Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with travel and romance author Indigo Fantasia. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Indigo. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Indigo: I started by writing travel pieces while working in Paris after backpacking around Europe. I changed to romance magazines and then wrote my first Ebook in a three-book series for Secret Cravings Publishing. It came out last August. When all three books in the series are out, I hope they will print it in paperback because then it will be long enough!
Morgen: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Indigo: Well, I started with travel but love writing romance. My current series “Friendly Sex”, contains hot, adult material in the sex scenes but is tastefully done and does not use “dirty” terms like erotica does.
Morgen: What have you had published to-date?
Indigo: I wrote for True Confessions and True Romance. You know they have nondisclosure agreements because all their material is billed as “True!” I have a full-length book in progress, which I hope will get sold to a major publisher when finished. My Friendly Sex series was done by Secret Cravings Publishing. www.secretcravingspublishing.com. If people leave out the word “publishing” by mistake, it goes to a porn site so type carefully! And my second book in the series, “Just Friends” is being released shortly so Friendly Sex and Just friends are both out – only Friendship to Fire will be left.
Morgen: I have the same when people spell my name with an ‘a’ (which most people do because it’s the normal spelling) – one of the many MorgAn Baileys is a transsexual porn star! Are your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Indigo: I love eBooks. I have both Kindle and Nook on my computer and that is how my book is bought now. I still hope to go paperback though because I love the feel of holding paper in my hand as I read and I know others do too even if they use the ibooks.
Morgen: Absolutely. So do I. Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Indigo: This is my first so it is my favorite. I think Emma Stone from The Help would be great because the part is sexy but the heroine is not up to date with online dating as she is a widow in her 30’s and rather uninformed on how to go about it. Definitely Brad Pitt as the BFF she falls in love with.
Morgen: She’s brilliant. I saw her most recently in Gangster Squad and she was brilliant. Which authors would you compare your writing to?
Indigo: My agent says I am a combination of E.L. James and Jackie Collins. I love her for that.
Morgen: 🙂 Did you have any say in the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Indigo: Secret Cravings Publishing was wonderful. I got my exact title – as submitted – and they asked my suggestions for the cover, I described what I wanted, and then I even got to make an adjustment after the designer did the first work.
Morgen: That’s a great relationship. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Indigo: I have a full-length serious novel in progress but I am finishing up Friendly Sex Part II edits and must still do Part III soon.
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day, or ever suffer from writer’s block?
Indigo: I never suffer from writer’s block. I have a day job as a waitress and substitute bartender and still write every day. I feel like I have to, like I don’t have any choice. That started after my three-year-old daughter died and I wrote a journal entry every day for therapy. I had had two years at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the mid ‘90s before that but couldn’t concentrate on anything after she died and just travelled around awhile.
Morgen: Oh gosh. I’m so sorry to hear that. Writing is therapy. I wrote a novel (which I may or may not publish) as a therapeutical project but nothing like that. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Indigo: I free write for a while and then look at what I have and figure out what must go in to finish the plot.
Morgen: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Indigo: No, I have no method. I make composites from the crazy situations and people I have actually met in life. And I draw on my own experiences and emotions, of course.
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Indigo: I edit my own work at least twice, then I pay a private editor I met online a couple of years back who worked for major newspapers about 30 years. It’s worth every penny to have the work error free when sent out. Friendly Sex was accepted three days after I emailed it out.
Indigo: Erotic romance… humm… good question!
Morgen: <laughs> What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Indigo: No I don’t ever do that. I wrote all my stories for magazines third person. I wrote my journal first person. Now when I go into a character’s thoughts, I can go first person for a few lines but I like to read third person best so I write in it.
Morgen: Third person is more popular. Do you write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Indigo: I did write short stories. That’s how I started.
Morgen: Me too (six novels later I still love shorts). Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Indigo: Hundreds. Some I wouldn’t want anyone to read now that I know I write better than I used to.
Morgen: Ah but you have the experience to go back and shake the errors out of them. Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Indigo: The magazine world was full of rejections. Fortunately email makes them quicker so you can send the thing right back out.
Morgen: Don’t you just love technology. Do you enter competitions
Indigo: I haven’t yet, but my editor wins all kinds of things. She says when my book is finished – all three parts I mean – I should enter something in Romance Writers of America but I have to pay to join first.
Morgen: I’ve heard very good things about RWA and have interviewed a few of their authors. So you have an agent. Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Indigo: I got this deal without an agent but I have one now. I am not sure if I am allowed to name names here.
Morgen: You’re very welcome to (tuck in a comment below if you wish :)). How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Indigo: I hope to do a lot, but I have just started so it is really hard to say.
Morgen: Careful it doesn’t consume you. Marketing’s usually the answer to the ‘least’ part of my next question because it’s so time-consuming. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Indigo: Sometimes I get tired of sitting even though I carry my laptop different places. I never get tired of letting my thoughts and ideas go on screen even if they don’t become part of the work, I get them out of me.
Morgen: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Indigo: Write, write, write. And do pay a professional editor. Unlike many who say that’s silly because publishers edit your work their way after acceptance, I do not think I would have been accepted if I had not paid my editor. I have not mentioned my editor’s name, or my agent’s name, but will if I am allowed. I thought maybe it would sound like an ad.
Morgen: If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or hide the takeaway containers)?
Indigo: E.L. James, Jackie Collins, Grace Metalious (I think that is spelled right – her book, “Peyton Place”, from my mother’s teenage years in the ‘60s changed the way fiction was written forever.)
Morgen: I’d heard of the book but not the author (Google has the same spelling). 🙂 If you had to choose a single day from your past to re-live over and over, what day would it be and why?
