Friday, March 8, 2013

#Interview - Erotica author, Jessa Callaver

Okay readers! I have a special treat for you today and it's a tad on the naughty side. My friend, the very talented author Jessa Callaver, has agreed to come and visit with me and also let us know about her new erotica title, In Gods' Hands, which is available as a stand-alone title or available in an anthology, Naughty Gras: Tales of Fat Tuesday.  Let's check out the covers and blurbs before we get on to the interview!

Naughty Gras: Tales of Fat Tuesday
You might’ve been to Mardi Gras, but baby, you’ve never seen a party like this! In NAUGHTY GRAS, four scorching hot stories come together to take you behind the scenes of the spiciest Tuesday of the year!

Hang out in the Big Easy with a super sexy helping of DIRTY RICE, and after you gobble that up, head on down to Rio for a romantic RENDEZVOUS. Who knows, you might meet your destiny. Want something a little more “spiritual” in nature? Well it’s Bacchanal Time in Viareggio, Italy, too. You’ll be in great hands IN GODS' HANDS. Eat and drink your fill, just be sure to save room for dessert, ‘cause it ain’t a Gras without King cake, and THE SINNER’S SLICE has your name on it.

So come get naughty tonight.
You can always repent in the morning…

In Gods' Hands: 

Masks, mischief, all-night partying? It's Carnival in Italy...and who gives a f**k! Certainly not Cassie Tracy. The girl who's never met a low-life she didn't like. Turned out onto the streets in the wake of her cheating boyfriend's latest indiscretion, she goes looking to drown her sorrows. And encounters...a most divine intervention. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, Jessa was the author of one of the first erotica stories I'd read when I critiqued The Very Thought of Him (Available on Amazon) at and I later read through it right before she published. It was a hot story that I thoroughly enjoyed! I'm glad Jessa has finally made it to my blog. 

So, tell us about your new release, Jessa.

"Naughty Gras: Tales of Fat Tuesday" is an anthology. A collection of erotic short stories featuring myself and three other authors all centering around the theme of Carnival and Bacchanalia. My piece is entitled "In Gods' Hands," and looks at a night in life of Cassie Tracy, an American living in Italy, who accidentally happens upon two men during 'Carnevale.' Fleeing her home and a cheating and abusive boyfriend she chooses to take up with Troy, one of the men, for the evening, and finds herself in over her head. An author friend once said I was becoming the 'queen of unexpected endings' and I'm hoping the reader will enjoy a similarly surprising end with this new release.

It's the first time I'm teaming up with other writers to release an e-book and it's been such an enjoyable creative experience. Would love to do it again some day.

Sounds great! I'm excited to read it. Tell us all a little bit about yourself. 

Well, I grew up on the northeast United States. I was an only child, meaning I had lots of time to get lost in books and I've basically never looked back. Fiction writing was something I really fell into. For years I had teachers, friends and family members who would read my primarily academic papers and ask if I'd ever considered becoming a writer. My 'thing' had always been academia - social justice, the law, politics - the exact opposite end of the humanities discipline. And I resisted the pull for years. Only after a discussion with an adviser of mine during my last year in graduate school, did I begin to reconsider my decision, and ultimately to believe in my talent enough to focus on writing as more than just a pastime or for the sake of a grade.

Well, I'm certainly glad you did. It'd be a shame to let that talent go to waste. Okay, why don't you state a random fact about yourself that would surprise your readers. 

I have two master's degrees, neither of which are in creative writing or English literature. 

Sounds like you've been very busy! Each author has their own styles and rituals. Do you write at a laptop/desk or do you write freehand?

I'm computer addicted, so I write on my netbook. Helps that my penmanship isn't the greatest after years of typing.

I have atrocious penmanship myself. I LOVE my laptop! In your experience, what's the hardest part of writing a book?

For me, molding the language and keeping your reader pulled in and wanting to know what happens next. At times, it's way too easy to just write a simple tale of A to B, B to C, particularly as a new writer. But I came to realize that I'd no more want to read that than have that be my readers' impressions of my writing and storytelling. Clear and engaging writing, it's my challenge and continued goal lol :-)

I think that's a good goal for every writer! What made you decide to choose the erotica genre to write in?

