did you get started writing?
Joey: I started writing
in the fifth grade. I was an avid reader; my mother taught me to
read long before I started school, so I was always reading books several
grades ahead. By the time I reached fifth grade, I was digesting
equal doses of romance and fantasy. For the former, I gobbled up
Harlequin-type series romances 1-2/week. For the latter, I delved
into Lloyd Alexander and C.S. Lewis books. Malory's King Arthur and
Howard Pyle's Robin Hood were also favorites. These stories were
so vivid and inspiring, and my friends and I created stories and characters
to act out along similar romantic and heroic plot lines. I loathed
public school with a passion bordering on physical illness, so it was easy
to slip into writing stories at my desk based on our playacting.
Stephen King implied in his book, On Writing, that writers don't really
know where their ideas come from or what inspires us to attempt to transcribe
them in a meaningful way. I can tell you the when and some of the
contributing factors of the "why", but the actual why is a bit elusive,
even to myself. I just have to write; I don't have much say in the
matter, until the Muse decides she's done with me.
SR: How long did you
write before you were published?
Joey: If dating from
fifth grade, and not counting news articles, editorials and short stories
for contests and the "kid section" of the paper, it would have been twenty
years, because I was first published and paid for my work right when I
turned thirty. Dating it from when I started seriously pursuing the
idea of a writing career, it was about seven years.
SR: You started out
in fantasy, right? How did you end up writing MAKE HER DREAMS COME TRUE?
Joey: Really just the
luck of timing. There was fertile ground in my imagination for both
fantasy and erotic/romance story lines to emerge. My work can vacillate
on the spectrum from pure fantasy to pure romance, and even though I can
categorize each piece of work as one genre or the other, sometimes it has
elements of both. It just happened that the plot for Make Her Dreams
Come True bloomed in my mind after I had harvested Guardian of the Continuum.
SR: What made you decide
to set MAKE HER DREAMS COME TRUE in a more realistic contemporary setting
dealing with real life questions rather than a fantasy setting?
Joey: I do not actually
have a great deal of control over my story ideas. Meg and Daniel
pretty much leaped into the forefront of my mind as fully fleshed out,
contemporary characters, and they brought the mall with them.
SR: MAKE HER DREAMS
COME TRUE provides the reader with an interesting perspective of dominance/submission
that is far from the traditional stereotype. What made you decide to make
d/s such an integral part of your story?
Joey: To me, the "traditional"
D/s stereotype is not very stereotypical. People think "whips and
chains", but the actual allure of D/s is far more emotional in nature,
having to do with issues of trust and control buried deep within us, beyond
the reach of "political correctness" and connecting to far less civilized
needs. To communicate it well to those who love the D/s sub-genre,
you do not need all those stereotypical trappings. A Dom issuing
a softly worded command with a stern, tender gaze is enough to make a submissive's
knees weak. Having read romance since elementary school, I know that
a great deal of the success of mainstream romance rests on the essence
of D/s relationships, and has done so for decades. The alpha male
"conquering" the heroine without breaking her spirit or losing sight of
who she is, is that essence. We don't recognize it as such because
so many think of D/s as "whips and chains".
SR: MAKE HER DREAMS
COME TRUE, while incredibly erotic, has very little actual sex. How difficult
was this as a writer, and what made you decide to focus more on the sensual
side of erotica?
Joey: For women, sex
is not about penetration. How often do we think, "Goodness, could
he just keep doing THAT for awhile longer?" (Don't raise hands here, we'll
protect the innocent.) Sex is far more about sensory stimulation
to women than consummation, though of course the consummation, after the
senses have been well and thoroughly stimulated, is the most satisfying
sexual experience of all. MHDCT focused on the sensory input, and
only brought the sex into it when our heroine was writhing and begging
for it with every nerve of her body (and hopefully the reader as well!).
SR: Could you tell us
a bit about MAKE HER DREAMS COME TRUE?
