Justine Elyot has written over twenty erotic and romantic novels, and lashings of short stories, for publishers such as Black Lace, Mischief, Carina Press and Cleis. She tends to write female submissive fantasies but can sometimes be prevailed upon to diversify into other kinks and specialities. You can find her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/JustineElyot) and on her facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/justine.elyot).
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? After years of endlessly writing, rewriting then deleting the same sentence, it was the world of fanfiction that unblocked me. I suppose being able to use somebody else’s world and characters took a lot of pressure off, and the camaraderie of the scene added that vital ingredient needed to move forward: confidence. If only writing fanfic was financially rewarding, I think I’d still be doing it.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I’m a creature of ritual and I have to follow the same routines every day or things fall apart, so I sit down to write between ten and midday without fail.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? That’s a very topical question for me. In the past, I’d read, or take a long walk. Now…well, I’m open to any suggestions.
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? I’ve been reading Anthony Trollope’s thoughts on his writing career, and we seem to have the same approach! Which is, just follow your characters and see where they lead. They seem to know better than I do what ought to happen.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published, and what was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? Mostly I’m traditionally published, though I’ve tried self-publishing a couple of times, just to see how easy it really is. The answer: easy to get your book out there, very difficult indeed to get it seen. I’ve published with lots of publishers and the experience was different with each one. Some I’d recommend, others not so much. My only advice to aspiring authors is: be prepared for anything. The publishing scene changes from day to day.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Nothing has ever beaten getting my first book deal. It was all downhill from there.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish.
My latest book is called Fast and Loose, and it came out back in August from Mischief books. It’s something new for me – a blend of erotic romance and suspense. Here’s a taster (warning – it’s erotica):
“I could stare at the screen until the skies fell but the message wasn’t going to be any different. ‘This blog has been removed’. No explanation, no apology, no clue as to why.
The blank blandness of the words made my skin prickle. There was something sinister about the whole thing. It reminded me of old drama programmes about apocalyptic events when the TV pictures frazzled into test cards. What could it mean?
What had happened to her?
Never had I been so grateful for my habit of saving favourite posts to my hard drive. I went straight to her last – and most exciting – update and read through it again.
‘Mia stands on the brink.
The next time you hear from her, she will have crossed a Rubicon from player to professional, from ingenue to sophisticate. Most importantly, she will be what J wants her to be: his perfect submissive.
She heard from the Academy today. She is to pack nothing but her toothbrush – everything else will be provided. On her arrival, she will be stripped, bathed and measured up for her new costumes. For one week, she will wear nothing that restricts access to her, and she will be open and obedient to all.
Would you be unnerved, in her place?
Sweet little Mia has never given herself in submission to anyone but J before, and now she anticipates being used and whipped by anyone who wishes it. She wishes she could say the idea does not arouse her, but it does. It always has. And this is how she knows who and what she is. She wants to be owned, but she wants to be shared. She wants everything of her to be subject to the will of her master. And if her master wishes that she offer every one of her orifices to faceless unknowns, then that is what she will do.
She will glory in it, and with every stroke of the whip, every thrust of an anonymous cock, she will have his name upon her tongue.
He will love her for it.
Your Mia is trembling in anticipation, my darlings, and she hopes that you are too. She will be back in one week, to give you every dirty last morsel of her experiences at the Academy. Nothing will be hidden, because she is permitted to hide nothing.
She kisses your boots.
XOXO Mia XOXO’.
My greedy eyes lapped up her gorgeous illustrations – line drawings of her kneeling, naked and in profile, at a man’s feet, sucking on him. Only the man’s lower portion was visible, the picture ending at Mia’s bowed head. She had drawn the remains of faint whip marks on the portion of her buttocks presented to the viewer. Her hands were bound behind her back.
There were other pictures, too. One of her standing, her back to the viewer, before a huge and ornate front door, holding a cute little handbag. One of her standing naked in front of two stern and unyielding looking characters – a suited man with a riding crop, and a woman of a Mrs Danvers cast, all in housekeeperly black.
God, I had been so looking forward to the next update. I had my vibrator ready and everything.
And now this.”
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? The book is (obviously) for adults. It’s erotic romance with suspense, but it’s not terribly heavy-going. My style is quite light and I like to add a little humour to the mix.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Trust me, you don’t want to get me started on my strange obsessions. In my more normal moments I like reading, walking by the sea, trying out new recipes, music and theatre (especially musical theatre).
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.) Ah, I’m the wrong person to ask. I wish I knew. But I definitely DON’T spam-bomb my Twitter followers/facebook friends with marketing. I hate that and think it must be terribly counter-productive. To be honest, I think your absolutely priority has to be writing the most excellent book you can, and hoping other people enjoy it and spread the word.
11.How would you describe your writing style? It relies heavily on enthusiasm and rushing the reader along on a wave of excitement. I think pace is very important in erotica, but so is description and inner monologue, so it’s a constant balancing act. As a reader, I don’t want 58 pages of what a massage oil smells like, but neither do I want pure ‘wham bam’. My work is often described as ‘very English’ too. Perhaps I’m the Downton Abbey of erotica.