Guest Post with Mitzi Szereto, author of Red Velvet and Absinthe
Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel
Today we are welcoming Mitzi Szereto to the blog! She is the author of Red Velvet and Absinthe. She is here to tell us a bit about herself and also about her very interesting sounding new book! Just look at that cover! We’re going to start with an interview and move on to information about her book!
Barb : Tell us a little about yourself.
Mitzi: I write multi-genre fiction and non-fiction, with several books falling into the erotic fiction category. I create and edit short story anthologies, have my own blog “Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog,” and am the creator and presenter of the Web TV channel Mitzi TV, which covers quirky London. In addition, I’ve lectured in creative writing at a number of British universities and pioneered erotic writing workshops in the UK and Europe. I’ve conducted my workshops at literature festivals and on residential courses, including the Greek islands on three separate occasions and on three different islands. So I’m always doing something!
Barb : Tell us about your new release?
Mitzi: Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance is a collection of short stories penned by a cast of writers from around the world. The anthology pays tribute to the Gothic literary tradition and all those wonderful authors of the past. I’ve always loved Gothic literature, so this is a book I’ve wanted to do for some time. If you enjoy well-written stories featuring paranormal thrills and chills with a delicious dose of romance and the erotic all tied up into a quality package, this is definitely a book for you. The book also contains an interesting foreword from bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.
Barb : Who is your favorite character in your new release?
Mitzi: I’d have to say the male protagonist (Talen Dashkovar) in my short story contribution “The Blood Moon Kiss.” I know it might sound egotistical to select a character from my own story, but I spent a lot of time with the characters. I intended Talen to be a very romantic and sexy character. In fact, I patterned him on Ian Somerhalder from “The Vampire Diaries,” but with a major and surprising twist. You’ll have to read the story to find out more!
Barb : What was your favorite scene?
Mitzi: The stories in Red Velvet and Absinthe are so engaging and have their own special feel; there are special moments in all of them. Do I have any particular favorites? Of course I do! But as the book’s editor, it sort of puts me in the position of being a mother – and you can’t ask a mother which of her children are her favorite.
Barb : In general, what type of scene do you find to be the hardest to write?
Mitzi: I think I’d have to say that writing an “action scene” would give me grief. I find it rather tiring to write such scenes. As a matter of fact, I often find it tiring to read them as well, especially the long drawn-out variety. It’s probably safe to say that I won’t be writing any action-adventure novels anytime soon.
Barb : What is it you love most about writing? What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Mitzi: What do I love most about writing? When it’s finally over! On a more serious note (not that my previous comment wasn’t serious), the moment things really start coming together is the moment when you feel as if you’re creating something special. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. When you start out it’s all very random and all over the place and you wonder if it will ever come to fruition. But when it finally begins to happen and you can see the pieces fitting together so beautifully, your sense of accomplishment is like nothing else.
The hardest part of writing is actually finding the time to do it and focus on it completely. Sometimes life gets in the way. It isn’t even a matter of discipline; there are some things in life you cannot change and they take you away from what it is you’re supposed to be doing. Do I have a remedy? No. If I did, then I wouldn’t be saying this.
Barb : Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Mitzi: Probably a lot less than you or my readers might think, though I imagine elements might creep in here and there. But I tend to write many different kinds of characters, most of whom are quite different to me. It’s my job as a writer to create characters; if I just kept writing myself I’d be cheating my readers and cheating myself. In fact, I’d flat out be bored.
Barb : What book is currently on your nightstand?
Mitzi: I don’t have anything on my nightstand right now. I do like to read at night before I go to bed, but at the moment, for a number of reasons, it’s just not happening.
Barb : Do you have an all time favorite book?
Mitzi: I have several books that stand out as longtime favorites: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, and Road to Wellville by T.C. Boyle.
Barb : Where can your fans find you?
Mitzi: Everywhere! I’ve included here all the major links both to my websites and my social media profiles. I’m a big user of Facebook, and of course I have a Twitter presence as well. Those are probably the sites I use the most and the ones where I have the most interaction with people.
Barb : Where can readers find your books?
Mitzi: They’re at all the usual haunts, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Chapters/Indigo, Fishpond, the various independent booksellers, etc. I’ve got some handy bookselling links up at the Red Velvet and Absinthe website (http://mitziszereto.com/redvelvetandabsinthe/buy-now/), but readers can find it in most places. Booksellers will usually order for you if they’re out of stock, so it should be relatively easy to get hold of whatever you want. I even came across an online bookseller in India who ships worldwide, including the Middle East, Africa and South America, so no matter where you are, you should be able to get hold of most of my books. In addition to my print books, I have several titles available for download for the Kindle and Nook eReaders.
Barb : Do you ever run into someone who says “You write WHAT?”
