When did you first realize you wanted to be an Author?
I always wanted to be a writer. As an adolescent, I loved YA lit and always dreamed of writing in that genre. Except that I always would skip to, and fixate on, the sex scenes, especially in a coming of age story. I knew I wanted to write sex scenes.Over the years I’ve had lots of ideas for books both fiction and non-fiction. I always wrote some poetry as well.
What or who inspired you to write?
The biggest inspiration for my current published writing was telling my real life story. This story was about sex, and what I learned about myself and how I grew as a person and a lover through a series of mostly-casual hook-ups. I was a married woman, at the age of 40 thrust into the wild world of Tinder, and things started to happen in my life that I couldn’t believe. I couldn’t make this up. After about a month into my journey, I decided this needs to be a book. As I kept living and writing, the Tinderella Diary became a trilogy. The story deepened, the experiences became richer, the characters developed (well, some of them).
Can you give our readers a summary of your book?
Tinderella Diary is the story of a 40 year old married woman who starts getting laid left and right with guys she meets on Tinder. Through each experience, she becomes more in touch with her needs and desires and more aware of the world around her. The book is episodic in nature with each chapter representing an encounter. As we move through the series, the stories become deeper and more interwoven.
What does your family think of your writing?
The hardest part of writing 1) erotica and 2) my true story is that I am not exactly thrilled about people close to me reading it. My husband hasn’t read it. Most of the people who have become characters in the books do not know it exists. It’s tricky because when I was writing it, I was telling everyone I knew I was writing a book to keep me accountable, and then when it was time to publish I got really quiet. I have forbidden my parents to read it, and so far they have obliged. My mom has some older cousins who have read it, and I am not going to any family reunions until they all go senile.
How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?
Negative book reviews do not bother me at all. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. I know that my genre of writing, my style of writing is not for everyone. It is not a fantasy. It is not a horror story. It is true, raw, honest and a little bit funny. It is my observations of my own sexuality as I see it. I don’t paint myself to be any better or worse than I actually am. It is what it is. That said, most people have enjoyed the books, and I love receiving feedback. I am aware of my strengths and limitations and I am just enjoying getting my voice and my story out there.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
I didn’t realize when deciding to write a book, that the success of it depends not on the quality of the writing or the story, but on my ability as a marketer. I decided to self-publish, because my story was happening on a timeline coinciding with Covid, and I needed to get that first book in the trilogy out there into the world before people forgot about what life was like before masks, stay at home orders, testing and vaccines. The first book takes place entirely pre-Covid, Summer 2019. The second book documents the 6 months following leading into Covid, so there is some bittersweet foreshadowing. The third book occurs entirely during a full year of Covid from March 2020 to March 2021, so not only is there the sexual journey but the socio-political implications and limitations of Covid, and what it was like to be a human being in Los Angeles during that time. The third story is a bit of a time capsule to a strange time in our history when everything changed for everyone.
What risks have you taken with your writing that have paid off?
I have taken numerous risks while writing this series. It is a true story of an adulterous woman with a family, a child, a job, a life. I wanted the story to be completely true, but also maintain the privacy of myself, my family, and the many people in my life who unknowingly became characters in the story. Hundreds of people. Family, sexual partners, friends, people from my adolescence. Also, I put my ass on the cover. I knew that would be risky, as some people just can’t have a woman’s lace panty-covered ass on their night stand. But I also knew it would be provocative. In keeping with the theme of the writing, it is a real ass. It is not perfect, not airbrushed, and you can clearly see the many imperfections in it. It wouldn’t make sense for this particular character to have a perfect ass. I am not a model, not a porn star. Just a real woman with a real ass.
What do you think is the best way to improve writing skills?
Read a lot
HIre a few good editors
I think it’s not a matter of saying who’s a good writer and who is not. It is a matter of style and tone. My style is very conversational, almost like a diary. It is not filled with imaginative figurative language, and it doesn’t read like traditional erotica. The tone of the writing varies based on the type of sex scene being depicted and the connection between partners. Some chapters are written very straight to the point, and others are more passionate and detailed. This is a reflection of the relationships between characters. Also, as the journey continues the way the sex scenes are written evolves. It doesn’t make sense for a woman who has had limited sexual experiences (i.e. me at the beginning of the series) to write about how sex feels the same way a woman would who has tons of experience and ownership of her body (i.e. me in the 2nd and 3rd book). The story and writing grow at the same pace.
What’s the trickiest thing about writing characters of the opposite gender?
Since my book is written in first person entirely from my perspective, I only am describing my male characters from my perspective. Some of them are likable and some of them are not. Some of them connect with readers in different ways, and some are recurring through two or three of the volumes. I have fantasized about writing supplemental backstories of some of the male characters written from their perspectives. In my books, the male characters are just foils for my character to grow, but indeed they are all real humans, with their own histories, trauma, and even secrets. Might be fun to flush that out a little bit.
Where can readers purchase your books?
Readers can buy my books as a paperback or ebook on most retail platforms: Amazon, BN, AppleBooks, Bookbaby, Scribd, etc. I also sell autographed paperback copies through Venmo and Paypal.
What was your hardest scene to write, and why?
The final sex scene in the series was the hardest to write because it really had to encapsulate the entire sexual journey while maintaining the tone of not being a fairytale ending. This is real life.
There were some scenes that are now hard to look back on and read. I wouldn’t say I regret anything I have experienced and fortunately the book does not depict any major traumas, but I am a completely different person now, and it is hard to read about how I treated some people and how others treated me.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I never wavered on the title of the book. I said it once, and that is what it was. I will often refer to things in my life as “early Tinderella days” or “ two years before I became Tinderella”. I also like the use of alliteration, like Tinderella Trilogy, Tinderella Thrill, or TInderella Train and use those terms occasionally in my marketing. The only downside is I don’t want potential readers to think that it is a fairy tale or Cinderella story. I am not a princess, nor do I aspire to be one. However, there is a fairy godmother, maybe an evil step-mother type, and some will say… a Prince Charming.
Who is your favorite character? Why?
Oh, I can’t say that without giving a major spoiler. But I will say my favorite characters are the one who I grew the most from knowing, and ironically, those aren’t always the best sex scenes. Also, my readers love picking out their own favorite characters. Women have several characters they tell me they are hot for or they could fall in love with. Men tend to see themselves in certain male characters or wish they could be certain male characters. Popular characters in the first book are Luis, the sexy Latin Lover. Edward, the fantasy fuck. Aiden, the sweet, tortured man still affected by his father’s death. And Brooklyn, who all the men want to be, and all the women want to be with.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
I think I originally wrote the book for women, so that they could live vicariously through my stories. Most women say they could never do most of the things I write about and they just enjoy reading about them, while others have told me that they have done some of that shit in their 20s. The biggest surprise is that men love the book too, they love reading about sex from a women’s point of view, what she is thinking and what she is feeling. Especially a woman who enjoys sex and is completely unapologetic about it. Additionally, the books are a cautionary tale for men who take their wives for granted and make them feel neglected. To be fair, the 3rd book deals with a lot of neglected men in unhappy marital situations. Both men and women alike have contacted me telling me that reading my books have really given them permission to “live their life” and find the joy in it. It makes me happy when people tell me that my writing has set them free.
What is the key theme and/or message in the book? If any?
There are two main themes of the book. One is body acceptance, and self-love. The other is: Life is best when you’re living it.
To purchase books:
Tinderella Diary: An Erotic Memoir (1)
Tinderella Diary Volume 2: Going Deeper (2)
Tinderella Diary Volume 3: Hard Times (3)