I’m pleased today to interview Ellora’s Cave author Francesca Hawley who has a new novel out–Controlling Interest, a BDSM erotic romance. Francesca’s stories are compelling and her sex scenes are hot!
Cara: All your novels are erotic romances, but Whirlwind Affair is contemporary, Seeking Truth is historical, Protect and Defend is paranormal and your latest, Controlling Interest is a BDSM. You’ve written in quite a few subgenres. Are you purposefully trying a little bit of everything or are you writing what inspires you at the time?
Francesca: I write whatever speaks to me the loudest at any given time. But I like genre hopping because it allows me to stretch my creativity. I believe that variety is the spice of life and that comes through in my writing. I’ve considered playing with other subgenres too, but it really goes back to what speaks to me the most – and by that I mean which characters are the loudest. My heroes seduce me to tell their stories and whoever is the best seducer on any given day gets his story told.
Cara: And speaking of inspiration, where does yours come from?
Francesca: When I first started to write as a kid, my inspiration came from my mother. She always encouraged me to dream big and she believed I had talent as a writer. Of course she also told me to get a day job to pay the bills. Practical as well as inspirational. <Grin.>
Cara: How would you describe what you write for someone who has never read a Francesca Hawley novel?
Francesca: I write what I call, “Romance with Dangerous Curves.” I write about plus-size heroines and the alpha heroes who love them. Those guys love all the dangerous curves these ladies have just the way they are. My stories range from contemporary to historical to paranormal, but the consistent point is the voluptuous heroine.
Cara: In Controlling Interest, your heroine Mozelle “Mouse” Vincent is a submissive who inherits a BDSM club. How does she reconcile the two sides of herself, the in-control businesswoman and the natural submissive?
Francesca: It’s a stretch for her at first. She’s always had to keep herself under control. In command. But with Tor, she wants to give up her power to him. She trusts him enough to keep her safe while he takes her on a wild, exciting ride to ecstasy.
Cara: In many BDSM novels, the submissive heroine does not realize her submissive nature until she meets her Dom. Is that the situation with Mouse and Torin Stuart, the hero of Controlling Interest?
Francesca: In Mouse’s case, her former boss records a message for her. In it, Regine Stuart, Tor’s mother, tells her she’s a submissive. The information resonates immediately. As if she might say to herself, “Yeah, that’s right. Why didn’t I think of that?” With Tor she finds trust and ultimately true honesty and a deep love.
Cara: You write heroines who are full-figured gals, women with a little meat on their bones. Please speak to that.
Francesca: I’ve always been a plus-size woman. The last time I was “thin” I was probably three or four years old. So, I wanted to write about women I could really relate to. I’ve read many romances from the time I was in my teens. Most of the time the heroine was slender, or if she started out fat then she lost weight in order to find happiness with her true love. I wanted something different and I thought there had to be other readers like me out there who wanted heroines who come in all sizes. So I began writing my big girls and have continued to write about women who were like me. Because I share that life experience with my heroines, I think it grounds them and enhances the authenticity of my characters and I really like that.
Cara: When, how and why did you come to write erotic romance? Why erotic romance and not just romance?
Francesca: When I was in junior high, I started writing romance. As I got older, the stories got sexier. I remember I wrote a scene about a heroine losing her virginity and my friends read it and were all shocked, yet fascinated. Of course, I wrote it all wrong (I’ve reread it and believe me – I had no idea about anatomy back then). But I was set to write hot even when I was in my teens.
I quit writing for a number of years, but I picked it back up again in a serious way because I found Ellora’s Cave in 2001/2002. I read the books being released by EC and realized I wanted to write that way too. So, I got started. It took time, but I’m so glad I’ve followed this path.
Cara: You’re also a librarian. How has that career influenced your writing? Do your library patrons know you write erotic romance?
Francesca: Being a librarian helps me to understand what readers are looking for in a good read. I have the opportunity to talk to the regulars in my library and they’ve told me that a good story trumps almost everything, so when I write I try to keep that in mind. Yes, some of the library’s patrons know I write erotic romance. I’m not “in your face” about it, but some of my books are included in the library’s collection. When someone reads one of my books, it’s a real thrill.
Cara: What’s next for Francesca?
Francesca: I’m working on several projects right now. I’ve got a start on Seeking Peace, the follow-up to my medieval erotic romance, Seeking Truth. I’m also working on a story featuring Andy Larson. Andy is the brother of Erika, my heroine from Whirlwind Affair. There are so many exciting opportunities available and so many stories to tell. Writing keeps me really busy.
Cara: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
Francesca: I want readers to know that I love to hear from them. They can contact me via the contact page on my web site. I also have a profile on Facebook and I welcome friends!
BLURB for Controlling Interest
Mozelle “Mouse” Vincent inherits money, a club and her boss’ son as a business partner when society leader Regine Stuart dies. Torin Stuart knows what his late mother’s wishes were for his exclusive BDSM club, Erotically Bound, but he’s pissed that he’s forced to trust Mouse—especially when her inherently submissive nature arouses the sexual Dominant in him.
After baring all in a heated, intense scene, Mouse realizes that they still have to work together, but now Tor challenges any business suggestion Mouse makes. When she wants to offer education classes, Tor dares her to organize the class and participate—as a submissive.
To his chagrin, Mouse agrees, but he can’t stand the thought of any other Dom touching her. Suddenly there’s far more at stake than the controlling interest in their club…because love is the ultimate prize in their power exchange.
To read an excerpt: http://www.jasminejade.com/productspecs/9781419932939.htm
Where to find Francesca:
YouTube (book trailers)