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Linzi Basset Interview Published on: 02, Aug 2018

What is the name of your hometown? How much of your childhood did you and your parents spend there?

I currently reside in Centurion in the capital city Tshwane of South Africa. I was born a little further South in a small town, Vereeniging. We moved to Pretoria the year I was seven years old.

Did you always want to write romance or did you have to dabble a bit with other genres before you found your calling?

I’m referred to as a multi-genre author. I write contemporary, historical and paranormal romance. The genre that I love the most is crime and suspense. I’m also a sucker for HEA and all my books have a happy ending.

As a romance writer, what is the greatest case of love that you've ever witnessed?

The unselfish and unconditional kind where the desires and needs of your partner drives your every action, word and gesture; knowing, instinctively, when something is wrong and offering a loving word to ease his or her mind. I’m very lucky to be the recipient of such a selfless love.

Besides erotic romance, you've also published a book of poems called "Love Unbound". What led you to publish this book? Which poem is the most personal to you?

Love Unbound is a deeply personal journal to me. It wasn’t published with the aim to achieve sales. It was purely an embodiment of my thoughts written in a poetic format to record and bear witness to my journey of finding love. Like the blurb states: “The book follows two people falling in love and how they struggled until they overcame their inner demons to make a connection deeply rooted in their souls.” That is the story that the collection tells and has inspired me to believe that true love really can exist - to have finally found it halfway around the world with someone who shares the same in me is nothing short of divine intervention, an epiphany of sorts, perhaps. What are the chances so late in life, after so much has gone before, to discover that there’s someone out there waiting for you?

The poem that is the most personal to me that summarizes our journey is:

Voyage of love

Shriveled and shrouded in a grave of distant remembrance
Love conquered where past demons once roamed
The mystery of our future shimmers like a mirage on the aesthetic skyline
As we drown in adulation, spellbound and enchanted within our souls
Joyous in the culmination of our copulating hearts
Drawn like a magnet to be immersed in love’s potion
Dancing like a drunken sailor on the thread that binds our souls
Soothing our hankering minds over a distant shore
Yearning and listless as the morning dew gives way
To the impetuousness of a timeless breeze
Purring with a breath of avowal to crown
Our hearts with a heavenly calmness
Guiding our eternal love on a voyage of happiness

How many series have you written to date and which ones were the hardest and easiest to write?

I have two complete bestselling series, Club Alpha Cove and Club Wicked Cove, with the 3 rd best-selling Cove series, Club Devil’s Cove, currently halfway. I also have two complete novella best-selling series, Their Sub and Their Command series. Then there’s The Tycoon series, The Caught series, both of which are works-in-progress, as well as three paranormal series, The Dragon Shifters, The Rebel Angels and The Alastor Chronicles.

I don’t believe any of the books I write are easy, simply because there are so many emotions that are woven through each one that continue to intensify and escalate further as the series progresses. The hardest for me, I would say, was Club Wicked Cove, as it was a darkly suspenseful series that included every possibility that one might experience in that unconventional lifestyle and the characters who populate that world and who are beset with the complexities of human nature and emotions that drive and animate them. It’s all in there - hate, love, revenge, murder, regret and so much more. It was exhausting and emotionally draining but in the end, very rewarding.

Tell us a little about the first series you ever wrote "Club Alpha Cove"? How did it feel becoming a bestselling author so soon after publishing something?

It was a heady feeling and to date, I still find it hard to believe that every book I published since then has achieved a top 10 rating on the Amazon bestsellers list. I have always been a big fan of Cerise Sinclair, Sierra Cartwright, Lexi Blake and many more similar authors and my interest in writing a series such as Club Alpha Cove was borne from reading their books. It took a lot of research but once I started, the stories just kept flowing. Amazingly, it still remains my top selling series. Many of my fans refer to CAC as their go-to series when they’re in a book slump. That in itself, is the biggest compliment any author could receive.

What gave you the inspiration for the first book in the series "His FBI Sub"? Who did you try and base Ruark and Courtney's characters off of?

