What does the inside of D. L. King’s head look like and where does she get those ideas? After years of education and careers in other arenas, what inspired her, ten years ago to begin typing away at her keyboard—and what took her so long to get there? Can writing erotica be considered a revolutionary act?

What does the inside of D. L. King’s head look like and where does she get those ideas? After years of education and careers in other arenas, what inspired her, ten years ago to begin typing away at her keyboard—and what took her so long to get there? Can writing erotica be considered a revolutionary act?

Interview with Erotica author and editor, D.L. King

October 28, 2010

In elementary school, D.L. King took vocational aptitude tests twice. The first time, she wanted to be a doctor and so the test reflected an aptitude for science. By the second time she took the test, she'd decided she wanted to be a writer and, amazingly, the test suggested she’d be most suited to a career in letters.

Perhaps what it truly revealed was a talent for manipulation that serves her well as an erotica writer. Years later, she's pulling our erotic strings with, in her words, hot, kinky, dangerous, smutty, erotic stories—stories that will give you ideas... make you wet... make you hard... make you hard and wet.

Her path to erotic writer has not been straight or narrow. She's achieved both an MFA in Photography and a Masters in Education and works in neither field. She's been a Girl Scout, a chemical analyst, a teacher, a legal secretary and an administrator. Not until about ten years ago, did she sit down at the computer and begin writing a novel for no apparent reason.

Since then she's published two novels and a few dozen short stories and edited two erotic anthologies. She has published and edited Erotica Revealed, a website dedicated to reviewing erotic writing and maintains her own blog. Recently, one of her anthologies, The Sweetest Kiss, was a featured title for the October 2010 Naked Reader Book Club and immediately we wanted to know more about the woman behind this wickedly titillating collection of vampire erotica—and we're excited she's agreed to join us!


  • Did you ever feel concerned about your career hoping? Has it been difficult to transition from on job field to another?

    I actually haven't career hopped. I think most people have had lots of different experiences throughout their lives. My day job has been in the same field for many years. I got involved in it sort of by accident when I was in grad school and it just stuck. It ended up becoming my life career choice, even though it has nothing to do with any of my degrees. It's not really an erotica-friendly career so, enough said.

    Tori Rebel (host): "I think that's a pretty common occurrence nowadays - people spend years focused on learning one thing and end up in a different field entirely."

  • Would you write a manuscript for a porn film?

    Absolutely!
  • Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? If you do, do they know about this side of you? How does that affect your relationship with them or what would you do if they found out?

    I've worked a day job, pretty much continuously, since I graduated from college. Due to the current state of the economy, I was laid off for a period of about nine months (I've been working again now for a little over a year) and during that time I was able to write full time. It was a wonderful experience. I wrote, kept up with correspondence and the business side of writing and did a west coast book tour for the then newly released Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica. I only wish I could afford to keep it up. Unfortunately, writing erotica doesn't pay the bills.

    While I have a few colleagues from my job who know what I write, most people don't. The two jobs don't mix well. I really don't know what would happen if people found out what I wrote but I don't particularly want to know so I prefer to keep that part of my life separate.

    Tori Rebel (host): "That's great to know! I think it would be a concern for some of our aspiring writers here as well, including myself."

  • Do you have any big goals with your writing?

    Big goals with my writing...

    I would love to have my stuff picked up by Showtime for a series. I think the Melinoe books would make a great cable series, although they're probably a bit too hardcore. I'm just saying, there isn't enough femdom/BDSM on cable, know what I mean?

    If you agree and happen to know any Showtime acquisitions people, steer 'em this way.
  • Where does your inspiration come from; pure fantasy, or some experience as well?

    Both. A lot of what I write, although not all, is based on actual events to some degree. It usually becomes pretty highly fictionalized before I'm through with it, but sometimes it's pretty close to reality. (Don't date an erotica writer--I'm just sayin'.) Of course plenty of my pieces are pure fantasy.

    I use a mix of personal experience and research to make things as accurate as possible.
  • What is your method of writing? Do you write in a notebook, or go straight to the computer to right?

    I write on a computer. My handwriting has gotten so bad I usually can't read it a few hours after I commit it to paper.

    But seriously, I love being able to rework things on the screen. I can move sentences and paragraphs around, delete passages and insert things into the middle of a story. I couldn't do that if I wrote in a notebook.

    I know a lot of writers enjoy writing their first drafts by hand but I can't imagine working that way; it just isn't me.
  • Does your experience in photography in attaining a MFA influence your writing style? Are there any visual artists that inspire you or influence your writing?

    I wouldn't say my MFA has influenced my writing, but I have used photography and photographers in several of my pieces. The main character in the Melinoe books is a fetish photographer. My story, "The Shoot" (Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 9) is about a fetish shoot and a minor character in my "Cute Boy" (Fast Girls) stories is a photographer.

