We are pleased to have another author join us today as we continue our spotlights series. Lottie Winter has just released her second book in the Carnal Set Series, Cassandra, and is extremely busy promoting it so it was great to get some time with her to chat about being a self-published author and life in general.
Lottie can you give us a little background, as to when you first became interested in writing and your career to date?
"I think it is safe to say that I have always loved reading and words, it may sound a little funny to say, but I love words, I love the way some sound and how you can use them to tell a tale.
I have always written in some capacity, whether it be blogging, poetry or simply in journals.
Like many people I have always threatened to write novels, and it was after I read a self-published Victorian gothic horror book that my interest was piqued enough to decide now was the time to properly put pen to paper!"
Your books are very much set in Victorian times, almost like a naughty Downton Abbey or Wuthering heights where did your inspirations come for these?
"I have actually never read Wuthering Heights! Despite reading other Bronte sisters work, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is one I have never read, so when my editor told me that the story evoked for her Wuthering Heights, and then when a test reader said exactly the same, I put Wuthering Heights on my must read list!
I am of course a huge Downton Abbey fan, and for me again it’s the language that is used, I love the formality of language. Downton Abbey is set much later than my Carnal Set books are, but I hope I can evoke the same kind of undertones.
I like many people have read erotic literature, and whilst there is some great stuff out there is also a lot which, seems written purely for the sex scenes without the rest of the story mattering too much, my aim is write books which although are erotic and include very strong and explicit sex scenes, also leave room for the story and most importantly I think to me character development. I hope running through my stories are many other stories, about the characters and people featured, and not just the main protagonists."
Your books while being of and erotic nature also have a very strong romantic feel to them, is this something you are very conscious of when writing them?
"Yes, very much so, I am a hopeless romantic and believe in true love! What can I say, I wanted to write a book which was perhaps romantic in a different way to the standard we expect for romance, but still nonetheless was still romantic to the core. In Cassandra, the thread that runs through the entire book is actually love, with the acceptance it can take many different routes and be expressed in many different ways, each as valid as the other.
My books contain straight, gay and lesbian, relationships and sex scenes. I believe very strongly that each is as valid as the other, and a love story is as beautiful whatever the sexes of the people involved. Although in Cassandra the main characters are a man and a woman, in future Carnal Set novels I have plans for many different relationships.
D/s forms a big part of the books, and is something which I have always been interested in, and find really fun and pleasing to write about."
Each author has their own way of working could you give our readers s brief outline of the day in the Life of Lottie Winter the author and any methods you use for writing?
"I try to set myself a goal of a certain amount of words in one day, it’s not always possible, but I try! I actually had started Cassandra, and was a having a crisis of confidence, when a fellow author suggested to me, that I take a break and write a shorter story as a prequel to Cassandra, and this is what I did – I wrote The Inauguration of the Carnal Set, which sets the scene for Cassandra and tells the story of how The Carnal Set came about. Sales and reviews have been so overwhelmingly positive that this instantly spurred me on to finish Cassandra!"
Following on from the question above, what are your tools of the trade? Some authors prefer to use the likes of Sigil and Calibre to format and convert their work. Can you list your preferred software that you work with
"I am a fairly standard kind of girl, I use Word to write the novel, and then again when it comes and goes to be edited we use Word."
Lottie, once you have finished the writing part, how much involvement do you have in your book’s creation – such as editing, cover design or publicity?
"I approve everything, and work closely with my editor to ensure we both agree with all the editing. The cover design I instantly fell in love with, it was helpful that the designer was someone I knew and who read the book, so he was able to really find the right image and feeling. I am new to this publishing lark and so am learning on the job, I am having some help from some social media experts and publicity experts to get the book out there."
What are some of your favourite writers and books?
"Dracula by Bram Stoker is my absolute favourite book of all time. I also adore Sense & Sensibility, having read it too many times. I am a bit of a secret sci fi fan (not a secret anymore), and I enjoyed reading the Alien books far too much.
I remember as a teenager and young adult wolfing down books, now I am a little more selective simply not having the time to read as much as I would like to.
The last book I read was ‘The Book of Human Skin’ by Michelle Lovric, it is a really great but slightly macabre read."
Like all things, we as humans are our own worst judges. How do you judge success as a writer? And do you set any goals for yourself?
"I think the knowledge that people are reading and enjoying what I write is how I would judge my success. Seeing good reviews and being told how much a reader enjoyed my stories makes me very happy. My goals are simply to continue, I enjoy writing and find within myself the discipline needed to simply sit and write. So I wish to continue doing what I love."
Authors like any artist are always trying to produce that masterpiece. What books or projects are you currently working on?
"I have started the next novel in the Carnel Set series, it takes one of the stories started in Cassandra and expands upon it, into a full novel."
One question we hope to ask all authors is what advice would you give to anyone starting out on the self publishing route?
"Just do it, stop thinking, talking and taking advice, and simply sit down and write, because at the end of the day, that is the key you can have the best advice, the best publicity and the best social media but if your book stinks it isn’t going to sell. So sit down and write and love doing that."
That about wraps it up Lottie it’s been a pleasure getting to chat with you and just before you go, can you tell our readers where they can go to buy your books or find out more about you? Look out in the next day or so, for a ebook review of Lottie's novel Cassandra, our reviewer has reported back to us that she can't put the book down! Hopefully she will for long enough to write the review.
Thank you so much for having me!
My books Cassandra and The Inauguration of the Carnal Set are both available on Amazon
My website, where you can find out more about me and what I am doing is – www.lottiewinter.com.
My twitter is @Lottie_Winter_