Today's blog is in the capable hands of multi-published author SS Hampton Sr. as he interviews his reluctant guest author Sloane Taylor.
Hi, Stan, this is very weird for me, sitting on this side of the keyboard and I don’t know what to do with my hands. So please be gentle. I bruise easily. Lol
Well, if you insist. First off, where are you from and what did your parents do for a living?
I’m proud to say I’m a born and bred Chicago Southside girl. Dad was a carpenter and mom worked as a clerk in Rosenblum’s Drug Store. Mon made sure both my older sister and I kicked off our work careers at Rosenblum’s when we were thirteen. Life as a soda jerk is a great experience!
According to your biography, your parents taught you to read, you’ve kept a diary, and you love reading on vacation. And one day you just had to tell a story. Is there anything else that propelled you down the path to becoming an author, and if so, what was that tipping point?
My husband died after a very short illness, and my teenage daughter told me she was pregnant the day before. Everything, and I mean everything fell on me. The dramatic loss of income and added responsibilities were overwhelming. I had to be creative for us to make it over the next year. Writing was my therapy. I never thought about being published until I met Beth Anderson. She became my mentor and she shoved me along the right path.
That must have been an incredibly challenging year. Hopefully it has all worked out. Regarding your mentor, mystery writer Beth Anderson—who is she, and how did you meet such an important person in your life?
On the advice of another friend, I joined Rendezvous. They produced a monthly review booklet with a large subscription of readers and major publishers. Beth was one of the directors. She took me under her wing and used her infamous "2x4 without prejudice." Frankly, I’d be nowhere if it weren’t for Beth. Check out her website for more information on this awesome lady.
You love traveling and you have written travel articles; what are some of your favorite places you have traveled to, and why?
Europe is where my heart beats strong. During high school and college I studied German. My first trip to Europe was Germany and I was in heaven. I’d come home. Austria and Denmark hold that same warm feeling for me.
I understand. I lived in Europe myself, for five years. So, how difficult is it to set novels in foreign countries, meaning understanding the nuances of the social and cultural fabric so that your readers will feel like they’re there?
Several years after my husband’s death, and a great deal of legal work, life bounced back. I had the funds to travel again and was fortunate to spend several months a year in Europe. During that time I met great local people who still wander through the recesses of my mind. All this makes it easy for me to set my books in Europe as my stories draw from those people and the experiences we shared.
You are the Blog Goddess for Musa Publishing, you have your own blog, and you write. How do you balance all of this?
Not too well at times, but I keep on keeping on. (VBG) And I live by to-do lists.
How did you become one of Musa Publishing’s authors and end up running the Musa Blog?
Musa invited me to write for them. After three bankrupt publishers I was leery of jumping back into the world. Those situations played hell on my creativity. Studs, my non-husband because we're too old to be boyfriend and girlfriend, showed me I am happiest when I write. So I "womaned up" and accepted Musa’s offer. Best career move I ever made.
Dominique Eastwick was the blog boss with a tremendous workload beyond the blog. Dom put out a call for help. I had just been diagnosed with aggressive larynx cancer and told that I had three months tops if the treatments didn’t work. Well, I sure as hell didn’t like that diagnosis, and decided it was just not going to happen.
What I needed was to occupy my mind with better things than me. I jumped at the chance to help Dom. After a short time, she gracefully stepped aside while I ran ahead full bore.
Damn. Well, you’ve been running the blog for more than a year, so that portion of the story ended happily. During football season many wives feel like “football widows.” Does your mate Studly DooRight ever feel like a “writer widower”?
Oh yeah, and let me tell you the can of trouble you opened with this question! Studs pointed out that when I’m deep into a project, which is almost every day, I totally ignore the world and him except for cooking. I’m working hard to steer some of that project zeal into what really matters in the evening.
Do we dare ask why you named him “Studly DooRight?”
No problem! Do you remember an old segment on The Rocky and Bullwinkle show with Dudley Do-Right the Canadian Mountie? Dudley was always a hero, pure of heart, and did no wrong. Well, there you go. That sums up Studs in eight words. The Studs comes from the fact he’s strong as an ox with arms big as tree trunks. I laugh when his sisters cringe every time I call him Studs. They really need to get their minds out of the gutter. Lol
A teacher told me my youngest son said I was a writer, and he was so proud of that. I had no idea. When your daughter learned you were a writer did she brag to her friends?
Oh, Stan, I write sexually explicit romance. Even though my daughter is an adult, she cringes and swears that she can’t read my books because, “You’re my mom!” She passes out my business cards and touts me to her friends and wishes I’d write a sexless murder mystery. Lol
Will you share an excerpt from one of your novels with us?
Lord, man, I thought you’d never ask. LOL Here’s a short intro my latest release PHOTO Op!
Photojournalist Emily Peters gives herself the perfect birthday gift - a weekend in Paris. Her excitement builds when she hits the scene of the exclusive S&G Club. Exposing the truth behind their private pleasure chambers and the elite who frequent them will be the diamond in her career crown. At least Em thinks so until she’s tied up in knots by the Devil himself.
British restaurateur Nicholas Caine visits Paris to check on his S&G Club investment and to sample its many benefits. Nick’s not on the hunt until he encounters a tiger that pretends to be a kitten. There’s no doubt she’ll satisfactorily flex her claws given the right incentive.
What starts as a prime photo opportunity evolves into a weekend of erotic fantasies as Nick awakens Emily’s dark passions.
To read an excerpt from PHOTO Op! please click HERE.
PHOTO Op! is also available on Amazon.
You’re welcome to read excerpts from my other erotic romances HERE.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Besides that I like the other side of the keyboard better? You were gentle, Stan, and I appreciate that. You’re a good guy. Thanks for everything!
SS Hampton Sr. served in the active duty Army, the Army Individual Reserve (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), then enlisted in the Army National Guard; he was mobilized for active duty for almost three years after his enlistment. Much of his work is based on military life such as his paranormal Dancing in Moonlight.
While on much-needed R&R leave from Iraq, Corporal Ronnie Edson enjoyed a night with a beautiful woman. He thought that would be the end of it, but on the flight back to Iraq he sees an impossible sight: the woman dancing on the wing of the plane. She’s come for him, and she won’t leave without him.
To read an excerpt from Dancing in Moonlight please click HERE.
To read an excerpt from any of the books written by SS Hampton Sr. please click HERE.
Stan's books are also available on Amazon and Amazon UK.
Hampton's writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. He is also a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America.
He is the proud grandfather of thirteen wonderful children. After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. As of December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.
Sloane Taylor believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes sexually explicit romances that take you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after.
Her books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives.
Learn more about Sloane Taylor on her website, and her blog for easy recipes. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.