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AS: How did you start your writing career?
SharitaL: Hi Amber, thanks for interviewing me. I’ve been writing since my late teens but only professionally since mid 2010. It all started with fan fiction and short erotica of free sites like Literotica and Every Night Erotica. Then, it just seemed to take off.
AS: Tell us about your favorite character from your books.
SharitaL: It changes daily but right now my favorite is the one I just wrote for Naughty Nights for Smooth Like Latte. The MC is Brendan Walsh and his potential lover is Davori Jenkins. He’s a not looking barista, a smooth talking artist who singes, cooks, and makes sweet love. *swoon*
AS: Tell us about your current release.
SharitaL: The current for NNP is my 3rd pseudonym’s first book, Time to Make the Donuts. It’s a m/m erotic interracial romance, part of the Something New on the Menu series. This one is a short novella about a donut shop owner who falls for a customer, however, Andre is no ordinary customer. *giggles* You’ll have to find out more when you read it.
AS: Tell us about your next release.
SharitaL: My next NNP release is Smooth Like Latte which is also Rawiya’s book to come out in April. Brendan Walsh is a lonely President who works for his dad’s company. He’s closeted and desperately wants to come out but afraid to because of his father’s reaction. However, while he visits a coffee shop in the building. He meets Latte, Davori Jenkins. Sparks Fly and… again you need to read it. I had so much fun writing that book.
AS: Who is your favorite author?
SharitaL: I’ve got so many but right now, I love anything by Sue Brow. I have many more of hers to read but I just love her style. All time? Anne Rice and I love Zane’s books. ;)
AS: When was your first sale?
SharitaL: My first sale was a short for STARbooks Press called the Wretched. It’s part of an m/m rock and roll series that needs finishing. Oddly it’s BL’s series but Michael Mandrake is the name I put it under.
AS: When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
SharitaL: I write when the house is asleep. I just started working part time though so no more late nights for me unless I don’t have to work the next day. Up to 2-3 hrs per day.
AS: What is the hardest part of writing your books?
SharitaL: Hands down the ending. I always wonder did I complete it and satisfy the characters. Even though I’ve started plotting more as opposed to panstering. I still have the fear that I didn’t fully finish the story.
AS: What does your family think of your writing career?
SharitaL: My husband is very supportive. He let me sit on my ass for almost two years to kick start it and watch our baby. He’s allowing me to work part time so I want get too overwhelmed. My brother and mom don’t get it, why I love writing erotica, less alone, m/m. My son knows as well as my nephew. The rest of my family have heard what I do but with them it’s no big deal.
AS: Does your significant other read your stuff?
SharitaL: He has occasionally. Most of my hetero stuff, he’ll read. Sometimes, he’ll pick up my m/m but it has to be a good reason why. *grins*
AS: Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
SharitaL: I have one fab beta reader now even though I’ve asked quite a few people to read my stuff. Julie Lynn Hayes is my beta, I’m proud to say, I adore her. She’s one of my fave authors and people in the genre.
Who are your books published with?
SharitaL: I’m contracted with seven companies. Six of which I write regularly for. XOXO Publishing, Sizzler Editions, Naughty Nights, Rebel Ink, No Boundaries Press, StarBooks Press, and Xcite books.
Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?
SharitaL: I have 3 names. BLMorticia is my original name. When I was a goth gal before kids and hubby, I visited a lot of clubs and went to tons of rock and metal shows. So BL, the wicked gal was born. Now she’s wicked and snarky. Michael Mandrake was second. I created him when I first started professionally. I thought I needed a male name to be taken seriously in the m/m genre. Obviously I was wrong about that but he won’t let me get rid of him so I guess we’re stuck together. And Rawiya who is the writer of my latest book was the last pseudo I came up with. Rawiya is supposed to do MF and Menage books. She’s stubborn and wants to do m/m too. *shrugs* My muses rule me!
AS: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
SharitaL: I’d like to say to all my fans, the little flock of people who follow me and buy my books, thanks so much. I really appreciate the lot of you, giving me the courage to keep going. Sometimes with such talent out there in the author world, you might want to give up but I have so many stories to tell and since I have a nice little audience that seems to grow and 3 muses who won’t allow me to quit, I’ll keep writing. Thanks for the opportunity to interview.
The Literary Triad - http://www.thelitriad.com/#!
Michael Mandrake – http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com/
BLMorticia - http://blrawiyaerotica.blogspot.com/
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Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/rawiyamikembl
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Here’s a sample from my novella, Time to Make the Donuts from Naughty Nights Press due out now at Amazon, All Romance, and Smashwords.
Andre, a customer, comes in and pays Christopher a visit. The two lock eyes and immediately connect on a personal level. The intensity of this deep, instant connection convinces Christopher to pursue a potential interest – to find out just what might happen between them – when Andre passes him his card and phone numbers. He wonders what the young man does for a living however, he’s so smitten by him, Chris doesn’t give it much further thought.
