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Interview with Derek Musgrave
Apr 7, 2008

You are an extremely prolific writer it seems. When was your first erotic book published and what was that experience like?
 
Thanks for the compliment. I wished I were even more prolific. I have so many stories in my head to get out, I sometimes wonder if I'll have enough time to get through them all.
 
My first published ebook was Trail of Seduction in September 2003. I knew the release date was approaching for months, but until I actually saw it on the publisher's page, it didn't really sink in. I remember staring at the screen for several minutes. It didn't seem real. I kept thinking that I'd get an email saying it was all a mistake.
 
The rest of the day was a blur. I recall celebrating the release, but just barely.
 
 
 
You write Erotic fiction, which must always have a plot not just sex for sex sake. What comes first for you—character or plot and how do you go about developing them?
 
Character or plot…I can't say that for me it's one or the other. I can't write a story without both. For me, the reader has to care about my characters, even the ugly ones. If the reader doesn't connect with the characters, then the plot is useless.
 
I don't have a standard procedure for creating my stories. Some I've had to create a detailed outline, whereas others, I let the story unfold as I wrote it. The later method is the most frightening way for me to write, but can be hugely rewarding.  But even with the stories where I just write what comes out, I still have some preconceived idea of the end result.
 
 
 
Within the Erotic Romance broad categories there are many genres and subgenres, how would you classify your books —what categories do they fit in and why did you chose to write in those categories?
 
I have and continue to write in several different genres. I'm comfortable in everything from erotic romance, to mainstream crime thrillers. The key to me is the story itself. I don't go into a story with a predetermined genre. Telling the story as it needs to be told is what matters, the genre will be what it is.
 
I write because I have to. My muse won't let me stop. Even if I never sold another story, I'd still write. I just love it too much to imagine stopping.
 
 
 
How did you get started writing in the erotic genre? What intrigues you about writing these highly-charged, emotionally volatile types of books? What do you hope to give your readers when they read one of your books?
 
To begin with, I've been writing for as long as I can remember. What inspired me to try my hand at writing erotica was reading it. I've always been a reader and my brain is wired for crafting images in my head. I'm not all that visual. I often prefer to read a story as opposed to see a movie. For that reason, the step to writing erotic romance was obvious and simple. My goal is to create entertainment for readers that prefer their own imagination over the limited vision of the media.
 
 
 
I’ve visited your website and it's very subdued. Shades of gray and your visitors need to view your book covers one at a time. It’s an intriguing way to give each cover its own star billing, its own impact, if you will, on your readers. This is so different from most erotic writer’s presentation on their website. Is that what you had in mind when you designed your website? Tell us about the process you used to develop your web site.
 
Thanks! That's exactly what I was thinking with the layout of my website. I've been to hundreds of authors websites and often wanted to see more of each individual book. I decided early on that an excerpt was key, as well and a separate page for each book/story. The actual creation of the pages has been a long process. I've tweaked and modified the layout for the last several years and I feel as if I've finally achieved my internal vision.
 
 
 
How do you continually come up with a fresh plot, fresh loves scenes, fresh ideas for your books?
 
First, I have a highly active imagination. I believe everyone and everything has a story to tell. Watching people interact is one very fertile resource for my story ideas. As I mentioned earlier, I want the reader to care about the characters. So when I see people out and about, I often ask myself, "What's their story?" The answer I come up with, frequently becomes the basis for many of my stories.
 
 
 
Tell us a little about your latest book.
 
Most recently, I was part of the Phaze Fantasies VI collection released on March 3rd.
Blurb:
Six Phaze favorites guarantee to enthrall with this sizzling collection of erotic shorts.Featuring:
To Have and To Hold by Yvette Hines: Kelli Delaney spent the last year planning for the perfect wedding. What she didn't plan for was getting to the altar and not having a groom there waiting for her. Dumped and pissed, Kelli decides she's still going to have her honeymoon and eat her cake too. When she meets up with her college crush, Will Robertson she finds herself submitting to a passionate weekend she couldn't have arranged for in her wildest dreams.
Continuing Education by D. Musgrave: By day, Stephanie Barrett is a high school English Teacher. By night, she's the Grand Mistress of a dungeon club, without a submissive to call her own. When she spots Nicolas Adamson, back in town from college, she remembers the strong feelings she had for him, but never acted on. A plan forms in her mind, to lure him into her lair. Thus begins the realization of her longest held fantasy--to find a submissive of her own.
Sam the Man by Jude Mason: Sammy Nicholson was the epitome of what we all might think of as 'flaming' gay. Small, well dressed in outrageous clothing, he loved to shock and tease. But Sammy was much more. A part time hospice worker, he fell for a client's husband and after some soul searching, the man tumbled for him as well. When the wife finally passes away, guilt sets in. Can Sammy's special kind of love break down the barriers Greg has set up for himself?
Precious Things by Augusta Li: Yaoi/Fantasy/BDSM: Far in the future, civilization has collapsed and people have gathered in walled City-States for protection from the dangers lurking in the Wastelands outside. Leaf is content in his role as slave-boy to his beautiful and enigmatic Master, Leannan. But when an associate from Leannan's past arrives, the secure routine of Leannan and Leaf's life is disrupted, and Leaf must confront truths about his Master he'd rather not know. He must find the strength to do what he dreads most: act alone, without his Master's guidance.
Statues by Jessie Verino: Alexandria Darnoud values her privacy as much as her art collection. Her living art collection. Rumors run wild throughout New Orleans about her hedonistic, invitation only, parties. Dante is a report working undercover as one of her statues in order to break the story of his career.
Tough, take no prisoners Alexandria, has a secret she dares not even acknowledge to herself. She wants to surrender her hidden passion to a man who can take control, and Dante is her man of choice. But will Dante give up his story, his career, to keep Alexandria tied to his bed? iSUBmiT by N: A perfume might be bottled eroticism, but iSUBmiT is more. iSUBmiT is bottled darkness. And to learn how to sell the darkest of erotic promises Svetlana must first experience them. She must go to So-UnReal-Ism?
 
