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Steam Scenes took a brief hiatus (sorry! book deadlines!), but we’re back with Emery Jacobs. When she got stymied writing her first intimate scene, she turned to Penthouse Forum for inspiration! We talk about reading our own cringy bits, writing angst without meaning to, and our characters can hurt our hearts a little. We can’t wait to light your ears on fire! 

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Transcript

Elle
Today’s guest on Steam Scenes is Emery Jacobs. Emery grew up in southern Arkansas and has lived most of her adult life in northern Louisiana. She spends her days working as a nurse practitioner in rural health and her nights reading, writing and occasionally sleeping. She loves real life romance, lots of angst and heartbreak, but always a happy ending. Welcome, Emery, to Steam Scenes.

Emery
Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Elle
I’m super psyched to have you. You have quite a catalog of books. So I’m kind of interested in diving into them and sort of talking about them. So to start, I’m curious, when did you realize you wanted to become a writer? Because you’re sort of like, you know, nurse practitioner by day writer by night. What gave you the inspiration to write?

Emery
Well, I’m not one of those that, you know, a lot of people will say, oh, I grew up reading and that wasn’t me. I was always the girl who, like, can you give me the Cliff Notes? Or can I watch the movie? Or, you know, maybe one of my friends read the book. But so then when I was in my 30s, I read some. My mother, she read Jackie Collins, and Sandra Brown. And so I would read some but not a lot. So my husband and I, we have a couple friends we had dinner with on Monday nights every week, and he was writing a book. And I thought that was so cool. You know that? I thought writing a book, that’s something that that I want to do, because I’m kind of impulsive. Like, I think I want to do that, you know. So we talked about it for a long time. And then I said, Well, if I’m going to do it, then I’m gonna have to start reading. So then that’s when I really started reading. So it’s been about 10 or 11 years ago, when I really started reading, and, and then I decided, it’s kind of like, this is what, this is something on my bucket list. I’m gonna do this, you know, before I’m 50. And so I did. And I’m not gonna say it was easy, because it wasn’t. It was hard, you know, you’re gonna do anything and do it right, it’s not always easy. So it was hard, but I’m glad I did it Now. I’m not gonna say it got a lot easier but it’s fun. I look forward to it. That’s how I spend my weekend. So, and I look forward to it. And so I’m into but I think this is book number, I don’t know, five or six, maybe. I just finished a novella. Which to me, I like novellas.  They’re not easy either. But I can get them out faster.

Elle
Yeah, the novellas can definitely get out a lot faster, because you’re basically halving your word count. But it’s hard to condense a book, you know, a full book into, you know, an 80,000 word book into a 40,000 word book. I actually find it harder to write shorter.

Emery
It is no, it’s definitely harder. But you say 80 to 40. See, my full length novels are usually about 65. And I’ve only written two novellas and they were both like 20,000 words. But that’s, you know, I don’t know, that’s all I could get, because I usually give myself a time limit. Because, you know, I want to get so many out of a year, which this year kind of didn’t do what I wanted to do because of COVID. But I usually try to set goals that I don’t always meet. But sometimes if I can’t get another full length novel out, I really want to get something else out. So then I’ll try to do a novella.

Elle
So how many books a year do you try to release?

Emery
Well, my goal is always three. But usually it’s two, or sometimes it’s one and a novella, or two and a novella. But, and so they started this novella that’s coming out in December, I started a series, like a novella series. They’re all alones because there’s none of the same characters, which I thought was kind of odd, when I decided to do it. There’s not going to be like a spin off, like it’s going to be somebody’s brother, or somebody’s sister is going to be just a whole new set of characters, but they all take place in the same town. You know, it’s small town. And so it’s just like small town novella, romance. I kind of like it that way. I didn’t have to be dependent on what I just wrote, you know, to write one, and people won’t be waiting because they’re like, well, what about so and so’s brother? You know, they don’t have to do that because they’re not getting the book.

Elle
So, for your first one now, though, how long did that end up taking you to write since it was your first one? Was it a longer process?

Emery
Yes, because I didn’t know how to write. You think you know how to write or I thought I know who knew how to write, but I didn’t. So It took a long time, probably two and a half years. But you know, nobody ever publishes the first book they write. Or at least I don’t think they do. And I still have it. And it’s probably never, no one’s ever going to read it. It’s good, though. I think it’s good practice, you know? And, yeah, I had a writing coach, and she helped me so much.

Elle
You’re the second person that I’ve spoken to that’s used a writing coach. What do they do?

Emery
Well, I’ve had two. I have one now, which is completely different from the one I had before. But when I first started writing, because I didn’t know what to do, and then I just like googled writing coaches, because I knew there had to be somebody out there, somebody out there that could help me. And so anyway, basically what she did, she wrote historical romance. So it was completely different than what I was wanting to write. But she taught me like, you know, how to how to show and not tell, you know, just how the wording works. And she would go back over it. And I mean, we met weekly on the phone. And then once I got the book almost finished, then I felt like I was good. That I could do this. And so I did, I finished my first book, which was Twisted Fate. And it was back in 2016, I finished it on my own. It’s like once I made my mind up, and I had enough knowledge of how to do it, then I just, I finished it. And then the second book, you know, went a little faster. But here, about two books ago, I was struggling, I was really struggling. And so my editor was like you need, you know, you need a developmental editor. So my developmental editor ended up being my writing coach. I don’t think I could ever write another book without her.

Elle
I’m the same way. I know, a lot of writers skip the development process. And I feel like you know, at this point, like 10 books in or something like that, you know. And I always feel like, you know, I see like an online writers groups like, “oh, once you write a few books, you don’t need a developmental editor anymore.” I don’t know. I think she just makes me so much better.

