Name Linzi Basset
Now Fiona…you should know that is a question never to ask a woman. Especially to disclose it so publicly. Lol, let’s just say, I’ve seen my fair share of winters!
Where are you from
I’m from South Africa, born and raised. I am a Managing Director for a middle sized company and because of that, my private identity and life is kept separate from my writing career.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just published the final book in the Club Alpha Cove series. It reached # 1 on the Amazon bestsellers rank as well as #1 on the New Release Hot list. The perfect ending for the series. On top of that all 11 of the titles have been in the Top 100 Bestsellers list a number of times.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always enjoyed creative writing, even at school and my essays portrayed that side of me. My first two books were published in South Africa in the early 1990’s. After that, life interfered and I didn’t write again until 2014 as a self-publishing author on Amazon.
Why do I write? Oh, my. Writing for me is like breathing. I would suffocate without it. I write because it is a deeply satisfying constant in my life. It is an instructive discipline. It is a cerebral exercise that challenges me every day. It’s informative, elucidating and therapeutic, not just for me, but for my readers. It is hard work, but selfless, in that it allows me to share my world with others. It scratches the itch to create something and that in itself, is extremely fulfilling. To be able to create something, no matter where you might find the process, is an innate human need, from building sand castles to writing and everything in between.
For me, it boils down to what Vincent Van Gogh once expressed: “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” That’s why I write. To express the deep well of passion that lives in my soul which is the part of me that I keep secreted away from my day to day existence.
This passion is a part of me that had been suppressed for a long time primarily due to a very conservative upbringing. To subjugate the individuality of oneself to the greater supposition of a collective commonality was part of my familial and cultural heritage and what was expected of me. Now, I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m able to liberate myself and share my passion with others. Blossoming out of what once was the genesis of my own confined existence! Passion is what drives my creativity. Passion is what allows me to ‘see’ and express my own sensuality through the medium of the written word; to be able to draw from that deep well to define the beauty of eroticism and all that it encompasses. I want to share what I feel with others.
Isn’t it a universal truth that it’s our singular experiences and passion, for whatever thing or things that it may be, that molds us all into the individuals that we become? Whether it’s hidden in the depths of our soul or exposed for all to see?
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In all honestly, I still have to pinch myself daily and acknowledge that I am a writer. That my books are selling well and that I have a large fan base that read and enjoy my books.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always said I wanted to write, but never really tried. It was my Dad that pushed me to pick up the pen and start my first story.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
That’s a question that I’ve been asked in previous interviews. The honest answer is that I really don’t know. If I had to define it, I’d have to say that it’s somewhat stream-of-consciousness, descriptive, emotional, and taut. It’s what makes me tick.
Every book starts out with just an outline of sorts of who the main characters will be and how the ‘theme’ of the book might be woven into the fabric of their lives. Then I sit down in front of my laptop, I type Chapter One … and off I go. The plot and character development slowly emerge. I come alive within every story. When I write, I become the character, I live each and every scene. A part of me is ingrained in every story that I write. Does it always work? I hope it does.
I made some mistakes in the first few books of the Club Alpha Cove series, which is why I did some rewrites. I do a lot of research, factual research, logistical research etc., but ultimately, of course, the story and the characters have to “work” for me. If I don’t feel connected with either one, I’ll ditch it and begin anew because it won’t feel authentic. It’ll lack the depth and the passion I “live” into my writing.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Each book in the Club Alpha Cove series has its’ own unique title. I wanted to give the club a name that portrayed the inherent characteristic of the Masters that ran the club…and they are all Aplha males…hence the name. Each individual book is named in relation to how the sub in the story is portrayed, His FBI Sub – Courtney was an FBI agent, His Ice Baby Sub – He met her on the icy slopes of Iceland and she has snow white hair, His Vanilla Sub – She was a total novice to the lifestyle, and so on.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Each story in the series has its’ own unique message based on a host of factors that all of us encounter in the evolution of our own enlightenment. Essentially, the problems arise from misunderstandings, lack of communication, trust or the lack of it, between couples, recognizing our own flaws and doing the necessary work to evolve and become more mindful. A great friend once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I believe that very much. How can we make the needed repairs if we refuse to understand ourselves? It’s about the journey. Arcadia is a state of being. It’s not a destination. This is the message that is insinuated into my work.
