Christa Tomlinson currently lives in Houston, TX but she grew up in the mid-western city of St. Louis, MO. Since moving to Texas, Christa has had the opportunity to get serious about her writing. Her first story, Martini Seduction, is the result of finally realizing that being an author involves much more than daydreaming about having her name on the cover of a book. Although her evenings are dedicated to writing deliciously naughty love stories, her days are spent molding the minds of America’s youth as a high school teacher. In between teaching her students Geography and Economics, she tries to convince them to cheer for the St. Louis Cardinals. Want to know more about Christa and her upcoming books? Visit her website, www.christatomlinson.com.
Q: How long have you wanted to be a writer?
A: I’ve wanted to write since middle school. So about 16 years. I wrote my first romance novel in the seventh grade and gave it to my English teacher to read. After a few days she gave it back to me with only one comment, “Did you write this?” I still don’t know what she meant by that …
Q: What made you decide to write erotica?
A: I was reading an issue of Romantic Times Magazine a few years ago and saw an ad for an erotica publisher. I went to their website and was stunned! Romance novels with sex scenes that made my toes curl! I wanted to be a part of it immediately. To be honest with a lot of the mainstream romance I loved the stories but I’d started to just skip the love scenes altogether. I was bored with the rampant manhoods and stiff virgins who magically rode a golden wave of pleasure after the first thrust! Those scenes are too flowery and unrealistic. Instead I find that I really enjoy reading and writing novels that are much more realistic in every way.
Q: What is your writing process like?
A: Well first comes the stopped in my tracks, glazed-eye look as an idea pops into my head. This normally happens when I’m driving. It’s amazing I haven’t wrecked because of it! I can just imagine explaining to my insurance company what happened. “Yes Mr. Insurance Adjuster, I was picturing the first time John and Liz make love and didn’t notice the car in front of me stopping.” They’d probably drop me immediately! Then after lots of daydreaming, I get out my notebook and free-write an outline, making sure to include any little interesting tidbits so I don’t forget them later. I develop my characters personalities and looks and choose names. After that’s done I let my anal retentive side take over. I write out detailed descriptions for each scene, staring at them, rewriting, adding, and subtracting until I get what I want. Only after I’ve done all of this do I start to write.
Q: Are there any autobiographical details in your erotica?
A: Hah! Everybody asks this! Of course there will be small aspects of me in my stories. For example, in my first novella, Martini Seduction, the heroine is a hostess in a restaurant because I was a hostess in a restaurant. And I’m sure in future novels there will be more details like that. It’s only natural to write about things that I have experience with. However, all other aspects of the stories – including the sex scenes – are pure fiction. What I do try to convey are the feelings that myself, and every other woman who has been in an exciting romantic relationship has experienced. The pounding heart, the goose bumps, the tingle in the toes…
Q: What do you do when you aren’t writing?
A: Well starting at the god-awful hour of 6:00 a.m. when I hit the road, I’m a high school social studies teacher. When my copies are made, grades are entered, and kids behave I love my job! Actually I really do enjoy working with the kids. They can be really funny without even meaning to. And being a teacher lets me indulge both my bossiness and creativity at the same time.
Q: So are you open about writing erotica?
A: I wouldn’t say I’m in the closet about it. But being a teacher in the great, conservative state of Texas, I don’t discuss it in the teacher’s lounge. Besides, I think it would be a tad bit awkward to have my students come into class giggling and elbowing each other because they just read one of my stories. Although I guess I should just be glad that they’re reading! With my friends and adult family I’m completely open. I just give them fair warning so they know what to expect and can decide whether or not to read it for themselves. But I am in no way ashamed of it. It drives me crazy when people say, “Romance! Why do you read/write that stuff? Love doesn’t happen like that in real life.” My response has always been, “Why do people read/write mysteries? It’s not like you’re going to actually go out and solve a crime!”
Q: What do you enjoy to read?
A: Well outside of erotica I love J.R. Ward and Kresley Cole. Their paranormal romances are excellent! I aspire to get to their level of writing one day. I had a great time attending Hogwarts and felt like a giddy teenager again as I discovered the Twilight series. I indulge my history nerd side by reading historical fictions such as The Constant Princess, by Phillipa Gregory. Now that I live alone I’ve stopped reading murder mysteries. I have way too active an imagination to read those in the house by myself! And I satisfy my longing for Buffy by reading the BTVS Season Eight comic series.
Q: What other hobbies do you have besides reading?
A: Does shoe collecting count? I love shoes! I have over a hundred pairs. If there’s one thing that distracts me from meeting my word count goal, it’s online shoe shopping! I also enjoy doing different workout videos just for the fun of it. I think it’s awesome I can learn belly dance, samba, and bollywood for just the price of a DVD! I’ve recently gotten into roller derby. A sport that lets me wear makeup and cool costumes while taking out my aggression on the opposing team? Sign me up! And although my left hand doesn’t thank me for it, I’m addicted to Guitar Hero!
Q: What do you want your readers to take away from your stories?
A: I want my readers to enjoy a few hours of deliciously escapist fantasy when they read my books. I want them to feel everything my heroine feels as she falls in lust and in love with her hero. When they turn the last page (or hit the down arrow button for the last time) I want them to flop back on the couch sa-tis-fied! And then I want them to be inspired to share that feeling with their man or go and find a man who brings that out in them. But most of all, I want them to have fun!
Q: And last, how does it feel to be published?
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