Susana, thank you so much for having me in your Morning Room. I have been having so much fun on my MASQUE Tour, and giving away these beautiful Venetian masks at each stop has been pure pleasure. I only have a few more stops after this: Caris Roane’s blog April 10, Much Cheaper Than Therapy, April 19th and Romance Beckons, May 10th, so I hope everyone will comment here so they have a chance to win this beautiful mask made in Italy.
For me it is definitely the characters because I write erotic romance inspired by classic literature, so I re-read the original story and then decide who, or whose ancestor, will be the focal point. From the original story I also pull the characters’ backgrounds and what type of baggage they may carry with them. In MASQUE it is Synn whose life is in stasis as long as he stays within the Abbey walls. Unfortunately, he blames himself for the deaths of the 73 ghosts that exist there. His motivation is what built the plot.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am 90% pantser. I need to know my characters and their GMC and what the Black Moment will be before I start writing. Once I have those, I just write, usually all at once, straight through with typos, run-on sentences, and everything. Of course, that means a lot of revision time, but I enjoy that too and over the years I found I don’t have to cut out quite as much.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Oh, but there is so much to tell! There is a villainous ghost who will do anything to keep from crossing over because where he is headed is not as fun as staying in the Abbey. I also have ghosts that become more solid as the moon turns full and they disappear completely when it is a new moon. And of course, I kept the 7 colored rooms that Poe had in his story and instead of entertainment rooms, I made them Pleasure Rooms. After all, this is erotic romance 😉
Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?
I just sent my editor To Bea Rappaccini. This erotic romance is inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” My Bea is as poisonous as Hawthorne made his, but my Bea can expel those poisons through intercourse. Unfortunately, this makes long-term relationships a bit difficult since she causes the men to become ill. In fact, she already put one man into a coma! So when she falls for former logger, Zach, things get interesting. I hope my editor likes it. I’m crossing my fingers.
What author or authors have most influenced your writing?
Tons, since I grew up reading Woodiwiss, Lindsey and Garwood. I think, however, that the contemporary writer that has influenced me the most has been Jennifer Ashley/Allyson James. Her manner, work ethic, and creative genius has served as a role model, and I hope to someday have the body of work she has, well, except the mysteries. I’m the one who is always surprised by who did it, so I probably wouldn’t make a good mystery writer :-}
What is your work schedule like when writing?
When I write my first draft, it is for two months straight every day. My best time of day is 10:00pm until 2:00am. That is when I am most creative. I also like it completely silent, so it’s a good thing I like that time of night. Then I leave the work alone for a month before starting revisions. I do revisions during the day, along with incorporating feedback from critique partners, and polishing. I like to have multiple stories in different stages so that I always have something to work on depending on the time of day.
What would we find under your bed?
Nothing. Yup, my husband basically takes care of me by cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and running all the errands in addition to mowing the lawn and working with the Coast Guard. Yes, I am spoiled. And since he doesn’t want anything under the bed, it is completely clear, not even dust bunnies dare live there. Hey, I’m not going to rock this boat!
If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you mostly likely want to go? Why?
I would love to go to Greece. I am fascinated by Greek mythology and have always wanted to visit the Acropolis. Plus, I think Santorini or Mikonos would be great settings for future stories. Does anyone remember the movie Summer Lovers?
Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Of course I do, I majored in literature! My favorite quote is by Walt Whitman. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large—I contain multitudes.” Perhaps this may shed some light on how I can be inspired by classic literature to write erotic romance 🙂
Every writer dreams of getting “the call.” What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the good news first?
Oh wow, I actually got the “email.” It was almost 9:00 am and my husband was with the Coast Guard and unreachable. I opened the email and I swear my heart went into overdrive. I couldn’t even stay seated! I jumped up and realized I couldn’t call my husband, so I dialed my critique partner who would understand my excitement. The only problem was, I am on Eastern time and she lives in Arizona so there was a three-hour time difference. For her, it wasn’t even 6:00 am! I could tell she was surprised and concerned when she heard my voice, but after I blurted my good news, we got to rejoice together. After that I was able to calm down enough to sit for about ten minutes at a time. I sent an email to Jennifer Ashley asking for her advice because the full manuscript was with two other houses. Then I called my sister, my mom, etc., etc. When my husband came home, I finally got to tell him. He had the coolest smile on his face and the next thing I knew he had gone down to the local beach bar to tell EVERYONE the news! Yeah, he’s a keeper.
I know we all can come up with wonderful traits for our heroes in romance novels, but I’d like to know what fault a hero has had that really left an impression. Let me know for a chance to win this Venetian mask made in Italy.
Masque is available at:
For more information about Lexi Post:
Lexi Post spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about classical literature. From the medieval work “The Pearl” to the 20th century American epic The Grapes of Wrath, from War and Peace to the Bhagavad Gita, she’s read, studied, and taught great classic literature.
But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. Lexi feels there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great classic literature.
Lexi lives with her husband and cat in the Caribbean where gorgeous sunsets, warm weather, and driving on the left are the norm.
Rena Mills plans to turn an abandoned abbey into a haunted bed-and-breakfast to prove she can be successful without her ex-fiancé. What she finds inside is Synn MacAllistair, the distinguished, self-proclaimed Ghost Keeper. Her dreams soon fill with sexual cravings for him. But are they dreams?