Emery
Yeah, well, what she does for me is…like, I feel like I don’t get writer’s block, because I know I’m going to talk to her every Friday. And so I send her what I have, and I can email her during the week, which I don’t do a lot of writing during the week because I work and I got two hours a day. So yI do most of my writing on the weekends. But anyways, she just throws out ideas, like we play ideas off each other like: Well, you know, she could do this, or what if she did this? And then I’ll say, Oh, no, she could do that. And she’s like, yeah, so it’s my book, she just kind of helps you where you get like stuck, right? And then at the end, I send it all to her. I mean, she knows the book. So I send it all to her. And then she goes through and does the developmental part of things that need to be done. And then it moves from there. Then it goes to my copy editor, and then my proofreader. But to me developmental editing, or a writing coach, whatever you want to call, like, I just believe it makes me better. And then of course, I do have beta readers too. And then they throw in their, you know, their two cents, and then I take it all and I try to address every single thing. You know, so it does help. I think, you know, like I said it was two books back, three books…two books back. Whenever I finally said, I’m just gonna do it, it’s worth it to me. Writing is my hobby. I love it. And if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right. And so if she helps me then then I’m just gonna keep her as long as me.

Elle
So since you know, since you kind of started writing, because of you know, a friend who was working on a book, and I’m assuming he wasn’t writing romance.

Emery
No his was more. I don’t know, it was kind of, it was it was more maybe kind of mystery and supernatural almost. But yeah, he finished his book, actually, he’s written two books.

Elle
So what drew you to the romance genre? Because you had I mean, you just said, I think I want to try this. And you had all the genres to pick from, why romance?

Emery
Because when I would read, that’s what I read. You know, I didn’t read a lot. But it’s really funny though, because most of the books that I read were more that, you know, kind of fade to black. You know, it wasn’t the real sex scenes and then when I read my first, like, contemporary romance, I was like, Oh, wow.

Elle
Like the whole world opened up.

Emery
What have I been missing? But yeah, so that’s kind of where I just felt like that’s where, you know, I needed to be. And I read a lot when I was writing, that’s when I really started reading a lot of contemporary romance. And it helps. It helps to read you know, it does, yeah. Yeah, it does, just like anything else that it just helps, it helps when you read and so I’m excited. I enjoy doing it. Like I said, it’s, it’s my hobby, it’s fun. And I love my readers.

Elle
II love my readers, too. They are great.. It’s, honestly, sometimes I feel like the reason why…you know, it’s hard. It’s a lot of work on. And you know, I’ve been doing this not in romance, but in urban fantasy genre as well, since, like 2013, my first book came out. And you know, back then it was harder to find your team of editors to work with, you know, but I was lucky that I had some connections, and I was able to find a really great team. But it wasn’t as expensive to be honest with you.

Emery
Yeah, it is expensive. But, you know…

Elle
If you’re doing it, right, it get you know, and again, like you go into these sort of like writers groups, and there are a lot of people that are like, don’t spend more than $200 for an edit. And I’m like,

Emery
I’m like, how do you do that? Like,

Elle
How do you do that? Yeah, what are you putting out?

Emery
I know, I just don’t understand it either. But, you know, like you said, you have a team. And that’s what I have, like I try to use. I have two or three editors, if one is busy than I use another one but I try to keep the same team. I feel that we just work really well together. And, you know, just in there good. Once you get once you get set with, you know, they’ll work you in if they have to sometimes or they’ll because you know, they’re part of your family part of your team. So yeah, they’re there for you. So I don’t know, I just, I enjoy it. But like you said, finding your team, but that $200, yeah, I wish I knew what that was, because I’ve never… My first book came out in 2016 and I paid more than $200 then.

Elle
Yeah I paid more than $200 back in 2013. And so now I’m paying, I would probably say double.

Emery
Yeah, yeah.

Elle
Than I was. Yeah, you know, um, which is fine. Because I think that my editor is completely worth it, you know, and I’m happy with paying that money. But it just means that it takes that much longer, you know, to even just recoup costs. And so, to sort of keep this sustainable, it’s really nice to have…Oh listeners the feedback, the positive feedback, if you love the book, give leave a review. Um, you know, a star rating, it really matters. You know, that’s the stuff that keeps us motivated. Otherwise, it can feel like a slog.

Emery
Yeah, absolutely. You know, there are a lot of authors out there that don’t read, they don’t read their reviews. But I have to, like, I can’t help myself.

Elle
I can’t help myself either. And I want to know, what’s working and what’s not working.

Emery
Yeah. Like, you know, I’ve got arcs out there now. And like, I’m constantly checking Goodreads, because I’m, like, I have to know, like, Am I gonna get my feelings hurt? No, probably not. But at least I know what I need to do next time. Or what, you know, I need to not do next time. So I just have you have to have tough skin. And you just say, you know, I’m gonna make this better. And so then I tell my editors to make sure to look for, you know, for what I need to do.

Elle
Right. I mean, the bad reviews definitely hurt. But if they’re constructive, you know, and, and they give you, you know, really constructive…some of them can give you a really constructive feedback. Some of them are just mean. But some of them can give you really constructive feedback, and you can sort of sit back and go oh, okay, I mean, I’ve changed things on the basis of, you know, respectful, smart reviews, where people have said this, this wasn’t working and this is why, and I’ve and I’ve re addressed it in future books.

Emery
Sometimes you get you get so much into the story, you don’t see what other people see. And it does help. I mean it helps a lot? Yeah.

Elle
So I’m curious, because you were reading books that were fade to blacks, and then you you read a contemporary that was full on. What was it like for you to write your very first steamy scene? And well, let me backtrack for a second. Did you write a fade to black first or did you go for it with the steamy scene and then and then what was it like for you to write your full on steamy scene?

Emery
Um, no, I don’t want to say I’d never have done a fade to black. But I typically don’t unless it fits. I think maybe in my last book. My last book, I think I did do a fade to black and my writing coach was like, Oh, no, this can’t be a fade to black. Oh, yes, it’s going to be moving to black. That’s a the kind of relationship we have. She goes this can’t but it did. I think that’s the only one I’ve ever written. Like, I’m kind of one of those I feel…I honestly feel guilty, but I just almost feel guilty. If I don’t like, you know, give them the full sex scene. I just, I don’t know why that’s maybe sounds crazy, but I just feel like if they’re there, then they’re there for the sex scene. So, you know, we’re gonna do a full on so. But no, I haven’t done any fade to black and if I have I didn’t realize it. Except for the for the last book. But it’s hard because you don’t really know where to start when you’ve never written a sex scene before. You know what I mean? It’s like, you know, so I asked my husband, I was like, well, I don’t know, I mean, I’ve got to write this sex scene and I just don’t know. He’s like, have you ever read Penthouse Forum? I’m like no, no I haven’t. And he said, Google it.