    My taste in art is somewhat eclectic but tends to run toward the surreal. I've long been a fan of Salvador Dali and recently saw the work of Vladimir Kush. I also like Remedios Varo and Diego Rivera (who I wouldn't term a surrealist). I can't say that it's influenced my writing, but then again, everything in my experience influences my writing, I suppose.
  • When editing for anthologies, what do look for in a story? What are some of the immediate things you look for and some of the quick turn-offs?

    Excellent question!

    When I first read a submission, I'm looking equally at story and writing. The story needs to be interesting or different and make me want to know what happens, and it has to be hot. But as a close second, or perhaps of equal measure, it has to be well written.

    I read each submission on paper, with a red pen in hand, and note basic edits right from the beginning. If a story intrigues me enough, I am willing to do extensive edits, if need be. But if the story is truly poorly written, and I feel I'm really rewriting it, I'll pass on it.

    I hate "purple prose;" those long descriptive passages that don't advance the story, but just take up space. Contrivances like flowing white nightgowns and heaving bosoms, rippling muscles and fiery green eyes...

    I like people who follow the submission guidelines. If I ask for stories between 2,000 words and 4,000 words, I will throw out a 10,000 word story without reading it. And don't get me started on people who send me stories with title pages in some fancy, pink font...

    I also have my own personal squicks. I'm not into bodily waste as a turn on. There are a few fetishes I don't personally find all that hot, and so might pass on them. There are subjects that erotica publishers simply will not print, such as underage sex and snuff, so those are automatic deal breakers.

    What an aspiring writer needs to know is that a good story, well written, will be sure to catch my attention.

    Tori Rebel (host): "All very good to know - thanks for taking the time to fill us in on all of that!!"

  • Has anyone in your everyday life ever recognized you from your editing and writings?

    It does happen and I'm always shocked and amazed when someone recognizes my name! Most people have no idea what I look like and would never recognize me on sight (but now you do, don't you?).

    Tori Rebel (host): "ha ha, you're going to be recognized across the globe by EdenFantasys members now!"

  • Do you fear being discriminated against because of the genre you write?

    I don't think "fear" is the proper word. I suppose during the former administration, here in the US, many of us were a little afraid, though. Speaking purely for myself, however, I've always been a bit of a revolutionary and not much for toeing the line, so quitting was never an option for me.

    The only discrimination I've faced (and I must say, I find it really annoying) has been from so-called literary fiction writers who sometimes tend to look down on erotica writers.

    Tori Rebel (host): "I've heard that before - that other fiction writers sometimes don't consider erotica to be 'on par' with other fiction - it's got to be really aggravating!"

  • Raggedy Andie Raggedy Andie 3 users seconded this question.

    Do you find you get writer's block at all? If so, what do you do (if anything) to help overcome it?

    I don't get writer's block; I get writer's procrastination.

    I love to write but I'll do anything to keep from doing it.

    There's email and facebook and that episode of Fringe to watch. I'll do the dishes and the laundry and sometimes even clean the house. Oh, and research. Research is always good for taking up hours of writing time.

    Deadlines are good because I know I have to get stuff done and, once I settle down to write, I can usually get lost in the story and get it done

    Tori Rebel (host): "You never get writers block?? I'm jealous, and I'm sure I'm not the only one!"

  • As a former administrator and legal secretary are you an uber-organised writer? Do you keep plot summaries and storyboards or do you just go with the flow of the story?

    I'm actually a current administrator...

    At work, I'm very organized electronically. Not so much with paper.

    I usually have a few Post Its with the characters names on them under my monitor.
  • If HBO came to you and asked you to make a sitcom or series off of one of your books, which one would it be and why?

    An HBO sitcom? The Marrying Kind would be perfect! It's a comedy of manners and only available as an ebook (Kindle or multiformat). It's really very funny and, although it's only a short novella, I could see the characters having lots more adventures in a weekly setting. It would be kind of like an X-rated Addams Family, with campy sex instead of campy horror.
  • Now that you have tried a few careers could you picture yourself being a doctor? Or do you wonder what if I would have gone to med school?

    Definitely not! That career choice was best left to the imaginings of my nine-year-old self.

    Tori Rebel (host): "But you must wonder...if you'd gone through the training and started as a doctor, would you still have ended up in the same place? Doctor by day, erotica writer by night? It could work."

  • With an MFA in Photography, have you ever done the photography for your own book covers? How much of a say do you have in the external design of your works? What do you think makes for a compelling book cover design?

    I shot the cover art for The Art of Melinoe (Print and e editions are two different covers) and The Marrying Kind.

    I had no say in the covers for Where the Girls Are, The Sweetest Kiss or Carnal Machines, although I was happy with them.

    The cover of my latest anthology, Spank!, was completely my idea and, while I didn't shoot it, that's my hand on the paddle. Stacie Joy, brilliant fetish photographer, was responsible for that photograph.

    As for what makes a good cover, I really don't know. I do know that I've bought books solely based on the cover, though. I think it should have something to do with the book and, in this instance, be sexy. I don't think it should be too busy but it should be well done. See, like I said, I don't really know, which is probably why people don't often ask my opinion.
  • Jobthingy Jobthingy 4 users seconded this question.

