Angela Fiddler wrote her first erotic novel as a birthday present to a friend who had requested kneeling and vampires. While the vampires come and go in the story, the kneeling remains. Angela likes smut, dark humor and stories that mix erotica with raw emotion. She talks about writing and her characters at www.angelafiddler.com.
Her latest book is the paranormal erotica, The Care and Feeding of Sex Demons.
Can you tell us what your book is about?
There are a lot of books out there that are boy meets boy. I wanted to step away from that a little bit and tell a story with an established relationship where the tension came from how much work it takes to make a relationship work rather than put the focus on love at first sight. Not all relationships have sex demons in the basement, but Cy is also an apocalypse stopper.
Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
There are two main characters, both with their own love interest. Love is a definite commodity in this world as much as power and sex is. Cypher MacKenzie loves his boyfriend, Patrick. He realizes that relationships are more than trying to balance a spinning plate on a stick. It’s a spinning plate on a stick running an obstacle course. Most of us are willing to sacrifice for their lover, but what Patrick is asked to sacrifice not just everything he stands for but everything his family stands for as well, Cy has to be okay with ‘no’ as an answer and yet still go on.
August, as a sex demon, knows exactly what his value is. That Cy doesn’t force him into sex brings the number of masters who have respected his wishes up to one. When his lover from the first time he’d been summoned needs help, he has to trust that Cy loves him even if they’re not in love.
They do so while also stopping apocalypses and other world-ending events.
Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?
I’m very aware at the beginning to set an interesting character in an interesting world with an interesting problem. I always start the moment before the character is set on a new path, and I have him actively trying to change his fate. I don’t plot on the long run how the story is going to go because if I notice that if I start to get bored on the path, I make the worst possible thing happen. The main character has to scrap his ideal plan and go with what is happening. It’s never boring. I usually have some idea of how the whole thing is going to end, but I leave it open for that three a.m. strike of madness that pulls all the parts together.
Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
Cy reminds himself that the reaction he has to kissing August, is just the chemical reaction kissing a sex demon. He’s not willing to give up his boyfriend just because August is starving and in need.
Is it hard to get a paranormal romance published?
I think with all the complexity of how real relationships work with the emotional and physical wants of a person combined with the problem of whatever fantastical world they live in, coming up with fifty thousand words of plot and sex is quite simple. The biggest mistake I read in unpublished fiction is almost never that too many things happen. It is almost always not enough things happening. That’s usually because the problems stopping the lovers aren’t big or connected enough. There is so much possibility when mixing the human issues with magic. There is no limit of what can be stopping your lovers from being happy and together at the end of the book.
Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?
I don’t have a schedule or a plan as to what absolutely has to happen. I used to get stuck a lot and have to go to the last place I cared about the plot and continue from there. I’ve lost as much as 40,000 words in a single sitting. Once I started to think of stories as a chain of scene that all are trying to show something important to the end, it becomes easy to look at what you are trying to accomplish in a single scene and let the story be as long as it needs to be in order to have the end come together.
If I am ever truly stuck, it’s usually because I have a difficult decision between a safe choice and a choice that is weird, strange and wonderful. Readers never remember the safe choices an author makes. It’s the unexpected and yet perfectly foreshadowed (through editing) that makes a book memorable.
What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?
Readers read for the emotional payout of the high and low points of the story. I used to focus on what was happening on the page for the characters when I wished I knew to focus on what is happening in the mind of the reader. Readers want the vast expanse of emotion, but so often we tread between the lines of moderately happy to somewhat annoyed. Devastate your character. Give him what he always wanted but make that make things worse. Play more in the tops of the mountains and in the bottom of the oceans and not so much with what’s at sea level.
But most of all, have fun. If you’re not thrilled with what’s on the page, the chances are the audience won’t be either. Or worse, you won’t have an audience at all.
Keeping a sex demon happy and sexually satisfied is always the safest option, even if Cy has his own relationship issues. When saving the world on a regular basis, a happy home is important, especially when mixing human, fae princes and a starving sex demon.