Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cathleen Ross' Dirty Sexy Murder

Toad apologises for the inconvenience caused by a small hiatus in posting at her corner. Her PA has been under a wee bit of stress at her day-job so has been unable to keep up with the workflow. Month-end has come and gone, so things are looking a little less grim so, without further delay, Toad welcomes Cathleen Ross to her corner.

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Cathleen Ross likes to write about the quirky side of life. Her characters often have psychic abilities because she comes from a family of psychics and kooky people. She thought she was a “sweet” writer until she was asked to write her first erotic story and she’s never looked back. She then went on to write outrageous sexy fantasies, compiled them in a book and sold it to Black Lace/Random House. Man Hunt became the number-one best-selling erotic novel on the publisher’s website in 2006. Her mother was banned from reading it.

She has also sold to Harlequin Spice and she is excited about her latest sale to a NY e-publishing house, Lyrical Press and seeing the release of her romantic paranormal mystery, Dirty Sexy Murder, a novel set in a Brazilian waxing parlor. When she’s not writing, Cathleen works for a tertiary institution as a writing teacher.

To learn more, visit

Email address for readers:

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When did you know you wanted to be a writer and what genres attracted you?

I started writing in my early twenties. At first I started to write sweet stories but when I was invited by a publisher to write erotic stories, I sold all my submissions. Fortunately the erotic boom has meant there will always be a place to send sexy stories that don’t fit the mold.

Which of your characters would you like to meet, where and what would you do with them for day?

I sometimes write really cheeky mean heroines like my heroine Gabby in my Spice Brief Psychic Sex who would seduce innocent men. I’d love to go to a Hell Fire Club with my heroine.

What are some of the most important themes prevalent in your tales?

There are two themes that keep emerging in my work. One is the cheeky heroine who seduces innocent men and is a dom in bed. The other is a psychic character like Marina in Dirty Sexy Murder who is learning to deal with her emerging psychic powers.

Have you had any out-of-the-ordinary encounters with your readers?

My publisher Harlequin suggested I join myspace to start publicizing my work. The first person who asked to sign up as a friend was called aslave4aday.

Slave was a very entertaining “friend” who I interviewed for the current book that is doing the rounds of publishers.

Care to discuss your current work-in-progress?

When I was skiing in Vail in January, I had a dream about a Scottish knight, and a heroine who accused him of murdering her brother. It was one of those kiss-or-kill situations, though being an erotic historical, the knight kissed the lady. I could see him wearing his chainmail and knew it was in the medieval period. I also knew from his dialogue that it was at the time that Scotland was in turmoil. I checked on the internet, found the period and the date when the event I dreamed about could have happened. I’ve almost finished the story, but what was interesting was that I found a real-life character who did the things I’m writing about and he has the same name as my hero. There’s a reason I write about psychic heroines.

What advice do you have for small press authors looking at ways to market themselves?

I think it’s important to blog in an interesting way as much as you can. I’m also looking into ways of marketing Dirty Sexy Murder, which is coming out in print in July. So far, I’ve been told Romance Sells is a good place to take an advertisement. It’s a good idea to join Facebook and Myspace. You never know who you will meet there. Make sure you have a good website, join lists that interest you but give as well as market yourself as there is nothing worse than people who spam.

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And to end on a note from Toad’s PA...

A call for submissions for a Titanic-inspired line of stories (novella to novel-length works across ALL genres)

Call for submissions:

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Toad invites authors to share their short stories, poems, flash fiction, author interviews and excerpts. Toad also reviews novels, so is happy to oblige you if you have a release in mind. Please keep to the F/SF/H genre theme for Toad’s blog and email her PA at for further details. Please remember to put “Toad’s Corner” in the subject line so the silly hooman doesn’t get confused, okay?

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  1. I love Nerine's fantasy creature photo. If you were a fantasy creature what would you be?

  2. Thanks, Cathleen. The culprit here is my husband, who's a very talented visual artist whose forte is photo-retouching. He went to a lot of trouble arranging props and a costume for this shoot, not to mention a location.

  3. He's fantastic. I'm very impressed. I'd like to be a unicorn but I'm not sure where I should put the horn.

  4. Hi Nerine, this is my first visit to your blog, it looks like fun!
    Cathleen, your post made me smile. I have read most of your published stories and find them not only erotic but also very amusing. Did you set out to write humorous as well as sexy?

  5. Somehow when I write something sexy the way I see the world, which is quirky, comes through. I think stories can be erotic and funny. Dirty Sexy Murder has its serious parts but the Brazilian Waxing is very entertaining.

  6. I love that you look at life in a quirky way Cathleen! and I love your WIP story. :)

  7. Thanks Eleni. That's very sweet of you. You haven't discussed which fantasy creature you would like to be but I can see that you have wings.

  8. Ooops I knew I forgot something :) Yeah the picture says it all - LOL! Though a shapeshifter would be cool - but being able to shapeshift into more than one shape.

  9. Very entertaining Cathleen, and I'll have to pop over here to visit Toad's Corner again.

    I think I'd like to be a fairy, which was what I always wanted to be after reading Enid Blyton as a kid and have somehow found my way back to an unmentionable number of decades later.

    H! :)

  10. Hi Maree
    There's something about fairies that must catch us just as our imaginations are growing.
    Eleni, I love your idea of a shape shifter. I watched True Blood last night and it caught my imagination. Still to be a unicorn is very appealing at the moment.

  11. Hi Cathleen,
    I love your quirky characters. They're so memorable as well as unique.
    I can't wait to read your Scottish story. Did you find it very different writing a historical?

  12. HI Cheryl
    I certainly learned to appreciate your eye for research. The Scottish historical took me forever to research. For Dirty Sexy Murder, I needed to research the waxing because people write and tell you if you get things wrong. For the historical, it was researching a whole different world to what I live in.