Feb. 22, 2023

Talking about tough topics (and aliens!) with AC James

Talking about tough topics (and aliens!) with AC James

AC James is on the Steam Seat this week and we need to start this with a content warning. We have that conversation about the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp trial and the troubling things we noticed around romancelandia and society doubts accusers and protects abusers. We also talk about representation and conversations around women’s bodies and women’s pleasure and the shame that swirls around that. We lighten things up by chatting about very close encounters (wink wink) with aliens. And I read a steamy bit from her book Nin: Earth Girls Aren't Easy, the first book in her  Intergalactic Dating Agency series. If you are up for the conversation, spending time with AC is well worth it. 


Grab a copy of Nin and Not Well Behaved Women, her multi-author group project for charity.

Connect with AC online:

If you enjoy Steam Scenes, don't forget to rate and review on your favorite podcast app!


Elle 0:00
New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author AC James writes contemporary romance, paranormal, romance and science fiction romance books for adults and erotica including the eternal Ever After rebranded as eternal lover, which was featured in the best selling spice box anthology. Her ever dark immortal series, which begins with eternal lover has been described as brimming with sensuality and romantic and sizzling hot. The aisle of horse shifters series starts with ride awakening and is lighthearted that is a joy to read from beginning to end. Julie resides in the Philadelphia suburbs with her adoring husband Ron, also known as Mr. St. James, who loves her imaginative yarns and plenty sense of humor. She's also a domestic violence advocate and discusses intimate partner violence and addiction to raise awareness on social media and through her writing. Many of her books include themes like alcoholism, addiction, or second chance romance, such as finding her bearing, which was written as part of Millie Titans paranormal dating agency world, she spends most of her time drinking large vats of coffee while wrangling kids by day and writing by night, recovering video game beta tester and tech geek grew up going to cons and watching Smackdown there's probably some cosplay pictures around somewhere for dressed up as blood berry from saber Marionette J I have no idea what that is. Just don't tell anyone that's between us. I was like when I was going through your bio, it was like, Oh, she got me on that one. I don't know what that is.

AC 1:33
A very old school. Anime from I want to say late 90s. Don't quote me on that I have. I have no idea what year that came out. But it's really super fun. It was it was a cute one.

Elle 1:46
Excellent. My other half might know that he watches a lot of anime. I'm sort of like, every once in a while. He'll be like, oh, yeah, you'd probably like this. And I'm like, Oh, okay. And then I just never get around to it.

AC 1:58
Absolutely understandable.

Elle 2:01
So AC, I'm so happy. You're here. Thank you so much for coming on the show

AC 2:05
out. Thanks. Thanks for having me. This is actually my first podcast. So really excited to be here.

Elle 2:11
Popping cherries right and left around here. That's what we do. So I guess I'm you know, I just kind of feel like let's just go right into how we sort of like online met. Because this is I was so impressed. Apparently, we have some Facebook friends in common. And this was doing during the whole Johnny Depp and brokered trial. And this particular person came out in support of DEP and you had a response to it that I thought was so smart and measured and also, like calm and intelligent, and put the your point of view across so beautifully and succinctly. And I was like I need to I need to know this person. And I reached out to you. But that's kind of like how we met and I definitely want to talk about that. Yeah, let's put a pin in that sucker. And I want to ask you my very first question of when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

AC 3:13
Oh, well, I'm hyperlexia IQ, which basically means that I read from a really early age, I was diagnosed with autism later in life. They didn't know a lot about autism, especially not in women during the 80s. Men are like much better at masking, forcing ourselves to make eye contact mimicking social behaviors. And if your autism diagnosis doesn't include language or cognitive impairment, it's a lot easier to blend in and pass as neurotypical you know, it just, it comes at a pretty high mental cost. So I escaped into books and video games, because it was easier. The playground was like, too bright and too loud. And I had no idea how to relate to other kids, especially other girls. Boys were much more accepting because I was nerdy. And I spoke their language. So

Elle 4:13
that's, I'm kind of curious. How did you end up getting the diagnosis? Like, were you like, were you finally like, there is something wrong here? And let me just go through those sort of, honestly, it's it's like a gauntlet right? It was often with the medical, you know, our medical

AC 4:31
well, but my daughter autumn when she was I want to say eight years old. Her Aunt Rose, pulled me aside in her garage. She's like, you know, I think that Autumn might have autism and I'm like, get the hell out of here. I'm like, she's not autistic. Emily. She does really great in school. She's really good with reading. And then we got a phone call. call from Mr. Butler at her school and Mr. Butler said, you know, you really need to have a conversation with your daughter because we were having social studies. And I had to explain to her why it's not okay to launch into a spiel about her political beliefs, especially about Donald Trump. And I'm like, Oh, okay. And we started noticing that she was having some issues with social cues, and okay, relationships with peers. So we started to explore testing, and they had me filling out her paperwork, and answering all these questions. And then I started to think I'm, like, I'm doing the interview with the autism testing place for my daughter, and I start telling this woman, you know, these are a lot of the same characteristics that I have. Yeah. And she said, Well, you know, maybe we should start by testing you first. Because usually, if you have a first degree parent, who is autistic, it's, it's more likely because it's highly genetics. So I started going through the testing process, and they they told me that yeah, you're autistic. So Wow. I it was it was a little surprising. And it was a kind of like, an aha moment. But then it was also a grieving process, because I look back at a lot of moments in my life, where I'm like, oh, oh, that that makes so much sense now. And yeah, it came to like a different sort of understanding of it. Yeah. And then now I'm like, wondering how many times people have invited me to like a lunch or like going out and I'm like, oh, go have fun. I'll see you later because I didn't realize they're inviting me along to and I'm just, I'm not as good with people as I am with computers and writing and books. And my daughter is the same way she during COVID. Finish so many trilogies, it's not even funny, and a 300 hour programming certification.

Elle 7:17
Whoa. Oh my god, how old is she?

AC 7:20
She will be 14 in November.

Elle 7:23
Holy shit. That super impressive.

AC 7:28
Yes, she's in an advanced ELA gifted class this year. And it she's She lights up my world. She's amazing.

Elle 7:38
Amazing. That's incredible. Yeah, I imagine it must be there. Like, if that sort of, if only I knew, right? I imagine there's got to be some of that, like, Oh, if only I knew, then this, you know, because you're like, oh, yeah, that makes so much sense. And then you're like, if I knew, then I could have done this, or I would have done this differently. I suppose there's Is there a lot of that?

AC 8:00
Yeah, there's a lot of that. And there's also a lot of, I'm a lot more forgiving of myself, it took like an entire year post diagnosis to get to that point, where a while I'm more gentle and accepting of things than I was before. Because now I look at it differently. I have more insights into why I operate the way that I do.

