WATCH OUT: Paige Tyler Interview
SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m excited to bring you a very special guest. Please welcome author Paige Tyler.
Welcome to Watch Out, Paige, it is so great to have you here.
PT:Thanks so much for having me!
SC:For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
PT: Well, I’m a full-time, multi-published author of erotic romance. I love writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty, independent women who fall for them. My stories have everything from passion and adventure to romance and true love. They’ll bring a blush to your cheeks and leave you breathlessly panting for more. You might even encounter a zombie or two! I’ll fill you in on that later!
You can find my books at Ellora’s Cave, Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, Blushing Books, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.
SC: Can you tell us a little about your current releases?
PT: I’d love to! They’re both paranormal romances based in the same “world” and you can get them from Ellora’s Cave.
One is called DEAD SEXY and the hero is a part-time zombie. Yes, you read that right – zombie! To set the stage, I need to share a little something with you about myself. Well, about my hubby and me, actually. We love zombie movies, from the George Romero gems to Shaun of the Dead and everything in between, including “Walking Dead,” the new series on AMC. You just can’t go wrong with a movie full of walking dead people, can you? Well, if you’ve ever seen a zombie movie (or even you haven’t), then you know the creatures aren’t the heroes of the film. I mean, how can they be, right? They’re all dead and decayed and downright unattractive, not to mention pretty damn scary. Which was why you can imagine my surprise when my hubby suggested I write an erotic romance about a zombie hero. I was like, you’re kidding, right? What woman in her right mind would fall in love with a dead guy? No way could that possibly work, or so I thought.
Turns out, my hubby wasn’t kidding. In fact, he started working up ideas for the story.
“The hero didn’t have to be a zombie all the time,” he told me. “Think outside the box – take a little literary license!”
Okay, I thought. I suppose I could be open minded.
My hubby told me that in his out-of-the-box world, the hunky hero got cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess and only turns into a zombie sometimes.
“I’m listening,” I said.
“And when he does go zombie, he doesn’t have to be like the kind in the movies,” my hubby added. “Well, he has to look like one, you know all dead and stuff, but he doesn’t have to be a mindless creature or attack humans or eat anything gross.”
So, brains are completely out, thanks goodness!
“Think Jensen Ackles or Jared Padelecki, with a really, really, really dark tan – (yes, my hubby knows I’ve got a thing for the Supernatural hunks!) – well, maybe more gray and black than tan, but you get the idea.”
I thought about that for a minute. “So, the hero’s dead, but he’s still sexy, is that what you’re saying?”
“Exactly,” he said, giving me a grin as my eyes lit up with understanding.
By that point, my hubby had pretty much sold me on the idea. Of course, I knew if I ran with it, I was going to have to sell it to a publisher, and I knew that could be tough since the hero is a zombie. But I ran with it anyway and ended up with a full-length novel. And it came out pretty damn good, if I do say so myself! I still had to find a publisher for it, though.
About this same time, It just so happens that several of my other books were in the process of being picked up by Ellora’s Cave and I thought what the heck? Why not pitch it to my editor there and see what she thinks? So I did, and she told me to send it to her. She was interested to see how I handled the whole zombie-thing. Well, long story, short, she liked it. A lot! My zombie romance with it’s dead-sexy hero had a home! I was thrilled and my hubby walked around for a week with a smug, “I-told-you-so” look on his face.
My other new release is called GHOST HUNTER, and it’s got a hunky hero, a kick-ass heroine and a serial killing ghost that’s scary as hell! Not to mention a smokin’ hot cover!
I love when I come up with an idea for a book out of the blue, which is what happened with GHOST HUNTER. When I heard my local RWA chapter set up a lecture with a team of paranormal investigators, it got me thinking right away about writing a book about a ghost hunter. Because the chapter is far from where we live, though, we didn’t actually go to the lecture. I was a little bummed about that, especially since they were giving out EMF detectors. On second thought, maybe it was better we didn’t go. Ghosts freak me out, so having something that can detect them probably wouldn’t be a good idea.