Mitzi: Occasionally, yes. I find myself having to tell them that it is not what they might think. Unfortunately, there are some people who hear the word “erotic” and immediately assume you’re writing porn or top-shelf smut. I quickly set them to rights, however. Many of my books are no more explicit than some of the titles you’ll find on the New York Times list. But I guess it’s the “erotic” label that causes a few eyebrows to be raised.
Barb : What projects are you currently working on right now? Would you mind sharing them with us?
Mitzi: I’ve recently put out a writers’ call for short stories for a fantasy-themed anthology called Kingdoms of Desire: Erotic Tales of Fantasy. Writers who are interested in contributing can find the submission details at http://mitziszereto.com/blog/writers-call-for-short-story-submissions/. The book is scheduled for release in autumn of 2012. I’ve also got a handful of projects in various stages of development, and I hope I can free up some time to work on them.
Barb : Is there anything else you’d like to share to your followers and readers?
Mitzi: I have another book recently published – Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts, which is my raunchy retake on the Jane Austen classic. There are some other things going on as well, such as the release of a rather crazy film I appeared in called Lint the Movie. It’s going to be screened in the USA at BizarroCon 2011 in November, and there are screenings scheduled in the UK. Other than that, I’m booked for the Warwick Words Festival of Literature and Spoken Word in Warwick, England in October; I’ll be teaching one of my erotic writing workshops there.
Red Velvet and Absinthe book blurb (from back cover):
Explore Your Dark Desires
The supernatural: it evokes excited shivers, both of fear and of the sexual. Think vampires, werewolves, ghosts… darkness and decay, eerie sounds in the night, impassioned whispers teasing at the depths of sleep…. Think red velvet, flickering candles. Red Velvet and Absinthe explores love and lust with otherworldly partners who, by the sheer nature of their otherworldliness, evoke passion and desire far beyond that which any normal human being can inspire. Editor Mitzi Szereto’s set of supernaturally sensual stories provides many Gothic thrills and chills of telltale hearts, redolent with romance and danger. Red Velvet and Absinthe will carry you away, conjuring up the romantic spirit of classic Gothic fiction and adding a generous dosage of eroticism. A lusty lady, ravaged by a woodsman, seeks comfort in the arms of her maidservant in Giselle Renarde’s rapacious “Milady’s Bath,” while bondage and desire enslave a wolf girl to her master in “Snowlight, Moonlight” by Rose de Fer. Janine Ashbless’s “Cover Him With Darkness” is an exquisite tale of secret love between an imprisoned fallen angel and the girl he seduces. Editor Mitzi Szereto’s vampire romance “The Blood Moon Kiss” is sexy Southern Gothic at its finest.
“Lie back and listen to the wind howling outside your window as you read these stories in the flickering light of a candle, the absinthe you’re sipping warming your body like the caressing touch of a lover’s fingers…” – Mitzi Szereto, from the introduction
“Red Velvet and Absinthe celebrates the Gothic in all its forms and adds in the erotic elements… we experience the thrilling danger, the looming apprehension, the exquisite passion. That is the core of Gothic literature and this collection delivers.” – Kelley Armstrong, from the foreword
Website and social media links:
Author website: http://mitziszereto.com
Red Velvet and Absinthe website: http://mitziszereto.com/redvelvetandabsinthe/
Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog: http://mitziszereto.com/blog
Facebook Author Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mitzi-Szereto/24537936152
Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts website: http://mitziszereto.com/prideandprejudicehiddenlusts/
Mitzi TV: http://mitziszereto.com/tv
Kbazaar (India, Middle East and rest of world): http://www.kbazaar.in/Books/red-velvet-absinthe-paranormal-erotic-romance-mitzi-szereto/9781573447164.html?utm_term=Mitzi+Szereto_1_10
Mitzi Szereto is an author and anthology editor of multi-genre fiction and non-fiction, has her own blog “Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog” (http://mitziszereto.com/blog), and is creator/presenter of the Web TV channel “Mitzi TV” (http://mitziszereto.com/tv), which covers “quirky” London. Her books include Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts; Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance; In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; Getting Even: Revenge Stories; Dying for It: Tales of Sex and Death; Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers; The New Black Lace Book of Women’s Sexual Fantasies; the Erotic Travel Tales anthology series; Silk Sheets: Collected Stories of Mitzi Szereto; The World’s Best Sex Writing 2005; and the M. S. Valentine erotic novels. She has pioneered erotic writing workshops in the UK and Europe, teaching them from the Cheltenham Festival of Literature to the Greek islands. She’s also lectured in creative writing at several British universities. She’s been featured in publications such as the Sunday Telegraph, Independent, Times, Observer, Toronto Star, Guardian, The London Paper, Company Magazine, Dare Magazine, Family Circle, and Writing Magazine, and on BBC Radio, Bravo UK Television, Telecinco TV 5 (Spain), Newstalk Ireland, Talk Radio Europe, and FM4 ORF (Austria). Her anthology Erotic Travel Tales 2 is the first anthology of erotica to feature a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.