Elle 8:27
Right, right. So right. So so you were like, sort of like a reader on steroids when you were a kid? And how did that translate to writing? At what point did you say, Oh, I think I'm gonna write.

AC 8:39
Um, well, when I was in elementary school, I was writing Dinesen, it started as like a journal and a diary. And then it became, at a certain point, it turns into really, really crappy poetry. And we all have one of those. And then it turns into short stories and novellas, and I started formally writing, I think, around 2012 2013. I joined a writing group, and it kind of went from there, it became an outlet for me, and a tribe of people that I could socialize with and not feel so awkward, because let's be real writers are really, really awkward to begin with.

Elle 9:34
Yes, yes. Go to my tech talk, you will see that Yeah.

AC 9:40
So, like, fitting into that realm was a lot easier for me. You know?

Elle 9:48
Yeah, I can totally get that I completely understand like, because sometimes I'm like, in that social situation, and I'm good, like I'm pretty good socially. But sometimes I'm just like, so For a weird, I don't know how to I don't even know how to describe it like I'm just super weird. And I have this sort of get me out of here. Like, I just want to be home.

AC 10:14
I can relate to that a lot.

Elle 10:20
So did you always write romance or romance? Are you romantically inclined?

AC 10:24
Um, yes and no some of those short stories when I was younger tended to be towards the horror genre. I read very, very widely. When I was a kid, I read a lot of horror. I read a lot of science fiction. I read a lot of fantasy and I read romance, too. I think that I started reading romance. From sneaking books off of my babysitter Sherry loves bookshelf. Yeah, that that's actually her last name, but it was spelled Ruby.

Elle 11:00
That's a great last name. Yeah.

AC 11:04
You really love steamy romances, especially the historical ones. And then I fell in love with LJ Smith way before the CW turned her Vampire Diaries series into a TV show. So that's that's kind of where my love of romance and then it combining with other worldly kind of settings. That's how it came about.

Elle 11:28
Okay. Because I you know, I'm I mean, you're my first Alien romance writer. On this podcast, which I'm Wow, super excited about. I know like Monster romance and alien romance are such huge sub genres that like, but for some reason, I have not talked to anybody who is writing alien or monster romance.

AC 11:53
Oh, wow. Yeah, I know. Monster romance is very, very trendy right now. I haven't actually, I've wanted to read a few but like I have not ventured there yet. I ended up writing the stories I have coming out this fall is going to be some sci fi alien romance because Tasha Black is a friend of mine. And I was supposed to write a story for the multi author, intergalactic dating agency.

Elle 12:23
I think I've heard of that. And it always makes me laugh.

AC 12:27
And then I kind of I stopped writing during my divorce. And I'm just getting all my books back up now with like new covers and expanded anniversary editions because I'm no longer with this book distributor that I was with before. And so like this year, I'm pulling like a Julia Roberts and pretty woman. And I'm, like, I say who I say when I say how much so

Elle 12:49
good for you. So okay, so how long have you been? Well, how many books do you have out?

AC 12:55
Right now? Not a lot because I'm in the process of getting them back up in focus. If you go to my Goodreads profile, it probably shows way more books than are available right now. Because they were with a distributor and now I'm, I'm putting them back out and I'm I'm gonna be all in with indie so

Elle 13:15
excellent. So it feels like you might be are you rapid? Like rapid re releasing, which I know is such a hot strategy.

AC 13:22
I'm probably not going to stress myself out.

Elle 13:26
I don't blame you.

AC 13:28
I'll probably do like one a month and my new books and then my re releases all start in September. Yes. So I'm I'm really excited about it. Especially for the new covers my current husband, he graduated from the Art Institute in Philadelphia. Oh, wow. Yeah. So he's actually like, helping me with a lot of the new cover art and the redesign and he's, he's madly talented. I love them.

Elle 14:00
That's fantastic. It's nice when you have a spouse that can like jump in and sort of like help with that stuff. Oh no, because because it's like it's so important the covers and the this like like all of that matters.

AC 14:13
It's it's really nice having a husband who is emotionally supportive in that way too because you know, it takes I guess a lot of self confidence to be okay to like sit down with your wife and go through you know, Shutterstock or deposit photos and you're like looking at man candy together so

Elle 14:38
that is true. I do think like sometimes you know, my husband will kind of like wander by the computer when I'm going through the stock photo sites and he's always like, and I'm like you don't understand like it is really just like look like I'm not drooling I am like literally like, like, like you look at the pictures differently.

AC 14:57
Yes, it's very very analytic.

Elle 14:59
Yeah, like You completely look at these images very differently than like, just sort of if you're just, you know, oh man candy, you know, it's really not like that. No, no,

AC 15:09
it's not a lot of people don't seem to get that though.

Elle 15:13
Yeah, yeah. Because like, I know, I've been looking for a new cover of for at some art, I have a, you know, a new book coming out, I'm looking at some art. And I'm like, and it's like, you know, these men? Yes, this statically they're very good looking. But it's like, they don't have the right look. Yeah. And, and so you're sort of like filtering through to try and find the right look. And so it's like now that that and I don't think that people quite get that. Like, it's really actually not as pleasurable as people assume. I hate having to look through stock, you know, look through photos for my cover art because it takes hours

AC 15:50
it gets and it gets tiring after a while and you find like the perfect photo where they have a great body, but then the face the head doesn't work, right. So you have to have like your your designer do a head swap or something like that for you. Oh,

Elle 16:08
I never even thought about the head swap.

AC 16:11
Oh, yeah, yeah, you can do a head swap like one of the most recent cover redesigns. It was actually for Curvy Girl romance. So it's really hard to find really good looking guys posed with plus size models, right? How we took two separate photos and combine them. And then it becomes hard to make it look like they're engaged with one another. Because that's key because it's romance. So we found like a separate photo where his head was like looking a different direction. So we swapped this model's head for his own head to make it look like he's looking at her.

Elle 16:58
I know it's like pretty wild what we have to do but I you know, I don't do like dual covers. I just have the dude because I a part of part of it is because I have such a hard time just finding the one person like How the hell am I going to find to

AC 17:12
a lot of my older covers for like that where it was just a dude for ride. I'm redoing it. Because they were written is, you know, curvy girl romance. And I wanted the books to have characters look like women do in real life? Yes. So aesthetically, that's what I was kind of going for. Not be as popular or sell quite as well that I'm not sure yet. But I just really wanted to do something positive for body image. So that's why I'm kind of changing it up when I do the rerelease.

Elle 17:53
Actually, I think Curvy Girl romance is actually really big. You know, nobody really wants to read, you know, they, they don't want to read about the skinny, perfect blah, you know what I mean? Like they want to see themselves reflected in the books. And I've, I've noticed that there is a real trend towards Curvy Girl romance. And it's very specific, and people are actually out there very much looking for it.

