Wednesday, February 01, 2012

VISITING DIGNITARY SAHARA KELLY (APPLAUSE)


Welcome to the blog.  Sahara Kelly is a well known (and much loved) author of erotic fiction.  A friend of Cie's from "The Fairie Court" it is a great pleasure to have her here for a visit.  Please give her a warm welcome. 

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Thanks so much for inviting me over, Cie. It's lovely spending some time with you again – we had a lot of fun flitting around in our wings, didn't we? LOL


I understand you have a fairly significant backlist.  Could you give us a list (or link) of titles? 


Yes, somehow – over the last decade or so – I've managed to amass nearly sixty books with my name on 'em. About 30 or so in print. Not sure how that happened, and I'm not going to list them all (sigh of relief, right?) but there's a complete list on my website. I've tried to sort most of them by genre, but it’s a bit daunting. LOL 
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When were you first published?

I'm always surprised to realize it's been over 25 years since Kensington/Zebra published my first book. It was a sweet Regency and came out two months before my son was born. After that, my next submissions were rejected and motherhood sort of took over my life. LOL I didn't get back to serious writing until around 2000.


I understand you're originally from England.  Do you think that influences your writing?  If so, how?

I absolutely believe that being born and raised in England has influenced my work. My schooling emphasized literature and writing from the get-go, and I remember having to produce several essays a week. Shakespeare was a staple and we digested Dickens, Thackeray, Defoe, Hardy, the Brontes and of course Miss Austen with regularity. That sort of education gave me a foundation and a love of words, and I think it's helped me an enormous amount when it comes to putting my own words on paper. (Or the monitor as the case may be. LOL)

I understand you're dipping your toes into self-publishing.  What made you decide to do that? 

I think it was time. When I got into ePublishing, it was a decade ago – a geological era in Internet time - and there was a "pioneering" spirit surrounding us. Editors were open to anything and everything, readers devoured whatever we wrote and genres could be taken out and shaken, or twisted into something new, at will. That environment has changed…metamorphosed into today's climate of big business. Now it's more about what sells than what we want to write.



I ran out of patience, I guess. I've always been about writing what's in my head and my heart, not what makes an impact on the bottom line. Conflict was inevitable and it drove me out of the pack and into the lone wolf mentality. Honestly? I love it. I feel as if I got my soul back. LOL I still have ties to ePublishing, and haven't walked away completely. But overall it's working very well for me. My first three novellas based around a fictitious Boston steampunk club continue to do well and are now in print as an anthology (Steampunk Seductions).

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What are some of the ups (and downs) of self-publishing versus traditional publishing?


There are both, that's for sure. The downs? Editing is a worry for many of us. I'm lucky, since I have not only the Brit school system, but many years of working in an environment where I needed to write and edit effectively. (Not books, but scientific materials.) Cover art has to be created – again I'm okay since I do freelance art when I'm not writing. Biggest headache can be formatting for the various sales venues, but with patience, even that can be accomplished.

The ups? The freedom to let the characters take shape as I wish. To imagine a story and write it as I see it. To know that the final product will reach my readers as I intended it to be, not re-shaped or revised by others for purely fiscal reasons or because of someone else's opinions. I can write what I see in my imagination, which is what writing should be, IMHO. My books are mine again. It's a wonderful feeling.

What titles do you have coming out in 2012?  Would you mind if I add them to my "Big list of 2012 books" on my individual website?

I'd be thrilled, Cie. Thank you! I have quite a few books on the drawing board for 2012. I hope to get the final story out in my series of romances based around Renaissance Faires – tentative title for Book 3 is ROUGH KNIGHT and that is on sale right this minute. LOL. The first two, ONE KNIGHT ONLY and KNIGHTS OF PLEASURE are already available. They’ll be bundled into the print anthology MY RENAISSANCE ROMANCE sometime late spring, I hope.

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Then I'll switch gears and follow that with a rather decadently elegant novel set in a palatial estate tucked away in the Italian Alps. I love the classy sensuality of the 1930s and am having so much fun with an insanely bizarre cast of characters. I like to think of this one as a “Merchant and Ivory remake of Debbie Does Dallas, with a script by Noel Coward and Hugh Hefner”. LOL See why I'm having fun putting out my own books? No publisher would touch that one! (grin) Title is tentatively VILLA D'AMORE. After that…well I'll have to see who screams the loudest in my head.



What is one bit of advice you would give an aspiring writer?  (And would you mind if I add this to the "Craft Corner" advice spot on the website I share with my co-author, Cathy L. Clamp?)


I'd love to be anywhere with you and Cathy! That's an enormous honor and compliment!!! There are two things I tell people when they ask for advice. First, read, read and read more. I'm a firm believer that the more books you read, regardless of topic, the better writer you become. You absorb the "feel" of a story and the way it should flow, along with pacing, and it becomes second nature when it's your turn to write your own novel.

Second…write your book. LOL Don't tell me you're thinking about it, or half way through your notes for it or have this wonderful idea for a novel. Just write the damn book. Once it's real, then you can start messing with it. Sounds harsh, but you'd be surprised how many aspiring writers blink, look stunned and then say… "hey, yeah. Maybe I should do that." Duh. LOL

So let me wrap up by thanking you, Cie, for the chance to chat with your readers and talk a little about self-publishing, which is still in the mildly controversial phase. If anyone is curious, I welcome visitors to my publishing website – www.skprivatelabel.com - and of course my writing website – www.saharakelly.com. I put out a newsletter on an irregular basis, which has book and contest information, if I'm hosting one. If anyone would like to get on my list, they can subscribe here. For instant updates on my world, I have an app for iPhones and iPads – available at the App Store under “Sahara Kelly – Writer”. Oh, and it’s free. Cool stuff. LOL


(I’d love to giveaway a download of the three Steampunk Seduction novels… Letting Off Steam, Stripping Her Gears and Winding Her Up. I’ll let you tell me how that will work because I SOOOO suck at this whole blog process. I can offer all these stories in pdf format and a couple of others, ePub and so on.. I think. Gotta check that. LOLLOL)


Thanks so much for popping by.  Please stay in touch. 