Ultimately, all my books are about passion. Passion is the driving force of all emotion, whether it be lust, desire, hate, trust or love. That is the message in all my books, believe in the passion that drives your desires. Live them. Enjoy them and allow them to bring you happiness.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
These are works of fiction. They are not to be considered how-to manuals and I express as much in the front of all my books. Slight deviations from strict D/sub behavior may seem as ‘inauthentic’ by the devotees of this lifestyle, but I have researched this world to bring it alive for the readers, in what is called creative license. If I had a dollar for every deviation from authenticity from book to film, I’d be wealthy.
I write BDSM club based novels and in no way, shape or form should anyone look upon them as a guide or a manual to the lifestyle. It is and always will be fiction and my imaginary flight into their world. Written purely for relaxation and enjoyment.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As a writer I always start with my own experiences and knowledge and then expand to other’s adventures or events in and around my life.
I draw a lot from within myself when I write or create most of the female characters. As for the others, they evolve around the imaginary circle I create within my mind during the time I write the stories. The male characters are all Alpha males. What is challenging, is to give the male character a balance within himself; to be more than just a dominant persona, but also to be caring and tender at the same time.
I believe that telling stories in my own voice, driven by my own passion is what motivates me and that is the very essence that gets insinuated into each and every one of my stories. It’s a distillation of who and what inhabits my being. I truly experience and live each and every scene. I feel every touch, every kiss, every harsh word uttered and that to me is the key. I write from the inside out. My stories are me. I live them. I couldn’t imagine writing a story looking in from the outside to try to describe something that I cannot see or feel. When I feel myself laboring unnecessarily to write a scene that I can’t connect to, I know it’s going to come out wrong. My editor always tells me to leave some things to the reader’s imagination, because I become so involved with describing what I see and feel.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I can’t really pinpoint one single book that I would say influenced my life. I’ve always read a lot. I have my own extensive library at home. I still have the very first book I bought with my own money when I started working.
The bottom line is this: I am a conjurer, a dreamer, a raconteur, a time-traveler, a voyeur; always have been, and now as a writer, I can realize the wonder of all the before said in my stories as has every single story that I’ve ever read by other authors, led me to be where I am now…a writer.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Funnily enough, not fiction…lol! I am reading The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. It’s about tools that assist a person to unlock the awesome powers of their subconscious mind and help to improve relationships, finances, and physical well-being.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Michel Bussi. He is not a new author but he is one of France’s most celebrated crime authors. He won more than 15 major literary awards and is a professor of geography at the University of Rouen and a political commentator. His book AFTER THE CRASH, is the first to appear in English and I can’t wait to read it.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I started the first book, Desperation in the new Club Wicked Cove series. A six part series around an exclusive, underground club in Jacksonville, Texas. I’m hoping to publish toward the end of February, beginning March.
I am co-writing an erotic suspense series that weaves fiction and nonfiction with the author, James Calderaro, The White Pearl. We’ve already published a short story, Double Shot Espresso, which is the premise to the start of the series and are currently working on The Crow’s Nest. We are going to start on a thriller pretty soon, and after that a political drama.
I also dabble a little with poetry. I wouldn’t call myself a poet, but I do know that my prose has found affection with quite a number of people. I plan on releasing a “Love is you,” bundle toward the end of the year.
I published a Dragon Shifter book, His Flame Dragon King which is intended as a 3 part series, but since I started with CAC, I have not had the time to continue with the series. I have been receiving huge demands from writers for book 2…so I will have to get writing!
I am in the process of re-publishing a number of more contemporary romance stories that I published under the pseudonym, Sabel Simmons under Linzi Basset as well. I will continue writing all the genre’s under Linzi Basset in future. Keeping up with promotions, websites, Twitter and Facebook for two authors is a Herculean task that cuts into my precious time as a writer. I would love not to have to worry about all the collateral responsibilities a writer must manage and just focus on writing.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have a large contingent of fans that have really made my transition from a start-up writer to an author a phenomenal success. I am truly humbled by their continued support.
