That's right, uh huh, Erin O'Quinn here, in my crib, bringing some good stuff! I met Erin through a Facebook group, Erotica Writers & Readers Group, and we've had a great time there sharing and exchanging information, stories, and more! Below, you'll find her answers to my interview and an excerpt from her latest release. Enough of this obligatory introduction and let's get to welcoming Erin!
This is a really neat site, Cynthia. I’m honored to be here!
CYN: You're welcome. Give us a brief intro to you, by way of your books.
Erin: I would describe myself as an erotica writer with a literary bent. After two years of writing, I have a collection of 14 books, all but four of them published. For the past year I’ve been writing historical and contemporary erotica romance.Those historicals are set in Ireland during the early days of St. Patrick, around 433 AD. The contemporary novels are MM, following the lives of gay couples in and around the small fictitious town of Noble, Nevada.
CYN: Diverse writing, I'd say. What kind of research do you do for your books?
Erin: For my Ireland historicals, I have stacks of my own books, library books and literally scores of computer files I’ve compiled from websites. My research for contemporary novels takes the form of little blue virtual file folders from web articles.
Anyone bold enough to write books about the fifth century AD knows that the history is sketchy at best, especially any “history” about Ireland. Only with St. Patrick did scrolls begin to be copied and disseminated, schools and monasteries established, while the learning of centuries was being burned to ashes by invaders on the mainland of Europe and Britannia.
CYN: I'm impressed, Erin. Creating history on top of existing known facts can be tough. For any readers who may not have read any of your books, can you just give us a little sneak peek into your world (i.e. the type of genre you write, type of stories you like to write....etc)?
Erin: I have two main worlds. One, as I mentioned at the start, is the world of 5th-century AD Ireland and Britannia, the celtic world of St. Patrick. Those books are erotic romances, both M/F and M/M. I like to write about unusual people and landscapes: cattle barons, Irish clansmen, druids, Saxon mercenaries and former Roman soldiers, pony trainers, priests and monks . . . all coping with the bad-ass yet beautiful environment of pre-history Ireland.
My historicals are broken into the M/F steamy romances, all set in “The Dawn of Ireland,” and the M/M erotic romances contained in a series called “The Iron Warrior.”
Storm Maker: http://amzn.to/O218y7
The Wakening Fire : http://amzn.to/N1Gc6C
Captive Heart: http://amzn.to/Qm8b1X
Fire & Silk: http://amzn.to/P6jZtn
Erin’s Erotic MM Romance: The Iron Warrior series
Warrior, Ride Hard: http://amzn.to/P2eRDO
Warrior, Stand Tall: http://amzn.to/WoDkGS
I’d like to sneak in a reference here to my blog, The Gaelic Spirit, for anyone who’d like a taste of those unusual people and those outrageously stunning locales. The site concentrates on history and tradition, in words and photos. The link is http://bit.ly/Jgz6tU
My other world, contained in two books so far, is the rough-and-ready contemporary world of the high deserts of Nevada. That is the turf of my gay couples and the people around them in a series called “Noble Dimensions.”
Erin’s Contemporary MM Romances: Noble Dimensions series
CYN: Thanks for all your links. I'm sure the readers will appreciate more to get to know you. What would you like readers to take away with them once they finish one of your books?
Erin: Every one of my six adult historicals combines a story with history and a strong sense of the land. I want my readers to be attracted not just to characters with a rich life, but to the beauty, language, folklore and culture of Ireland itself. So when the reader closes the book, I would feel gratified if he or she said (as one reviewer recently wrote about WARRIOR, RIDE HARD), “The passion the characters feel for each other is mirrored in the genuine love that the author has for the landscape, the culture and the time period she has set them in. Obviously well researched, this tale takes place in the era of St. Patrick and it is brimming with historical facts about everything from Roman soldiers to the hierarchy of the people in Hibernia; from the Druids to a charismatic picture of the man who would be known as St. Patrick.”