Elle
Did you get inspired from Penthouse Forum? I love this. And this is a great idea. This is actually a really good tip.

Emery
Yeah. And I, you know, it’s like, okay, and so I did. And I mean, it does. I think is this stuff real? Like, you know. And I was not sheltered. I grew up in the 80s. Ok? But you know it did help. I mean, it really did. And I don’t know, I guess that’s probably the first thing that I read that kind of helped, you know, push me with my first sex scene. And I’m trying to remember back…

Elle
But I’m curious, what’s your take away from Penthouse Forum, I’m very curious.

Emery
I don’t really necessarily know that I took away a lot. It’s just reading those and knowing that those are supposed to be real, I don’t know, it just kind of helps getting your thought processes going, like, okay, like, this could work, or this could work, or they’re here, or, like, you know, so I mean, it did. And then, of course, I probably own every book of sexual positions that you can buy off Amazon. You know, to me, that has helped a lot. Because, you know, because when you’re writing in, and they get to where they’re about to have sex, they’re in a certain way. So you’ve got to figure out how to position you know. And those have a lot too, I mean, not so much with what you’re writing, but how they’re positioned, and once they get there, it kind of, you know, things start to flow. Um, so, I don’t know, I just now at this point, I just kind of close my eyes and try to visualize it, and say, Okay, here we are. And then that’s where I go from. But I’m not one that writes a lot of sex scenes. Typically, my books have two, maybe three. I just feel like it has to be right for them, you know, for the couple. But I think my last, not my last book two books ago, I think I had one sex scene. Because the book, we had a lot of action in it, like, kind of suspense. And so and I was like, almost to the end of the book. And I was like, Oh my god, they haven’t had sex. Like, they haven’t had sex.

Elle
You gotta like re-edit. Okay where am I gonna put this?

Emery
Yeah, exactly.

Elle
It’s so funny. Because this is something that I just started realizing with my books. I was like, Oh, I don’t know if I have enough. I mean, you know, who’s to say how much is enough, but you read some books. And, you know, it’s sort of like every other chapter, there’s some sort of hanky panky going on.

Emery
I’m so impressed by those authors, by the way, like that, that impresses me. And they’re all different. And that’s my big thing. Every couple, you know, their sex, it has to be different, like everybody can’t have the same sex, you know what I mean? So, and that, in itself is a chore. You know, for everybody’s sex to be different. But yeah, I’m very impressed with those authors that can that can do that.

Elle
Yeah, yeah. Although I will say sometimes when I read a lot of them, I skip. You know, if they, if I do feel like you know, I’ll just be like, okay, they’re having sex. I’ll just skip over that and get to the next part of the story. Because I do feel like you know, obviously, the intimacy really comes from the emotional development.

Emery
I completely agree.

Elle
You know, so so if you’re that’s that sort of what I’m craving and not necessarily the act of sex, which can be great if it works in service to the story, but sometimes it can just be too much. But I agree I’m in awe of the writers that able to do that.

Emery
I mean, that’s impressive to me, like because when I do know I have to write a sex scene, I’m like, Oh, no. This is gonna take all weekend.

Elle
So you have to slow down too? Because I’m the same way like it. I don’t fly through those things. They are not easy for me to write.

Emery
Like, all week, I’m at work. And when I get home on Friday, usually Friday is kind of my like, get kind of everything I need to get done that I should have done all week. And then I usually write Saturday and Sunday. And I’m like, if I know I’ve got to write a sex scene and that’s what’s waiting on me. Like, I will like, scrub the toilets. Call my sister. You name it, and I’ll do it. Because it’s just the procrastination because it’s just hard. I mean, I’m not gonna lie to you. It’s very hard.

Elle
It is hard. It is hard. And I don’t really know what it is that sort of holding me back necessarily. I don’t know if it’s that. You know, that makes it so difficult to write. And that and the procrastination. Yeah, that’s high. You know? What is it? Like? I’m always like, why do you feel so blocked here?

Emery
Yeah, I know. I know. And then whenever I say something to my writing coach, I’m like, I just, I have to write a sex this weekend, and, and she says, oh, you’ll do fine. Your sex scenes are always so good. And I’m like, that’s not what I want to hear. I want you to you know, tell me what I need to do.

Elle
I remember the first time and it was on one of my urban fantasies. It wasn’t even a romance and but it was a sex scene. And it was like the first time and I, I chickened out, I totally cheated. And I did Fade to black. And my editor came back at me when she said, she said, No, you have to they have to have sex. And I was like, but but but she’s like, you’re really good at writing them. Um, and I think because I had like, it wasn’t like a full on sex scene in the first book, but it was like, I think it was oral sex. And for some reason that I could do okay, but for some reason penetrative sex was like, No, I can’t do it. And I was like, No, and she’s like, you have to you do it well, you have. And it was like, erg. And ever since then, it’s like weird agony to write the sex scenes, you know.

Emery
I would rather write the full sex then do the oral sex to me the oral sex is harder to write.

Elle
Really?

Emery
Yeah I don’t know why it just is. I don’t know. I mean, a lot of it. I don’t know. It’s just maybe the wording like, I don’t know. I mean, how many times can you say, you know, talk? And then how many names? I mean, what else can you call it?

Elle
Yeah. You don’t want to be too, like, you know, cuz sometimes the euphemisms are worse than just saying it. Then just being a little bit repetitive, right? Because, you know, you don’t want to sort of fall into purple prose, as they call it. Yeah. You know, so it’s a very fine line.

