• What genres do you write in and why? I write short erotica under my pen name, Becca Simone, and non-erotic (yet still plenty steamy) romance under my real name (which shall remain nameless here—my mom Googles my name constantly to see where I’m popping up online. She really, really, really doesn’t need to know I write erotica. LOL) Why do I write romance? I write what I love to read. I love happy endings in fiction and real life—you’ll never find me writing (or reading) literary fiction. Too depressing.
• What do you have published and where? So far, I have just one story out under Becca Simone. MIDNIGHT TREAT releases September 18, from The Wild Rose Press. But I’m having so much fun writing erotica, you’ll see more from me soon. I promise.
• Tell me about yourself? I lead a pretty simple life. If I could fictionalize myself, it would be much more interesting. I’ve been married for more than 20 years. To the same guy. I have two usually fabulous teenagers. We have a bunch of pets: dog, rats, cats, geckos, dust bunnies. I work part-time as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor. Getting paid to workout allows me to overindulge in one of my favorite pastimes: eating!
• What do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? I’ll read pretty much anything except serious literary work. If I want to be depressed, I’ll watch the news. I have a lot of “favorite” authors—too many to list. I read as much as I can afford of Wild Rose Press authors, of course. Other “hot” authors I read are Shelli Stevens, Charlene Teglia and Avery Beck, just to name a few.
• How do people react when they find out your are an author?
People seem to be pretty impressed when they hear I’m a writer. And it’s so cool to FINALLY be able to say “yes” when they ask if I’ve published anything. Of course, when they find out I write erotica, that gets some raised brows. It’s funny—if I wrote gory murder mysteries, no one would assume that I killed people in the line of research. But if you write steamy romances, everyone assumes it’s autobiographical. My husband lets them think that.
• Do you belong to any writer’s chapters or groups, like RWA?
I think it’s SO important to spend time with other writers. No one else understands the ups and downs of this business better than a fellow writer. I’ve been a member of RWA since 1996 and belong to a few of their chapters. I lived in Boise for many years, so I still keep up my membership with Coeur du Bois—it’s small in number but big on personality. I’m also a member of the Greater Seattle chapter (GSRWA). Our membership ranges from the absolute beginner to mega best-selling author—it’s a very welcoming and supportive group. I also belong to the online RWA chapter for erotica writers, Passionate Ink, ESPAN (Electronic and Small Press Authors’ Network) and several other online groups.
• How long did it take you from when you started writing to being published? From first submitting to being published? A long, long time. I started writing seriously back in 1993. I signed my first contract in 2008. Now, during that time I had a baby, raised two young kids, moved a few times, went back to work…your basic “life gets in the way” stuff. But still—I was actively pursuing publication that whole time. I made a lot of dumb mistakes. Too many to count. If I could do it all over again with what I know now, I think I’d have sold much earlier.
• Are you a plotter (plots and outlines) or a pantzer (by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer)? Why? I’m mostly a pantser and love writing my stories that way because I don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens. But I’m trying to become more of a plotter. Pantsing, for me, works great for short stories, but when I’m working on a novel-length project, I always get stuck – and I mean BIG-TIME stuck – about 100 pages into it. Each book goes through several drafts and I’m lucky to write a book a year this way. With my current WIP, I’m trying to plot it out first, hoping this will mean fewer drafts. I’d love to write at least two books a year. That’s my hope anyway. I’ll let you know if it works.
• What is the best or worst writing advice you’ve ever received? The worst: it’s a toss-up between: 1) If you got a form rejection letter, it means they didn’t like your voice or writing style. Don’t bother submitting to them again in the future. 2) Figure out what’s hot in the market right now and write toward that.
The best: Write every day, even if you don’t feel like it.
• Do you use a pen name? Why or why not? Becca Simone is my pen name. Most of my conservative family doesn’t know I write under this name, nor does the conservative, Christian-based company I work for. You can probably figure out why.
• Tell me about some of your WIPs? Currently, I’m working on two short stories and a novella. The first is a doctor/nurse fantasy starring a secondary character from MIDNIGHT TREAT. The second is a short story based on the night I met my husband and pretended to be something I wasn’t (except that the real version was rated PG-13 not R+ like this story will be). And the novella is an X-rated Cinderella story.
• Where can we find you on the Internet? You can find me on my website at BeccaSimone.com and on Facebook under “Becca Simone.”
• Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? Never give up. You could get your big break tomorrow, so don’t quit today.
Becca Simone’s short story, MIDNIGHT TREAT, releases September 18, from The Wild Rose Press. It’s her first published work of fiction and she can’t be more excited. Just don’t tell her mom!