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Friday, February 8, 2013

Interview with Stephanie Draven

1. Tell us a 5 things about yourself that readers may not know about you. 

My great-grandmother was a flapper who passed down to me what she believed to be a glamorous Kolinsky mink stole with the little faces of the animals still on it. I enjoy silent films like, most recently, The Artist. When I think something is fantastic I say it’s the bee’s knees. I own an electric tea kettle, and when it comes to tea, I hate Darjeeling.

2. What does a typical writing day look for you? 

The publishing business is kind of screwy. It’s a lot of hurry up and wait. So one day I might be writing frantically to meet a deadline, in which case I roll out of bed, grab the laptop and don’t stop until it’s time to roll back in bed. But the next day my publisher may want me to work on writing up ad copy or go on a stock signing tour. So I keep trying to figure out what the typical day is like, but nothing I do ever seems typical! 

3. Tell us a little bit about It Stings so Sweet and why readers should check it out? 

This historical erotic romance is narrated by three different women from very different social classes who each experience a sexual awakening. It’s seductive, sassy, and scorchingly hot. But my mission is to write very smart books for very bad girls, so it’s about more than just sex. These days, you can’t swing a cat-o-nine-tails without hitting someone who has read Fifty Shades of Grey and wants to experiment but what was it like to have these urges in a time when there wasn’t a vocabulary or a community for it? I try to explore what it was like to come of age in a time when women had just won the right to vote and were trying to find themselves inside and outside the bedroom.

4. What kind of research did you have to do for It Stings so Sweet? 

In the author’s note for this book, I said that I spent more time researching word etymology than actually writing the stories and that wasn’t much of an exaggeration. Trying to make sure that the phrases I used were in circulation during the Jazz Age was enough to make me tear my hair out! 

5. What inspired you to write It Stings so Sweet in the 20s Era? 

The Twenties were a revolutionary time of women’s liberation, exploration, and sexual license. The women were glamorous but they were also strikingly modern in their outlooks and ambitions. Flappers were more like today’s woman than any generation since, so I couldn’t wait to write about them! 

6. What was the easiest and hardest scene to write in It Stings so Sweet? 

The easiest scene to write was the one where WWI Flying Ace and American Aviator, Leo Vanderberg, decides to blackmail a silent screen siren into going on a date with him. Leo is the kind of guy who knows what he wants, draws up a battle plan on how he’s going to get it, and doesn’t stop until he gets his girl. There’s nothing Clara can do to shake him, though she puts up a good fight. The hardest scene to write, hands-down, was an erotic encounter at a liquor-soaked party where society girl Nora Richardson begs her aggrieved husband to slap her in love play. Nora feels pain as pleasure and she’s desperate to get her husband to let out his inner animal, but I have a family history of domestic violence in my past and I was very worried about sending the wrong message. I couldn’t do away with the scene because it was essential for helping Nora and her husband to discover the boundaries of what they wanted to do together in bed, but I must have rewritten it a hundred times and I’m still not sure I got it right.

7. In your bio it says you live in Baltimore, MD, the question is are you a Baltimore Ravens fan and are you ready for the Superbowl? (Baltimore is where I was born so my father, aunts, uncles, and brother are going crazy over the Ravens going to the Superbowl...LOL...I plan on watching even though I am not a NFL fan and I know my family will constantly call me if I don't. LOL) 

I plead the Fifth!

8. Fun Question: If you could escape to anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? 

I’d love a time machine so that I could escape to the 1920s for a day to see what it was really like!

9. What is up next for Stephanie Draven? 

I recently had a great deal of fun writing a contemporary romantic comedy called IN BED WITH THE OPPOSITION, and I think I’ll be writing more along those lines. What do your readers want to see me write?

10. Anything specific you want to shout out to your readers? 

I’m sending my love out to all those very bad girls who love to read very smart books!
It Stings so Sweet
Publishing Date: 2/5/13
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre: Historical Erotic Romance

They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon. The Twenties were roaring and the women–young, open, rebellious, and willing–set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met… 

In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires. 

Society girl, Nora Richardson’s passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants to punish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband’s increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed. 

Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it’s men. And she’s known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart. 

Working class girl Sophie O’Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn’t fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced. 

One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible…
Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books. Stephanie has always been a storyteller. In elementary school, she channeled Scheherazade, weaving a series of stories to charm children into sitting with her each day at the lunch table. When she was a little older, Stephanie scared all the girls at her sleepovers with ghost stories. 

She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all! 

A longtime lover of ancient lore, Stephanie enjoys re-imagining myths for the modern age. She doesn’t believe that true love is ever simple or without struggle so her work tends to explore the sacred within the profane, the light under the loss and the virtue hidden in vice. She counts it amongst her greatest pleasures when, from her books, her readers learn something new about the world or about themselves.

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