Today's Darklight On is with Keziah Hill. Welcome, Keziah!
How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
I’ve always loved fantasy. Fairy tales, Greek myths and legends, Lord of the Rings, Gormenghast, Robin Hobb, Julliet Marrillier, Sara Douglass, Harry Potter, China Meiville, Game of Thrones, Jacquline Carey – they all take me away to another world where anything is possible.
Please tell us a little about your road to publication.
It’s a very minor road full of stops and starts. I got serious about writing in 2004 and was published by eXtasy and Cobblestone in 2006 plus a short story in a collection of print erotica. Writing for me is not easy. I’m one of those writers who struggle with perfectionism and self-doubt a lot, so I’m a slow writer. I had a range of challenging life events in the late noughties and did no writing, but came back to it in 2010-11. My fantasy novella Chains of Revenge was picked up by Escape in 2012
Your latest release Business for Pleasure is part of the Hot Down Under stories with Momentum. Can you tell us a little about it?
It’s more erotica than erotic romance. When it comes to same sex erotica I’m more inclined to write about lesbian and queer women rather than gay male sex. I wanted to write a ménage, so thought I’d write about two women and a man, but from the point of view of the main character Lottie. She’s an artist and a bit of a hippy and gets confused between business and pleasure with curators James and Magda.
You have gone down the road of self publishing. How did this come about? And what advice would you give authors who are thinking of self-publishing?
I got my rights back from eXtasy and Cobblestone and thought I’d have a go at self-publishing. Advice? Do your research first. Work out if it suites you as a business model. If you are going to publish a full length novel then treat yourself as a publisher and get it professionally edited. You will be responsible for all the work a publisher would do like editing, getting a good cover, promotion (not that publishers do much promotion now days). It’s a lot of work. Promotion is vital. I have made no money from self-publishing because I don’t promote enough. It’s also very important to produce work very often. Have a plan.
In my other persona of Deborah Tait, (http://www.deborahtait.com) I have a story in a collection of novellas called Moonlit Encounters. My story is call the Language of Flowers about a florist who’s really a witch. This collection is the result of my writers group, the Writers Coven, forming ourselves into a co-operative and publishing our work. It took us more than a year to organise. The formation of the co-operative was a mammoth task but well worth it. Moonlit Encounters is available in print and ebook from the usual suspects.
Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
In between. I make some initial notes and dive right in, then come to a stop after a few chapters and then do some serious planning. Not necessarily very efficient but it’s what I do.
Do have a favourite of your characters?
I have a weakness for Devadas in Chains of Revenge because he’s been so damaged and has to do a lot of healing.
What are you currently working on?
Two pieces of work. The sequel to Chains of Revenge called Chains of Desire and a light romantic suspense called the Laws of Passion. I wrote it ages ago and am doing a major rewrite.
What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
Finishing. The days when the words come easily are great, but I do like to finish.
What can we expect from Keziah Hill in the future?
Probably less erotica and more crime and romantic suspense. But I have a series about a coven that I’m really keen to write. The demon of perfection needs to let go of his grip.
Who are your favourite authors?
Hmm, many of the ones above plus people like Loretta Chase, Jenny Crusie, Irish crime writer Tana French, Lee Child, JD Robb, some old favourites like Charles Dickens, Tolstoy. Too many and not enough time to read them all.
What are you currently reading?
Rough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson. It’s an Australian crime novel which is both noir-ish and a bit chick-litty set in Melbourne.
Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
I’m a Walking Dead addict.
Do you have advice for emerging writers?
Don’t pay too much attention to the market and write what you want. Hone your craft. If you don’t enjoy it stop and work out why you want to write. Stay off Facebook. Watch how much time you spend in front of screens and make sure you exercise or at least go for a walk (I’m lecturing myself here). Take risks.
You can find Keziah at her website.
It’s a f/f/m menage.
For sculptor Lottie Williams, entering her sculpture, Triumvirate, in the Carve the Wind exhibition is the culmination of her career.
What she doesn’t count on is the incendiary lust between her and the curators, James and Magda. While she’s at first happy to play, she rapidly gets out of her depth when she confuses business with pleasure. Against the wild backdrop of the Pacific Ocean her work is displayed to great acclaim.
But all she wants, all she can think about is being back in the bed of the two people who have laid claim to her heart and soul.