Sunday, August 12, 2012

Interview with CJ Black, Author of Erotic Novels & Short Stories

We're very excited to have CJ Black chatting with us this week. CJ is an online friend and fellow author. Since the three of us are so busy, we don't get to connect as often as we would like to, but CJ is always there when we need her.

We'll join CJ in the library at the Tanderes Manor; a setting from her soon to be released Memory in Shadow. The butler, Dawkins, will be serving us coffee or tea and dessert. CJ is featuring a giveaway of her latest release, Crave the Dark. Details below.

Before we settle in with the interview, here's a bit about CJ in her own words:

I'm a multi-published author of erotic fiction novels and short stories, usually M/M, in both contemporary and fantasy genres. I've been an author for almost thirty years and got my start on an old typewriter at the age of five and wrote my first novel at fourteen. Starting with the mystery genre, then fantasy, I wanted to expand my writing horizons and found erotica an intriguing subject. Probably the world's biggest bibliophile I own three-hundred plus books. I'm an avid RPG gamer and a proud owner of a DSLite, hoping to get a Wii soon. My other favorite thing to do is work in my garden (when weather permits) and am an amateur chef. Feel free to contact me to discuss writing anytime!

Naughty Reader’s: CJ, we’re so excited to be visiting with you this week! The manor is beautiful. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

CJ: That’s a tough one, actually since I’m pretty open about my writing and what I’m currently working on. You probably know I’m a multi-published erotic e-book author but it didn’t start out that way. I started writing contemporary mysteries and detective stories at first, then discovered heroic fantasy. That’s been my love ever since. I actually had a print book out several years ago but things didn’t work out with that. I don’t really like to get into it because it was very discouraging. However I am planning on re-vamping the book and submitting it. 

When I’m not writing you can find me at my PlayStation 3, beating down some ogres and imps. Why not join me if you’re on the network? My handle is Runic Nightshade. I also have a nice garden where I grow just about everything, which I in turn use to make some delicious dishes if I do say so myself.  I’m also totally into anime and manga, specifically, yaoi. One of my wishes is to actually publish a manga someday, if I can find a publisher who is willing to accept a story and assign an artist. 

Believe it or not, I’m somewhat shy and it takes me a bit before I open up to people but once I do you can depend on me to be a good friend. I more or less like to spend my time at the computer. Not a big TV watcher but when I do, it’s Leverage, Law and Order and Franklin & Bash. Guilty pleasures…Adventure Time, Family Guy, and American Dad.

*Dawkins enters the library balancing a large silver tray over his head.*

CJ: Thank you Dawkins. Ladies, Coffee or tea?

Naughty Reader’s: (Tonya and Brenda) Coffee please, and we'll take a piece of that scrumptious chocolate cream pie, too. What made you want to become a writer?

CJ: My total and unending love for books and reading.  I was reading at a college level in 10th grade.  I’m getting close to having about four-hundred paperbacks now and I want to get an e-reader and fill up my TBR list.  When I was in grade school, an English teacher gave us two choices about the weekly word list.  We could either write sentences with words in them or write a story with all the words within it.  As shy as I was I began to write stories with my friends and teachers as the characters.  They of course got a big kick out of it and gained me some elusive popularity.  After all, back then we bookish types definitely weren’t popular.  My English teacher was so impressed; she gave some of my stories to her husband, who was an English professor at the local university.  He critiqued but was still impressed as well.  A few months later I was standing in the lunch line when a friend ran up and pressed a newspaper clipping in my hand.  It was for a publisher accepting novel manuscripts.  I was fourteen when I wrote my first.

Naughty Reader’s: Please share a bit about your new release without giving away any spoilers.

CJ: Crave the Dark, published August 7, is a m/m/m contemporary paranormal.  It’s a bit darker in nature than what I usually write but I believe my readers will enjoy it.

Give yourself over to the dark…

Elijah Cade makes his living as a high-paid assassin. Unsanctioned and operating under the cover of darkness, he pursues his mark to the completion of his task. Jobs are sent to him by simple means and from unknown authorities. The night he receives the text commanding him to see a man, Jean LaCroix, Cade is intrigued. There is something about LaCroix that tells Cade he is one of the elite paranormal that inhabit the world, who use the night themselves for their own purposes.

LaCroix has a job for him – to kill the succubus that has stolen his lover. Cade is reluctant, as there are too many secrets surrounding Thanatos as well as an aura of shadowy power. Despite his misgivings Cade takes the job, and after finds that LaCroix wants more from him, he wants Cade to completely give himself over to the dark.

