Every woman has those fantasies that usually never see the light of day. L. Marie Adeline has taken those fantasies and made them very real for the women in her S.E.C.R.E.T trilogy, a trilogy I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend to every romance reader.
What if you could have your deepest desires come to life, played out in real time with a sexy, handsome stranger who is intent on satisfying your most immediate need? Something to think about, right? Three women who definitely need a bit of help to become sexually confident and powerful discover exactly what it’s like to have their fantasies come true.
And you don’t want to miss it. Be sure to pick this trilogy up soon. Let the fantasy begin!
DUCK CHAT: Welcome to The Pond, L. Marie. Instead of the usual tell-us-about-yourself question, we like to start with telling even the most hard-core L. Marie Adeline fan something they don’t know about you.
L. MARIE ADELINE: I have eaten the same breakfast every day for four years: chia, hemp seeds, buckwheat groats, blueberries and yogurt. I have to have that before I write a word.
DC: If you could retire any interview question and never, ever have it asked again, what would it be? Feel free to answer it.
LMA: Any question that conflates my erotic romance writing and my own life. It’s such a strange thing, to assume the writer’s life is similar to their work. You wouldn’t ask that of a crime or horror writer, you know?
DC: I’ve heard writers often say their stories take them in surprising directions, or dialogue flows from some unknown place. Is it the same with you? Do your characters surprise you sometimes?
LMA: Completely. It always sounds a little strange when I say that there is a point in writing when the character begins to take on a life of his or her own, and that’s true. You write and revise until that happens, and then if you’re in that flow, your job is really just to follow behind the character, chronicling their every move.
DC: Do you ever argue with your characters while you’re writing? Who usually wins?
LMA: Oh gosh, yes. I wouldn’t necessarily call it arguing, but I really believe that a lot of so-called “writer’s block” is when the writer is in a standoff with his or her characters. The writer wants to go one way, but the character won’t budge. I write through those so-called blocks but moving in the direction the character seems to want to go. Does that make sense?
DC: Would you tell our readers about your S.E.C.R.E. T. series, its genesis, and has it evolved as you originally envisioned?
LMA: Well, I have always written about sex and women, but I had rarely written books about women actually having sex. But with the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, and the fact that there seemed to be such a big appetite for these kinds of stories, this gave me the confidence and inspiration to try my hand at a genre I had only ever enjoyed as a reader. But I wanted my books to better reflect my philosophy of female empowerment and transformation. I also wanted my women to have greater agency, so their sexual evolution was in their hands, and not in a man’s. I had no idea if there was going to be an appetite for my particular flavor of erotica, but there seems to be one, and it’s growing!
DC: What is sure to distract you from sitting down and working/writing?
LMA: Twitter. I follow thousands of accounts and they’re all interesting. People seem to think the point of Twitter is just to think of clever tweets and tweet them. But it’s really about the art of the follow. Unfortunately, I have that down, and am all too often sucked into reading articles and looking at pictures rather than writing. Also since I last wrote a novel (The Almost Archer Sisters, in 2009) the world of publishing has changed, and writers are really required to handle their own social media. That can be fun, but between Facebook, Twitter, your own website, and Goodreads, promoting your work on social media can be a full-time, distracting job.
DC: Please tell us about Cassie and her life in the first book in the series.
LMA: Cassie Robichaud is such a lovely character and I feel really lucky she came to me. And her growth has been astonishing. She begins S.E.C.R.E.T. as a shy, mousy waitress, beaten down by life, in a perpetual state of grief. Sex is the furthest thing from her mind. She can’t even get up the gumption to go out with Will, who’s truly been smitten with her for years, let alone go on dates. Then she meets Matilda Greene, the stunning matriarch of a group called S.E.C.R.E.T., which grants one woman her sexual fantasies for about a year, each designed to get her out of her rut and into a life she is supposed to live. Cassie’s changes from book one to three were so much fun to write and so heartening to witness. But thinking back on her life in book one, and knowing where she ends up, (especially that last paragraph, which made me cry tears of joy to write), I just feel so lucky to have gone on this ride with her.
DC: Is there a genre you haven’t tackled but would like to try?
LMA: Good lord, every time I devour another one of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones books, I fantasize about writing fantasy. You could argue that S.E.C.R.E.T. has a bit of fantasy in its erotic romance genes. But I get excited imagining creating whole new world in a different era, and, in fact, it’s getting me thinking about what’s next after S.E.C.R.E.T., so we’ll see.
DC: Which fictional character would you like to hang out with?
