Sunday, November 1, 2009

Anna Leigh Keaton and Madison Layle

I would like to thank a very talented pair of authors, Anna Leigh Keaton and Madison Layle, for granting us an interview. If you have never read anything these ladies have written all I can say is shame on you :) They are a must read in the erotic world.
When I finished reading Incognito 12: Arresting Victoria the sequal to Pleasure Club: The Cop, I knew these ladies were going to be on my favorites list. So please sit back and enjoy the interview. We are in for a treat :)
There are two parts to a Seriously Interviewed interview. The Serious Questions and the Are You Serious? fun questions. We hope you all enjoy.
What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?
Madi: I love the creativity. I have a great life with my family and friends, but I can’t imagine not exploring other worlds, too. Some might say a writer’s life is like that of hermit, but I disagree. I met Anna Leigh online. We don’t live in the same country, but through our writing (and via the power of the Internet), we’ve become the best of friends. It’s been a wild ride so far, and I look forward to many more exciting stories to work on with her.

Is there anything special you do to get in the mood to write?
Madi: I can write day or night, but I can’t write with anyone looking over my shoulder, so I usually get somewhere alone with my laptop, maybe turn on some music, and write. And brainstorming scenes online with Anna Leigh always gets me in the mood to write.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Anna: I used to swear to being a 100% pantser, but I’m not sure that’s true anymore. But Madi, who I write with, is a true plotter—with graphs and charts and family trees for characters, which does come in very handy, but I’m glad she keeps track of all that garbage for me!

Madi: LOL! (Sorry to interrupt, but I had to laugh. It’s true. I keep meticulous notes. I even did a floor plan of a cabin for a book we’re writing right now, so we could visualize the scenes the same way.)

Anna: I used to literally get up in the morning, sit down at the computer, and start typing and see where the characters would take me. Sometimes I still do this, on short projects, but lately I find myself working ahead of myself in my mind. I still don’t take notes or plot, per se, but I will run upcoming scenes in my mind to see if they’ll work. With a day job and a family to try to keep in line, it’s easier to know a little bit where I’m going now. But I still find it very fun to sit down and start typing; it’s just harder to do with the longer, more complex stories than it used to be.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
Anna: That depends on what subgenre they might want to read!
I have some very light erotic romance, such as my Serve and Protect series. Novella-length spicy romances. There’s also The Pleasure Club series. These are short, intense erotica pieces that are just a lot of fun, written by myself, Madi, and some other talented erotic romance authors. I’ve dabbled in a little paranormal with Dante’s Salvation and Time and Again, and fantasy with the Woodland Magic series. I have a long-standing love affair with cowboys that comes through with an erotic romance novella, Risking It All, and ’Til Death Do We Part, a heart-wrenching triad novel co-authored with Madi, which won the 2009 EPPIES.
I also write mainstream romance under the name Leanne Karella. (There’s a free, downloadable PDF of short stories on my Leanne Web site)

Madi: In addition to Anna’s long list of published works (*grin*), there is the much more intense Incognito series, most of which we co-authored together. These are award-winning, best-selling BDSM romance novels. Romance being the key here.
And I have a solo book in Anna’s The Pleasure Club series, called The Dungeon Masters. If you want dominating vamps, try the first book in my Erotic Bites series, called Seduction’s Bite. If you’re interested in really short sexy stories of a naughty, wicked kind, I wrote Entranced just for you. And, like Anna, I dabbled in some other fun, erotic paranormal stories, like a Rajan’s Hope or Return to Me. The mildest story I’ve written is my first short story, Diary of Dreams.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
Anna: I specialize in emotion. Everything I write I try to fill with heart and soul, deep characters, and plots that will keep the readers reading. I hope to make my readers laugh or cry and remember the characters I write as if they were old friends.
Madi: Ditto.

Do you write under more than one name? Why?
Anna: Yes, I do, because I write two very different types of books. As Anna Leigh Keaton, I write the spicy, hot, sizzling, sexy books, while as Leanne Karella, I write mainstream romance—the kind my Mom is allowed to read.