While I knew the hero was a ghost hunter named Trace, I wasn’t quite sure how the heroine fit into the story, or even who she was. So, my hubby and I played around with a few ideas at our local PF Chang’s (we come up with a lot of story ideas there!) We both decided that having the heroine Cassidy need the hero’s help because her house was haunted or something like that didn’t seem original enough, so we made her a budding romance writer who tags along with the hero and his team to do some research. Like any good story, though, it had to have some conflict, which is why Trace and Cassidy completely rub each other the wrong way right from the beginning. Actually, he thinks he’s a jerk. But don’t worry, Cassidy discovers underneath that rough ghost hunter exterior, Trace is just the man she’s been looking for. It doesn’t hurt that he’s hot!
Okay, so we had our hero and heroine. Now we needed a bad guy. That’s where the ghost comes in. He’s not your standard, everyday ghost, though. He’s a serial killer who attacked Cassidy that comes back from the grrave to continue his string of grisly murders, and she’s at the top of his list. To make things even more interesting, not only can he do all the regualar ghostly stuff like walk through walls and materialize out of thin air, he can also take solid form.
I’m not going to tell you any more than that, though. Don’t want to give too much away, you know. I will add that my editor at Ellora’s Cave told me she got so caught up in the story, she completely forgot she was reading a submission!
SC: Spanking is a theme that runs through your books, what makes spanking in sex so sexy?
PT: I think spanking appeals to the naughty, bad-girl in all of us. I mean, half the fun of being a bad-girl is getting in trouble! There’s just something primal and animalistic about being put over a strong, muscular guy’s knee and given exact what we need. Of course, in all my books that include spanking, the heroine is always the one who is actually controlling the situation and can stop the spanking if they so chose, but they come to discover they really love getting them. LOL!
SC: What influences the topics, and genre’s that you pick to write a story in?
PT: I get my ideas from anything and everything. I’ll read something in a magazine or see something on television that’ll give me the smallest kernel of an idea, and I’ll run with it. The genre I pick for each book depends on the characters and their story, but I never let myself be constrainted by a particular genre. I’ll start a story as a contemporary and discover halfway through that monsters are trying to slip in – so I just invite them and turn the story into a paranormal.
SC: One thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
PT: That I don’t read the genres of books I write. I find myself reading a lot more young adult romances and urban fantasy than erotic romance or romance, mainly because I don’t want to be influenced by other books in the genre I write. Not because there aren’t excellent authors in the genre out there, but because I’m always afraid their story ideas might seep into my own.
SC: If you were not an author and had another dream job what would you like to be doing?
PT: That’s a hard one because writing is my passion and I love it, so I wouldn’t want to do anything else. It helps that I get to live vicariously through my characters! However, if I had to pick I’d want to do something that involved working with animals. So, I would probably be running a rescue centers for animals. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d be happy just feeding them and petting them all day.
SC: Do you find it difficult to try to stand out with your writing in an industry that is very competitive?
PT: No, because the goal for me isn’t to stand out or be competitive. I write because I love doing it. I write the stories that resonate with my heart, and if that means they stand out, great. Trying to write stuff in order to stand out or make certain people happy just doesn’t work for me.
SC: Your favourite part about being a writer?
PT: The freedom! I can write about any place in the world, about aliens, the future, love, and happiness. What could be better than that? And the pleasure I get from writers telling me they love what I wrote? That totally makes my day! It also doesn’t hurt that I get to lounge around all day in a Victoria’s Secret terry-cloth robe, either!
SC: Do you set yearly author goals for yourself? Do the goals help you stay on track with projects?
PT: No. I write to many different types of books to get too focused on goals. I might write four or five short stories (10K to 20K words) in a row, or I might do back to back 80K to 100K full-length novel. Whatever story grabs my immediate focus. And I’ve been known to put a half-finished book on hold if another story grabs my attention. It’s just the way I write (drives the hubby nuts).
SC: Any interesting writing quirks you might have?
