Wednesday 4 September 2013

Author interview: Primula Bond

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed The Silver Chain. A new release from erotic fiction author Primula Bond. I really enjoyed the novel, the first in a trilogy and asked her to do an interview for you here on the blog. She was lovely enough to agree. Her book has just been chosen by Sophie Hart to be the next read in her Naughty Girls Book Club which we are all very excited about. If you haven't read my review I will pop a link at the bottom of the page. Here is what Primula had to say..

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

I have been writing in notebooks, execise books, back of envelopes, anything I can get my hands on since I was a child. I lived in a bit of a dream world most of the time when I was little and wanted to be a princess. I wrote my first romantic 'novel'when I was eight! Although I loved writing fiction, doing an English degree killed the creativity for a while but it was freelance journalism that got my juices really flowing again. 23 years ago I wrote an impassioned piece about being a single mother which was published in a mainstream newspaper, and not long after that my first erotic short story was published, so it all happened around the same time. 

Do you write full time &if so, have you always done this?

It's every writer's dream to be able to give up the day job, but actually I find working part time is ideal. Not only do you get in some money (which writing doesn't always bring you) but you are forced to put down the imaginative stuff and tackle the real world for a while. I work as a secretary for criminal defence lawyers and have done on and off for 15 years, and actually the work there is always interesting and the colleagues have become good friends. Then when it's my writing days at home I am more refreshed. I have to say, though, that you can get stale and even stressed if you have several days'writing on the trot, especially with a deadline looming. Then it feels as much of a job as any other.

How did you get into writing erotica?

I'm happily married now but as a single mother I was aften lonely, as well as broke. I tried my hand at writing Mills and Boon, but my first attempt was sent back with a very helpful letter explaining that the main problem had been too many characters and the sex was far too explicit! Although M and B are far more raunchy these days, my type of sex scene was off-limits back then, so I decided to turn the offending scenes into something positive. I sneaked on to the only computer in the office (this was in 1994), bashed out a sexy short story in my lunch hour, sent it off to 'For Women'magazine, and they paid me £150 for it!

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

My main characters, especially the men, are always a mixture of a fantasy, maybe someone I've met or read about, and a real-life heart throb. I always have a physical picture in my head of the love interest before the story starts. I need to fancy my own heroes! The heroines are unashamedly based on how I would like to be, and then the secondary characters  develop around those two. I allow my secondary characters to be more humourous or eccentric, just to add some colour, and they are often total one-offs, based on no-one real!

What was the inspiration behind your novel?

The invitation to write erotica with a more intense romantic bent attracted me back into writing this when I was about to give up the erotica to focus on my literary work. But once I had the archetypal love story in my head, I gave it real life touches such as locations where I have lived and Serena's work as a photographer, which I have dabbled in as a portrait photographer. But mostly it came from my imagination.

What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time?

I map out the plot in a vague set of chapters first. I feel it gives me confidence, and the kick to start. I used to go over and over the first chapter until everything started dragging. Now my aim is to get the first draft down as fully as I can first, and then go over it more critically. You always have to allow for twists and turns in the plot, and unexpected characters, even in erotica.

How much of you is reflected in your novel?

Quite a lot, actually. Serena is a younger and more beautiful fantasy version of me, but she has my tastes in travel, food, fashion and , of course sex! Some of my friends have been struck by hearing my 'voice'speaking through her at times in the book as it is quite introspective at times. I guess the next story will have be about a girl who is totally opposite to me, maybe a dark-eyed Latina type or icy blonde Scandinavian maiden..

Is there any particular reason that you chose to write a trilogy, do you think you'll take it any further than three books?

I thought just a two parter would be good, but my editors asked me to write it as a trilogy, and I think that's enough for one story and set of characters. I've read crticism of other authors who stretch a story over 4 or 5 books because they start repeating themselves, or the story wears thin.  Unless you're going to write about their children and grandchildren, I think you should leave it when the characters are at a great stage of their lives that everything has led to, and which makes sense.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

Ouch. I read a few dodgy ones on Goodreads when The Silver Chain first came out and any that were lukewarm or critical felt like a punch in the face. My poor husband had to forbid me from looking at them. Stupid, I know. I love of course the good ones, and try to focus on those, especially when they show a real understanding of my characters and how I've been trying to lift this book into another real of romance and intensity.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?

For years and years people tended to metaphorically pat me on the head and their eyes would glaze over when I talked about my erotic writing. It was a hobby that paid a few bob. But now that it's taking off and more people are hearing about me they are realising it's a bit more heavyweight. My parents disapprove, unfortunately (even though it was my mum who invented my psuedonym!). They are waiting for my 'literary'success that they can tell their friends about. So I'm not sharing any of this with them. BUT my sisters, cousins, girlfriends are fantastic about it and even came along to my first erotic reading in London last month. My husband dines out on the fact that he was my boss that fateful day when I spent a lunch hour writing my first short story! He doesn't read the books, because he reckons they are more female-oriented, but he is lovely and supportive and proud, and uses his new Facebook skills to promote me. My eldest son was embarrassed by my books when he was a teenager but is pleased for me now and even told his female friends to buy this book to take on holiday, though he would rather not read the books himself. My younger boys are teenagers and so I'm not letting them read the books and don't want them giving away my psuedonym while they're at school.They could be teased..

How did you feel leading up to your publication day?

The girls at Avon Books UK are marvellously supportive and enthusiastic, and when I met them face to face in London that's when it became 'real'. I was nervous and excited about the publication, especially the paperback version, because it was like the hard, physical proof of all my efforts and was there for all to see on the shelf. Now I'm just waiting to see how the sales go!

Finally...what are you working on right now?

I have just finished edits on book 2 of the trilogy and that was incredibly hard work as I had to rewrite a lot of it to suit my editor's ideas. I am just preparing workshop exercises for a writing festival and then in September will start book 3 of my Unbreakable Trilogy. I'm also promoting some indie short stories I've self published under my real name.   
Author Bio:

Primula Bond is an Oxford educated mother of three boys and has lived in Oxford, London and Cairo.  She currently lives in Hampshire and works part time as a legal clerk for criminal defence lawyers as well as writing freelance features under her real name.  Her erotic novels include Country Pleasures, Club Crème and Behind The Curtain and dozens of short stories published by Virgin Books.  Her novella Sisters in Sin and various short stories are published by Mischief Books, and Xcite Books at Accent Press have published a solo collection of short stories Random Acts of Lust , and her novella Out of Focus.  Primula also offers a critique service for aspiring erotic and romantic writers through Writers Workshop.  You can find her blog  at , on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter @primulabond.

Click here to see my review of this erotica and to get your copy, simply click the picture!

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