What’s your name and where do you come from?
I’m M.Q. Barber, and I’m a bit of a wanderer. I’ve lived in eight states, from Nebraska at the west end to Massachusetts at the east end -- about 1,600 miles apart.
Tell us a bit about your latest release.
Neighborly Affection: Playing the Game is a contemporary erotic romance. Alice is in deep lust with her neighbors Henry and Jay when she gets an offer to join their games as Henry’s new submissive. Exploring her kinks opens up emotions she didn’t expect. It’s easy to trust Henry and Jay with her body; it’s harder to trust them with her heart.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration is incredibly unpredictable. There are pieces of it everywhere, but some things click and others don’t. When something triggers an idea, it usually starts as a nagging bit of dialog running on repeat in my head. Once I write that down, everything grows from there.
What’s your biggest turn on?
I can only pick one? Ouch, that stings. I’d have to say a proper balance of intelligence and confidence in a man. Intelligence without confidence means too many creative ideas go untried. Confidence without intelligence is the hallmark of a dangerous jerk. If a guy’s going to tie me knots, he’d better know what he’s doing.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? Why are they your favourite?
I love all three of the leads from Playing the Game. Henry, Alice, and Jay each have their own charms for me. But Henry is the instigator. He whispers naughty ideas in my ears at all hours of the day and night.
How do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be?
I let the characters decide. Their journeys are emotional ones. How integral sex is in that journey depends on the character. Some are more modest than others. Even in the same book, some scenes call for explicit heat and others work best as a fade to black. The emotional beat of the story, the pacing, and the characters’ feelings in the moment dictate the heat level.
Are there any erotic scenarios you wouldn’t write about?
Absolutely, in the case of fetishes I can’t relate to as erotic on any level. If I can’t understand the urge, then I can’t understand the character – and how could I reasonably expect to treat the character fairly if I’m misinterpreting their every desire? I’d be doing the characters and the readers a disservice.
Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
That would be telling. ;-)
But more seriously, I think every good author tries to mix experience, research, and imagination into something that feels real. For writing sensory details, experience is helpful even if the ultimate scenario in the story stretches its real-life foundation in untraveled directions.
What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
My husband’s undivided attention.
What do you do to get in the mood for writing love scenes? Candles, music etc?
The physical surroundings don’t register with me when the writing is going well. I zone out in my writing headspace and the words flow. If an idea is nagging at me, I can write in an auto shop’s waiting room with shrieking toddlers running past (true story). When I’m struggling, though, I need silence and an empty space. I procrastinate by cleaning, so a bare-bones setup and the quiet to reach the mental writing zone are important for those moments.
M.Q. Barber is a longtime storyteller, first-time published author. She likes to get lost in thought and writes things down so she can find herself again.
Playing the Game by M.Q. Barber
She expects dinner with neighbors, but gets sex with a side of safewords.
Mechanical engineer Alice still drools over her sexy neighbors a year after she’s moved in. She can’t decide whether they’re roommates or partners, but either way, they spark a wanton desire in her that has her imagination–and vibrator–working overtime.
Henry, director of everything around him, studies human nature and applies philosophies to his paintings as well as his relationships. Quirky, polite to a fault, and formal, he follows his own code of honor even when it means denying himself.
Flirtatious and playful, Jay needs stability, guidance, and to please others. His antics counterbalance Henry’s stuffy ways while he brings a level of vulnerability and fun to everything the trio does.
BDSM play with the enigmatic artist and flirtatious joker across the hall allows Alice to put aside the linear thought processes which have kept her unsatisfied and distant with other lovers. She must dismiss her preconception of love, sacrificing her independence, if she’s to find a permanent place in their beds and hearts.
CONTENT WARNING: Explicit sex, graphic language, BDSM, bondage, spanking, M/M/F menage.
Find M.Q. at her website or Facebook, Goodreads, or Twitter and purchase Playing the Game on Amazon and B&N.