Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Skyler White, author of Painted, Lady, an interactive, pick-your-path romance.
Genre: Contemporary Erotica
SilkWords is the go-to source for interactive romance and erotic fiction.
With gorgeous custom covers and a clean, sophisticated design, the SilkWords site offers a secure, upscale reading environment. In addition to content on their web site, they offer stories for purchase in the standard e-book formats.
SilkWords is owned and operated by a full-time mom with a background in genetics and an RWA RITA-nominated, multi-published sci-fi romance author.
Their technology guy and site designer was the founder of Microsoft Xbox Live.
SilkWords features two formats that allow readers to choose how the stories will proceed.
Date of Publication: January 3, 2015
Word Count: Reader Vote story
Cover Artist: Indie Designz
Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of five ecopies of Painted, Lady or an ebox set of The Harem Club, Storm at SEA and Fetish Fair.
Will she or won't she? With which man (or woman) in which location? With Pick Your Path romance, you decide. Romance and branched fiction are made for each other, like picking your favorite flavor of ice cream...positions, partners, and paraphernalia, oh my!
Reader Vote: Readers vote at choice points and decide how the story will continue. These stories are a great way for readers and authors to connect. It’s exciting to be part of a developing story!
Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of five eCopies of Painted, Lady.
When even the month’s rent spent on new brushes isn’t enough to inspire the painter she loves, Sadie offers her body as bait for his muse.
But modeling is more revealing and more pleasurable, riskier and more erotic than she ever expected. And muses can be monstrous.
Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.
I love this cover! Sadie looks almost exactly like she does in my mind. She’s a poet, but she’s lost her voice, so the hair covering her eyes works beautifully, and she’s canvas-pale, which is important when you’re in love with a painter. It works on a couple of other levels too, but I can’t really talk about those because which ones become relevant depends entirely on where readers take the story. I like them all as possibilities.
What made you choose the main setting for your book?
The setting for “Painted, Lady” is a hybrid of my memories of living in Back Bay Boston in a house full of ballet dancers, and of Patti Smith’s descriptions of her life in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe in her book “Just Kids” (which is wonderful, by the way).
Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.
Where I want to write depends on what I’m writing and how it’s going. Home is an amplifier for me. If my work is going well, it’s the best place to work. I have all my research books nearby and coffee, a kneeling chair, a yoga ball, and a standing desk. If my work is not going well, home is the worse place. I have the dishes to do, the laundry to fold, magazines to read, and my bed, the sofa or The Big Red Chair to nap in.
The only thing I’m precious about in terms of writing environment is sound. I can edit pretty much anywhere, but I can’t write new words if there’s music or conversation around me. I end up following its path instead of my own. I plug in my earbuds and play an hour-long loop of white noise – thunderstorms – to drown out any ambient noise. It also serves as an “Occupied” sign for my head, that folks in coffee shops and my husband and kids (mostly) tend to respect.
Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in.
Only one of my books is available on audio, but the making of it was a lot of fun. It’s a book I co-wrote with fantasy author Steven Brust and Audible.com let us request actors for the voices. Mary Robinette Kowal who writes gorgeous Jane-Austen-With-Magic fantasy novels reads the female lead, and Ray Porter, an old college friend of mine from my theater days, and the man responsible for the best Merchant of Venice I’ve ever seen, reads the male lead. It was such a cool collaborative process, and so much fun to be able to rope in friends!
What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?
I seem to have trouble writing anything, particularly erotica, without some element of magic or the supernatural, but I’m never really sure what genre to call what I write. I prefer Speculative Fiction/SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal/Whatever you want to call it, because its readers tend to be more generous and deliberately open-minded. As a writer, if you want to experiment with genre, with form, with language, with worlds or ideas, there really is no other space you can mix and match with so much freedom, and I am both challenged and inspired by that.
Although it doesn’t really have enough currency to be useful, I love the phrase “speculative fiction.” I love that even in naming this weird little sub-splinter of the writing world, we tip our own hands. “Speculative” isn’t a short, clean word like “mystery,” nor does it answer any questions about subject like “science fiction” does. It doesn’t make any claims about its pedigree like “literary fiction,” or about its audience like “women’s fiction.” It describes, but does not explain, and I like that.
I like that the word itself is a little obscure. It could have been Questioning Fiction, or Pondering Fiction, but it’s not. It’s Speculative Fiction. We speculate. There’s even something vaguely sinister about the word now, curtsey of our Wall Street cousins.
I like that Speculative Fiction readers expect writers to build complicated worlds, write complex prose, and create a challenging game. Beyond their open minds and their willingness to work hard at having fun, the Speculative Fiction reader will take their interaction with the writer out of the writer’s world and into their own. They tend to see a book not as a finished piece, but as an invitation to come play, to question and wonder. To speculate. Which is also what I love about writing interactive fiction for SilkWords. It puts the speculation on both sides – author and readers. I spend a lot of time wondering what they’ll do next.
The sales dude at the art supply store looks down the front of my shirt, then into my basket.
“Dragon’s Blood Crimson," he sneers. He knows no artist looks like me -- to punk and eager. "You know that’s almost a hundred bucks a tube?”
“Yeah.” I did know that, but James loves this paint. He shows me every time. See how deep the color is, he says. The red of death, not bleeding.
The clerk looks at me, I don’t know if it’s new respect or envy.
“It’s mixed from real cinnabar," he says. "Toxic as hell. Local guy grinds the pigments himself, and tubes a few for us.”
“Yeah.” I didn’t know that. Oh, well. James will be careful, right? “What about brushes?”
“He’ll want one of these.” A brush with a teardrop of bristles drops into my basket. “And one of these.”
“I’ve got another two-eighty to spend,” I say, adding the price of the brushes to the total in my head.
The thing that sucks about being poor is it never stops being what you are.
“Do you model? The art school is always looking for girls, if you need money.” He drops another three brushes in my basket. James says I could try hooking for cash. Paint my face like the girls next door. Short skirt. He says I’ve got the legs. He means it sweet. He says I’m horny enough, but it’s only with him my pussy goes all hot and so slippery I don’t even know if it feels good to fuck me.
“I’m not the kind of girl you paint.”
He looks at me like he’s plotting a run through traffic. “You’d be okay in charcoal. Or quit bleaching your hair. Do your tattoos obscure the contours of your back?
“I don’t know. It’s my back.”
About the Author
The child of two college professors, I left high school to pursue a career in ballet. Since then, I’ve worked in theater and advertising, earned a Master’s degree and appeared on reality TV, and if you can find a “career path” in that, you have a better eye for pattern than I do.
My debut novel, ‘and Falling, Fly‘ was named one of the top sci-fi/fantasy books of 2010 by Library Journal, Barnes & Noble’s Sci-Fi Blog, and Dear Author. My follow-up, ‘In Dreams Begin‘ was accorded the same honor by Fantasy Literature. ‘The Incrementalists,’ co-written with Steven Brust, was one Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy titles for Fall 2013, and recently, I've started exploring indie publishing with "Offerings," a serialized sacred erotica.
I write angels and scientists, demons, faeries and revolutionaries, secret societies and sacred sex because I’m interested in the places where myth and modernity tangle. I’m a mother and a rebel, a wife and a romantic. I’m a liberal living in Texas, an existentialist witch, and a sucker for paradox – lucky thing, right?