Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Alex Tempera – Alex Tempera is the alter ego of author Amy Shannon. In the quest for a new genre, Amy transformed into Alex to create a new depth of erotica and romance novels. The beauty of a well-written erotica novel is that is contains a thoughtful and romantic storyline as well as beautifully written intimate scenes.
Thanks so much, Alex, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
Alex Tempera: I always listen to music when I write, and the music type depends on the genre of the story, and sometimes the characters. When I wrote “Roman & Julian” it was all 80s music, but usually in the MM genre, I listen to Frank Sinatra, and it has to be on vinyl.
JSC: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
AT: I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but I’ve been telling stories well before I even knew how to write. I was never sure if I was good at it, but I knew I had to do it. It was something inside me. When I was younger it was more of short stories and poetry.
JSC: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
AT: Walt Whitman. He lived in an era where his sexuality was always in question, and he was thought of as a deviant. Yet, his words prove that he was true to himself and his heart. I would love to sit and just discuss his writing, and maybe share mine with him.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
AT: Under this penname, I write erotica MM romances and BDSM romances that have a mix of genders within the stories. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I would read erotica (especially MM romances) that I wondered if I could write this type of genre. Usually, (under my real name Amy Shannon) I write crime dramas and romance, with minimal sex scenes. So, Alex Tempera was “born”. Part of my writing style is that I don’t like adding a lot of fluffy details, but sometimes the readers want that. So I’m currently tweaking my style to add more of those details.
JSC: Describe yourself using… ( a food, a book, a song, a movie, an animal, a drink, a place etc)
AT: “Leaves of Grass” (Walt Whitman) Simple, truthful, free. I am always true to myself and others, which is what Whitman was.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
AT: My first book as Alex was “Broken Walls” an MM erotic romance (and this was my first MM erotica) about a police officer and a fire chief. Mick is a police officer coming out of a real bad relationship, and Ryan is a new Fire Chief, who is trying to get away from his past. A one-night stand turns into a deep friendship with benefits and eventually, they fall in love.
JSC: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
AT: I wanted to be a geologist or a teacher.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
AT: If I’m writing in a series (I don’t write cliffhangers), I read the stories that came before it. If I’m writing something new, I’ll read the other stories I’ve written in that sub-genre (BDSM or MM) to gain some inspiration and to make sure I don’t duplicate storylines. Then, I just write, and when I have to stop and think, I take a break.
JSC: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
AT: I don’t know if it’s weird, but I’ve watched hours of porn (gay, straight, BDSM, amateur) and scrutinized how I would best describe it if I were writing about it. I do this even when I’m watching regular shows, I think in my head how I would describe the actions in words.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
AT: I am currently working on a sequel to “Broken Walls” and am not sure when it’ll be ready. It’s called “Rewind”. I’ve written other stories and even released “Blue Rage” while I was still working on Rewind.
And now for Alex’s new book: Blue Rage :
“When loss fuels rage and passion.”
Police Sergeant Scott “Rage” Reynolds is returning to work in robbery/homicide after a six-month bereavement leave of absence due to the death of his husband. He comes back to find a new partner, and that his former partner is now his boss. His temperament earned him the nickname Rage, and now, he’s angrier than ever, especially with his husband for leaving him. Since Paul died, he’s pushed those who cared the most for him away, keeping everyone at arm’s length. Now, he has to learn to deal with the anger, grief, and guilt, especially when he finds solace with an old friend, but it could be his own stubbornness that affects his relationships with those around him.
Scott looked up at the sign for the Lock n’ Key pub, and then headed down the alley that led to the back of the building. He knocked on the door labelled private.
“It’s me, yeah,” Scott said, opening the door, and then closing and locking it behind him. “It’s dark in here.”
“Sorry,” Titus answered. “I shoulda told you. I’m not really in the mood for company.” He turned on the desk lamp that was on his desk, illuminating a small portion of his office.
“I’m sorry. I was coming ‘cause I need a friend, and I guess it’s you that needs one. I haven’t been that good of a friend, have I?”
Titus stood up and walked over to Scott, the shadows of the room, resting against their bodies. “You could’ve come to me instead of Len.”
Scott gulped. “Len … uh, he just met some needs. That’s all. He wants more but I don’t. I’m pretty sure that’s over with.”
“What can I do?” Titus gulped.
“What do you need?” Scott whispered, taking Titus’s hand in his.
“I don’t even know anymore,” he sighed.
Scott lifted Titus’s chin with his finger. “Titus?”
Scott took a step back. “I don’t do fucking.”
Titus’s eyes swelled with tears. “I need it. Please. As my friend.”
Scott looked into Titus’s eyes. “I’m not what you need.”
“You’re exactly what I need. What I’ve been wanting, before Charlie died. Scott, please. I know what you are. Who you are. Please.” His eyes pleaded with him as Scott’s cock tightened and grew, pushing against the zipper of his jeans.
Scott grabbed Titus’s face with both hands, caressing it hard but gentle, pulling Titus into a tight kiss. His tongue dancing around Titus’s lips, and then plunging inside his mouth, sucking and twisting with Titus’s tongue. He pressed his mouth harder and harder against Titus, making him both gasp for breath and taking his breath away. Scott’s cock rubbed against Titus’s, with only the zippers in between the two. Scott took a breath as he broke the embrace. “I’m called Rage for a reason, and I bring it into the bedroom as well. I like control and roughness, with sensuality for after. I don’t hurt, I command. Not everyone gets it,” he talked into Titus’s mouth.
Tears streamed down Titus’s cheek, as his eyes met Scott’s with desire. “I know and that’s what I want. What I need,” he gulped.
“Lubes and condom?”
Titus walked over to the desk and opened the drawer. He pulled a ream of condoms and a tube of lubrication. “I never bring anyone in here. I just want you to know that. These were for …” he stopped. “It was my job to keep the drawer stocked.”
Scott nodded. “I get it. What I don’t get is how you know what I like and what I do, and why you need it so bad.”
Titus set the condoms and tube of lubrication on the desk. He looked up at Scott. “I guess I fuckin’ ruined this, didn’t I? Too much fucking talking. I shoulda been prepared.”
Alex Tempera is the alter ego of author Amy Shannon. In the quest for a new genre, Amy transformed into Alex to create a new depth of erotica and romance novels. The beauty of a well-written erotica novel is that is contains a thoughtful and romantic storyline as well as beautifully written intimate scenes.
Alex’s research into erotica genres and BDSM play and the lifestyle will continue to enter into her stories. Alex’s stories do not just revolve around romance sex, but there is always some form of conflict that allows the lovers to realize that they are meant for each other.