The curtains are drawn, the candles lit and slow saxophone plays in the background. The cushions are plumped and the velvet cover is pulled back to reveal someone under black satin sheets. Snuggle up because today we are in bed with Cathleen Ross, author of Ruby's Fantasy.
Welcome to the boudoir Cathleen, we’ll start easy with a couple of questions about your writing.
What’s the hardest thing about writing a romantic sexual relationship into a story?
Once I know who my characters are, I find writing the romantic sexual story easy. Everything stems from their characterisation. Whether they're easy going or uptight, whether they like vanilla sex or kinky stuff. It works well to push the boundaries, particularly for the more reticent character. That's when the sparks really fly.
K: Oh, I agree. One of the great benefits of writing fiction is pushing characters into places they might not otherwise go. It’s so much fun torturing them with pleasure.
When it comes to sex scenes in your work, how far are you willing to take your readers into the bedroom (or boardroom, or elevator...) and why?
I've always pushed the boundaries when it comes to the written word. I'll try anything to see if I enjoy writing it. There are some things I find difficult to write like submissive heroines. None of my heroines are like that. Even when I try to do it, it never comes out well. I think I have to leave that kind of writing to the people who understand and can do it well.
When I write, I'm completely in my world and I like my heroines to be pitted against alpha heroes. Hot, sexy men but not cruel men. My heroines are often fighting for their lives or their right to have a say over their own destiny. That situation affects their sex lives. When I read a romance and the characters have sex, I often lose interest, so in my own romances, I make the sex or the situation more challenging. That's the way I keep it interesting.
(K: A heroine pushing hard against a love interest to get what she wants sure ups the ante. Can you give us an example?)
This is a small excerpt from the novel I'm currently working on. My heroine is an uptight doctor who is owned by the hot navy captain who found her after the zombies took over:
"Give up and get some sleep. You're overwrought."
"Overwrought? I'm cuffed in bed with a stranger."
"There's nowhere you can go that's safe, except here with me."
"I don't want to be with you. I didn't spend my life flogging myself to be a doctor to end up chained to a bed with a control freak." Who'd stuck his finger up her arse.
"I can defend you. Keep you alive. I'm the best kind of man you can have now."
The mattress shifted before his hand rested on her shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "Jack, I think when you go on your animal rescue mission tomorrow, you should find another female to cohabit with. Preferably human."
"You'll get used to this new life, Ruth. Holed up in your apartment, I don't think you realise how bad it is out there. It's just going to take some time."
"Some women enjoy domination. I don't."
Some women got off on Neanderthal men. Go figure. She certainly wasn't going to stay with a guy who thought the answer to getting her to do what he wanted was to cuff her to a bed. Whatever had happened to the world outside she could do better than this. Lord knows there were enough single men around.
"What contraceptive are you on? I ask because I noticed you didn't respond well to me touching your anus."
strangled cry left her lips before she could contain it. "You touch me there again and I swear I will find some way to inject you with a disease that will make your dick fall off."
(K: If her rescuer thinks it’s okay to help himself to her bum I can’t imagine what the zombies might be get up to. I see what you mean about challenging, Cathleen!)
Tell us about your first kiss – where did it happen and what was it like?
My first kiss was with a guy whose surname was Steele. The name comes up again and again in my books. He was gorgeous and brought me a sweet silver bracelet with my name on it. He was a good kisser and ended up in the navy, and here I am writing a hot navy hero who knows how to kiss. I still think of him with joy.
(K: There's always one that provides ongoing inspiration. He sounds delish.)
Have you ever had a lover who changed you or taught you something new about yourself, a lover who made a difference in your life?
I've been married and with the same man for thirty-two years. I still like to try new stuff out on my guinea pig. He doesn't complain. I'm certain my life has been better with him in it.
(K: He must be either very compliant or very adventurous or maybe both!)
Leather or lace or? What would be your favourite fantasy undergarment to wear in the boudoir and why?
Lace. I like the hidden and not hidden element of lace.
(K: I’ve never thought about lace like that. Delightful way to describe it.)
About Cathleen Ross
Cathleen Ross loves writing erotic romance. Her latest Harlequin Escape release is Ruby's Fantasy. When Cathleen’s not writing for Harlequin, she's working on her Forbidden Fantasy self-published series.
Or readers can email her here: firstname.lastname@example.org