Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Author Interview: Cris Anson

Please welcome erotic romance author Cris Anson to my blog today. Be sure to make her feel at home by leaving comments and asking questions.

Cris was most accomodating in answering my many questions. We had a great chat.


Ashley:  Why do you write erotic romance?

Cris:  Because life doesn’t stop at the bedroom door. And because you’re never too old to experience it vicariously or to dream that it might happen to you.


Ashley: What romance subgenres do you write in? Why?

Cris: I’ve written four contemporaries in my DANCE series plus two “Quickies” for Ellora’s Cave. I also wrote two contemporary romantic suspense novels for Cerridwen Press, their mainstream imprint. Then a character from 1694 Massachusetts Bay Colony wouldn’t let me go, so I had to write her story, even though I knew nothing about that era prior to my research. PUNISHMENT AND MERCY gives a horny young widow two hot men—a blacksmith and his apprentice—who both love her. I’m back to contemporary with my upcoming WHAT SHE NEEDS, which is in edits now. In it, a newly published erotic romance author does some hands-on research about ménages and domination. Oh, and she’s an older woman and he’s twelve years younger. Again, dreaming about what might happen to me?


Ashley: Why do reviewers say your books are “atomic fireball hot” and you keep a fire extinguisher next to your keyboard?

Cris:  The fire extinguisher is literary license, of course, but it’s an indication of the level of sensuality and explicit detail of my writing. I believe that nothing is off limits if the parties involved consent to it in the privacy of their home (or wherever). The sex act, in all its permutations, is an expression of their love and commitment, even though they might not admit said love and commitment until much later.


Ashley:  Are you aware of any themes that run through your stories? If so, what are they?

Cris:  I would say my books explore a woman’s sexual coming of age, no matter what her chronological age.


Ashley: What would you like readers to take away from your stories?

Cris:  That women have the right to be assertive in matters of their own body. That they deserve love. That giving and receiving sexual gratification can be the ultimate expression of that love.


Ashley:  Will you be attending any book or writing conferences this year? If yes, which ones? Where and when?

Cris:  I just returned from the Romantic Times BookLovers Convention in Columbus, which was a blast. I’ll be attending Ellora’s Cave’s RomantiCon the weekend of October 7-10 in Richfield, Ohio. It’s a conference for people who love erotic romance—readers, authors and editors. Find out more at https://www.jasminejade.com/romanticon/index.html.


Ashley:  What is your writing schedule?

Cris:  I tend to write in spurts. I know, I know, many successful authors say you must write every day, and the same time every day. But it doesn’t work that way for me. I’ll go for days with a blank mind, then suddenly I’ll sit down and do 15-20 pages. I’ve learned not to beat myself up over it.


Ashley:  Do you have any other passions besides writing? If yes, what is it? Why?

Cris:  I can’t live without flowers. I have a small army of amaryllis bulbs that bloom in the bleak days of winter (after their dormant period in the basement, I bring them up to a sunny window and nurture them). Outdoors I have a tiny yard that’s crowded with perennials, flowering shrubs, and annuals. The beauty of a peony in full bloom can bring tears to my eyes. I love the smell of rich earth when I yank out an errant weed, the sound of the breeze rustling the leaves, the patchwork color of dahlias on their stakes. A garden enriches my soul and soothes my spirit. Plus it delights the neighbors when I give out handfuls of cut flowers.


Ashley:  What is the best memory of your husband?

Cris:  His excitement about life and nature. He was a semi-pro photographer, and he taught me how to really SEE nature through a macro lens. To him, even a dandelion was a work of art. He would plan our vacations to maximize photo opportunities—Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia; the Swiss Alps; Canyonlands National Park; horse farms in Lexington, Kentucky; the Everglades in Florida. He was drunk on life itself and was always an optimist.


Ashley:  What is your favorite comfort food?

Cris:  Chocolate, mostly in the form of Dove Dark Promises. A close second is my sister’s home-made chicken noodle soup.


Ashley:  What relaxes you?

Cris:  A Chopin etude or a Schubert impromptu. A full-body massage. Reading a great book (and having a good cry at the happy-ever-after). Sitting in my garden when the sunflowers are in full bloom and the bees are feeding.


Ashley:  What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Cris:  Saying “I’ll do that tomorrow.” Now that I’m retired and have no one but myself to look after, I’m happy to put off things like mowing the lawn or cleaning the bathroom. I’ll even postpone going to the supermarket. As long as I have milk, bread, eggs or peanut butter, I don’t need to make a full meal with meat and potatoes and veggies. Although I deeply appreciate someone else’s culinary efforts.


Ashley:  What decade has been your favorite? Why?

Cris:  My favorite decade is the one coming up. I’m alive and healthy and writing and enjoying life and want to continue doing so until I’m dried up and wrung out and collapse from the sheer joy of living.


Ashley: What a great answer! Me, too.

What is your favorite way to promote?

