Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Author Q&A: J. Lea Lopez

J. Lea Lopez writes women's fiction and erotica, as well as traditional stories. Two of her stories, "The Haricots Verts" and "The Adventures of Sasquatch," appeared in the relationship-themed anthology Spring Fevers, which was published earlier this year.

I reached out to her to get a little more information about what what went into those stories and how she likes to write.

Elephant’s Bookshelf: Tell us a little bit of the background of the stories that appeared in Spring Fevers. Were these inspired by anything in particular or just products of an imaginative mind?

J. Lea Lopez: “The Adventures of Sasquatch” began as a story I'd written a couple years ago for a contest in a magazine that required I cut it down more than I had wanted. I didn't win the contest, and ever since, the story has just been sitting on my computer. I thought it was a great fit with the theme for Spring Fevers. Plus, I was able to go back to the longer version. I polished it up and sent it on its way. The story was partially inspired by my own size 11 extra wide feet. Georgia's frustration with that aspect came straight from personal experience.

“The Haricot Verts” was sparked by the simple phrase "Tell him." It's that little subconscious voice in your head that talks to you, saying all the things you wish you could be honest enough to say. It also turned into a fun little exploration of the second person point of view.

EB:Do you like to experiment in your writing or are you more of a traditionalist?

JLL: I tend to keep to a more traditional form. I have certain preferences - minimal dialogue, not much focus on physical setting. Flash fiction is a fun place to experiment with things that are different, like the second person point of view in "The Haricots Verts." My novels are pretty standard form, though.

EB: The two stories are like night and day. One is a short vignette and the other is longer, fleshed-out story of a single mother who decides to finally put her best foot forward. If I may be so bold, do you prefer the quickie or the extended love story?

JLL: "Her best foot forward." Ha! Love the pun. But ask any woman, and I think she'll tell you there's a time and a place for both the quickie and the good old-fashioned lovemaki--er, love story.

The two stories really are very different. I love them both, but if you were making me choose, I'd have to say “The Haricots Verts” is my favorite. It has all the things I love: tension, a complex relationship, an undercurrent of sexual tension, and a sense of urgency, all in such a little space. It just tugs at something in me every time I read the story.

EB: Do you tend to work on multiple projects at once or one thing at a time?

JLL: I attempt multiple projects, but usually I end up not making much progress on any. For several weeks now, I've been stuck in the "thinking and scheming" frame of mind for about three different projects. I have to buckle down soon and start focusing on one first, then another, so I can actually get something accomplished.

EB: What are you working on?

JLL: I'm working on an erotic short story collection as well as polishing up my first novel, Sorry's Not Enough (not erotic), both of which will be out later this year. Sorry's Not Enough is the story of Charlotte's struggles with family, trust, sex, betrayal, and love. I'm also still in first draft mode with another novel, Confessions of a Non-Believer, about a young woman thrown into emotional and spiritual turmoil after the death of her fiance. Then, way on the back burner (see, I told you I try to do too much at once!) is my planned erotic novel series.
EB: We're looking forward to them, Jen. And we hope you'll find something in your trunk of stories to contribute to our next anthology. Thanks so much for sharing with us Jen!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Friday the 13th, and Beyond

Yes, I know today isn't Friday the thirteenth, and neither is next Friday. Heck, there isn't another Friday the thirteenth till July.

But Mindy McGinnis, author of Not a Drop to Drink, a Young Adult novel I'm really looking forward to reading when it's published in 2013 (get it? -- 13!) appeared today on a newly launched writing community of bloggers called Friday the Thirteeners. So I thought I'd note that. Of course, readers of Spring Fevers will recognize Mindy's name. Her story "First Kiss" led of the anthology.

In her post, Mindy calls attention to a post on garment disagreements with her mother. (Not that she was aware, but I saw this post right after hearing about a garment disagreement between one of my 3-year-olds and my wife. Nice little coincidence.) What is not a coincidence, of course, is that in her post, Mindy's talking about boobs and prom dresses. I have a few years yet before I have to worry about such concerns for either of my little girls, but I'm sure those discussions will cause a fuse in my daddy brain to be lit and possibly lead to a messy explosion of brain matter upon the walls.

By the way, if you're in the Cincinnati area at the end of May/beginning of June, you might be able to catch Mindy at the annual Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together . It looks like it's almost sold out, so check that you can attend.