Q&A: Andi Marquette & R.G. Emanuelle on ‘All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica’

All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and EroticaPhew, that title is quite a handful, which is only logical because today on my virtual interview chair I have not one, but two esteemed guests! Usually, I write my own little intro, but, aside from being good sports and replying to my inquisitive questions, Andi and R.G. have provided their own introductory text. Extra points for that, ladies, and take it away…

Greetings and thanks so much for having us aboard for a day! R.G. Emanuelle and I just released the anthology All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica through Ylva Publishing.

This anthology percolated for a while before we decided to get to it and finally serve it up. The two of us had co-edited an earlier anthology—Skulls and Crossbones: Tales of Women Pirates (2010) —and we had so much fun putting that together that we decided to do another one down the line.

We thought about several options, and then it hit us. We decided to work with a theme that both of us love and that at least one of us has a whole lot of experience with. R.G. Emanuelle is a long-time foodie, food writer, and culinary school graduate. Andi just really likes food and all the things it signals about life and love.

We put our different perspectives to work so we could explore the sensuous qualities of food and how the act of preparing and eating it can engage many more senses than just taste and smell. We planned a menu that includes a variety of authors who incorporated food, romance, and/or erotica into their stories. We purposely left the subject open-ended so contributors had a lot of flexibility in terms of storylines and setting to bring their own particular tastes to the table. Our only requirement was that the story must incorporate food in its romantic and/or erotic trajectory.

We also thought it would be fun to include a recipe with each story. Some require cooking implements while others are whimsical accompaniments that don’t require cooking at all—at least not in the traditional sense.

Our menu includes the following authors: Ashley Bartlett, Cheri Crystal, Cheyenne Blue, Historia, Jae, Jove Belle, Karis Walsh, R.G. Emanuelle, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Sacchi Green, Victoria Oldham, Yvonne Heidt, and Andi Marquette

And here’s the Table of Contents.

We think you’ll find something tasty between these covers.

FIRST Q&A: Andi Marquette

1. Sell us your book in one sentence.
How about four words? Here: food, romance, sex, women.

2. Favourite line (or paragraph) from All You Can Eat?
Oooo tough call! How about I give you a taste of Rebekah Weatherspoon’s “Burn”? I like this one because when you read the story, you’ll get a sense of why this moment is so very important to this couple.

“The look on your face when you walk through the door is everything. I know you found the formal invitation on the welcome mat. The card is in your hand. You’re wearing a new dress that I’m sure you picked up for the interview. The aqua blue looks amazing against your dark brown skin, especially in the candlelight. Your locks are up in an elegant bun. You look beautiful.”

3. Last book that blew you away?
God’s War, by Kameron Hurley

4. Which celebrity is at number one of your imaginary to-do list?
Lena Headey, Gina Carano (these can change at any minute…)

5. What’s your favourite sexy song?
“Let’s Get It On,” Marvin Gaye (but I have lots of faves)

6. What are you most proud of?
I have lots of things I’m proud of. One is finishing my Ph.D. Another is getting my first novel published. I’m also proud of my friends and family when they do cool stuff that makes them proud.

7. Who’s your favourite TV Character?
I don’t watch a whole lot of TV. If I want to see something, I can usually stream it off Netflix. I have very few regular TV shows I watch. Those include NCIS and Walking Dead. And I have lots of fave characters from those shows.

8. Which author’s books are a must-read?
Hmm. I read both nonfiction and fiction, across all kinds of genres. So I don’t really do “oh, you have to read this author.” Usually what I’ll ask someone is what genres they read and then I’ll suggest authors in those genres for him or her. Having said that, Alexandra Fuller’s writing really resonates with me. Even at her most stripped down, it’s lyrical, haunting, and stays with you.

9. Anything else you want us to know?
Putting anthologies together is kind of like herding cats. But R.G. and I always have a good time doing it, so we’re planning others. Stay tuned for those. And we also do a lot of writing on our own. I write mysteries, science fiction, and romance and R.G. writes paranormal, romance, and erotica. Swing by our respective websites to have a looksee: www.andimarquette.com and www.rgemanuelle.com.

