When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write male/male romance?
I’ve been writing since I was about fourteen and actually began writing down sex fantasies at that age, believe it or not. I only showed these stories to my girlfriends and they were entirely heterosexual. But I’ve always been drawn to gay men and attracted to the idea of two men being physically intimate together. It wasn’t until I started exploring fanfiction over the last few years that I discovered I wasn’t the only woman who enjoyed reading ‘slash’ (the term for m/m erotica in fanfiction). When I found a publisher who detailed exactly what kind of stories they wanted I just went with it. Luckily, they liked the first story I sent them and I’ve since had several more published.
When did you first consider yourself an author?
When my first e-book, Exposure, was published by MLR Press in June of last year. It happened just before my 42nd birthday and on my actual birthday, the 29th, I discovered that Exposure was available at Amazon. Now that was a cool birthday present!
Did you have a teacher in school who influenced or encouraged you?
I had two teachers that I can remember really encouraging me and, looking back, I know one was definitely gay and the other I strongly suspect was gay, which is very interesting. One was my drama teacher and he had me write one-act plays for the class to perform and encouraged me to enter a local playwrighting contest, where I received an Honorable Mention. The other was my English teacher and I remember him reading one or two of my stories to the class. They were both sweethearts.
How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Well, my parents grew up in the fifties/sixties and my upbringing was very conservative. I do remember challenging my parents about their views on homosexuals and homosexual behaviour. I think my dad has come a long way but I think my mom still thinks of it as ‘deviant’ but that’s her problem. She’s always been very anti-sex unless it’s between a married man and woman. This definitely influenced me because it took until I was 42 to even consider publishing the erotic fiction that I knew I was good at writing.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Well, obviously a good imagination; a good handle on grammar and spelling; a willingness to put yourself out there and let the public in on the secret workings of your mind; and, a confidence that you have something to say and a good way to say it.
Some authors say their characters are "real" to them. Is this the case with you?
Absolutely. When I’m writing a story, I’m seeing it in my head and really just following along and describing what is happening almost independently in my mind. Sometimes when I read over something I’ve written I can’t even remember writing it. The characters sort of take over and run with it.
Which character did you have the most fun writing? Do you like one more than the others?
The character of Jack in The Crush was a lot of fun to write. He’s young and sex-obsessed and a bit rude and very daring. He’s also a sweetheart who puts up a tough front to protect himself emotionally. It was fun watching the other character in The Crush, Michael, strip away Jack’s defenses and get to the heart of him.
And the character of Jeremy in Exposure will always be dear to me, because he has MS like I do and I just love his energy and enthusiasm and the way he draws Martin out of his shell.
Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do to get over it?
Well, I did get stalled on a project this fall. So what I eventually did was start on another project that I had been mulling over and that one took right off. I’m half way through a full-length novel now. Switching things up often helps.
You have written multiple books. Do you have a favorite?
I guess it would be Exposure because it was a work of faith and the first of my stories to be published.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading a fascinating book that a friend gave me for Christmas called ‘Pleasure Bound – Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism’ by Deborah Lutz. It’s all about a group of artists who lived in the Victorian Era and challenged some of the status quo opinions about sex and morality and artistic expression. Really, really interesting.
What were your feelings when you first saw the finished product of your first book?
Thrilled to bits. When I originally found out that it was too short to go to print, I was disappointed. But by the time the e-book came out and I’d gone over the galleys and all the formats were done, it felt like a real book to me and I’m so proud of it. My next goal is to have a book actually go to print, so that I can hold a copy in my hands and say, ‘I wrote this.’
I guess the most exciting thing when Exposure came out was getting it onto my Kobo e-reader and seeing the cover come up on my reading list with all these other published books. Very cool!
You can find out more about Elizabeth Lister and her books on her website: http://www.elizabethlister.ca/
When 23 year-old Jeremy Trask wanders into Martin Lewis' photography studio one bleak October day and requests photos for a modeling portfolio, neither man is prepared for the immediate and intense attraction between them. What follows is a series of progressively intimate encounters that leads them on a scintillating erotic journey together. But Jeremy has a secret. Will his revelation destroy the burgeoning intimacy between them? Or will Martin rise to the challenge of loving a 'less than perfect' man?
Jack Claridge’s sister, Amy, has a big crush on her English professor, Michael Donovan. When Jack agrees to accompany her on an outing with the object of her affection, the last thing he expects is the professor’s reaction to him. One surreptitious hand-job later and Michael is hooked. But will Jack ‘use him and lose him’ or does Jack care for the professor more than he thinks? And what will he tell Amy?
Jack Claridge has been dating Professor Michael Donovan for a couple of months. When Michael discovers that Jack has never seen The Nutcracker, he insists on purchasing expensive seats for a performance by the prestigious Winnipeg Ballet. During the production, Jack and Michael relive their initial encounter at the National Arts Centre and experience a resurgence of the intense feelings that brought them together. What begins as a relaxing afternoon at the theatre ends up as a passionate exchange at Michael's apartment involving some early Christmas gifts and an unexpected proposal.