Indigo: The day I left the hospital with my baby, Patricia Anne.
Morgen: Ah… Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Indigo: “My life is like a stroll on the beach… as near the edge as I can go.” Thoreau. I have that on my website!
Morgen: I like it. What do you do when you’re not writing?
Indigo: I work as a cocktail waitress and occasional bartender. I live on the beach and love the sun, walking and swimming in a nearby pool too. I am not much of a “party” or night-life person.
Morgen: I love the beach… and ended up living in one of the most central counties in England. How badly planned was that (completely unplanned actually). Are there any writing-related websites and / or books that you find useful?
Indigo: Oh wow…
- My editor’s www.pennyfletcher.com
Morgen: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Indigo: I am on Twitter and Facebook and have a Windows Live and Yahoo profile. I also belong to a few romance reader and writers sites on Yahoo. My first book stats aren’t in yet but I think social sites are a very, very, very valuable tool.
Morgen: They certainly can be. What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Indigo: I think it will mostly be online and the opportunities are opening up for people everywhere. There is no stigma to self-publishing anymore either. Some of the best things I’ve read this year are self pubs.
Morgen: Despite two publishers’ offers, that’s the route I went. 🙂 Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Indigo: Just that writing helped me out of depression after the death of my little girl, Patricia Anne, and I could never go a day without it.
Morgen: 300 words a day is 100,000 words a year. Anyone can find time for 300 words a day. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Indigo: YES! Do you know anywhere online I can get my Ebook reviewed? I don’t have money to pay, but I don’t like paid reviews anyway because I’ll bet if somebody is paid, they say they like it even if they aren’t real happy with it!
Morgen: I think they would (and have heard they do). I don’t do reviews but have a http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/reviews page which lists quite a few (I keep adding to it as I find more). It’s a shame I don’t have time to review books myself as it would get me reading more but I belonged to two book clubs and didn’t stay long because I wanted to read books I wanted to read. Made sense to me anyway. 🙂 Thank you, Indigo.
I then invited Indigo to provide an extract of her writing…
The sky was almost black in some places, yet where stars crept between the clouds it appeared to be clothed in several shades of charcoal gray. You wouldn’t think so many hues of layered grays would be beautiful, but they were. Occasionally, cumulus clouds opened to expose the three-quarter moon, leaving it naked between them. Moonbeams fought their way to the earth and spread themselves along the sand.
Darcy and Roy sat very close to each other in the truck but didn’t do any touching. When he parked, he immediately turned and began to kiss her over and over.
“Do you want to go down on the beach?” he asked.
Without speaking, she stepped out of the truck and took off her sandals.
They walked hand in hand through the shrubs and palm trees to a place surrounded by tall sea oats where he spread out his towel.
The floating of the clouds seemed to keep time with the flow of the water. They could hear the waves breaking against the nearby jetty and rolling onto the sand and then flowing back out.
They lay down on their backs next to each other on the towel and stared at the sky.
“It’s a beautiful night,” he whispered, turning on his side so he could open her blouse with one hand. His touch was light, like a feather.
Roy ran his hand down Darcy’s side, starting at her shoulder. It landed on her thigh halfway between her front side and back. She shivered and groaned and wondered if he knew how his light touches were practically torturing her. Well, of course he knows. That’s why he’s doing it.
And a short synopsis.
Darcy Gillespie had been a widow for almost eight years before she put a profile on two online dating sites. After several incredibly hideous experiences, she met Roy Collins, whose screen name was AllMyLoveforYou.
It took her only two dates to know she was desperately in love. For weeks, their sex was incredible. Yet something was missing. Something was wrong. Darcy could feel it in her bones.
Darcy thought hard. Roy had never spoken of love. Yet they’d shared things she had never shared with anyone else, even her late husband. Why, they were almost like best friends.
When she finally got the nerve to bring up the status of their relationship, Roy seemed shocked that Darcy did not recognize it as a friendship with benefits. She had not recognized the FWB status online. There had been no such thing when she was dating her late husband fifteen years before.
That night, long after she was sure Roy was asleep, Darcy lay in a spooning position against his back and kissed his shoulders, his back and his hair.
“I love you so,” she thought, silent tears running down both cheeks. “I can’t live without you.”
She knew what he was looking for, and she thought fit all the criteria. She had to keep him coming back long enough to realize she was the perfect woman for him.
Book I ends with Darcy telling Roy her feelings. Book II contains all the things she does to keep him coming back.
Erotic romance was a natural for Indigo Fantasia but she didn’t start writing it until 2011.
Growing up on military bases gave her a lifetime of experience at a young age. During her teenage years, Indigo’s father was stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and Indigo spent many weekends driving into New York City where she learned to love live theater and eventually earned a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
After two years of study and small parts on Broadway, she decided to backpack across Europe with two friends working as a cocktail waitress like she had in NYC. A short stay in Paris led to some minor acting jobs, and eventually the chorus line of the famed Folies Bergere.
While living in Paris, Indigo began writing short stories about her experiences and later took the online course, “You Can Write Like a Pro,” by editor and writing coach, Penny Fletcher. She also claims to have read every book on writing ever published by Writer’s Digest Books and has fictionalized many of the stories and characters she’s met along life’s way.
Indigo has never been married and lives a fairly secluded life on Madeira Beach near Saint Petersburg, Florida. She began writing sexually graphic contemporary romantic fiction for several magazines under various pseudonyms with a goal of eventually transitioning her short stories into books.
Readers are encouraged to talk with her on her website at www.indigofantasia.com.
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