Our next author to guest post on our segment, Can We Talk?, is Ray Sostre, author of A Thrill Seeking Relationship and many more books.. He has chosen to answer a few questions. Grab your coffee and lets get to know Ray. Welcome Ray!
What inspired you to write your first book?
When I wrote my very first book, it was called Their First Night Together in 2011. I was away from writing for a number of years, and I wanted to show the world what I can write; both an erotic story with purely a romantic twist. Although, the story is no longer in publication, but you can find this story in Gratis: Transformations, in a more updated version.
I was always intrigued with writing erotica since 2010. I read a few short stories, a year prior, but I never thought of myself writing them, which made me fall in love with it. Plus, it’s therapeutic compared to where I live; in the middle of the desert where people have nothing better to do than drink and gamble.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing style is very simple. I love to add lots of sex, drama, comedy, and enjoyment to the story. While I have read other author’s works and found some to over-explain their scenes and characters, I wanted to be different; totally different from their style.
How did you come up with the title?
My current one: A Thrill Seeking Relationship came pretty easy. I wanted to write a story about a happy interracial couple that want to get into some naughty trouble together, and if there was naughtiness involve why not have two threesomes?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My intent may not have a message, but to escape the reality, and have fun reading good fantasies.
How much of the book is realistic?
Oh no, I want to avoid the use of those dirty words ‘realism’ or realistic.’ Of course, I want my stories to be believable, filled with a plot and twist, along with a purpose in the story, but realism, no way! I prefer to keep it fantasy. My characters in the story, for example, engage in unprotected sex. I do that intentionally to keep it on the fantasy side. In the real world, we’re not immune to STI’s. (sexually transmitted infections), but I don’t need to incorporate that in my erotic fiction. I’m sorry if I sound blunt about it, but if the reader feels they can’t get along with my work, I’m not offended, but I learned throughout my years of writing, I have to be me, and being fiction in my work is one of them.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not really. I like to keep my personal experiences out of it, because I don’t feel to comfortable about it. I did write something that was related to my personal experience (Forgetting About What Happened – a holiday erotic in 2012), and it was hard for me to write, because some events were painful, and I don’t want to experience it again.
What books have most influenced your life most?
In 2011, there were books written by Dawne Prochilo, which I’m sure she had written more stories presently. Her stories were exactly like my tempo, where I could fall into her stories and feel satisfied, from sweet to heat, and her books had inspired me to write more; develop my own style. Then, there were books written by Summer Daniels, along with Nichelle Gregory, Breanne Erickson, Michael Alexander, JS Morbius, and Lucy Felthouse. I remembered Author Don Abdul’s books before he was with a publisher, and his books were easy to read (This was in 2011-2013). In 2014, there were two books that really influenced me to step up my game more – Sarah Michelle Lynch and Symone Craven. I was reviewing both their books, and then I thought to myself how I want to make my stories very cinematic, very erotic, and very fiction, and I felt the rest was history. I wanted to make my work both entertaining and erotic.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
If Dawne Prochilo is reading it. She was the mentor, and I find her always to be one. Although, it’s been a couple years since we kept in touch, but Dawne will always be an influence to me.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading a book by Lacey Silks, which won’t release until Tuesday, April 21st. 2015. I’m reviewing it for my online magazine AfterDark Online.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Lately, I’ve gotten into reading books by Felicity Brandon, Ethan Radcliff, Suzzana C. Ryan, and Michael Dalton. These authors are a different genre than me, since I’m strictly erotic romance, but I had always been intrigued to write dark erotic romance, because there’s more to it than just ordinary erotic romance. While Felicity, respectively, writes BDSM, and Michael Dalton, respectively, writes sci-fi erotica, I’ve been taking an interest in their work more. I didn’t start reading Ethan Radcliff’s work until the end of 2014, and he’s a very versatile author; same for Suzzana C. Ryan, respectively. I remembered her work back in the days, but she’s a very versatile author. Both of them are my colleagues with the publisher I’m under, and they write many genres from paranormal to erotic romance, to BDSM, and even I want to get versatile myself, but in my own way.
What are your current projects?
Okay, I had just finished writing a May/December erotic romance called Love Type Situation, and it’s still pending, as far as I know. I also finished writing a short ménage story (MFM) called The Indecisions Of Kendra, and that is for an anthology, in a tribute to a PA that had recently passed – Nancy Orcutt Seyboth.
In addition, I’m working on my indie series Love Out Of Lust Part Five, & Part Six, and a polyamory novella called The Weekend.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Other than my Pops from back east, my woman of ten years and over – Mary. She’s the love of my life, and she has put up with a lot of my shit through the years, and in the last five years, since I’ve been trying to find myself. I want to say thank you, and boo, I have true love for you.
I also have to give a gracious thanks to my faithful fans in my town, and outside – the internet world. They are what keeps me inspired to write more.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes I do. I love it! I live in a town, where people just drink and gamble their lives away, and I know if writing erotica didn’t happen I would fall into that same category. It saved me from my depression and sanity.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Add more adventure. I did enjoy the book – A Thrill Seeking Relationship.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was serving detention in 1990, and I got bored and started writing. I didn’t take further interest into it until I was in my junior and senior years in high school, but by the late 90s, I lost the interest and pursued another interest called the night club scene. I worked the night club circuit for eight years, until I retired and moved to Nevada. After living in the desert town for such a long time, and had a period of bad luck, it was then when I picked up writing and wrote my first erotic story. Although, it was never published, and truly rough around the edges with the punctuation, and grammatical errors, I felt proud that I could do it, and I was inspired to go on and write more.
