Monday, April 26, 2010

Author Interview ~ Tess Lamont

Hey everyone. It’s author interview day! YAY! Something to brighten your Monday. Our guest author today is Tess Lamont. Let’s all make her feel welcome. Megan is joining us on the couch today… cuz she’s fun, and she was hanging out on the couches for interviews anyway… so I made her talk. LOL Say, “Hi,” Megan.

”Hi, Megan!” :::Megan waves:::

See, we don’t wonder at all if she fits in… So, welcome to The Menagerie, Tess. So glad you could join us today. Make yourself comfy and feel free to make the Cabana Boys wait on you hand and foot… well, you probably won’t have to make them do anything, they love taking care of us. Let’s get started: Where are you from, Tess?

I grew up in the southern part of New Jersey, affectionately known to locals as “South Jersey.” South Jersey is its own world, but I had to leave it to appreciate it. I didn’t even realize how much affection I held for the area until I set my first published series of stories there. It’s full of great diners and it has the pine barrens with it’s lakes and rivers and camping areas as a back-yard playground. We even had our very own mythical monster—the Jersey Devil.

Yup, it sounds great. I have to agree that you never know you’ll miss something or someplace until it’s gone.

Yup. So, tell us your latest news, because we love news.

My first published story Bound to be Mine, was released by The Wild Rose Press in February. It’s the first in a series of three stories. I finished and submitted the second two, and they were contracted as well. All three contain elements of light BDSM. It was so much fun to create and portray a tight friendship between three women whose mutual support and acceptance sustains them through unusual relationship choices.

Wow, congrats on your other stories being contracted. And believe me, those of us here at The Menagerie are all about the tight friendships and support.

Amen, sistah. Tess, we love a good based-on-real life story, how much of the book is realistic?

You know, Bound to be Mine, I tried to write a realistic story about an inexperienced couple who once followed their natural inclinations into the world of sexual dominance and submission, only to have the dom back off. The story begins when he returns with apology on his mind, but the love of his life has other expectations. The two main characters share a powerful connection—a perfect yin and yang, but they have to get over their hang-ups before truly enjoying all their connection has to offer. At the story’s heart is the process of embracing and exploring sexuality. But will readers accept that a dominant man could doubt his inclinations? I hope so.

Oh, I think that you did just fine getting that across. :-D Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finishing! I’ve been writing for years, but it took me a very long time to be able to finish. Then, it took even longer to get comfortable with the long and arduous process of revision. I find that using a text-to-speech program helps me see where the flow of a story is broken, and it has the added advantage of helping catch typos and pesky missing prepositions.

Ooh, what a nice idea... (sneaking off to figure out how to use text to speech).

LOL, I’m thinking you just gave all of us an idea that we’d never considered before. Thanks for the idea! Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

In romance, its definitely Laura Kinsale. I love the depth and vulnerability she brings to her characters. She creates heroes and heroines who aren’t universally lovable—but they are absolutely right for each other…no, not just right for each other, but essential to each other. Flowers from the Storm is my favorite.

I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve read her books before. I may have to look into her.

A good cover makes or breaks the book, so who designed the cover?

My ultra-hot cover was designed by Angela Anderson, who also edited my story. I feel like I hit the cover jackpot! She chose a shot that very accurately reflects the characters and the dynamic between them. I love it.

I have to admit that’s a GREAT cover! And I can see what you mean about the dynamic between them. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I set out to write because I’ve always loved writing. But I discovered that the process of creating a publishable product is so much more complex than what I thought, which was that becoming an author involved only inspiration and time. I honestly believe that writing consistently with the intent to publish has helped me grow a better work ethic and has helped me become less judgmental—of myself and, more importantly, of others.

And that is a great philosophy to have. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

When researching the second story in the “bound series,” I had a surprising and memorable experience. I wanted to use bondage tape, but I had no experience with it. I wanted give an accurate description of its texture and I needed to know if my hero could cut the tape with his teeth. I fretted before finally deciding to suck it up and buy some of the tape. I thought about ordering it, but using the mail seemed wasteful and not very brave since I live in NYC, literally yards from several of the kind of shops that would carry that sort of thing.

I went in to a shop on a random Tuesday afternoon. Luckily, the place was empty but for myself and the clerk, a sweet and helpful grey-haired lady. I was the color of a brick wall, I knew, as I tried to find the tape myself. After she asked a few times if I needed help, I finally just blurted, “Bondage tape, please.” “Oh, good choice,” she exclaimed. “But what color, Ma’am?” Wanting to sink into the floor, I replied it didn’t matter. “Oh it makes quite a bit of difference.” She said. It was one of those moments I know I’ll remember a lifetime. I bought the tape. Turns out that it feels and acts sort of like saran wrap (only sticking to itself) and, yes, in a pinch, a hero could cut it with his teeth. Who knew?

Well, and the other surprising thing you learned was that you CANNOT die of embarrassment. :-D

Hmmm, tucking that bit of bondage tape information back for later uses.

ROTFL, Megan, you’re not the only one. And now Tess, it’s time for our “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with writing” questions: Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

I hate how I look in pictures, even though I’m pretty comfortable with my body. Seeing a picture of myself lets me study details, and, especially now that I’m older, I don’t really want to dwell on the “fine print.” My sister offered to photograph me for my author shot. We spent all afternoon traipsing around the village. We had so much fun, but when it came down to it, there was only one shot out of well over 100 that I was willing to post!

