Primula Bond has been writing erotica for more than 20 years. She started with short stories for magazines and has written novels and novellas for Black Lace, Accent Press, Mischief and Avon. Her most recent work, the Unbreakable Trilogy, follows the passionate and dangerous passion between Gustav Levi and Serena Folkes as they traverse the globe trying to be together while dark forces from their past try to drive them apart.Tonya: Readers love to know more about their authors. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Primula: I am one of four sisters educated at a Catholic convent, where I became head girl and where I developed my slight obsession with the erotic potential of nuns and the mystique and rituals of Catholicism. I studied English at Oxford before living in Egypt for two years and I have also lived in Venice and London. I started writing erotica when I was a single mother with my eldest son and now masquerade as a respectable wife and mother of three sons living in a lovely English city who raises immaculately groomed eyebrows when my 'other life' as an erotica writer is revealed! I also sing, take portrait photographs and love eating and travelling.
Tonya: Do you have a day job?
Primula: I work part time as a secretary for a firm of defence criminal lawyers, which has given me an insight and interest in the criminal world as well as the rarified atmosphere of the barristers and Judges in a law court.
Tonya: 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?
Primula: In the old days it might be the odd joint or two to get me going, but now it's more likely to be a large glass of chenin blanc. Actually, I write better during the day when the house is empty of husbands and sons, and particularly in the morning, so I am more likely to be fuelled these days by several cups of strong coffee. I have the corner of a particular sofa in a particular room where I seem best able to concentrate.
Tonya: Where do you keep story ideas? Where do they come from?
Primula: My ideas come from my own memories of people or travels, or situations, but they also come from overheard conversations, scenes glimpsed from a train window, anecdotes gleaned at the school gate or dinner parties, or sometimes purely from my extremely vivid imagination. I keep paper and pen near me at all times, even in the car or the bath, in case I get an idea and don't want to let it float away.
Tonya: If you’re self-published, can you tell us a bit about that and how it’s going for you?
Primula: I'm lucky that my erotic romance trilogy is published by a major publisher, Harper Collins, but they didn't take on some 'non-erotic' short stories I wrote under my real name, so I self-published those on Amazon in a volume entitled 'Stabbing the Rain'. To be honest they've had great reviews from the handful of readers and my publicity hasn't been very efficient.
Tonya: What advice would you give to new authors?
Primula: First, read. Read the type of fiction you would like to write. Study how successful authors ply their trade, from the way they set out the text to how they portray characters and dialogue. As a 'book doctor' for the website Writers Workshop, I am amazed how many new writers say they are 'too busy' to read, but are confident they can write because they are university lecturers or whatever, then have no idea how to set out their story – and don't get me started on appalling grammar or pompous, over-elaborate prose. Next, be passionate and dedicated. That will shine through, even if the technicalities need some polishing. Next, have a plan and a vague deadline for your work, otherwise the project will drag on for years. Carry a notebook round with you wherever you go. Never ask family or friends to read your work and give an opinion. It's not fair to either of you. They won't give an entirely objective view and you will be easily offended if they do. Give it to a professional critique service like the one I work for and be prepared to pay for genuine, constructive advice! Finally, grow a thick skin. Those rejection letters never stop hurting, but if you are lucky enough to get a constructive one then learn from it and try again.
Tonya: Do you write better when you first have an idea of what your characters look like or do you write, then add character looks?
Primula: The looks are pretty much there from the start. Certainly with the flame-haired heroine of my trilogy, Serena. She is basically, as the Berocca advert goes, like me but on a really good day. And younger. Sexier. More beautiful. And far more feisty. Gustav is my dream man. Dark, mysterious, damaged, seeking love, dynamite in bed. So yes, the initial impressions for both of them were there from the start, but the details, individual quirks and back story grow as the story goes along, and if a new character introduces themselves to me they spring on to the stage fully formed physically but an essential part of story telling is to introduce various details little by little, as in real life. That's when you have to be careful as a story teller not to tell, but to show, and to make characters three dimensional.
Tonya: What attracts you most about men?
Primula: I like them tall and attractive, strong and with deep voices, well educated, reasonably well off, but I also like them to be sensitive, funny, intelligent and extremely fertile. Too much to ask, do you think???
Tonya: We’re dying to hear about your latest book. What can you tell us without spoiling the storyline?
Primula: I have just submitted a fourth erotica novel to my Harper Collins editor which follows on from my Unbreakable Trilogy. For those who, and it centres around Pierre Levi, the naughty younger brother of the hero Gustav Levi from the trilogy. He was a charismatic but destructive character in the trilogy, but I wanted to explore whether true love could save someone like him. Can a leopard ever really change his spots?
Tonya: Where can our readers find you and your books?
Primula: Some lucky UK readers can find my books on the shelves of W H Smiths, but mostly they are available on Amazon.
