JL Peridot is an erotic romance writer and she’s visiting today to answer 10 Questions about writing, research and writers she’d love to work with. Check out her book, The Only Question that Matters.
- Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be a lot of things, growing up! A pilot, a bartender, a pilot, a military lawyer, a secret agent—basically, if Tom Cruise played it in a movie, I wanted to do it. But instead, I spent over a decade designing websites, while a tiny, tucked-away childhood dream of writing gradually took over.
2. How many books have you written?
Five already published since I started in 2017. I’m envious of authors who can churn out a new book every month with several projects on the go. When my head’s in a story, it’s very much in the story to the point where I have to watch I don’t get cabin fever. I need a lot of time and space (and words) to get immersed enough to write, which makes the process slow going. Still, I have two books coming out later this year: It Starts With A Kiss (Kyanite Publishing) and Sunset on a Distant World.
3. Have you had to research anything strange? If so, what was it?
Because I write cosmopolitan retro-future erotic romance, my search history is pretty much a combination of moderately violent media, obscure cultural references, vintage sci-fi art, future technology and a variety of pornography to ensure my heroes aren’t over-contorted when they take their clothes off.
My first novel, Chasing Sisyphus, is romantic suspense with deaths and fight scenes. So, on top of reading about weapons and how long it takes a person to die from certain injuries, I got a martial arts instructor to help me choreograph the hand-to-hand combat. Most important tip I learned? If your car ends up sinking in the river, use the pointy, metal legs of the headrest to break a window so you can escape (remember to take a breath first).
4. How do you deal with bad book reviews (if you’ve had any?)
It depends on the review. I’m not bothered if it sounds like the reviewer rushed through the book and missed stuff, or if it reads more like a “reviewer’s journal” than a write-up about the book. I’ve had to read and write on tight deadlines before, so I understand it can be a numbers game sometimes.
I’d be gutted, though, if the reviewer did do a deep read and couldn’t relate to my work. I feel strongly about connecting to my reader, on a human level, through my writing.
5. Do you have any marketing tips?
Nope! I am my own worst enemy when it comes to marketing. I understand there are ways to advertise yourself and your books to grow fast and reach a huge audience, but I prefer to move slowly and make friends. Hopefully, this won’t impede too much on earning a livable income.
6. Do you base your characters on real people?
Sort of. My characters are usually a combination of traits from multiple people. For example, Alexei from The Only Question That Matters is a mash-up of several thoughtful, considerate people I’ve had the honour of meeting. In contrast, Eleanor from It Starts With A Kiss takes the worst from every bad project manager I’ve ever dealt with—she triggered the hell out of me while writing.
7. Do you set writing goals? If so, do you regularly achieve them?
Call me cynical, but I’m starting to think goals are a waste of time—at least for me. Daily word count? Nope, I have to fight myself to reach them. Write everyday? Nope, something always comes up and breaks my streak.
And yet, when I don’t think about a manuscript in terms of goals, the words seem to pour out of me. The Only Question That Matters was meant to be a 3,000-word hot flash, but turned into a 21,000-word novella that took three months to complete.
I’ve heard some people naturally have “rebellious” dispositions, so they need to either remove the rules, or create fake rules that’ll let them achieve what they need to when they inevitably rebel against them. I’m not like this in real life at all. But maybe writers have a different self that comes out when they work.
8. What time of the day do you like to write?
Creatively, I do best at night. The air is different; I feel more in touch with my imagination and find flow more easily. But being in my late 30s and needing to function the next day means I can only stay up late as a special treat, or if I’m really on a roll. Some writers get up early to do their thing—I might try this one day, but right now, the concept is so alien to me.
9. What famous author do you wish could be your mentor?
I’d love to study James S. A. Corey’s (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) planning notes for their Expanse universe and series. I learn so much from seeing how other creatives dig into their craft.
10. What was your reaction when your first book was published or you got your first contract?
I was in bed, still half-asleep, when I saw the email on my phone. I croaked to my partner in the other room. We had a whisper-quiet little “yay” and a hug, then I snoozed for another five minutes. It was grand.
The Only Question that Matters
This book was freaking EVERYTHING. Seriously. JL Peridot is a damn poet. She paints an incredibly moving and erotic story about two characters who start out as a one night stand and end up with something so much deeper than either one expected. 5 stars – goodreads reviewer.
Sofia is en route to Planet Paradiso, ready to start a new life after her divorce. But when she accepts Alexei’s dinner invitation on her final evening, she realises she’s in for more than she bargained for. As the AMS Celestial Dream arrives at its destination, and their one-night stand draws to a close, Sofia must choose between newfound possibilities with Alexei and the freedom she so desperately craves.
The Only Question That Matters is an emotional examination of healing and resilience through sex and love.
JL Peridot likes stories with a little danger, and only realised in her 30s that falling in love may be the most dangerous thing we do. She performs the duties of a writer from her home in sunny Australia, where she writes erotic romance and sometimes just erotica.