Monday, November 15, 2010

The Mind Behind Coercion, Lux Zakari


Today I welcome author Lux Zakari to my world, to share a bit about her latest release.

Tell us about your latest release and who you think would enjoy it.

Coercion, my first novel, is classic in theme: a good girl choosing the wrong boy to love. Here’s the scoop:

Introverted and insecure Valerie Mercer was promised that during her senior year of college she would finally attract attention from boys…but never dreamed that would include Michael Vartanian.

Good looking, troubled and every parent’s nightmare, Michael is adamant on introducing Valerie to a world of both pleasure and, inadvertently, heartbreak. His interest in Valerie is dependent upon the mood and fidelity of his on-and-off-again girlfriend, Breeze.

Nevertheless, Valerie lets her hope and desire override common sense and soon finds she can’t deny Michael anything…no matter what’s at stake.

Considering its graphic sexual nature, it definitely should appeal to fans of erotica, although I believe the readers who will enjoy it most are those looking for a sexy, intelligent story and who can love a character despite his or her faults.

Is there a defining moment or a gradual creeping-up-on-author situation that led to the story?

I wrote a blog post titled “How to Write Coercion,” which details a few bulleted circumstances that led to the creation of the story. Ultimately, I’d really wanted to write a girl-tempted-by-the-bad-boy scenario, and I’d been romanticizing the ‘70s at the time NaNoWriMo 2007 rolled around, so I just went with it!

If you could pick any place to live, where would that be and why?

I’d love to live near the beach; I crave a laidback, sunny environment. Writing on the sand and smelling like coconut suntan oil every day sounds ideal!

Tell us a bit about your writing process.

The writing process happens whenever a) I get the chance, and b) I get inspired! I’m fueled by my muse—guilt—if I’m not writing, so I often ensure that I motivate myself and make the time to bang out at least something on a regular basis.

Who are the three authors you keep returning to? What is it about their writing that draws you in?

I will always love Nick Hornby; his insight on relationships is usually funny, moving and true, and I’m easily wooed by his pop culture references, so naturally I enjoy Rob Sheffield’s work as well. I also devoured Barry Lyga’s Boy Toy; it was completely captivating.

If you had to pick two celebrities for your main characters, who would you cast for the film?

This is a brilliant question, and something I think about all the time. My characters are in their early twenties, and sometimes I struggle to think of age-appropriate actors who aren’t on Gossip Girl and the like. Needless to say, I still haven’t made a concrete decision yet! I would be down for discovering newbies to the acting biz.

Are there any up-and-coming authors readers should look out for?

I’m really excited about Grace Cox’s next book, Seduced by the Playboy Heir, a contemporary romance that will be released in 2011. Not only is it sexy, but the characters are believable, as is their entire relationship, which is rife with flaws and difficulties that go beyond things like an absurd misunderstanding or the heroine’s body images. I love stories when the characters can legitimately screw up and still wind up happy in the end.

You also edit fiction. Do you have advice for anyone considering this as a career choice?

I think there are some basic common-sense guidelines when it comes to editing. For one, an editor needs to have a fundamental idea of what a book looks like! As a kid, I would go all OCD when I wrote stories by formatting them to look like an actual, published book, so I’m stunned by writers who don’t know when to throw in a paragraph break, use proper punctuation and so on. If you want to be an editor, that’s crucial. Grabbing a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style, the AP Stylebook, et cetera will help keep an editor informed all throughout his or her career.

Secondly, an editor-to-be needs to know what makes for a good story, be able to pick out plot holes and have an imagination on how a work can be improved upon, if only to jumpstart the author’s own creativity. I also think it helps if an editor writes him- or herself; it gives the editor more empathy for the writer, having been on the other side of things.

Care to share a little about your current WiP?

It’s already November, and I still have yet to pick a plot premise for NaNoWriMo, so that’s on the agenda!

I’m just about done with the finishing touches on a novel—a racy, unconventional love story about a self-absorbed, hedonistic ex-celebrity who, upon the death of her former lover, learns she’s been inexplicably named the guardian of his three children. Being herded into the parental role forces the protagonist to finally face the truth about the cruel decisions of her wild past, her now uncertain future and her secret, turbulent relationship with a man who, even in death, continues to upend her world. Here’s hoping the story has a successful future!

In the meantime, readers can check out my short story, Truss Issues, in Best Bondage Erotica 2011 – coming soon!

Useful links:


The book trailer for Coercion can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wVXW6xBdH0.

My website is www.luxzakari.com, and from there readers can find me on Facebook, MySpace, GoodReads and so on!

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