AC 18:16
Oh, yeah, it's the same thing with interracial romance to be back in the 80s. All of these romance novels, they they feature characters that were all white, right? You know, women of color, they want to see relationships that look like the ones that they're in, they want to see themselves represented in the stories. So it's the same kind of thing. And I think that romance has changed a lot. Over the years. For now. It's more realistic, and readers have way more expectations than they used to it's writing romance is not easy. People think that oh, no, no, it's just a sexy story. But it's it's way more than that.

Elle 18:59
I'm so glad that you brought that up. Because it really is it's about you know, and I think if anything sort of like mirrors our current world, right now, it's like, oh, God, no, this is this is all coming out wrong. Hi, awkward, as we were saying, but like when you're looking at sort of like the mirroring of contemporary society, I think that you see a lot of that in romance. And while a lot of it is sort of like fantasy based. It's rooted in the here and now and it's rooted in reality.

AC 19:34
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that it gets a really bad rap because it's hard to walk a fine line. You want to also represent characters that are real. You want stories that are sex positive, or empowering for women, but then there's also some genres of romance that and it can go really wrong. really fast, right? Because it's not written the right way. But, you know, it is part of it is fantasy. And certain situations are ways that women can explore things that they wouldn't necessarily do in real life. Because I mean, there's a lot of stuff that goes on with it that they, they wouldn't want to do, but they want to fantasize about it. So it becomes a safe place for them to do that. Right? Like, like dub Khan

Elle 20:29
and Nan con, I know that that gets a lot of shit, right. And I don't know that I would be able to write it. I'm intrigued by it, but I don't know that I would be able to write up. But the fact is, like, you know, don't knock on someone's young hair. Like, there is a reason why people are attracted to that, it doesn't mean that they want to go out and you know, have like, non consensual sex, right? It just means that this is a safe way to sort of live in a fantasy to sort of have a very safe fantasy. It's almost the same. It's the same with horror, right? Like, nobody wants to get like murdered by Jason. It's a lake house. Like, nobody wants that. But it gets her you know, when you watch the movie, it gets your adrenaline going. And you there is something appealing about being scared.

AC 21:20
Well, it's like, you know, writing a sex scene. It's not just about like the physical chemistry meat. I mean, it's a big part of it, right? But it's about the emotions. It's Yes. What's going on in the characters heads. There's there's a lot of choreography going on. And it's actually not much different from writing a good sexy, but Okay, so I'm about to write in an alien reverse harem next year.

Elle 21:46
Oh, my God. Sounds awesome. Because I gotta say, I've never even read an alien romance until I read your scene. And I was like, oh, there's something to this alien room. Anyway,

AC 22:03
I remember like go a long time ago my ex mother in law's like you right? Porn. And I'm like, there's a huge difference between erotic romance and form because see, reverse harem. All the sensation all the pleasure is for her. Three hot aliens worshipping her body. It's the direct opposite of porn because again, then that's

Elle 22:28
all about his pleasure about his pleasure. Scene out here is where we okay, this is listen, man. I'm getting on my soapbox. I'm actually I don't know if you know me and Michelle, she writes, like gorgeous BDSM or just BDSM romance. And I'm taking part in an anthology that she's doing. When this whole Roe vs. Wade thing came down and and I'm talking, you know, we're gonna be donating money. I think I think we're gonna it's gonna National Organization for Women. I think I'm not entirely sure where the money's going. But we don't need the money

AC 23:00
Center for Reproductive rights.

Elle 23:03
I don't remember I think she said now, but I'm not entirely sure. So I'm gonna have to like go double check. But it is going to be sort of, you know, about, you know, Romance Writers responding to the Roe v. Wade overturned, and I was like, you know, going, well, what can I say? What can I say? When can I say? And I was like, you know, what I want to talk about, I want to talk about why it is so subversive for like, why we are why we are not allowed to have female pleasure. Because that's what it's down to. Right. Like, we are not allowed. We are not allowed to feel good. We are not allowed to take pleasure in sex we are or food because we're supposed to be skinny or yet. Do you know what I mean? Like, it's like, yeah, it's always There's always like this thing, where it's like women are not allowed to have pleasure, that is the males domain. And this Roe v. Wade, it's just almost like puts that stamp on it. Right? We are vessels. You know, we're just receptacles for sperm, essentially. And I feel like romance is like the antithesis of that. Because we are celebrating Women's pleasure. And we're saying, Go, go have an orgasm. It's fucking awesome.

AC 24:20
Absolutely. I I think that women are taught. And this is from like, a very young age. We're taught to feel shame. Yeah, about so many things, about our bodies, about our sexuality, because the reality is when you get to be a teenager and you're in high school, it's always you know, he's a player, but she's a slut. Right? You know, so. We have we have actually and this was one of the things that was really bothering me a lot. When I started you Doing this independent study in college, called Women in law and lit. And I already knew about this, I knew about a lot of the laws that were older ones that were on the books about, you know, how a woman has to resist to the most, for it to be classified, as you know. So there are a lot of things with, you know, consent and domestic violence. And it really it didn't. It didn't actually surprise me when I saw the stuff that was happening with the amber herd and Johnny Depp case. It did make me feel disappointed, but I wasn't actually surprised about about any of it, you know.

Elle 25:44
Okay, so What didn't I guess? I mean, I suppose I would say the reaction. I don't know. I still was kind of surprised. Though, I honestly, I felt so I felt blindsided a bit by the whole thing. I really wasn't following it. Exactly. Because I was like, you know, I figured she was gonna win. So I just, you know, like, I just was like, because he had lost whatever he whatever it was in, in Britain that he did, he lost that and that was the end. So you know, the analysts or whatever, going on TV and saying, Well, he's gonna lose this as well. And I was like, Okay, great. So I didn't really pay any attention. And then all of a sudden, it was like, whoa, whoa, whoa, what just happened? So

AC 26:23
there's this really great book, and I read it for my independent study at wider and it's called credible, why we doubt accusers and protect abusers, and it's written by an author and former prosecutor, Deborah Turk and Heimer. Okay, and it focuses more on sexual assault. But that's linked to domestic violence. And as we know, Johnny Depp allegedly penetrated Amber Heard with a bottle of alcohol. Yeah. And I read through the UK libel case where he sued the son. And the judge really applied common sense and looked at the facts. It wasn't this popularity contest and smear campaign that played out in the American courts. In fact, the details about her sexual violation, they weren't included in the public record, they were alluded to as being part of a private one. But it was too private. And then, you know, he didn't win. So he decided to sue her in America. And the case was live streamed, you know, the judge made a huge mistake, you know, she made it a spectacle. Now, I'm not saying domestic violence against men is very, very real. It's something that actually my husband and I, we deal with, because his relationship with his ex wife she had, she has a drinking problem. And we no longer do joint events because of unpredictable behavior. She would reminisce phase, you know, the mental and like emotional abuse, she inflicted something he explored in therapy. And your she still uses the kids as leverage or tool for control. And it's, it impacts their lives too, you know? Yeah. women, women do things too. There's gaslighting, there's manipulation. But that's not what I saw happening in the depth versus Amber Heard case. You know, when a woman like comes forward with an allegation of abuse, there's this like widespread impulse to just like, discredit her automatically and find her blameworthy. And when women come forward against a powerful man, it's an even steeper credibility discount. You know, the men they accuse, they're readily believed they're absolved of all the blame, they're granted outsized importance. And that's what happened. I mean, Johnny Depp is iconic and he's loved as an actor. So people didn't want to believe that the guy they swooned over as a teenager could be capable of the abuse, the Amber Heard claimed. What was really striking

