Archive by Author

My summer vacation…

9 Jul

It’s hot summer days again – although actually, I’m pretty lucky in that regard. I live by the ocean in California. Hitting eighty degrees here is big news. Most of the time it’s foggy, even a bit chilly.

Still, it’s summer vacation – and what am I doing? Writing, as usual! Just finished a hot new m/m novel featuring a gay Marine discharged under DADT. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to write for a long time, but until the policy was officially repealed last December, I didn’t have an ending for it yet.

This time I did something I’ve never done before – I took a week off in the middle of writing, and headed up to San Francisco with a friend. Both unrepentant opera nerds, we had tickets to see Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the San Francisco Opera. Four nights of glorious music, interspersed with day trips to the Castro, Japantown and a whole bunch of museums. I arrived home with a rested mind all fired up to get back to work. Maybe I should take time off in the middle of projects more often!

Which is probably what I will be doing next month, when I head off to Authors After Dark in Philadelphia. I hadn’t planned on going until I heard they’d had a few authors cancel at the last minute. Considering I’m also attending Ellora’s Cave’s RomantiCon at the end of September and GayRomLit in New Orleans two weeks after that, you might say I’m a bit crazy.

Oh, go ahead. You know you want to.

This is the first year since I got published (in 2008) where I seem to have caught the traveling bug. Writing is a solitary job, but that’s okay – I’ve never been much of a “people person,” so working alone suits me. But every now and then it’s nice to venture out of my writing cave, blink hard into that bright, bright sunlight and interact with the rest of the world.

Once you get a couple drinks in me, it’s actually rather enjoyable. ☺

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Cat Grant is the author of twelve smokin-hot erotic romances, including the Icon Men series from Ellora’s Cave.

Like her on Facebook.. Follow her on Twitter.

Hot enough for ya?

4 Jun

I have a confession to make. I’m one of those weird people who gets annoyed when sex interferes with the story. Obviously if it’s all-out erotica, anything goes. But I’ve been known to have a wallbanger moment when I’m reading an erotic romance and the plot grinds to a halt for pages at a time so the hero and heroine (or in my case, the hero and hero) can Do It.

I’ve been told my stories are a bit plot-heavy even for erotic romance, which begs the question – where do you find the right balance? It seems the super-hot books are the ones that sell best, but I’ve heard many readers say they skim the sex scenes. So, to paraphrase Sigmund Freud, what do readers really want?

While all my books feature explicit sex, I don’t think I could ever write pure, classic erotica. It takes a special talent to weave an entire story around one character’s sexual journey – a talent I don’t possess, though I bow to any author who can pull it off successfully.

I prefer to write the kinds of stories I like to read, which means spending some time in my protagonists’ heads, finding out about their families and their background. Figuring out what makes them tick, and what they’re afraid of, because that’s the core of any good conflict. Hot sex is always part of the mix, but I strive to catch my readers by the heart and make them care about my characters before they get into bed. And at the end… well, I haven’t succeeded if it doesn’t feel like the end of the world if my heroes don’t get back together.

That’s my take on it, anyway. But still, I’m interested to know – how hot is too hot? Where’s the line between ‘five-alarm fire’ and ‘too much information!’? Readers, here’s your chance to sound off. Authors, let’s hear your views too. Go! 🙂

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Cat Grant’s the author of eleven hot erotic romances. Her latest m/m novella, A Fool for You, is now available from Ellora’s Cave.

You can find out more about her work at her website: www.catgrant.com

Follow her on Twitter: @CatGrant2009

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine…

7 May

Recently someone pointed out to me that most of my books feature scenes where one of my protagonists cooks a meal to share with his (or her!) new lover. Took me a minute or two to realize they were right! Be it an elaborate multi-course dinner or a simple omelet with coffee, my characters love sitting down to eat together.

There’s something very intimate about sharing a meal prepared with tender loving care. It can help show your characters adapting to domestic life, or heat things up to a fever pitch. Although I’ve never taken food into the bedroom – at least, not yet! – I’ve certainly contemplated the possibilities. (And before all the Last Tango in Paris jokes go flying, I draw the line at using butter for lube!)

