Driftwood Deeds: an erotic novella (Breaking in Waves Book 1)

Driftwood Deeds, looks like a great start to a wonderful series. How many books to you plan to have in the series?

Thank you so much. And thanks for having me here!
Driftwood Deeds is the first part of the Breaking in Waves series. It contains two more books (Trading Tides and Saltwater Skin) and I am not planning on adding any more, even if there are moments where I absolutely wish I could live in Iris and Paul’s heads for another installment.

What do you think makes a great story?

So many things. And not all stories need to contain everything to be great. For me personally, the one most important aspect are good characters, with intricate layers and a strong development arch. Characters that breathe off the page, with convincing dialogue and a way of thinking that resonates with the reader. A good plot is important too, but I find myself losing interest in it, if I’m not fully engaged with the characters.

What inspired you when writing Driftwood Deeds?

The first seed of Driftwood Deeds was a story I wrote when I was around 19. It was neither very long, nor very good, and not a single actual text passage made it into Driftwood Deeds, but it was the first time, I tried to unpack what felt like very bad and wrong desires, while at the same time making it all about the emotional pay-off, rather than mere kink. At the time, that story meant a lot to me in coming to an understanding and a sense of peace with myself.
That was the sprit I wanted to bring into Driftwood Deeds and the rest of the series. Parts of it are very personal, even if I made an effort to distinguish the actual kinks from my own and make them all Iris and Paul’s. But, the scenery of the dilapidated beach, for instance, is a place I visited with an ex-boyfriend, so some of the points of inspiration definitely have a personal dimension.

What are your ambitions for your writing career? Full time? Part time?

I currently have a full-time job, but I wrote Driftwood Deeds while I was unemployed – and so, de facto a full-time writer, even if I couldn’t pay the bills. Like most writers, I dream of being self-sufficient in this way, of devoting so much more time to my stories than I can now.
But I have also learned that it is good for me to work, both for a sense of accomplishment and security. For the moment, my goal is to bring my writing to a point where I might be able to reduce the hours at my day job and then take it from there.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I started writing when I was a kid. When we got our first computer as a family, I spent most of my time on it in a word processor. Then the internet came along, and I wrote a lot of fanfiction and spent time at other writing haunts.
But there was an actual decision to try this for real, not just as a fun pastime. I made friends with another writer, who remains one of my biggest inspirations to this day, and she showed me how to turn out entire books, rather than start and then stop, and start over in an endless cycle. At the time, I was trapped in a job I hated every day, and I didn’t quite know what else there was out there for me. Writing gave me hope that I could build something new for myself.
That was in 2012, I believe. The first book I wrote from start to finish was By the Light of the Moon, a fantasy romance book I am currently feeling very close to, as I am finishing up the third and last installment in that series.

When writing Driftwood Deeds did anything stand out as particularly challenging?

I think every book is challenging in its own way. For Driftwood Deeds, it was probably the raunchy parts. I feel like writing sex is a bit like I imagine filming porn to be, in the way that the end product has to read smooth and natural and fun, but the process is oddly difficult. Lots of stopping and starting, figuring out where hands and legs and lips are supposed to go, and how to make it descriptive and explicit without making it a crass and repetitive series of movements and reactions.

How did you come up with the story of Driftwood Deeds?

I’ll be the first to admit that Driftwood Deed is not very heavy on plot. I didn’t want it to be. It is a snap shot in the lives of two people and that was what intrigued me about writing it, to fill it with as much life and characterization as I could.
At the time, I struggled a little with the romance formula, this idea that I had to write almost an entire book before my couple could be together, when what I wanted to write about was the difficult and beautiful things that happen after two people establish an emotional connection. That’s why it became a series of novella-length snap-shots. In Driftwood Deeds, Iris and Paul get their first taste of each other and it leaves them wanting more. In Trading Tides, they overcome the distance between them – physically and emotionally – and in Saltwater Skin, they make a lasting commitment to each other.

What do you like to do when not writing?

I work as a translator and an editor in a media analysis company, so I follow the news a lot and think about our political and economic climate. I read a lot of fiction, go on bike rides or to the gym and spend time with people I care about, both online and off. Like many writers, I don’t consider my non-writing life to be terribly interesting. But, once I make a little more money than I do now, I would definitely love to travel more and experience more interesting places to put in my novels.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

They can come visit my website at www.lailablake.com, where I list all my publish works there and try to blog about my process and progress – as well as random ideas.
I’m also on TwitterFacebookGoodreads and Pinterest.