By A.C. James
Hi, everyone! I’m chatting today with Mallorie Griffin. If you like what you read, please investigate her books at Amazon.
A.C. James: Hello, Mallorie. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Mallorie Griffin: Well, I actually don’t really consider myself that much of a writer despite evidence to the contrary, simply because I only started seriously walking this particular path a little over a year ago. I’m more an artist than anything – I work on everything from fine and fantasy art under another name. I have a degree in fine arts, and had a job in the graphic design field for over seven years before moving on to this newest venture. I’m based in
California right now, and moving to Californiawas the catalyst for me to start taking my writing more seriously. I want to see if I can make it as an author, so to speak.
A.C. James: I wish I had your graphic design skills. I do my own covers for the short stories. It takes me forever to come up with something that I feel is of adequate quality. What genre do you generally write and what have you had published to-date? What do you think of eBooks?
Mallorie Griffin: My genre focus has shifted over the past few months—when I started I was writing what I like to call literary cheetos. They are short erotic stories, which are a lot of fun to read and digest but unfortunately don’t contain very much substance beyond that. I’ve now moved on to erotic romance and even tamer genres such as young adult and middle grade. I find these genres a lot more personally fulfilling because I can have things like plots! And character development! And story arcs!
As for eBooks, I love them, and I love Amazon for making them so widely available both to writers and readers. Without eBooks, I wouldn’t be making any money at all right now.
A.C. James: I love e-books also and have found that I read even more than I used to, if you can believe it. I’ve always had a thing for books. L.J. Smith got me through the dark days of adolescence. Erotica and erotic romance have always been really appealing to me as a reader. I suppose writers tend to write what we most love to read. Have you self-published? If so, what lead to you to become an indie author?
Mallorie Griffin: I am completely self-published. I do all of the writing, editing, and proof reading on my own and it can be quite a burden at times. But I greatly enjoy the freedom it gives me with my own work—I get to choose how everything’s done myself, from how my covers look to how I want things distributed.
A.C. James: Wow… I think I would be lost without a beta reader to help me proof read. But I understand what you’re saying. You don’t want to end up with a red door or an ugly shoe on your cover. It wouldn’t sell very many books. You’d be surprised at how many awkward book covers I’ve seen on traditionally published books. Do you have a favorite of your stories or characters?
Mallorie Griffin: I have a real soft spot for Christian from my Angel Among Wolves series—he gets a lot thrown at him in those two books, from having his first homosexual encounters to being kidnapped and he makes it through everything like a trooper. My other favorite character has got to be Jo, from an upcoming novel that I’ll hopefully be releasing in the next few weeks. She’s one tough cookie, a very take-charge kind of lady and that’s something I admire in a person so of course I like it in a character!
A.C. James: I love strong female protagonists. I can’t wait to read it when it comes out. You’ll have to email me when it’s released. I’d be happy to review it. Which authors did you read when you were younger and did they shape you as a writer?
Mallorie Griffin: I voraciously ate up every Mercedes Lackey and Piers Anthony book I could find. While I occasionally dipped into the literary pools of other authors like Terry Brooks and Lawrence Watt-Evans, I always found myself returning to those two. And you could definitely say Piers Anthony shaped some of my interests as a writer today—Firefly was a real eye-opener for me (it’s full of sex, and I was in middle school at the time)!
A.C. James: That’s one issue that I struggle with as a parent and a mother. Books have sex in them even more than they used to and being categorized as YA does not mean the content is filtered like it is with middle grade. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about this yet. But I suspect that I will be having some very candid conversations with my children when they get older. I’d rather give them a foundation before they begin to absorb the erroneous information guiding their peers. Do you manage to write every day, and do you plot your stories or just get an idea and run with it?
Mallorie Griffin: I try to write at least a thousand words a day, and there have been many days where I write five, six, or even seven. It depends on exactly how inspired I’m feeling with the story at the time. I tend to just start with an idea, a setting, a person, and then dump that person in a new situation. I am, as I believe Stephen King said it, a ‘seat of my pants’ writer. I don’t plot things out. I keep everything I want to happen in my head and sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t.
