Birkenstock-wearing glamour girl and mother of two by immaculate conception, Daisy Harris still isn’t sure if she writes erotica. Her paranormal romances start out innocently enough. However, her characters behave like complete sluts. Much to Miss Harris’s dismay, the sex tends to get completely out of hand.
If you like science-y subplots, fantastical creatures, and red-hot chemistry, you’ll love Daisy Harris. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and at www.thedaisyharris.com.
1) What was the long and circuitous route that led you to writing?
Wow—it was long and circuitous for sure. I didn’t start writing fiction until February of 2010. Considering I’m 38, that was fairly late in life. But I did want to be an author when I was a kid. I was better at science than I was at English, though, so I focused on my area of strength.
(In retrospect, I realize I just got along better with science teachers than I did with English teachers.)
Many years and many science classes later, I found myself working as a medical writer. As it turned out, I didn’t enjoy doing science, just thinking about it. And writing about it. I branched out until I was doing a little blogging and writing some “how to write” articles, and a friend suggested I try my hand at writing fiction. (Apparently, I was always telling funny and outlandish stories.) So when I had a break between jobs, I decided to try my hand at writing a romance. I enjoyed it tons, so kept on going.
2) How does your variety of life experiences influence your fiction?
Well, I enjoy writing about evil (and not so evil) scientists. Most of my stories have an element of biology and research about them. Although I write paranormal, my worlds are almost always based on biology, not magic. I don’t really understand the physics of magic. It always seems easier to come up with scientific explanations for things like mer-people and zombies.
I’m a weirdo and still haven’t quite figured out how I come up with story ideas. For most of my books, I’ve done pages of handwritten notes. Sometimes I even color-code and stuff. But then with other stories, I don’t brainstorm hardly at all. Most often, I let a story ferment in my mind for a while before writing it. The easiest to write stories are ones that bubble up from my subconscious and won’t stop bugging me till I write them.
For every story, I write a few thousand words before even trying to officially brainstorm or plot or anything. If I can’t come up with ten or fifteen pages of compelling text right off the bat, the story just isn’t going to work. After writing 2-3 K, I send the beginning to a beta reader and that person lets me know if they think I’m totally barking up the wrong tree.
4) What was your path to publication? Did you use an agent?
I think I had the shortest path to publication of any author I know, LOL. I queried a few agents and e-publishers with my first two stories. I had more interest in the second book (Mere Passion) than the first (Mere Temptation,) but I opted to go with the publisher who would accept both books. I was really glad Siren accepted Mere Temptation, because they helped me whip it into shape. The draft I submitted was still very rough—it was my first story, after all! But I got a lot of opportunity to re-work it during revisions. And in the end, I’m glad the world got to read Isa and Sidon’s story.
5) How much planning did you do regarding the background and setting before you started writing Mercury Rising?
Before I started? None. As I said, I always write the start of a story based only on my gut. Actually, I usually leave my setting research till I finish a first draft. Then I add the details later. I did it the other way around with Lust After Death—mapping the location before writing the book. But I think with Mercury Rising, I did all that after.
I will say, though, that I’ve been to San Diego and parts of the Baja coast. So it’s not like I was writing about a place I’d never been.
6) Mercury Rising is listed as a non-series book. Does that mean we won’t see any more novels in this setting?
I don’t have any plans to write a sequel at this point. I had considered writing a second book, and even started one twice. But after around 10K, they both fizzled out. So, I’m not ruling out more novels, but I don’t see any in the near future.
7) What kind of readers would enjoy your free reads, Blind Date and Wine and Wings?
Both my free reads are short and extremely hot. So I guess someone looking for a quickie before bed.
Definitely! Vampires have been sexy for years, and they’re undead. Frankensteins and zombies haven’t quite gotten there in popular culture, but I can’t imagine they’ll be far behind. Plus, frankensteins and zombies are very dystopian.
9) Is “Bad Boys Guide to Mermen” fiction or how-to?
It’s fiction, and I’m not 100% sure I’ll be allowed to keep the name. It does indeed sound like a how-to manual. But yeah, my current work-in-progress “Bad Boys Guide to Mermen” is a first-person, male-male-female love story.
10) Are you working on Mer-Smut and Love-Bots simultaneously?
I seldom work on more than one story at a time. Sure, I take breaks from one book to edit or revise other books, but for the most part I like to do one thing at a time.
My third Love-Bots book, Built4It, should be heading off to my editor any day now. So I’m taking a break from that series to work on my merman story. That said, this merman book IS NOT a continuation of my Ocean Shifters series. This is new mer-smut.
I do have a fourth Love-Bots in the works, but I don’t want to work on that again until I’m done with Mermen. Then I’ll have to re-evaluate what readers want to see more—mer-people or Love-Bots.
11) Is it possible for an author to write a series of romances when some stories are about heterosexual relationships while other stories are not?
It’s possible from the author’s perspective. I do it all the time! But I’m not sure how readers feel about it. My third Love-Bots book (Built4It) is male-male.