Tonya: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Primula: I want to encourage readers to get to know me and my characters and especially readers who love Fifty Shades, because my trilogy is unashamedly romantic as well as explicit. For those who love English characters mine meet in London but travel to New York, Paris, Venice and Morocco and meet a gallery of other characters along the way, some of whom are out to get them.
Tonya: What is your favorite night time snack?
Primula: Crackers and very strong cheddar, and either hot chocolate or the aforementioned chenin blanc
Tonya: Do you like toppings on your ice cream?
Primula: I can't eat ice cream as it makes my teeth tingle, but I have a very sweet tooth especially when it comes to chocolate and raspberries.
Tonya: What’s your favorite meal - Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc?
Primula: If I had to boil it down (pun intended) I'd settle for Italian food. I love pasta, pizza, meat stuffed with mozzarella or wrapped in proscuitto, tiramisu, insalata tricolore...
Every so often I like to do a book give away, usually when I reach a milestone with my number of Twitter followers.
Excerpt from The Golden Locket:
His body is gleaming like a dolphin's. I stand and stare at his broad shoulders, the winged jut of his shoulder blades, the regular bumps of his spine, his muscular, rounded butt. His hair is plastered black and wet against his head, outlining the fine shape of his skull. He's already shaved and is lifting his face to the jet of hot water, his long eyelashes stuck together, his mouth half-open as he sings something softly under his breath.
I have the power to make him happy. I also have the power to shatter him.
I sidle into the shower behind Gustav, shiver with pleasure as the water sprays over my sleep-warm skin and pricks it into life. I wrap my arms around him from behind, rub my tight nipples against his back. He turns his face so that I can plant a kiss on his cheek, grins broadly, then continues casually with his washing ritual as if he's not to be interrupted. I hesitate. I'm not going to be dismissed. I've got work to do here. I must remind him that we are unbreakable.
I start to soap him, tuck the still-soft end of him into one hand and swipe with the other, watching it quiver and rise. I start to relax. It's extending from his lovely flat stomach just like his beloved telescope, smoothing out the velvety skin, ironing out any wrinkles until it is straight and smooth and emerges strong and proud and ready in its blanket of pale pink bubbles.
A ball of nausea rises in my throat as I remember the sight of Pierre's thick, tall erection, standing proud of his velvet breeches and intended for me.
I pull Gustav more roughly, lather the soft balls, watch his head roll back as the sensations start to weaken him. I'm weak, too, with shame and with love for him so fierce it hurts.
He falls against the shower wall. He doesn't touch me. He's letting me make all the running. The smile stops playing as my hands play faster up and down the long, hard shaft, working the soap into a luxurious lather. I feel him flinch and grow under my touch.
He groans, grapples for me blindly and grabs my hips, spins me round, jams me up against him, his hands squeezing my breasts. My feet slip on the marble tiles and I grab the chrome shower pipe as the needles of water continue to stimulate my skin. I can just make out his blurred reflection in the steamed up shower panel.
He lifts me so that my feet rest on the little step running the base of the shower tray, and then he cups one large hand and parts me, thrusting his fingers inside, the water and soap mingling with my own juices. How did this happen? How does he always end up in control? My body is contracting wildly to take in his long fingers, but he pulls them out again and parts my legs until I rise right off my toes.
I will learn one day to take total control, but for now I give in yet again to my role as living doll. My stomach kicks with desire as his familiar hands manipulate me into the position he has chosen. I am practically swinging off the shower rail now, balancing on the tops of his legs which are slightly bent as he grapples me from behind. As he lowers himself I rise to meet him and then I feel the tip of it, ready and waiting.
I rest my cheek against the panel, ecstatic to feel him there, wanting the moment of anticipation to go on forever while the water shoots down onto us, steadily reducing in temperature. I shiver as I balance against the panel, feel him solid and strong behind me, flexed and ready, and then I slide down onto him, inch after glorious inch, descending slowly and triumphantly until my buttocks are squashed up against his stomach.
I let go for a moment and then he tilts so that we both start to fall. I let out a shriek as we land on hands and knees half in, half out of the shower. I start to crawl forwards, perhaps we can finish this in the comfort of our big expensive bed, but he yanks me back inside the cubicle so that the water, now really cold, keeps on showering onto our backs, and the cold seems to make him even more rigid.
My nipples are stiff as my skin shrinks against the cold water, tingling now with tension as he starts again, slowly pushing, not pulling out at all, so that I am manhandled across the slippery floor with whatever rhythm he chooses, my hands and knees squeaking with the friction, his hands holding me, not needing to do anything more to stimulate me, just letting my body tighten and welcome him, engulf his familiar hardness so that we are welded together, the beast with two backs, rocking back and forth on the hard wet floor of the bathroom.
The water gets colder, Gustav pumps faster, and I'm shuddering both from the cold and from uncontrollable excitement as he accelerates, muttering into my neck, kissing, licking, now biting, jamming me against him as he lifts me off the floor with the force of his coming and I squeeze for more friction and then yield into an explosive climax that flows and mingles with the freezing water and the ebbing bubbles.