Today I’m interviewing the lovely Gail Bridges. Not only is she a talented author who writes for the Ellora’s Cave Exotika® line, she is also an award-winning jewellery maker and successful musician. Below is an excerpt from AMERICA’S DARLINGS, but first, here’s the interview:
Welcome Gail! Can you share a little about your journey to publication?
There is a rather humorous story about how I came to be published in erotica. I’d never written anything sexy in my life – in fact, even though I’d written numerous novels and short stories, I found myself shooing amorous couples behind closed doors and making them do their thing in private. I would sweat over a simple kiss or caress. I knew I had to address my blind spot as a writer, so I challenged myself to write a sexy story: I would go all out, to be as explicit and hot and outrageous as possible, no holds barred.
Guess what? I loved it. No – I adored it. Who knew that writing sizzling, burning, passionate sex would be so easy, so fun! The words flew from my hands so quickly I could barely keep up. To my amazement the first erotic story I ever wrote, PAINT JOB, was shockingly good, so I submitted it to the best publisher of erotica and erotic romance around, Ellora’s Cave. And they accepted it.
How long did it take to get published?
There are two answers to this question. First answer: It took about…oh…eight years to be published, give or take. Second answer: It took about a week! Writing PAINT JOB, revising it, polishing it, and sending it off to the Ellora’s Cave submissions editor was quick and exciting, a whirlwind. After that, it was several months before I received the official “yes” and the contract, and after that, about six months more until it came out in eBook form.
Do you have a favorite genre in books (to read and/or to write)?
Surprisingly, I do not read much erotica or erotic romance. My tastes in reading are more mainstream – I loved GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, for instance. I also have a soft spot for Science Fiction. Octavia Butler – oh, she’s wonderful. And I thought WOOL by Hugh Howey was amazing.
Tell us about your latest release.
AMERICA’S DARLINGS is the story of…wait for it!…SEX in the Olympic Games! As in, a sport, complete with teams and coaches and judges and scoring markdowns. I had more fun writing this admittedly outrageous concept into a daring novel of Olympic Athletes whose sport is a bit…shall we say…unusual.
Can you tell us a little about your current WIP?
INN ON THE EDGE is going through final editing with my lovely editor at Ellora’s Cave. It will soon hit virtual bookshelves everywhere!
I’m so excited about this novel that I can barely contain myself. INN ON THE EDGE is erotic horror – a challenging combination to say the least. In the book, my newlywed characters have just checked in to a lovely bed-and-breakfast Inn on the Washington Coast, only to find they’ve been taken captive by a sex demon.
Sounds like one I’ll have to add to my TBR list! So, what is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?
I was so excited about this review! It was for PAINT JOB, my first book, the one I spoke of earlier. Book reviewer The Jeep Diva wrote: “Short, yet incredibly erotic, the ménage scenes are detailed and unbelievably hot. I’ll definitely read more by this author after picking this one up!”
What made you want to be an author? At what age did you start telling stories and then writing them down?
I have a detailed memory of myself, age twelve, making up novels with huge casts of characters and convoluted plot lines and clever titles. Every morning, on my way to school (I walked about half a mile, but seemed much longer), I let myself get lost in dreams of my future adult self – the world-famous author!
If you had one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?
It’s supposed to be fun. Write because you love it, because you love creating something where nothing existed before.
Erotic romance or erotica – what is the difference in your view?
Good question. Someone at a recent Romance Conference (the Emerald City Writers Conference) just asked me this – and luckily, I had a good answer for her. Erotic Romance is hot and explicit and may have as much sexual action as straight-up erotica, but the story lines of all Erotic Romances follow the arc of the romance. If there was no romance, there would be no story.
Erotica, on the other hand, follows a character’s sexual journey. There may be romance and many of the same elements found in erotic romance, such as great storytelling – but the romance itself does not take center stage, the sexual journey does. In my mind, this opens up a story for more interesting plot lines.
I write erotica, in case you’re wondering.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Thank you so much for this interview! I’ve enjoyed thinking about these insightful questions and writing about my work. My books can be found here:
My website: www.GailBridges.com
My Blog: http://gailbridges.blogspot.com/
My Twitter: @GailWBridges
Leah Collins is a sexual gymnast, a brilliant athlete poised to compete in the Mexico City Olympics Games of 2112. She takes pride in her advanced skills in the sexual arts, but performing Courtesan’s Treat and Raging Volcano in front of thousands of cheering fans is no easy task, especially when sexual malfunctions threaten.
At her side, a pillar of strength and compassion is her best friend, Benson White. He is the one who scrapes her from the ground when her self-destructive tendencies surface. Benson is a talented sexual gymnast in his own right, the other half of America’s Darlings.
They hope for a gold medal. What neither of them expects is to fall in love.
“Whore! Whore of Babylon!”
A red-faced woman stood behind the barrier rope, screaming.
I recognized her. She had been lurking at the airport late the night before when I had arrived in Mexico City with the sexual gymnastics team. Despite furious coaches and horrified airport personnel, she had flung her sign reading “Save our Olympics!” back and forth, pointing and jeering and calling us dreadful names as we passed by her on our way to catch the subway to the Olympic Village. Her worst insults were directed at me. I am, you see, the female half of America’s Darlings.
Surely you’ve heard of America’s Darlings?
Benson and I earned the moniker last year when we won the Internationals in Moscow. The media went crazy for us, couldn’t get enough of us, wouldn’t leave us alone. The sportscaster covering the event, a guy named Ryan Markham, had coined the name America’s Darlings—and it had stuck. No-one had asked Benson and me whether we liked it or even wanted it. Luckily, we do like it. At least I do. The extra attention earned us the adoration of a nation enchanted with our brand-new sport, millions of fans intent on following our every move.
I’m still not used to it.
It throws me when people recognize me. Complete strangers call me by name, act as if they know me, comment on my performances, give advice or offer to help me to practice, and it gets me every time.
But I like it. I do.
As America’s Darlings, the nation’s highest-ranking sexual gymnast duo, Benson and I were the team’s best hope, probably the only hope, for a gold medal in the Olympics—and the public never let us forget it. My face—and Benson’s—had been plastered everywhere for months.
Of course the woman knew who I was. How could she not?
Now here she was again.
“Jezebel! Porn-Monger! Sex fiend!”
Sex fiend? Really?
Buy AMERICA’S DARLINGS at Ellora’s Cave.