CYN: Impressive review. Congrats! Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
Erin: I’m an iconoclast, for sure; but I haven’t yet thought of a story that the world isn’t ready for. I joke that I’ll change my name to Buffalo Ryder and write a MM cowboy-Indian shifter paranormal . . but I’m afraid it’s a little too humdrum for today’s eclectic readers.
CYN: Haha. Love the pen name if you do decide. With what is out there in the paranormal world, I'm sure you could execute the story well, Erin. What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?
Erin: Strange . . . hmmm. Would you consider a clootie tree strange—a tree hung with hundreds of rags twisting in the wind? “Clootie” comes from Scots Gaelic meaning “cloth,” and starting several centuries ago, people have sought to cleanse themselves of anything from disease to broken limbs by rubbing the affected parts with a cloth. They then hang the cloth—the clootie—from the limbs of a sacred tree like the hawthorn. Legend or religious conviction says that when the cloth has hung sufficiently long in the sun and the weather, as it fades so will the disease.
The clootie tree became the central symbol of my novel WARRIOR, STAND TALL. One of the main characters seeks to be healed from something he considers a defilement, and an important part of the book rests on his cleansing of himself by means of a cloth hung on a clootie tree.
CYN: What would humanity be without myth, legend and superstitions? Love the history behind this one and how you incorporated into your story. What authors have influenced you most (not necessarily in the romance genre)?
Erin: For years, my writing “hero” was Vladimir Nabokov. To this day, I am captivated by his ability to use the English language the way a concert pianist uses a Steinway—and yet English was a foreign language for him. My God.
For the last six or so years, my modern hero has been Pulitzer author Michael Chabon, another wordsmith who blows me away by his agile ability with the language, and by the barely concealed ripples of both angst and comedy under the surface of his work. I have a contemporary favorite, actually a new friend whose pen name is Nya Rawlyns. Her writing is often as raw and chilling as her gritty characters. Yet she, like my other heroes, is a master of poetic language.
CYN: Great "heros" to emulate, Erin. What are the elements of a great romance for you?
Erin: As they are for probably most readers, I consider two compelling lovers the single most important element. Beyond the characters lie the setting, the story, the symbols. Last but critical for me is the writing itself: words, texture, cadence. The internal music.
CYN: Oh, love the last sentence. Words that create internal music to the reader. Love it. What’s your strongest point as a writer?
Erin: I think it’s my ability to invent very unusual characters who seem to jump off the pages. I’m talking not just the main characters, but many of the secondary ones as well. Some of them still walk through my dreams and even sometimes sneak up on me in quiet moments.
The odd thing about all my characters is that not one of them has ever been based—in any way at all—on a real person. They have all sprung from my brain like Athene from the brain of Zeus. Pretty strange.
CYN: I understand completely. I like my characters to be different and not based on anyone I know. Makes them original. What genre would you like to try writing in, but haven’t yet done so? Why?
Erin: I would like to try adult fantasy, leaning perhaps into the paranormal. I haven’t tried it because I simply haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ve done YA fantasy, historical, erotica and romance, and I’ve mixed in comedy and mystery. So the paranormal is bound to come soon.
CYN: It will come to you and probably when you least expect it. If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?
Erin: She is definitely a woman, and (being a damn gossip) she would tell you that I am a perfectionist, a hedonist, a poet, a musician, an artist and a lover of language. She would tell you that I am a frustrated astronomer, physicist, martial artist, opera singer and calligrapher in the Chinese style. She would tell you that I crave uniqueness and beauty in every aspect of my life, but that I find it mainly in the act of writing.
CYN: You sound creative in more aspects than the obvious one of writing. A Renaissance Woman, perhaps? What is the last line of your last WIP you worked on that you wrote?
Erin: These are the last lines of my WiP called HEART TO HART, a MM comedy-fantasy-romance-mystery about a roustabout horny Irishman and his flat-mate, a surly and veddy proper gentleman in a 1920s fantasy Dublin. Both are private investigators only vaguely in the mold of Holmes and Watson.
Simon smiled and put his mouth next to Michael’s ear. “Maybe, love. But don’t hold your breath. Now get some sleep.”
CYN: Ooooh, sexy. Like it. Will you show us a little of your writing?
