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July 2, 2010

Welcome Lux Zakari!

Please welcome Lux Zakari to my blog!


Her first novel is coming out soon and she's here to tell us a bit about herself...


Tell us about your most recent release.  

With pleasure! Coercion is an erotic novel set in Missouri during the mid ’70s, when introverted and insecure Valerie Mercer was promised that she would finally attract attention from boys. But she never dreamed that would include Michael Vartanian.

Good looking, troubled and every parent’s nightmare, Michael is adamant on introducing Valerie to a world of both pleasure and, inadvertently, heartbreak. His interest in Valerie is dependent upon the mood and fidelity of his on-and-off-again girlfriend, Breeze.

Nevertheless, Valerie lets her hope and desire override common sense and soon finds she can’t deny Michael anything…no matter what’s at stake.

Here’s an excerpt:

Valerie refused to entertain thoughts Michael might ever be interested in her, especially since she didn’t know what she’d do if she had him. She knew of Kim Breza—better known as Breeze—and couldn’t think of two people more different than her and the popular, talkative blonde, whose sexual appetite was no secret. She had heard Breeze broadcast her erotic escapades in the women’s bathroom, the hallway and just about everywhere else. Thus, Valerie knew Michael and his girlfriend had done practically everything under the sun during their on-again, off-again yet somehow enduring relationship.
That knowledge both excited and terrified her. Virginity, which was something her peers had outgrown long ago, was not something she wanted to give to just anyone. Therefore, she could never keep up with Michael.
But a little part of her wanted to try. A little part of her wanted to have the courage to find out how those lips of his tasted. A little part of her wanted to slide her hands down his broad back and into the back pockets of his jeans.
A little part of her wanted to do a whole lot to Michael Vartanian.

Have you ever created a villain or killed a character off who is based on someone you know?

I actually have not killed anyone off yet, but this may not be surprising; when writing erotica, dead/dying/soon-to-be-dead characters are not generally found to be turn-ons. Truthfully, while some of my characters are loosely based on people I know, I’ve never offed a “character” or turned anyone from my reality into the bad guy under fictional circumstances. No matter how therapeutic writing may be, when a character does die, it’ll be because the story calls for it, not because I’m exorcising any demons!

What do you like least about the writing process? What do you like best?

What I like least is feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to write as much as I’d like, and I feel this way often! However, I love the problem solving that’s involved with writing, like when I’m stuck on a scene for whatever reason, and then the answer to busting out of that rut just unexpectedly dawns on me.

A perfect example of how this works is in the show Stella during the episode where Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black and David Wain try their hand at writing a novel. After a montage demonstrating the writing process (which is hilarious), they experience writer’s block, complete with crying, screaming and drinking themselves into a stupor. Then one of them declares, “Wait, I’ve got it! He’s not a chef!” to which the others chorus, “He’s a sous chef!” and eagerly get back to writing. I love that, and it’s funny because it’s true.

What genre do you prefer to write? Is there a genre you’d like to write in that you haven’t tried yet?

The past two years, I’ve been writing primarily erotica, but I have so many stories I want to eventually tell that I definitely intend on dabbling in other genres at some point in time. A sci-fi premise is rolling around in my head, but it’ll be awhile before I attempt that.

What do you like to read? 

Now that it’s summer, I like reading erotica anthologies by the pool, but I truly love reading everything, primarily contemporary fiction that’s witty, vivid and makes me think, “Eep! This could be my life!” A friend alerted me to Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked, and I can’t wait to read it.

Where do you see your writing career taking you?

To good places, I hope! I try not to have expectations but it’s hard not to hope. I’d like Coercion to go into print, and ideally I’d like writing to eventually become my full-time gig.

Do you ever use people you know as characters in your book?

Actually, my characters are all Frankenstein’s monsters, created out of people I know, people I knew, people I’ve never known and wish I did, people I’ve never known and am glad for that, and sometimes even just me. I like to think of those characters’ actions/attributes/etc. as Easter eggs for anyone I know who may read my work and think, “Hey! Why does this seem familiar?” It’s sort of my “thank you” to them for inspiring me.

What’s your favorite leisure activity? Why?

I have a wide variety of interests that range from the mellow to the extreme, from the bizarre to the “normal.” I’m into traveling, doing artsy projects, seeking out divinely weird/funny/unique experiences and just doing things that make me feel like I’m living a well-rounded life.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a high-society erotic novel that follows the journey laid out by the Major Arcana. It’s definitely challenging me in many ways—as I recently told a friend, my writing is in new territory with this story: pregnancy, explosions and guy-on-guy action (which totally needs to be the tagline) In all seriousness, though, I feel like it’s the story I’ve been waiting to tell all along. Maybe this is why I feel like it’s taking me forever and a day to write.

Do you have an evil day job, and if you do, how do you find time to write?

I have several! But they’re not so evil; some days are better than others. As for writing, I just sneak it in wherever I can!

What does your family and friends think about you being a published author?

They’re excited for me because they know that getting published is what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Of course, some people don’t know what exactly I’m writing about… It’s hard to say whether that may make a difference to them! So I try to test the waters before I divulge even part of the truth.

Do you identify with the characters you write about?

I do. Whatever my characters are going through, regardless whether I agree with it, I make sure I at least understand where they’re coming from. In Coercion, nearly every character does something I would never do myself (but I won’t say which ones!), so it was important for me to understand why they do the things they do.

Where do you go when you need to recharge?

To bed—if I can get any sleep!

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a little kid—telling myself stories out loud while coloring, then having my grandmother write down all the words—but it didn’t truly dawn on me to make a career out of it until I hit college and actually finished writing my first novel. Writing has always been just something I did, something that was so inherent in me, that I never really noticed it until then.

Does reader’s feedback help you with your writing? Is feedback something that is very important to you?

Feedback is important to me, but to an extent. I love hearing from people—it’s good to know someone’s out there, reading my work. I also have a few beta-readers whose opinions really matter to me. But for all feedback, good and bad, it’s crucial to not let it affect you in any drastic way. You can’t let the good criticism give you an ego and you can’t let the bad criticism break your heart. People have their reasons for loving some stuff and hating others, so always consider the source, and if a beta-reader questions the work’s quality, it’s painful to hear but consider it a favor to you.

If you could go on a date with any one of your heroes, which one would it be and why?

Ethan, the photographer in my short story Semiprofessional. I love that his feelings for Rei bloom out of a decade-long friendship, and their banter and relationship was so much fun to write. And let’s face it—we all know artsy boys are foxy fine. (You can read more about Semiprofessional here: http://www.mainstreamerotica.com/Stories.php?choice=126&col=62 )

Thanks, Lux!
Coersion comes out August 2, 2010 and can be found here: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_12&products_id=315

Lux can be found on the web here: www.luxzakari.com and I've added a link banner to her website, which can be found on the right hand side of the screen under "Websites to Visit"...

2 comments:

Aubrie said...

This book sounds awesome! I love reading about love triangles. The excerpt is excellent writing and kept me reading every word.

Good luck Lux!

Lux Zakari said...

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Isobael -- it was a lot of fun and you asked a lot of thought-provoking questions that racked my brain. :)

Lux Zakari