Naughty Reader’s: (Brenda) Oh, this is my kind of read; dark and sinister! Do you write under a pen name?

CJ: Yes. For the usual reasons. I had a very strong religious upbringing and I’d rather keep writing then have to field a lot of questions, although I did recently tell my oldest brother and he was cool with it.

Naughty Reader’s: What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

CJ: The Average Joe/Jane. One thing I noticed when I started reading romances was that the heroes were usually Navy Seals, government agents (CIA, FBI), cowboys, or filthy rich captains of industry. I wondered where are the regular ladies and gentlemen? Seriously, I don’t personally know any Navy Seals, I do know people who work in the corporate sector, restaurants, retail, or civil servants. Not to mention people who own their own businesses. Myles Bryce, one of the characters in Souls Inflamed, owns his own bookstore. Demetrius Jordan, a BBQ restaurant.

Naughty Reader’s: (Tonya) Readers love ordinary characters they can connect with. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

CJ: Well, we’re going to have to make it a weekend as I have a 9 to 5. But when I sit down determined to write, I usually start as early as 6 am. I don’t look at the time, but I’ll do a certain number of chapters, usually four or five, then take a break. I prefer to write with background noise, depending on what I’m writing. Sometimes movies or TV shows more often music. Composers like David Arkenstone are perfect for a good heroic fantasy. More often than not I only have time to work in the evening, usually about four hours, then I spend about an hour relaxing on the net. And yes, as you may know, I do the writing at a bookstore cafĂ© thing.

Naughty Reader’s: Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

CJ: Some do have a common theme. Illusion of Night and (coming soon), Memory In Shadow take place in the same universe and the characters are faced with similar problems, one being fighting for their freedoms. Many of my shorts however have a variety of themes.

Naughty Reader’s: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

CJ: Another tough question. It really depends on which way my life is going at the time.  Between the 9 to 5 and going for my Associates, I have to take whatever time is available. I’ve finished a story within a few months to a couple of years. I try to be quicker with editing because I know the sooner I finish edits, the sooner the work is on the virtual shelves.

Naughty Reader’s: Do you have to be alone to write?

CJ: Yes. I can’t have someone hanging over my shoulder, it makes me nervous, not to mention distracting me.

Naughty Reader’s: How do you go about naming characters?

CJ: Several ways. Sometimes, it’s as simple as using a name I like or have heard around.  Other times its what I think suits the characters. I work in the customer service industry so I come upon a lot of interesting names and personalities. Speaking of naming characters, I just recently did a Musings on my blog on the subject. Take a look at it here.

Naughty Reader’s: We'll definitely check out your post. Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

CJ: I write first then find the character picture, only if needed. I already know what my characters look like.

Naughty Reader’s: How do you pick locations for your stories?

CJ: With my contemporary works it’s always places I know, that I’ve actually been to. I don’t use real places, I create my own version of the location, adding on to it when needed. I’m a big fan of the “nameless city.”

Naughty Reader’s: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

CJ: Right now I’m in the middle of editing the sequel to Illusion of Night, Memory in Shadow is due out October 29th.

Naughty Reader’s: CJ, thank you for inviting us to chat with you. Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

CJ: Thank you Brenda and Tonya! Everything is below, including where I am online and the purchase URL’s for my current works. And as always, I’m glad to hear from my readers and fellow authors!

I'll feature a giveaway to one lucky reader -  a free copy of Crave The Dark. Enter the contest through the Rafflecopter below and good luck!

Twitter  @cjblacksatin

Free Reads:

