Please welcome author, Skylar Kade, to my blog today. I apologize as this should have appeared on July 23rd. That dang pneumonia screwed me all up. I've been out of touch for more than two weeks. You don't want to listen to me whine, so here's someone a lot more interesting: Skylar! Please give Skylar a hand and ask her lots of questions or leave a comment. Ashley: What is your niche in the writing world? How will your books be different than everyone else's? Skylar: I'm unapologetically naughty. If there is a boundary to push, I'll do it. And have a damn good time doing so. I don't believe gratuitous sex is an excuse for poor writing, but given a solid story? I'll be as graphic as I feel suits the needs of the characters. Ashley: What book or movie do you wish you'd written? Why? Skylar: Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are such beautifully written characters, and the tension between them is almost tangible. Not to mention that its an iconic love story that has helped, in my opinion, to shape the modern vision of romance. Ashley: If you decided never to write again, what would you do instead? Why? Skylar: I would get my PhD and study romance. Which is actually on the to-do list. I see romance as a legitimate genre that can offer just as much up for literary criticism and analysis as the more literary genres. Ashley: What type of need does writing fulfill for you? How does it do so? Skylar: Romance novels are pure escapism. Yes they may teach about a historical time period or make you think about society or human psychology, but they are fundamentally for a mental vacation. We live in a negative world where happy endings are a rarity in the media. Being able to create that allows me to share one type of happily ever after with readers, which is so gratifying. Ashley: How do you unblock yourself when your writing dries up? What gets your writing flowing again? Skylar: The ability to write never stops, so when I get blocked on a project, I work on something else. I've found that doing short stories are instantly gratifying, and give me that boost of, "see, you CAN write a complete story," that it usually takes to re-motivate me. At the RWA National conference, I had the privilege of speaking with a very successful writer who shared that when she is frustrated, she puts the things she'd like to say into the mouths of her characters, and that it not only frees her mind, but sometimes even leads to interesting plot improvements. Ashley: What is your favorite time period and why? Skylar: Oh goodness. I like the modern time period for women, but I wish men were a little more Victorian--you know, gentlemen in public, but off the hook in bed ;) Ashley: What is your favorite season? What is your favorite part of the world? Skylar: Springtime in DC is amazing during the Cherry Blossom festival. It is a stunning sight. But I have to say, I have fallen in love with Southern California and its single season. As for my favorite place in the world, it would have to be Greece. The water is SO blue and clear--paradise. 8) What is the craziest thing one of your characters has ever done? What about you yourself? Skylar: Craziest thing a character has done? I have a forthcoming character who is a submissive that laughs at Doms trying to top her when they fall short of her high standards. In the scene, that's pretty bold behavior. As for myself, I'm not nearly as extroverted as some of my characters. I think the wildest thing has to be deciding to write erotica, honestly. Ashley: Did you go to RWA or any other writer's conventions this year and if so, please tell us about your experience. If not, do you have plans to attend any in the near future? Skylar: RWA National was AMAZING! I met great people and heard informative lectures, including the Rogue Digital Conference. I was a conference virgin, but everyone was so nice and friendly I wasn't nervous after my first hour there. Next year I hope to attend RWA at the very least, if not RT as well. Ashley: Has any one writer or editor helped you more than any other that you would like to mention? How? Skylar: My writer friend J.M. Jeffries (actually two women) is an amazing sounding board. They are great to brainstorm with and always come up with ways to write myself out of a corner or improve my story. 11) Do you always critique with a partner or a group or are you your own critique partner? Why? Skylar: I'm part of an RWA critique chapter, but I don't have specific partners that read full manuscripts. For "Maison Domine," however, I had two writers from my chapter who critiqued for me, and they were incredibly helpful. Ashley: What are your plans for the future? Skylar: I'm looking into PhD programs and hope to teach college while writing. And I'd love to continue publishing with Samhain--my experience with them has been phenomenal. Ashley: WOW! I used to think about going for my PhD. I should have gone straight for that and skipped the masters. Ashley: Please tell us about your upcoming books, appearances, and events. Do you have any contests running now or in the near future? Skylar: My first book, "Maison Domine," is being released in e-book format from Samhain at the end of September. It is a VERY spicy BDSM erotica, and is not for the faint-hearted :D There are contests in the works--I promise! Please check back in a month or so for the details. I'd love to do signings, but that would have to be next year when the print anthology is released. Ashley: Where can we find you online and in person? Skylar: You can find me on Twitter (@skylarkade), on Facebook (Skylar Kade), on my website (www.skylarkade.com) or on my blog (www.skylarkade.com/blog). Please Tweet or Friend for updates! In person, I spend my time in sunny SoCal, usually in my cave of an apartment or at the local Starbucks. So if you see a chick typing on her computer with a devious look on her face, it might be me. Thanks Ashley! Skylar because life is too short to behave www.skylarkade.com "Maison Domine" coming from Samhain publishing Fall 2009 Thanks Skylar! Y'all come back and the rest of y'all leave a comment or question or two for Skylar.