Welcome, welcome! We have USA TODAY Bestselling Author Zoe Blake with us today.
I’m excited to learn more about You, Zoe. Thanks for sharing with us. Let’s get right into it. Shall we? Even though I have read your books, can you tell my friends about your newest release?
I absolutely adore the Victorian classics but especially the fun, gothic romances. Not many people are aware, but in addition to her timeless classic, Little Women, Louisa May Alcott was actually a very popular gothic writer. Her book The Long Fatal Love Chase is a perfect example. With murder, seduction of an innocent and a dastardly villain, it is deliciously over-the-top.
So I was inspired to write a classic gothic murder mystery…with an erotic twist of course. I was further inspired after looking at erotic photos from the Victorian era. It made me realize that photography was actually quite advanced in that time period. I loved imagining all the naughty photos a handsome Hero might take of his innocent yet curious Heroine as he seduced her into the world of BDSM.
His Dark Obsession is about Sarah, a lovely American girl on a fabulous adventure in London. She meets the handsome, mysterious Lord Pierce Warrington and nothing is ever the same. He slowly intiates her into a world of illicit photos, passion and punishment. But there is a problem…Sarah is still an independent spirit who does not just fall into his waiting arms. He is forced to chase her down and bend her to his will, becoming more obsessively entranced by the beguiling woman at each encounter.
Throw in a murder, a hidden villain, a few bumbling but well meaning friends and you have the perfect gothic romance!
Here is a secret tip: There are clues as to who the murderer is from the very beginning of the book. Read carefully and you will pick up on them.
And are you working on anything right now? Will you sneak and tell me about it? I won’t tell anyone if you do…
I am actually working on my first Western. I have a pile of research books from everyday life to hiking guides of the area to fashion books to terms and phrases. I was inspired by one of the most famous missing gold treasures in American history, The Lost Dutchman’s Mine. The tale itself is full of murder, greed and betrayal…I added in a scandalous poker game, an abduction, some creative cowboy-style punishments and of course a little romance. It is called “The Cowboy’s Revenge” and will be out November 7th.
The best part is this will be my first series. There will be three books in all, centering around three Confederate soldiers seeking revenge after the war. It is called “Ride Hard”. 😉
So what inspires you?
I love history. I read many non-fiction books and adore a good documentary. There are a wealth of writing ideas to be found in the stories from the past.
What were the challenges you faced (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your latest book to life?
I think the biggest challenge was convincing by Husband I wasn’t secretly planning on murdering him while he watched me read book after book on poisons and murder! It didn’t help that I have a secret love for the show, “Snapped”!
What books have influenced your writing most?
This is difficult to answer. I am an avid reader from the Brontes to Austen to Collins to James to Wharton. As I have mentioned, I am partial to the Victorian classics so I know that helps add an authentic feel to the language and details of everday life in my writing.
How did you come up with your title?
Actually this one was a Blushing team effort. The working title was “Sweet Poison” but I was worried that sounded too contemporary. I came up with a list of options and had my friends and fellow Blushing authors vote on which one they liked best, “His Dark Obsession” won! Usually I write down words and character traits that are inspired by the book and then work them into a title.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I recently wrote a blog post (www.zblakebooks.com, Writing Resources) where I describe my love and affection for thesauruses. Do not just use the Word thesaurus option! It is so limited! I have at least eight different thesauruses I use on a regular basis (There is a list on the blog post). They will vastly improve your writing.
I should know! I am known for my extremely descriptive, explicit passages!
Thanks so much, Zoe! I’m sure the readers are anxious to snap up your latest release, His Dark Obsession right now.