My Co-writer and sometime editor, James Calderaro has become the one person whom I can depend and lean on. His belief in me is challenging me constantly to improve and do better.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. It has always been a dream of mine and I am now on the edge of achieving that dream. I am planning to become a full time writer before the end of this year.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. There has been a comment on a review that the latest book deviated from the others in the series and that the male characters were less ‘dominant’ than the others. I reject that comment out of hand. If anything, the latest book was more nuanced with the male characters being more emotionally complex. I can understand how some may have misunderstood the depth I wanted to portray in the alpha males.
In any event, this book is a love story that was threatened by misunderstandings and one character’s pain that drove his actions. Some readers are skimmers and mainly read dialogue, therefore they might miss the inner conflict that the male and female deal with throughout the first part of the book. Conflict that drives them to say and act self-destructively in opposition to what their real feelings are. Therefore they miss the switch in emotions between the characters.
This story concentrates on three characters. Readers will find none of the Masters they came to love in the rest of the series and I realize that some would have, perhaps found a similar thread comforting. But for me, it was time to switch gears. The previous Masters had enough of their own time. This book is about the three main characters; Amy, Dax and Gunther. So I would urge readers to please read this book as it was intended, a standalone story with no relevance to the characterizations of the other Masters in the previous books.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As I said earlier, it started when I was young. My interest in writing erotica? I am a very passionate person. It’s what drives and motivates most every decision I make in life. Passion is the spark that ignites the fuel that feeds the fire in an erotica novel. I live inside each book that I write. It is, in part, my own sensual self that I explore and the demons that I expunge that inhabit the pages of my stories.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The new series Club Wicked Cove is about a private, exclusive underground BDSM Club on a farm 30 miles outside of Jacksonville Texas on banks of Lake Jacksonville. All members wear masks, as they don’t want to be recognized within a very close knit community and only go there for their pleasure and kink.
The first book is called, Desperation.
Master Dom intervened on a scene of Lady Silver: a harsh flogging and whipping from two Doms. Her modus operandi when she visited the club. No stimulation, no sex, just a brutal whipping, allowing her to sob and scream her grief. He realized immediately that she was not a masochist and ordered her to leave. The only concession upon her return was that she will scene only with him on his conditions. Lady Silver had no choice. She needed the pain to unleash her grief, to allow her to cry for her loss and she returned. Only his conditions and scenes were not what she wanted or expected…
Colt Fargo is the owner of the club and the farm where the club and restaurant is built. No one knows the farm and the club are connected, therefore no one is aware of his role as the Master Dom of the club. Colt has become hardened and cynical about love when his wife cheated on him two years ago. He became a workaholic and had no interest in romance. Not even the beautiful blonde that managed to awaken his libido.
Ceejay Powell moved to Jacksonville when her life shattered and fell apart in Seattle. Something she had been battling to deal with for five years. Joining her uncle as a partner in his pesticide business gave her the solace she needed. Only their latest client suddenly awakened feelings inside her that she thought had died five years ago.
Fate intervened as usual and when the Mafia started to threaten her life, Colt had no other choice but to take her as his sub to protect and care for her. Would such a move proof disastrous for both of them?
It’s a story of high emotions that threatens to consume each of them differently.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Let me start by saying this, and it may come as a surprise to many people, but English is not my first language. When I started writing again a few years ago, I struggled with the enormous versatility of American English. All my stories are American-based, so I obviously needed to ensure that they would appeal to the American people. It was a massive struggle until I found an American editor that “Americanized” my writing!
