Indigo Skye is a writer and photographer living in the American Southwest. Ms. Skye’s first novel, Her Captive Muse, was released by Noble Romance Publishers in January. Her work has been widely published online.
Last fall, her short story “True Confession” was published in the anthology Uniform Behavior. Her short story, “My Demon Lover,” was recently featured in the Noble Romance Anthology, Red Roses & Shattered Glass. Two of her short stories, “The Weary Traveler” and “Saving Orpheus” were recently chosen for the erotica anthology, Seducing the Myth, edited by Lucy Felthouse.
What motivates Indigo Skye, the author? Why do you write?
I write because I have to. A voracious reader, I live and breathe stories. I eat poems for breakfast. I know of no other way to exist in this world.
When did you know you were a writer? Was it always your destiny or did you stumble upon your craft by accident?
I was obsessed with books at a young age, learning to read before I even entered kindergarten. Stories held such power- they seemed like a form of magic to my wondering childish heart, igniting my imagination and taking me on fantastic journeys. I soon began to dream up different endings to my favorite stories and fairy tales. My friends and family encouraged me, every step of the way, delighting in my amateurish creations. This gave me the confidence to write and illustrate my own stories. I don’t remember a time when there wasn’t a crayon or a pencil in my hand. In early photographs of me, I’m always carrying a notebook or a novel.
What is your favorite genre to write and why?
Right now I’m working on a collection of dark erotic faerie tales. I love reading- and writing- stories with a strong element of magic and fantasy. I recently picked up The Night Circus, by Erin Morganstern, from my local indie bookstore. What an enchanting book- one of my new favorites. As soon as I finished reading The Night Circus, I turned back to page one and re-read it immediately. I haven’t done that since I discovered Paint It Black, by Janet Fitch.
Is there a particular genre you haven't tried but would like to? What is it and why?
Lately, I’ve been dabbling with the idea of a screenplay- which is definitely new territory for me! I am a very visual person- as a photographer, I’m the ultimate voyeur. When I write, I often see stories or scenes unfold like a short film, or a dream. I didn’t set out to write a screenplay- I stumbled into it. I was working on a story, and I’d gotten a few pages in when I realized I was thinking about stage directions and camera angles. This wasn’t just a story- I was writing a movie!
How did you get into eBook publishing?
I was chatting with a fellow author on the Scarlet website, when she mentioned that she’d like to read some of my short fiction. I sent her my short story, “Cherry-Boy,” and she liked it so much she offered to share it with her editor. Soon after that, I received a request for the manuscript of Her Captive Muse, and the rest is history! Most of my published work has been featured online or in e-books, rather than in the traditional print format. My first novel, Her Captive Muse, was picked up by Noble Romance Publishers in January. I’ve also contributed work to Red Roses & Shattered Glass, an erotica anthology Noble published this spring.
My short story “True Confession” appeared in the steamy anthology Uniform Behaviour, edited and published by Lucy Felthouse. Her newest anthology, Seducing the Myth, is a collection of erotic short fiction based on myths and legends from around the world. I’m proud to say, two of my short stories were chosen for Seducing the Myth. “The Weary Traveller” details a young bard’s sexy sojourn in Faerie. “Saving Orpheus” is a re-telling of the myth of Orpheus. It begins when Orpheus is cast out of Hades, broken-hearted and mad with grief. A bold young naiad emerges from the waters of the Styx to give him a second chance at life- and love.
How many hours a day do you devote to writing? Do you have a set routine or do you write when the mood strikes?
When something feels this good, I just can’t get enough. I’d write all day and all night if I could. If I’m on the go, I make sure I’ve always got a notebook and pen in my purse, in case inspiration strikes. I’d say, on a typical weekday I write for three or four hours- more on the weekends.
This doesn’t include the time I spend taking care of business- doing promo, reviews, interviews, answering emails, blogging, and social media. I usually find that first thing in the morning is a good time for me to get online to check my emails, and do social networking and blogging while I’m fresh. After a break, I devote my afternoon and evening hours to creative work, often working until the wee hours of the night. I love to write in bed!
Is there a certain aspect of the story you begin with? Do you create the characters first or do you come up with the plot?
Neither- I start with an image, and build a scene around that. I see it all unfold in my head like a movie- most often, an X-rated movie, complete with a soundtrack and special effects.
Tell us about the most intriguing character you've created.
Morgan Roan, the female lead character in Her Captive Muse, is one of the few characters I’ve created that is still a mystery to me. For that reason, I think she intrigues the reader- she’s more villain than heroine, no romance-novel princess waiting for Prince Charming.