Little does the shop owner know, Andre actually works for his biggest competitor as a secret shopper and has been told to use any method necessary to find out the secrets of the shop. Andre is ordered to convince Christopher to sell his shop and become part of the national chain.
When Christopher finds out, he has a surprise for Andre and deals with him in a rather humorous way. Will he trust Andre once he finds out this fact? Will he give up his shop under the pressure the well-known franchise? Will this newly found romance beat the odds and move past this bump in the road to happiness for both Andre and Christopher?
With the song Manic Monday by the Bangles playing on the overhead, Jesse stood behind the cashier Wanda, getting orders for customers while Christopher finished putting the third batch of donuts in the oven. The owner always felt better when the store officially opened for business making him forget about the lack of sleep he got from the night prior or the fact he’d been in the restaurant since two a.m.
He pushed the double doors open as he came from the kitchen, watching the customers lining up in front of the register. They were ready to give their morning rush orders of coffee and donuts or bagels. Others who had time sat at the long laminate counter waiting for one of the waitresses to take their requests. Bigger groups of people or those who liked to take in the atmosphere sat in booths to sample the diner’s finest delicacies. Part of the charm of Christopher’s place was it catered to everyone in some form or fashion while offering great service. Something he knew that other place could provide.
While waving at a couple of regulars, Christopher started to help Jesse bag a few orders. Unlike most owners, he always chipped in to help on the front lines regardless if it were busy or not.
Jesse smacked him on the shoulder. “Yo dude, you look like you haven’t sleep in weeks.” The husky redheaded woman poured a cup of coffee for a lady in front of her.
“Well thanks,” he frowned. “I’m still being bombarded by calls from that place to get me to sell. They won’t quit. Don’t they get the message?”
“Apparently not. They been callin’ ya at home?”
“No on the cell and all because that one girl that used to work here got employed by them. They thought by doing that, they’d be able to pick up some secrets or learn something new about me, or the restaurant. Didn’t they know I brainwash my former workers,” he laughed.
“You wish. You just don’t share anything important which is smart, now me on the other hand,” She cocked an eyebrow. “I could be an asset to someone if they swayed me to leave.”
Christopher stopped immediately and glared at her. “You’d never.”
She drew up her lips. Within seconds she guffawed and smacked him on the back pretty hard. “Babe, no, never. I’m just messin’ wicha. I’d never leave your side. I told you the day Jayson died I’d help you run the place till we couldn’t do it anymore and I meant it. You know I’m a rebel at heart. I couldn’t go anywhere and work for “the man” and feel comfortable. I ain’t wearin’ no suit and tie for nobody.”
Christopher choked a little from the slap and let out a small sigh of relief. He didn’t know what he’d do without Jesse if she left. Good thing she always had such a good sense of humor and because he liked her as his second in command, he vowed never to piss her off if he could help it. Yes, they’d had run-ins a couple of times over various decisions but he knew most of the time the two of them would come to an agreement in the end.
“Well I’m glad about that.” He straightened his tie and shrugged his shoulders. “I need you here, Jess. No bones about that. Most days, I’m not sure what I’d do without your intellect.”
She blushed and chuckled. “Aw, Christopher, I swear if I didn’t like women and you didn’t like men we’d be a match made in heaven, right?”
A woman with a baby in front of them giggled and took her bag.
Christopher sighed, “Jesse, we really need to stop talkin’ about our personal business up here, huh?”
“Yes, duly noted boss man. Sooo…maybe we should go in the back so I can ask you about the dude I hooked you up with last week.” She nodded and turned to him.
“Um, nothin’ really to tell. I’m sorry Jesse, he’s just not what I’m looking for.”
The manager rolled her eyes. “Just what the hell are you searchin’ for in a man, Chris? You gotta lower your standards just a little don’t you? Ain’t no pretty boy with money and a squeaky clean disposition comin’ into your life any time soon.”
“That might be true but, well, he just didn’t do it for me. I liked that he’s self-sufficient, he’s pretty burly which I, erm, well, I’m not into overly muscular men. He doesn’t have to be a model but he does have to be easy on the eyes.” Christopher paused, “Didn’t I just say I didn’t want to talk about my business up here?” He cocked an eyebrow.
“Oh sorry, let’s go in the back a moment then. I gotta hear the rest of this. Wanda, you okay hon, since the rush is about done?”
The younger blond nodded, “Yep, I’ll call ya’ if I need ya.”
“Great.” Jesse gripped Christopher’s shoulder. “To the back then chief to get another batch ready then, huh?”
“Yep. We’ll be back, Wanda.” Christopher went through the doors and Jesse followed him. He really enjoyed when he and Jesse could work and talk at once. Made the day go by a lot faster. If only he had something other than his seemingly desperate romantic situations to converse about.
Something Fresh Served Hot
A gay contemporary comedy which features a Chicago homophobe by the name of Jimmy LaCosta who works at a diner called the Greasy Spoon on the Northside of Chicago near Boys Town. While working, Jimmy meets the incoming manager, Alex Seidling, a young British man who his present boss is hiring to take his place as he retires.
