3 Aug 2014

Interview with erotic romance author Vivian Winslow

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Tiger Lily is the final book in the trilogy, The Gilded Flower series. This series follows the story of Lily Baron, a woman who finds her fianc√© in bed with her twin sister the night before her wedding. It follows her adventures in Rio, her honeymoon destination, to which she travels alone and taking the helm of Baron Media, her family’s media empire. Tiger Lily is the culmination of her experiences, sexual and personal through which she grows up and becomes an independent and confidant woman. The book is set to be released on July 20th.

What inspired you to write it?
I’ve written a few novels but never in the romance genre. A friend suggested that I try my hand at it since it’s her preferred style of writing to read. She and I hashed out a storyline one afternoon, and Gilded Lily was born. It was such a fun book to write. The women are smart, capable and strong, but love men and enjoy relationships with them as well. I didn’t anticipate it turning into a series, but the story lent itself to that so the subsequent books just unfolded from there. What’s really fun about the Lily series is that many of the cities she visits are places I’ve lived or visited. It’s great to be able to incorporate my experiences into these books.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?

That was pure luck. I came across it perusing a stock photo site. It encapsulates the themes in the book perfectly.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Great question. Blake Lively for the roles of Lily and Dahlia Baron. Kim Basinger as Poppy, the twins’ mother, and Dennis Quaid for the twins’ father. There are some great Latino actors who would be well-suited to play the leading men in Lily and Dahlia’s lives: Brazilian actors Cau√£ Reymond as Marcelo and Rodrigo Santoro as Gustavo; William Levy for the part of Alejandro; and Diego Boneta as his younger brother, Rodrigo. Victoria Justice would make a beautiful Rosa. There are so many gorgeous Indian actresses who can play Vi. Priyanka Chopra’s strong presence would ideal.

What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?

There is an incredible freedom in writing erotic romance. It allows me to take my characters to their limits and not gloss over what is a natural and very feminine experience.

What made you want to become an author?
I started reading when I was four and haven’t stopped devouring as many books as I can since then. About eight years ago, I realized I had enough life experiences and lived in enough places (having lived in six cities outside the U.S. and four in the U.S.) that I wanted to share those experiences through fictionalized stories that take place there.

How do you come up with character names?
Lily’s original name was Sarah. I changed it about mid-way through the first draft when I realized that the book might become a series. The name Lily kept coming to mind, in part because I always loved it. Finally, when I worked out what the themes of the series might be, I changed it and gave the main female characters flower names.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Traveling inspires me. Being in different cultures, living outside of my comfort zone stretches me as a person. I crave the experience all the time.

Where is your favourite place to write?
In my room at my desk, which has been on three different continents with me. It’s falling apart, but I don’t mind.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
Rebecca based on the book of the same name by Daphne du Maurier.

Name two of your favourite authors.
Edith Wharton and Charles Dickens.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
Kurt Vonnegut and Edith Wharton. The former because of his irreverent humor, the latter because of her feminist insight.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I have a Masters in French.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
That’s a tough one. Olivia Munn?

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
Women in New York City can go topless so long as it is not a means to make money.

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
Definitely an extension of The Gilded Flower series. I’m open to any fan requests as to which characters’ stories they would like to read about. Perhaps it’s Rosa, the sister of Dahlia’s love interest, Rodrigo, or maybe one of the male characters from the book, like Todd. I have a feeling there are a few readers who would like to get more of his story.
Also, I have a backlog of story ideas from my friends who want erotic stories written for and/or about them. One is about a rock star. That should be fun!
Young Adult is certainly a possibility. But it’s hard to stay away from sex right now.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
Visit the ruins at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
Psyche and Eros. The way it was taught to me, I thought it was a beautiful tale of love, but also of a woman coming into her personal power that would make her worthy of love. “Psyche” is also the Greek would for soul, which makes the tale all the more powerful to me—combining soul and love.

Who did you want to be when you were a kid?
For a time I considered becoming a lawyer. Glad I kept an open mind.

Having spent most of the last two decades abroad, Vivian Winslow currently resides in New York City with her husband and two grade school-aged children. Her stories are heavily influenced by her ex-pat experiences. The Gilded Flower Series is her first foray into erotic romance.Website

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