Hi Everyone, I have some awesome news. I've got Maddie Taylor here on my blog with me today. We're going to chat about authorly stuff and tease you with a bit naughtiness from her newest Club Decadence book.
Maddie, you’re becoming one of the most successful authors I know. From past blog spots with you I know you sacrifice a lot of sleep to put your books out in a timely manner, but what else helps to keep you on track?
I really enjoy creating, so it’s not a chore. If an idea gets in my head, I can’t sleep until I get it into print so I might as well stay up instead of tossing and turning. The worst part for me is editing, but I have these two amazing betas who read while I take a break. They point out typos and plot holes that my tired eyes can’t see, and give me feedback about what they like or dislike and where they wanted to story to go as a reader. Very helpful and I love them for it. This takes a week or two depending on the length of the story. Then when it comes back to me, my eyes are fresh and I incorporate their recommendations into my story before it’s off to my publisher.
When it comes to edits, I firmly believe the author cannot edit their own work. The more eyes you can get to view your work prior to publication the better.
One of the funniest parts in Second Time Lucky is the chapter when Sean and Mara go shopping at Walmart. How did you do your research for this chapter?
Someone posted a picture of an aisle marker at Home Depot. I don’t have it anymore or I would share, but it listed things like rope, chain, tie-downs, hardware. I thought it was hysterical, but then I thought hey, a DIY (do it yourself) BDSM kit and the couple shopping for it would be awesome. I changed to Walmart and voila. I also googled kitchen items for BDSM and got some suggestions, others I have in my own kitchen. The banana bunker (<--click the link if your curious) popped up in an ad on FB.
I wonder about the things you have in your kitchen.. lol
A long time villain in the Club Decadence series finally gets his due in this book. How did you feel about killing one of your characters?
Ecstatic. It was a long time coming and well deserved, the pig! I will not miss him at all. I had the scene going one way, but one of my betas recommended a little twist ( ahem! ) which I used and made the scene so much better and gave me opportunities for humor in the scene as well.
☺- I know the scene your talking about, but won't spoil it for readers.
Most of us know how important covers that match our stories can be. How much time do you spend agonizing on just the right cover for your books?
The first four covers were all Blushing Book’s artist work. For books 4 and 5, and Master My Love, Decadence LA, I picked out the cover couple and did look through stock photos to find my idea of my lead couple come to life. The banner, fonts, colors were the cover artists on all of them, with a suggestion from me here and there. Club Decadence covers weren’t as challenging as a historical, finding a good old west couple and a Victorian in stock photos is definitely a chore, believe me.
What is your favorite part of writing a book. The beginning, the middle, or the end?
Hm, that’s tough. The beginning usually has back-story, laying out the history and his or hers emotional baggage can be challenging. The middle is usually the pair learning about each other and falling in love, usually there is some sort of trauma or action that pulls them apart or brings them together, uniting them in one goal. The end is the big finish, usually a huge climactic scene (not talking sex here, LOL) or a who done it moment, or a big fight scene, shooting or other dramatic action scene. All are fun to write, but I’d have to say, if I had to pick, the big ending, because if you know me, it’s always followed by make-up sex, a big love scene, or an exciting set up for things yet to come.
It’s natural for authors to feel stressed when their book first comes out on the e-markets. Will it do well? Are people seeing it? Is it searchable? Ect… What do you do to help calm your fears?
I have those feelings like the rest of us. I haven’t found anything to ease the angst yet. Suggestions anyone? I admit to stalking rankings. I also promote away, getting the word out there, but really, other than a lemon drop or too, you just have to let your work speak for itself and hope readers love it as much as you do.
Share with us your favorite excerpt from this book.
This is a scene from Sean and Mara’s past, when their relationship was new and living in Washington D.C. Upon the recommendation of Sean’s senior commanding officer, who we now know as Master Peter aka General Davis, they visit The Gilded Cage, DC’s most exclusive and sought out BDSM club.
An Excerpt from Second Time Lucky:
Telling herself to expect the unexpected, she clung to Sean’s hand like a lifeline as they passed through the doors of The Gilded Cage.
Inside, wasn’t quite like she’d read about online. (Yes, she’d done some research earlier while Sean was in the shower). The walls weren’t black and “dungeony” as was the norm, but a dark hunter green, trimmed in cream, much to her surprise. It was also well maintained, unlike the crumbling exterior, which was reassuring. Expecting to be fumbling around in the dark, she was pleased to find it well lit, not brilliantly bright but with numerous wall sconces giving off a warm glow. It was sufficient for viewing the many stations set up around the room and the carnal pursuits going at each one. There were dozens of couples and several trios, all engaged in kinky games while members, at least two dozen by her quick count, looked on as they played.
