Get ready to learn more about the book Prohibited Passion in this discussion with sapphic author Alyssa Linn Palmer.
Join us for an exclusive peek behind the scenes as we quiz Alyssa Linn Palmer about Prohibited Passion, writing, reading, and more.
This book is part of the Forbidden Relationships category in the 2024 IHS Reading Challenge.
Why did you write Prohibited Passion?
This book was a part of a multi-author series called Bandit Creek. I wanted to write something historical, as most of the other authors were doing contemporary books, and I wanted a f/f pairing because no one else was writing one.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
Oddly, I think Sheridan (the gangster in the book) ended up being my favourite character, as he was fairly enigmatic. But I do love both CeeCee and Ruth. Ruth is much like me, quiet and unassuming, and a bit shy.
What inspired the idea for Prohibited Passion?
I already had a fascination with the time period (1920s) and the flappers, and I was familiar with some of the local history.
What was the biggest challenge writing this book?
This was one of my first finished projects and the challenge was finishing everything to deadline!
What part of Prohibited Passion was the most fun to write?
CeeCee and Ruth’s first encounter.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
A bit of a play on words, Prohibited (for Prohibition) and Passion for the romance.
How much research did you need to do for Prohibited Passion?
There was some local research of the old town of Bankhead, AB (which I visited), then a bit of research on the time period.
If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?
There wasn’t a sequel, but I did write a prequel of sorts, with CeeCee and Sheridan (and a love triangle with the gangster’s moll Nell), in the book Midnight at the Orpheus.
What is your favorite line from your book?
“I’m not the sort you should be spending time with,” CeeCee remarked, seeing Ruth’s hesitation. “Go home, Ruth, back to your safe bed.”
What is your writing process like?
I’m definitely more of a plotter, but only in the bare bones sense. Once I get writing, things can change!
Where do you usually write, and what do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
Until recently, I worked a day job at an office, so I wrote on my lunch and breaks. These days, I still work full-time but also am doing a master’s degree, so I fit writing in the spare time when I can find it.
If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?
I would have loved to spend time with Anne Rice, as she was one of my favourite authors. (RIP) Her book The Witching Hour is still one of my favourites.
What’s your favorite writing snack or drink?
A cup of tea! I use Tetley’s Earl Grey vanilla tea, and add a splash of milk.
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
Usually I’ll cook a delicious meal, or get takeout.
Is there a particular genre you would love to write but only under a pseudonym?
I’m happy in the romance genre, though I may write some gay romance under a pseudonym… who knows!
Do you have a pet who helps/hinders your typing?
2 dogs, 3 cats, so we have a full house of pets. I’ve learned to type with a cat on my lap (and while sitting on the sofa with my laptop on a lap desk.)
What are three words that describe your personality?
Quiet, as I rarely speak unless I feel the need. Focused, as I can get things done. Geeky, as I am into many odd things.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing, and by whom?
The classic for me is “You can’t edit a blank page”. I’ve heard it came from Nora Roberts. But it keeps me writing and helps quiet my inner critic.
What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?
Helped: having a deadline. Hindered: Not having enough time to ponder and let the scenes percolate in my mind.
When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?
Usually I re-read what I’ve written up to that point and then take some time to imagine what it would be like to be my characters.
What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?
I like to daydream and let my mind go where it wants.
If you could be mentored by a famous author (living or not), who would it be?
It’s too hard to choose just one! I’d want Anne Rice for her storytelling ability, Nora Roberts for her work pace and determination, and probably indie pubbed authors like Bella Andre and Zoe York to learn more from them.
What author in your genre do you most admire, and why?
Tiffany Reisz, as her work continues to intrigue and provoke awe.
Have you ever cried when writing an emotional scene?
Not often, but I did get a bit teary-eyed writing some of the scenes in my gay romance Moonlight & Love Songs. The main character went through so much in that novel.
Do you feel bad putting your characters through the wringer?
Not really! If they don’t have to deal with tough times, there isn’t much of a story 🙂
Have you ever hated one of your characters?
The bad boss Monsieur Royale in my first series, from The Paris Game, is probably the only character I hated. He was pretty awful and had no redeeming qualities.
Have you ever fallen in love with one of your characters?
I haven’t, but I definitely have felt fascination with some of my characters, particularly the main characters. Some of the secondary characters end up piquing my interest more than I originally expect. Sheridan from Prohibited Passion is a good example — his enigmatic self helped inspire me to write Midnight at the Orpheus to figure out how he’d gotten where he was in Prohibited Passion.
What type of books do you enjoy reading the most?
Genre fiction, but mostly romance these days. I like the drama and seeing how the happy ending occurs.
Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
So many, it’d be hard to list them all. Dracula by Bram Stoker, anything by Anne Rice, old romances like The Flame and the Flower (Kathleen E Woodiwiss), Linda Lael Miller’s vampire romances…
What books did you grow up reading?
Everything and anything as a kid, my parents didn’t tend to restrict my reading. I did tend more towards gothic horror (Dracula, etc), Stephen King and the like, then moved into more romance. I think my reading as a kid has helped shape my love for genre fiction above all.
What books have you read more than once in your life?
The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice. Though there are some questionable parts, the mix of contemporary story and historical files are compelling, and I often read something ‘new’ every time.
What book do you wish you had written?
The Siren, by Tiffany Reisz. Love this book, love its framing story.
Describe your favorite reading spot.
Probably my bed! I read a lot before bedtime most nights.
Do you only read books in one genre or do you genre hop?
I tend to read mostly romance, but I hop between subgenres depending on my mood. I like the happy endings of romance, with the angst in between start and end.
Have you ever thought you’d hate a book, but ended up loving it?
I can’t think of any specific book or reason why, but there have been times where I’ve started reading a book, put it down because it wasn’t interesting, only to pick it up a month or two later and devour it.