KC: I’ve just finished reading your first book (No Other Love), a historical romance. You also write contemporary romance. Which do you prefer writing, and why?
IM: My first book was an historical and the rest have been contemporary, though I've started a couple other historicals. The main reason I haven't finished another one is the amount of research that goes into historicals. Research is fun and is an integral part of the writing process in that it can inspire new ideas, but it adds a whole other level of work. The smart thing to do is build a world and learn the history of a certain period and place and stick to that time and place for other books. Otherwise you have to start researching from scratch with every new book. I wasn't thinking along those lines at first, but I would if I went back to them. I had a great time writing "No Other Love," and I enjoy historicals because they add another level of fantasy and escape to reading romances. And you can never get too much of those.
KC: In No Other Love, your heroine Rose is caught up between the hunky Luke and the dastardly Nathan. Is it more fun to write good guys or villains?
IM: Nathan is the only villain I've written, but I have to say I had more fun with Luke, since I was madly in love with him. I fall in love with all the heroes I write (or said another way, I write heroes I would fall in love with), which is what makes it so much fun. I'm getting the same thing out of writing them that a reader would get reading them (I hope!). But writing Nathan was interesting in its own way, since I didn't want him to seem like a generic villain. Working that out was a lot of fun.
KC: You started reading and writing romance novels before the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. How would you say the success of that trilogy has changed the romance market, if at all?
IM: What a good question! It has certainly raised the profile of erotic romances, and I think romances in general are getting steamier. The success of those books made a lot of people in both the book and movie industries realize that there was an untapped market there. I was offered a contract by a digital romance publisher a couple of years ago (which I ultimately declined), and the editor said she thought that erotica was going to become mainstream. At the time I wondered what in the world she meant. I couldn't imagine that happening. And then a few months later it became very clear that it was already becoming a reality. I think it's great for the romance and erotica genres, which overlap considerably. I hope readers go looking for more authors, because there are amazing authors out there who deserve more attention.
KC: You have been very successful as a self-published author, even garnering a Book Readers Appreciation Group honor for your first book. How would you describe the ups and downs of self-publishing as compared to traditional publishing?
IM: I love that I have complete control over my covers and that if I'm working on a book and it's just not coming together, I can generally leave it for a while and do something else, because I'm not under contract to anyone. The control over my own writing and what I put into the world is great. The marketing and publicity is harder, and it would be great to have a publisher do that for me. On the other hand, authors who are traditionally published have to do a lot of the same sort of marketing that indies do. Also I think indie authors who have been at this a while are savvier about publishing. I'm not super savvy, but I have friends who are and I keep up with what's happening and the best ways of reaching readers. I've been really lucky that I got off to a great start with "Tempt Me" and had more visibility than a lot of writers with their first books, for which I'm grateful.
KC: What is your favorite recent romance novel? What are you reading now?
IM: I've recently been reading a lot of Anne Calhoune, an incredible erotica writer, and Ruthie Knox, who writes fabulous, steamy romances. The most recent Anne Calhoune book I read was the novella "Breath on Embers" and the most recent Ruthie Knox was "A Room at the Inn," also a novella. But both authors have a bunch of top-notch books, and they both do an incredible job of writing characters with depth and believable complications. They also write some of the best sex scenes I've read, which is saying something! I also just finished "Longbourn," a book by Jo Baker that tells the story of "Pride and Prejudice" from the servants' point of view. It's brilliantly done.
When I asked Isabel what she was working on next, she told me the following. Remember you heard it first here!
IM: My next release is going to be a sequel to "Tempt Me" called "Keep Me." I haven't announced that publicly yet, so I guess this is it! I'm not sure what the release date will be, but I anticipate sometime in March. I'll be giving more details on my website and blog as things firm up. You can watch this space for more: www.isabelmorin.com
Thanks for talking to me, Isabel. Good luck with the new release ...