Cris:  The most fun for me is going to conferences and meeting fans one on one. Social media (FaceBook, Twitter and the like) can suck up all your time. Once I’m on a site, I tend to explore the heck out of it and before I know it, it’s time to call it a night and I haven’t done any writing.


Ashley:  I see we're a lot alike in that way.

Where is your favorite place to write? Why?

Cris:  Since I don’t have a laptop, it’s obviously my office (I’ve commandeered the smallest bedroom). It contains a full-size desk, wall shelves for my research books, filing cabinets, a good radio, a large corkboard and two printers.


Ashley:  What was your favorite vacation?

Cris:  Our trip of a lifetime was an Alaska jaunt. My husband was retired so he took a leisurely month (with many photographic stops along the way) to drive the RV from Pennsylvania to Seattle, where I joined him for three glorious weeks then flew home from Anchorage and back to work while he drove back. We took the 54-hour trek via the Alaska Marine Highway on a HUGE ferry which carried dozens of loaded semis as well as RVs much bigger than ours. Everywhere we looked was more stunning beauty and more glorious scenes of nature to photograph. I’ll never forget our helicopter ride over a glacier to its birth in the Chugach Mountains outside Anchorage, with both of us hanging out the windows to photograph everything as it passed beneath us.


Ashley:  Wow! I'd love to do that. My husband tells me he'd like to take a cruise to Alaska one day. My aunt and uncle used to drive from Ohio to Alaska at least every other summer after they retired. I'm not sure if they plan another trip or not. I don't think they're going this summer.

If you had another career, what was it?

Cris:  I spent most of my working life behind a typewriter, starting as a secretary and working my way up to executive assistant to presidents of several different companies. For many years my duties included fetching coffee for the boss and his guests (and even reconciling the boss’s wife’s checkbook!). It wasn’t until I was in my 50s that I had a boss who was younger than me and got his own coffee, and even longer before I had a female boss.


Ashley:  Even though I'm a female boss, I can't say that all female bosses are better than male bosses. Some are, some aren't. I like my present male boss better than I liked my last female boss. That said, I'm trying to be a really good boss.

If you didn’t write, what would you do instead?

Cris:  Make music. I’d love to be able to play the piano at a high level instead of just dabbling.


Ashley:  If you could have one wish, what would it be?

Cris:  That no one would go hungry.


Ashley:  What a wonderful wish.

If you could describe yourself in only one word, what would it be?

Cris:  Survivor. I buried two husbands after long illnesses and living through those nightmarish times made me stronger and more determined to love life.


Ashley:  Who is your favorite American Idol contestant this year? Why? (only if you watch the show)

Cris:  The only TV I watch is Dancing with the Stars and then I pull the plug until next week’s show. Oh, how I miss watching the sexy Gilles Marini dancing his way into America’s heart in his form-fitting costumes!


Ashley:  Are you a cat or dog person? Do you have any pets and if so, please tell us about them.

Cris:  I’m allergic to animals, but I’ve desensitized myself enough to enjoy my sister’s Cairn terrier, Miranda. She’s my “god-puppy”—when my sister moved north from Florida, I drove her to the Pocono Mountains farm where the breeder lives and we picked her out of the litter of 6-week-olds. Car-sick, Miranda threw up in the back seat as I drove home. She’s spoiled rotten, with a mind of her own (pulling against the leash, I swear she has the strength of a sled dog). She knows I’m her Alpha and whenever I visit, she brings me her favorite toy then rolls over onto her back waiting to be rough-housed.


Ashley:  Please tell us about your most recent release and where we can purchase it.

Cris:  In PUNISHMENT AND MERCY, a wanton young widow in 1694 Massachusetts Bay Colony is flogged in public for sexual congress outside matrimony. Her irate father forces her marriage to a dominating blacksmith. But the blacksmith's apprentice falls in love with her. Two men loving one woman. How will she find her heart's desire?

It is available as a download from Ellora’s Cave http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-8100-14-punishment-and-mercy.aspx , and online at Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble and other sites.

Ashley:  Please give us your urls and your publisher’s url.

Cris:  Read excerpts of my books at http://www.crisanson.com/.
For photos and more info about me, go to http://www.myspace.com/crisanson.
Ellora’s Cave home page is http://www.jasminejade.com/default.aspx.


Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers? Please do so here.



Readers are precious to an author. I’d like to thank all those who have read my books. I hope you continue to enjoy what I write and will let me know via the “Contact Cris” button at my website.

Cris, thank you so much for chatting with me. It's been delightful. You're an amazing woman and I'm glad to have met you. I wish you much success and I hope you'll visit again.
 

Excerpt from PUNISHMENT AND MERCY


by Cris Anson ©2010

Available at Ellora’s Cave



1694 Massachusetts Bay Colony



Her father’s dire gaze pinned her to the pine-planked floor. “All you need understand is that as of the morrow, Master Burroughs has agreed to take you to wife in exchange for your dowry of Asa Walcott’s lands, which I have held in trust for you.”

