Emily Jane Trent writes contemporary erotic romance. As the author of the five-part Masquerade series, she promises readers “rich characters and engaging plots that will leave you wanting more.” Books in the series include Passion Unleashed, Passion Tempted, Passion Shattered, Passion Revealed and Passion Embraced. We recently had a chance to ask her about her interests and influences; here’s what she had to say.
Who are your favorite authors and/or influences?
Beth Kery writes erotic romance in a style that suits me. She understands what motivates her characters and her stories are rich because of it. Sylvia Day is the other romance author I admire. She’s written for many years and has a wide range of romance stories to offer. She writes a lot. She releases books frequently. She’s a real pro and I enjoy her writing.
Do you have a favorite quote about the writing process?
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot… reading is the creative center of a writer’s life… You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” —Stephen King
How does your geographic location influence your writing?
I live in the U.S., so I’m sure my style reflects the culture I grew up with. I write about places I have been and places I haven’t. I can do research to make that realistic. But I’m sure that the California girl in me comes through in my writing. And that’s a good thing. Writers should be who they are.
Has your past influenced your writing at all?
Definitely, my past gives me the wealth of understanding to draw from. What I’ve been through and my personal relationships have educated me about life and people. From that, I can create believable characters and entertain my readers with a story that has richness to it. That’s only achieved through living and tapping into one’s own experiences.
Pick your poison: what’s your favorite writing fuel?
Coffee and chocolate, gotta have it.
Do you have any special writing routines, exercises or superstitions when starting a new project?
I have to write in a block of time, non-stop. Once I get into the story, I’ve left the real world. I’m really living the story vicariously and letting the characters talk to me. Interruptions destroy the flow. I’m best in the mornings. So, I start early and work for 4-5 hours. Write first and do other activities like promotion later. Other activities don’t require the creative energy that writing does.
What are your hobbies, outside of writing?
Wine tasting, reading, cooking, fitness, movies and enjoying friends. All those activities go together. I drink wine with good food. I cook healthy, tasty food that supports my fitness. And enjoying friends is often having coffee together, sharing wine or cooking dinner for them. Movies and reading can be done while eating and drinking! It’s just one big, happy circle.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I’d do watercolor paintings. I’m an artist and that was my focus in college. My writing method is a lot like watercolor painting which is done by layering the paint colors. My stories are written broadly, start to finish. Then I go back and add more detail. I enrich characters, fill in scenes. But I have to have the whole story there first. It’s like the canvas that I can keep filling in until it’s done. The process feels like watercolor painting to me.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
I dream of going to Argentina. They have wine country I’d like to visit. The country looks beautiful and I’d like to try the relaxed lifestyle and the food. But only to visit.
As a self-published author, do you have any advice specifically for self-publishers?
Yes, my best advice is to outline the story and then write it start to finish. Write for yourself, which means: if you like what you’re writing you’re likely on track. Don’t be second guessing what your readers want during the actual writing. You already know what they like and that will come through naturally in your creation. Never edit, rewrite or think about selling the book during the writing. That will stop you in your tracks. Only write when you write. After it’s done, there will be plenty of time to edit and do all the other stuff. Don’t kill your creativity by correcting or criticizing your writing before it’s even done. Keep the two separate. Write, write, write, and only then review.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m writing a series of novellas. It’s my take on the virgin meets billionaire, but with a new twist and unique characters. It’s light BDSM and very romantic. I had planned a trilogy but the characters have developed so much, it looks like it will fill four novellas, maybe more.
I’ve also got a story called “Passion Ignited” in the new Vixotica erotica anthology, which is available via iTunes now.