Monday, September 5, 2011

Make Mine Easy Monday: Guest blogger, Shashauna P. Thomas

1. Welcome to ...a Passionate Heart! Please, tell us about yourself. What do you write and why?
     My name is Shashauna P. Thomas and I like to write Erotica.  Most of my erotica have romantic elements.  Though there are a few where it is pure lust and sexual gratification as the main theme instead of love.  The stories I write can sometimes vary from boy-meets-girl to f/f to BDSM to Sci Fi to Menage a trio (or more).  And sometimes an interesting combination of two or more of these genres. When it comes to the various characters, story plots, and sex scenes running around in my head I've discovered that my imagination is limitless.
     I write Erotica for three main reasons.  1) That is the type of books I like to read (along with Horror, Sci Fi and Suspense) 2) Erotica is the only type of stories that I see in my head. 3) I love writing it so much that I really couldn't see myself writing anything else.  Or doing anything else for that matter.

2. How would you characterize your writing style?
     Ummm...I'm not sure how one would characterize it.  I am the first to admit that sometimes it can be all over the place.  I see characters and scenes very clearly inside my head and I write down their stories as best I can convey them.  Sometimes I see the stories as a third person onlooker, and others I see it from one or more of the character's point of view.  The way I see the stories in my head is the way I write them on paper.  This also explains why despite all the English and writing courses I've taken in my life telling me never to do this, I often tend to write the way I speak.  Or in some cases, the way a character speaks.  This is also why some stories the reader will find there will be more curses and blunt language usage than in others.

3. Which authors/movies/music/television programs do you think influenced your writing the most and why?
     Wow.  These are really good questions. They are certainly making me think.  OK.  The Authors that influence me have to be my favorite authors:p Lora Leigh, Zane, Kresley Cole, Kate Douglas, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Jackson, Katie MacAlister, and Steven King. They are the authors whose writing styles and stories lines I enjoy the most.  The characters they create. The way they describe not only people, settings, actions, thoughts, and emotions all seamlessly. The very real and vivid sex scenes they write which are a feast to the reader's senses.  How they easily draw you in to the plot lines of their stories. One minute you feel sorry for them, the next you can't breathe because you're laughing so hard, next you're on the edge of your seat wondering what in the world is going to happen next, and the next you're just as turned on as the main character is. Each of these authors pen stories that easily draw the reader in and that is how I want my stories to be.
    I will admit to having watched a few adult movies from time to time (only for research purposes I swear).  I've watched them enough to know I prefer the ones with a story line or as they call them, "plot-based.  Pornos". Porn made up of just sex scenes with absolutely no attempt at a story line, no matter how feeble the attempt maybe, held very little interest for me.  I actually found myself making up back ground stories and it helped me to enjoy the Porns better. For research purpose of course. ;-) But mainly I like to watch Horror and Action movies.  My family often teases me by saying that the movies I like have to have a body count. As long as a movie has action, adventure, and romance, then it is for me.  I wouldn't say movies influence my writing much except they give my imagination ideas for situations and predicaments that the characters in my head find themselves in and have to find their way out.
     I like all types of music. Literally everything. Except hard rock, heavy metal, and punk. And even then I'm sure there are a few exceptions. Music plays an influence in my writing because sometimes when I see a scene in my head I'll literally hear a few frames from songs as background noise.  If the scene is in a Midwestern bar I'll hear country music.  If it's in a bar or lounge in the city I'll hear jazz music and R&B.  If it's a night club I'll hear rap and hip hop.  I add these elements to the stories I write to help build the scene for readers.  Sensory clues are very important as I've had editors remind me.
     The television programs that I watch are all dramas.  From crime dramas like Law and Order: SVU and the Closer to comedy dramas like Weeds and the Big C. Historical dramas like the Tudors and Spartacus.  And of course Dramas based off of book series like True Blood and Pillars of the Earth. I learn something new each episode from scientific / Forensic dramas like House and Dexter.  Then there are teen dramas like The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars that I can't help but enjoy no matter that I am no longer a teen. And of course reality shows like The Real World and Jersey Shore. As you can probably tell my taste in TV is all over the place. Much like my stories. The more variety in shows the more diverse information my imagination has to feed off of.  Fuel for creating future books.