Crave the Dark
Excerpt: Chapter One

It took Cade only a second to strike. Even less time for his prey to expire.
Always meticulous with his weapons, he took a moment to clean the blade of his sword. He looked down at the corpse of the businessman who’d won numerous humanitarian awards.
“That’s a fucking joke.” Cade had found so much dirt on the bastard that there was no question the man had to die. He couldn’t figure out why no one else had seen it. Then again, it had been his experience that most people did see, and just ignored it. Money is God.
“Another hit wasted on some lying sack of shit.” Cade bitterly spat the words. He supposed he shouldn’t be upset. Maybe he was crazy trying to find satisfaction in killing. But damn it all, he wanted a challenge, and this fat SOB definitely wasn’t it.
“Gotta pay the bills.” He slammed his sword into the back sheath he wore, ran a gloved hand through his hair and stepped over the body as he made his way out. But he knew that wasn’t really the reason why he killed people.
Once he stepped outside, Cade stopped to be certain the bodyguards were still unconscious. Unlike other hunters and assassins he knew, Cade never killed indiscriminately. Like him, they were just doing their job. He doubted they would come after him. There were plenty of ways to make money.
Cade slipped into the darkness behind the house. The stand of trees surrounding the opulent structure gave him the perfect cover. If the bodyguards were any good they would have noticed too, but they weren’t being paid to tell their employer about defenses. It was doubtful their boss, the owner of the house, would have listened to them anyway.
Cade moved through the trees, taking his time. He wasn’t in any hurry. It was nice and dark, like he preferred. When he was near the road, he stopped by one of the trees. He could hear the cars passing by, as late as it was. They were the people you never saw during the day, much like him. The ones that kept the world running.
He smiled as he leaned against the tree and drew a pack of cigarettes from the interior pocket of his jacket. He was trying to quit. Yeah, me and a shit-load of other people. He drew one out and lit it, but the darkness around him didn’t recede. It didn’t bother him. He had a thing for the darkness. He always had a sense it was hiding him, which was a damn good thing for an assassin. He grinned at the night, as if it were a friend standing in front of him, and he was certain those who felt as he did appreciated the irony.

* * * * *

“That’s not why you kill people.” LaCroix grinned as he steepled his fingers and watched Elijah Cade from within the flames of the fireplace. He was damn fine, LaCroix had to admit. Not overly muscular but nicely built. He wore his brown hair close shaved, a military cut if LaCroix was correct. Cade looked a little older than he was, his features a bit craggy, and that five o’clock shadow hiding the lower portion of those well-defined cheeks.
But that wasn’t the cause for LaCroix’s interest. Cade was meticulous and LaCroix liked that. Even took the time to clean up after himself, though it wasn’t really necessary. Cops knew an assassin’s work. Yes, the ATF sanctioned some of them, but they were paranormal agents.
The ones that operated outside of the system were the assassins, the hunters. A sort of an unspoken agreement between them and the law enforcers allowed them to do their jobs. To take care of the people the police couldn’t touch.
Of course LaCroix didn’t have a problem with causing death. Well not normally, even he had damn rules to follow, which was part of the problem. Yes, he believed he’d made a good choice in Cade to take care of some unfinished business.
LaCroix was seldom one to punish himself himself, but he chose to do so anyway, although it didn’t change the situation. With a mere nod of his head the fire showed him a different scene. One of a young Hispanic man, not too far out of his teens but with a weight on his shoulders that an elderly man would have. LaCroix had not expected to fall for him so readily.
“I remember when you sought me out, Detrick Benjamin,” LaCroix murmured aloud. “I knew about you beforehand, the same way I knew about Elijah Cade.”
Detrick was a voice crying out in the night, but LaCroix wasn’t the only one who heard him. LaCroix left his eyelids closed halfway as the fire showed him the scene of the woman who’d dare steal from him. He’d made the mistake of underestimating her, and look where it had gotten him. He’d indulged Detrick because the younger man felt he had something to atone for, but LaCroix knew better. If he’d gone with his first instincts and never allowed Detrick out of his sight, he would have never lost him in such a way that wounded his pride. LaCroix was surprised that he even had pride. It was such a useless thing with all the other mortal emotions. And that had been LaCroix’s problem.
“Serephine.” LaCroix knew he could threaten all he wanted. It would be pointless and she knew it. She was one of the creatures who coveted the night and had taken Detrick as her prize. Detrick was nothing to her except for a way to satisfy her lusts and hurt LaCroix. He wanted to deal with her himself, but he couldn’t. He needed someone who moved easily about in the darkness. That was why he needed Cade.

 Available Oct 29

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi CJ! Thanks again for visiting with us this week. Readers, get your entries in for a chance to win! Good luck!

  2. Welcome CJ! I LOVE the library! *waving down from the second floor railing* Readers, get in on the contest! Chances are great for a win!

  3. Thanks to you Brenda, Steve and Tonya as well! I had a blast and I hope my fellow authors and readers enjoy the interview!

  4. What a great interview CJ. I'm heading over to read your post about naming characters now, but I love writing down unique names I hear around too :).

  5. Congrats Ilona! You won a copy of Crave the Dark. CJ will contacting you soon. ~Brenda