Elle 29:06
to me too, was that it was so clear that he is a man who is deeply troubled and and is really mired in addiction. Yes, like there is no doubt he is a mess. And, you know, that has something that I think that impacted like that had something to do with his behavior. And I feel like that had to have been taken into account. And and I feel like it wasn't, you know, because here is this really young woman I mean, I'm Amber hurt is not old, like, like she she's, I would call her like probably a little inexperienced, cuz she's in her 20s, maybe

AC 29:47
early. I believe she's in her 30s I want to say okay, but I feel it's it's still like a huge age gap.

Elle 29:56
There is a huge age gap. And so now she's here Dealing with somebody who is so volatile, and, you know, an abusive of her and I completely understood her lashing back. I actually did not find that unusual. Yeah. You know, of course people are going to fight back.

AC 30:17
Yeah. But unfortunately, and I think Deborah Turkin Heimer talks about it in our book, we have this need for women to be the perfect victim, you know, right. They're not allowed to have any kind of history, or anything that makes them look promiscuous. They're not allowed to be reactive, or be angry about the things that happen to them. And it's like, there's also this other standard where, you know, if she's crying if she's showing all this like emotion, then she's labeled hysterical, right, clerical. Yep. And then, you know, if she's just trying to get through it, and she's too stoic. Then it's like, oh, well, she's not credible. It obviously didn't happen to this person, because she's not showing enough emotion. So it's like, you can't win no matter what.

Elle 31:15
Exactly like you're stuck. Like, it's like, you know, you have and then on top of it, I was looking at the the two of them going, who has the power in this relationship,

AC 31:25
right? It wasn't her. It's about the power dynamic. It always is. That's what domestic violence is about. It's not about it's not about sex, or the relationship. It's about. It's about control. Yeah, I think that one of my favorite tropes for writing romance is second chance, romance and friends to lovers. alike, as exciting as enemies to lovers, but it really resonates with me, and it resonates with me, because my life is about second chances. I was with my ex husband since I was 22. So that was around, I guess, like 14 years or so. And he was an anthropology major. And, you know, unfortunately, addiction doesn't care about class or race, or, you know, where you went to school. And so what started out as like a recreational coke addiction became Adderall. And then it became math. So oh, I'm not good at reading the room, because I'm autistic. And I didn't fully realize the damage until our mortgage was in default. mean, he was an alcoholic, and there was domestic violence. But it took me a long time to separate the addiction from the violence because drugs only lower inhibition, right. But the domestic violence is about power. It's about control. And you know, I never thought that I'd get remarried. Today is actually like my wedding anniversary.

Elle 33:04
Oh, my God. Oh, happy anniversary.

AC 33:07
Thank you. Ron, and I, we've been together for four years. We were married in 2020. During COVID, which is actually a really funny story. The courthouse was closed. So I had to do it. Well, there wasn't any justice of peace and internet ordained ministers weren't allowed, according to the county laws where we lived, unless they had a congregation that they actually preached to like a physical congregation.

Elle 33:37
What a weird law.

AC 33:38
I know. I know. So my husband was determined, and he found love it. He found this Jewish rabbi who was willing to marry us in our backyard, but he was a prison Rabbi for the county jail. So that was his congregation.

Elle 33:58
This is fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. I love this.

AC 34:04
So yeah, only our kids got to see us get married. So we're doing a vow renewal next year at the Rosenbach Museum in Philly. It's this literary museum. And they even have like the outline and the notes for Dracula on display. So

Elle 34:20
what a cool place.

AC 34:23
Yeah, it's kind of perfect because they have some fine arts stuff, their literary Museum, and I'm an author, and he's an artist. So it just, it works.

Elle 34:36
Can I ask you, I mean, this is like, I mean, this is this is about writing, not about relationships. But how did you guys meet?

AC 34:43
I'll be honest. So my step sister through marriage, Jamie, she started talking about this app called Zeus. It's a dating app. And I'm like, What's the Zeus She's like, her phone. And she set up my profile. And, you know, I lived in at the time this was before I moved to the Philly suburbs. So I was up in northeastern PA, which is very rural, and not very liberal and not democratic. So I'm like flipping through, like all of these pictures in there, these guys, and they're wearing camo and they're holding up fish, and they've got antlers in the background. And then I found Ron's profile. And he was like, Don't even talk to me or swipe on my profile if you voted for Trump. And this is what my political beliefs are, this is what I'm about. And I'm kind of an asshole. I'm like, I don't know why, but I'm intrigued.

Elle 35:50
So unlike the other people around me.

AC 35:54
So, um, so we went to a Chinese food restaurant for our first date, and we were together ever since. So he, he and I just met it, like, kind of the perfect time in our lives. And, you know, he's got two kids from his previous marriage that we have, like, 50% of the time. And, you know, I've got kids too, and we just have this really nerdy, like, blended family because he runs his own business and he makes his own products for like Warhammer 40k and Star Wars and Star Trek small scale model building. So oh

Elle 36:35
my god, you guys are super nerdy. I love this.

AC 36:39
Yeah, he's more Star Trek. I'm more doctor who's so but yeah.

Elle 36:43
Oh, you're perfect for each other? Yeah. Just this incredible. I love this story. What what? I love that that's how you met and like he lived in that area too. Or did or was this like, it's

AC 37:00
really funny because he is from Wildwood New Jersey. And he lived in Philly, like most of his life, and that's where he met his ex wife. And that's where all his kids were born. And then when they got a divorce, she moved back to her hometown. I'm originally from Baltimore. And I ended up relocating up here due to relationship also. So either one of us were kind of we were both like city kids, and

Elle 37:29
kind of stuck in the rural. Yeah. Yeah. Accidentally stuck in rural America or whatever.

AC 37:37
Yeah, so it was it was just kind of like ironic and Kismat because if we hadn't made like the decisions and like past relationships, and to get us to move to the areas that we were we would have never met.