Yup, those details are hard not to notice.

LOL, it’s not your fault, Tess, those stupid cameras get more and more advanced and they can take a picture of you and see your Gramma’s crow’s feet… Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

Hand writing is such an interesting topic. I once had an army pen pal who wrote beautiful, even script in perfect rows on unlined paper. I always wondered what that said about him. When writing by hand, I tend to drop letters at the end of words, especially “r’s.” When typing, I randomly capitalize. It’s annoying, because I can’t spell-check it out of a manuscript.

I randomly capitalize all the time… ask Megan and Mysti how many times I’ve typed: wHo or tHat. I think we’ve lost count at this point. You’re in good company here. What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from?

In the 90’s I worked as an administrator for a consulting firm of engineers. They had all seen and loved the movie Major League. In the movie, an announcer describes a few very, very bad pitches as “a little outside.” Somehow, within the company, the phrase came to mean unusual or crazy, as in “If our client wants accurate models finished in under 2 hours, they’re a little outside” or “It’s a little outside to expect me to troubleshoot network problems and finish the billing at the same time”. The phrase embedded into my vernacular. I still say it.

LOL, I think it’s great how things like that imbed themselves into YOU like little ticks. There are so many inside jokes just with my sister regarding stuff like that. Have you ever eaten a crayon?

Ha! What an interesting question. No, I can’t say I ate a crayon. But speaking of crayons, I did this art project in 5th grade where we “painted” by melting them. Um, imagine tables of 10 year olds with candles melting crayons--that must have been a fire hazard! I always wanted to try that again, though.

:-D We love zany questions! You’d be surprised how many have actually tried them. Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea… mainly because a Green Apple crayon is false advertising! They taste nothing like Green Apples. :-D

What? You can’t eat them? Just thought I’d ask and no, I’ve never partaken.

LOL, suuuuure you haven’t, Megan. Tess, have you ever made a crank phone call? If yes, explain what you did.

Well, my honest answer is… kind of. My sister and I have identical voices. Once, in high-school, I called her boyfriend and broke up with him as her. But wait, it’s not as bad as it sounds! She asked me to do it, I swear.

Uh-huh, sure she did. Hee hee.

LOL, I had the same thought. But we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, Tess. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

Yes. Pepsi is good, but too sweet for me. I’m a diet coke person all the way. I try to eat healthy, but diet coke will always be a weakness. I crave the caffeine fix.

LOL, sometimes it’s all about the caffeine. Well, that brings us to the end of our interview today. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Tess. It was a blast getting to know you better… and laughing. Laughter is always great during an interview. Feel free to hang out the rest of the day and put the Cabana Boys to work… like I said, they love to please. :-D

Tess Lamont tried to be a good girl. Really. But despite her best efforts, her imagination kept right on wresting her away to places where powerful men appear to dominate, but willing women keep them both guessing and enthralled. Tess has been writing stories since she can remember; however, only within the last 2 years did she finally summon the courage to take her dream seriously and banish her inner censor. Tess lives in New York City with an often incredulous, but marvelously supportive husband. She enjoys writing romance, reading romance, web surfing, laughing with her best friend ‘til her sides hurt, wine and cheese. She hopes her tales of wicked, lusty love leave her readers breathless.
Visit Tess at

Bound To Be Mine by Tess Lamont

Stripping had not just been profitable for Lisa Emery; it had given her the power, the control, to be the woman she wanted to be. She’d had a stimulating job and the perfect man at home—her master. Together, they were exploring the darker side of passion, and both seemed to bloom with the knowledge. Why then had he suddenly disappeared just when things were going so well? And why now was he back?

Ben Johnson knew the “life” he and Lisa were living had been wrong...just knew it. Something that felt that good couldn’t be right. According to his therapist, “only by atoning for your wrongs could you really grow and change as a person.” Why then, after so many months apart, did he still need to dominate Lisa, to bend her to his will and give in to his baser instincts?


Tracie said...

Premonition maybe, just last week I was thinking that I wanted to find a book to read with a stripper in it. Now I don't have to search for it! Sounds great, I will get it when I don't have to get my 8 hours of sleep inside the 5 I have until I have to be at work. I'm a fan of yours but definitely not a of Mondays. Thanks!

Unknown said...

LMAO over your experience at the adult toy store. You're a lot braver than I am, but you've inspired me to give it a try. Btw, Bound To Be Mine is a great book!

Tess Lamont said...

Thanks so much for having me Kealie and Megan & the Menagerie authors. I loved your questions!

Glad you were looking for a book with a stripper, Tracie! A very close friend and neighbor of mine worked for a few years as a stripper...this story was kind of my nod to her.

Thanks so much Darah. Feedback is soooo important. You made my day! I would recommend a visit to an adult toy store :) Babeland is a chain that is geared toward women, so it's nicer for a first try (found out about them after the story I told, though!)

Kealie Shay said...

LOL, Tess, you're always welcome. It was a blast doing your interview. I found myself laughing on more than one occasion. And thanks, we have fun with the questions too.