Baron began his tour by pointing out the equipment he’d mentioned earlier, he then moved on to the unique, including a bondage frame and Catherine’s wheel. The frame was little more than a metal square, but the huge wooden wheel had a multitude of straps and looked straight out of the Spanish Inquisition. In addition to binding a sub for play or punishment, Baron pointed out that both devices, as well as the intricate rigging system overhead could be used for suspension or inversion. He indicated a male sub hanging upside down in the far corner, his Mistress taking great delight in flaying his bare ass and exposed genitals with a strap. From the corner of her eye, she saw Sean unsuccessfully hide a wince.
Next came wooden stocks, a metal pillory and a whipping post. The post was centered in the middle of the room and currently in use by two men. A loud crack rent the air every time the top lashed the bottom with what Sean explained was a quirt. The three-foot long, braided whip had two thongs at the end called stingers, which were responsible for the loud noises coming from both the whip and the whippee. Mara eyed the bound man’s backside as he screamed with each crack of the lash, upon seeing only a light hue of pinkness with no visible welts or marks of any kind, she felt reassured that he wasn’t actually being tortured, and was more likely playing to the crowd. As she watched the odd-looking whip connect with the subs upside down cheeks once again, Mara worried that Sean knew more about all this than she thought.
They stopped at something called a queening chair where a restrained man was lying on his back, his face directly beneath the cut out seat upon which his Mistress sat. By the sounds of her appreciative groans, he was adeptly servicing her from below. With her bare pussy hovering over his face, no daylight separated them and it was obvious they were both enjoying themselves immensely by their unabashed moans. They were so engrossed in each other they seemed unmindful of their audience.
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From an early age, Mara Westbrook has led a troubled life. With no one to trust or rely on, she meets a breathtakingly handsome soldier on her ward at Walter Reed. He captures her eye and makes her yearn for things she never thought possible, not for a girl like her. Can she move beyond the traumatic secrets of her past and risk giving love a try?
Injured and in pain, the only light in Master Sergeant Sean O'Brien's dark days is his night nurse, his blonde haired, green eyed, deliciously curvy, modern day nightingale. Seeing her in those tight scrubs, tending to him and his fellow soldiers with her sweet, yet sexy smile eases the pain in his throbbing leg. Unfortunately, it shifts the ache about six inches higher. He sets out to make her his own, to earn her trust, her love and in the end her ultimate submission.
They come together beautifully with Sean teaching her the wicked and wonderful ways of a D/s lifestyle. Mara blossoms under his sensual domination and his firm but loving discipline, but her past won’t let her be. Relentlessly pursuing her and threatening her idyllic life with Sean. To protect what she holds dear, she does unspeakable things leading to more secrets, lies and betrayal. She runs as she always does.
When Mara unwittingly becomes the key witness to events that will finally bring down the Mendoza Cartel, Sean and the Rossi team step in to keep her safe. As her handler, Sean must protect her with his life and Mara must obey him in order to survive. Thrown together under impossible circumstances, Sean learns the awful truth of her past and realizes that despite it all, he still loves her. But can he forgive the lies? And will Mara be able to live under Sean’s stringent rules, learning to trust and submit fully to the only man she’s ever loved?
As threats against the Decadence Masters become fierce, answers are at long last revealed. Come visit old friends and as always watch desire ignite, love simmer, while kink and sex burn blazing hot in Club Decadence, the best damn BDSM club in the southwest.
Where is Club Decadence going from here, what can we expect next?
Of course, CD 6, Lil T’s story is in the works. It’s about 90% written and hopefully will be ready by early fall. Before that, to tide over hungry and demanding Decadence fans, I’m rolling out my newest venture, Decadence Nights. I will be a series of novellas with stories of secondary characters from the series that readers have requested to know more about. The first has already been accepted by my publisher, Blushing Books. I’m waiting for a release date now, but thinking sometime in early July. Entitled, Hooked, it features attorney Joseph Hooks who we meet in Second Time Lucky. I’m really excited about his story. It came to me in a writing frenzy and took over my life for a week. It was wonderful!
Do you think you’ll miss writing more of this series when it reaches its completion?
With Decadence LA and Decadence Nights, will it ever reach completion? The fun part are the glimpses of the Club Decadence Masters who will make cameo appearances, maybe not all 6, maybe just 1 or 2 at a time, but someone will have a role in them all. I love keeping up with old friends, don’t you?
What a wonderful idea. I can hear the CD fans cheering already.
Lastly, what do you find works the best for getting your book in the top rankings with Amazon shortly after release?
If I knew, I could retire and write full time at my leisure. I hear about Amazon’s algorithms which are a big secret, I guess. If someone figures it out they change it. So you could go nuts trying to figure it out.
I’ve been told by publishers that early reviews are important so an ARC or a beta reader review is crucial, and as a note to fans, if you like the book and want to see more of your favorite author’s books, REVIEW! It helps tremendously. I also think you have to have an eye-catching cover and, although some authors hate it, you have to promote. It takes 5-6 days for Amazon recommendations to populate, you know the “customers who bought this book also bought” and such, and longer if the sales are slow. So, you have to tell others that your book is out there or how the heck are they going to know?
Thanks for coming by today, Maddie, as always, it's so fun to have you on my blog. I know readers are going to love Second Time Lucky.