Friday, August 20, 2010

Dishing it up with Mia Natasha

Hi folks, today I have the pleasure of having erotic romance author Mia Natasha on my blog. Her first book, Cinderella Club came out at the beginning of August.

JET: Your first book - Cinderella Club just came out at the beginning of August. Can you tell us a little about the book and why readers should add this to their “must have” collection?

Mia: Cinderella Club is a fairy-tale love story. With non-consent elements. My book has graphic sexual content but also plot, mystery, humor and strong characters.

I know what I like in an erotic story and I’m hoping readers will feel the same way. I’m not a BDSM person, but I find bondage very sexy, you know, without a lot of the spank, spank or whip, whip. As a fiercely independent woman, I long for the type of man who can handle me – who can dominate me in bed, and still love my feisty spirit. If that is you, too…then you’ll like Cinderella Club.

I think a lot of women fantasize about being kidnapped and held as a sex-slave. It’s a potent fantasy, especially with strong, independent women who long for a reduction of responsibilities.

In addition, there’s a twist on the Cinderella fairy-tale in Cinderella Club. I know so many women who reference Cinderella in daily conversation. They want to look like a princess on their wedding day, or they feel like they do so much for so little compliment, and they wish someone would appear and sweep them off of their feet, someone all other women find attractive. A charming prince. Miller Smytheson gets swept off her feet. The book opens with her bound and hanging from a chandelier.

JET: What enticed you to write erotic romance?

Mia: I’m a visual artist, a painter. My work has a child-like quality to it, and because of that, I guess I’m seen as a role model for children. But, you know, I’m not a nun. A journalist reviewing my art show asked me if I’d ever consider creating work that explored sexual themes and I said no. Why would I do that? A month later I was out shopping and I looked at a small spiral notebook on the shelf - and boom. I had this weird sense that I would write a story. I know; it was one of those out-of-the blue type things, like the universe works in mysterious ways mumbo-jumbo.

I wrote stories in notebooks when I was a tween. Privately. My stories then had characters kissing, nothing more than PG, of course. No one encouraged me because of it. I can’t really explain how I found my way back to it. I just did. I started writing. The whole plot of Cinderella Club hit me completely.

It’s like a waking dream. Like I was meant to be a writer all along - even though I never pursued it academically, even though I didn’t know it.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Mia: I haven’t had one. Is that bad? I worked on Cinderella Club for two years. I had a draft and sent it off to e-publishers. The rejection letters were incredibly positive. I was told they liked my dialogue and I had a good story but…. And the ‘buts’ were very helpful. Show don’t tell, flush out the characters or whatever. One told me to find a critique partner.

I saw it as a one-door-closing-while-another-opened scenario. I began corresponding with another writer. I’d read his stuff on I was just a fan and did not expect more than that. His encouragement, I don’t know, it’s just been so amazing.

At Christmas, I sent the revised manuscript to Selena Kitt at eXcessica, and within days she said she’d publish it! Then came the edits. When my editor said, “You have something good here”…wow, I just got misty eyed remembering that.

So, no set-backs.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Mia: Holding the actual book in my hand, certainly, is my favorite moment. I wrote a book. It’s the size of a real book, 439 pages, and the cover makes it look like it could be another chick-lit read in one’s bookshelf – very unassuming. I love it. I love touching it and opening it up to a random page and reading my words.

It’s a resurrected dream, an item on my life’s bucket list fulfilled.

There have been many positive moments on this ‘journey’. I won the Valentine’s Day contest at with a ghost story called Ghost of a Chance (as mia_erotica). Having other writers, real writers who do this for a living, compliment me and tell me I’m a great writer. Great? What? I can’t believe it. How can that be, you know? It’s just…really nice.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

Mia: I don’t know. If I was influenced by writers - well, it didn’t happen consciously. I was an avid reader growing up. If I liked an author I’d want to read everything they’d written. They were mostly books that allowed me to embody the characters. I didn’t worship writers. Artists, fashion designers - yes and yes.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Mia: The minute I started writing Cinderella Club I knew it would be a published book. Because nothing else made sense. It felt right. I have a very strong work ethic and my belief in myself made this possible. I didn’t give up. I kept going back and reworking it, molding it as I would a painting or sculpture or dress design.

It might not amount to much. I don’t know what to except in sales. I don’t really know whether this plot-filled fantasy will appeal to anyone else. But based on the feedback and emails I’ve gotten for my short stories, I have to say that writing seems a lot more exciting to me than painting right now. I’ve corresponded with people all over the world. My book will be available all over the world - even India and the United Arab Emirates. It’s pretty incredible to think that people will have access to something I sat quietly alone in my room writing.

I’m writing a sequel, which means I want to stay ‘plunged’.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

Mia: I hope you’re not suggesting that I reveal anything of a sexual nature here. Because if I have tried anything kinky to see if it was feasible, I’d keep that private.

I use Google a lot. For example, I look up artists to confirm that my art history knowledge is accurate. I looked up the spelling of Mo√ęt & Chandon. Google is so convenient.

I also keep a fat old dictionary on my lap. When I first started writing I thought my vocabulary was probably not good enough, you know? Even though most people tell me I use a lot of ‘big words” when I speak. I spent a couple days, actually, looking through the dictionary and writing down words and their meanings to help improve my vocab. Is that crazy? I’m embarrassed to admit it.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with Paper or Plastic?

Mia: I’m probably going to sound like a wishy-washy goof-aroni here, but speaking as a true Gemini, my answer to a lot of these is both. Or neither. This is like a mind-field because I might hurt someone’s feelings, or worse, not pass the personality test. Yikes!

Okay, so I use both paper and plastic.

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Mia: Chicken. Steak’s great on occasion. I’ve only had tofu like four times.

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Mia: Neither and both. I don’t go to either as I am a high-maintenance stiletto-wearing city girl. I’m very active and wouldn’t mind a jog along the beach or a mountain hike once in a while.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Mia: Rock, definitely. I prefer alternative. I’m stuck in the early 90s musically. But classic rock from the late 60s & 70s – I like everything about the era, the hair, fashion…I’d time travel to hook up w/ young Mick Jagger in a NY minute.

JET: Classics or Modern?

Mia: Are you referring to literature here? Because in fashion, I love classics. In art, I love modern. Books? Pride and Predjudice. It might be set in the past, but it’s timeless.

JET: Vamps or Wolves?

Mia: As a cat lover of a cat who loves to bite, I’ll say vampires.

JET: Zombies or Demons?

Mia: Neither. I don’t get the attraction. Bring on the hate mail.

JET: Horror or Comedy?

Mia: Comedy.

My life is a comedy. I’m very lucky, but at the same time I just happen to see humor in everything. Sometimes I laugh at things that people think are inappropriate. For example - nope, I better not give you an example.

JET: Salty or Sweet?

Mia: Both. My favorite thing right now is honey on Saltines.

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Mia: Both. Coffee from the Keurig is very satisfying in the morning. Tea, Earl Gray, like Captain Jean-Luc Pickard. But only when I have a sore throat.

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

Mia: I’m 56,000 words into my sequel to Cinderella Club. It’s called Cinderella Thyme. It’s set in 1996 and the present. I just reworked chapter 5 and that took me an entire week!

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Mia Natasha and her work at the following places:

Thanks for stopping by and checking out what Mia's all about.
Next week I’ll be talking about how much a pain it is to lose your hard drive and the importance of backing up your PC.

See you then,



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