Who is your favorite author? And, if given the opportunity to meet them, what would you ask them?
I’d love to meet Jack Kerouac and listen to his stories of life on the road. His voice is amazing, hypnotic- I heard a bootleg tape recording of him goofing with some other Beat poets and I was hooked. I never really understood his poetry, until I heard him reading it aloud. He takes such raw visceral animal joy in each word, putting all his passion into each phrase- it’s more music than spoken word. I love “The Jack Kerouac Collection,” a compilation of his recorded work released by Rhino a few years back. The CD Kicks Joy Darkness is amazing- modern-day musicians, actors and poets set his words to music and do their own interpretations of his work.
What did you do when you found out your first book had been contracted?
I celebrated with champagne- and a night out on the town with my man. He treated me to dinner at my favorite restaurant, and then we went back to his place for dessert. That’s when things really got interesting…
Has there been a person or influence in your life that has helped you reach your writing goals?
I want to give a shout out to my friends and family, loved ones and fans- I couldn’t do it without you. (Or maybe I could, but it wouldn’t be this much fun!) Equally important to my work’s success is the professional community of fabulous, sexy authors I network with. We support each other, share resources and advice, and cross-promote our work.
Do you have any words of inspiration to aspiring authors? What advice would you offer a writer trying to publish?
Stop aspiring to write, and do the work. Read everything you can get your hands on, and write feverishly about the things you love. The top two reasons novels don’t get published? 1. They never get started. 2. They never get finished. Write every day, and get your work out there. Perfect your craft, know your market, promote yourself shamelessly, and present your work in a professional manner. Network, network, network- make friends with twitter, start a blog, learn about LinkedIn… there are a ton of tools out there to help you make your career a success. The only thing standing in your way is you.
Tell us about your current releases.
I have several current releases. Her Captive Muse, my first novel, was published in January by Noble Romance. I’ve also got short stories featured in three erotica anthologies. “My Demon Lover,” a sexy short story about love from beyond the grave, was included in the Noble anthology, Red Roses and Shattered Glass.
“True Confession,” a hot story about a young priest tempted by a woman in his parish, appears in Uniform Behaviour. This anthology, published by Lucy Felthouse, is a steamy collection of stories about men and women in uniform. A portion of the proceeds from sales of Uniform Behaviour are being donated to the UK charity Help for Heroes. Working with Lucy Felthouse has been such a wonderful experience. When I found out she was publishing a second anthology, I submitted two stories. “The Weary Traveller” and “Saving Orpheus” were chosen for Seducing the Myth, an erotica anthology inspired by myths and legends from around the world.
Buy Link for Seducing the Myth-
Link for Uniform Behavior-
Do you have any upcoming projects in the works?
I’m currently working on a collection of dark erotic faerie tales, as well as several books. I’m even thinking about a screenplay!
Where can readers connect with you?
A full list of her published works is available on her blog, Indigo Skye: Ink and Art-
Follow her tweets on twitter- http://www.twitter.com/indigoinkandart.
When Brendan Delaney answered an ad for an artist's model, he was looking for an easy way to earn some extra cash. But Morgan Roan wanted more than just a model. Soon, Brendan finds himself caught in a web of deception and desire, lust and betrayal—her captive muse. What price pleasure?
Buy Link for Her Captive Muse-
Brendan rubbed his hands together to warm them. He sneaked an appraising look at Morgan's slender form as she led him to the kitchen.
He didn't have a chance in hell with her, so he looked anyway. She's so far out of my league, she's in a different time zone.
"You want a drink?" Morgan asked. She crossed the open-plan kitchen to the wet-bar and poured herself a glass of white wine.
"Scotch. Neat." She owed him a drink after today. Hell, maybe two or three. "Make it a double."
"You deserve it." Morgan poured a heroic portion into a heavy, cut-glass tumbler and brought it to him at the table. "Nice work." The swell of her breast brushed against Brendan's upper arm as she passed him the drink.
Did she do that on purpose? He felt a rush of heat at the unexpected contact and tried to ignore the way it made him feel. Probably just an accident. Don't get your hopes up.
Something spicy and smoky simmered in a Crockpot on the counter. He rose and crossed the room to peek under the lid.
"That smells great." Brendan's stomach growled. He tried to remember the last time he'd eaten a real meal—something besides pizza and junk food—and couldn't recall. "You're a famous painter and a gourmet chef? I'm impressed."
Morgan laughed low. "I can't cook to save my life," she said. "Marie made this. She always leaves a hot dinner for me when I work late."
"Who's Marie—your girlfriend?" Brendan asked. He couldn't hide the tone of disappointment in his voice. Figures. She's gorgeous and funny, smart and talented—of course she's a lesbian.
Morgan shook her head no and laughed even harder. "Marie is my personal chef, not my girlfriend. Our relationship is strictly professional," Morgan said with an
amused look. "The first thing I did when I made it big was hire Marie. Sick of eating my own cooking." She grinned at Brendan. "I was living on ramen noodles when I was your age—broke all the time. When I had money, I spent it on booze and drugs—not groceries." She sipped her wine and watched him over the rim of her glass. "Now I can afford good food and good drugs."
"Good Scotch too." Brendan tossed back a swallow of his drink. Pay me! Pay me, pay me, pay me so I can get the fuck out of here and go score.
"Yes. Speaking of which—let me top you off." Morgan took his glass and filled it to the brim with the fiery elixir. Then—as if she'd read his mind—she excused herself to retrieve an expensive little Chanel bag from the next room. She rifled through her purse and pulled out three crisp, hundred-dollar bills. She leaned close to press the money into his hand.
What's this shit? He eyed the money, his suspicions rising. He'd worked four hours—and she'd paid him for six. Why?
"You made a mistake. This is too much." He held out the extra bill and tried to hand it back. "Way too much."
"You look hungry." Morgan sounded matter of fact. "Want some soup?"
He nodded, but watched her warily. Never trust found money. That's what his mom always said. Brendan wondered what Morgan had up her sleeve.
Morgan dished up a huge bowl of green chili chicken stew and handed him a spoon.
"You didn't answer my question." Brendan took a bite and looked up at her, waiting for a reply.
"Yes, I did. I said, 'You look hungry.' Was I wrong?" She tilted her head and pierced him with an intense gaze.
"I'm doin' okay." Her predatory blue eyes made him shift in his chair. She knows all my secrets.
"You look fucking strung out—like your last decent meal was weeks ago. I remember the way it feels—running on empty." She offered a distant smile. "Take the money. You need it a hell of a lot more than I do."
"I think you should take the extra cash and invest in a heater for your fucking studio." Brendan tried to hand the money back again.
She waved it away. "It's yours. I insist."
Brendan sighed and pocketed the cash. Something about the whole exchange made him feel dirty, but she was right. He was hungry—too hungry to care. He shrugged off his guilty conscience and attacked the stew with gusto. "Fine—I'll buy a heater. I almost froze my balls off today."
Morgan laughed. "Poor baby." She stroked his arm and gave him a warm smile. She watched him eat for a long moment. "Don't worry. You'll be nice and toasty next time. I'll make sure of it. Can you come back tomorrow at noon? I'd like a longer session, if you're up for it."
"I'll still be in bed." Brendan saw her frown and took another bite of the spicy chicken stew.
"Make it three. I'm going out tonight—won't be home until late. Gotta make sure I get my beauty sleep." He chuckled and finished the soup.
Morgan reached for his bowl. Their fingertips touched for the briefest moment—just long enough for both to feel the spark of desire. Or, at least Brendan felt it. She probably didn't feel a thing.
"Seconds?" she asked.
"Please." He watched as she filled his bowl with soup and brought it to him at the table. She moved with the calm and studied grace of a ballet dancer. When she set the bowl before him, she let one hand linger on his shoulder for a moment. Brendan relished her nearness. He spooned up a bite, savoring the tender, smoky chicken. "Thank you. This is delicious."
"Come over whenever you're ready. I'll be in the studio all day." She ran her fingers through his hair. "You'll inspire my greatest painting yet. I can feel it. The work's developing so fast." Morgan gazed past him, a far-off look in her eyes.
She did that all the time. Got lost in her thoughts, in some other world where Brendan didn't exist—only Morgan's idea of him. He watched her blue eyes go cold and distant. It seemed as if Morgan was seeing only her vision of him, superimposed over the real Brendan eating a bowl of soup in her kitchen. It felt spooky—like being turned invisible against his will. Is this the way a bad poem feels when I erase it?
While she dwelled in some distant realm, Brendan took the opportunity to look at her. Really look at her. He couldn't bear to meet her strange, unseeing eyes, so he stared at her hands. Strong, capable hands with elegant, long fingers—a little rough—streaked with gold and ochre and cerulean. They are beautiful hands, artists' hands—imbued with a certain magic.
Brendan re-assessed her and discovered Morgan Roan was a beautiful woman. The revelation shocked him; he hadn't noticed her looks until now. He'd been more concerned with avoiding frostbite and staving off his hangover. After a solid meal and a big knock of Scotch, he saw the artist with a kinder eye.
