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Erin McCarthy: The Interview

Hello, and welcome back! I have another special, pre-holiday treat for all of you: an interview with Erin McCarthy! Being a fan of good erotic romance, I've been reading her stuff since her first novella for Brava, and I haven't been disappointed by picking up everything since then. Her latest is Houston, We Have a Problem
Houston, We Have a Problem
(Brava), and she has Mouth to Mouth
Mouth to Mouth
due out in January. Enjoy!

Bella: How long have you been writing, and what led you to want to write romance?

Erin McCarthy: I've been writing since first grade. *g* Seriously, I
have wanted to be a writer since then. I wrote a story about a witch in the first grade and it won a district-wide writing contest for my age level. When
I first started writing as an adult, I was writing what is now called women's fiction-relationship stories that didn't necessarily have a happy ending.
I got a ton of rejections and put the writing aside for a few years. When I had my daughter, I started reading romance novels voraciously. They were great
to read while nursing an infant, and I was so worried about protecting her from the horrors of the big, bad world, I couldn't read anything that didn't have a
happy ending. All those thrillers and true crime novels I had read before? I suddenly couldn't touch them or I would have horrible nightmares! So when I
started writing again, romance was the logical place to be.

Bella: As a follow-up to that, why erotic romances?

EM: I didn't even know I was writing erotic romance until it was pointed out to me by a writer friend. I just did what I thought was logical and made sense for modern characters in their twenties and early
thirties. I thought if the story was going to head into the bedroom, then I wanted to be honest and realistic with the language and behavior.

Bella: Do you have a favorite hero or heroine of all your stories so far? If so, why that one?

EM: I think the one I'm working on is always my favorite... but if you twist my arm, I'd probably say that I really enjoyed writing Reese Hampton, my
heroine from SMART MOUTH. She was just very loud in my head, and very easy to write. Houston Hayes from HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM is probably my favorite
hero. He's very wounded and sensual.

Bella: If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing instead?

EM: I thought I wanted to be a lawyer so I spent a year in college interning at the Bar Association, and quickly realized that was not the place for me. A year teaching Sunday school cured me of the desire to be a
teacher. I worked in retail for eight years and that was enough for this lifetime. I feel very fortunate to be a mother and a writer, and truthfully, I
wouldn't want it any other way.

Bella: Do you foresee your writing veering into any different directions in the future, or do you expect to keep writing erotic romances forever?

EM: Well, I'll never say never, but I'm quite happy writing romances right now. I have signed with Berkley Publishing to write contemporary chick lit
romances that can't be called "erotic" but they have a traditional happily ever after. Some of them will be in first person. If I can sneak free time, I'd like to write some dark erotic historicals under a pseudonym, just to do something completely different, but that's just a hope right now.

Bella: When you sit down to write, do you have a ritual you use to get into the right frame of mind for such steamy work, or do you dive right in?

EM: I write sequentially, so the story is where it is, and it doesn't really matter to me when I start writing if it is a steamy scene or something else entirely. I get the kids off to school, check email, put in mood music (that changes depending on the scene), then start writing. In general, love scenes take me longer to write, because there isn't as much dialogue.

Bella: Who is your favorite author?

EM: I don't have a favorite... there are just too many! I do love Hawthorne, Dickens, Jane Austen, Margaret Atwood, Agatha Christie, Nora Roberts, Teresa Medeiros, Janet Evanovich, Catherine Mann. Many more, I'm sure, that aren't immediately coming to mind.

Bella: Aside from romances, what other reading material can be found in your TBR pile?

EM: The classics, mysteries, thrillers (I can handle the gore again), research material, Time magazine, and US Weekly magazine.

Bella: What do you like better:
- novels or novellas?

EM: To write or to read? The novellas are easier to write, because they're quick and to the point... I tend to really let the humor fly in novellas. Novels require layering, and while they're harder to write, they're probably more satisfying in the end. I enjoy reading novellas when I'm on the treadmill-
they keep my mind off the pain! LOL.

Bella: - caffeine or chocolate?

EM: I'm allergic to chocolate, and I don't like coffee, but I have a serious addiction to Coke.

Bella: - contemporary or historical?

EM: Lately, I've been reading historical romance again and really enjoying it. It's a great switch for me since I write contemporary.

Bella: Anything you'd like to add to the readers?

EM: Just that without readers, I'd still be working in retail, so thank you for all the support! I love writing stories and hope I'll be able to for a long
time to come. I love to hear from readers, so please stop by my website and let me know what's on your mind.

Until next time, happy reading!

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