I’m a big fan of crime mysteries and suspense stories that involve crime syndicates, the FBI and so forth. It was therefore a natural gravitation for me to develop a suspense storyline that involved the FBI. In this case, Courtney was the FBI agent and Ruark, the King of the BDSM community with a strong financial background. My own background is in the corporate world, so you will always find some part of that in all my books. Neither of the characters were based on real people, but instead drawn from an amalgamation of personalities. Some being many of my own characteristics and quirks. There is a myriad of my own emotions with which I imbue my characters who are portrayed in my books.

Between "Exploration: Nolan's Gift" and "Claimed: Parnell's Gift", which one would you rank higher on the kinky scale? How do you maintain the balance between the kink and the romance in all your books?

That’s difficult to answer. Both books had such different backgrounds but if one were to separate out the kink factor, I would have to say, Exploration, because both Nolan and Jewel were already involved in BDSM and here, let me warn anyone who tucks into this book, to hold fast to something because those scenes were written to be ripping hot! Claimed, was much more romantic because Parnell had to ‘put Kacie back together again’.

What is important to understand is that even though the books are based on a backdrop of BDSM clubs, each couple still has a normal life and relationship outside of that – as is the norm in any BDSM relationship. A dominant cares for his submissive, her feelings, her needs above all else, in and out of the BDSM scene. Kink, in itself, doesn’t exist. Couples aren’t disconnected from their feelings. It’s a dichotomy; without tenderness and vulnerability, there can't be discipline or control, which is key to kink. Trust and communication are vitally important in such a relationship which is what makes it so special. None of my couples practice the BDSM lifestyle 24/7 so balance can be achieved relatively easily as the tenderness and care flows into their daily lives.

What did you enjoy most about writing The Tycoon series? Have you ever met a Tycoon playboy?

I loved writing it because it’s so different than the Cove series. More refreshing. Of course, the males in all my books are alphas and that is such fun to be creative with. I’ve met a couple of tycoons but sadly . . . none of them were playboys!

What do you think sets The McCulloch County Series books apart from your other books? When did you first start writing "Her Prada Cowboy" and did you write this book intending for it to be the beginning of a new series or did that just happen on its own?

Who doesn’t love a modern, hot cowboy? The seed was planted when I saw a photo of a long-haired super-hot cowboy. I added a good dose of suspense and corporate flair which made it very popular with my fans. It was never intended to be a series and because I’ve not had the time to continue with it, it might actually end with just Her Prada Cowboy.

In The Alastor Chronicles series, you explore the supernatural/paranormal genre quite a bit. How was writing these books different than the rest and what kind of research did you have to do?

I’ve been a fan of the supernatural/paranormal since Angel – the vampire series. I used to read every book I could get my hands on, so naturally, I just had to have a go at it and I’m not sorry. My fans are crying for book 2, which I’m aiming to complete this year. I used a lot of what was stored in my memory from books I’ve read but I did research every website I could find on vampires and werewolves. This series even takes us back to the history of Dracula . . . and lo and behold! He appears in Book 2.

I wouldn’t say writing the story was much different than writing the others. Once I start with a book, my mind is focused on that specific storyline no matter it’s genre. I actually have a tendency to work on three or four books – mostly in different genres, simultaneously. Don’t ask how I do it. I couldn’t explain it. I just seem to have the capacity to juggle and compartmentalize multiple characters and plots.

How long do you usually take to finish a book? Have you ever written a book or passage that you regretted writing after it was published?

It depends on the book I’m writing. As a full-time author, I have a rigorous and disciplined work schedule. It’s my job and I set ‘working hours’ for myself. Most novellas between 20K – 60K takes approximately 10 – 15 days to complete and the full length novels can take up to a month.

I can honestly say, no, I don’t regret having ever written anything. I touch on many aspects of human nature – some of them ugly and cruel – but I always warn my readers beforehand that there might be a trigger in the book.

What were some struggles you faced as a new author and how did you overcome them?

As a South African, my mother tongue is Afrikaans. English is my second language which is more idiomatically British than American, naturally so, considering the history of my country. And so, because all my stories are US based, I was lambasted in the beginning for some of the words and phrases I used. I quickly learned and continue to learn, now and then, with the help of my editor, that I’m turning into a pro!

Secondly, marketing yourself as an Indie author is a full on, all-consuming job in itself. When I’m not writing, I’m marketing and doing self promotion. I’m still searching for the perfect tool and solution to get my name out there.

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