10. What’s next for you?
In addition to the release of All You Can Eat, I just released a romance novel in June, From the Hat Down (a follow-up to last year’s Rainbow Award runner-up novella From the Boots Up). I have stories in two forthcoming anthologies from Ylva Publishing, Wicked Things and Unwrap These Presents—proceeds from that one will benefit, as R.G. says, two organizations that help homeless LGBTQ youth.

I’m also working on the fourth novel in my science fiction series, the Far Seek Chronicles, doing a bit of research for the fifth novel in my New Mexico mystery series, and I’m messing around with another romance novel I’ve almost finished. And I’m thinking about doing another series in novella format. Still in the planning stages, though. And of course, eventually R.G. and I will probably start work at some point on another anthology. And at some point, I’m going to build a fighter ship and join the rebellion against the Galactic Empire.

Thank you, Andi. Time for your co-editor to spill the beans…

SECOND Q&A: R.G. Emanuelle

1. Sell us your book in one sentence.
With a menu that ranges from hot and spicy to sweet and mild, this book has something for everyone’s tastes.

2. Favourite line (or paragraph) from All You Can Eat?
Oh, that’s really hard. There are so many great lines and paragraphs in AYCE. But if I absolutely have to choose one, it’s this one from “Turn the Tables” by Yvonne Heidt:

“I wish to taste you, to worship you until your desire becomes so great, it will fill my mouth with the very essence of your spirit that I will swallow and take with me always.” Leonita pointed to her heart. “Here, I will carry you here.”

3. Last book that blew you away?
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters.

4. Which celebrity is at number one of your imaginary to-do list?
I would say that it’s a tie between Salma Hayek and Michele Rodriguez.

5. What’s your favourite sexy song?
Another tie. Between “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin and “At Last” by Etta James.

6. What are you most proud of?
Making it through culinary school. That was tough. I was working full time and going to school part time. It was physically exhausting, but also mentally and emotionally exhausting in ways I hadn’t expected. There were times I thought I wouldn’t make it. But I did. Graduation day was bittersweet.

7. Who’s your favourite TV Character?
I don’t watch a lot of TV but I have been catching up on “Orange Is the New Black” and I’ve been getting a real kick out of Nicky Nichols, played by Natasha Lyonne.

8. Which author’s books are a must-read?
Sarah Waters, definitely. She tells riveting stories in the most elegant way. She draws you in and captures you with her characters and storylines without skimping on quality. Her language is eloquent and intelligent, yet she can make your heart race as if you were watching a Hollywood movie.

You should also read Lee Lynch—she’s a staple and pioneer of lesbian fiction.

9. Anything else you want us to know?
Andi and I had a lot of fun working on AYCE together, and we’re planning to do others. Our first project co-editing was on Skulls & Crossbones: Tales of Women Pirates back in 2010 and we had such a good time on that one that we agreed we’d do another one. But life issues got in the way for both of us and it wasn’t until this year that we were able to get together again to work on a new project. But it certainly won’t be our last. We enjoy working with good, established writers, but we both also like to introduce the readership to new writers. I want to give new writers the opportunity to be discovered and have their work enjoyed by others—as long as they do good work!

10. What’s next for you?
Well, I have many projects on my plate. I will soon be releasing book one of my novella series and I have stories coming out in a few anthologies: Hunger: Stories of Desire, Discovery, and Dissatisfaction; Wicked Things; and Unwrap These Presents. I’m also co-editor for Unwrap These Present, and all the proceeds are going to the Ali Forney Center in New York and the Albert Kennedy Trust in the U.K., both of which provide housing to homeless LGBT youth. It’s a great project and I hope everyone supports it by buying a copy. Besides, there are some great stories in there, including Lee Lynch!

Thank you for stopping by, ladies. I know what I’ll be reading this weekend.

You can buy ‘All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica’ on Amazon, Smashwords or All Romance.

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