Sharing a meal also helps cement a sense of family and commitment. Chase Aubrey (the young hero of my new book A Fool for You), like many of my other protagonists, comes from a dysfunctional background. Sitting down to a meal with his family was far from a happy experience. I’ve written about hookers, drag queens, musicians and teachers, but one thing they all have in common is the longing to connect with the one they love. Something as simple as a hand extended across the kitchen table can mean the world to them.

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Cat Grant’s the author of eleven erotic romances, both m/m and ménage. A Fool for You, the third book in her Icon Men series, will be available May 11th from Ellora’s Cave. Stay in touch via her website, www.catgrant.com or follow her on Twitter: @CatGrant2009.

My bucket list.

1 Apr

The other day I came across an old list of things I intended to do before I kick it. It was written about ten years ago, long before the movie The Bucket List came out, but you know – same difference.

At the top of the list were two simple words: “Get published.” Followed by, “buy a new car,” “learn to water ski” and “have a threesome.”

Thus far I’ve done two of those things. I’ll let you guess which two. 🙂

At the top of my current list is “travel more.” Ideally, I’d love to take a musical tour of Europe, hitting all the major opera houses and summer music festivals. And maybe I will, once I write that New York Times best-seller and make a million bucks. But since I’d rather not hold my breath that long, I’ll have to be content with driving down to LA for the Romantic Times convention next week, as well as attending RomantiCon in Ohio in September and the GayRomLit retreat in New Orleans two weeks later. That’s a full enough dance card for one year!

Next, “learn to cook.” Honestly, I’m better at it than I was a year or so ago. At least I don’t burn boiling water anymore! I’m pretty good at your basic stir-fry and sautéing, but anything else is still iffy. I should probably take a class!

Finally, “learn how to do better promotion.” Because, frankly, even after three years as a published author, I suck at it. The best promotion is to keep turning out good books, and I fully intend to do that. But I also want to boost my visibility on Goodreads, guest blog more (here, on my own blog, and over at Dirty Birdies), and become more active on Twitter and Facebook. I tend to go into hibernation mode when I’m writing, which is a bad, bad habit, and one I need to break.

Tall order? Well, maybe. Nothing wrong with a challenge, right?

Speaking of which… if Nathan Fillion and Colin Firth are available tonight, maybe they can help me scratch another one off the list. 🙂

My big, bad intro…

12 Mar

Hi, I’m Cat Grant, author of m/m and m/m/f erotica. Welcome to my first blog post here at Passionate Reads. I’m so excited!

I’ve chatted previously on Twitter with some of my fellow author-bloggers, as well as our fabbo editor, Grace Bradley. One of our fave topics is the CW show The Vampire Diaries, and how much we all love that angsty bad boy, Damon Salvatore. Amazing how he can be so effing hot, even when he’s threatening to break the heroine’s arm! But we faithful viewers know it’s all just an act. There’s this awful pain eating away at Damon’s soul that he can only endure by doing bad, bad things because he thinks he deserves to be hated. Makes me want to hug him—right before my panties go up in flames!

I’ve always had a thing for anti-heroes. My two favorite actors of all time are Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum, and they both excelled at playing anti-heroes. Rick Blaine in Casablanca’s motto is, “I stick my neck out for nobody.” Mitchum’s greatest character, detective Jeff Bailey in Out of the Past, not only falls for the movie’s bad girl, but when she tells him she’s bad, he replies, “Baby, I don’t care.” Not exactly what a white knight would say, in either instance! Both characters are redeemed by the love of a good woman before the end, but up until then, it’s touch and go—and I love it! It’s fun watching these characters struggle with right and wrong, and end up doing right in spite of themselves.

Yes, I know. I’m weird. But of the three great conflicts in fiction—man against man, man against nature, man against himself—it’s the third I find most fascinating. It feels like more of a triumph when the hero has to battle his past and his conflicting emotions (usually including a nice, big dose of fear and/or self-doubt) to win free and earn that happy ending.

I like to close a book (or finish a movie) thinking, “Conquered his demons? Check. Shown his vulnerability? Check. Accepted love? Double-check. Okay, I’m satisfied.”

Talk about a loaded word! But by now you know what I mean. 🙂

Cat Grant’s been scribbling stories since she was knee-high to a bug. She lives by the sea in beautiful Monterey, California with one persnickety feline and entirely too many books and DVDs. She’s published by Amber Quill Press and Ellora’s Cave.

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