Emery
Yeah, it is. And when I go back, when I go and read through my sex scenes, I just like cringe, like, I cannot believe I wrote that, you know, you just, you just kind of I do anyway. You have to go back through because it has to be… I do a lot of self editing. When I write later, I go back and edit as I go, I guess I should say, and so I don’t just like word vomit and then go back do it. I can’t do it. It’s just that’s just not my personality. But a sex scene. I mean, I go back through those, I mean, multiple, multiple times. Yeah, you know, before I turn it over to my editor, just because, you know, to me, out of everything I write, if something’s gonna sound bad, it’s gonna be that, you know. I don’t know, it’s something about the wording and the hint. That’s why, you know, I would like to write it and an m/m/f book or, you know, have a threesome or something. But like, there’s too much stuff. Like there’s too many hands. There’s just, I don’t know where to put everything. So I don’t know if I would be able to do it or not.

Elle
Yeah, then the choreography starts to get so complicated if you’re looking at more than two people. So you have a manage and all of a sudden you’re like, Oh, my God, there are an awful lot of hands here.

Emery
I know and then I forgot about her. Oh, wait. She’s still here.

Elle
Oh, wait, she’s in the room.

Emery
Seriously, I mean, I’m telling you right now, I’m impressed by those authors, too. Like that’s very impressive to me. I think anything that I have a hard time doing that somebody else can do, I’m impressed. Because, you know, sometimes, you know unless you do it, you don’t understand how hard it is to actually write it.

Elle
Right. Yeah. And it’s funny because a lot of authors that I talked to are like, you know, some of them have come to romance because they read so many. And they say, Oh my god, this is so easy. I could do that. And then they sit down, and they do it. And they were like, oh, man, was I wrong. This is hard.

Emery
Very hard. It was hard. Like it is you think in your mind, even just, when I decided I was going to write a book, I’m like, I can do that. That’s not only that, and when I sat down… I have two master’s degrees. So I, we wrote papers, like, all the time, like, I could write anything. But when you write a novel, it’s not like writing, you know, APA, you know, manuscript, you know, to present in front of a classroom full of people. But this is hard. This is for entertainment, that was not for entertainment, trust me.

Elle
And it sparked out of your own imagination. I mean, a lot of academic work, I have a Master’s too snd so a lot of the academic work is just basically spewing somebody else’s work.

Emery
As long as you cite your source.

Elle
Yeah, as long as you cite your source source, you’re basically spewing somebody else’s work, you know. But this is like coming from inside of our own heads.

Emery
I know. It’s really hard like it, you know, it’s hard to pull some of this stuff out. Sometimes with me, like, once I get started, if I can ever get past the first 10,000 words, then the story kind of like writes itself, almost. Until it hits a sex scene. And then like, yeah, it says, Hey, where are you from? I need your help.

Elle
So where do you find the inspiration?

Emery
I think it’s just from like you said, just reading, okay. I haven’t been reading as much lately. And I used to listen a lot, you know, when I drove because I drive two hours, but I got to where I quit doing that, because I would get home in the evenings. And I would be so consumed with what I was listening to that I would bring it in and try to listen, while I was doing everything around the house, and I’d go to bed at night, listen, and then when I’d wake up, it’d be over. And then I didn’t know where I was. And just so I just, I can’t do it. I can’t listen anymore. It makes me sad, because I really like to listen to the audiobooks. But, um, but yeah, reading it does, it does inspire you, I think it does. Um, but that’s probably where I get most of my inspiration. And then sometimes I do a lot of, like I said, You know, I drive so much I have, I do a lot of thinking when I drive, and then also, when I walk because I try to walk in the evenings. And that really, for some reason, if I’m stuck, kind of walking kind of just on it and listening to music, it helps.

Elle
It opens it up.

Emery
It does, but then I’m worried I’m gonna forget before I get home and can like, you know… But that’s really where I get my inspiration. But the books that I’ve written so far- the series – I have two stand alones. But they’re really about brothers. So it’s really kind of a series. So I feel like that helps. You know, once you get the world, once you’re in the world, it’s easier to write.

Elle
Yeah, well, that’s funny, because that’s one of the questions that I had for you, is, because I’ve never talked about this with somebody is the idea of the first in a series. I always feel like my second book is stronger than the first. And that’s part of the reason why I like to work in series, because I feel like with every book, my writing gets better. Because at that point, I’m so entrenched in the world that I’ve built, that it’s more alive in my head, I think. And it can make it easy to miss things, because it’s so obvious to me. And that’s where my editor comes in and says, Hey, I think you need to explain what this is because your readers might not remember. But beyond that, like, I do feel like having that intimate knowledge with the world really helps. I’m wondering if you feel the same way. Or not?

Emery
I do. I get really burnt out easy. So it’s hard for me. Like my first series, I wrote the first book. And then the second book I wrote was kind of, it’s in the series, but it was more like a redemption. It was a guy that was really like a jerk in the first book. And so he kind of redeemed himself. And then I have two more books in that series to write. And I just get burnt out. I’m like, I can’t do it. I gotta do something else. So then I moved on to do and I’m just gonna do a standalone that was Undeniably His. And so I wrote it and then suddenly I felt like his brother needed a book. And so I wrote it. And then I was out of that world because there was really nobody else to write a book about. But the heroine in the second book, she had a best friend. My rock star romance was kind of a spinoff from that because it was her best fiend.

Elle
Oh, so this was a best friend and another book.

Emery
Yeah, and so because the heroine was in a band, an all girl band, but that wasn’t the focus of the book. So it wasn’t like a rock star book. And then her best friend’s dad was in like a legendary rock band that was like real popular back in the 80s. And so, you know, he was kind of helping her get her band started, but she wasn’t musically inclined, but she was really good at the business aspect. And so then that’s how this book came about. And,I feel like, that’s almost like, I’ll say cheating, because I’m not starting over. I mean, I do have to build another world, but I still know that character.

Elle
Right.

Emery
But a lot of times, too, you don’t really know that character until they have their own book.

Elle
I don’t know, I think that that’s brilliant, because I’m actually working on a spin off of my rock star series that will be bringing in the same characters and, you know, set in Los Angeles, and,so it’ll have elements of the world that I’ve already created, but it’s going be a whole new cast of characters, a whole new series, they do different things. They’re not necessarily rock stars. So I love the idea of still of leaving the world because I totally hear you with the burnout. It’s very real. So I’m sort of like really hyped about leaving that world but still having enough of a hand in it that I do feel like maybe the first book will be better than the other first, because the world is already partially built

Emery
how many books did you have in the in that the other world the one that you’re leaving?

