Interview with Portia Da Costa
I’m very (very, very) excited to announce that I have Portia Da Costa on my site today. Portia’s books were some of the first erotic books I ever read, and I’ve enjoyed her work ever since. I’m delighted that she’s here today to tell a little more about her writing career in general, and what other naughty goodness she has coming out.
Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed, it’s great to have you here. So here are a few questions to help readers to get to know you better.
Have you always written? How did you get started?
No, I didn’t start writing until I was in my thirties. I’ve always been an avid reader, but before that it had never occurred to me that someone like me could write a book or a story. But then, I started attending Star Trek and media conventions and I became friends with lots of lovely fan fiction writers there. I didn’t write Trek fiction myself, but I did try my hand at writing a short story to celebrate another fandom I was into at the time… and I was completely amazed to find I *could* actually write something. It was pretty terrible, admittedly, but it was a start. I went on to write more stories in that series, learning as I went, and eventually I decided that I’d try and get something published. The stories I’d been writing were erotic, but also romantic, so I set my sights on Mills & Boon initially. Getting accepted by Mills & Boon was as tough then as it is now, so after half a dozen attempts, I switched to submitting my work to erotica publishers instead. Last year however, Mills & Boon reprinted one of my HQN books in the UK. It’s only taken me twenty five years to get there! LOL
Did you write other genres before erotica and erotic romance?
Not really. I’ve been writing romantic erotica from day one, really, although I have also written a couple of sweeter romances since.
How did you start writing erotica and erotic romance?
I think I’ve pretty much covered that one in my previous answers. I’ve always written erotica and erotic romance. Many of my friends in fan fiction were writing the more erotic stuff, so it seemed natural for me to start there too.
What was the first piece you had published, and where?
It was a short story called THE MAN IN BLACK, and it was published in Forum magazine in 1991. My first erotic novel was published in 1992, and my first Black Lace novel, GEMINI HEAT, was published in 1994. Curiously enough, the hero of Gemini Heat is a gorgeous billionaire who’s into BDSM… so there’s nothing new under the sun, is there?
How did you feel about your first publication?
Elated! I found it hard to believe it had actually happened, even though I knew it had. I was still feeling that only ‘other people’ could be real writers, not me.
How did you come up with your pen name?
After I’d been writing for my first publisher for a little while, I had a book accepted for Black Lace and they asked me to come up with a new pseudonym. Fast! That evening, I watched ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ and the character of Archie had a daughter called ‘Portia’. The next day, I was watching some motorcycle racing on the telly, and heard the orthopaedic surgeon who looked after the riders referred to as ‘Doctor Da Costa’. Ta da!
What did you do before you started writing full time?
For many years I worked as a librarian, and then after that, I worked as a clerical officer in Local Government.
What inspires you?
It’s hard to pin that down. Ideas just seem to come to me out of the blue, but sometimes they’re prompted by something I’ve seen on the television, or in a film. Or something I’ve read in books, magazines, newspapers, or online. Or something I’ve seen when I’m out and about, in everyday life, or something I’ve overheard. It’s like a lot of little things gather in my subconscious and gradually blend together to make a story idea.
Who inspires you?
As a muse? Well, it’s usually some gorgeous actor or singer or other famous man that’s taken my fancy. My current inspiration is mainly Simon Baker, as the Mentalist, with a side order of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock. In the past I’ve written books and stories with heroes inspired by Vincent D’Onofrio, James Marsters, Edward Norton, Dean Cain, David Krumholtz and many, many others… oh, I’ve had dozens of crushes!
What’s next for Portia Da Costa?
Well, I’ve got THE ACCIDENTAL CALL GIRL out now, and the next book in that series will be THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS, which continues the love story of John Smith, an urbane, kinky, drop dead gorgeous multi-millionaire, and Lizzie Aitchison, the young woman he originally met in a bar and at first believed to be an escort! These two have a fiery passionate relationship, but they both have issues that stand in the way of them reaching ‘happily ever after’. They’ll get there in the end, but it’s not going to be an easy ride…
THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS is out in August, and THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE, the conclusion to Lizzie and John’s love story, is out in October.
I’ve also got the second novel in my Ladies’ Sewing Circle series out in May/June. It’s called DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH, and it’s super-hot Victorian historical romance about two distant cousins, Adela and Wilson Ruffington, who have a thorny, difficult relationship, but who still can’t keep their hands off one another. As well as Diamonds, I’ve also got a Ladies’ Sewing Circle novella anthology coming out, called A GENTLEWOMAN’S QUARTET. This features all four of the Sewing Circle stories, originally published as Spice Briefs, and it’ll be published on the 15th March.
Bonus question: What do you think about “that book” and how it’s affected the erotica and erotic romance industry?
I’ve never read ‘that book’. When I’m writing, I always read mainly outside my own genre, in order to bring fresh and different ideas to my own books and stories. I’m very grateful to ‘that book’ though, because it’s generated a wider interest in erotica and erotic romance, and that’s brought my books to the attention of many, many more readers, ones who may not have discovered my work otherwise.
The Accidental Call Girl
When Lizzie Aitchison meets John Smith in the Lawns Bar of the Waverley Grange Hotel she doesn’t realise at first that he thinks she’s “working”. The chemistry between them is dynamite from the very first glance exchanged across the room, and she can’t resist the allure of his fallen angel face and the way his lean body looks in a sharp business suit. Pretty soon, she’s playing a dangerous game with him. John’s a no nonsense guy who seems to be set on engaging an escort for sex rather than simply meeting a pretty girl to chat up in a bar, and if that’s the only way she can get this gorgeous, irresistible man, Lizzie decides to act the part. Over just one drink, she becomes “Bettie”, the high class call girl…
About Portia Da Costa
Portia Da Costa is a SUNDAY TIMES best-selling British author of romance, erotic romance and erotica, whose short stories and novels have been published in the UK and elsewhere since 1991. She loves creating stories about sexy, likeable people in steamy, scandalous situations, and has written for various publishers over the years, including Black Lace, HQN, Spice Briefs, Samhain Publishing, Carina Press and a good many others. Though her best known titles are mainly contemporary erotic romance, she also enjoys writing super?hot Victorian historical romance, and erotic paranormals. She’s even turned her hand to a bit of erotic sci-fi and horror on occasion.
Recently, her Black Lace contemporary erotic romance IN TOO DEEP, reached Number #5 in the Sunday Times paperback fiction chart, with only books by E L James and Sylvia Day outselling her!
When Portia isn’t writing she’s usually to be found loafing around watching the television or reading the works of Agatha Christie or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sometimes both at once. She lives in the heart of West Yorkshire in the UK, with her long suffering husband and their two beloved cats, Mork and Mindy.
Find out more about Portia at the following…
Mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/planetportia/