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Interview with Samantha Winston

This interview originally appeared on http://monsite.wanadoo.fr/Samantha_Winston

Hello Treva ! I’m so glad you agreed to do this interview. I read your book, ‘Perfect’, and was just blown away! That was a contemporary. I see that you write several different genres – can you tell me which you prefer?
Well, not contemporary. I think contemporary is hard. I’m not sure I have a preference, though. It depends on my mood. When I write futuristic stuff I laugh a lot to myself so maybe that’s what I prefer. I’m glad you liked ‘Perfect.’

I ask everyone this – why did you decide to write erotica? Do you have an alter ego that writes something else? How did you get started writing fiction?
I don’t know that I decided to write erotica. All I did was decide to write. Tina, the publisher from EC, and I have differing stories about how I started to write for EC. My version is that we talked about how I was interested in starting an e-publishing company (mostly because I was sick of trying to write the way print publishers wanted) and Tina asked me if I had any hot stories she could publish. I said, well, what do you mean? She sent me a story of Jaid Black’s and my eyebrows went up. I thought about it and came up with The Seduction of Sean Nolan. I wrote it as hot as I could and then prayed Tina would think it was hot enough because it she said if was too tame I was going to be hideously embarrassed. Fortunately with proper editing—and cries of moresexmoresex—she liked it enough to publish it.

I have an alter ego that has some stuff out to another publisher and they are thinking it over. I guess I’ll know in another two years or so. *Sigh.* I got started writing fiction when I was in second grade. I wrote and illustrated a story about a horse. I wrote furiously until I hit college where English Lit knocked all the creativity out of me. A decade or so later, I suddenly had the urge to write again. For some reason I thought I would have more time once the kids were older. Immediately after I made that decision we had a huge family crisis. I kept writing anyhow. It was a great tension reliever.

You have a demanding job - attorney. (On the board we’re always teasing you about your diplomas, but we’re just envious) You are also a wife and mother. How on earth do you juggle work, family and writing? Are you an incredibly organized person, or are there sticky notes all over the house?
I feel sometimes like I do literally juggle everything—I have visions of me tossing my work up in the air while I run to deal whatever the latest family emergency is. I actually used to be quite organized. Now I veer from being incredibly anal to hiding in a corner somewhere and hoping no one finds me. On my good days I write lists to remind me of all the things I have deadlines for that day. On my best days I accomplish some of those things.

Your book Perfect was just perfect – I loved it! Any chance of a sequel with that family? I particularly liked the Hispanic element, it’s fascinating getting a glimpse into another culture. Do you often delve into different cultures, times and places for ideas?
I hadn’t really thought of a sequel though one may come to me. I patterned the Hispanic family—just a bit—on a guy I went out with a few times and a visit to his family. I remember feeling like an outsider when I met his mother and sister even though they were trying to be nice to me. I could feel the tension.

I do delve a bit into different times—I love history but am terrified to write a real historical novel. You have to do so much research just to know how or if a character would brush his teeth! But I do time travel and I figure if I get something wrong I can fudge because the character wouldn’t know any better.

And, of course, my futuristics are definitely in a different culture, time and place. Please don’t ask me where I delved to come up with a planet that has men and women living in different nations or a country where men are kept as pets.

Can you describe a typical Treva day? I am trying to imagine working a full time job, writing and raising kids, and my mind boggles! Are you super woman?
My mind boggles, too. A typical day? I don’t have one. Whimper. Um. This would be my sort of ideal normal day. I get up early in the morning—usually around 5, unless I have to be in the office that day and then I get up at 4:30. I check email, write a little if I have time, then start my other job. When I work at home the kids interrupt until I get them off to school. Then I do the day job and if I’m done early enough, I write a little before the kids get back from school. We do dinner and homework. Then I try for something mindless but writer-related after they go to bed because I’m brain dead. That, of course, is the ideal day. It’s usually just a wild assortment of errand running and emergencies and scrambling to get everything done. On the weekends I am really grateful for television. (These are the confessions of a bad mother.) That gives me some relatively uninterrupted time to write as long as there aren’t any Girl Scout activities, basketball or Science Fair projects.

What do you do to relax? What sort of music do you like, and what do you like to read for pleasure?
What do I do to relax? Well, I guess I read or write. Go out to eat. Take a walk. I remember doing those things. I don’t read as much as I did before I started writing…unless you count all the critiquing I do. I will make time to read Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockmann and a lot of EC authors that I won’t list in case I forget a name.

My DH and I have differing tastes in music. He likes jazz, punk, opera, very alternative rock—I don’t mean the ‘mainstream’ alternative rock you hear on the radio. I tend to like what he doesn’t…rock, country, reggae, Cajun. We compromise with bluegrass, rock classics and Latin music. Now the kids are daring to express their musical preferences. We all want to hear music, so let’s say what I listen to in music is eclectic.

What would your dream house look like, and where would it be located?
You know it’s funny. I was just trying to imagine where I’d go if I could go anywhere. I’m not sure. I think a Victorian house (one that doesn’t require too many repairs—I grew up in one that sucked up money when I was a kid) near the seashore would be really lovely.

If you could have starred in any movie, which one do would you like to have starred in?
I want to be in an Erol Flynn pirate movie like Captain Blood. He could sweep me off my feet and—yeah, I like that idea.

And finally, tell us about your upcoming books. Is there a book you really want to write, but haven’t started yet?
There is my short story "Out of Time" which is a story about a heroine who hallucinates herself into a perverse fairy tale (I don't know how else to describe it) and should be out now for Valentine's Day. It's part of the Twisted Destiny anthology. (BTW, you have a Valentine story coming out, too! Be sure to mention your book, Darla's Valentine!) I will be writing a time travel story in an anthology with Shelby Morgen, Kate Douglas and Stephanie Burke. That story is about an aging trophy wife who is going to leave her "ideal" life and go back in time. It's been lots of fun working with the evil trio so far. Ask Stephanie about her proposed title for our anthology. I have my Time series coming out when I have it edited to my satisfaction. They were the first books I wrote after my long writing hiatus-it's about three sisters and their brother and their various romantic escapades. The first one is No Time to Dream, about the oldest daughter. She is torn between the man she loved and still dreams about and that man's best friend.

I have to plug my new website so-you can read about my upcoming stories on my new, updated website: www.trevaharte.com. I can’t say there is a story I really want to write and haven’t written yet. EC has been very nice that way. I really can be as creative as I want, however I want. As long as the sex is right, of course.

© Samantha Winston