Elle
Oh, god, I just sent the fourth to the editor. So and I have, I’m working on a novella right now set that world and then like, I see that series is never ending at the moment. So it could go on and on. It’ll just stop when I decide to stop it. And I’m not ready to stop it. But I feel like I need a break from it.

Emery
Yeah. And that’s what happened to me with my first series. It’s got a, the first book and then a novella for that book. And then it’s got the second book. And like I said, I have two more to write in that. And now it’s hard to go back. Like once you leave, because I can’t write two books at one time. I just can’t, I can’t do it. Now I can write while something’s at the editor. Like if something’s been edited, I can write another book, but I can’t do like, Oh, I have like, I can’t think I have you know, I can’t think anymore. If this book go to another book. A lot of people do that. I can’t do that. I don’t know why I’ve tried but I just can’t.

Elle
It’s hard. I find that it’s easier for me to when I’m working on one book to be outlining another one so like, I’ll be I’ll like write in the morning and then move to outline in the afternoon. That’s been helpful, but it is very hard to write two books at the same time. I’m actually doing an urban fantasy for an anthology that I’m working on. And I so I have to right now write two books at once. And it’s hard. It’s hard moving from one world to the other, especially because they’re so diametrically opposed. You know, this is urban fantasy, not romance. You know, so it’s, it’s definitely hard to sort of jump around, and particularly genre jump.

Emery
I can’t I don’t think I could do that. But yeah, so it is, I don’t know, I’ve tried it before. And I just, I can’t do it. So I finally said, you know, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna do this. I mean, this is fun. I’m not going to do anything that’s going to make it not fun. So I’ve learned no now to where I can, when something goes to the editor used to I would take like two weeks and just kind of breathe. But now aAfter the last book, I went ahead and started the novella and now the novellas done and it’s coming out the end of the month. So I’ve started the second book in that series. And I don’t know if it’s going to be easier to write. Nothing’s easy for me. But once I get past like I said the 10,000 word, 15,000 word mark that I’m pretty good because the story takes over but getting there is like, it’s terrible.

Elle
It can be a slow process.

Emery
Yes, it can. It can. So I’m planning on this book and one more in this rock series I have now.

Elle
Okay, do you are you enjoying the writing in the rock star world?

Emery
Um, yes, I do. But my rock stars are not. I don’t know, it’s not like you read like some of these authors that write really, like mine are really not rock stars, these are kind of people that are just starting out, like it’s a new band. So they’re not the big fame and money. They’re not at that point yet. So they’re more like, I hope this band doesn’t fall apart.

Elle
I’m gonna be honest with you, I don’t really read them. And part of it is by design, which really sort of bugs me because I would love to read rock star romances, but like, I try not to, because I don’t want to be influenced if that makes sense. Um, or, or like, I always worry that there might be like, accidental influence. So I actually do not really read them, which, like I said, I’m super bummed because there are a lot of them out there that I’m like, Oh, I’d love to read that. So I’m just kind of curious, like, I have my own kind of take on it. But of course, I also have a background in entertainment. I used to work with rock bands. So I have a different, I bring a different knowledge set to it, where I’m kind of like, yeah, you probably don’t really sound like I need to read them for the information of, you know, the behind the scenes stuff, necessarily, you know,

Emery
Right. Yeah, I know. And see, that’s what makes it hard is when you try to write something you don’t really know that much about, say you try to research. My brother plays in just a rock band that he’s played in four years. They do like local stuff. And, you know, that kind of sets, I assume, you know, that is, you know, he’s in a band, he plays a guitar, o he’s done it for years. But I sometimes I’ll ask him questions, I’ll take some questions about instruments, like, I’m sure like, Okay, what do you need in the band? Like, what else do we have to add that kind of stuff. But I don’t want to ask him anything else, because I really don’t want to know. So, um, but like I said, in my book, to me is not your typical, I have read rock star books over the years back when I first started reading, just because I read a little bit of everything, when I wanted to, you know, kind of learn my craft or hone in on my craft or whatever, you just read a little bit of everything, just because it helps. It helps inspire you, to motivate you. But this book is just, I mean, it comes where she, her band, she was managing a girls only band, and it kind of fell apart. And then he had been in a band for 10 years, but never went anywhere really just festivals and bars and stuff like that. And, you know, the band broke up, and he was kind of down on his luck. And he accidentally stumbled into an audition for an all girls band that he didn’t know, it was an all girls band.

Elle
That’s a great setup?

Emery
Yeah. But he knew her. He had met her previously. So it’s more about the actual story than it is about the band, if that makes sense. But I liked it. It was fun. I like the characters. They were fun. You know, so, I just started the second book. And it’s a lot more emotional than the first book. The heroine in the first book was like, fun, you know, happy go lucky. And the heroine in the second book is like, doom and gloom, and oh, no, it’s a terrible life. So it’s, you know, it’s just different. But hey, that’s the way it is, it is what it is. And you can’t you can’t change them.

Elle
Your books, it seems, are sort of mostly sort of pretty angsty, from what I saw. You know, and, and the reader responses to it. Do you enjoy writing the angst?

Emery
Yeah, and you know, what’s funny is that I don’t really realize that I write angst. Like, it’s not like I set out to do it. It’s just kind of the way it the way it is. But, I don’t know, when I write I try to think about my reader. You know, I try to think about, you know, what they would like and would I like this if I were reading it and, and I do like a lot of angst, and I do like heartbreak. I like heartbreak in a good contemporary romance, because I think it takes that, you know. So, but um, yeah, I do like writing the angst. I like a little twist. I like something that nobody sees coming. And sometimes those are hard to come up with.

Elle
Yeah. Yeah.

Emery
Because I love it when somebody reviews my book and they say, wow, I never saw that coming. I’m like, Yes.

Elle
I know that’s like the ultimate.