LMA: I’d like to hang out with Matilda, my character in S.E.C.R.E.T. I love her wisdom. And Solange Faraday, the journalist and my new candidate in S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed, is very much like a lot of my friends: sharp, smart, and funny. But in terms of classic characters, when I was younger, I would have loved to be best friends with Arya Stark from the Game of Thrones books, or Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games. Those were my kind of girls: wily, strong, and fierce.
DC: What advice would you give to your younger self?
LMA: Be true to yourself, always.
DC: Though Cassie immerses herself in S.E.C.R.E.T. in the second book, Shared, she suffers heartbreak. Would you give us look into Will and Cassie’s relationship?
LMA: Theirs is the central relationship of the trilogy. They were clearly not ready for each other in the first two books. By the end of book one, when life circumstances rip them apart, and when Will’s own fears cripple them in book two, you really see how much you have to grow in order to have a solid relationship. Both people have to take risks and make sacrifices, and all too often in life and in books, it’s the female of the two that does the majority of the changing and growing. In book three I really wanted to show what Will has to do now to secure Cassie’s heart. And I wanted to show that sometimes a happily ever after has to be hard earned.
DC: What is the best thing about being a full-time romance author? What’s the most challenging?
LMA: Well, there is no better way to spend your days than to be writing books about life and love and sex! Until you’ve done it for a year and a half straight. Then you feel snaky. I am also a TV producer and I happened to be (sadly?) one of those people who needs to mix it up. I know so many people who would love to quit their so-called day jobs and write full time. And while I can do that now, I really don’t want to. I LOVE my TV work as well, it’s so fun and so exciting (and it pays really well!) I have no intention of stopping, so it means books don’t come out as often, but I can’t be in my head all the time either. My TV work provides the right balance. And I think I’m striking that now. I have a cool TV gig lined up that might take me half the year, then the other half I’ll write. I really have the best of both worlds and I wake up and pinch myself every day.
DC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever learned by Googling your name?
LMA: A long time ago, I discovered there was a little group of fans that used to get together once a month and read aloud from my Dear Diary column that I used to write for Vice Magazine, years ago. They’d get wine and gather and read and laugh. I loved that.
DC: What book would you like to read again for the first time?
LMA: I loved Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. It’s one of those books you envy your friends when they pick it up for the first time. I also really feel this way about TV shows I’ve loved, like Friday Night Lights. Watching it for the first time, in binge fashion, was to fall in love with an entire town of people. I still miss them like they were real. My brother and sister-in-law just started Breaking Bad. I envy them that experience.
DC: If you were a book, what would your blurb be?
LMA: Funny, dark, caustic but good at heart.
DC: What romance book would you recommend our readers pick up during their next bookstore run?
DC: If you had never become an author, what do you think you would be doing right now?
LMA: Working in TV, which I am already, so I don’t know if that counts. Lately I have had fantasies about being a farmer. My ideal man is a philosophical farmer, who reads a lot, someone smart, sexy, funny, but who’s up with the chickens and in bed just after dark.
dark or milk chocolate? – Milk
smooth or chunky peanut butter? – Chunky
heels or flats? – I love heels, but I struggle in them. Flats. Birkenstocks.
coffee or tea? – Coffee in the morning, herbal tea after noon.
summer or winter? – SUMMER!!!! All caps for a reason. I hate winter.
mountains or beach – BEACH, all caps. See above.
mustard or mayonnaise? – Tie
flowers or candy? – Candy
pockets or purse? – Love a pocket in a dress, means no need for a purse.
Pepsi or Coke? – Coke
ebook or print? – Print. I have a bunch of books on my Kindle, and I just…can’t…finish them.
And because we still enjoy the answers we get:
1. What is your favorite word? – Thanks
2. What is your least favorite word? – Got (I had a teacher in high school who taught us to eliminate that word. He felt that it was ugly, guttural and it really mangled a decent sentence.)
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – Humor…in all three. You have to be able to laugh.
4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – Self-seriousness, or the belief that things can only go one way. I don’t like emotional, spiritual, or creative rigidity.
5. What sound or noise do you love? – Beach, ocean, waves. I have a sleep machine with those sounds programmed.
6. What sound or noise do you hate? – Construction sounds: unless it’s my own renovation…then I love it.
7. What is your favorite curse word? – F*ck. It’s the best.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – Other than writing or TV, I always thought I’d be a great hairdresser. I like the one-on-one aspect, and the creativity.
9. What profession would you not like to do? – Nursing, or anything to do with health or hospitals. They’re sad places to me, and it’s such hard work. God bless all of them though.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? – If heaven exists, to me it would be a tropical beach library. So God would have to hand me my card and say, “For the rest of your existence, you’re to sit on this beach and read every book in this place and every one of them you will love.” That would be heaven to me, and that would be a God that knows me well.
DC: Thanks for being with us today, L. Marie!