The one thing that I battle with that needs constant work and attention is the passive voice…ahh!…and when I get a script back from my editor with notes indicating where I need to correct it. I do actually scream. And why…why does English have so many tenses? Good heavens! Why can’t everything just be in past, present and future? Why do we need past present, future present, past perfect…or is it perfect past…geez!!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have a few, but I love John Grisham’s writing because he does it with such precision and style you can’t not help other than to admire it. And I a particular fondness for stories that revolve around legal issues. In the erotica genre, I have always admired Johanna Lindsey, who is a historical erotica writer. I have all her books. I learned from her to build all aspects of life into my stories.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Unfortunately, seeing as I have a full time job, it’s something I am unable to do at present. I am hoping it will change in the future.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I have a little artistic streak in me and I design all my covers myself.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Over the whole series, there was one character that I found the hardest to write.
Ryder Whitmore from His Forever Sub – who by the way, was nominated for The Golden Flogger award. He was an abused child, so I brought in flashback scenes of that abuse, to develop his personal history which was the force that eventually motivated him to act out. Child Abuse, or any kind of abuse of anyone, for that matter, whether emotional or physical is an abomination and anathema to me. To delve into the mind of an abused; that was the most difficult thing for which I had to write. The resultant struggles he endured to overcome and the effect it had on him throughout his life was the equivalent of living inside his head.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The underlying theme in all of my books of course is love and passion. The main thing I have come to learn is that communication between couples, is very important. Life is so full of stumbling blocks that it is important to make sure you don’t create some yourself by not talking to one another. A simple misunderstanding can turn into a disaster so quickly. Talk to one another. Don’t let emotions fester and erupt. Deal with issues immediately and learn from each other. That to me is the most important thing I’ve learned through my writing. To listen, to understand and to reciprocate. A relationship is not a lonely avenue, it’s a freeway, with slips, turns and off-ramps that you have to learn to navigate together.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
It may be that my advice to the writer in you, whomever you are, might sound overly simplistic, but it’s essentially the discovery over time of listening to your own singular voice and the application of it, through hard work and passion to speak through the medium of the written word. Be comfortable within yourself. Write every story as if it’s your own, your dirty little secrets that you’re telling…and yes…maybe some of them are mine…lol! Find your voice with the words that truly express what you think and what you feel and it will flow into your story, make each one stand out, make each chapter shine and make each scene come alive in every reader’s mind. Let your passion come through and connect and your words will have the power to transport the reader into the story as a voyeur, or better yet, as a participant.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Ah…I love them! They have made 2015 the best year of my life to date. I love receiving mails from readers and yes, sometimes you are upset because I “killed” your favorite character, but those are the best ones to receive; when a reader asks what motivated me to write a character or a scene in a specific way.
I personally respond to every email I receive. I intend to do a newsletter this year and I have a mailing list that is growing daily. If you want to be added to my mailing list, please send me a mail via my website listed at the end of the interview.
I’d love to hear from you.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The very first English novel I read was Shanna, by Laurie McBain, an erotic, historical romance.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m an Aquarian and they say we don’t show emotion and in a way that has been true most of my life, but now as I…er…mature…lol…I find that I become very emotional about certain memories in my life. I tear up when I think of my dogs that are no longer with me, about my Dad that passed away recently and I cry in private when I feel emotional and upset.
Children and animals make me laugh. Their uninhibited love for life and everything around them is so pure and unconditional.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Albert Einstein. I have a fascination with science and his mind is something I would love to explore.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
No headstone for me. I want to be cremated, but if they had to write something, it should be: “Now, another journey begins…”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I read a lot and I enjoy drawing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Hahaha…a full time job which takes up 8 – 10 hours of my day, writing that takes up another 6 -8 hours at night…I have to sleep I’ve been told…so at this stage…I’m not watching any TV! The two shows I‘ve always loved are Bones and of course The X-files.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I turned Vegan in July last year. I love pasta and salads. My favorite colors are purple and green. Music? I’m a rocker girl, of course! Love the golden oldie bands, Van Halen, Deep Purple, BonJovi, Guns and Roses, but to name a few.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
When I was younger, I wanted to become a psychologist and even did some short courses in psychology, but at the time I didn’t have the financial resources to study and qualify.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
All my books are sold on Amazon and my author page there is: www.amazon.com/author/linzibasset