PT: My artistic side, the one that is most responsible for the style and content of my books, lives on chocolate. No chocolate – no writing. Brachs Stars, Hershey Special Dark, Ghiradelli Squares – doesn’t matter, gotta have it.
SC: What are you currently reading?
PT: I’m reading the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer, and I love them! I know, I’m probably like the only one who hadn’t read it! LOL! But after seeing the movies and hearing how great the books are, I had to read them. Because I hadn’t read the books before seeing the movies, I didn’t have any preconceived notions about the movies like I did with the Harry Potter movies. so, in that regard, I kind of look at the books more like a companion to the movies. While I think the books give you more insight into the other characters, particularly Alice and Emmett, the movies let you see what’s going on outside of Bella’s point of view.
SC: Do you plot when you write or do you just let the story go with the flow?
PT: I used to totally wing it, but I discovered that was causing me to really spin my wheel, with very little output. So, I took my hubby’s advice and started organizing my thoughts. Once I get the basic idea developed enough that I have a feel for who the main characters are and what they’re up to, then I work up an outline. Sometimes the outline can be a simple affair – just a few pages. Other times, on the more complex plot stuff, the outline can be 70 or 80 pages. Once that’s done, I go through a first draft. Though that’s really a misnomer because I tend to like to edit as I write, so the first draft is pretty clean. Of course, sometimes I slip back into my old ways and will bail on the outline and just go where the story takes me. My hubby thinks I’m crazy when I do that, but it’s hard to keep my spaghetti logic always on track.
SC: Out of all the books you have written so far is there one you would consider as a favourite?
PT: That’s a hard question to answer. It’s kind of like asking a mother to pick which child is her favorite! But if I had to answer, I’d say that whatever book I’m working on at the time becomes my new favorite.
SC: Would you ever or have you ever based a character on yourself?
PT: While I don’t purposely base my characters on myself, I think all my heroines have a little bit of me in them. It probably normal, human nature I guess.
SC: What do you do in your spare time when you are not bringing to life your amazing stories?
PT: Mostly, I love to hang out with my hubby and our dog and cat. I love to exercise, too, especially jogging and P90X. If you haven’t heard about that workout program, it so rocks! I also love going to the beach, watching Pro Football, and going to movies.
SC: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?
PT: Well, I have a new release coming out in June with Ellora’s Cave called PIRATE’S WOMAN. It’s part of their pirate-themed Ahoy Series and it’s about the beautiful Teyla Dunai who agrees to let the pirate Slayter Cardona sell her as a sex slave in the markets of Arkhon to honor the debt her family owes him. She’s determined to bring as much value as she can on the auction block, but she’s inexperienced where men are concerned so she asks the handsome pirate if he’ll teach her how to pleasure a man. Intrigued, and more than a little attracted to the lavender-eyed beauty, Slayter agrees. As he initiates her into the world of bondage, spanking and out-of-this-galaxy sex, though, they find themselves falling for each other, which makes things quite complicated! It’s hot, sexy and fun and it comes out in June, so don’t forget to look for it!
I also just sent my editor a sexy, adventure-filled sci-fi erotic romance, as well as just finished a fantasy romance. Now, I’m working on some sexy contemporaries!
Oh, and I have a new release available on Amazon called THE POSTMAN ALWAYS COMES TWICE. It’s sexy, fun and smokin’ hot, and best of all, it’s just $0.99!
SC: Any advice for new writers out there?
PT: I always used to go with the classic “write what you know” and don’t simply go after what you think the next big thing is in romance if you’re not feeling the subject. Now, though, my advice isn’t so much to write what you know, but write what you’d want to read. And of course, one of my big pieces of advice would always be to write because you love it. It’s the only part of the process you can control. It you get wrapped up in the whole “gotta get published by such and such” or the “gotta sell this many books”, then you are setting yourset up for disappointment. Because you can’t control those outcomes – they are dependent on other people. So, do your best and forget the rest.
SC: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
PT: They can visit my website and blog, as well as friend me on Facebook and MySpace, or follow me on Twitter. I also love to hear from readers, so they’re welcome to email me, too!