Charlotte Stein: On Movie Inspiration and Zombie Menage
We love our CHARLOTTE STEIN. (Do you like how we’ve claimed her as “ours?” We’re grabby like that.) But, really, what’s not to love? A self professed “manluster,” Charlotte’s erotic romance never fails to transport her readers with unusual but lust-worthy characters. Her tagline is “desire that takes you deeper,” so be prepared to lose hours in her books. That’s how we like it, right?
CHARLOTTE has given us more than thirty short stories, novellas and novels, including the recently DABWAHA (Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hella Authors) -nominated Run To You, and RT award-nominated Intrusion: An Under the Skin Novel. She lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and their now “totally real and completely nightmarish dog.”
We asked Charlotte a few questions, which she graciously answered.
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: How do you decide what book to write next? Do you wake up and think, ‘hmmm, I’d like to work on an almost-priest today,’ such as with Forbidden, one of your Under The Skin novels?
CHARLOTTE STEIN: Every book I write starts off with a long, drawn out process of basically daydreaming about the hero and heroine. From there, it’s a decision about whether or not this would make a good book. And then comes the more business end of things: can I sell this idea? Which contract do I need to work on next? So, a mix of creative desire and fulfilling obligations.
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Besides your contemporary, sci-fi and erotica, in terms of genre, is there anything new you’d like to explore in the future? A dystopian tale perhaps? Zombies?
CHARLOTTE STEIN: I already have written zombies! Reawakening (Forever Dead Series, Book One) is a zombie novel with a ménage in it. (Note to self: Stock up on Charlotte’s zombie reads.) As for dystopian…god I would love to. One of my biggest regrets is not just going for it with a few dystopian ideas I had when the genre was just taking off.
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Will you ever go back to writing paranormal like the amazing Raw Heat or was that a one-off?
CHARLOTTE STEIN: Again, I would absolutely love to. I would love, love, love to write urban fantasy/paranormal, but this is one of those times when the market really dictates what you can do creatively. No matter what people say about writing the book of your heart, doing that is just foolish if it’s never going to be something anyone wants. I mean, as much as I love Raw Heat, it’s easily one of my worst selling books. (Let’s change that, K?)
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Your stories (and heroes) are so “dimensioned” and unique – not at all your boilerplate pin-up guys at homecoming dances trying to win the girl. What sparks your imagination?
CHARLOTTE STEIN: I often wish it was exciting as travels and life and things but no, it almost never is! My number one inspiration is movies. And it can be anything from any type of film that sparks something off. At the moment it’s Jonah Hill being bullied by Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street.
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Do your characters arrive fully formed or do they let you “inside” a bit at a time?
CHARLOTTE STEIN: It depends, really. Sometimes they are almost completely real to me by the time I start work on a new book. Other times I learn new things about them as I go. The one thing I always have down though are their expressions, mannerisms and ways of reacting to things. I think it’s really hard to write when you can’t describe reactions.
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: We have a lot of menage fans here. Do you find lovers of ménage different from M/F? (I see you have split the M/F and menage on your web site.)
CHARLOTTE STEIN: Oh no, definitely not! I think in some cases yes, but the decision to separate them was purely to give people a better way to navigate the site. My feeling was: well, if you’re in the mood for menage they’re over here. You know?
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: At LadySmut, we also love book covers. Do you have a favorite cover (of yours)? (We know better than to ask about favorite book. He-he.)
CHARLOTTE STEIN: I do: the cover for The Things That Make Me Give In (Black Lace). I have a lot of covers that I love – Never Sweeter: A Dark Obsession Novel, Deep Desires, Addicted – but none are quite as beautiful as my first.
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: You’re a prolific writer with several, best-selling published series. How do you write so fast? (And can we start drinking your fast formula?)
CHARLOTTE STEIN: I like writing with a thematic series in mind…though I haven’t yet attempted a more straightforward one. My latest, Never Sweeter: A Dark Obsession Novel, is set in the same world as Never Loved. But that’s as far as I’ve gone. And as for writing fast…I don’t think I do, really! Certainly not by today’s standard. I usually do around two to three thousand words a day, but my editing process has gotten longer and longer so that holds up the books. All in all I write a full length novel around every three to four months.
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What is your average writing day like?
CHARLOTTE STEIN: Oh, I don’t have any schedule at all. But I do have rituals. I like having the television on, either with a film starring my latest hunk or something to just give me a break every now and then. And I need raisins to snack on, and juice. And often my book soundtrack too!
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Do you have a favorite writing “moment?”
CHARLOTTE STEIN: I think writing Gabe from Control is one of my fave moments. He was just so real for me. It was bliss to write him.
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What is your greatest writing inspiration?
CHARLOTTE STEIN: A mixture of Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Terminator, Aliens, Return to Oz and whatever is floating my boat at the moment!
ELIZABETH SAFLEUR:So varied! And thank you for your characters and especially for your stories.
LOVE LINKS: Connect with Charlotte
Web site: http://charlottestein.net/
Also, in honor of the wonderful lust she has inspired, we present the Armie Hammer Pinterest board.