Over The Line features a sexy-as-sin dominant cowboy with roots deep into the land who is determined to tame Sydney, a woman who has vowed not to be tied down to any man. Being tied up by him…? That is a very different story! Master Michael knows a thing or two about knots and lassos. (And who, really, hasn’t wanted to be lassoed by a gorgeous cowboy who only has eyes for you?) This book also has a lot of fun elements, unique to ranch life, including hot, hot outdoor scenes and a “unique” character that’s sure to get your “goat!” Over The Line takes the Mastered series from Total-E-Bound to a whole new level of fun and unexpected moments! This book was a ton of fun to write, and I hope it shows!
Why do you think it is that writers, specifically of erotic fiction are spreading their stories out over trilogies and series of books?
I think that erotic fiction writers need some extra space to really connect and get as in-depth with the characters as our readers crave. It’s almost impossible to show a strong emotional connection between two people in a short story. In real life falling head over heels in love doesn’t happen overnight, sometimes it can take years to realize that you’re truly in love with someone, but the lust? That usually comes quickly. It’s easy to write a story about two people who just met and want to hook up, it happens all the time at bars, clubs, ice-cream parlours, Starbucks, you name it, but finding “the one” takes time. Spreading books out instead of one really long novel gives the reader a sense that these characters are growing and evolving with them, Harry Potter aged year by year, as did his readers, right? Trilogies (which I’m doing next) allows for a grand, sweeping story arc and gives you space to really invest in your characters.
What did you imagine the US to be like when you moved out there?
I imagined John Wayne and Butch Cassidy, the Wild West complete with bucking Broncos (NOT just the local sports team!), covered wagons, and gunfights at sunset. I remember my parents telling me we were moving to America, Colorado of all places and wondering how we were going to survive all the dirt, cowboys, horses, and, of course, long, elegant gowns. Clearly I had an active imagination even back then. One thing hasn’t changed…my love for cowboys, as reflected in Over The Line.
What are your memories of Manchester?
I honestly wish I was one of those people who had really bright, vivid memories of their childhood, but for me they’re more like photographs, snapshots. I remember walking along the Manchester ship canal. I recall “walking day,” and I’d always have a new coat. I remember buying fabulous fashions on trips there as a teenager. Probably my most startling memory is of my little sister wanting to run away from home. I couldn’t bear it. So I packed a bag and went with her! I had a dog who would steal milk after it was delivered to the neighbors. My dad found that the milk thief was, Mitch, our pet when he discovered dozens of empty bottles in the dog’s kennel. I recall trips to the seaside, and the rain. The first time it rained in Colorado, we went outside and stood in the street, we had missed it that much. Oh, and wait! I remember snails on the garden wall. Random, really, isn’t it?
When did you first become a fan of Star Trek?
Okay, you got it out of me. I’ve never told another soul…I’m a bit of a geek. I became a fan of Star Trek the first time I saw William Shatner on the screen! I found him so dreamy and had a HUGE fan girl crush on him. I’ve always loved the “larger than life” stories and characters, and Star Trek and Star Wars definitely fit that description. (Don’t ask about Battlestar Galactica, though, okay?)
How difficult is it to write about sex that is different?
To me, sex is way more than just body parts. I believe that each sex scene should and must deepen the emotional connection and change the characters in some way. Ideally I want it to cause struggle, as well, heightening the conflict. It must be unique to each relationship and where each person is in that relationship. Even if a heroine thinks she can engage in a scene without repercussions, the hero impacts her in some way that makes that impossible. I’m always conscious of the need to make each scene sizzle sexually as well as mentally. It’s been said that a woman’s biggest sex organ is between her ears (meaning her brain). We are very complex and unique, and I believe sex scenes should reflect that, whether they have kink, or whether they are strictly vanilla.
I work and work to make the scenes authentic. As readers, we want the details. We want to be able to imagine we’re in the story, living vicariously. If I write it wrong, it won’t resonate.
Did you ever toy with writing about erotic romance in Manchester?
Is that a great idea, or what? It would require a research trip or two, at least, don’t you think? Manchester is a brilliantly vibrant city, with lots of possibilities. And who wouldn’t love a hero with a British accent? Now you’ve got my imagination soaring!
Why are the dominant characters in your and other's books often successful and complex, would this genre not work with a character that was less ambitious and lacking in intellect?
I can’t say that less intelligent characters wouldn’t work, but to me the absolute BIGGEST turn on is intelligence. You can have the hottest man in the world standing in front of me – if he can’t challenge my mind and intellect, he won’t hold my interest. To me, sex starts with a woman’s mind and goes from there… getting turned on isn’t just a “take me to bed and let’s do some foreplay,” it’s a culmination of emotions that a woman feels throughout the day, and an intellectual conversation is about as stimulating to me as a high-powered vibrator. We are complex individuals, sometimes a teeming mass of contradictions, and I love my characters to reflect the real people I’m writing for.
If you had to pick the favourite part of your writing process what would it be?
Hitting the “send” button on the final round of edits (well, it IS a huge relief!). Seriously though? The brainstorming is my favourite part! Getting to dream up new people is exhilarating, putting them in conflict with one another, creating complicated plot lines and backgrounds can keep me up way past bedtime. “What if…?” is a question that intrigues me for countless hours. I sometimes brainstorm with others, and the energy, the possibilities; the ideas that are generated are exhilarating.
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given from another writer?
“Be true to your own writing. Don’t try to copy anyone else. Find your voice. Speak to YOUR fans.” I think that’s great advice. Oh, and another said, “It never gets easier. Suck it up.” And the advice I would give another author, “Keep learning; keep growing.” It took me ten years and ten complete manuscripts to sell my first book to Harlequin/Silhouette. It’s not enough to write, you have to learn and grow. And when you do get that first contract? Continue to learn and grow. I try to learn from every review. I strive to dig deeper. It’s always my goal to make my next book better than the last.
Note from Sierra:
I loved these questions—very thoughtful!! Thanks!!
“Even racier than 50 Shades” says the UK’s Daily Mail. Amazon Kindle UK #1 bestselling author Sierra Cartwright was born in Manchester and raised in the US. She is the acclaimed author of more than twenty erotic romance novels, including the bestselling Mastered series.
She was previously published with Harlequin/Silhouette under a different pseudonym, and won numerous awards as well as a coveted spot on the USA Today bestseller list.
Cartwright is a multiple CAPA-nominated author and is working on an erotic romance trilogy, coming in 2014 from Total-E-Bound.
sierracartwright.com | [email protected]
You can purchase Over the Line today from Total-E-Bound Publishing or Amazon!
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