Taylor Lewis lives on an island off the west coast of Scotland with her nearly full-grown son, two dogs and three cats and a variety of local wildlife that don’t always survive the cats. She works from home and also volunteers at her local school as a teaching assistant. She writes when she can, spends far too much time staring vacantly into space thinking up stories, and is continually puzzled by anyone that doesn’t get that romance is a valid genre of literature and wants to know when she’s going to write a ‘proper’ book.
Q: How did you start writing erotic fiction?
A: Believe it or not, in a roundabout way, through my degree course. A lecturer recommended fanfiction as a way to practise writing in a familiar genre but enable us to concentrate on our problem areas, in my case settings and narrative, and it all took off from there. I was very successful writing mainstream m/f alternative plots for a few fandoms, discovered the sub-genre of m/m slash and then went from there. Now I identify more as a traditional Harlequin style author—but with two dicks instead of one!
Q: Why do you write m/m erotic fiction?
A: Because it’s fun! I don’t pretend to reach great heights of literary greatness with what I do—I just want to have fun, tell a decent story and leave readers smiling if I can at the end. Writing m/m fiction is just something that enables me to sometimes go a little further in created situations than traditional m/f fiction would, and the visual images I have while idly creating characters and worlds definitely leave me smiling when reality is being a pain.
Q: Do you tell people what you do?
A: Absolutely! Everyone from my teenaged son, to his friends, to the school where I work to my friends and the wider community know. I have never had a negative reaction and most people are absolutely fascinated when they find out. The erotic component, and subsequent reveal of the added homosexual component, has never been an issue. I’ve never thought it was anything to be ashamed of and find if you’re matter of fact about it then most people accept it the same way.
Q: What do you feel makes a good romance?
A: The characters and dialogue—the sexual scenes have never been a priority to me when writing a story and it wasn’t unusual in the past to finish an eighty word novella and have the heroes exchange their first kiss on the very last page. I want to be entertained and have the sensation of falling along with the heroes, and find rushing them into bed sometimes detracts from that. LOL, so actually it would appear I write 1940’s Harlequin romances— but with dicks!
Q: Would you ever write m/f fiction?
A: Definitely! I have m/m stories where there are m/f subplots and do enjoy writing those pairings and I am just now working on the second book in my first original paranormal trilogy which is m/f/m. I have got a story that has been floating around for a while that definitely works best for an m/f pairing and I’m pretty excited about that —I just have to remember how to write a straight m/f sex scene with no kinky bits!
Q: What’s a typical writing day?
A: I’m a horrible writer and don’t have one. I volunteer at my local school a lot and also work full time from home, so mainly I write in my head, and when I have a chance write down what I imagine when I’m meant to be doing other things. I very often ‘re-write’ a scene over and over again in my head, sometimes for days at a time, trying things from every angle until I get that little punch in my lower gut to tell me that I’ve finally got it right. Like I said above, I’m a big believer in experiencing what the characters are feeling and unless I’m feeling scared/angry/nervous along with my hero then it generally doesn’t get written.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Music—I have playlists that I have just for background noise when I do actually get to a keyboard and it can be anything from rock to country to classical to pop. Basically if it gives me that achy feeling in my chest and it reminds me of a character or a plot I want to try then I will play it until my iPod wears out. I quite happily tromp around my local loch with my dogs for hours, plugged into my music and constructing worlds in my head.
Q: Who are your favourite authors?
A: Terry Pratchett for humour, Nora Roberts for romance, JR Ward for the action and the world building and Diana Gabaldon for all of the above and for overall excellence—and also for giving us the only ginger man in the world that everyone that reads about him wants to ride like a pony.
Q: What are your biggest weaknesses?
A: In real life, chocolate, but writing-wise I would say still settings and narrative. I also have a horrible habit of falling in love with my secondary characters and giving them all the best lines or scenes. My absolute favourite scene in Cherish, Texas is where Mac and Megan overhear two of their friends having reunion/make-up/angry sex and their horrified and increasingly annoyed reactions to it. Has nothing to do with the plot and doesn’t feature any of the love interests but it has me giggling every time I read it.
Q: What are your ambitions for the future?
A: Nothing dramatic—I like the quiet life far too much. I want to get my son safely through university, stay working from home as I can’t imagine actually going to an office or other workplace anymore, and I want to continue writing happy romances that hopefully other people will enjoy too. Oh, and discover a chocolate bar that I can eat as much as I want of and not put on twenty pounds, but I’ll settle for just the first few things if I have to.
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