I’d like to welcome Phyllis Campbell to my blog today. Although Phyllis works full time for the State of Utah, she considers herself a full time writer of sensual romance, and “Queen of Sexual Tension!” Her latest book is “Queen of Hearts” and is an adult historical romance.
Katie: Please give us a brief synopsis of “Queen of Hearts.”
Phyllis: Dr. Cecilia Ashby is forced to disguise herself as a man in order to practice medicine in a small Southern town after the Civil War. When she stumbles across an injured gambler in an alley one night, will her ruse get the better of them both? Especially when she finds herself attracted to him.
Gambler James Lawrence has played his last hand and finally has enough cash to buy back his family's plantation that the carpetbaggers took from him…until he's blindsided, robbed and left for dead. After an interesting stay with the town doctor, he finds his stolen earnings in the hands of the young thief and his sister, Cecilia Ashby, now residing on his plantation.
James and Cecilia both want the plantation, but do they want a long lasting love even more? Battling deceit, betrayal, and disguises, the two must confront their biggest challenge yet – themselves.
Katie: These characters sound like fun. Did you model any of them after people you know?
Phyllis: Actually, the story of how I came up with this story is fun. At work, we had a party where some of us played characters in a murder mystery. I was a character (because I’m always full of drama! lol) But it was one of my co-worker’s character that caught my interest. She was a woman doctor who had to disguise herself as a man in order to practice medicine. From that point on, my muse told me I must write this story! Once I figured out who my sexy hero would be – a gambler – the plot fell into place. By the time I was finished writing the story, I was eager to get it in front of publishers. Then the horrible hurricane, Katrina hit. There is a bad hurricane in my story…and it takes place in Louisiana… I thought for sure my story would never sell then. Thankfully it did. (grins)
Katie: What prompted you to begin to write sensual romances?
Phyllis: Oh heavens… Good question. I know I love reading sensual romances, and I especially enjoy those sexy heroes. I love writing sexual tension. I love the tease! I love the build up. Wouldn’t you know, my reviewers and readers agree that I can write sensual romances pretty well now. heehee
Katie: Since you consider yourself the “queen of sexual tension,” I’m assuming you are planning on writing more sensual romances. Do you have more of these books on the horizon?
Phyllis: Actually ALL my book are this way. And yes, I have more on the horizon. Currently, I’m trying to find an agent (or a publisher) for three of my latest unpublished stories. I have a sexy Regency, The Sweetest Temptation….a sexy Georgian, After The Loving (gotta love yummy pirates) and a sensual ghost story, My Heart’s Desire.
Katie: Your book, “Queen of Hearts” is also a historical romance. Do you plan on writing more historical romances?
Phyllis: Historicals are my absolute favorite to write. In fact, if you notice, most of my books are historicals. Right now I have no plans to write contemporary…unless they’re a time-travel. (grins)
Katie: How much research did you do for “Queen of Hearts?”
Phyllis: Lots! I had to research how a sugar plantation is managed. I had to find out if there were any sugarcane plantations in the area where my story takes place. I had to see how life was like in Louisiana. And, I had to research a gambler’s life. Let me tell you…that was fun!
Katie: How does writing sensual romances differ from the more traditional romance genre?
Phyllis: Well, traditional Regencies (for example) will rarely have hand-holding, and maybe a brief kiss on the cheek…and only on the mouth if they’re engaged or married. In my stories, if my characters feel like touching and kissing, they are doing to do it for everyone to read. heehee
Katie: Is this book traditionally published, self-published or e-published, and why did you chose that method of publication?
Phyllis: This book is electronic published…and available in POD. The first publisher that took this story only had it in paperback (they’d started out electronic, but then stopped it right after I arrived). I wanted my electronic readers to enjoy the story too, so when the contract ended, I found another publisher who does both ebook and print.
Katie: What kind of marketing and promotional work have you done for “Queen of Hearts?”
Phyllis: I’ve made up flyers that I sent to some RWA conferences. I’ve blogged about the release – and reviews – several times. And the book cover is worth bragging about, which I love to do, as well.
Katie: What three pieces of advice would you give to another author who wishes to write sensual romances?
Phyllis: Read them…and love them first. If you don’t love reading sensual romances, you are going to find it difficult to write them. And last… have fun with it!!!