What inspires you to write, Paloma?
Everything around me is fair game for inspiration. I gather ideas for stories in a little net as I wander through life. I’m always looking for an inspiring message to serve as a foundation for the book. As an introvert, I am an observer and keep a lot held inside. Then it all seems to spill out in the stories I create. Sometimes it is as simple as a look between a couple and sometimes it’s about personal experiences. As crazy as this might sound coming from an erotic romance author, my strong background in religion provides me with great ideas to incorporate into my stories.
Do your stories tend to be character driven or plot driven?
Definitely character driven. I follow the character’s urgings when I write. I always want my story to be true to them, which means I’m what you’d call a “pantser”. I can develop a basic idea of where I want to go but then I just allow my characters to lead me. And the characters always come to me first with their stories, not the other way around.
I write the same way. When I try to take control of the story, my characters totally ignore me until I let them take over again. Is that what happens with you?
My writing process goes something like this… After I generally plot my story lines, I sit down with a bottle of wine and my two beta readers. They give me their take on it and I make changes. Then I do research important to the themes. A lot of the time, I’m creating a photo board (Pinterest is great for this) with photos to inspire scenes and characters as well. Then I draft – without an outline – and I do not necessarily write the book in order because it’s all about letting the characters guide me. After draft one, I edit and send it off to my beta readers. When I get it back and we’ve shared another bottle of wine, I do one more sets of edits before the book is off to my editor.
Do you listen to music while writing? What kinds of music work best for you? Do different types of music help you for different types of scenes?
I listen to music during the first draft stage and research - usually alternative rock - and there are definitely some scenes that have been impacted by the music I’ve been listening to. But I live in a house with three growing boys so sometimes silence is simply golden.
Tell us about the different types of characters you like to write about? Why are these types so appealing to you?
I love – love- love the alpha hero. I can’t help it. It is something I have always been drawn to so it tends to be what I write about. My brother was a soldier and his tougher-than-nails approach to life was something I very much admired. He was firm, direct and rough around the edges but I saw him once with his fiancé and his gentleness with her when he didn’t know anyone was watching fascinated me. I think of him when I write my heroes.
As for my heroines, I’ll tell you a secret… I prefer the submissive type that allows the hero to lead. However, I recognize that my heroine being submissive does not mean she is weak or demure. My heroines have their own strength and their own story to tell but in her relationship with the hero, she softens.
I agree with you on both your heroes and heroines. It's always those "rough around the edges" with the hearts of gold that win me over every single time. I love heroines who feel confident enough to let their partner take the lead, but will fight tooth and nail when their happily ever after is threatened.
What are the recurring core issues in your stories? Why do you think you are drawn to these types of characters/plots again and again?Relationships are important to me in developing my characters so I tend to focus on family dynamics. I explore the concept of women’s self-esteem and her ability to recognize her own strengths – this often tends to be at the pivotal point in the story. I want each story to have a positive message for women, something the reader can take from their time they spend with my characters.
What are your favorite fiction genres to read from?
I enjoy reading romance because I enjoy the escape from everyday life and I am usually guaranteed a happily ever after. That said, the stories with a psychological edge most intrigue me because they are real and gritty and completely satisfying once I finish.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why do you think they appeal so much to you?
Sylvia Day, SJD Peterson, Tymber Dalton, and Lila Munro are some of my favorites for a more emotional read. They really get inside the heads of their characters – there’s angst, some obstacle to overcome, so readers can see what the character is made of.
Lara Adrian, JR Ward, Kresley Cole, Thea Harrison and Jeaniene Frost are some of my favorites in the paranormal realm. When I really want to go far away, these books are an escape.
And then there’s Lorelei James for western romance, Maya Banks for romantic suspense, and Kaylea Cross for military suspense… so many great authors, it’s hard to choose just a few.
Besides reading and writing, what activities do you enjoy in your leisure time?
I enjoy gardening, though I confess to listening to an audiobook while in the garden. I have English gardens all over my yard with perennials galore so I can clip bouquets for my house anytime I want. My most precious time is spent with my family. I have three active sons who have limitless energy. With them, it’s always on-the-go.
What’s your day job? Do you like it? Why or why not? How has your job affected your personal development? How has it affected your writing life?
|Secret Cravings Publishing|
I write full-time and I love it – so thankful for a life that allows me to do what I enjoy. But it was a curvy road. I’ve always wanted to be an author but when I went to college, I was talked into getting a degree that would get me a “real job” and my writing was set aside. When my parents were cleaning out their house years later, my mother sent me an old box that contained all the writing I’d done in high school. Reading through those stories inspired me to start again. I was staying at home by then to raise my family. I started slowly and now that the boys are all in school, it’s the perfect time for me to focus on my dream.
Now for a special treat. Paloma has graciously agreed to give away a copy of Lustful Cravings to one lucky person stopping in to The House of Taboo over the next two days. All you have to do is leave a comment below to get an entry in the contest. You can get additional entries by filling out each step in the rafflecopter. Paloma will contact the winner next week. Be sure to leave your email in your comment so we can find you if you're the winner!
Where to find Paloma Beck
Are you ready? Go!