to this day, it’s one of my personal favorites.
About the Author
Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
Nancy will be awarding a $15 GC to winner’s choice of an online book retailer to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour, and another randomly drawn winner will be awarded a Reader’s Coffee Mug (US/Canada — $5 GC for international winners). Be sure to follow the rest of the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. All tour dates can be found here.