Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...


If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wicked Writers Tess MacKall and Natalie Dae

I am very happy because two of erotica's most sizzling authors, Tess MacKall and Natalie Dae are here at The Imaginarium. Whoo Hoo! Take it away, Ladies...

Writing For Ourselves Or The Masses?

Photobucket As an editor—one who is trying not to be an editor these days—I’ve had a lot of authors disagree with me when I tried steering them in the right direction. I keep saying over and over again that there are rules for writing in general and that the romance genre is very specific and not as forgiving as most. The response I always get is something along the lines of “that’s my author voice” or “I think outside of the box”.

Nothing wrong with author voice or thinking outside of the box. But those two things must work within your storyline in order to get away with it. Unfortunately, most of the time, that thinking outside of the box the author is doing just isn’t working. I often hear authors say if they never sold a single story they’d still write. Okay. That’s just dandy. If you can live with not selling a single story and can handle that, why not? Whatever makes you happy.

But if you want to sell? You need to get with the program. Only through serious study of the craft can you succeed. There are plenty of small presses—both print, digital, and vanity—out there that will contract a novice writer’s work. And in all honesty I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with that (well, my advice is to stay away from vanity pubs). Starting out with a small publisher and learning the ropes of publishing in general is a good way to get your feet wet. However, if you see yourself at the top of your game at that point, you are sadly mistaken.

Learning how to write isn’t something that stops with the first published story. It’s an ongoing process. Personally, I learn something every single time I work on a new book. I learn something new every time I go through an edit. Yes, I do. There is always a better way of doing things than the way you’re doing it. Trust me. I know. And it is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. How dare someone else think of a better way? How dare someone else know more than me? Well…it happens.

In this business you need to wear a suit of armor. I hear thick skin all the time—but in reality you’d best break out the chain mail. Lol You’re going to shed tears during your first REAL edit. And I said REAL for a reason. Some small pubs don’t do a lot of editing as they don’t attract the most experienced editors. And some small pubs simply don’t care and do a “clean up” job of your work and release it. So there is a good chance you WON’T cry over your first edit. But wait till your first REAL edit comes along. The tears will flow like booze at spring break. And if you think that sounds bad? Wait until you get one of those gremlin-styled reviews. You’ll be shouting pistols at dawn faster than a Nascar drive with the pedal to the metal.

But if you take these issues in stride, focus on the end goal, accept that you’re still learning, you’ll be fine. Just remember: When someone gives you advice, they aren’t always out to bring you down. Sometimes they are out to lift you higher. Talent is a blessing. If you’ve got it, nurture it. Don’t throw it away by keeping your blinders on. Study, open your eyes and mind. When all is said and done—if you’re one of those writers who wants to sell books…

It isn’t about thinking outside the box or your beautiful author voice. It’s about catering to the needs and desires of the masses. Your target audience. They are in charge. They are the boss—not your muse.

Hopefully, my philosophy on writing has worked—somewhat—and anyone who picks up a copy of one of my books will be pleased with the results of all my careful study of the writing craft. Black Cougar Curse, a very steamy novel co-authored with the fabulous Natalie Dae released from Ellora’s Cave on January 26. It’s about a sexy Cherokee Indian guide by the name of Sam Starr and the city gal he meets in the Great Smoky Mountains. Take a look at the blurb.

Deep in the mountain wilderness, Lucia Chavez searches for closure to her father’s death, and the mythical black cougar he sought. Drop-dead sexy Cherokee Indian guide Sam Starr knows more than he’s telling. After he saves Lucia from being swept away in a mudslide, the bath they both need turns steamy indeed. Sam and Lucia are living proof that near-death experiences can bring two people closer together—they can’t keep their hands off each other.

Amidst danger and mystery, Sam and Lucia explore the lust that burns between them. If their desire gets any stronger it could bring down the mountains. Ancient secrets hold the key to their unbridled sexual need. Was their passion written in the stars?

One man. One woman. A curse that binds them—and could tear them apart.

To read an excerpt visit: http://www.jasminejade.com/productspecs/9781419931062.htm
and to purchase your copy click HERE

Natalie and I hope you enjoy the blurb and excerpt enough that you’ll pick up a copy. Let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you. Contact information is on our sites. http://tessmackall.com and

February 1, the new, once-a-month newsletter--Risqué--from Natalie
Dae, Regina Carlysle http://reginacarlysle.com and little ol' me will make its debut. So if you'd like to receive our newsletter, you can subscribe here by joining our newsletter group--this is a no chatting group--newsletter only. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/risquenewsletter

Many thanks to Melissa for hosting us on the amazing Imaginarium today. Happy reading to all!


  1. that BLACK COUGAR cover just gave me a heart-attack and will probably give me a two or three more before the day is out :P

  2. Oh I know, Dez. I've been drooling over it for hours and hours already. ;)

  3. LMAO @ Dezmond!

    Thank you for hosting us, Melissa!

  4. Someone should tell Dez that's not called a heart attack...*ahem*...

    I resolutely decided against an e-reader a while ago. But, there are far too many books on this blog that I need (which I can't buy all of in print!), including the scrumptious sounding one blogged about today.

  5. @Natalie you ladies are so welcome.I can't wait to get my hands on this.

    @Tara Temptation, thy name is ebooks. :) I don't have an e reader, either, but I'm cracking. And I write ebooks. lol

  6. Tara, when it's this strong, it's close to heart-attack,believe me *ahem* :P

  7. Hey Dezmond and Tara, why do you think they used to call that reaction "the little death"? Snicker. And that cover certainly looks like it can cause that kind of reaction! Woof!

  8. LMAO @ Fiona's woof.

    I resisted buying an ereader for the longest time, then caved in at Christmas. I have no idea how I managed without one. I read it in bed now in place of print books.

  9. Great advice ladies. Kudos Meliisa for enlisting their support and knowledge!

  10. These are from Tess, who was unable to post due to a technical glitch with her system.

    @Dez Tess says: I tend to stare at that cover myself, Dez. Lol It’s soooo droolworthy. Actually, it is very similar to an actual scene from the book too. Glad you like it. But let’s try to keep the blood pressure down. Lol

    @Melissa Tess says: More salvia from Melissa. Woot…poor guy is gonna get all wet. LOL

    @Tara Tess says: Oh Tara. I so agree. I’ve been reading from my desktop and laptop and I really need an e reader. There are too many to choose from and I can’t quite make up my mind which one is the one for me. I’m so technically challenged it isn’t an easy decision for me. Glad you like the sound of Black Cougar Curse.

    @M Pax Tess says: Thank you M Pax. We get compliments on that cover every single day. It was designed by Dar Albert. She has a real way with “getting” what the author is trying to convey for sure.

    @Fiona Tess says: Fiona---Hiya. La petit morte. Oh myyyy. All caused by a li’l ol’ cover. Lol Woof indeed. Lol

  11. @Fiona Love that Woof! I had a similar response. ;)

    @Matty V Thanks! I found their advice helpful as well.


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