My guest author on the blog today is a fresh face to the indie writing scene. Iris Sweetwater’s debut new adult novel, Texas Roze (a 99-cent steal!), dropped in February. It tells the story of Roze Lawrence, a privileged rich girl who has to prove herself to her family after inheriting her father’s farm. Her new novel, released just this month, is the first book of her Brothers of Fang paranormal romance series.
Read on as Iris dishes about writing shifter romance, her first forays into poetry, and how being a ghostwriter helped her gain confidence as an author!
What do you love most about the craft of writing?
I love that you get to make up your own stories to tell so that people can escape into a fantasy world or be inspired. Books are magical and it makes you feel like a wizard to be able to craft them.
Tell us about your latest project.
Well, I just released a book called The New Alpha yesterday. It is the first in a series called The Brothers of Fang. Right now there are four books planned and a spinoff is possible if they do well. It is a paranormal romance focusing on three super hot werewolf brothers who are dealing with the death of their father – who was the previous alpha – as well as a witches’ coven that can either be their ally or a lot of trouble.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always been a writer. I wrote my first poems and short stories when I was four years old. All the kids at school and the teachers knew this is what I was going to do.
What drew you to writing romance/erotica?
As far as romance, it starts with what I like to read. Even in a book with a lot of action and amazing things, a romance with the characters can really pull you in even further. A romance can help focus on characters and make you really care what happens to them. I became even more confident in writing romance as I grew my craft as a romance and erotica ghostwriter.
Which book(s) have influenced your writing style the most?
J.K. Rowling is really someone who is an excellent writer. I hope I am as good at non-boring detailing as her. Others include Alyson Noel, Addison Moore, Cassandra Claire, and Holly Black.
~’Books are magical and it makes you feel like a wizard to be able to craft them.’~
Share a piece of your work that showcases our writing style best.
This is an excerpt from Texas Roze, a contemporary romance that is available to purchase now on all ebook retailers.
“I heard that there was someone new in town; that somebody’s daughter was coming to live here. I just had to come see it for myself because that’s just who I am.” His teasing twang had the feeling a familiarity to it that she didn’t have an explanation for. Had she met this person, or was it someone Todd was close to? She surveyed him, splayed out as if he felt right at home and noticed that she could see rippling muscles underneath his white shirt. His tan suggested he worked outside a lot. Maybe he was a farm worker or something?
“Who are you?” she finally asked, for lack of anything better to say to the attractive stranger.
“Well, I suppose I can’t really expect you to remember me. I am quite a bit bigger than the last time we saw each other; you know before you disappeared without a trace.” Roze squinted and looked at him once again, thinking hard at who from her past this muscular blonde could be.
“Are you here for the sweet tea again, Jake?” Todd’s voice came from a few feet away as he seemed to appear in the room. He was sweaty and dirty; a permanent state for him, she thought, and he was always silent as a ninja when he entered rooms. She was going to have to get used to that, unfortunately. But at least she could finally figure out who the man was as she crossed her arms and pursed her lips.
“I know he isn’t here to push me in the mud again. I’m much too old for that now,” Roze answered for him, letting him know she definitely remembered him now. Though, she was shocked to see that he had grown into quite a man, with perfect bleach blonde hair and large muscles. When he stood up and walked up to her, he easily towered over her, though that wasn’t necessarily a feat. Roze was a bit on the short side.
It took her aback even more when he wrapped his arms around her in a friendly hug. His body was strong and warm, reminding her of a statue that had been heated up. She was left both breathless and speechless for a moment until he pulled away. “Do you two really know each other?” Todd asked, coming into the kitchen and rummaging through the fridge. It looked like he was going to make himself a sandwich, and he also poured his own glass of tea. Roze didn’t dare to because it was way too sweet for her taste. She had no idea how these people stomached something like that without contracting diabetes.
Roze backed away casually from Jake, but she could feel that her heart was beating significantly faster now. “We do,” Jake answered, and Roze noticed his voice sounded a little gravelly now as well, like maybe he had been a little affected by their contact as well. “Why, are you jealous that someone knew me before we became best friends and rode off into the sunset together?” he teased, turning around to his friend and slugging him in the shoulder playfully. Todd just rolled his eyes and sat down to enjoy his small lunch. Roze idly wondered how anyone could make friends with such a standoffish guy.
Jake pulled out another chair and patted it, sitting down next to it. Roze sat down with them, feeling slightly uncomfortable considering she had not truly made nice with her stepbrother yet. It felt like too friendly and casual of an environment, but she humored Jake anyway, hoping he would help the two of them break the ice as a mutual friend. “I used to come by all the time because my mom and Roze’s were good friends. We were always here chasing each other around, weren’t we, Roze?” he asked with a crooked smile that made her cheeks feel hot.
“I’m pretty sure you did most of the chasing,” Roze offered trying not to make direct eye contact with him. The last thing she wanted to do was have a moment with this guy, who was now friends with Todd, right in front of him. “And the pushing, and the hair pulling,” she added for effect.
“C’mon, isn’t that what little boys are supposed to do to little girls?” he asked, leaning back in his chair and putting his hands behind his head just in the right way for his muscles to stretch and ripple.
Name three of your best writing tips.
- Reading and using what you read as inspiration to improve yourself is good, but don’t feel the need to copy a style just because you think it will sell books. People love authors who show their personal voice.
- When editing, read out loud. I promise, it helps a lot.
- Watch out for detail. I want to picture the characters really well and get the feel of a setting, but I do not need to know about every color on every piece of furniture in the room.
Dead or alive, name the writer you wish were your mentor and why.
JK Rowling – because with her, it’s not just about writing. It’s about how to live life and be bold and be yourself.
What would you say is your own interesting writing quirk?
The only one I can think of that freaks people out is that other than fixing typos there are rarely any changes to the first draft of a book for me. I make a quick plan, write it, and that’s that. I have always been this way. It would drive teachers nuts during all the editing and drafting phases of my essays because nobody could find anything wrong to make me change.
Shout out an indie writer whose work you love.
I actually just read and reviewed a book called Something Blue by Kristy Nicolle. It’s a dystopian romance set in the future, and it just blew me away.
Do you have any specific writing goals in your radar?
I just want to be able to make this a career for me. I love what I do, and I have so many ideas ready to share.
Thanks for joining us today. Readers, feel free to stalk this sexy author at the following links:
Website & Blog: http://irissweetrh.wixsite.com/irissweet-author