Emery
Even if it’s only one person that says, that’s all it takes. It’s just one. Because I know there’s others out there that just didn’t say it. So it kind of that kind of makes my day. That’s kind of what I like. But the novellas, like the one I just wrote, there’s none of that. It kind of feels refreshing to sit down and just write. There’s conflict and all that but there’s no oh I never saw that coming. And it just, it felt weird. That’s actually I think that’s the first book I’ve ever written that, that I can actually say, there was nothing that, I tried to trick the reading into thinking one thing but it was something else. Because it was just, I don’t know, it was just different. I wrote it in parts instead of chapters. And it was just kind of different for me, but I liked it. And maybe that’s what I needed to kind of get out of that.

Elle
Yeah, it’s funny, one of the things that I’ve found that I’m trying to get out of, is I struggle with just letting the roller coaster of the romance be enough of the angst and the drama. Like I always feel like I need drama with a capital D. And I think that’s my urban fantasy background coming in. There’s got to be a kidnapping or a car chase1 Or how about a gunshot! Let’s do that, you know? Yeah,

Emery
I know. My PA, and she’s my beta reader used to, I would send her everything, as I wrote, I don’t do that as much anymore. But she would say, look, there’s a whole lot of stuff going on in that book, and you goget down in that rabbit hole, and you’re not going to be able to get out. Cuz that’s what she always tells me and then I’m like, Okay, then what do I need to cut out? You know, I do that to out, sometimes I’ll get so much stuff going and somebody’s got to rein me in.

Elle
And I guess it’s so it’s sort of hard for me at least to trust that there is going to be enough, you know, enough conflict to the story with just the relationship that’s being built. You know, and their ups and downs. I don’t necessarily need to throw that little curveball in, but it’s hard to keep them out. You know,

Emery
It is because I’m like, you. It’s like, I feel like, I don’t want the reader to get bored. And they’re, like, okay, like, Where is it? I know, it’s got to be here somewhere. But yeah, but you’re right, the relationship, sometimes it is hard, and you don’t want to overdo the relationship, just, you know, just to try to find some of the some of the angst.

Elle
Right, right. Right. Because then because then the characters end up just doing stupid things.

Emery
I hate it when my characters do stupid things.

Elle
Yeah. Like, you don’t want your characters to… So, you know, if there’s like, I don’t know, an overheard conversation, and somebody takes it the wrong way. I mean, you know, I guess one character could stomp away, and I’m never going to talk to you again. But at one point, like when they confront the other person with, you know, I over heard this, you know. And then you find out that it was a misunderstanding, you know, so, I don’t know, I just feel like those sorts of setups don’t really do it for me as a reader. And so I try not to do it in my own work, but sometimes, then how then how do you create enough conflict within the relationship? So hard!

Emery
It’s really hard. And especially, I can only imagine after writing, you know, 15, 20, 25 books, you know, I can only imagine like, then to me, then that’s where the question comes in. Where do you get your inspiration? How do you have all these different stories? You know, where does it come from? Because, you know, I worry about that. I worry about like, Okay, when am I going to get to the point to where I feel like I’m repeating myself, you know.

Elle
Will I ever run out of ideas? Yeah. When will I run out of ideas?

Emery
Yeah hopefully never. But you never know. I guess I’ll just have to keep walking and listening to my music until something else, you know, because it does help. I know, I said that before and it does. It helps. It helps.

Elle
I agree. I walk a lot I walk a lot unfortunately. We had a blizzard yesterday, so there’ll be no walk walking for a while

Emery
You laugh because I don’t know what the temperature is where you’re at, but where I’m at when it’s like 40 degrees. I feel like I’m freezing to death. But I live in the south. So

Elle
Yeah, no, I was walking the other day like it’s 24 today or something like that. Like it’s freezing.

Emery
would never leave my house.

Elle
And there was a big snowstorm yesterday and we actually where I am it changed over to rain for a little while and then it snowed again. So everything thing is super icy. So I’m like barely walking the dogs because I’m like, I’m gonna land on my face.

Emery
Yeah, see, if we get snow here, it’s that icy snow. And we don’t get it very often. But when we do, that’s what it is. And it’s miserable. Like, everything shuts down here because nobody knows how to do anything with that, right? So yeah, but you come in August when it you know, it’s 100 degrees with 100% humidity. You know, I can handle that because that’s what we’re used to here. You throw in, you know, 32 degrees and some ice and a little bit of snow and we’re all locked down. We can’t function and I can’t handle it.

Elle
I want to dig into your into your steamy scene that you sent me. It’s from Undeniably His Why this scene? What made you pick this scene?

Emery
Okay, so this scene is? Well, before I talk about the scene, it’s it was hard to come up with one scene, you know, because I have so many, but it’s just hard to pick the one that that you really want to talk about. But this scene in this book, the heroine had gotten out of bad relationship. I say just, it’s been a year since her husband left her and she had, I think she’d had maybe one date with some guy that ended up being a complete jerk. And so she kind of had her eye on this guy, Bo, who is the mechanic. And anyway, of course her friends were encouraging her. And so it was time. And he’s very standoffish, and he has his reasons. And I can’t tell you those because it would give away my my twist. But he has his reasons. But soshe was ready. And I think he came to get her car because he has like a little used car lot at his shop and he was gonna sell her car. And he came to pick it up. And he came in her house, because she said let me go get my keys, come in. She was like, come in my house. So I can door so you can’t get away. But no, anyway, so that’s kind of why I picked it because I really liked her and I felt bad for her. She had terrible marriage, her exhusband’s a complete jerk. And he had a lot of stuff going on, you just really don’t know it, but I really think that they both needed this and she kind of had to be the one to initiate it. But, you know, it worked and in the end, I think he was okay with it.

