The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is Erin Fulmer! Her newest release, .
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I can remember! My mom is a novelist too so I started emulating her early, and she would write down stories I dictated. I even used to beta read for her! As an adult, I spent a lot of time in fandom spaces and honed my writing skills there. I started to get serious about writing my original work in my thirties. CAMBION’S LAW was the first full-length novel I finished and revised for publication. I started it during NaNoWriMo 2015 so it took six years to get it from first draft to publication.
Describe a typical writing day.
I still have a day job so I do most of my writing after dinner, from about 7pm to 10pm. I start by reading over what I worked on during my last session and doing some light editing. Then I open Twitter…Kidding! (Well, half-kidding.) A typical writing day yields 500-2000 words. I’m not a particularly fast writer. I’m a perfectionist and want to get it right, so I have to battle back my inner editor to get the words out. At 10pm I stop and then my spouse and I watch TV together to unwind.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
I get inspiration from a lot of places—media I love, my own life experiences, things I want to see more of as a reader, what if questions, and personal obsessions or interests. Every book I’ve written so far blends all of those aspects together, and then as I work on it, it becomes something of its own. I like to play with tropes but I also like to introduce aspects I don’t get to see a lot. For instance, CAMBION’S LAW uses a lot of urban fantasy and romance tropes, but it really focuses on consent and explicit negotiation in its romance plot because that was something I wanted to see more often. I also flipped the usual paranormal romance trope of having the human heroine falling for a powerful supernatural creature. In CAMBION’S LAW the protagonist is the powerful supernatural creature in the relationship. That was also inspired by something that always bothered me about some classic media in the genre—I’m thinking BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, for instance, where the powerful heroine doesn’t get to have a healthy relationship because her power intimidates human men. I don’t love the implications of that so I created a romance where the love interest appreciates the heroine’s power and isn’t intimidated by it.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
My favorite character in CAMBION’S LAW is actually Lily’s best friend, Daniela (Danny) Rios. Lily can take herself too seriously and drown herself in self-loathing, but Danny keeps her grounded with tough love and provides a lot of humor. I love writing them together because of the way they play off each other—I never get blocked when it’s a Danny scene! Danny’s character owes a lot to the close friends and queer support systems in my own life, the people who accept me for exactly who I am. That’s the kind of relationship that is incredibly healing when you weren’t taught how to love yourself properly.
When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?
Sometimes I close my eyes and try to envision the scene as if it were playing out on film. I try to hone in on the sensory details and feel the emotions in my body because those help me drop into the experience of it. I listen to music and make playlists for every book, too, and that helps, but I can’t listen to music while I’m actually writing. So I’ll listen when I’m out and about in the car or doing other things to get myself in the right emotional headspace for a later writing session. A lot of times that will spark inspiration.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Curious, perfectionist, introverted.
How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
I do tend to write books that touch on trauma and recovery so at times I have to take breaks from writing pivotal scenes if something is emotionally tough—sometimes that bleeds over into avoidance, at which point I just have to throw myself into it. I have an excellent therapist and she’s taught me a lot of grounding techniques that really help. My spouse is an amazing support and often notices that something is “off” before I do, so I usually talk it over with him and share what part of my work has me feeling that way. I also do a lot of journaling—writing is usually the way I process things, one way or another.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
I just finished the manuscript for Cambion Book 2 and sent it out to beta readers and my editor, so I probably should be taking a break. Instead, I started drafting a contemporary fantasy that’s about toxic family legacies, small towns, and coming home to a place you never belonged in the first place. Also it’s gay, fae, and involves the Wood Wide Web, parallel worlds, and climate change. Basically, what I said above about writing my obsessions and mixing elements applies here, too.
What advice would you give to other authors?
You’ll never please every reader and publishing trends change all the time, so write what keeps the fires lit in your own heart. Practice the skill of receiving feedback and critique—authors are sensitive creatures, but as solitary as writing can seem, it takes many people and many eyes to get a book publication-ready. Find community with other writers, because they will support and sustain you when you’re losing faith in your abilities. Learn to promote yourself and your work—it can feel unnatural and awkward at first but it makes a huge difference and is a necessity in today’s industry. You will always be your work’s best champion and advocate and marketing is just another skill to nurture.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
I love genre fiction as a reader and that’s what I write. I don’t shy away from tough topics but ultimately I write from a place of hope, so you won’t get grimdark from me even when I tread in darker waters. My books will always feature bi/queer rep and I do not bury my gays. My foremost goal is to tell a good story and keep you turning pages—hopefully leaving you with a smile on your face.
Thank you Erin Fulmer for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Cambion’s Law today!
Lawyer. Demon. Lily Knight is both—half-human, half-succubus, and utterly dangerous.
Lily protects her secret and the safety of those around her by abstaining from the skin-to-skin contact that would grant her superhuman powers. An ambitious criminal prosecutor, she’s all work and no play, determined to prove herself in the courtroom to atone for the ex-lovers she’s left for dead in her past.
But after a fellow succubus turns up murdered and the police arrest an innocent man, Lily discovers evidence of a supernatural killer stalking the foggy San Francisco streets. And when human justice falls short, she launches an unsanctioned investigation to find the real culprit.
To stop the killer, she must embrace the full power of her heritage and risk the soul of the handsome suspect she can’t help but fall for. Can Lily face her true nature without losing her humanity—or will she become the monster she fears most of all?
If you love Richelle Mead, Lisa Edmonds, or Seanan McGuire, discover a paranormal mystery series complete with a fierce heroine that will have you begging for the next book!
Erin Fulmer is a public benefits attorney by day, author of urban fantasy and science fiction by night. She lives in sunny Northern California with her husband and two spoiled cat daughters. Through her life’s many unexpected twists and turns, words have always been her element and her escape. When she’s not writing or working, she enjoys hatha yoga, taking pictures of the sky, playing board games with friends, and napping like it’s an Olympic sport.