Erin: I’d like to give you a brief excerpt from one of my Irish historical erotica romances. Titled FIRE & SILK, it tells the story of Flann O’Conall, a brusque mountain man, son of a king; and the woman he cannot seem to run away from, a fiery Iberian virgin named Mariana.
Log line: Two people crash and clash, desire and despise, when his fire meets her silk.
A day after the gruff bachelor Flann meets headstrong Mariana, they find themselves alone together in the dawn, at the river, where each has separately sought the cleansing water. They attempt to unravel the misunderstanding between them. The woman, upset, runs from him. As happens several times in the book, he ends up teaching Mariana about the physical aspects of love. It will be up to Mariana later to teach him the emotional side.
And then she was running for the trees, and Flann was running right behind her. She stopped at the foot of the giant oak and turned her face to its rough skin, refusing to look at him.
“Lady, ah, senhorita. What did I say to hurt ye?” His hand touched the nape of her neck so lightly that it might have been the wind, or a falling leaf.
Not turning to look at him, she shook her head.
“I think…ye’ve not known a man.”
“I know several men.”
“I mean, senhorita, in an intimate way. Flesh to flesh.”
“Whatever makes you think that?” Flann heard the anger in her voice. He reached out and took her shoulder, very gently, and turned her around. He held her little oval face between his large hands and searched her eyes. They seemed to him like the dark sky, throwing lightning, angry and frustrated.
“Why’re ye angry?” he asked. “Do not be angry.” He bent his head and captured her lips as he had the night they met. But this time, he did not gnaw and bite at them. He covered her mouth with his, slowly, and he began to suck.
“Oh,” he said. “Oh, God, Mariana,” he said into her mouth, and she opened it just enough for him to put his tongue inside very softly and slowly. He moved and searched, and then he felt her mouth seize his tongue and begin to suck. And this time when he thrust, it was so gentle that he was surprised at his own restraint. In and out, while her tongue stroked his own and his groin ached for her. And yet he stood somewhat apart, not letting their thighs touch at all.
She broke away from him and turned to run. But he took her shoulder again. “Please. Please do not run away, Mariana. Talk to me.”
She stood rock still while he turned her around and searched her face. “Tell me. Tell me about the ways of a woman.”
“Not here. Not yet. I–I need time—”
“I give ye forever. Will ye come to me when ye’re ready?”
She was crying silent tears that ran into her bruised mouth. He gently kissed them away, and she did not struggle. “Yes. I promise.”
He stepped back. “Then I will wait.”
“Will you tell me the answer to my question?”
“Ye may not like the answer, senhorita.”
“Tell me anyway.”
“I will show ye. Come here.”
She walked one step toward him, and he met her, this time sweeping her close to his taut body. He knew his bod was raging under his tight britches, that she would be frightened. As he pressed against her he kissed her again, running his tongue over her wide lips, then sucking her bottom lip while the passion rose to a peak. At last, when he was spent, he still pressed her close so that she would feel the sudden softness.
“D’ye see?” he whispered. “A man cannot help how his passions seize his body. He has no control at all. God makes him wear his desire on the outside.”
Erin’s Historical Romances: SirenBookstrand
Erin’s Contemporary MM Romances: Noble, Nevada on Amazon
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Here are the links to Fire & Silk:
CYN: Thanks! Anything else you’d like to add?
Erin: Just a brief bio. Originally from a small town in the high desert of Nevada, I earned a BA (English) and MA (Comp. Lit.) from the University of Southern California. After marrying a USAF small arms instructor, I sold Volvos and Saabs under the trees in Germany, and I’ve done everything from teaching English to hauling pallets for a big-box garden center. My husband and I live outside a small town in Central Texas with two Macs and four snotty cats.
Wow! Fantastic Erin! I had fun and hope the readers did too. Thank you again for honoring me and posting here today. I look forward to another visit again for your next release. *wink wink* Hope everyone else enjoyed the interview and sharing of a great excerpt.
Please everyone, leave some love for Erin and comment below. Thanks again, until next time . . . put a little romance in your words you write or speak.