Elle 37:54
Yeah, it you know, I do think that there's something about fate right. And it's funny because I promise we're tying listen to writing. Because in the scene that you sent from, from your book Nin Earth girls are easy book one from the intergalactic dating agency. There there is this sort of faded mates thing going on? And I know some people struggle with I guess fated mates get get get you over the Insta love hump, right? But I think I personally and this is like, what I flagged in something you know, I'm just gonna read like this bit because I was like, I want to talk about this when we're talking about it now. So this is a bit from then Earth girls aren't easy, but one Farex his voice was low and calm inside her mind. Don't worry, it'll be okay by the way. Farex isn't alien it made her jump anyway cat didn't think she'd ever get used to the psychic telepathic alien thing kept turned around and glared at him what you want to go home what makes you think that cat asked I know you you don't know me at all cats bat you've only know me known me for a few days. You've been important to me since the beginning and I was like oh yeah, like you know because and I was like what I should have known notated as we can we catch a lot of shit. We writers Romance Writers catch a lot of shit for Insta love. But I do feel like Insta love actually is a thing.

AC 39:21
I feel like you can't really get away with it and contemporary romance but if you have like the faded me thing going on with sci fi or paranormal you totally

Elle 39:33
can. But it's a bio like instant love is actually a biological response. Like

AC 39:40
eating chocolate. Yeah, it is. It's

Elle 39:42
like eating chocolate. Like that's why that's like why after sex like even if you have like a one night stand, you still have the urge to cuddle. Because there is a chemical response like there is something happening to our brains through orgasm. That creates that Have a bond with that person that we were just with. And I guess like the bond can fade, unless you just always have sex all the time. But you know, because I kind of feel like even with contemporary, like, I get why people don't like and still love but I also am like, actually it is a thing. I mean, I married my husband a month after we met. Oh, we've been together for 20 years. Goodness, over 20 years. Most of my family still doesn't know. But we met and our first date we're joking around and he was like we we said something about, like getting married by Elvis at the exact same time. And a month later, we were in Vegas getting married by Elvis.

AC 40:44
Oh my gosh. Yeah. So it's like,

Elle 40:46
you know, and I mean, it's not to say that it's been easy. It's been marriage is really fucking hard. Like, it's a hard thing. Staying in a relationship is hard. Yeah, it's hard work. But, you know, like, I just I always say to him, like, I can't be like, if anything happened to him. If we split up if anything like that happen. I'm done. Like, I feel like I've had my great love. I'm good.

AC 41:09
Oh, that's amazing. That's really sweet.

Elle 41:13
Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I'm gonna make him listen to this now. Because he's always like, you're not romantic at all. No, please. I am. So I mean, that's why I thought it was like I just, you know, I think that the the fated mates ideas like, you're absolutely right. It is one way that we kind of get away with it. But I wish that there was a little bit more love and room for Insta love, you know, because I feel like you might have had it too with, you know, with with Ron, where you were just like, we had that first date. And it was like, we're done. We knew.

AC 41:48
I asked him one time, and he kind of like dodges the question and he like, won't give me a straight answer. Because I'm like, well, when did you know when he's? I don't know. I knew it like pretty early on. And I'm like, and I do. I do think that I think that he was definitely more like, all in like, right away. And it took me like, a little bit of time to like, come to it because of my whole history. My whole baggage. Yeah. But it's like, I think we were laying in bed together. And we'd only been, we only been dating like a couple of months. And I just I looked over him. And I just knew I knew that we were going to be together. And this is wasn't going to be like a casual kind of relationship. So I was just looking for when I first signed up for that dating app, I just kind of wanted somebody to go out to dinner with someone to have fun with and companionship, you know, never imagined myself as getting married. And, you know, I wouldn't change anything, I wouldn't change the past or any of the experiences that led up to our relationship because it wouldn't be the same. We wouldn't write the same people or appreciate or value what we have the way that we do. Right.

Elle 43:16
And that's where faith comes in. God this is such a beautiful podcast. Oh my God was like, it's so this is like, this is like probably the most romantic romance focused podcast I've done. Oh, really? Wow. Yeah. Like, this is kind of awesome. I kind of wasn't expecting to go here. You know, I was like, we're gonna we're gonna, like, be like, the most feminine. This is gonna be the most feminist podcast I've ever done. And now it's turning into like, probably the most romantic podcast I've ever done. I was totally not expecting that. This is so cool.

AC 43:47
Yeah, I hate to say it. I'm kind of like a big Moishe, like on the inside. Like, I think that all romance authors are to a degree, otherwise we wouldn't be writing it. So

Elle 44:00
yeah, I think that that is true. And I think that we just also want to like I know for me, like, I just want to write relationships that, well, I write women focus, right. So I've tried, I've tried to a point of view all the time, I don't think I do it well. And my point of view is always through the it's first person and it's always a woman's point of view. And that's like, I want to write stories for women and women who are strong on their own. But the person that they meet along the way, kind of just helps them maybe realize that like help them a better version of that just helps them become a better version of themselves. Yeah. And so they don't necessarily need that person. But because That person is there. They, it's just a better experience for them. Right? Like, it's just, it just sort of like is is just like, just a better experience. And I think that I kind of had that with, with my, with my spouse. Ah, I you know, you know, I think writers

AC 45:19
tend to, you know, we write what we know, right? That's what they always tell us when, you know, you go to these writing groups and you're starting out they say, Well, you know, how do you write a good story you write and you flavor with the things you have experience with. So, you know, Kathy Poolbeg was my very first critique partner, she was part of the Greater Lehigh Valley writers group, and then we belong to this RW a chapter together. And writing like, my first sex scene was really awkward. It was like, all this choreography going on. And you have to remember where body parts are. With, you know, what's going on with the clothes. And now readers expect so much more. I mean, sex scenes are way more realistic than they used to be like the older romances had these bodice rippers we all know this, not like how corsets come off. And, you know, as far as, like, relationships, I, I write these characters that these women have backstories for they've been through this shit. They've had, you know, really horrific stuff. They're like overcoming being in an abusive relationship, or maybe their partner or family member had a substance use disorder problem? No, because these are things that are real life. And I think that our experiences kind of work their way into our writing. And that's what, that it makes it more realistic. It's makes it good.

Elle 46:54
Yeah, yeah, I completely, I completely agree with that. And and I love those characters that you can just really relate to on such a real level. Do you? Do you write to a point of view or, or no. So

AC 47:09
I, my very first series was vampires. And it was vampires with BDSM. And it was first person point of view. And it was strictly her her point of view, ride was written in a very close third person point of view. And I do have, you know, some of his thoughts, too, I think, actually, the fact that I am autistic, and I always when I was growing up, I related more to guys than I did other women. It makes it a little bit easier for me to pull off the more nuanced like, stoic. You know, I'm not going to tell you exactly what I'm thinking kind of thing that guys sometimes have going on. Right? And so I do have stories that have both points of view.