A.C. James: I’m a lot like you in that respect. I write the scenes as they come to me. Unfortunately, that calls for a lot of editing. I’ve been experimenting with outlining but I don’t think it works for me. Do you do a lot of editing or research?
Mallorie Griffin: I definitely do a fair amount of research, going so far as looking at real maps to figure out what roads my characters will use to get from point A to point B. I like my novels to have that element of realism to them, even if they’re a fantasy or sci-fi novel. For instance, in a young adult fantasy novel I’m working on right now, I already have city and country maps roughly drawn out—it really helps me visualize things. I also do quite a bit of editing. It took me about a month to edit my latest novel, which involves printing the entire thing out and slathering it with red ink, then putting the edits back in. I find I catch my errors much better that way.
A.C. James: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Mallorie Griffin: I enjoy both third and first person view and I find my works are split evenly among those two viewpoints. I have tried second person exactly one time in Turning Up the Heat, and while it was a fun experiment, I don’t think it’s one that I’ll be repeating any time soon.
A.C. James: I tend to write in first a lot especially when writing erotic urban fantasy but the books I like to read are definitely third person limited. What’s your favorite or least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Mallorie Griffin: My favorite aspect of my writing life is I get to set my own schedule. This is what I do full time at the moment. Oddly enough it’s also my least favorite aspect as well—forcing myself to stick to a schedule can be difficult at times, and when I don’t have a boss hanging around by my shoulder it can be very easy to waste the day away! The only thing that’s really surprised me is my own work ethic. Over the past year I’ve managed to stay quite productive.
A.C. James: That’s a big difference between traditional publishing and indie publishing. The only deadlines imposed are self-imposed but then again indies tend to do more volume. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Mallorie Griffin: I do participate in a critique group every other week and I find it helps me immensely. No author should ever try to write and publish in complete seclusion, and I really think my writing has improved quite a bit since joining this group a few months ago.
A.C. James: That’s what I love about blogging. I get to interact with so many people—those that read and those that write. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Mallorie Griffin: I have my own blog and twitter account, but frankly I don’t find twitter terribly helpful in the marketing department. Most authors I’ve spoken to say it’s pretty much an echo chamber of authors following other authors. I find the most valuable thing marketing-wise is to simply be prolific, and always have something new for my readers. I’m focusing on trying to have a new release every one or two months right now.
A.C. James: So you let your writing speak for itself. What are you working on at the moment or next?
Mallorie Griffin: Right now I’m just finishing up edits on one novel, Taken By the Wolf, starting edits on another novella, Must Love BBWs (and BDSM), and percolating some ideas for yet another novella.
A.C. James: Taken By the Wolf sounds right up my alley. I have a weakness for all things paranormal and urban fantasy but only if it’s erotic too. Tell us more about The Billionaire and the BBW and why it’s been such a big hit with your readers.
Mallorie Griffin: I think this particular set of novellas sells well because it’s a twist on the Billionaire sub-genre that not too many authors have done. There’s a lot of BBWs out there and they need loving too!
And where can we find out about you and your writing?
Mallorie Griffin: At my blog right here!
A.C. James: Thank you for interviewing today on my Paranormal Passion blog! Good luck with Taken By the Wolf and I look forward to having you back when it’s released. If you want to read more from Mallorie, Her Father, My Master: Mentor is FREE right now and will remain so through Father’s Day!
And if you haven’t entered my Father’s Day Giveaway, you should click HERE now for a chance to win:
30 Bundles of Four Erotica E-books:
Daddy’s Boss — Kelsey Charisma
Pounded by Daddy — Leena Darling
Daddy’s Dungeon Volume 1 — Michelle Fawkes
Daddy’s Dungeon Volume 2 — Michelle Fawkes
Two lucky winners can choose between one autographed copy of either: The Siren, The Angel, or The Prince by Tiffany Reisz. Winners choice! Be sure to stop by tomorrow—I’ll be talking with Tiffany about her upcoming release, The Mistress. You can pre-order The Mistress before its release on July 30th.