Elle
Okay, so um, Undeniably His I am going to start reading and then I will stop. I’m just like, pulled out little sections and I’ll read those and talk about them. Okay, guys, so um, and this is from Emmy’s point of view. Just want to put that out there. Touch me I repeat slowly. Bo closes the short distance between us in gently slides his hands across my stomach. He hooks a finger under each side of my panties, then eases them over my hips gently. I wiggle a bit and they slip down my legs and puddle at my feet. I step out of my last bit of clothing I have on and use my foot to sling the silk material across the room. You’re beautiful he whispers his hands lightly tracing a path over my skin. I take in a shaky breath close my eyes and drop my head back. Electricity surges through me as he cuts my breasts and drags his tongue over each nipple. Close. Take off your clothes. I’m alone. He hardly removes his shirt, boots and jeans I target as boxer briefs until they’re lying on the floor next to us. The second his clothes are off my eyes trail over his body taking in every single inch. his right arm is covered in tattoos. But other than that he’s nothing but hard plains and muscle when my gaze lands on his long thick cock I can’t look away. Bow I need you to fuck me I tell him in a husky whisper my boldness still alive and pumping through my veins. I’ve never felt more in control of my own wants and needs. Wow, this is just like this is empowerment. Like I love this moment and and this and what this moment brought out of her I never felt more in control of my own wants and needs like this was that was like whooooh.

Emery
I’m blushing.

Elle
I just was like you go! I mean, it really felt like a moment for her. Like some sort of like aha moment happened here with her.

Emery
She needed it. She did. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give, you know the reason why she needed it, but she needed it and she needed it with him. And I don’t know, she’s very strong willed in life. She has her own business. She’s a wedding planner. She, you know, she has so much control of her life. But her intimacy and her sex life, she didn’t have control, if that makes sense. Like, okay, I’ve been married for so many years to her high school sweetheart. He was a jerk. She just couldn’t have that control with him but I think she she needed that. And I think she needed it with Bo. And he didn’t complain. Did he?

Elle
I didn’t feel like he was complaining!

Emery
But no, it was you’re right it and I never thought about until you read it to me. Like, I never saw it that way is empowering. But when you read it, and I heard you read it, then I was like, Wow, that is like, I’m so impressed. Like, she just like this what I want andI’m not embarrassed to tell you. Or sorry.

Elle
Yeah.

Emery
I know like, it’s really weird. Because hearing you may, like I think I’m gonna have to get somebody to start reading me all my books. You see it differently than what you do when you write it. And then you go back and read it. And because you’re so into the story, you’re you know, you’re so in the story. But she just needed that empowerment. She did. She needed that in that aspect of her life. Because she had been, I don’t want to say beat down because she wasn’t. But her ex husband was just, yeah, not good at all. I mean, he didn’t beat or anything or it’s just she always felt like she was trying to keep him maybe, like he was gonna leave any day. And, plus, they had gone a long time without sex her before they divorced, and then a whole year, you know, without dating anybody, except I think she had one date. But, um, so she just, I guess Bo just brought it out in her.

Elle
I just felt like this was something that she needed, and sort of now getting a little bit more of that backstory with her and her husband and also the high school sweetheart part. And there was probably, like, a lot going on there that really, maybe… I’m probably reading too much into it. But there would be layers of that, like, I assume if he was her husband was her high school sweetheart. He was also probably her first,

Emery
Yes, she’d never been with anyone but him until Bo.

Elle
And there was probably a bit of allowing him to take control because of the way women are raised and socialized. And, you know, I’m only speaking for myself, but for my first time, it was like, I don’t wanna say I wasn’t an active participant, but I certainly needed, I certainly wasn’t the one kind of pursuing or being a little bit more vocal about what I wanted, or what I needed or whatever, because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.

Emery
Right. Right. Yeah. And so yeah, that was a lot of…. She just had so much heartache in her marriage.that she could have left but you know, she’s like, 29 or 30n ow, maybe in this book, closer to 30. But they got married at 18. So, she just, you know, they both went to college, they both did all that, you know. It’s just a mess. He was just not good for her. And I think it took him leaving her to bring her to this point to where, you know, I can you know, I’m strong in my business life, my professional life and I can take over here and get what I want if this is what I want. You know, if he don’t want it, then he can just like turn around and leave. But it was like you said empowering. She knew what she wanted and she was tired of like being the doormat.

Elle
Okay, so next. Very short bit, but I absolutely love this. So, okay. He slants his lips over mine and all the gentleness from earlier is gone. His mouth is forceful, assertive and determined. His tongue pushed past my resistance and tangles with mine. He grips my waist and lowers me down onto his cock hard and fast. My breath catches slightly as pain races through me. But it’s quickly replaced with rocking hips, fingertips skimming my breasts and silver eyes watching every breath I take. I thought this was so sexy. And because partly because of the honesty, like, sometimes sex hurts for a second.

Emery
Yeah.

Elle
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just in particular, if you haven’t had sex, I’m assuming in about two years for this woman. Yeah, I mean, like, things kind of tightens up. I don’t think that that’s something that’s admitted enough. Like, I don’t think we look at the maybe more uncomfortable moments in romance books. Because you know, but those are not only real, but I also think that the fear is you’re going to lose some of the heat and the magic through the admission of the messiness. And I don’t think you lost that at all.

Emery
Right? Yeah. Like you said, it’s, it’s been a long time. And me in that plus, she’d been with that one guy, and like, we don’t know what his size was.

Elle
Yeah, of course.

Emery
We know about those. Let’s say it says it back up here, you know, like, long and I don’t remember. I can’t find it. But, you know, but, you know, for all we know, he could have been, you know, short and stubby. I mean, so that had a lot to do with it. Yeah, she’s never been stretched that wide.

Elle
But I thought that it was pretty awesome to have that. That just quick glimpse at that quick moment, and just saying it hurt for a second, but yeah, okay. Let’s keep going. Because, you know, on the other side of pain, is that pleasure.

Emery
Yeah, yeah.

Elle
Nothing sort of makes me crazier than when you do have a romance book, and there’s a virgin. And it’s kind of like, the virginity is gone. It’s like, I thought it would hurt but it was great. And it’s like, no, friggin hurts. It hurts. Your first time hurts. I don’t know maybe some people do have those magical moments but I remember my first time hurt and like a motherfucker.

Emery
Yeah. On so but you’re right. Maybe they do. I don’t you know, maybe they do. But I doubt it. Those people are few and far between if I you know.

