7 Questions With Author Laran Mithras
Laran Mithras is a successful erotica author who writes for a living and lives in a beautiful, haunted Victorian. Originally a horror/fantasy writer, Laran’s first erotica was written as a favor to a very special person and this event resulted in the relocation of genres to erotica.
Real life questions of morality and acceptance are the centerpiece of all Laran’s erotica offerings and the goal is to deliver something more emotional and meaningful than the typical offerings in the genre. Being a Christian, Laran avoids usage of religious expletives (in particular, Jesus Christ”), while still delivering some of the hottest stories centering on human sexuality and the love experience.
For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re interested to know all the tips & tricks surrounding the process From Writing To Publishing Your Novel, you’re only a click away. For more goodies, articles and giveaways, please consider subscribing to my Newsletter.
Esther Rabbit: Just how much research is there behind a novel? Tell us how it looks behind the scenes.
The majority of my novels are researched in a typical day, or about 4-8 hours of research. Special attention is paid to background, such as: employment; duties of the workplace; and how all of that impacts the lives of the characters. When I wrote the Iron Crows Motorcycle Club series, I had never seen a single episode of Sons of Anarchy.
I refused to watch it for “research.” Instead, I spent eight days researching motorcycle clubs and the differences between them. I even spent time on YouTube listening to how certain brands of motorcycles sounded when starting and running.
Generally, most of my research is far less intensive and primarily consists of compiling names, character quirks/flaws, employment and location, and possibly a bit of character history.
Esther Rabbit: What are the steps you usually take from writing your first draft to publishing?
The first thing I do is gain inspiration for a story. I visit sites that host public submissions of captioned pictures for the niche of erotica within which I write. This gives me a direct pulse to what those people would enjoy reading.
The second step is to build the cover. I do them all myself and while my first ones were horrid, I have become quite adept at producing a good cover.
The third step is the research phase, all of which gets put into a text document for reference.
The fourth step is taking my book template and pounding out the story.
The fifth and final step is letting my editor work with me on correcting any mistakes before publishing.
Esther Rabbit: Authors vs. Social Media. How do you approach the tools you have at your disposal?
I run from it. Seriously.
There is so much jealousy and pettiness that I pretty much just ignore social media. I’ve heard too many horror stories of authors getting spite-bombed in reviews or falsely reported, accused, and smeared. That isn’t for me. I rarely post my new books on Facebook and my Twitter account stands empty. If I don’t make myself a target, then I’m free to just tell stories – even if my launches suffer for it.
Esther Rabbit: What were some major setbacks of this profession?
The extremely fractured niches within erotica. For example, some readers will avidly read about gay Martian priests who pound tentacles into married men’s posteriors.
But if I write that the priests are bisexual or the men aren’t married, suddenly that reader base won’t read the offering. Erotica niches are tightly specific. Any kind of crossover is a waste of creative talent.
Esther Rabbit: What are some common stereotypes related to the genre(s) you’re writing in?
My goodness. Very cliché is the overdone blonde making fish lips, sporting basketballs for breasts on a 92 pound frame. Lesser is the weak beta male who is married to that “goddess.” Also of eye-rolling note is the cliché that extends even into romance: the foot long, soda can thick male part.
I avoid all those. I write my characters as normal as they can be. Sometimes attractive, sometimes plain. I don’t want my readers thinking the story so unlikely that it could never happen to them.
Esther Rabbit: How do you deal with negative feedback or negative reviews?
I don’t get very many negative reviews, but when I do, I completely ignore them. Same for feedback, no response. However, I do carefully consider that feedback to determine if I have room for improvement.
Reviews on Amazon aren’t all that important to me. Many of the reviews on the site seem to be delivered by someone just one keystroke short of a meltdown seizure. That’s not to say I haven’t gotten some really great reviews, but the negative ones are dismissed.
Esther Rabbit: Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
Don’t get discouraged over a flop!
Build that backlist, baby; it’s your gold mine.