Hannah Murray is a self proclaimed hopeful romantic, who loves banana flavored Laffy Taffy and hates horror movies. She lives with a very large, very grumpy dog who pretty much runs the show. When not catering to his needs, she can usually be found reading, watching old British sitcoms and reruns of The Golden Girls, or doing anything else that allows her to put off the housework for one more day.
Thanks for being our guest today at Fierce Romance, Hannah! Please tell us about The Boy Next Door.
I’m so thrilled to be here to talk about The Boy Next Door, which is my contribution to Secrets 27 Untamed Pleasures. It’s the story of Isa, a woman who likes bondage in the bedroom but can’t seem to find a guy to deliver the goods. While she’s drowning the disappointment of her last romantic misstep in a few glasses of wine, she accidentally reveals to her next door neighbor Jacob just what her difficulty with men is. Needless to say she’s pretty embarrassed about that until she realizes the guy she’s looking for has been right next door the whole time.
This is a sizzling, sexy story and I loved it!! (I was so lucky to get a sneak peek.) What or who was your inspiration for this story?
I have a wonderful friend who makes the best bondage rope there is – if you’re interested in tying your lover up, he’s the guy you want to go to. He also luuuuvs to play around with his own product, and his enthusiasm for bondage and the rope he makes was a huge inspiration. When I met Monk (http://www.twistedmonk.com/ ) what struck me was how much fun he had playing with rope. It made me think how much I’d like to read a fun, lighthearted story that still had the intense sensuality that bondage brings. Then I thought, “Hell, I’ll just write it!”
Exactly! Why not? How did you research the bondage elements of this story?
Oh, I’m a “method writer” – I really must experience, whenever possible, everything my characters go through! ;-) And in addition to the “hands on” research, I used a really wonderful book, Bondage for Sex by Chanta Rose, to write some of the details. It’s basically a manual for couples interested in using bondage in the bedroom, with very clear instructions and beautiful photography. It was a godsend when it came to describing exactly how Isa was being tied up, I was able to get the details in without getting bogged down in the technicalities. I highly recommend it, and I can personally vouch that everything depicted in the book really works, and is a lot of fun. ;-)
The right research is vital! ;-) What is your writing process or method?
I tend to be a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl most of the time, at least when I’m first starting a new project. I’ll get an idea about a character or a situation and I like to just sit down and start on it. After I’ve got a good handle on the basic elements of character and story, I start making notes to keep myself on track. And I’ve discovered that outlining really isn’t the dirty word I always thought it was; it really does help keep the story moving and focused. But I’m never tied down to my outline; I’m always willing to change direction if a better idea comes along. After a first draft is done, I usually leave it alone for a few weeks, then come back with fresh eyes to work on any problems with plot or continuity.
Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
My advice for new authors is really simple: write what you like to write, it’s what you’re going to be best at. Be willing to accept constructive criticism but don’t change your focus on someone else’s whim. And above all, work at it. There are going to be days when inspiration is nowhere to be found – sit down and write anyway, those are the days that will make you an author.
Fantastic advice! What’s next for you?
I’ve got a finished manuscript that I’m shopping around, a contemporary comedy with a tightly wound heroine, a laid back (former boy band singer) hero, and a big manner-less dog. Add in the heroine’s best friend, the best friend’s very angry ex-fiancé who is causing problems for everyone, and you’ve got yourself a good time! I had a lot of fun writing it, though of course I’m still tweaking it here and there as I wait to hear back from the editors I’ve sent it to.
The other thing taking up my creative mojo these days is what I think of as a contemporary/paranormal hybrid. Y’all know how witches are always really ethical, following the rules about not using magic for personal gain and treating their magical gifts with respect? Well, if I had magic powers, I’m sure that I wouldn’t be that good. I mean, who could? So I wondered what would happen if you had a witch who didn’t concern herself too much with what she was and wasn’t allowed to do. Would she get away with it, or would there be consequences? Would she learn a lesson about thinking about the big picture, or stay just as irreverent as always? I’m having a lot of fun finding the answers to those questions.
Sounds interesting and unique! Would you like to point readers to your contest, review and excerpt?
There’s a review up at Romance Junkies and you can find an excerpt at my website. There’s also a contest up for July, your chance to win some of the bondage rope Isa and Jacob enjoyed so much!
That's a sexy adventure waiting to happen! :) Thanks for being here! It's been fun!
Thanks for having me today!