First tell us a little bit about yourself, and who you are:
I’m Measha Stone. I live in the western suburbs of Chicago with my husband and our three children. During the day I work as a practice administrator for a large ophthalmology practice, and during the evenings I write erotic BDSM romance. I have always loved stories. Reading well into the middle of the night as a child, I devoured book after book after book. Writing was always a way for me to create my own story, my own world to escape into, but I never really thought my dream of writing for others could come true. Until my husband really pushed me to give it a try, and now I have a blog, I’m published with Blushing Books and soon with Stormy Nights Publications as well as working on several anthologies with some pretty awesome writers.
When I’m not writing, or reading (which is basically like my food and air), I’m hanging out with my kids. They are all creative in their own ways and we are all a crazy bunch of people who like to have dance parties at stop lights, go overboard with the Halloween decorations, and have junk food filled family game nights.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Writing full time is my ultimate goal. I have so many stories in mind, and not enough time to write them all. My immediate goal is to give readers a break from the reality of life and pull them into a world that is full of love and really kinky sex.
Which writers inspire you?
Jennifer Bene and Natasha Knight. Hands down, the two writers that give me complete writers envy. I would love to be able to string words together like they do, very fluid and natural.
So, what have you written?
I currently have 4 books published with Blushing Books. The Windy City Series is a 4 book series revolving around 4 friends who each find their true selves and true loves in their own way.
I also write, non-romance fiction, though not often. I have a short story The Friends We Keep published in the May 2014 edition of efiction magazine. As well as having received an honorable mention in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2015 for The Great Snowboard Caper of McCleanly Mountain
Where can we buy or see them?
All of my romance books can be purchase through Amazon, B&N or directly through Blushing Books.
Who is your favorite character, and why?
Right now, I’m crushing on Devon from Protected, the first book of a new series I’m working on. He’s unrelenting in his requirement for obedience, and he’s not afraid to use a heavy hand. He’s also willing to see the limit and push it, all the while taking complete care of his girl. He’s hard and sweet at the same time.
What is your current project about, and when do you think it will be ready for the public?
I’m currently working on Hunted, the second book in a new series. Trevor works in the missing persons department of the Chicago PD, and he has to track down Addison who is more on the run than missing. He’s not the only one tracking her down, though, and once he catches up to her he has to keep her safe from those that would harm her.
What genre do you write in?
How much research do you do?
I keep my stories as local as possible so I know the area well, other than that I research professions of my characters and some activities they enjoy in the bedroom if it’s not something I’ve actually experienced.
Have you ever co-written any of your work?
When did you decide to become a writer?
I have always loved writing stories and reading. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I put real effort into making the dream a reality.
Why do you write?
Sometimes it hurts not to! If I get a good story going in my head, or I have the next scene of my WIP playing over and over in my mind, it just won’t settle down until I get it out on paper/screen. Mostly I write because I love it. I get to create whole worlds and characters and scenes, it’s awesome.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Part-time because apparently, my body needs sleep. My ultimate goal is to be able to stop working my day job and devote full time hours to my stories.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I write almost every day, depending on family schedules. I may take a day off here or there, but generally I write at least 1 hour every day. My bedroom is huge- thankfully the prior owners knocked down a wall and turned 2 rooms into one, so I have a good chunk of the room for my “office”. Sometimes I’ll go to the library to work if I really need a quiet space. I can usually tune out the kids, but some days I really need quiet.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I have a goal of 2-3k words a day, but 2,000 is the minimum.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Computer. I’ve written long hand when I was younger and didn’t have a computer, and it was horrible. My hands cramped and most of the time I couldn’t read what I wrote because my hands didn’t move as fast as my brain. When I got a typewriter, that was better, but I love my computer.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Everywhere. Sometimes I hear someone say something that triggers a whole character, other times it’s where I’m standing. One of my future projects includes a time traveling erotic romance that was triggered while visiting a national park with family. My daughter helped me take a ton of pictures of the area so I could better envision it again later.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I have a general idea of what’s going to happen, but that’s as close to an outline as I can get. My characters really lead the way once I get going, so outlines are rarely obeyed anyway.
