Monday, April 25, 2011

Author Interview - CJ Black - Erotic/Fantasy Author

CJ Black - m/m Fantasy/Erotic Author

Contest winner:  E. Jaimie
(Winner's choice from CJ's back list!)

       Thank you for joining us this week and we hope you enjoy hanging around. If you love m/m erotic and fantasy, you're in for a treat from the wonderful CJ Black. Come in, grab a drink and have a seat with us before the warm fire!

Tonya:  CJ, welcome to my blog. My readers are anxious to learn what makes you tick! Tell us a bit about yourself.

CJ:   I write erotic and fantasy fiction, usually male/male.  I’m actually pretty new to the genre.  Now don’t get me wrong, I wrote my first book at the tender age of five and started seeking publication at fourteen.  I started writing mysteries and then fantasy which I found I enjoyed much better. My actual introduction into erotic fiction came when I discovered yaoi, which was quite by accident.  A friend of mine gave me a DVD with some anime movies he’d burned onto it.  He didn’t tell me at the time that one of the movies was the Fake Ova.  Fake being a set of 7 yaoi manga written by Sanami Matoh.  I highly recommend them.  I was hooked from then on.  I didn’t however write my first erotic story until I saw an ad for a contest where the first prize was $2000.  I didn’t win but the publisher bought my story anyway.  That was inspiration enough.
      As to non-writing things, I’m an avid video-gamer, gardener and an amateur chef.  I do the nine to five thing.  I’m somewhat of a homebody.  I worked very hard to buy my house and love spending time in it.  It’s a haven away from all things noisy.  Dorothy was right, after all.

Tonya:  Congratulations for entering the contest! That's a great way to get your feet wet. Some of us have things we do to get into the writing frame of mind like music, or drinks. Do you have anything special you do to get into the writing mood?

CJ:   Well something I recently started doing was going to Borders and taking my netbook with me.  Then I get an Ultimate Toffee Mocha, find myself a quiet spot and its surprising how much I get done.  I’ve always wanted to do something like that.  It was a small thing and many people do it everyday but for me, it was a special little something that I’ve come to enjoy doing.  When I can’t get out, I usually have some music or streaming video in the background depending on what I’m writing.  If I’m writing fantasy, I’ll have something New Age on or I’ll put on a fantasy anime program.

Tonya:  Is it easy for you to push the envelope when writing?

CJ:   At times, yes.  I sometimes get into these “zones” where I write straight through a scene without stopping.   I’ve heard a term for it, deep play.  I like to go as far as I can with the characters and the situations I place them in.  I’ve often thought, the more I put my characters through, the more I love them.

Tonya:  I love it when I'm so into writing that it just flows! Do you have a card file where you keep story ideas? Where do they come from?

CJ:   Not a card file but a Word file.  And that’s the age old question isn’t it?  They come from all over the place.  Sometimes from places and people I encounter everyday.  Sometimes from incidents in my life.  At times, it can be from something as simple as a word, sound that I hear or picture that I see.  And at times, from actual dreams.  That’s right, I’ve gotten some good ideas from my dreams.  A friend of mine calls it dream-storming.

Tonya:  I can't say that I dream about my books; that just doesn't happen for me. Tell us about a day in your life as a writer.

CJ:   Well my writing days never just go all the way through like a work day.  Although I wish it were like that, it can be very sporadic.  Back in the day, I used to get up early before work and write for an hour, then when I came home I would write from six to ten then treat myself by surfing the net.  There have been many changes in my life both writing and personal that sometimes makes it hard for me to sit down and write at all.  Sometimes, as previously mentioned, getting out of the house helps or sitting out in my garden. 

Tonya:  Are you a daytime writer, night time writer, and do you have to be alone to write?

CJ:   I write early morning and late evening usually.  I do the day job thing but at one point I had two jobs.  It was difficult to find time then.  Now I went back to one and work in the afternoon.  I’m usually too anxious about getting to work in the morning but I try to write for a few hours then and since I’m too keyed when I come home in the evening to sleep right away so I write.  Most writing however is reserved for my weekend.

Tonya:  When we have a day job, most of us have to use our weekends to write. Do you have critique partners or ever been in a critique group? What was the best thing you learned from a critique?

CJ:   I don’t have a steady critique partner but I’m not averse to finding one.  I have a friend who reads over my work when he has the time but he’s an artist/writer himself and has to concentrate on his own work.  But he’s very honest which I always appreciate, although I like to mess with him about it. J  I have tried critique groups in the past and one of them was very helpful in getting a novel I was writing edited.  The best thing I learned?  Develop your own style of writing and don’t listen when someone tells you to “copy the style of the latest successful author”.

Tonya:  Oh, for sure. Find your own style and improve on that. Do you write better when you first have an idea of what your characters look like or do you write, then add character looks?