Synn, born in 1828, is determined to free the souls of the resident spirits, blaming himself for bringing the Red Death that killed them. When Rena steps into the old Pleasure Palace, he’s sure he can take her through the after-midnight Pleasure Rooms and stoke her passion to complete the Masque so the souls can cross over. Her innocent fire makes him crave more, but it’s far too late for him.
As Rena begins her erotic journey, her heart becomes more involved with every sensual caress until she discovers by completing the Masque she would lose her ghosts. Synn’s betrayal wars with her compassion for her ghostly friends. Torn, she must make a choice between her financial security and freeing seventy-three trapped souls. Either way, she could lose her Synn.
Rena spun at the deep voice that caressed her senses. Before her stood a woman’s wet dream come to life, though as a respectable woman, she shouldn’t be having wet dreams, or so she’d been informed.
The man looked as if he’d stepped out of a nineteenth-century drawing room, except his coffee-brown hair hung loose about his shoulders. She was pretty sure it should have been tied in a queue to be proper. His entire demeanor projected upper class from his sharp nose and angular clean-shaven chin, to his broad-shouldered stance. A rather tall stance it was too, with one snugly encased leg crossed over the other. But his eyes stupefied her. They appeared gray, ancient, yet flickered with bright shards of blue.
Valerie recovered first, brandishing her tightly held candelabra as she stepped forward. “Who are you and what are you doing in here?”
He straightened and gave them a formal bow. “My name is Synn MacAllistair. That is Synn as in S Y N N. I’m the caretaker of the ghosts.”
Rena took a deep breath. She could feel her cheeks heating as his voice reverberated through her body. Sin fit him. When he moved his gaze from Valerie to herself, his intense scrutiny warmed her. She swallowed. “Uh, I didn’t think anyone lived here.”
His stare held hers captive. “I do.”
Valerie retreated to stand next to her. “Oh really. With a padlock on the outside of the gate?”
He raised his right brow, the look of arrogance worthy of Mr. Darcy. “There is a postern gate.”
Rena racked her brain. She’d heard that word before. Oh yes. “I thought only the owners of a castle knew the secret to that rear exit.”
He raised his brows together. “That is true but I desi—discovered it while following a small boy around the Abbey.”
Valerie crossed her arms. “A small boy?”
“Yes. The children in the neighborhood dare each other to get close to the Abbey. They want to see the ghosts, who are quite harmless to humans.” He gestured to the housekeeper. “Mrs. McMurray here will become more solid as the full moon approaches and will be pleased to help you in any way she can.”
They turned and stared at their ghost, having forgotten her. The older woman nodded vigorously, her white cap covering her gray hair falling to the side. Mrs. McMurray’s plump frame included pudgy arms sprouting from a short-sleeved blouse and a white apron that protected her skirt, but from the knees down, she didn’t exist at all.
Rena’s heart pounded. A real ghost. If what Synn said was true, that the ghosts would become solid, the possibilities for her new venture were endless. Could the ghosts serve breakfast to the guests? How would she pay them? She couldn’t resist asking. “Are you the one who keeps it so clean in here?”
Mrs. McMurray blushed and nodded again. She actually blushed.
Synn clarified. “She and a dozen maids have kept this place clean for centuries in the hopes that someone would come here to live. Do you plan to stay?”
She turned to answer him, but Valerie gave him a disapproving look. “The real estate agent didn’t say anything about anyone living here.”
He sighed, clearly bored. “No, I imagine he didn’t. He is what we refer to as a lickfinger.”
Rena chuckled at the strange word. She couldn’t help it. It sounded backward.
Valerie didn’t find the expression funny. “Well, you need to know, Rena owns this castle now, abbey, whatever you want to call it, and she has the right to throw you out.”
Rena grabbed her arm. “Valerie.” She changed her warning tone to a more pleasant octave as she addressed the sexy man in front of her. “You are of course welcome to stay, Synn. Perhaps you can help us understand the ghosts, the history of the Abbey and anything else that might be helpful.” She smiled encouragingly. She didn’t want him to leave.
He gave her an arrogant nod. “I would be happy to be of service. Perhaps I should start by helping you to bring your personal items upstairs as the footmen will not be solid enough to lift anything for another week.”
Another week? How strange. She didn’t remember seeing anything on television regarding ghosts changing with the moon. “Thank you. That would be perfect.” She could tell Valerie didn’t trust him. She, on the other hand, was thrilled to have him in the Abbey. Anyone who could help her succeed was welcome. The fact that the man was incredibly hot didn’t hurt either.
He nodded once and held his arm out to her. She looked at her friend and shrugged, then looped her arm with his. The second they made contact, a sizzling sensation raced across her skin.
He didn’t move. Did he feel it too? He gazed down at her, his face serious. “Shall we?”
She nodded, her throat having closed at his look. There was something sensual about his lips. They were strong, full and serious and made her want to taste him. Sheesh, hadn’t she learned anything from her failed engagement? She needed to keep her libido under control. Men like Synn wouldn’t appreciate her scandalous thoughts. Besides, who used phrases like “shall we”?