Elle 48:06
Okay, all right. Yeah. Cuz I really struggle on the male point of view. And then I'm like, well, writing story stories for women. So here we go. You know, not to say I have given up I'm one of the there's one that I'm working on that definitely has no point of view, whether it stays in there, I do not know. But you know, I'm still working on it. Still working on it. So I know that, um, I did a little bit from the scene. But I want to keep I want to, I want to read some more that because this is such a great scene. And I was cute. So I'd love for you to like, first of all, why did you pick this particular one?

AC 48:43
I love this, this particular scene because you get to see her point of view with how she feels like she's being forced to leave Earth with this, this alien guy and she's being pulled away from her life. She has this successful business. She's in a kind of a relationship with this guy. And it's, it's very awkward and Rocky, and you don't get to see his side of it until you dig into the next chapter. And then with his alien, telepathic powers, you can see exactly how much she really wants them how she's conflicted over everything. And you see some of that in this. And I love conflict. I love when there's like push and pull with characters. So that's kind of why I picked this one.

Elle 49:36
Now, this is the epilogue to Nin, which is coming out in September. Right? What so this is going to be I guess the next story is going to be Catan Farex.

AC 49:46
Yeah, it's a second book is going to be called Farex. And it's going to be their story.

Elle 49:52
Cool. And do you have a release date on that? Are you still kind of like I do

AC 49:57
and is on my website, which I'm Gonna go pop over to now because you don't know when my book is coming out.

Elle 50:05
That's totally fine. Like if you asked me Oh, when's your next book coming? I'd be like October.

AC 50:11
Love. I don't see it is coming out long second year. Okay, so nyn comes out on September 18, then Farex releases on October 9. And then the third book. Xavi comes out October 30.

Elle 50:31
Oh, my gosh, this is a rapid release.

AC 50:34
Yeah. I said, so I'm going to do that.

Elle 50:37
You did. So we so would this. These are new. These are not like your Repubs. Right. These are all new stories,

AC 50:43
new stories. Wow, how

Elle 50:46
long does it take you to write like a book? Because this is amazing to me that you've got three ready to go.

AC 50:51
Okay, well, I'm writing Farex. Now, I guess I had to finish that since it's due in October. And I actually have to go back and rewrite part of none, which is kind of unfortunate, because it's already uploaded and edited and everything on off fellas for preorder. But then see one of my characters in the second book, because I was riding by the seat of my pants. And I didn't know this. I didn't know she told me she was dying. And I'm like, really? Why do you have to go and do that to me? She's like, I don't know, I haven't even told my friends or anything yet. So, man, now I gotta go back to book one and make sure that I have enough foreshadowing and nothing contradicting the fact that said person is dying. So it's, I it took me I think four. And I meant for it to be strictly a novella. It came in at more like 1000 words, which is considered a small book. Because all of the intergalactic dating agency, the world building rules was we were supposed to write no more than 35,000 words or novella. And it took me three weeks, I think, to write the whole thing. And then probably, I spent a week with it and edits before it got sent off. So a month.

Elle 52:18
That's actually pretty speedy. I'm super impressed with that. I am slow. I'm so slow.

AC 52:25
I think the maximum amount of words that I've written in one day is like almost 9000. It just depends. Sometimes, certain scenes come out faster than others. And believe it or not, sometimes the sex scenes are the ones that are kind of like, you know, pulling teeth because

Elle 52:44
oh, I believe that because that's they're the hardest for me to write.

AC 52:47
Yeah, yeah. And there's been times in the past where I've actually, I don't always write linearly, I, like in, in a stream of these events happen in order. Sometimes if I have, like, you know, a certain scene in my head, I'll skip to that one. Or if it's a sex scene, and I'm having like, a really hard time with it, I'll be like, Oh, I'm just gonna skip over that and then move on. So

Elle 53:13
yeah, I've done that. I don't work great with that. Like, sometimes I just have to muscle through but it just sucks because I know it's going to be like, Oh, that this is going to be my really low word count day. And I'm going to have to make up for this somewhere. Yeah. Yeah. Which just like, like, super sucks, like, I wish I but for me, it's just so hard to kind of like, go back to like, move forward, and then jump back, I need to definitely go let her go in that sort of more orderly fashion.

AC 53:40
I forget where I read this. But it was another author who said this, so I can't take credit for it. And I can't even credit them. Because I can't remember who said it. One of the things that was writing advice that I remember someone saying to me was, you know, no matter what, work on your story, if you're in the middle of writing a book or writing a story, work on it a little bit every day. Yeah, because it's a lot easier to pick back up and jump into something when it's current and it's fresh in your head. Otherwise, if you can't do that, you need to leave yourself really detailed notes of where you left off. So you can kind of like pick back up, because otherwise it's hard. Now even even when you have an outline, depending on what your method is, or a beat sheet, or what have you still need to know where you're at. Right?

Elle 54:33
I'm mostly pants. And I think it's hilarious because I write series and I'm always like, people like I have I do not have my series plotted out. I have no idea whose book is coming next. Like it's just it is so and so like what you say when somebody pops up and I'm like, oh shit, I hope that I can make this work with whatever happened before and this

AC 54:58
is i right variety of ways I've done writing by the seat of my pants. My entire vampire series was like that I didn't have it plotted or anything like that. I had it loosely rattling around in my head, but I just sort of like, I sat down, I started writing and boom. Ride was written with a spreadsheet to save the cat. Oh, yeah, I've tried to save the cat, which, but it was just like basic, like, Okay, this, this plot point, that plot point, not like a chapter by chapter legs, you know, whole entire outline. Now, I did do that for ya a novel that I have on my hard drive yet to finish because it's painful. But I, I find that you know, writing stream of conscious seat of my pants, the words come out a lot faster. So, and it's easier for me.

Elle 55:54
Yeah, and I find if I do have the outline, I go off the rails like I will be good for like the first three chapters, and then all of a sudden, I will just go in a completely different direction. And seven chapters later, I look at my outline, and I'm like, I did nothing. I did nothing. That was here. I did nothing. Yep. So I end up throwing it away anyway, you know. Okay, digging into the next little bit between Eric's and cat. And I should yeah, so, I should also add, like, he's basically taken her on the spaceship. And she was not expecting that she doesn't want to go. It Why did she have to get on the spaceship to begin with?

AC 56:37
Well, the last chapter before it gets to the epilogue. They Okay, so the evil villain in this story is Ruth from the homeowners association.

Elle 56:53
It's kind of perfect. Yeah.