CJ:   Actually, it goes both ways.  Sometimes I’ll see a guy on the street and I’ll think, ‘ok, he’s going into a story’.  Other times, I may see or hear a name and then perhaps build my story around it.

Tonya:  Do you always include HEA and is that type of ending important to you?

CJ:   No, not always.  I’ve done HFN because life is seldom HEA.  We can only hope to work for that HEA ending and deal with what comes along in the future.  So no, it’s not important to always have one.  I actually wrote a story back in the day with a sad ending.  This was before HFN endings were commonly used and the editor in question wrote me this sarcastic rejection letter stating that readers only preferred HEA and how dare I have the characters suffer a disappointment?  It’s called life.

Tonya:  I love the HEA but we know that isn't the case in all books. Where can our readers find you and your books?

CJ:   I’m pretty much all over the place.  You name a networking site and I’m there or will be in the near future.  Here are some of the places you can find me for starters:

I’m also on Goodreads, LinkdIn, Stumble, and Digg and have mirror blogs on WordPress and LiveJournal.

Here is where my works are found:

I also have some free reads:

      I’m currently working on the sequel to Illusion of Night and will probably have a title contest with a free copy of the book as the prize so watch for that!  I also have a few other irons in the fire.  I finally started re-writing a book that I lost back in August ’10 when my system crashed called Blade and Thorn.  It’s in the same universe as Illusion of Night.

Tonya:  Readers, please take the time to visit CJ's links and find yourself a few new reads! CJ, is there anything else you want to tell our readers?

CJ:   Yes, read as often as possible and enjoy!  Choose your material on its merits and the skill and style of the writer.  There are a lot of very talented e-book and indie writers out there.  Give them a chance.  Oh yes, and I love to hear from my readers so feel free to drop me a line or chat me up anytime!  I promise to respond as soon as I can.  Nothing annoys me more than an unanswered e-mail!
     I'm also having a contest for winner's choice of one of my back list. Please leave your email in the comment so I can reach you. The drawing will be held on Saturday, the 30th so be sure to comment to be in the drawing! 

Tonya:  CJ, thank you so much for being here with us! We love learning more about the authors we enjoy reading!  Readers, thank all of you for joining us and leave a comment for CJ to be in the contest on Saturday. We'll be here all week to chat with you. Thank you again!


  1. I'd like to welcome all of you and thank you for taking the time to click the interview and learn more about CJ! Feel free to roam around, click on CJs site links and learn more about the books and excerpts posted.

    Leave a comment to be in the drawing for Saturday!

  2. Hi Tonya! Everything looks great! Thank so much! I really enjoyed doing the interview. Enjoy your week!

  3. CJ - thanks for a great post. It always amazes me to learn how the littlest things can inspire a book. And subconscious activity is so common. You are a dedicated and gifted author. Best wishes!

  4. Thanks so much for your kind words, Margie. I appreciate it!

  5. Great post and boy, you are everywhere lol (a good thing)
    Good luck with your books.

  6. Awesome interview! I love that you dared a sad ending, who cares what others think :). Kudos!


    bkwalkerbooks at comcast dot net

  7. I prefer writing in a coffeeshop. I'll take my laptop to Starbucks and plug in and get to it. Something about the chaos, the energy...even if I am plugged into my ipod and all but oblivious to it all.

  8. Fantastic interview! I've had the 'dream storming' experience too! (laughs) Had a very hot male character 'bother' me for weeks and had no idea what his story was until HE was ready to tell me. Filed that one away for later.

    I haven't written that often in my nearby bookstore but I find it a GREAT place to browse and just feed the muse!

  9. This was a awesome interview. I enjoyed it so much I had to read it again. You both are an inspiration. FYI Gina sent me. Knowing I would ejoy this interview. And look forward to reading your book CJ

    Hugs to you both,
    Tracey Koss

  10. Tracey, thank you for taking Gina advice and coming in to see us! Glad you enjoyed the visit and the interview.

    Thank you, Gina!!

  11. Yikes, I meant to get here a lot sooner! I wanted to thank everyone for coming by and to remind you there's a drawing for a choice of one of my back list tomorrow! Thank you all so much for your encouragement and kind words. It what's keeps me going even when the muse is hiding in some dark corner! And as alwasy please feel free to ping me anytime to discuss the business or just shoot the breeze.

    Margaret West -- Thanks! I'm actually taking this evening to cancel a few memberships. Want to be more focused.

    BK -- Always glad you have you behind me!

    Maureen -- Might I suggest Borders and their Ultimate Toffe Mocha?

    E. Jamie -- now that sounds like a dream storm I'd like to have! And again -- try Borders and the Ultimate Toffee. Trust me on that one. And thank you!

    Tracey -- Hello again! Glad you could make it! And I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview! And hope you'll enjoy my work as well. Made my evening!

  12. CJ - It was great having you here this week. Thank you for all who stopped in to meet CJ! The winner will be announced shortly! Stay tuned!