Charlotte Howard has teamed up with Goddess Fish Promotions to celebrate the release of her book The Black Door. As part of her tour, Charlotte will be giving away an eBook of The Black Door, a signed print copy of Seven Dirty Words with a bookmark, and a $10 Amazon gift card (£10 Amazon gift card if UK winner) to a randomly drawn winner. See the bottom of this post for more information.
Now enjoy this interview with Charlotte:
Tell us about your journey to publication.
I wrote my first full-length piece of fiction in 2010 – it was a murder mystery / romance with lots of sex in it. I sent it off to agents and got rejection after rejection. But I didn’t let it get me down, I kept writing. At the time I was working as a freelance writer for a website, through which I made quite a few contacts including Robin Tidwell. Over the years I kept writing, and eventually (after reading a certain trilogy) I decided to drop the murder mystery part and just write romance. Seven Dirty Words was the first part to a duet, and Robin had by then opened her publishing house, Rocking Horse Publishing. I sent it off, and was delighted when she accepted it. Seven Dirty Words was published in January 2013 followed by Four Letter Words in January 2014. Through marketing the book, I came across an event called the Festival of Romance, so along with my mum (for backup) I went to Bedford in November 2013. The event itself wasn’t a great success for me – I took a lot away, but only sold 2 books. However, I was sharing a table with Lucy Felthouse, and we got chatting. It was through Lucy that I discovered Tirgearr Publishing, and so decided to try my luck at sending them my next novel. I was lucky enough that they decided it was good enough to take on – The Black Door was released in July 2014.
Throughout my journey I have discovered that networking is key to being published. It is easier to get a contract when you have made connections within the industry and would suggest to anyone who is writing a book to get out there and start visiting literary festivals. I think I am proof that it’s not what you know, but who you know!
What is your favorite indulgence (i.e. food, spa treatment, etc.)?
Ooh that’s tricky. There’s a lot of things that I like to indulge in! Cake being one of them. I never say no to cake. But, I do love a good curry with an action or thriller movie. However, if I really want to indulge myself, particularly after a long week and a good payday, I love shoe shopping. I’m not great at shopping generally – being 5 foot and half an inch (that half inch is very important) with a tiny waist and big boobs, it’s nigh on impossible to find clothes that fit me properly. But shoes, I love, and it’s something I’m slowly passing onto my 7 year old daughter. We love our girly days – me, my sister, and my daughter, Starbucks, and lots of clothes and shoe shops. Even if it’s a pair that I’ll never wear, if they’re pretty with great big 6-inch heels, I’m having them.
When you read romance/romantic fiction, what do you look for in order to consider it a good book?
The characters have to be realistic. I love a strong Alpha male and a feisty woman, but with natural flaws – whether it’s a bad temper, a hideous scar, a scary past – it’s what makes them more human. The storyline has to be strong as well. I don’t like books where it’s all about the sex. Sex is good, don’t get me wrong, I love a hot sex scene, but it shouldn’t detract from the story, it should be a natural part of the plot. If I’ve got to the end of a chapter and debating whether to put it down or whether to stay up all night reading, then it’s good as far as I’m concerned!
What do you like most about your heroine in The Black Door, Imogen?
She’s real. She’s a single mum, fast approaching forty, with all the lumps, bumps, and saggy bits that go with it. She’s struggling to make ends meet, but determined to be independent, and she gives as good as she gets. But she’s sexy too. I created Imogen because I wanted women (and men) to understand that just because you’re a mum doesn’t mean you’re any less of a woman. Oh, and that there is no “wrong side of the thirty” – the older we get, the more experience we have, and I will take experience over youth any day.
What’s next for you?
Well, my first short story (City Nights: One Night in Edinburgh) is due out in November, and I’ve just submitted my next standalone full-length novel, so I am taking a bit of a break now. I’m trying to write a series – I have two ideas in my head, but struggling to get them down on paper at the moment. Hopefully after I’ve caught up with NCIS: Los Angeles though, I will be glued to my laptop and writing the next best-selling erotic romance! (Hey, a girl can dream!)
Imogen Pearce is a single mum of four children and fast approaching 40, she works at Ryedale Incorporated where she has to battle a younger and smarter generation to get to where she wants to go. If that means taking on the account of Cherry and Sean Rubin’s adult shop, then she will. But what happens when Imogen discovers the private club that they run at the back? And what happens when she realizes she knows quite a few members?
We sat down on a pair of large leather sofas and prepared to play our usual game of ‘who says what’. I looked around and spied a young woman with a laptop open, and a tall, skinny, something hot by her arm. The woman was in her late twenties, perhaps early thirties, with pale skin, dark hair that had been let loose around her shoulders, and a slick of crimson lipstick.
“She’s a writer,” I said, leaning close to Caroline so that nobody could overhear. “She’s writing a hot, steamy, romance where the two main characters are having a clandestine affair, and it’s all based on her life.”
Caroline tried to hide her giggle by taking a sip of her drink before hunting out a new victim.
“Okay, him,” Caroline said, pointing towards a man standing at the counter. “He works in a bank, but is trying to remain discreet and blend in with us common folk, not give away his fabulously wealthy background. He’s having an affair with a married man, and secretly likes to wax his legs.”
The man turned around. “Oh no,” I said, adding a few choice curses under my breath.
“What’s the matter?” Caroline asked, watching as I tried to shrink into the sofa and blend with my surroundings.
“That’s my boss,” I whispered.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
British author Charlotte Howard, was born in Oman and spent much of the first part of her life flitting between Oman, Scotland, and England. Now settled in Somerset, Charlotte lives with her husband, two children, and growing menagerie of pets.
Her career as a writer began at an early age, with a poem being featured in an anthology for the East Midlands. Since then Charlotte has written many short stories and poems, and finally wrote her first full-length piece of fiction in 2010.
During what little spare time she has, Charlotte enjoys reading and writing (of course), spending time with her family, and watching action movies whilst eating curry and drinking tea.
Charlotte is an active member of Yeovil Creative Writers.
Social Media / Website links:
Charlotte will be awarding an eBook of The Black Door, a signed print copy of Seven Dirty Words with a bookmark, and a $10 Amazon gift card (£10 Amazon gift card if UK winner) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Follow this link to enter in the drawing: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure you follow the tour and leave comments at each stop. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found on the Goddess Fish website: