I was born in upstate New York, where I lived until I graduated from high school. From there I moved to Boston and eventually followed my husband as a military wife. Ultimately, we ended up in New Orleans and I’ve lived in Louisiana since – many years.
I’ve been an office manager, apartment manager, even state director of an organization called Let’s Play to Grow, which is now defunct. It was wonderful organization that taught parents and families of handicapped children to play together. It was a branch of Special Olympics.
I’ve raised three children with my husband of over thirty years and have two beautiful grandchildren.
When did you discover your passion for writing? Was there someone in particular who encouraged and inspired your love of storytelling?
I’ve always written in one form or another, from the time I was in grade school. My husband and children have always encouraged me and I finally succumbed to the muse about three years ago.
What was your first book and how long did it take for it to be published?
My first book was one that will likely never see the light of day. It is a monster het, 130,000 words and with little time to polish it, well, yeah, it is cozy on the hard drive.
The first book that was published is Serenity’s Dream, part of my Sapphire Club series. I wrote it, posted an excerpt on my website, which caught the attention of an author I didn’t know. She talked to Jill Noble at Noble Romance, who invited me to submit the book to her personally and six weeks later, I had the contract.
From the writing to contract, about five months.
Is there a particular sub-genre in which you enjoy writing more than others? (i.e. paranormal vs. historical vs. contemporary)
Historical is my first love, hands down. The Sapphire Club series is set in 1818 England, I love the Regency period. That was followed by The Rogue’s Salvation, Love Immortal, Splendid Captivity and Her Timeless Obsession, which I wrote under my real name.
The other six I have to my credit are all contemporaries of varying lengths, from two shorts, the beginning of my Romeo Club collection of shorts (6k) at Riptide, to Free Me and its sequel, In His Arms at Amber Allure, each about 25k, and finally, A Minute After Midnight and An Evening at the Starlight, which are 10k novellas.
Do you prefer writing in the 1st or the 3rd person? What advantages do you see in writing in one vs. the other?
I’ve written in both and will continue to write the Romeo Club stories in 1st person, as they are well suited for that. Each has its own merits, but I really enjoy third person more.
With 1st person, you get a deep point of view of one of the characters. In the Romeo Club stories, that works very well, as the reader experiences what the character experiences (or they deeply wish they were – LOL) and the other character is much less important.
In third person, I can delve into description a bit more, particularly in the historicals, where setting the time period is so important. I find in 3rd, I’m more at home, to put it simply.
How long does it generally take for you to finish a manuscript?
That really depends upon the story, the research, and the time I have available to write. If the research is done, for the most part, and the plotting is done or at least moving smoothly, AND if I can work steadily, I can finish the first draft in a couple of months. Then it takes almost that long to self-edit and polish. It isn’t fast food, for sure.
How much creative input do you have in the cover design for your books?
I’ve been very fortunate with most of my covers, in that the cover artists have taken my suggestions and improved vastly upon them. I can honestly say that I’ve only been disappointed in one cover, and that one, upon my rejection, went by the wayside. It was really horrendous and didn’t reflect the story at all.
Do you write full time? If not, how many hours per day do you attempt to dedicate to your writing?
I try to write everyday and feel cheated if I don’t. That said, I average about three or four hours on a very good day.
How much do your characters resemble you and the people you know?
Not at all, I say that across the board. That’s why it’s fiction. LOL
How much do you draw upon your own life experiences in your writing?
On occasion, I do. More I research A LOT, absolutely necessary even if you are writing a fluff piece. I’ve tapped my knowledge of genealogy, having been a non-professional genealogist for over twenty years. My Her Timeless Obsession and An Evening at the Starlight use that knowledge to the hilt. Starlight is also loosely based on a story from my family tree.
What has been the most difficult topic you’ve ever approached in your writing?
When I wrote Chocolate, Tea, and the Duchess, which is a m/m/f ménage, I obviously wanted to get the dynamic between the two guys right. I asked some friends to help me, because I wasn’t going to write something that was gratuitous. Many people have said that those characters are some of their favorites.
Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have one in particular who stands out among the others as a favorite? If so, who and why?
Phillip Allard from Chocolate, Tea, and the Duchess. Phillip is a man who lives in 1818 and has stifled his need for the love of another man. He does the honorable thing, as dictated by his position and social status, but what about him? What he wants?
Phillip still haunts my thoughts, long after I wrote the story.
When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they take away from it?
I hope people understand my love for romance and my belief that people should be able to love whom they love period, no question.
Are you surprised by the ever-growing female fan-base of Male/Male fiction?
Being one of that number, absolutely not. Romance is romance.
When did you begin writing in the Male/Male genre? What about it interests you the most?
I started with Duchess and have since written several m/m books/stories. What interests me? I love the dynamic between two men as much as between a man and a woman. I believe in love and romance and absolutely feel that there should be no stigma. As we should be color-blind, we should also be gender-blind.
I want to write stories of men who have found each other and celebrate that relationship.
Will you share three things you’ve learned about the business of writing since your first publication?
HA! Well, we always learn, or hopefully we do. I’ve discovered the value of understanding the contract you are SOOO anxious to sign that first time. The Right of First Refusal ties you to a publisher that you might not wish to be tied to.
Length of the contract – I will never sign another contract with a longer life than three years. No one knows what the years will bring and to tie yourself to a press that continually takes the lion’s share of the money your book earns, is unfair to writers.
Lastly, I have enormous respect for cover artists. I’ve been very fortunate in nearly all cases with my covers – certainly all those that are viewable. The artists I’ve worked with have gone above and beyond to produce representative covers for my stories.
If you were to offer a word of advice to a new author just starting out, what would it be?
Study. Writing is slapping words into your word processor. It’s a fine dance of knowledge, rules, and talent. Maximize them all.
Do you generally have the titles of your work planned before you begin writing, or does that occur later on in the writing process?
I would LOVE to have a title in the beginning, but it rarely happens. I wrote Serenity’s Dream, A Minute After Midnight, and Splendid Captivity around the titles. With Duchess, the title came from a line in the book. The others came about variously. Her Timeless Obsession was a gift from my son-in-law, The Rogue’s Salvation a gift from Aleks Voinov, An Evening at the Starlight was my husband’s contribution. All the other titles were a struggle.
What is the question you’re most frequently asked by your fans?
When is the next book coming out.
What is your most memorable fan experience?
I have two. While at Gay Lit in New Orleans, in October, I walked past a group of ladies and heard behind me, “Oh, my god, there goes Brita Addams.” I almost looked around to look for the person they were so excited to see.
The other was when a reader, Debbie Laurie, sends me gifts, just because. She is so terrific and faithful and a wonderful lady. Love you, Deb.
When you have the chance to sit down and enjoy some quiet reading time, what sorts of books are you most likely to pick up? Who are your favorite authors?
I read only at bedtime, because my days are so busy. It makes my reading of books rather slow, but can’t help that. I am reading gay fiction exclusively right now, as I hit a spate of sappy het romances that just didn’t do a thing for me.
Fave authors – Aleksandr Voinov (I’m a squealing fangirl and sadly, he knows that); Damon Suede; Bryl Tyne; Claire Thompson; Heidi Cullinan (to the point that when we were in New Orleans together, at the same place, I couldn’t even tell her what a fan I am), Rowan Speedwell and so many others.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing? Do you have any hobbies?
As I said I’m a genealogist and I love that, though I have zero time to do anything with it now. I also love movies and we go to the show quite often.
If time travel were possible, what time period(s) would you most like to visit? Why?
I’d love to go back to the Regency era, to get a sense of the time period. That said, I’m very happy to be living in the here and now – can’t live without my computer or air conditioning.
If you had the opportunity to sit down to dinner with one famous person, either past or present, who would you choose and why?
Abraham Lincoln. I’m a huge Lincoln “fan.” I’ve read tons of books on him, his wife, their children, as well as visited Springfield, Missouri where he lived. We toured his home and his law offices. Then we went to Washington, D.C. to Ford’s Theatre and Petersen House, where President Lincoln died. To complete the Lincoln tour, we went to Robert Lincoln’s home, Hildene, in Manchester, Vermont.
I want to write a Civil War novel, gotta do it.
How would you describe your sense of humor? What makes you laugh?
My kids have always said I have no sense of humor, but as they’ve gotten older, they’ve discovered that I’m a rather funny person. I’ve a happy person, so laughter comes very easily to me. I’m subject to laugh at the most perverse of things or something really silly.
Do you have a favorite personal mantra, quote, or saying that describes your outlook on life and the way you approach each day?
