Writing Into The Mist: Meta Mathews Author of DEFYING THE DUKE

My guest today is multi-published author Meta Mathews who has written quite a few volumes of erotic fiction:t historic, contemporary, and paranormal — or,  like this new book, historic, contemporary AND Paranormal!

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Defying  the Duke


My Writing Method
(or Lack Thereof)


by Meta Mathews
I recall when I first started attending writers’ conferences, I was convinced that there must be one best way to write a book, so I listened attentively to authors who presented workshops explaining their methods. Surely, I thought then, all I had to do was take numerous notes and then follow that writer’s path.

I soon learned that there is no one path to writing. In fact, I suspect there are as many paths as there are writers. The trick is for each individual to find the path that works best for him or her.

I struggled for years trying to find the writing process that worked for me. Instead I often found that I would write myself into a corner that I couldn’t write my way out of, or I’d discover halfway through a book that the storyline has fizzled out. What I needed, I decided, was to create a plot that took me right up through the ending of my book.

Thus, every time I read an article on how to plot or attended a workshop in which a successful author described her method of plotting, I rushed to try to replicate those methods. Invariably this turned into a waste of time for me. First of all, I discovered I usually couldn’t plot a book all the way to the end or, if I did, I lost interest in writing it.

The method that works for me has been given various names, such as “writing into the mist” or “writing by the seat of your pants.” In other words, I don’t know where I’m going with the story when I start it. Sometimes I run into roadblocks and have to take a break while my subconscious deals with the problem, but eventually, I’ll work my way out of the maze.

So without a plot, how do I write a book, you may ask. Generally, I start with the characters, usually with both the hero and heroine. However, unlike some writers, I don’t worry about getting to know my characters in depth. I don’t interview them. I don’t do character charts. I prefer to get acquainted with them as the story unfolds.

For example, in Defying the Duke, I began writing while knowing little about the heroine except that she was a college-educated woman named Amelia who was being harassed by a spirit from the past. But it was clear to me that she would have to be strong in order to deal with this sort of situation, and she soon proved herself to be exactly that.

Then Jack, the hero, enters the picture, and he, too, is being harassed by a spirit from the past. Amelia, being the strong-willed woman she is, doesn’t trust Jack at first because he looks just a little too much like the duke to suit her. But Jack is also strong-willed, so sparks fly before the two agree to work together to free themselves from their tormentors.

If you ask me if this would be my preferred method of writing, I’d quickly tell you no, that I’d prefer to know exactly where I’m going when I start because then I would avoid those times when I have to stop writing and let my subconscious go to work. So yes, plotting would be safer certainly, but on the other hand, I strongly suspect that I’d quickly get so bored with my story that I would quit writing altogether.

small pic of 18th century shoes

Defying the Duke:

Can Amelia and Jack defy a spirit from the past long enough to ensure their future together?

Having discovered that there’s no demand in Atlanta, Georgia, for college graduates with a PhD in history, Amelia Comstock accepts a job from her former professor to research the mysterious disappearance of the Duke of Durbane almost two hundred years ago. Unfortunately, her research seems to have stirred up the duke’s spirit, which—convinced she’s a courtesan—visits her during the night intent on pleasuring her sexually. When Amelia tries to quit her job in the hopes of ridding herself of the duke, her boss tricks her into meeting his nephew, Jack, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the duke and who is struggling with his own unwanted visitor from the past.

Clara Elisabeth von Platen, Elector Ernest Augustus of Hanover

When Jack Durban, a computer programmer, accepted a transfer to Atlanta, he didn’t expect his uncle Ben, a professor and historian, to recruit him to help research the disappearance of the Regency era Duke of Durbane. Nor did he expect to start getting ghostly visits from a woman wearing a ball gown who insists on pleasuring him against his will. Determined to end his research, Jack agrees to do one last favor for his uncle, which results in his meeting Amelia Comstock, a beautiful historian who strongly resembles his pesky visitor from the past. Jack soon realises that he and Amelia share a unique connection, meaning that they must combine their efforts to defy the duke so they can enjoy their future together.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of dubious consent while the character is in a hallucinatory state.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released by Totally Bound under the title The Hallucinatory Duke. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release.

 Like the sound of Defying the Duke? Buy it




About Meta Mathews:

Meta Mathews is—fortunately or unfortunately—one of those writers who can’t pick a time period and stick with it. Her first published book was a sweet contemporary set in the American South (where, not coincidentally, she lives). After writing another contemporary, she veered back in time a couple of centuries for the setting of a traditional Regency, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award that year. Next she decided to stick with the Regency setting but move from sweet to rather steamy (to put it mildly). Now, with her first book for Total E-Bound, she’s combining the two time periods for an erotic paranormal set in the present in the American South but with visitors from Regency England. Where she’ll go from here is anybody’s guess.

Defying the Duke Tour Dates Graphic
ISBN: 9781784302825