Friday, April 3, 2020

This week in The Loft: Author J.L. Peridot!

Joining me today is Australian author J.L. Peridot. A "first-generation Perthie," J.L. abandoned a tech career to write speculative steamy and romantic fiction. The author of six books, she shares her sunny West Australian home with a loving partner and two bossy cats. In her spare time, she plays Dungeons & Dragons and consumes wholesome memes on Twitter.

Author J.L. Peridot

S:  Good morning, J.L.

What attracts you to the romance genre?

JL:  Honestly, I started writing romance because I thought it would be easy. After all, I figured, it’s a high volume market and trashy love stories don’t have to be any good, right? Yeah, that’s not the reality at all. There’s an art to writing a good romance and since getting into this kind of writing, I’ve learned new things every day about how deep the rabbit hole goes. Love is inherent in so many stories regardless of genre. Romance can have tremendous value as feminist literature--women writing about women enjoying sex sounds pretty feminist to me--and is a fascinating conversation starter.

S:  (Smiles.) You were not alone in thinking that writing romance is easy. I hear that from people all of the time. People are surprised when I point out how much work is involved.

Do you write in other genres?

JL:  I do indeed, though I’ve focused on romance and erotica since my first novel came out a couple of years ago. Before that, I’d written a couple of sci-fi manuscripts, just for fun and to pick up the craft again after a long hiatus. In my teens, I wrote fanfiction and short stories along the lines of sci-fi, action suspense, fantasy, corporate dramas, poor attempts at erotica, and very cringeworthy Mary-Sue romances.

S:  What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

JL:  You know, I’ve been given a lot of good advice that worked out terribly for me when I followed it. Usually coming from well-meaning people who just didn’t consider my circumstances or who I was as a person. So it’s odd in a way that the best advice I ever got was from a YA science fiction book written by someone who has no idea I exist. Following the protagonist as she navigated loss, grief, alien invasion, loneliness, and her personal agency totally blew my adolescent mind. Without being preachy or prescriptive, it gave me a vocabulary and framework for understanding myself and framing the world around me. It’s amazing what books can do, huh?

S:  (Nods.) I wish everyone could find a book that informs their world view. That's so important, especially as a writer.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

JL:  At the end of 2019, I did that 10 achievements in 10 years thing from Twitter. I don’t think about my achievements much day to day, but that exercise made me realize I’ve done a lot I’m quite proud of. For example, I got out of a bad relationship in my mid-20s, pushing against the pressure I felt from all sides--including my mother--to stay with my ex. Another was releasing a single with a local DJ/producer, as that had been a life goal since I was a kid. But the one that really gives me a warm feeling inside has to do with my cat. When my partner and I first brought her home from the shelter, she had a fear of human feet and human hands approaching from above. That was heartbreaking. What kind of life must an animal have had to make them afraid of that? Over time, we acclimated her to affection, and now she’s very attached to us and gets right into head pats and toe tickles.

S:  I have never understood how people could abuse pets. It's so wonderful that you have provided your cat with a better, more loving environment.

How do you want to be remembered?

JL:  As someone who gave a shit. That’s it, really.

S:  And that's probably enough.

What are you currently working on?

JL:  I'm chipping away at "The Dragon’s Den," the sequel to "Chasing Sisyphus," while also working on a handful of sci-fi, erotic, and romantic short stories. And later this month, I’ll be releasing a new erotic free-read called "About Her," the follow-up to "About Henry" from the CapriLuxe anthology on Wattpad.

S:  Tell me about your book, "It Starts With a Kiss."

JL:  Here's the blurb--

Celeste is a talented engineer who doesn’t realize her job’s going nowhere fast. She’s a little na├»ve. She’ll cut code and solder cables forever as long as Owen’s around. Owen, on the other hand, knows exactly how badly things suck—he just doesn’t care. Sure, his skills aren’t what they used to be, but they’re still better than what Halcyon Aries deserves.

Then it happens. The company’s toxic management team finally cross the line. As both techies race to upgrade the station and to free the team from their oppressive contracts, they come to learn that life—and love—can only ever be what you make it.

Strap in for a steamy office romance in space, because sometimes It Starts With a Kiss!

S:  (Grins.) Who doesn't like a steamy office romance?  Where can readers buy your book?

JL:  It's available at all major booksellers, including--

S:  J.L., thanks so much for joining me today! If you would like to learn more about J.L., please visit--

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