What do you think is the biggest challenge about writing, or that writers face?
For me it’s time. I wish my fingers typed faster. But also, it’s trying to remember that I write for myself first, then my readers. That probably sounds selfish, but whenever I try to write a story to fit into a specific sub-genre or because that type of work sells really well, I muck it all up. When I write the story that it’s in my head, and makes me happy, it comes out so much better and my readers will be better off reading a good story from me then one that was forced into a mold.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
First draft about 4 weeks. Then it sits for a while before I go back for first round of cleanup, then it sits again, then second round of clean up. The whole process takes about 8-10 weeks.
How do you handle Writer’s Block?
Keep writing! I’m not sure who said it, but you can’t edit a blank page. Crappy words are still words.
Do you have any techniques, or tips you would like to share on tackling Writer’s Block? Stream of Consciousness is a process I learned in college. It’s basically a writing exercise where you sit down and write, and write, and write whatever comes to your mind. It doesn’t even have to make sense. I’ve found lots of times either something will rise up out of the garbage, or I’ve at least unclogged the block and can get back to work.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
They both have a place in my heart. I have never smelled anything so awesome as the scent of books when I walk into a book store. I love the feel of them in my hands, and reading printed words. The ebooks are great when I’m on the run, or when I’m stealing a few minutes at work for a peak at the newest book.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I am currently reading The Alpha’s Promise by Renee Rose
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? I do the best I can, then I send it off to an editor.
Tell us a little bit about your book covers: Did you design them, or have them designed?
They were all designed. I had a general idea of what I wanted them to look like, and I picked the cover models for each of the Windy City books, but then the cover artist took over and made them awesome.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Yes. I know we say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but buyer do- it’s just the nature of the beast.
How are you publishing this book and why?
This book will be traditional, but I have one or two indie books in mind.
How do you market your books?
Blog hops, virtual book tours, social media, anyway I can really
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
I don’t, but I might in the future.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
I’m still learning about marketing, so I don’t have any awesome tips, but I will say to talk about your book everywhere you can.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Reviews help, good or bad. The best way to let an author know you like their work is to leave a review. Even short one’s like “Liked it a lot” or “Loved it” go a long way. Bad reviews are helpful in that they add to number of reviews given, and so long as they are crafted with respect I have no problem when them. There is a difference between a bad review and a nasty review. I don’t give any weight to a nasty review- for my work or others.
I’ve met so many people through Facebook, that I’ll have to crown that one the winner. I get to interact with readers and other writers so easily.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Don’t be negative. Stay away from political talk. Be kind, courteous and fun.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
I haven’t, but now I’m thinking maybe I should.
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
Nope, that’s part of the trouble I have with being an erotic BDSM romance writer. My books aren’t mainstream, and it’s hard to put yourself out there when you are a little different from the pack. Something I should probably work on getting over and pushing that envelope a bit more.
What do you think of “trailers” for books?
I think they are awesome! Not the one’s I’ve made- I’m definitely not a graphics/computer guru, but others are wonderful. Captivate the senses and you can captivate your reader- visual representation is definitely a good way to go.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
Not at this time. Maybe once I find someone to do it for me, I’ll give another go.
Do you ever do giveaways, or free download days?
I do giveaways whenever I host an FB Party, I’ve also done a few giveaways randomly on Facebook just for fun.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
If you wake up every day and think of nothing but writing, then you’re a writer. From Sister Act. That scene resonated with me, and I tell myself that every time I start to doubt myself.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
In the words of the great Dory “Just keep writing”. (I may have edited to make my point.)
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Thanks so much for having me, I had a great time!
Liberated Heart Buy Links:
For Indebted Heart
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For Hidden Heart Buy Links: