Sylvia Day is one of the world’s most famous erotic fiction writers, . Her Crossfire trilogy sold more than six million copies and made the stories’ playboy, Gideon Cross, a household name. Now she’s teamed up with us to bring you a sneak peek of her new book Afterburn, as part of Cosmo’s Red Hot Reads. Sylvia was recently in Australia and we caught up with her to find out how this saucy union came to be and what to expect from Afterburn…
How was your book-signing in Sydney?
Oh, it was a good time, I honestly have the best readers in the world, they’re amazing. I love spending time with them, you know, we all happen to be in love with the same guy and yet we get along very well.
Your female characters are very much *Cosmo* girls. It’s perfect that we’ve teamed up on *Red Hot Reads*!
I know! It all started when the publishing house Harlequin called my agent and said, “Would Sylvia be interested in doing a partnership with Cosmo?” and I said, “That sounds really amazing!” I’ve always tried to do things ahead of the game.
For me it was just like, I’ve kind of conquered digital and definitely paperback - I work with 12 different publishers in the United States - but working with a magazine was a new level. We’re exploring different avenues of putting stories in reader’s hands, and I find that vastly exciting. And to be the first person to come out and do that... I was honoured to be asked and I still am. I went to Hearst Tower and met with Joanna Coles (Editor-in-chief of Cosmo US) and the deal was done. She’s a force of nature that one, a Cosmo girl for sure. Cosmopolitan is in more than 100 countries, Harlequin is in 110 and I’ve been translated into 39 languages. Put that all together and it’s kind of like bringing together three global brands. That’s hugely exciting.
What can we expect from your new book *Afterburn*?
Readers of the Crossfire series (which made it number one in Australia!), will be able to step into Afterburn and feel quite comfortable because it’s written from Gianna’s perspective, but it’s a totally different story. Gianna is a young girl who’s striking out on her own for the first time in New York. In the course of doing business, she runs across an old flame of hers, Jackson Rutledge, and things were really hot and heavy between them until they weren’t. And now they’re across the board table from each other and on opposite sides of a deal so the sparks are flying in more ways than one. We get to follow her as she figures out what went wrong the first time and whips him into shape the second time.
Well, we like the sound of that!
Yeah! It’s set in the restaurant industry, Gianna works for a restaurateur. She finds culinary talent and transforms them into name well-known chefs, with really fabulous restaurants and cookbooks. Anybody who loves the Food Network or watches Masterchef will love reading about this part of the story.
Ok, we want to know about the guy, what’s he like?
He is actually a venture capitalist who likes to give a quick cash infusion to ailing businesses. He works his magic and either tears them apart or builds them back up again. So you see a little bit of that ruthlessness that we’re familiar with from Gideon Cross (from the Crossfire series). There is really only one Gideon Cross, Jackson is not Gideon but he’s not half bad! He’s pretty hot… I think Cosmo readers will love him.
Erotic fiction is so popular at the moment, why do you think that is?
It’s easier for people to buy in this digital age. Previously, the only place where you could really go and buy erotic fiction was in paperback in a regular brick and mortar bookstore. It wasn’t just something you picked up at Big W or Target or your local grocery store—it just wasn’t there. A lot of women are busy, they don’t have time to make a special stop at a specialised store to buy a particular item. But then came e-books and it was easier for them to buy it at home on their computer and read it there. So there was that, the romance readers definitely were early adopters of digital.
I want to ask you a little bit about your own writing routine, do you get up in the morning and go sit in a certain place and write there? Or do you have a certain pair of socks you wear?
I can tell you there are two places in my house that I write. And one of them is either at my desk in my home office or it’s upstairs in my room when I kick my feet up on my bed.
I’m in Southern California, by the time I get up, all of my publishers from New York are already hours ahead of me. So I’m always scrambling to catch up because almost everything is urgent: We need you to approve this cover today, we need you to approve this copy today, we need you to approve this ad today, look at this contract. So depending on how busy it is, I could end up spending the whole day clearing my inbox and once that’s done, often at five or six at night, I can start writing.
And I always have my laptop with me, I can’t go anywhere without it. Because you never know when you’re going to end up sitting around waiting for five, 10, 15 minutes - you can write five pages during a 10 minute wait for something.
Do you always pre-plan what’s going to happen in your books?
I always start out with a general idea of what I want to happen, but the minute I start writing, the characters go and do something totally different. I’ve learned over 10 years that it’s not my story to tell, it’s the character’s story to tell.