Writing in this genre was not all a purposeful step. Nor was writing fiction all. The honest story is I was seeing someone long distance and he and I used to exchange stories. It was just something that sprang out of our desire for each other and that sort of helped both of us deal with the distance, I feel. I'd also begun, also quite unexpectedly, to really get into romance e-books. A genre I'd had no interest in up until that time. Anyway, between the two, I became inspired. "Family Care," my first novelette and my very first work of fiction, sprang from this font.

Awww! That's actually really sweet. I can imagine how you would get to the erotic writings quite quickly ;-) So, do you do any research before starting or during the writing of your books?

I do a lot of research for my books actually. And for that very reason it irks me that writers of the romance or romantica genre are treated as if what we write is so very easy and that, of compared to other genres, takes minimal effort. I know how much research I put into even the short stories I've written. So when I think of the novelists and authors' being so cavalierly dismissed and all the hard work that goes into just a single sentence. It can be a little frustrating. You often hear how frustrated fans of A Game of Thrones, readers and watchers, are because George R.R. Martin takes his time in writing his books. The natural intricacies of screenwriting and filming delays aside, writing a book, writing a story, even if a not so great one, is a laborious enterprise. I think people often take all the work that goes into creating for granted because it's often invisible. Internal, done behind closed doors. It's a bear. The brain is a muscle like any other, and it gets any other. Believe me lol

Oh, yes! I totally hear you on that. Easy writing is not 'easy.' It's definitely a labor of love! Speaking of writing and other writers, what is the one book you think everyone should read? 

"Dangerous Liaisons" by Chloderlos de Laclos. And I recommend it for readers, authors, writers and book fans of every genre. It's such a lush and brilliant work of fiction from start to finish.

I've always been a lover of language, the ability to turn a pen a thought, verbally paint an image, that echoes in the reader's mind long after they've put the book down. And though written in letters, the story is never lost, the conversations between the characters offer humor, sadness, wisdom, irony, love, hate, artifice, deception, honor, weaving the deeper and superficial, all of these themes with such ease. Just a joy to read. For me, in a way, the story itself is merely the icing, the language the cake.

Some stories just seem to stay with you forever, don't they? Let's talk about your readers. How important do you find communication between you and your readers? Do you replly to their messages or read their reviews? 

I don't receive a lot of mail directly from readers - though I would gladly welcome it - so most communication comes in the form of reviews. That said, I absolutely look for my readers and read their reviews. It's in part why I like to list my e-mail address in my Author Bio. I know we creative souls can be a bit of a fragile bunch, but these assessments of our work are part of the process. Reviews and others' opinions keep you honest, keep you grounded, inspired, growing, thinking about your work and your craft at all times. They are the pulse. Don't get me wrong I'm never ecstatic to hear a negative opinion of my work. We all have feelings of course and at times I don't think everyone realizes how much time goes into creating even a not so great story. But Glowing or scathing, a constructive review is a real gift.

What's the last book you've read? 

An unpublished work of fiction written by a writer friend of mine, "Longbranch." Gives the reader a cross-section of the MC's (Shawn's) life from age four and the accidental death of his father at his mother's hand...moving out of his aunt's home and into the arms of a 'working girl' at age 15 and then into his becoming a 'working guy' himself. Kind of takes you through the sounds, sights and secrets of the seedy world he inhabits through the innocent eyes of this teenage boy; has this really charming almost child-like narrative despite the unpleasantness he encounters. A wonderful piece and one I'm still egging him on to have published.

What projects are your currently working on right now? Would you mind sharing them with us?

Absolutely. I'm currently at work on about three different projects. These are the working titles:

I'm finishing up a draft of Working It Out, a contemporary romance novella, that should be out this year.

There's Her Fair Share, a paranormal romance novel, still a work in progress and what should be my first published novel.

And Maid to Service, also a contemporary romantica novel. Release date TBD. 

You're a busy lady! Having had the pleasure of reading an earlier version of Working It Out, I'm anxious for this one to be released too! Thanks so much for being here today! It's great to get to know more about you. Happy writing! 

Do you want to connect with Jessa? You can find her here:

Facebook: (main page):
(author page):


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