The central character of the book is Meg, who has been through a painful
divorce, that resulted in a nervous breakdown for her. Her husband's
gentle but relentless decision to leave her undermined many preconceived
notions she had about herself and relationships. She is doubting
herself as a woman and a person, and she feels unlovable, unworthy of love,
and cast adrift. She is attempting to shop for a card in a mall,
when her eye gets caught by a dress in a window. The dress entrances
her at the same time it makes her hurt, because she wants to be like
that dress again; shimmering, magical, flowing. Daniel comes up behind
her, a stranger to her, and convinces her to try it on. After she
tries it on, he is able to talk her into submitting to his will for the
remainder of the day, within the safe confines of the mall. He takes
her from place to place, reintroducing her to her own sensuality.
This includes a visit to an exclusive styling salon, a shoe fitting, an
erotic interlude with ice cream, and an unforgettable confrontation between
them in a back storeroom where he gets her to face her fears, before he
turns the tables and lets her be "Master" over him for awhile. The
book was offered by Dreams Unlimited until they shut down earlier this
year, and so it is now offered for purchase on my site (www.storywitch.com)
or through Bookaholics (www.bookaholics.com)
until its transition to LTDBooks is complete (www.ltdbooks.com).
SR: Could you tell us
a bit about your other fantasy stories?
Joey: GUARDIAN OF THE
CONTINUUM is epic/contemporary fantasy, and currently offered at Atlantic
Bridge Publishing (www.atlanticbridge.net).
The book centers around the spiritual leader from another world, Adam,
who is posing as a student at a Virginia college in order to find two missing
priestesses. In the course of his investigation, he discovers their disappearance
is linked to a plan to destroy Earth, cutting it off from the Continuum,
which is the source of magic and spirituality. Characterization to
me, as a reader and a writer, is the most important part of a story, and
this book brims with it. Adam was an incredible character to write,
struggling between his birthright as spiritual leader of Aegis and his
firm determination to define himself. He enlists the aid of his roommate,
Rob, who is the son of a Georgia senator and a computer hacker, who introduces
Adam to the concept of friendship. Adam also develops a bond with
Correen, a reclusive student at the school with healing powers so potent
they will figure into whether or not the trio is successful in saving Earth.
SR: What are you working
on at the moment?
Joey: I'm working on
several projects. The one on the front burner is the sequel to Guardian
of the Continuum, called Legacy of the Raven. It is set in the Golden
Age of Piracy, the late sixteen hundreds, and throughout the course of
the story, elements of fantasy intertwine with history and bring the main
characters in contact with the characters of Guardian of the Continuum.
That book is written and is currently going through the editing phase before
being marketed. The project that will receive attention after that
is another women's erotica called Holding the Cards. The first draft
has been written and it just needs to be put into the computer and cleaned
up. It is another D/s erotica, but in this one it is the woman who
takes the upper hand (or seems to - the joy of D/s - there is actually
often a question as to who is in control of WHOM). Her friend has
offered her lodging in her guest home on a secluded island that is a haven
for a small handful of artists. The island is deserted this time
of year except for the shy caretaker, Josh, and his more outgoing and urbane
visiting friend, Marcus. Marcus facilitates the action between Josh and
Lauren. Before long, Lauren is learning what it means to have a gorgeous
and enigmatic man willing to do her bidding. I also have a handful
of short stories, some romance, some fantasy, which I continue to market
and enter into contests. I tend to write longer short stories (10,000-15,000
words), so their marketing potential is limited, but I enjoy writing them.
SR: In the future, do
you plan to continue writing both fantasy and erotica? Could you possibly
give us a glimpse of what readers might expect from you in future years?
Joey: I hope so, as
long as I enjoy writing them as much as I do now. Guardian of the Continuum
will have five books in the series, and so that will certainly lay out
my writing schedule for the next few years, but I expect, like Make Her
Dreams Come True and Holding the Cards, other story lines will present
themselves to provide "breaks" between the fantasy story lines. I
think fantasy could be likened to my "meals", whereas the erotica and romance
are the wine I sip between courses to cleanse the palate, so I fully expect
to continue producing both.
SR: Finally, is there
anything else that you'd like to add?
Joey: MAKE HER DREAMS
COME TRUE and GUARDIAN OF THE CONTINUUM are currently available in electronic
format. While I continue to seek a print market to enable wider distribution
of the books, it is my fervent hope that electronic publishing and handheld
readers will catch on to the extent we can save a few hundred million trees