As a young woman I always identified strongly with Belle from
Beauty and the Beast. I wanted to live in that quaint little town,
I wanted to spend hours in that amazing library, and... I wanted,
like so many other people out there, to reform the bad boy Beast
and make him love me. He didn't need to be half-animal, but if he was I probably wouldn't complain.
So, given my history, it makes total sense that I foam at the mouth for every version of Beauty and the Beast I can get my hands on. One of my favorites was a Steampunk/Proper Romance (see: light petting only! There's not even like... a make out scene or anything) called Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. But I'm down for the dirty, too. So, when Measha Stone's Beast Ever After came across my timeline I knew I had to get my hands on it.
The novel is dark, hot, and dirty as sin. And once I read it I knew that I had to get to know the author... and the rest of her books. So, if you're looking for another erotic author's backlist to dive into then you've come to the right place. Get reading and then get buying:
Romantically Inclined: Many authors in the BDSM/Daddy Dom genres keep their identities a secret, but you've chosen to be somewhat open regarding your identity (author note: Measha uses a pen name, but puts her real face out there). What led you to the decision to be 'out and proud' as a dark romance writer?
Measha: While I do still use a pen name, most of my family and friends know it. So I am pretty "out" as to my writing. At first, I tried to hide it from family, but I didn't want to have to always be so careful about what I posted on social media or put in my books. So, after a few family members found my books, I just stopped trying to hide it. I've always told them that whatever they find is on them. So if they weren't sure they wanted to know about this genre, they shouldn't look me up.
So far, it's been fine. If anyone has been uncomfortable, they've not shared it with me, and I'm sure they just stopped looking. I'm also extremely lucky to have a very supportive family. When I first told my parents that I was going to be writing sexy romance, my father was all for it. "If that's what you write, and it's what sells, do it!" So that has made it much easier.
Romantically Inclined: On that note, BDSM and like stories often evoke powerful emotions. What are some reactions you've gotten from friends, family, and fans throughout the years, either when they discover the content you write or they actually read it?
Measha: Some of them want to ask a lot of questions, and I'm open about it. I tell them I'll answer honestly, so they need to be sure they want to hear the answer. The family hasn't been an issue at all, but when I was working a day job apparently there was a lot of gossiping about if I actually do the things in my books or not. Since I was their boss, they kept their questions to themselves, and I didn't enter into any of the gossips.
Romantically Inclined: Every subgenre of romance has it's fair share of fairy tale retellings and it can be a dangerous task taking on some of the world's best known stories and making them your own. What made you want to take on the challenge?
Measha: I love fairy tales, always have. So taking them and making them a little kinkier just felt right. I get to write the story the way I want it to play out. I always thought Beauty and the Beast was a BDSM story...and now I got to make that happen.
Romantically Inclined: Of the books you've written: what was your favorite, what was the most challenging to write, and what scene in which book had you blushing the most?
Measha: Favorite: Beast. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite story, and Ash is such a hard-ass man I can't get enough of him. Most Challenging to write: I'd say Red, which was just sent off to the editor this afternoon. I had a hard time with it. I think I was forcing the story too much at first. I wasn't letting the characters tell the story. Once I got out of thier way, it flowed much easier. Blushing scene: Hmmm, I don't think any of them make me blush. But, the non-con scene in Kristoff between the two MC's was probably the most uncomfortable to write. Mostly because it came so easily to write such a dark and forceful scene, it felt weird. Like I was telling myself. "You shouldn't be liking this so much!"
Romantically Inclined: Many writers consider themselves authors from that first moment they put pen to paper. Others don't feel like authors until they've published their first book. What was the first moment when you truly felt like an author?
Measha: I still don't feel like an author. I usually stick with "I'm a writer". Impostor syndrome is a real thing, and every time I refer to myself as an author, I tend to feel like a poser.
Romantically Inclined: What was the first romance novel you ever read? What was the dirtiest romance you've ever read? And what are you reading now?
Measha: The first romance I ever read: The Bride by Julie Garwood. Dirtiest Romance: Snow and the Seven Huntsman by Alta Hensley and Zoe Blake. Reading right now: Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley.
Romantically Inclined: What sort of environment do you prefer to do your writing in? And what sort of research do you do for your novels? Where are you most likely to get ideas for your novels from?
Measha: I need a pretty quiet space when I'm writing. If I have to be somewhere that has a lot of background noise, I'll use headphones and listen to a white soundtrack. As for research, as little as possible. I'm lazy, so I try to keep my stories limited to what I already know or what is easily researched. I love historical romances, and when I first starting writing I thought I'd be going in that direction. But...lazy...so I didn't. Toooo much research involved. So I love it as a reader instead. Although, I do have a secret project coming up at the end of this year that will require a good amount of research, so I will have to buckle down for that.
Ideas for stories just hit me. It could be a way I notice a man look at a woman while I'm out grocery shopping. Or when I'm listening to the radio and I hear something that triggers a whole story line. It's crazy- and frustrating at times because I never know when it will happen. With my Ever After Series it's a little easier because I flip through my fairy tale book until something hits me, but even then I need to have the exact story line hit me. Ugh!
Romantically Inclined: What novel of yours would you love to see turned into a movie? Who would you love to see star as the hero?
Measha: I'm going to go with Beast, because I love Ash that hard. For Ash I would want Travis Fimmel or Clive Standen. Both would be perfect!
Romantically Inclined: You live near Chicago. I live in Chicago. Where can fellow romance novel readers meet up with you in real life? Do you participate in local signings or anything of the sort?
Measha: I do participate in local signings when I come across them. Next year I'll be signing at the Chicago North RWA Spring Fling Conference May 2nd (author note: So will I ::evil cackle::). I'm doing a few events this year, but they are all outside chicago. I'm heading to Birmingham, UK this summer but will be in Kansas City for Kinky in Kansas City mid June as well!
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