Elle
But I think that’s okay. Because then I think you could sort of like layer into like, how does the man react to that pain? Like, how caring is he? How does this help soothe you know, and that would only heighten the intimacy? Now I want to write a virgin.

Emery
I have never written one. I’ve never written a virgin.

Elle
I don’t think I have either.

Emery
I don’t I haven’t. But I don’t really read those. I’ve never really read those books. I don’t know. I’d rather right a virgin guy though, I think maybe.

Elle
Oh, that’s interesting.

Emery
Yeah. So yeah, that would that is a twist in it.

Elle
Okay, one more little bit longer, but sorry. Okay. Bo’s breathing becomes heavier. And his moments are jerky, I wrap my legs tighter around his waist and grind into him hard, so hard, and it feels good. Better than good. exhilarating. And then suddenly without warning. He comes on a low long grown. Bo Mattson is by far the sexiest man I’ve ever been around. Even if tonight is our only time together I will never regret it. I slowly peel myself off him because now that it’s over. I don’t know what else to do. I’ve never had a one night stand. Max was my first boyfriend at 15 years old. Not only was he my first boyfriend, but it was also my first kiss my first love. Never had sex with anyone else but Max until tonight and sadly at 29 years old, the only other man I’ve ever kissed other than Max was and Bo was that asshole Andrew. But I refuse to get bummed out on a night like this by thinking about my past. Don’t go, Bo mumbles as he pulls me back down into him. I can’t believe he just spoke. He barely said a word the entire time we were having sex. He was mostly just grunting and groaning. But I’m good with that. Wouldn’t expect anything different. It’s his style. Who he is. But those two words mean everything. That last line? Those words mean everything. I think this is one of the most romantic sex scenes I’ve ever read.

Emery
Really?

Elle
That was just like really ironic because it’s a one night stand. Or it’s supposed to be but there are just these like, these moments like with her empowerment and him not backing off from that, you know, and the fact that he is mostly groaning and then at the very end… Like he’s a man of very few words in the scene, and then at the very end, he’s like, don’t go.

Emery
That just makes my heart hurt. I’ve been out of this book for so long. You know? Cuz I don’t ever go back and read books after they’re published. You know?

Elle
Yeah, I don’t either.

Emery
Yeah. So but now, like, after reading, I’m like, Oh my gosh, that is just like, My heart hurts. Yeah.

Elle
And it’s sort of like, I’m like, really kind of rooting for these two. And I definitely want to see like, where is this going to go? And how are they going to have their happily ever after? And what happens after this supposedly one nightstand?

Emery
Right. And Max, in case you didn’t know, was her ex? And then Andrew, the date she had. Yeah. So um, but yeah, like, when I honestly though, when I was reading through it, when I was getting it ready to send to you. I was like, Oh, my gosh, like, I missed them. You know? I missed them. But I don’t. But it does. It is better hearing someone else read it to you. It’s, I don’t know, it hits you different than when you write it, and then go back and read it yourself.

Elle
Yeah, I think part of it is because like we have, like, I have certain I’m trying to get audiobooks made. Yeah, and I’m having such a hard time finding a narrator because I have her voice in my head. And I’m not finding anyone that matches up. Right. And it and honestly, I think that’s bad. Just because I have a voice in my head doesn’t mean that somebody else’s voice isn’t the right voice. But I can’t let go of the voice in my head.

Emery
Well, that’s just like, before I write a book I have to have my cover done. Like that’s, that’s one of my big things is like. I can not write a book without my cover. Because I know what my characters look like, I know what the hero and the heroine look like. I have to find them. And I have to have my cover done. I cannot write a book. I have everything done. I don’t usually get the blurb done until about midway through the book. I do, I have my title. And I have my, you know, a lot of my books, most of my books are just guys. Sometimes on the back, like if you have a paperback, I will have the female on the back just so I’m gonna have her on there. I don’t always but this rock star romance was the first book I’d ever had a couple on it. And I just wanted to do this series of couples. Because I never, you know, had couples on the cover so I could see both of them instead of just having one. But yeah, I can’t write a book without the cover. It’s just weird.

Elle
Because my titles never come to me until after I’m done. So I can’t do it that way. I know a lot of people, and I’ve read books that say, oh, well before you start your book, know what your cover looks like. Get your cover done. And have your synopsis written which I actually do write a very rough synopsis before I start the book usually. But for the cover, I can’t because I never have a title until I’m finished.

Emery
Yeah don’t outline I don’t do any of that. I just kind of write I just I guess I’m a pantser, I just kind of write as I go. I do have a notebook. And I have to write down hair color, eye color. I write things down as I go. But usually what I write down is already in my story. So I just go back and write. But as far as the title, I decide what the title is going to be. And I just write my book toward that title, I guess. I don’t know.

Elle
Tell me what’s coming up for you. What’s next?

Emery
I have the novella that releases December the 30th. It is The Red Door. It’s small town romance about Limestone, Louisiana which is not an actual town. It’s a made up town. And that’s where all the stories in this novella series are going to take place and I think I’m probably just going to write one a year. As far as my rockstar romance series Velvet Thunder. Book Two is Need You Tonight and that’s kind of come out in July of 2021. And then I’m hoping to recover Undeniably H is and My Blue ito make them a duet. I’ve already bought my images. So it’s coming. Because I don’t know how many books I’m about to get out. So I wanted to do something. Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do. But, um, anyway, I’ve really enjoyed talking with you.

Elle
Well, can you let us know where can readers find you?

Emery
My website is just www dot Emory Jacobs, com. And then I’m on Facebook. I’m Emery Jacobs author. I think that’s my other page. And then I mean, I’m all over social media.

Elle
I’ll have links in the show notes to all of your socials so and your Amazon page and all that so people can find you. Emery, thank you so much for doing this. It’s been really great having you.

Emery
Yes, thank you. I really appreciate it.

Elle
I’d love for you to come back at some point if you’d like to.

Emery
Yes, I would love to come back.

Elle
Excellent. Cool. Okay, thanks a lot. Thank you.