I have heard, though, that many male-male readers don’t want m/f relationships in their stories. Personally, I don’t know if I could pull that off.
12) How are you going to survive double blog tours in October?
It doesn’t seem too bad so far. Of course, I’m only doing one at the current moment. I’m glad I’ve finished Built4It though. I think I’d be a lot more stressed if I didn’t have the third book of the series mostly done.
Also, my husband is home for the next two months, so that makes my life super easy. He travels like crazy for work and I haven’t seen him for more than a two week stretch since…May? April? LOL. I dunno, it’s been a long, long time! So having him around for such an extended stretch makes everything easier.
13) Are there really Geeks into Kink? Is that even allowed?
Most kinksters are tremendous geeks. The two pretty much go hand in hand.
14) What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?
I love my laptop. It’s a 12” MacBook Air. I used to enjoy writing on my iPad, but with the template I now have to use for Ellora’s Cave, I have to use MicroSoft Word. I don’t read on my laptop, though. I don’t mind back-lit screens, but I prefer using my phone or new Nook to read.
And yes, I have a ton of electronics. In my defense, both my kids use the iPad and Nook so much I can hardly get a moment in edgewise.
Homemade play dough. I make it sometimes to help me brainstorm. I use food coloring to make different shades for different characters, and then I create a sculpture of the shape of the story. Sometimes, I really like getting a visual of the story, delineating the feel of the different parts. Also, it’s nice to get my muse working on a more right-brain level.
16) What is the most persistent distraction from writing?
Distractions don’t stop me from writing. If I’m not meeting my writing goals, it’s because I don’t have the energy or because I made a conscious decision not to write. Sure, there are some things I do for fun. And I also write for fun. But this is my job, my career. I don’t leave writing time up to chance and what happens to catch my attention at the time.
If anything, I watch TV or read in order to stop myself from thinking about writing. I have a hard time turning my mind off. On occasion, I have to remind myself that if I don’t have any experiences beyond writing, I won’t have anything to write about.
My favorite way to write is in the late afternoon, at my local French Cafe with a glass of wine. But that doesn’t always work out because most afternoons I’m driving my kids around after school. Lately, I’ve been writing a lot at Starbucks. We have a very nice one in my neighborhood with a few adorably cute gay baristas.
18) What social media sites do you use?
I’m almost exclusively on Twitter. I do have a Facebook account, but I consider deleting it at least once a month.
19) I thought I was interviewing an author of paranormal erotic romance, and here I find that you’re a lover of Firefly? And that you’d take either Simon or Jayne over Mal? I’m not sure what to think about that…
I couldn’t be with a guy like Mal. He’s go too many issues and way too much sense of his own “right” ness. By far the hottest guy on that show was Simon. Unfortunately, he was also the least heterosexual dude on the show. But that’s okay. I prefer pretty over straight any day.
20) Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
I like to think Han did. I like a man (or woman) who isn’t afraid to make tough choices and protect #1. Not that I can’t appreciate a self-sacrificing character from time to time. My “Bad Boys Guide to Mermen” hero Jamie can be a bit martyr-ish at times. But Jamie knows this about himself.
Sometimes in fiction, a character is noble and martyr-y just for the hell of it, without any sense of irony or self-deprication. That bugs the crap out of me. Han was the level-headed straight-shooter to Luke’s wide-eyed idealism and Obi Wan’s big-picture zen crap. Hell yeah, he wouldn’t hesitate to shoot.
Daisy’s On a Blog Tour! Check out these other great sites.
For Lust After Death
Sept 30 –Hesperia Loves Books
Oct 1 – Book Savvy Babe
Oct 2 – A Chick Who Reads
Oct 3 – Paranormal Opinion
Oct 4 – The Phantom Paragrapher
Oct 6 — My Bookish Ways
Oct 7 — vvb32 Reads
Oct 8 – Romancing The Darkside
Oct 9 — Supernatural Bookworm
Oct 10 – Readergirls
Oct 12 – Book Sake
Oct 13 – Urbangirl Reader
Oct 14 – Book Lover’s hideaway
Oct 15 – Sassy Book Lovers
Oct 16 – Jagged Edge
Oct 17 – Judith Ledger
Oct 18 – Daisy Harris FINAL STOP
October 7: NEW RELEASE PARTY — Goddess Fish Party Pavilion
October 10: Lisa Sanchez — Romance Author
October 11: Blisse Blog
October 12: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
October 13: Naughty in the Backseat
October 14: Riverina Romantics
October 17: Wendi Zwaduk — Romance to Make Your Heart Race
October 18: Live To Read ~Krystal
October 19: Ramblings From this Chick
October 20: Sexy Lady
October 21: Black Velvet Seductions
October 24: Wake Up Your Wild Side
October 25: Seduced By Books
October 26: Carrie Ann Ryan’s Blog
October 27: Erotica For All
October 28: My Odd Little World
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