AC 56:56
And so you know, originally it was just supposed to be cats best friend taking off with Ninh and they're going to like, you know, pick up these other women in Philly after they get some cheese steaks and they're gonna go off to their planet. And I love that. You know, Ruth from the homeowners association, she comes into the backyard and there's this spaceship and she is just like screaming bloody murder and there's this big hole, you know, altercation and, you know, she grabs a blaster and you know, she shoots men and there's there's blood. There's a lot going on, before it gets to this epilogue. And so police come because of course the neighbors they call the police and the nosy neighbors get there storming up the driveway, and then zombies big ass bumps, like you know, the dashboard. And you know, Ninja had already put in the coordinates. So the spaceship took off with all the women in it because they were packing everything up to say goodbye to you know, Ray, because Ray was leaving within and that's it was kind of like an accident.

Elle 58:12
Oh my god, this isn't me. i Okay, that sounds like a wild sort of like penultimate chapter, I guess. Or I guess final chapter before the epilogue. So that sounds amazing, actually. Oh my god. I'm excited to read this whole book now. All right. I don't want anything from you. I know you're angry with me now. Farex kept his voice low and steady. But you will want me you'll want to be in my arms and feel me inside you. I can sense it and hear it in your thoughts even now. Your mind and you belong to me. Cat yanked out of his arms again. I don't belong to anybody. You are mine. Your Mind Body Spirit and every part of you belongs to me. His mind was inside her has telekinesis, telepathy? Telepathy, woof touching her stroking her with desire. Cat's knees were getting weak she envisioned turning and wrapping her arms around him. Cat could almost feel her hands touching his skin and the warmth of his body as she imagined giving into her desire. But she wasn't going to give into that fantasy. She left her life on earth. He taken her against her will cat was conflicted because she craved him and didn't want to and didn't want to eat for him. His lips pressed together and her mouth formed a thin line now I'm not gonna agree with that. She's fighting that like I just love how she's like you know she I have to say her boyfriend sounds like a bit of an ask because we got like a little bit like there's usually just as little like mention of him and she's kind of like yeah, he's been like this jerk lately but it's okay like he's my boyfriend you know and like and so like I'm kind of like oh cat why not have a good time with sexy alien dude, right? Like,

AC 59:50
well, kind of her whole thing and the reason why she kind of went for guys that were jerks. She woke for one. She has childhood by baggage and all kinds of drama, but to she decided that, you know what she was going to do with the time that she has left, because, you know, she's dying, you know, she just wanted to have a good time. And so Rick was completely the wrong guy for her, her boyfriend on Earth is a complete player and a deck. And that's, that's what she was into, she was into that. But she, she also wants to feel love, she wants to feel connection, she wants to have somebody comfort her. And, you know, the scary part is, is they're kind of wrong for each other, but right to because Farex has this entire backstory that she doesn't know, because, you know, on his planet, women have a really hard time with fertility. And so he had a wife, he had a wife and a partner, and she died during childbirth. Now, part of the reason why they went to Earth to find women to take back home with them, is to breed to procreate for their species and their survival. And he doesn't really want to have a partner didn't want to have a partner until he met Kat and realize that they were fated mates and that they were supposed to be together. But but she has no idea about his backstory. And then he has no idea about her backstory, and that maybe the same thing could happen. That happened to his wife. So there's a lot going on.

Elle 1:01:37
I find it really interesting that you wrote an alien world where essentially, they're they they are, they have a fertility problem there. And so they are looking to women as like, sort of, you know, the baby carriers. And considering what's happening in our country right now. Like I kind of find this super fascinating. And wondering, like, is there like, there's a subversion here somewhere? Yes, guessing. Yeah. Based on our all our conversation, based on our conversation, I'm guessing there was a subversion in here.

AC 1:02:16
Yeah, there. There definitely is. And I've also found that I've rewritten some things like I have a contemporary story that I'm actually I put together this charity anthology called not well behaved women. Yes. And it's me and, you know, 17 other authors. And my story in that is called her playbook. And it's about this character that, you know, she's a lawyer, she's powerful. And I did rewrite parts of it to talk about the fall of Roe v Wade and things like that. And all the proceeds for it are going to go to the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York.

Elle 1:02:58
Good. Excellent. Yeah. Okay, want to read a little bit more here. A cat tried to push away the overwhelming feeling of despair. Cat didn't know how to get home, but she had to try. She was lost and scared but clung to the hope that somehow she could figure out a way back. Cat didn't know how things worked on Aireon. But on Earth, you couldn't proclaim that a woman belonged to you like she was property. Cat wanted love, but she was pretty damn sure he was incapable of it. Taking a mate was about procreation. She wasn't his love his soul desire. little does she know. The only thing he wanted was a womb to bear his offspring. She had been captured and manipulated by him. Ferrets has held her tight as various had held her tight as the door to the latch was closing, even as she struggled to get free. Cat didn't want to give herself to him. But she didn't have any choice. The hatch closed, separating them from the outside world. She was trapped in heading to Aryan with him. I was like, Oh my God, that sounds. Yeah. But like not true. Like, I think that this is so interesting, because he is saying to her, we are fated to be together and she is like, Nope, you just want me because I'm a receptacle. Like, it's really just kind of interesting. It's this dynamic right now.

AC 1:04:16
A communication, like Lost in Translation kind of thing. And in the first book, they, they cameoed like a lot in men. And, you know, there's there's always been like, a lot of push and pull with them because he's, you know, she flirted with him and was like, really attracted to him when they first met. And then, you know, he found out because he's telepathic, that she has the sky. She has Rick, and, you know, he has he had this like, moral sense that he's like, Okay, well, you know, I'm gonna reject you, because you're with somebody else. And so she became really insulted over that and they've always had like this back and forth, back and forth. But she knew that the reason why they came to Earth was because their planet is having, you know, these fertility issues. So, it's a lot of like miscommunications. There's so many, like miscommunications and all my stories. I think it features heavily, heavily because I'm, I'm not great at social context. So I love when characters just get it so wrong, because how many times do we like, assume we know? Yeah, we don't know that person's thinking. Yeah, we get it all. Yeah.

Elle 1:05:34
Oh, we know nothing. I mean, I think that I mean, and you know, this can frustrate some readers, but I actually find that so truthful. Because, again, like, for me, I'm pretty buttoned up. Like, I don't really like, talk about my feelings that you know, like, I'm not, that's not who I am, necessarily, you know. And so I'll hold a lot back. And, and I think that that can be like, you know, effect my communication in my relationships, you know, obviously, and so, and it does create some miscommunication. And I think that that is just part of life, right? Like we constantly Miss communicate.

AC 1:06:09
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And it can lead to like a lot of like, really, Comedy of Errors, kind of like situations when you're writing.

