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Spotlight On, Ari Thatcher

Ari has always loved romance, the hotter the better. Turning up the heat level in her own writing involved closing her eyes as she typed the “good” parts, but soon she got used to using “those” words and was pleased with the result. Finding out that others enjoyed it, too, was icing on the cake!

Her stories are split between light contemporary and paranormal genres, with some BDSM in the mix for good measure. She enjoys being in a metaphysical world filled with shapeshifters and psychic gifts, but some stories just insist that sex and romance is enough.

Also writing as Aileen Fish, Ari is a member of RWA, including several chapters, and continues to work with her critique partners to make her stories the best they can be.

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DEMON OF DESIRE

The only consolation Sin has for moving into her aunt’s creepy Victorian house is the handymen who come with it. Triplet vampires Baen, Gower and Enoch are yummy enough to tempt her from her self-imposed celibacy and make her forget she’s well on her way to becoming a cat lady.

The brothers instantly recognize Sin as their mate, but realize they need to ease her into the idea of being loved by three vampires. Then a sex-craving demon takes control of Sin’s body and seduces the men, forcing them to make a rash decision with her life.

The demon is banished but the desires remain. Three men might be enough to satisfy Sin, but before she can find out, the demon returns. She must face her fears and discover her true self to have a chance at eternity with her men.

Please tell us about yourself and what made you start writing?

I have always written, starting with skits in grade school, and my first attempt at a novel in junior high. I had many stops and starts along the way to publication but the characters in my head continue to insist on having their turn.

How long did it take before you were published? Was it everything that you thought it would be?

Which time? I was very lucky and sold the third short story submission I ever sent off, after revising it following suggestions from an editor who rejected it. When I got the acceptance letter and check for $9.83 (a penny a word, woohoo!), I screamed. I was standing at the mailbox in the middle of my apartment complex but didn’t care. I was an author! I let life get in the way, though, and it was another fifteen years or so before I was published again.

I don’t know what I expected from publication, to be honest, but the first time I held a book with my name on the cover, I cried. That validation, the concrete proof I was capable of turning out a story good enough to be published, felt even better than I imagined. It was no longer a dream, but a reality.

Do you love the ePublishing / small press platform and are you going to pursue traditional publishing in the future?

I do love ePublishing. The traditional houses are limited in what they can accept, and there are so many wonderful stories that don’t fit into that mold. I think readers are lucky to have so many choices now. A small part of me still thinks about submitting to the traditional pubs, but I have recently ventured into self-publishing and see that as the future. I’m not sure I have the patience to wait for agent acceptance, then publisher offers, and another year or two for release.

Can you tell us a little bit your new release? How did you come up with the idea?

Demon of Desire is a paranormal erotic romance novella about a woman who becomes possessed by a sex-hungry demon, and the choices her heroes, vampire triplets, must make in order to save her. The idea was conceived in an email loop with a group of authors, with an eye toward a vampire anthology. My story idea quickly outgrew the parameters of the anthology and I decided the setting was perfect for a series. I have three more stories in the works for the Whispering Valley series.

Do you use critique partners or do you go solely from the writing, editing, to submission?

I would not exist if it weren’t for critique partners! I’ve been so lucky to find honest writers who are willing to say what doesn’t work for them, or point out plot holes.

Do you have a daily ritual to get you in the “writing zone”?

I don’t. Which is probably why my writing is so scattered at the moment! Some days the story is shouting at me to get back to it and I get a lot accomplished. Others, I’m shouting at the distractions wishing I had a cave to crawl into so I could focus.

How do you stay inspired?

New ideas come from everywhere, seeing a person who would make a perfect hero or heroine, or watching a movie that takes turns I don’t agree with. Sometimes a minor character threatens to take over and I realize they’ll need their own story.

What is the most difficult part of your writing journey? What is the most exciting part?

I can be very undisciplined, which is not good for someone who depends on royalties for her income. I really need to learn to say “later” to distractions and get back to a structured writing day. I can say the best parts are threefold. One, seeing a book cover with your characters, title and name on it. Two, getting a royalty statement showing people are still buying and reading after the promo has died down. And most important, number three, getting those emails asking what happens after the end of the story.

What personal goals have you made for yourself this year?

I set goals for the number of releases to aim for from my publisher, plus additional books from new publishers. I haven’t done well on the “new publishers” aspect, as the ones for Ellora’s Cave are demanding so much time, but I think I’ll hit my goal for number of releases.

What is the most extreme or wildest thing you’ve done and what did you learn about yourself?

I packed up and moved to the middle of the continent, away from family and friends, a few years back. I am very family-oriented, so it was hard to not have them around, and having to rely on myself for everything. But I thrived in the long run and gained a lot of confidence.

Any last words for your readers?

The most important words: thank you! Thanks for buying my books, for participating in contests and for letting me share my fantasies with you. An author is nothing without people who enjoy her books.

What should we expect from you in the future?

I am in edits with my next release, Fighting for Control, with Ellora’s Cave. This novella is part of the 1-800-DOM-help series of BDSM erotic romance. I will also be releasing a self-published paranormal romance novella soon, Renegade Wolf. Then I hope to finish the second book in the Whispering Valley series, Beloved Familiar.