What better way to celebrate than to have Cherise Sinclair, Romance Author Extraordinaire, visit to talk to us about her Masters of the Shadowlands series. We have been looking forward to this feature week all month since we confirmed her visit; and we’re certain that you will love her (and her books) as much as we do. So sit down and indulge with us as we talk with Cherise…
Tell us how the idea for the Masters of the Shadowlands series come about?
A series? That’s so funny since I sure didn’t plan to write a series--or even to write erotic romance. You see, I’d been sick for a month, feeling ugly and unfeminine, and somehow I stumbled onto some erotic romances that made me feel female and sexy again. In response, I tossed aside the mainstream book I’d been working on and wrote Club Shadowlands--a purely self-indulgent erotic fantasy just for me. But, of course, no writer throws away a manuscript, and a crit partner, Amber Green suggested I send it to her publisher--Loose Id. They bought the book and asked for another.
But five books? I blame it on the way new Doms keep appearing in the books. They’re so intriguing and so utterly confident that I start wondering what kind of woman would shake them up. And then I just have to write the story. Book number four was supposed to be the end of the Shadowlands stories, but Master Marcus appeared--and damn, that southern accent and the contrast of his sternness and politeness did me in.Yep. Us too! And, I swear, in Master of the Abyss, I did my best not to introduce any men that could possibly be interesting. Really! I didn’t bring in any new Doms at all. And yet, now I’m writing a story for the heroine’s rugged cousin where the conservative cop gets lured into the dark side. Oh my hell – we can’t wait for that book! Even though we’re supposed to be focusing on the Shadowlands, we couldn’t leave out the Masters of the Mountain so they get a special day later in the week too.
Now, we can’t talk about Masters of the Shadowlands without addressing Master Z, the original Dom that has the amazing ability to read a person which has proven important in many of the books. Why did you make this part of who he is? Actually, I was worried about Jessica who blindly wanders into a BDSM club. She needed a very perceptive Dom. Now, an experienced Dom can be incredibly observant, but Master Z kept taking it farther to the point he was actually reading emotions. Once he started, he refused to give up that trait--despite my protests that I wasn’t writing a paranormal. Well, we bargained and he won, although he agreed to keep it very low key. (It’s pretty sad when the author loses arguments with her own characters.) We each have our favorite master but wondered if you had a favorite or is it like when you have children and you can’t say who it is? Master Z is still my favorite--probably because I was a virgin erotic romance writer and he was my first. Don’t y’all always have a certain fondness for your first? However, when I’m writing a book, each Master pretty hangs around, arguing over plotlines and harassing me (pushy Doms). They’re all wonderful, and honestly, I wouldn’t throw any of them out of my bed (although my husband would). LOL Your subs tend to be more like the average woman rather than stick-thin models. As real women ourselves, we appreciate this. Why did you choose to have your women "soft and rounded"? Oh, you’ve hit one of my hot buttons. I’m so angry with how our idiotic must-be-thin-and-young culture affects how we women think of ourselves.
When a man looks in the mirror, he sucks in his ample gut, flexes his flabby biceps, and says, “Lookin’ good, stud.” A woman, no matter how lovely, checks the mirror and moans, certain that her hips are too big, or she has too many wrinkles, or unable to see anything but her dimpled thighs. The slender women want breasts, the buxom women want their hips to disappear, hair is either too limp or too curly, skin is too pale or too blotchy, and on and on. Why can’t we look in the mirror and say, “Damn, I look hot.” But no--I’ve rarely met a woman who was content with her body, and doesn’t that just break your heart? That’s why the message you put in your books about women’s beauty is so important.
Now I’ve always had more of a pear-shape than an hourglass figure--and I hated it. But I remember, back in my younger days… I’d bent over to pick up a dropped pencil. I turned and surprised the manager who was holding his hands up, fingers flexing as he pretended he held my ass in his hands. I could even hear the little, "mmmmm" he uttered under his breath. Was he thinking my butt was too big? Oh, no…he figured it was just right. LOL
Men really don’t see us the way we see ourselves. So, we have to know… do any of your characters reflect your own personality? Oh sure--me, my friends, my co-workers, my family--characters are a conglomeration of everyone I’ve met. I do have a fondness for heroines whose insecurities are mixed with a sense of humor and an “I can do It” attitude. Your newest release, MAKE ME, SIR is unique in that it brings back, and integrates, past characters into the storyline. What made you choose to do that? (And please do it again!) Oh, I’m blaming y’all for that. Readers sent me emails complaining that Master Z and Jessica weren’t around enough, and one woman wanted to see what would happen when Jessica met Z’s children. So I tried to just increase the time a little, and then Z yanked the story from my fingers and created his own subplot. (Do you get the impression I’m submissive?) Because of that, the book ended up being much, much longer than I’d planned. (My editor is very patient with me.) Please, please, please tell us there's more to come. Is there another book in the series planned? Can you give us a release date? Eeek! All right, in Make Me, Sir, I deliberately left a few story threads untied and set up some new characters to pave the way for the next book--or two. Galen and Vance want their own story. YES! We were hoping you’d say that. Hello, sexy FBI agent Doms!! Master Raoul thinks he deserves one also. Every time he steps forward to suggest a plot point, he’s got that damned flogger in his hand, and I’m getting an “I’ve been patient long enough, subbie” look from him. Not a good thing.
So I’m hoping to write one or two more. As for when…that’s up in the air. I usually do a story or two between Shadowlands so the last hero and heroine’s traits don’t slide over into the new ones, so I haven’t started the next yet.
As for release dates, I can’t tell you. Loose Id would probably contract and schedule the next book, but since I hate deadlines, they don’t get anything until I have a plotline figured out and know where I’m going with a story. It probably drives them buggers. LOL Well, we’ll be waiting (impatiently) for the next release. Thank you for coming to our site today and answering our questions. And thanks to the Guilty Indulgence Book Club for having me here today. Hugs and smooches to all the readers who’ve been so wonderful with emails and suggestions and just hanging out in the Shadowlands with me.To CONTACT Cherise Sinclair or for more information on her books, go to www.CheriseSinclair.com. She will also be commenting throughout the week here so leave a thought/ question and come back to see what she says.