I had said numerous of times that writing erotica has happened to me by accident. When I say by accident, I wasn’t looking to get back into writing at that time. In 2009 and 2010, I was going through some troubling periods in my life. I lost my job twice, and while I was at home, I thought about putting myself into business by creating a site (AfterDark Online) that was specifically for adult entertainment, selling adult toys and pornographic DVDs, but I was also intrigued at a site I visited frequently – Lush Stories. It was then when I read a story, written by a guy and found it that he wrote a story that was all porn and no plot, using derogatory words that made me say WTF? I rated his story, and told him in nice words it sucked. He later sent me a private message and challenged me to write a story. I accepted, but I didn’t submit my first one until late December, but the rest became history after I wrote my first story. Although, it was rough around the edges and I had been away from it for so long. I forgot the use of punctuations and my grammatical uses was always a challenge, until I got better.
I am so glad this accident happen, but that’s my reference to ‘writing erotica happened by accident.’
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
A Thrill Seeking Relationship is a story about an interracial couple, Josh Trevelyan and Isabel Tavares, are in search of keeping their relationship exciting by fulfilling their ultimate fantasies. When Josh satisfies Isabel’s fantasy with a threesome, Isabel switches the tables on Josh by inviting a friend of hers – Lourdes Rivera. When the three share a threesome together, Josh and Isabel developed feeling for her, but to convince Lourdes in a relationship with them was a challenge that wouldn’t succeed, until an unexpected moment happens.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging part of my writing, other than writer’s block, is avoiding clichés and keeping my story from being too boring. I read books, and I review books. I will be honest, I have a short attention span on books that I read. If the books don’t interest me, I don’t always complete the read; basically, I get turned off. When I write books, I want to avoid the most common mistakes I’ve learned from writers. I want my readers to understand the characters and the scenes, but I don’t like to over-explain it to the point where another reader gets impatient and close out their app. I’ve been there, and that’s always the challenging part for me in writing a story.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have a number of favorite authors. There are so many names to go through, but what I like about their work to be my favorite is that they get straight to the point with their scenes. I mean the first 3 pages I read is very critical for me to decide if their story is interesting or not, and that’s what makes me find them as my favorite.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I wish I could do more traveling. My inspirations of scenes relate to my hometown – New York City, but I’m also inspired by my second hometown – San Francisco, or the Bay Area.
Who designed the covers?
Before Bitten Press, I did the designs as an indie, but since I’m currently with a publisher, the staff at Bitten. I believe Suzzana C. Ryan. I hear she is a good cover designer.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
It’s the price you pay to write a good book; re-writing your scenes over and over, because a new idea sparked in your mind, or you story sounds too boring or unbelievable.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned more about being myself and stay comfortable in my own skin. I love writing erotica; it’s what I live and breath everyday. I learned that your mind is the most powerful weapon in the world, and if used wisely you can accomplish anything.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
One, keep it fantasy, always! Two, don’t take too heart about the criticism about your work. There are mean people, who like to say mean things, nip-pick, and then there are haters. Don’t let them bring you down, because you are creative in your own way, and you’ll always have an audience, so as long as you learn and pursue. Also stay true to your passion. Enjoy what you write.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, to the readers from day one, thank you for your love and support. I truly appreciate your patience and love. And when you want me to come up with the next one, I couldn’t wait to show you. Also to the potential readers, I won’t beat around the bush when I say this, I’m strictly fantasy; it’s who I am. If realism in a story is what you want, then I’m sorry to disappoint you. Everything I write may not be factually true in the real world, but my purpose is to arouse and entertain; to help you escape from the real world.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
From 2010 – 2013, I was a tadpole in the industry. I didn’t start getting comfortable with my own skin until late 2013, while I was working on my Love out Of Lust Series. Plus, I had to balance out my time in 2014 as a bar/restaurant manager, a writer, and a publisher, also a boyfriend/husband. I have a personal life, and I sacrificed a lot last year and the year before. 2015 has given me a blessed opportunity.
Coffee – Tea: Tea
Jeans – Sweats: Jeans
Silk – Cotton: Cotton
Rightie – Leftie: Rightie
Rock n roll – Country: Rock
Mountains – Beach: Beach
Cat –Dog: Cat
Favorite Movie: Fast & Furious Series
Favorite Car: Monte Carlo or Camaro
Favorite Color: Silver
Favorite Male Film Star: Pierce Brosnan
Favorite Female Film Star: Famke Jensen
Favorite Fast Food: Carl’s Jr/Hardees
Favorite Cocktail: Gin n’ Juice
Favorite Musical Band: I have favorite DJ’s. Armand Van Halden, DJ Mustard, DJ Diamonds, Johnny Vicioius, Sander Kleinenburg, DJ Icey, DJ Roni Size, Benassi Bros., Sander Von Doorn, Peter Rauhofer, Funkmaster Flex, DJ Clue, DJ Tony Touch, and Robbie Rivera. LOL! (that’s a lot)
Favorite Singer: I don’t have an actual favorite. There’s so many of them.
Thank you so much for having me on here. It’s been a real pleasure.
Amazon Links to Ray’s Books:
Love Out Of Lust Series has 4 books