Jen: This week we have erotica author Belinda McBride as our guest. Belinda, will you please share a short bio with us? Belinda: I write erotic romance in pretty much any genre you find under the umbrella of speculative fiction. I live in northern California with my family and a pack of Siberian Huskies. By training, I’m a historian and cultural anthropologist, but spent most of my adult career working in Public Health as a paraprofessional. I now take care of my disabled niece and aging mother full time, which gives me nearly unlimited freedom to write. I’m presently published with Loose Id, Changeling Press and New Concepts Publishing.
Jen: Tell us about Toxic, and where it’s available. Belinda: Toxic is my contribution to a multi-author series at Changeling Press called Sex and Chocolate. Rather than doing the normal, seductive sort of chocolate themed story, I pulled from my background with animals and imagined what would happen if a werewolf indulged just a little too much, and came down with a case of chocolate toxicosis. In Toxic, the heroine is a veterinarian named Briony Theale. Bree believes that if she loses a bit of weight, she might have a better chance at winning the heart of Rico, a local wildlife specialist. She throws her stash of chocolate in a dumpster, not realizing that Rico will find it while he’s in wolf form and make himself ill.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story. Belinda: I grew up visually impaired, but I could see well enough to read print, so I started reading very early. I remember at some point my grandpa saying that since I loved books so much that I should be a writer, so in a sense, I always though of myself that way. While I attended college, I commuted 150 miles a day and entertained myself by listening to music and making up stories to the songs. A few years ago, I spent a weekend with a poet and his wife, and after two days of immersion in poetry and literature, a fire was lit and I started putting it down on paper rather than letting the stories languish in my brain. My first published story is a novella called Imperative: Missing You which is an erotic fantasy ménage.
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Belinda: Emotional, action, fringe.
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow? Belinda: I generally start the first chapter to get the feel of the work, then sit down and outline my characters very thoroughly. After that, I create a rough beginning, middle and end to the story, then I let it run as it will. For me, the most vital part of writing is knowing my characters intimately. If I know them, then they will drive the story along appropriately.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Belinda: The easiest aspect of writing is simply channeling ideas. Those never seem to stop. The hardest part is organizing my work. I tend to work on too much at one time and I burn out.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Belinda: Having a reader tell me they laughed and cried and were afraid. That’s what I strive for, to create an emotional experience for the reader.
Jen: Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go, or are you happy that their story is told and you can move on?
Belinda: Some I’m happy to let go, but others tend to move into my brain and poke at me now and then. That’s why I tend to write in series.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Belinda: I tend to go all over the world and back as far as genre. If it intrigues me, I try it out. If it frightens me, I’ll push myself to go there. I don’t think that contemporary and chick lit suit me well, and I doubt that I’d set out to write a comedy, though I do include comic elements in my writing.
Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? And if you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?
Belinda: My major in college was history, so that’s like setting me before the world’s largest buffet and telling me to pick one dish! LOL! I’d definitely want to visit Classic Greece and Rome at its height. If I could take only three things, it would be Pepto Bismal, a digital camera, and something to take notes on.
Jen: What has been your highlight of your career to this point?
Belinda: Getting my first royalty check. LOL! But seriously, getting Belle Starr published at Loose Id. That story was a labor of love and LI was the house that I really wanted it to go to. To top it off, Belle was released on May 12, my oldest daughter’s birthday. So it was a really happy day!
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Belinda: Someone said something to the effect that my talent was like a fountain that they’d like to bathe in often. I was very flattered.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Belinda: What free time? LOL! Actually, I show my Siberian Huskies and that’s always a nice retreat. I like to go to San Francisco for window shopping and people watching. I’m an avid traveler, and try to go someplace really special every couple of years. Last year I visited my daughter in the US Virgin Islands, and fulfilled a long-time dream of swimming in the waters of St. John.
Jen: What’s next for you? Belinda: In December I’ve got a short coming out at Changeling Press called Mad at the Moon. Also in December Leather will release at New Concepts Publishing. That’s an unusual love story about a porn star who wants to retire, and the fans who won’t let him go. I’ve also got a short in Rising From the Ashes, a Changeling Anthology for charity. The story is called Draggin’ in Phoenix, and is about a pair of cross dressers who fall in love. My two current projects are “The Nameless,” which is the sequel to Belle Starr, and Bad Angels 3, which is the final story of that trilogy.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web? Belinda: My website is http://www.belindamcbride.com and from there, you can locate all of my social networking sites as well as my blog.
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers? Belinda: Have you read one of my books? If so, drop me an email and let me know what you think!
Jen: Readers, Belinda is giving away a .pdf copy of any book from her backlist to a random commenter. To enter the drawing, you need to first either leave a comment for Belinda or ask her a question. Then you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to email@example.com. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, October 19.