 
 
When you aren’t working on your next book, what other interests, hobbies, activities do you participate in?
 
I love reading for one. I think any author who doesn't read their contemporaries is at risk of missing out on any trends. When I need to get away from all things writing, I go outdoors. Whether it be fishing, hiking, or working in the yard, the fresh air seems to have a rejuvenating affect on my soul and spirit. If the weather is cooperative, I enjoy several indoor activities as well. One of my favorite hobbies is brewing beer. In fact, I've found that the whole process of crafting my homebrewed grog causes my creative energies to fire. So I keep a notepad within reach.
 
 
 
Of all the books you’ve written which was your favorite and why?
 
All my stories are like kids, or in my case my dogs. I can't pick one over another. Each story has a special meaning for me.
 
 
 
What does the future hold for you? Where do you see yourself and your career five even ten years from now?
 
Predicting the future. That's a tough one.
Currently, I have plans to write an epic erotic fantasy. It's a project that's been in the works for a couple of years and I'm hoping to take it to the pages soon. I've tentatively titled the series Portal of Eros. The first installment tells the story of Kreed. A young man who's a lost soul. He arrives in a world unknown to him through a portal in a book. Unbeknownst to him, he was summoned from his known realm to this other existence by a woman of great power—the Keeper of the Portal.
 
 
 
You are involved in several anthologies and you also co-authored a book with another writer. Can you tell us about that procedure —How do you decide what to write, who will write what — enlighten us about creating an anthology and also what made you write a book with a writing partner?
 
The largest co-author project I was involved in was 413 Remembrance Lane: Diary of a House. As a group of authors, we came together with an idea to compile a collection of stories all taking place in one house in the bayous near New Orleans. We all cussed and discussed the story ideas for several days until everyone had agreed on writing widely different stories from a large range of time periods. The only connecting links between the stories was the house and a diary. There were some trials and difficulties with writing such a large anthology—not only in length, but in scope. We stuck to it, worked out the barriers and came up with a great story that contained several short stories. Its result could not have been foretold.
 
 
 
Do you belong to any writers groups? Do you find that they help your writing, your career or both? How?
 
I belong to two writers groups. Phoenix Rising Authors (http://www.isleofphoenix.com/) and Authors Who Dare (http://authorswhodare.com/). Together, we all host a yahoo group called Infinite Possibilities (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Infinite_Possibilities/).
 
These groups of friends and colleagues have not only made it easier to get promotional news out, but we also trust each other and can be honest with critiques of each other's work.
 
Beyond those, I have my own yahoo group based around the news of my writing, The Portal of Eros (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/d_musgrave_newsletter/).
 
 
 
You hear all the time, write what you know…is this appropriate advice for a writer of erotic fiction? What advice would you give to new writers especially in the erotic genres?
 
 
I've always thought that was the big lie in writing—and not just in erotica.
Think about that statement. Do you think Stephen King has ever experienced any of the things he's written about? What about Tolkein or C.S. Lewis?
I think using your life experiences can and do help, but limiting yourself to only what you've experienced would be a bad idea.
 
For anyone wanting to get serious with writing, read your contemporaries. You have to see what is being written. But beyond that, write, take criticism, write some more, and never give up. It's also a good plan to find some writing help, either in a class, or with someone you trust.
 
 
 
Finally is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? Where can we find out more about you, your books and where are your books available to buy, Do you have a website, or blog our readers can visit?
 
I want to say thanks for the opportunity to talk about my writing. I love talking shop.
Other than the previous groups I mentioned above, I can be found at my website, http://www.dmusgrave.com
 
 
 
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Good luck with your books and your career.
 
Interviewed by: Billie at Manic Readers
 



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