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Friday 17 July 2015

ℚ Combustion - Elia Winters

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about her Steampunk erotic romance Combustion (, Samhain Publishing, 177 pages).

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Book Review | Giveaway & Tour Stops

What was the inspiration for your latest book, Combustion?
"Combustion was inspired by my love of Steampunk, sex toys, and independent female characters.  With the complex social norms of the Victorian era and the gadget focus of Steampunk, I thought the three elements could coexist pretty well."
How much of yourself is reflected in Combustion, and how?
"This is a loaded question for someone writing erotic romance!  I think all authors find aspects of themselves in their characters, for sure.  I relate to Astrid’s stubbornness and creativity, as well as Eli’s fear of not being good enough.  I also relate to Astrid’s affinity for gadgets, because I love gadgets, even though I have no mechanical skill whatsoever.  More importantly, the book reflects my values, specifically the sex-positive attitude and emphasis on strong women."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover of Combustion was designed by Gabrielle Prendergast, and she does absolutely gorgeous work.  I love the color scheme of the cover and the gearwork in the background.  Astrid, too, is beautiful and saucy and perfect.  The cover really catches your eye, and I’ve loved it ever since I saw it."
I have to completely agree with all of that.  I loved that covers as soon as I spotted it.

Why should we read Combustion and what sets it apart from the rest?  What makes it unique?

"Combustion is unique in its focus on a Steampunk sex toy inventor.  While toys make their appearances in erotic romances, they’re often a side dish of sorts, but I think the toys of this book are more the main event.  The storyline revolves around the invention Astrid and Eli create for the World’s Fair.

People want to interpret Combustion as historical romance, but it isn’t - it’s retro-futurism - and I think that playing fast and loose with Victorian morality is key to the storyline and the fun of the premise."
Having read Combustion, your description fits perfectly.  It was quite clear to me this was not a piece of historical fiction, but very much set in the Steampunk universe.

Can you tell us something quirky about Combustion, its story and characters?

"I love this question!  Well, all the toys in Astrid’s arsenal are based on actual toys, so you can actually buy them.  I’ll also say that while no characters were named for actual people, I had Jude Law in mind the whole time I was writing Eli."
I can certainly see why you were thinking of Jude Law, he certainly pulls off Victorian and Steampunk extremely well.  And of course in Hugo he was a watch maker, with glasses (minus the beard).

Who would you recommend your book to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"Samhain is great about putting a “warning” on all its books, so mine is pretty clearly identified in the blurb.  There are a lot of toys in this book, in case that isn’t obvious by now!  Sexualities in this book and this world are fairly fluid, and Astrid is definitely bisexual.  You also shouldn’t look for historical accuracy.  It’s definitely an alternate universe.  People who enjoy a bit of kink without losing sweetness would really enjoy Combustion."
It sure is :-)  I love that warning!  Toys?  "Felicitation devices"....

If you could / wished to turn Combustion into a movie, who would be your dream team?

"I don’t know who I’d like to direct this film, because I’m not sure how one would mainstream this sort of storyline, but I definitely have my leading pair picked out.  I already mentioned Jude Law for Eli, but I’ve also always imagined Carey Mulligan as Astrid.  I see it set in an adapted Victorian London, for the most part, with the World’s Fair perhaps filmed somewhere in Scotland. "
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I’ve written many genres, but I’m only publishing erotic romance right now.  I really enjoy this genre!  I love sex and try to promote sex-positivity in life, and writing erotic romance is a great way to do so.  I’m hoping to branch into LGBT+ romance soon, and perhaps new adult erotic romance as well.

As for reading, I read everything. I’m an English teacher and I’m currently pursuing a Master’s degree in English lit, so I’m spending a bunch of time with the classics, but I also read popular fiction of most genres as well.  I don’t read horror because I like to sleep at night."
Talking of horror... I saw from your Twitter that you and your cat enjoy watching Supernatural together.  Here at BooksChatter we love Supernatural and animals, especially cats, hence I really had to share this picture :-)  And he is gorgeous!

What is your writing process?

"I tend to write first drafts quickly, usually in less than a month.  I write in chunks, one or two chunks per day.  Then I step away from the book for a while and write something else. [Additionally,] I like to have another novel’s distance between me and my manuscript before I start to edit.

When I’m actually going to edit, I go back through and identify the novel’s spine: its main plot thread, the story arc for the book overall and for each main character.  I usually don’t know where a book is going until I’ve finished the first draft, so this pre-editing step is key for me.  Then I make sure I’ve identified my themes and subthemes.  After that, I go back and cut heavily, ensuring that what’s left fits my story’s spine, and then add in all the scenes that I need to fill in the gaps.  Then I edit the whole thing for narrative fluency.

It sounds really methodical, but it’s often a lot of swearing, crying, and bribing myself with treats."
What is in store next?
"I might write additional books in the Combustion world, but I have a few other books coming first.  I’m deep in the throes of editing a contemporary erotic romance called Keeping Score, which takes place in part at a gaming convention, and which my agent is hoping to start pitching in a few weeks.  After that, I’m planning a sequel to Purely Professional, my first novel, which is actually a finalist for RITA awards in Best Erotic Romance and Best First Book.  I’m excited about continuing that story.  After that, I think I’m going to try out some New Adult erotic romance and see where that takes me. "

Combustion - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Unknown said...

Thanks for hosting me today! Also, thanks for putting images with my text! They're perfect.

I'll be here all day today and on and off throughout the week to answer questions.

Victoria Alexander said...

Really great interview - thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Thanks Victoria! Glad you enjoyed it.

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed the interview! Thank you!