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
Anna: Actually, I’ve been constantly amazed, even after 5 years of being a published author, that my family and friends not only support me, but actually talk about me and my writing to other people. (I’m talking about my “normal” friends, not my writer friends.)
As a writer of romance, I sometimes wanted to hide what I did. My ex once referred to a 100k word historical I labored over for years as “your little love story”. (Can you see why he’s my ex?) So I hid my naughty little secret for years, writing only when alone, reading all the How To Write Romance type books only when no one could see me. Then one day, one of my brothers found a copy of that same historical I’d written, read it after cajoling me for hours that he would not laugh or make fun of me, and when he was done, he got on my tail and hounded me for two more years until I started submitting my books to publishers. About a year after I started submitting, I was on the phone with that brother screaming and laughing because that book had been accepted at a publisher.
Since then, I’ve discovered, he brags to all his friends that because of him I’m now a published author. He even introduced me to one of his business associates as “the writer in the family.” There is nothing better than a support system behind a writer. It can be such a lonely business if you don’t have those patting you on the back, letting you know that they’ll support you whether you make it big or not.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
Madi: Oh, I definitely multi-task. It’s necessary when working with a co-author. I have about four solo projects underway now, plus stories planned with Anna Leigh. For instance, I’m working on the first book in a planned shifter series with Anna Leigh, but I also have the second book in my Erotic Bites (vampire) series, another solo story that will be part Anna’s multi-authored series, The Pleasure Club, and I’m sure Anna Leigh will want to being the second story in our Once Upon a Time series soon. (Is it any wonder why I’m a plotter? *wink*)
Anna: She makes me sound like a task master, but I usually have a couple books going at the same time. Usually one co-authored book with her, and one I’m doing on my own. Then there’s the one or two long mainstream romances that I work on when I have the time and the little people in my head get back to them.

What song would best describe your life?
Anna: Bounce by Bon Jovi.

Madi: It’s My Life by Bon Jovi. (Yep, is it any wonder that we get along so well? I’m still chuckling over the fact that we’d both pick Bon Jovi!)

If you could be a paranormal creature, which one would you be?
Madi: Definitely a shifter of the wolf or large cat variety. Although I’ve written a vampire story that is the first in a series (I’m working on the second book.) I have a passion for reading shifter novels and am eagerly looking forward to writing a new co-authored series that some sexy shifter heroes.

What sound drives you crazy?
Madi: My alarm clock. I prefer days when I can sleep as long as I want or get up whenever I’m good and ready. Guess that’s why I prefer the writer’s life.

What’s the perfect romantic evening?
Anna: A night out with my hubby, without the kiddo, talking, laughing, and in general relaxing together and forgetting any and all worries for a few hours. Doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing as long as we’re together.

You can erase one embarrassing experience from your past. What will it be?
Anna: As an author, I don’t think I’d erase anything. Where else would I find the humor to write about?

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Anna: Gets bitchy when not left alone to live in her imaginary worlds when she wants to be there!

A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be?
Madi: That’s easy. It’d have to be Incognito.

What is sexier boxer or briefs?
Madi: Either…when they’re taken off. *wink*

Here are some titles coming from these ladies soon :)

Madi: The Pleasure Club: The Dungeon Master – November 2009 (a very erotic story that’s part of Cobblestone Press’ WICKED line)

Anna: Inferno: Training Session – November 2009 (the first in a new highly erotic BDSM romance series)

BOTH: Once Upon a Time: Midnight Hour – December 2009 (1st story in a naughty BDSM fairy tales series written by Madi & Anna Leigh.)

* Please share any links your Web site, Myspace, blog, Facebook, Yahoo group, etc. with the readers

Anna: or

Madi: or

Or you can find us on Facebook by searching Anna Leigh Keaton or Madison Layle. We accept all friend requests.

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