“What! You cannot be—”

“Silence!” His thunderous voice rolled around the large stone-walled room and came to rest heavily on her pounding heart. “You have shamed yourself and me with your promiscuous and devious ways. No God-fearing man is safe from your wiles as long as you remain free to sway your hips through the streets of Dunwood without escort.”

He took a heavy breath. “Being a widow does not give you license to lure the unwary to lecherous thoughts and deeds. You should be filling your days with good works for the poor instead of ensnaring the minds of those susceptible to the Devil’s intentions.”

“I have done no such—”

“You will not run your mouth to me! You have been nothing but a thistle in my boot since your worthy husband left his earthly home, God rest his immortal soul. You have caused me no end of dishonor by your shameless behavior. Today’s blatant display of your…your bosoms did not go unmentioned by the proper ladies of the church.”

With all her fierce will she kept her voice from rising to a screech. “It was the Reverend who stripped me of my gown, the Reverend who flogged me so harshly that I twisted and curled to avoid his vindictive strokes. Do not make it appear as though I deliberately sought to expose myself.” Mercy could feel her face and throat heat as the lie threatened to ensnare her.

Her father shot off his chair and lunged for her. “The Almighty help me, but I cannot wait until I am free of this burden of your insolent tongue! Would that I had been gifted with all sons, for your brothers have never shamed me.” He gripped her shoulders and began shaking her. Mercy’s head bobbed back and forth.

“I will handle the she-cat.” Master Burroughs calmly stepped forward, towering over them to lay a restraining hand on her father’s shoulder. The old man, heaving a deep and relieved breath, released her and, with an oath on his lips, retreated to the table and poured himself another mug of rum.

“Mercy Walcott,” the blacksmith said, gripping her shoulders with a fearsome strength, “you may have been able to ignore your father’s strictures, but I assure you, you will be subservient to me in all things.”

His eyes penetrated deep into hers, making her limbs weak, as did his thumbs lightly caressing her shoulders under the linsey-woolsey of her robe. “Beginning this moment you will obey me in matters large and small. You will walk a step behind me. You will hasten to do my bidding whatsoever it shall be. And I will save you from your wicked ways and protect you from the meddlers and the whisperers and, yes, the weak men who lust after you. Once you have felt the touch of my…dominance, you will wish for no other. This I promise.”

Releasing her, he spun on the heel of his shined leather boot and pinned her father with his stare. “I expect to see her at tomorrow’s church service, Mr. Phips, ready and willing to be wed.” His glance raked her for an instant, scalding her. “And I expect her to be suitably and demurely attired. Henceforth no man shall see any hint of what is mine alone.”

Without another word or glance, Master Burroughs departed her father’s humble home, leaving Mercy speechless and her heart thudding.

Ashley

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13 comments:

Kathye Quick said...

PUNISHMENT AND MERCY - WHoa Mama! It's not only a keeper, it's hot-hot-hot.

Seriously, Cris is a wonderful writer and captures emotions like no one else; all types of emotions and feelings (some I wish I had! I know TMI!!!)

Cris - love you.

Cris Anson said...

Thank you, Kathye! No one has a bigger heart than you, so don't tell me you have no emotions and feelings.

Caridad Pineiro said...

Wow! Hot mama, Cris. Love the excerpt and the interview.

Cris Anson said...

My manners have escaped me. I want to thank Ashley Ladd for interviewing me. The questions were so terrific and thought-provoking, I won't even complain that she gave me an H where it wasn't needed -- My first name is CRIS, not CHRIS.

Other authors have similar stories to tell(for example, ANNY Cook sees Anne, Any, Annie; LAURANN Dohmer is misspelled Laura Ann or Lauran; LYNNE Connolly is Lynn - and conversely, LYNN LaFleur is called Lynne), so at least I'm in excellent company :-)


But however it's spelled, I hope readers enjoy reading about me. Please let me know what you think.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, a great interview indeed, Ashley and Cris! Thanks much!

Kat said...

CRIS, darling,
the first time we met was at NJRW and you'd left packets of wild flowers with your name and URL on the back. I never forgot you and never will.
I am thrilled to see you back to writing--and creating A LOT!!!!
Kat Henry Doran

Cris Anson said...

Thanks, Caridad and Fedora, for the kind words.

And Kat, so good to hear from you again. And glad that you are making a name for yourself. Love the tote bags on your website!

Ashley Ladd said...

Cris, I thought you'd like to know we've had 81 views so far today.

Also, I'm so sorry about the stray "h". I swear, aliens made me type it. Honest to God.

Ashley Ladd said...

Instead of my real first name, I get Ellen, Eileen, anbd once even Eloise. So I know what you mean.

Again, sorry.

Cris Anson said...

Hey Aishly (just joshing),
No harm done. Aliens are welcome also. Maybe they like to read erotic romance, too!

Thanks again for inviting me into your cyber-home.

N.J.Walters said...

Great interview!

Anny Cook said...

Hah, Cris! Great interview and excerpt!

Lorrie said...

Lovely post and an alluring excerpt. Ah, we do like to dream, don't we?
Thanks for the great read and for posting.

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