First tell us a little bit about yourself, and who you are:
My name is Tabitha Black. I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a pen, and had my first erotic romance novel published in 2005. I’ve never looked back.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Just to keep writing, and to keep making readers happy with what I put out there. Selling lots of books and making money is nice, but I started writing because I love it and because I love hearing from people that they enjoyed my stories.
Which writers inspire you?
There are way too many to list. From George Orwell to Roald Dahl, from Jilly Cooper to Stephen King and probably hundreds in between – all for different reasons. In my genre, I’d have to say that Carolyn Faulkner and Maren Smith have been my biggest inspirations, but since then, that list has also grown.
So, what have you written?
(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
The Abbeyville Way
Taken In Hand
Educating Eva: Silverlake Priory Book 1
Little Tudor Rose
Fulfilling Her Fantasy (A Masters of the Castle novella)
Sharing Silver (A Masters of the Castle novel, Golden Flogger award nominee and winner of the SRR best ménage 2015)
Restraint: His Empire Book 1
Sapphire’s Surrender (A Red Petticoat Novel)
One For Luck (Confessions of a Spanking Author anthology)
Taken By The Enemy (Hero To Obey Military Box set – USA Today bestseller)
Where can we buy or see them?
All of them are available on Blushing Books, with the exception of Restraint, which is currently exclusive to Amazon. The rest are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and, in some cases, Kobo and iBooks.
Who is your favorite character, and why?
Oh, this is tricky. I don’t think I have a favorite. I’m a little bit in love/lust with all my heroes.
What is your current project about, and when do you think it will be ready for the public?
I’m currently working on several projects simultaneously… the current current one is a novella which will be released in January 2017; part of a dark fairytales set I’m doing with six amazing authors.
What genre do you write in?
Erotic romance. The sub-genres have varied; historical, age-play, contemporary BDSM, Western, post-apocalyptic, dark erotica… but the hero is always strong and the scenes are always explicit.
How much research do you do?
It depends entirely on the genre. If it’s something I already know a lot about (like contemporary BDSM), I don’t need to do as much research as I do when I’m writing a historical book, for example.
Have you ever co-written any of your work?
I’m currently co-authoring my first one… not sure when it will be finished, though.
When did you decide to become a writer?
It was never a conscious decision. I was reading when I was three and writing when I was four. I started my first novel when I was seven years old. I never wanted to be anything else (even though I did have several other jobs in the meantime).
Why do you write?
Because I can’t not. It’s my life, and I love it.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
It depends… I’m also a managing editor for a romance publisher, and that’s what I’d call my ‘day job’. But when I have a big deadline, I write more than I edit. So it varies.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
As and when my schedule allows it.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Only if I have a deadline. Then I’ll set myself a daily target, like 3k words per day as a minimum.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I write on my laptop with an extra wireless keyboard I enjoy typing on.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Everywhere. My own experiences, my own fantasies, films, books, music… I’m always surrounded by inspiration and sometimes it can come from the oddest places.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I usually start with a seed of an idea, get writing, and see where the characters take me. I only resort to an outline if I get horribly stuck; then I brainstorm ideas of what could happen next.
What do you think is the biggest challenge about writing, or that writers face?
It takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline, and it’s all too easy to be discouraged by negative reviews or other unpleasant feedback.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I wrote Sharing Silver in two weeks; others have taken me a year because I set them aside after a chapter or two and resumed them much later. It depends entirely on what else I have going on in my life – and/or if I have a deadline. The most I wrote in a day was 17k words.
How do you handle Writer’s Block?
Not very well. If I can, I take a day or two off to let the ideas ‘ferment’ in my head. Or I go to my own personal romantic hero for inspiration.
Do you have any techniques, or tips you would like to share on tackling Writer’s Block?
I think people all handle it differently. What works for some, may not work for others. Sometimes it helps to set whatever it is you’re working on aside and write something completely different… other times, you just need to take a break from writing and do something else. But never give up!
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I read a mixture of both. I love both my Kindle and my Kobo for the convenience, but I still have hundreds of paperbacks in my apartment and I could never part with any of them. I also go back and re-read them, if they’re good.
What book are you reading at present?
Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn. I love her writing style.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
As I’m traditionally published, all my books are professionally edited, although I do edit and proofread them thoroughly before I submit, so they’re generally pretty clean.
Tell us a little bit about your book covers: Did you design them, or have them designed?
Again, they’re done by the publisher, although I do get to give lots of input. The cover for Restraint, for example, features a picture by my partner, who’s a photographer.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I think it depends. I know some people buy books based on the cover, but I’m always far more interested in the blurb, especially if it’s an author I haven’t read before. I also have some go-to authors whose new books I buy automatically with barely a glance at the cover or the blurb.
How are you publishing this book and why?
I like traditional publishing, and have been with the same company for eleven years now. I can see the pros and cons of both traditional and self-publishing but for me it’s mostly a question of time now; my publisher has far more reach than I do and I like being able to send my book off and not have to worry about the editing, cover, marketing and so on. I do some marketing myself but all the other details are taken care of. And getting an advance is always a bonus.
How do you market your books?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, my blog and via my publisher’s channels, mostly.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Reviews are a mixed bag. The good ones are fantastic; inspirational, I copy the best ones down and re-read them whenever I’m feeling disheartened. When it comes to the bad ones, it depends. If they’re just unnecessarily mean, I ignore them. If they’re offering constructive criticism, I try to take it on board despite the initial sting.
Which social network works best for you?
I’m most active on Facebook.
Do you ever do giveaways, or free download days?
Absolutely. I like to take part in Facebook parties and blog hops, and often give away free copies of my books or audio books, as well as other prizes, like naming a character after the winner.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
“When I want to read a good book, I write a good book. I’ve never not been writing.” ~ Gore Vidal
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read. A lot. Both in your chosen genre and out of it. Learn your craft, and don’t give up.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Tabitha Black Official Website
Tabitha Black on Facebook
Tabitha Black Amazon Author Page
Tabitha Black on Smashwords
Tabitha Black on Goodreads