After the initial meeting in which Jimmy feels uncomfortable with Alex's stares, Jimmy cultivates a friendship with Alex which develops into something totally different than he himself expects. This shocks him and he tries to fight it but because of his growing feelings he decides to pursue it despite all of what he has been taught.
Will he do what his body wants? Will Alex accept his advances even though he will soon become Jimmy’s boss?
Later on in the day, I was making my way to the john when I noticed Alex sitting down in George’s office looking over some papers. I was on my way out of the place since my shift was over and my hot night with Zena was in the next hour.
When we exchanged glances, he waved his hand at me. “Jimmy, hey, can you step inside a moment, please?”
I exhaled before going into the small space and closed the door behind me. I had been in George’s office a little too many times for my taste so needless to say, when I went in I was a little nervous about talking to the new boss to be in here.
Still, I thought this to be the perfect time to let Mr. Seidling know my boat doesn’t float that way. Once I got in, I sat in the wooden chair in front of the desk.
“Hey, Jimmy. I was just looking over some things and it seems like you’re in need of a raise my friend. How could you just let George stiff you all these years?” Alex shook his head while still glancing at the large sheet of paper.
I cocked an eyebrow. He was definitely right about this observation.
Okay, maybe he ain’t so bad after all.
I ran my hand though my brown mane. “Well, I need the job and um…well, I make okay money, or…”
“No you don’t, Jimmy,” he interrupted. “At the last restaurant I managed, the top cook was making twenty-two bucks an hour. The owner felt it was necessary to pay him well because he kept the customers happy. Not to mention, he was quick, polite…”
I cut him off. “Wait, did you just say twenty-two dollars, an hour?”
Alex chuckled, “Yeah man. You’re only making fourteen. Dude, seriously, you’re getting robbed, yeah. I’ll make sure I let George know he should raise you up to at least eighteen effective immediately.”
My eyes bulged when he said that number. I was trying to keep my excitement in but I couldn’t help it. All the things I could do with making eighteen dollars an hour. A new car, a better apartment than the rat hole I was staying in, and damn, some better clothes. I may be a cook but I like to look good when I step out with the ladies.
“Gods Jimmy, I cannot believe George mimics the guy on that cartoon, what’s his name?” He looked up at the ceiling and snapped his fingers.
I laughed when I thought of my favorite show other than Sportscenter. “Spongebob and you’re talking about Krabs…he’s a tight wad.”
Alex giggled and placed the papers on the furniture in front of him. He locked his eyes with mine, making me a tad uncomfortable. “That show is hilarious.”
We shared a laugh and even though we seemed to be getting along great I had to remember why I was here.
Man, I did come in here to tell him something…oh yeah…
I nodded, “Yep, it’s full of laughs. Hey…um Alex…I was uh, noticing the eye you were giving me earlier.”
Alex raised an eyebrow and smirked. “Yeah?”
Suddenly, I froze. As much as I wanted to tell him to stop staring me down like a piece of meat, I thought twice about how to phrase it, especially since the guy told me that he’d be telling George to give me a four dollar raise. I sighed. “Um, yeah dude, was there a reason why you were looking at me like that?”
Alex smacked his lips together and rolled his eyes. “Oh Jimmy let’s not play games here. You know I was checkin’ you out and don’t tell me that you don’t go that way because I really don’t care that you do. Besides, it’s nothing wrong with looking. Just because I’m taking a gander at your tight fitting jeans to go along with the snug, black tee shirt that you have on, it doesn’t necessarily mean I want you.”
I leaned back in my chair and turned up my lip. “Oh yeah, then what would you call it?” I crossed my legs. I had to hear this.
“Well Jimmy consider this, when you look at a tasty dish that catches your eye on a menu does that mean you have to order it? And, in your terms, being the macho heterosexual that you are, do you go after every girl you see walking by? Maybe you do. Let’s just stick to the first example, yeah?”
This guy’s a card.
It was true what he was saying but then after he completed his sentence, I wondered why he didn’t want me. “Well damn, why don’t you find me attractive?”
“Oh Jimmy, I didn’t say that. I just don’t see why I should order you at this time. There are plenty of obvious reasons. The most important being that you’re so fucking manly it hurts. I can tell just by the way you walked in here that you’re trying way too hard to be a man.” Alex leaned back in his chair with a smug look on his face.
“What? That doesn’t make any sense.” I stuffed my hands in my pockets and looked at him sideways.
“Fuck Jimmy, when we were in the kitchen you weren’t wearing any mitts or using a towel to get hot buns out of the oven. Why? Because you think it might show you as weak. You’re probably one of those who watches sports shows, drinks beer, and puts your hand down your pants while scratching your balls with your legs wide open, just because you think that’s manly.” He put his hands up, signaling quotes. “Ugh, I know you’re your type, Jimmy LaCosta. The name fits you too, Italian American, yeah?”
What the fuck, why did he just read me like a book?