My mantra—”Just Dance!” Live each day as though it was your last. Don’t hold back, go full throttle.
When I get to the end of my life, I will not have any regrets, because I tell those I love how important they are in my life at every opportunity. Ultimately, it’s all about love, isn’t it?
Of all the modern conveniences, which one would you most likely say you couldn’t live without?
Do you have any new projects coming up you’d care to share with us?
I’m working on more installments for my Romeo Club collection at Riptide Publishing. I’ve having a great time writing these unapologetic erotica shorts. There are two contracted, Surprises and Rubbed the Right Way, and I have submitted another, just waiting to hear.
I also have two releases, A Minute After Midnight and An Evening at the Starlight.
Thank you again for spending some time with us, Brita. Will you tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website URL: http://www.britaaddams.com
Blog URL: http://www.britaaddams.com
Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4093476.Brita_Addams
And we’d love if you’d share a favorite excerpt from one of your books with us.
Here’s an excerpt from Romeo Club #1: Surprises:
How often do you like to fuck?
Not “have intercourse” or “make love,” but “fuck,” written out right on the application. Damn! I hadn’t expected such personal questions, but after a few moments of thought, “No limit” seemed as good an answer as any.
“What is your favorite position?” Oh, the possibilities.
“Bent over a sofa, chair, table?” All of the above, giving or receiving.
“On all fours on a bed or the floor?” Right you are.
“Standing against the wall?” Definitely has merit.
“Do you suck cock regularly, or do you prefer to be sucked? Do you swallow?” I should have seen that one coming.
“Dildo preference—glass or flexible?” I’d never thought about it, but the question gave me ideas.
“Butt plugs?” Damn, did other people use those things? I squirmed, thinking a smaller one might have been in order for this excursion.
A whole section entitled “Probing Your Fantasies.” “Are you into cowboys, pirates, millionaires, policemen, doctors? Kidnap, rape, ménage? Explain your desires in detail.” I took the expeditious route and wrote, “Yes to all the above.” Why limit my options?
“Are you willing to put yourself in our hands?”
Now, that was a loaded question. The devil in me wanted to write, “Hell, yeah,” while the commodities trader wrote a more dignified, “Yes.”
Only one section left: “The Usual Stuff,” mercifully mundane after an hour’s worth of divulging everything there was to know about my sex life, real or imagined. Name, address, phone number. Then, bam, “Do you consider yourself handsome?”
Now, what’s a guy supposed to do with that? It’s one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t questions. If I said “Fuck yeah,” I’d come off as arrogant. If I said “No,” I’d sound like someone desperate enough to live in his mother’s basement. But then, I was filling out an application for a freaking dating service. Wasn’t that desperate by definition? Oh, hell, just leave it blank.
I checked over the tome to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, lest a fantasy be left undiscovered. My libido had kicked up several notches this past hour and the black and white photos on the walls did nothing to tame it. Damn, if this was a sample of what Romeo’s offered, I was glad I’d taken the afternoon off.
The adorable blond behind the desk looked up and smiled when I stood. Good Lord Almighty, they didn’t grow guys like that back in Kansas.
Blondie came around the desk, his slim hips working overtime. His body was built to my personal specifications. The fact he’d wrapped it in skin-tight jeans and a royal blue shirt was the cherry on top of the cake. Oh, my unruly cock, be still, boy.
I glanced at the black engraved desk plate: Aaron. He checked over my application with pursed lips and an exaggerated hand to the hip “Have you answered every question? It’svery important that you answer all of them.”
Hmm, what was he, the damn question police? “I believe I did, yes.”
“We’ll just have a peek, shall we?”
He grasped the clipboard with both hands and studied it, save for an occasional smirk or eyebrow waggle in my direction.
“Ooh,” he said with a giggle. Though curious, I was too chicken to ask what part he’d read.
He flipped through the last couple of pages, then settled a hand over the first page. “You have unique tastes,” he said. The sparkle in his eyes was unmistakable. “I believe Blake would be interested in talking to you. If you’ll come this way, I’ll take you to him.”
You can purchase Surprises at: Riptide Publishing
The second installment, Rubbed the Right Way, will be released on December 5. You can pre-order it HERE.
CONTEST ENDS AT 11:59PM Eastern time today. (11/8/11) Good Luck!