I write time travel novels, so I’m keen on history. I also write erotica. The three subjects are related – honest, and you’ll see how. I started writing when I was in Argentina. My twins were just two, we were in the middle of nowhere, and there was nothing to do, really. My husband was off buying horses, and could be gone days at a time. (Argentina is huge – he’d go off in a small plane, land on a grass strip on someone’s backyard, and come back with tales of flamingos flying under the plane, and cattle blocking the runway.) We stayed in a wonderful old house that had no electricity. It had a fireplace in each bedroom, and I fell asleep watching the red flames and listening to the soft crackle of a burning eucalyptus branches. The house was surrounded by a lazy river and a miles and miles of forest and plains. One day, I left the twins in my husband’s care and took a ride through the forest with one of the farmers. We saw a herd of red deer and flocks of emerald parakeets. And in the evenings, when the twins were sleeping, and my husband was away, I would write longhand on a yellow notepad by the light of a kerosene lamp. I started to write short stories, and sold a few to magazines. Then I started one about a time-traveller who goes back to ancient Greece. Perhaps staying on a farm with no electric lights or heat made it easier to imagine. At night, the stars blazed, the Milky Way was a glittering swath, and thinking about the cold light from the stars finally reaching us after millions of years of travel through space made time travel seem plausible. I started a short story about Alexander the Great, and after ten pages, I realized this was going to be a novel. After several chapters, I knew I had to stop, draw and outline, and start researching not only Alexander the Great, but ancient Greece, Persia, and Bactria as well. For the rest of our stay in Argentina, I made notes of small things like lighting fires, how to slaughter and cook a chicken, a sheep, even a bull. I watched the “domadores” training horses. I walked outside at night and looked at the stars, so unbelievably bright, and I taught the twins to swim and took them on horseback for rides around the farm. When I went back to France, I haunted libraries, the internet, wrote letters to professors, doctors, historians – and wrote the Time for Alexander series. After two years, it was finished and I started to shop it around. Anyone who has every tried to sell a novel knows it’s hard – but try to sell a cross-genre novel about a politically incorrect conqueror (although his bisexuality made him a hit with a certain crowd) -well, it was nearly impossible. I racked up more rejections than a sex toy vendor at a Sunday-school picnic. Actually, I think the vendor would have done better than me. I didn’t give up. In the meantime, I kept publishing short stories and a YA novel, so I knew it was just a matter of finding the right publisher. I finally found one in Australia, and they published book I, and three months later I got a check for 75.00$ (Did I mention that authors only get 7% of the cover price of a book?) and a note congratulating me on having a best seller in Australia. I called my mother and told her I was hanging up my typewriter (or hanging myself by the ribbon – whichever came first). Over the phone I heard my mother’s friend Sam saying “No, don’t give up! Write something sexy! Write Erotica! That’s where the money is!” I told him that if I did, I’d take his name as my pen name. Samantha Winston was born that night – after I hung up I got to work on my first erotic romance, and I published 20 books for Loose Id, Changeling Press, Totally Bound, and the late Ellora’s Cave. Well, publishers do fold – Ellora’s Cave kicked the bucket and I had a bunch of orphan erotica romances to re-home, and my Australian publisher closed as well – and here I was, with Alexander the Great and his time traveling wife looking for a new home. Thankfully, I’d read a very fun series of time travel books (Jodi Taylor’s Saint Mary’s terrific series) , and I contacted their publisher (Accent Press) and they accepted Alexander – and so it goes. And that’s how a love of history, time travel, and erotica got roped together. And if you want to know more about Alexander and Ashley, his time travelling wife, and their sensuous romp through history – well, you can start with book I, The Road to Alexander. I hope you enjoy the voyage!
About Jennifer Macaire: She grew up in NY, Samoa and the USVI. She met her husband at the polo club in Paris. All that is true. But mostly she likes to make up stories. Her books have won awards, and her one of her short stories was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and made into an animated film. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTd5Fa86VRQ)
Links: The Road to Alexander