24 comments:

Tammy S said...

writing down name for buying later.

thanks for the great interview Cie and welcome Sahara!

Suzette said...

Sahara, thanks for stopping by. I ghave a question?

Would you recommend self publishing to a first time author or is it better to be an author through a well know publishing house?

latinlady6929@yahoo.com
Suzette

jackie b central texas said...

Welcome Sahara, nice that motherhood did not take away your writing mojo but just put it on the back burner for many years.
I have gotten very fond of reading UK authors who are self pubbed thanks to my Amazon Kindle books over the past year and totally agree that your school system does a much better job at teaching good writing as well as editing skills in comparison to ours here in the US.

Enjoyed the post, glad to find a new to me author and your steampunk giveaway would finally introduce me to the genre if won the books.

jacabur2008@gmail.com

Breezy1323 said...

Welcome Sahara :) (love your name by the way) Your books are right down my ally, I think its time to pick up my kindle and check out a few. Thanks for stopping by, can't wait to read some of you're work.

pillowtext said...

Sad to know that publishing agencies are mostly catering to what's in demand rather than what's a good idea. I guess that's where self-publishing comes in handy but of course cover-art is another problem if you can't do it yourself. But you have everything down, no problem! =]

Thanks for the interview, Cie and Sahara!

Dolly said...

Thanks Sahara. I agree, what a lovely name.
Thank you Cie for bringing another indie author to my notice.
I've found several since I bought my e-reader. The good part is the story is truly theirs. I find I'm becoming more and more intrigued by these authors. (Course there are a few that could do with the writing courses offered in England). Overall, most of the indie authors I've been reading are trying very hard to "up the game".
I look forward to checking out Sahara's work.

*yadkny* said...

Hi Sahara!
Sixty books!!! That's a great accomplishment... soon you'll be at 100:) I am definitely intrigued by your books based around Renaissance Faires... I've never been or read about one, but have always wanted to. I'll have to add yours to my wishlist!

yadkny@hotmail.com

Liz S. said...

Great interview! The steampunk series and ren fair series look intriguing! I'll check them out!

Sahara Kelly said...

Thanks so much folks...I'm glad I did okay on the interview - Cie's super questions really helped! LOL For Suzette: It's hard to say which would be best - self pubbing or major house. There are a LOT of things to take into account. First off would be to review the publishers - if there's one that produces your kind of books on a regular basis and does so successfully? Start there. And talk to other writers as well. We're a chatty lot, a community which supports each other. Just like a family...we bicker and squabble but we also stick together! My best wishes for your success!!! Cheers, Sahara

Sahara Kelly said...

Oh...the name? It's not my REAL one, of course...I wish! LOLLOL It happens to be the name of a character from a romance novel I read many many years ago. I just liked the sound of it, so when it came time to pick my own (and the first pet/first street guide didn't work... Ermyntrude Sunshine? Seriously?) I settled on Sahara. It's just different enough that there aren't 20 other Sahara's out there. Works for me! LOL
Hope you all have a wonderful rest-of-the-week and thanks again to Cie for her hospitality,
Sahara

Lynn Willerton said...

Love the work. I have been reading your books for about 5 years. Got to love the Ebooks.

cynikalkat said...

awesome! Great interview and thanks for the suggestions Sahara!

Dawn Davis said...

Very nice to meet you Sahara, I've not read any of your titles, but I'd love to check them out.

I'm a huge fan of C.T Adams et al. :D

meg said...

sahara, sounds like someone i would like to read checking out her web site thanks take care.

Anonymous said...

This was a great interview, although I haven't read your books, I am defiantly going to check them out. :)

Sahara Kelly said...

You are all SO kind! Thank you for the lovely compliments and I hope - if you're new to my work - you find something that will entertain you!

If you don't...well, don't tell me. I'm a writer and therefore neurotic, fragile and easily given to depressions, which are only treatable with regular applications of dark chocolate and occasional doses of 12 year old single malts. LMAO

Cheers,
Sahara

Mindy said...

Great interview Sahara,
60 books is an awesome amount of books to have out. Do you ever get the blanks where nothing comes to mind storywise?

Mindy :)
Birdsooong@aol.com

LilSherry said...

Welcome Sahara, I just started reading more erotica novels and welcome this introduction. I will go search and pick up some of your work as I am always on the look out for new novels to try, especially if recommended by some of my favorite authors!

Thanks for the introduction and interview Cie! I always glad to meet another indie author and add their work to the large pile of "to-read" materials. I swear, my pile is growing larger and larger each day.

desitheblonde said...

they sound like great book i am book a holic and then i do review on Amazon and good reads i love book and will do your good and blog on them
congrat on the book ad many more to you

hotcha12 said...

HI SAHARA! I FIRST READ YOUR BOOKS IN 2008!!

lindarb49@hotmail.com

CJ Parker said...

Once again, great interview, Cie. Sahara, great to get to know you a bit better. I've read a few of your books, but I see I need to get busy and read more.

C. J. Parker

M. Williams said...

I'm definitely reading your work. I admire the fact that publish independently and have such interesting life experiences. Thank you for your contribution.

M. Williams said...

I'm definitely reading your work. I admire the fact that publish independently and have such interesting life experiences. Thank you for your contribution.

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