Please welcome the fabulous Aimee Duffy, who has kindly agreed to join us on The Hot Pink Typewriter today. I had the pleasure of interviewing Aimee a few months ago about her book, The Isle of Sensuality. Since then, she’s had another two novels published by Beachwalk Press and has self-published. More recently, her latest title, Sinfully Summer, was published by Harper Impulse – with yet another to be published by them soon. Does this author never sleep?
Q) Hi Aimee! Thanks so much for squeezing us in – and I mean squeeze! You work full time as a legal secretary, you clearly write a lot and, what I really admire about you, you’re always there to support your writing friends too. How on earth do you fit everything in?
A) Thanks for inviting me Lindsay! Actually, I do my best but lately things have been slipping – mostly sleep :o). I write in bursts, so one week I can write a lot and the next absolutely nothing. It evens itself out in the end, until revisions and edits hit then looming deadlines get harder to meet. Plus I’ve been taking the weekends off lately, which is good for my sanity but bad since I’m behind with all the deadlines!
Q) Can you give us a summary of your latest release from Harper Impulse, Sinfully Summer?
A) Alexa, a… spirited heiress, goes on a girlie holiday to Marbella and ends up blackmailed into helping Enrique Castillo plan a charity ball. He’s very reserved and controlling, whereas she’s outspoken and doesn’t bow down to anyone. Ric tries to tame her but it backfires on him.
Q) Alexa Green, the heroine in Sinfully Summer, is quite the strong-willed playgirl. Did that make her fun to write, or a nightmare?
A) A bit of both. She practically dictated the story, whenever Ric tried to get her in toe, she just went ahead and did what she liked. I know as a writer we’re supposed to control the way the characters end up, but I couldn’t get her to do anything I wanted. Neither could Ric.
Q) Ric, the hero, is a tortured hero. Why do you think this type of hero so appealing to readers, let alone the writers who create them?
A) The idea of a hero being mean and unreachable because they’ve had a terrible past just melts me. I end up rooting for the heroine to crack through to their hearts. There’s something about making a broken man whole again I find very appealing, both reading and writing.
Q) Sinfully Summer isn’t a particularly long novel. Do you write to a word count or is it how the story naturally evolved?
A) I aimed for 50,000, since the story was written when I was working with an editor for another publisher, but it went over (I can never stick to word counts!) so it’s about 55,000 now. After the first draft it got to nearly 60,000 though. I like writing longer. Might try my hand at a single title :o).
Q) I noticed one reviewer pointed out how both Alexa and Ric grow and change over the course of the book. We all know how integral that is to any love story. Do you plan that development ahead or does it naturally happen during the course of writing the book?
A) I honestly don’t plan much. I usually have an idea of who the characters are at the start of the book, sometimes I have an idea for a few pivotal moments, but I rarely stick with them. The changing happens naturally and if it doesn’t I go back and revise.
Q) Your heroes and heroines have a habit of sparking and then imploding on the page. Is that carefully constructed or do you just let them get on with it?
A) I just let them get on with it. If it feels right. I had to hold Ric and Alexa back, since both really are too stubborn to give in straight away.
Q) All of your books, including Sinfully Summer, contain very high heat levels. Do you think that’s essential in a love story?
A) Not at all. I read a lot of sweet stories too, I just like showing it on the page. If a reader picks up my books they’ll know to expect a certain heat level. Although my recent venture into erotic romance may surprise them a bit!
Q) You have a habit of choosing hot and exotic locations, not exactly representative of the beautiful Scotland where you live. Do you need to travel to these places to write about them or do you rely on your imagination?
A) Mostly my imagination. I’ve been to Mexico, which from research I can see the beaches, etc are not that different from Rio where Isle of Sensuality is set. I’ve also been all over Spain, so minimal research was needed for Marbella. I’d love to go to all those places though. The weather in Scotland can get depressing at times, though we’ve been lucky this summer.
Q) Everything you write receives such a positive response from readers, including lots of 4 and 5 star ratings. What matters most, the rating or what readers say in the written review?
A) I appreciate both, because it means someone has taken the time to do it and I’m very grateful, even for my first one star review. I know I can’t please everyone, and that’s okay. I still appreciate the time people spend reading my work.
Q) You self-published a book with the superb Michelle Smart – Once Upon a Twist. This 20th Century take on Cinderella and modern day take on Little Red Riding Hood was a step out of your comfort zone, wasn’t it? What inspired you to write it?
A) I read Michelle’s story and when she talked about self-publishing I was dying to be part of it! I picked a fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, mixed it with reunited lovers with a bit of horror thrown in, and mine managed to link in quite loosely with Michelle’s. It is very dark, and completely out of my comfort zone, but it was such a joy to write! I even gave myself a nightmare or two :o).
Q) And what have been the positives and challenges about self-publishing compared with traditional publishing? Would you recommend it?
A) Yes and no. It’s great because you can put the book up how you like, control tags, the price and even the cover. But I love having a publisher behind me too, and HarperImpulse and Beachwalk have been so lovely to work with that I will always give them books, even if I do self-publish a few more.
Q) You’ve had an amazing few months, Aimee. What has been the highlight?
A) There have been so many! But getting the call from the lovely Charlotte at HarperImpulse is at the top of the list. They were so excited about Sinfully Summer and since have done a fabulous job with that and the second book I’ve signed with them. They even managed to get Sinfully Summer in the Amazon Summer Sale, so it’s 99p until 5th September on Amazon UK.
Thank you again for having me Lindsay. I know how busy you are too and hate taking your time away from writing your bad ass vamps! Can’t wait for Blood Torn :o) xoxo
Aww, thank you, Aimee - but it's always a pleasure. Thanks again for joining us.
You can healthily stalk Aimee via her blog or on Twitter @AimeeDuffyx
And you can find Sinfully Summer on Amazon.co.uk