Smutketeers: This is your first Rowan Larke book and your first Rowan Larke interview. Tell us how you feel having the Smutketeers pop your cherry. (We’ll be gentle. Maybe.)
Rowan: I know all of you wa-a-a-ay better than that. I think that’s a flogger behind Eden’s back. And does RG really think I’ll believe that’s a fan and not a paddle? I think Feisty’s wearing a few too many scarves for this time of year…
And you, Crys, with your innocent look? I know you too well for that. You’re probably just supposed to coax me into a false sense of security, so you can all have your wicked wicked way with me.
Of course, I’m easily coaxed.
Which is what you lurrrve about me.
Smutketeers: What’s your writing process like? Do you have a daily or weekly word count that you try to meet? Or do you wait until the last minute and write like mad?
Rowan: I’m a total binge-and-purge-er. I’ll write like a fiend for a month, and then nothing for another month or two. Eventually I just get tired of the book not being finished and write until it’s done.
Smutketeers: So, filthy angels? What made you go there? Dealing with death and other dark issues is heavy, especially when it’s also sexy. How did you balance those in your upcoming book?
Rowan: I like to push the envelope. I like dark stories and themes, and I like almost-broken characters. I love writing things I’m told I can’t. J So it didn’t start out with filthy angels (though I guess that’s where it ended up!) but it started with one man and one woman who were separated by death.
Of course, right there, I’m starting in with some heavy shit.
Jason is dead. In a perverse personal hell after his death, he watches the love of his life, Clarissa, as she has sex with one abusive man after another. And she seems to think she deserves it.
And there it was. The crux of this story. Why did Jason kill himself? And why hadn’t Clarissa, after three years, dealt with it? And why hadn’t Jason moved on?
Now, I’m a little perverse. I grew up in a pretty religious family, and one of the things our church taught was that no one who committed suicide could get into heaven. I decided that every rule ought to have a loophole. And every loophole needs a watchdog. When I started thinking about the sort of person who would usher the souls of suicides through to heaven, I realized he’d be powerful, sure, but also worn down, tired of his job, and…pretty sarcastic, just to get through the day.
The dirty…I maintain my filthy characters brought that all on their own.
Though I do think that the sex in this book shows how…sex can be different. I show angry, brutal sex. The sort of hot sex that comes from a one-night stand with someone you just think looks good. The sort of sex people have when they’re in love. The sort of sex people have to say goodbye.
And yes, there’s even sex with angel winged goodness.
Smutketeers: How long have you been writing? Have you always written the smut or is this a new genre for you?
Rowan: Forever. I was the kid who would tell stories at the age of 3. I never didn’t want to be a writer.
I’ve written the smut, on and off, for a few years. This is the first one good enough to have a shot at publication, though. And I can’t write it without a paranormal element. Ever.
Smutketeers: Do you read in the same genre(s) you write?
Rowan: Sometimes. I actually prefer Old Skool fantasy for my reading, but it makes it hard sometimes to keep my worldbuilding pure. Ditto para-romance, which is my 2nd fave. So, when I’m on my writing jag, I’ll either not read much, or I’ll read romantic suspense to keep myself ‘clean’. When I’m not-writing, I’ll glom through a book a day of whatever I can get my hands on. Starting with the fantasy and paranormals, of course.
Smutketeers: Do you ever have concept envy and wish you’d totally thought of an idea first? If so, which book or movie inspired the green-eyed monster?
Rowan: ALL the TIME.
Most recently? The movie Pan’s Labyrinth. Oh, it’s not exactly how I would’ve done it, but that movie is…brilliantly dark and a fascinating twist on the faery creatures I usually write about. (when not writing angels, apparently.)
Smutketeers: We know you love slutty shoes…which are your favorites? If price were no object, which brand would you own a dozen pairs of?
Rowan: I LOVE my shoes. However, I’m really not a name-brand girl. I’m going for quantity. My very favorites for regular wear are my knee-high Doc’s…a throwback to my Goth-girl days, I suppose, but I love them.
If I could buy whatever I wanted? Oh, I want a pair of thigh-high boots, and the miniskirt and body to wear them with.
I want a pair of French maid shoes…like Mary-Janes with a little lacy ruffle.
Smutketeers: What’s your writing “uniform” look like? (It’s totally a silk peignoir with bonbon accessories, isn’t it? You can tell us!)
Rowan: Oh yeah, TOTALLY.
Though I look much better in the green one.
Smutketeers: Name three of your favorite books of all time. Tell us why they made the grade.
Rowan: Gah! Just three?
HeartThrob by Suzanne Brockmann. The characters are just amazing, and Jed is just…in turmoil. I like that in a man. That book makes me cry every time I read it, and that’s just…not normal for me.
From a Whisper to a Scream by Charles de lint, writing as Samuel M. Key. This book is closer to horror than de lint’s usual fantasy offerings, but it’s still so very him. Which is exactly why I love it. I love the urban fantasy offerings from de lint but it was amazing to see them with this darker spin. It made me feel more confident that I could mix my two genres, too. (though by no means do I think I’m as brilliant as he is!)
Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay. Brilliant, beautiful prose, amazing characters, and a love triangle that makes my heart ache, despite the fact it’s fantasy with romantic elements than a romance.
Smutketeers: Do you have any appearances coming up?
Rowan: I feel like I’m blogging all over the universe this week, but I don’t have the links yet…instead, I’ll point you to http://rowanlarke.com/press, and you can find them all listed there.
Smutketeers: Where can we find you on the Internet?
Rowan: http://rowanlarke.com is the best place to find all the links, but if you really want to stalk me? I’m on twitter. I’m on twitter a lot. http://twitter.com/rowanlarke
*And now for some quick questions…
~Knee high boots or come-fuck-me pumps?
~In uniform or out of uniform?
They can start out in it.
~Alien or vampire?
~Phone sex or strip club?
~Corset or Wonderbra?
~Voyeur or exhibitionist?
Depends on the day…
~Tattoos or piercings?
Do I have any? Not beyond the ear piercings, no.
Do I want them? Yes. I’m working on a tattoo design, actually.
Do I like them on others? It depends on the person, really. I do love the…oh, I don’t know, the idea of ink beneath the skin. But there are some people a tattoo just wouldn’t suit, ever. Like my mom.
~Stormy beach or snowy mountainside?
I hate storms. They scare me. However. I get more than enough snow. So long as I have someone to hold me? Stormy beach.
And for one lucky commenter, Rowan is giving it up for free! Um, what we mean is that she’s giving away a free copy of her new release to someone who comments between now and next Monday. Good luck!