4.Describe your writing desk or area. Do you sit at a desk? Lay in bed or on a couch? Are you near a window? What do you see? Is it an area you've crafted to stimulate writing or are you just writing where ever you happen to be?
     Most of the time I write at home in my room at the old computer desk that has been in my family for years.  It is a huge, clunky. wooden desk, with a small section for the computer screen on the left--barely wide enough for the large old fashion monitor I have--and a wooden shelf on the right. Cluttered with paper, ink, old diskettes (that's right, I said "diskettes"), an old scanner, and a new four-in-one printer perched all the way on top.  The old pull out shelf where the keyboard should be broke off many years ago so now the keyboard and mouse rests on the same shelf as the monitor,  Under the clunky desk is the old stand up tower. Next to a six outlet surge protector and a mess of wires coming from my computer and the black cable modem that allows me to access the internet. The tower is one that my aunt gave me when my old computer gave out on me for the last time.  It was old when she gave it to us so you can imagine how old it is now.  This computer much like my desk is old and slow, but so far has been reliable.  Has seen me through a number of late nights writing, editing, and submitting. Though it is nothing like my ideal home office and it does absolutely nothing to inspire me, it's reliability is what counts.
     I prefer to write here than on the laptop I have. Also old, but definitely younger than the deck top. It doesn't have wireless so it is basically only good for games and Microsoft Office. I use the laptop when I'm away from home and I need to write.  I will write anywhere, and at anytime.  Partially to meet deadlines, but also because I can't control when images hit me.  As soon as they do I try to write them down. I try to capture them quickly so I don't loose the clarity of the scene. I then either work them into the story I am presently writing if it is a scene from that story or if it isn't I set it aside for a future story I plan to work on next.

5.What do you hope to impart or give to your readers with each story you write?
     I hope to draw the reader into the story as much as I find myself drawn in. I want to make the characters so real that the reader can see them clearly in their mind and in some cases even identify with them. I wish to enthrall my readers with the erotic tales I've spun. I hope to open their minds to new possibilities, and inspire them to be more open minded. To different perspectives, different realities, and all the sexual possibilities out there. I want the reader to see all the different types of people out there in the world and embrace them without any preconceived judgements. I want them turned on and I'd love to plant some seeds of interest in their head about things they never tried, never thought to try, but now find themselves suddenly curious about.  Of course above all else I want the readers entertained and satisfied so much so that they'll keep coming back for more.

6. Favorite snack food?
     Doritos, Crunchy Cheese doodles, Ice Cream (Ben & Jerry's or Haagen-Dazs) and Chocolate.

7. Favorite Disney character (and why)?
     Goofy.  He always cracks me up.

8. You're pulling up to the drive-thru of your favorite neighborhood coffee shop: what are you ordering and how do you like it? (And, are you a Dunkin Donuts person or do you prefer Starbucks? Or is there a unique shop that makes it just the way you crave it?)
     I am definitely a Dunkin Donuts girl, and when I'm there I am ordering an Iced Caramel Latte with extra extra caramel. If it is the morning I might also order a sausage and cheese croissant sandwich, but if it is the afternoon I most likely will order a few chocolate doughnut holes.

9. You're on the beach, toes in the sand, cool drink by your side. What are you reading?
     One of Lora Leigh's Breed Series novels.

10. Paper or plastic?
     Plastic.  And we make them reusable all the time.

Great answers, Shashauna! My favorite line: I want the reader to see all the different types of people out there in the world and embrace them without any preconceived judgments. Admirable and wonderful!
Thank you for being a guest on ...a Passionate Heart. :) 

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