Morgan was a cool, lethal blonde with indigo eyes and porcelain skin. He wanted to run his fingers through her silky, moon-milk blonde hair, which she wore up in a messy bun. What would it look like spread across a pillow? He had a sudden urge to write a poem about her, an itch he couldn't wait to scratch.
She took her hair down with a sigh of pleasure. Her face was beautiful—delicate and fierce—framed by long, pale hair streaked with amethyst and violet paint. She finished her glass of wine and went to the bar to pour another.
"You did well today, Brendan."
"You're not making it easy. I think I got frostbite of the prick."
Morgan laughed. Her snowy cheeks flushed rose pink. "Now, that would be a crying shame. I'm so sorry. Let me make it up to you." She placed a slender hand on his
shoulder and leaned in close. She stroked his jaw with one cool finger and whispered in his ear. "Still cold?"
What the fuck? He pulled away and gave her a questioning look. "A little."
"Come into the library. There's a fire. Warmest room in the house."
Before Brendan could protest, Morgan was leading him through the house's labyrinth of corridors. He followed her into a cozy library with a roaring fire in the grate. She gestured for him to take a seat in one of the overstuffed chairs before the hearth. He sank down into the buttery suede and looked around. The room was alive with books. Morgan took a slim volume from one of the shelves near the fireplace and handed it to him. Brendan studied the cover—an old, hardbound copy of Alice in Wonderland.
"This was my favorite book when I was a little girl," she said with a smile.
"I'm too old for bedtime stories." Brendan started to hand the book back.
"Open it," she said. He rolled his eyes. What game is she playing at now?
Deciding to humor her, he opened the book. "Holy . . . ." Shit! The damn thing was hollowed out inside, and packed full of pot and rolling papers and pills and all kinds of other goodies. His mouth watered at the sight of white powder—balloons and glassine envelopes packed full of blow, H. Damn—Christmas came early this year.
"Roll us a joint, will you?" Morgan topped off their drinks.
"I'd love to." He surveyed the array of pills and powders with greedy eyes.
"Fabulous. I'm going to wash up. I won't be long." Morgan turned and walked out of the room, leaving him alone with her stash.
He couldn't believe she'd be stupid enough to trust him. It'd be so easy to clean her out and make a run for it. His hands shook, and sweat peppered his brow. Goddamn, I want to get high. Tap up a nice fat vein, cook it up right here in front of the fire. Fill a needle and shoot up right here in front of the fire.
Something inside Brendan wouldn't let him cut and run. I don't want to burn this bridge—not yet. He'd roll a joint and wait for Morgan's return.
When Morgan reappeared, Brendan saw she had taken the time to shower and change. She'd washed most of the paint out of her hair, but a few stubborn streaks of violet and rose still stained her pale locks. Clad in a scanty, blue sheath, she moved across the room with leonine grace. The silk clung to her slight curves, drawing his eyes to her perfect breasts. As Morgan brushed past him, Brendan smelled sandalwood and cedar. Musk. Sweet smoke. She lit the joint. Passed it to Brendan. Poured him another drink, playing hostess. She handed him the tumbler of Scotch and sat at his feet on the hearth rug, staring into the flames.
Brendan passed her the jay. She took a toke and leaned against him, resting her head against his thigh. They smoked in silence for a few moments. He relished in her proximity.
"You're beautiful, you know." Her voice was low and confidential, rich with sweet smoke. "Anybody ever tell you that? Not that you'd believe it."
"No. You're stoned." He laughed at the idea. Beautiful? I'm just a club rat—a fucking junkie. Nothing but a street kid with three hundred bucks in his pocket. Chump change to her—but more money than he'd seen in months. The fact she saw something she liked in his features only made him feel worse. He couldn't wait to go score some skank and get low.
Every time Brendan looked in the mirror, he hated himself more. Not just for what he'd allowed himself to become, but for who he used to be. A kid with big dreams. When he was ten years old, Brendan wanted to be a pitcher for the New York Yankees. By the time he was twelve, he'd decided a career as an astronaut was what he desired. When he was thirteen, he'd harbored dreams of becoming a big-time artist like Morgan or a famous writer. But by the time he was fifteen he was lost. Stealing cars. Fucking up. Screwing and smoking and snorting whatever he could get his hands on.
Beautiful? Hell—who's she kidding? I'm just a small-time hood with a big, fat monkey on my back.
Wow, Indigo, you're a busy bee!
Want a chance to win an eBook copy of Her Captive Muse?
Indigo would like to know what your sexiest winter memory is? Leave a comment with your e-mail addy and she'll select two random winners on Saturday, December 17, 2011.