A.M. Hartnett began writing erotica upon receiving what, at the time, she considered very bad advice from a career counselor. Since 2006, her short stories have appeared on the web and in various anthologies, including Kristina Wright’s Best Erotic Romance series and Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Curvy Girls. She is the author of the Carried Away series and Uncover Me, both available from Mischief Books.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? Old school fan fiction lol. Back in the early 90s I would write short stories for my favourite shows and movies in scribblers, and then one day I came up with an idea of my own and took over the family typewriter.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I have a full time job, so I usually sit down after I’ve checked off all the things on my to-do list. Sometimes I’ll try and get something done on my lunch hour, but the time of day when I’m most productive is the twilight hour.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? If it’s a mild case, I just leave it alone for a day and let things untangle in my head. If it’s a hard case, I get angry with myself, with the characters, with everyone, and then I just rage write.
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? I think I’m more of a hybrid. I can start off with a single scene and write around it, or else I could plot out the entire book and shockingly stay pretty faithful to the idea. The Deep End was written with no particular ending in mind, while the third book in the series, Breaking Through, was planned out chapter by chapter.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published, and what was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? I’m mostly traditionally published, though I’ve had a couple of titles that I have self published, such as my novella Loose Ends. Otherwise I have been published by Totally Bound, Loose Id, Mischief, and others.
My advice would be to just write because you love it. There’s so much pressure to write faster, longer, and to keep up with the latest trends that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burned out.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Definitely publishing my novel The Deep End. It was an idea that I had years ago and I never thought I’d get it out, but I did! All my hero needed was the right heroine, and reclusive Jacques finally found it in no-nonsense Grace — and it led me to write about who would become my absolute favourite hero, Simon Reeve, who would get his own book in Breaking Through.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. This summer I’m releasing Fire and Ice (now available from Mischief), a fun little story about a hockey player struggling to learn French and his tutor, and in July I’ll be releasing my menage Cross My Heart, about a young couple looking to add a third to their bed. The sequel, Bleeding Heart, is my current WIP.
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? Most of my books fall into the erotic romance category. Fire and Ice and Cross My Heart/Bleeding Heart have two very different tones. Fire and Ice is more sweet and fun, while Cross My Heart/Bleeding Heart are about people who are broken and don’t know what to do about it.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Reading, obviously. I would say I like to bake, but my experience tends to mirror the Julia & Julia experiment when it comes to trying out new recipes. Once a year I try and take a genuine vacation, where I just binge on food, booze and shopping for four days.
10.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Interact with people. I don’t mean constantly promoting your books with every tweet and every Facebook post, but actually talking to people. You also want to be prepared to give away your work. With so much out there, people are more likely to try out a new author if they can sample some of your work.
Oh, and in case it can’t be stressed enough, play nice in the sandbox when it comes to other authors and reviewers — particularly those who give you a bad review.
11.How much of your books are realistic / based on true experiences/ people? I try to make my characters real people. Even when I wrote my billionaire story, The Deep End, he was pretty much just a regular guy trying to figure out where he fit in the world. As far as real life, I’ve done it on a couple of occasions. I’ve yet to destroy my enemies in my books, as one horror writer suggested I do, but these characters live in the same world as I do and sometimes have the same experiences I’ve had. Carrie from Uncover Me is heroine I most identify with, and there is a lot of me in her.