Elle 1:06:18
Write, write, and I know people like well, they just weren't communicating. It's like yeah, but who does really like who communicates really, really? Well? The Cosby's, even even though maybe not so watch. So what happened there? But you know what I mean? Like that only happens on TV sitcoms, you know, like people don't communicate like that. They really don't that's not real life. Yeah, that is not real life. Okay, now we're getting really kind of sexy here. So here we go. Oh, wait, before we get sexy sorry, y'all. I know you're all like get to the sexy bit get to the real sexy bit, but I have a question that I'm gonna tie in. When the aliens came to Earth was this a surprise? Or did every Did we already know aliens exist? They're out there. Sometimes they visit or maybe they don't visit but oh, look, the aliens came to visit that's exciting. Like or was this like holy shit aliens. Holy shit aliens. Okay, yeah. Okay. Come with me. Folks commanded grabbing her arm and guiding her down a set of stairs. They walked past a closed door where she heard raise moans her friend was probably locked in a pair bond a pair bonded embrace with them. No, I'm not going with you. Cat protested. FX opened the door and dragged her to the bed. You need to get some rest. Cap Yelp does FedEx pushed her onto the bed, his hand pressing into her shoulder. She arrived beneath him trying to get away from his touch. The bed was soft, but he positioned himself behind her in the stance meant for claiming she fought against him but his grip was firm. His breath on the back of her neck was hot and his hand tightened on her shoulder as he tried to keep her still. Cat clenched your jaw. I am not going to be your mate. You can stop it. You can't stop it. You can't deny me that when I can feel how much you want me and I can smell your desire. If you don't give it to me, you'll be left unsatisfied, and it's a long way to Aaron Fox wasn't wrong because of her hunger for him. It would require a cold shower if you didn't make her calm. But that was beside the point. Cat always gave NFL for men because of chemistry, but it was never enough. Recommend made her feel things she'd never felt the day. She'd never felt that day beside the pool. She deserved better and wouldn't let Farex have her just because they were stuck on the ship together. I don't want you kept tried to deny what he was saying was true, but found it hard to resist. Cat didn't want to feel the desire racing through her body. The need for his touch his kiss no matter how much she tried to fight it. She couldn't deny that she did want him. Cat wanted him so fucking bad. He was sexy and gorgeous and made her feel things she'd never felt. She also knew how wrong it was to take away her choice by holding on to her weight while the hatch was closing. Cat couldn't be with someone who would do that to her. Her body betrayed her. The wetness that pulled between her legs was proof of that and she hated herself for it. ferric stroked her back and leaned his body against her. Her body was drawn to him. She could feel that caulk pressing against her and she ached to have an inside her. Even as she thought it she knew it was wrong. She didn't want to be a brood mare to be taken by someone who wanted to breed her fucker like an animal. You can't say no Can you for exhaust his voice Huskins seductive. The bed sank deeper as fuck shifted his weight behind her. She was trapped beneath him his hips pressing into hers and his hard cock pressing against her sex. Her breath caught is the bed creaked under his weight and the heat of his body pressed against her. She wanted to give him to him to feel his cock inside her cat resisted Him no matter how good it felt because she refused to be Brad. I don't want you, cat let yourself but don't lie to me. You want me? You need me Ferrick spread her legs. He was hard and she could feel every inch of him pressing against her. The only thing separating them was the thin fabric of their clothes which only serve to produce more delicious friction. His cock was like a brand against her and she ached to have an inside her. She wanted him to fill her up and make her come undone. I don't need you cat turned her head with a heated gaze that would have lasered into him if she had that power. She focused on the headboard and blocked out the passion burning inside her, but was pulled back by his hand on her chin Farex tilted her head back so that she was forced to look at him. He was so close to her and his body was so strong and beautiful. She wanted so badly to touch and kiss him feel his skin against her nose. Feel him deep inside her. Oh my god. Hello, there. So dancing on such a line here. I kind of loved it.

AC 1:10:58
Yeah, it I really loved the next chapter after this goes into his point of view. Oh, okay. And I'm not going to Well, I guess I suppose they do end up you know, having sex it is consensual she actually verbalizes and does consent to pair bonding with him. And then during the pair bond, things get a little bit awkward because, you know, my aliens, there's some comedy but it's dark and gritty too. They tend to like glow blue and their markings on their chest glow when they you know, pair bond and they orgasm and all that stuff. But you know, another thing that happens is you can see into each other's mind. So before the telepathy was very one sided you know, he can like read her thoughts, but you know, she can't see what's going on with him and she starts to get these flashes during their pair bonding. Oh, about you know, this woman and he she doesn't know about his his wife that he had and she just knows that he's in a lot of pain and that there's this painful memory but she doesn't know the full details because it's just coming out her in images so it's um I love writing stuff like that it's it's part of the reason why I love paranormal and sci fi so much.

Elle 1:12:24
I yeah, I agree. I wrote when I started writing I was writing urban fantasy and I absolutely love it I need to get back to it because you know I miss I miss being able to create these sort of super powered beings you know, I think that is so like so much fun to like give them powers that you like wish you had you know and how do they use them and let you know that that sort of thing? Like really I just did that plus a really love a good ghost story like ghosts witches, demons.

AC 1:12:55
Yeah, that's the jungle died between like paranormal and like paranormal romance. You either want to fuck a ghost or you don't?

Elle 1:13:04
Well, I'm curious. What do you think draws readers to aliens and and monsters like we're because this really is a growing genre. And I'm kind of curious, like, what is it about that sort of? You know, because I think it's I think it's a little different from paraNormals.

AC 1:13:21
Yeah, well, I think the same reason applies to them both. And I think it's this universal fantasy of, you know, wanting to be drawn out of your mundane, boring life and the everyday experiences around you. And some of them are pretty stressful. And you're in this fantastical world with these fantastical creatures and beings. And it's completely different from what you experience every day in your life. So it's taking you out of the provincial normal boring to something else.

Elle 1:14:00
And how do you make an alien sexy? Well,

AC 1:14:06
mine actually like some people have gone like the shifter route, or you know if you're writing like alien monster romance. So I've got tentacles, I've got all kinds of stuff going on. Mine tend to have these they're more human looking. And they tend to have these markings on their chests that glow blue and, and they have these powers like you know, Farex has these energy blades that extend from his fingers, you know, kind of like Wolverine. So it's there's all kinds of ways to make you know, alien sexy.

Elle 1:14:45
Oh my god, this has been such a treat. Thank you so much for doing this AC James. This was super fun.

AC 1:14:55
No, thank you for having me. Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Elle 1:14:59
So um, Where can people find you on the internet? Like where do you hang out the most?

AC 1:15:03
I probably hang out the most on Facebook and okay, they can find me@www.ac jas.com I'm super easy.

Elle 1:15:14
Perfect and I will have links to all your places in the in the shownotes as well so people can find you easily. AC thank you so much for being here. This was like such a great conversation. I absolutely loved it.

AC 1:15:27
Oh, absolutely. Me too. Thanks for having me.

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