    When you first sat down to write, was erotica your first choice? Had you dabbled with various genres prior?

    Being a big horror fan, I'd thought I'd write a horror novel, but when I finally sat down to write (it happened to be a Black Friday several years ago--I never shop on Black Friday) an amazing torrent of femdom fantasy came pouring forth. I seriously don't know where it came from, but I've been writing erotica ever since.

  • Tori Rebel Tori Rebel 1 user seconded this question.

    Welcome!

    What inspired you to choose vampires as the topic of one of your anthologies, and what was it about the topic that won your focus over from all the other topics you could have compiled stories for?

    I'm a big vampire fan. There, I said it.

    People used to comment on my vampire reading and viewing habits and I always said I wasn't obsessed. And maybe I'm not obsessed; obsession seems to be too strong a word for what I am. I like vampires, though. I read Dracula when I was a kid and watched all the Hammer movies with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee--and then every other vampire movie that came down the pike. (Not everything has to be serious; one of my favorites was always Roman Polanski's "The Fearless Vampire Killers.")

    I'm a huge Joss Whedon fan and can quote from most episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which really was one of the best written television series of all time--every time I watch the series, and yes, I've seen it several times--I find myself in awe of the writing). I love the Canadian television series, like Forever Knight and Blood Ties. I've read all Anne Rice's vampire books (and most of her other books, as well), all the Laurell K. Hamilton books and all the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse books. I even read the Twilight books and am taking a look at some of the newer series out there. Steven King's Salem's Lot was the scariest book I ever read.

    Vampires are experiencing a new upsurge of popularity these days, probably due mainly to Charlaine Harris and Stephenie Meyer and so I thought a book of vampire erotica would be fun to do and something a lot of people would like to read. Because after all, vampires are just hot (even though they're cold actually...).

    I was really thrilled the way The Sweetest Kiss turned out. It contains some of the hottest sex writing I've seen and has the added bonus of at least one vampire in every story, guaranteed!

    Tori Rebel (host): "Wow! You certainly are well-versed on the subject! And I agree, Salem's Lot is remarkably scary."

  • Waterfall Waterfall 1 user seconded this question.

    Before you started writing erotica, was this your favorite genre to read? If not, then what influenced you to begin writing erotica?

    I'd read some erotica (what's a lot of erotica?) before I started writing it. Some of my favorites were Pauline Reage's The Story of O and Anne Rice's Exit to Eden and her Beauty trilogy. I think I was most influenced by G. C. Scott's The Passive Voice and His Mistresses Voice. I was interested by the matter-of-fact, everyday aspect of those books; the idea that stories of this sort didn't have to be high fantasy, but could be a realistic portrayal of a different kind of sexual relationship. I related to the notion that the dominants portrayed in the book could be regular women, that they didn't have to wear rubber and spike heels and be shrewish harpies to wield power and, most importantly, I first came to think I might be able to write characters like that.

    I wouldn't say erotica was my favorite genre. I read a lot of different things. I like science fiction, horror, fantasy, detective and mystery. I like authors who write really well. I'm probably better at naming favorite authors than genres. I don't particularly like chick lit or romance, although I've read a few books I did enjoy.

    Tori Rebel (host): "It's interesting that what you write isn't your favorite genre - but the ones you list as your favorites can definitely bee seen in your writing and editing!"

  • Have you ever written a horror story, or a scary story?

    Yes, I wrote a vampire story that, unfortunately, could not be included in The Sweetest Kiss. I like to describe it as being very funny--until it's not.

    It's about two Valley Girl-type vampires who pick up a male stripper in Las Vegas and take him home. It's called "Dead Drunk Chicks," from a spam subject heading. (I thought it would be fun to repurpose spam subject headings for good, rather than of evil. This one was from "dead drunk chicks looking for stripper dick." Hey, it was SPAM...

    So I started thinking that if they were dead, they must be vampires and they could be drunk because the last meals they had were from people with high blood alcohol percentages.

    It was published by the Erotica Readers and Writers Association as an October story in 2009, but doesn't appear in print anywhere. I hope it will at some point.

    Tori Rebel (host): "Excellent re-purposing of a SPAM title! I'm not sure I've ever seen that done before - and I hope the story does appear in print someday for us all to read."

  • Madeira Madeira 1 user seconded this question.

    Are there any words that you can't stand seeing used in erotica?

    I can't stand seeing childish euphemisms used in erotica. Actually, I can't stand seeing them used by anyone, even children.

    When I was a child, sometimes my friends would use words like "his peepee" or his "weewee" or "her hooha" and it took me a while to figure out what they were talking about. My parents always called a penis a penis and a vagina a vagina. When you teach children euphemistic terms, you're saying that there's something wrong with the correct words, or that there's something wrong with the body parts and they shouldn't be talked about in polite company. It's that sort of thinking that makes for a sexually repressed society. Sure, America was founded by the Puritans, but that was a long time ago. It amazes me how puritanical we still are. During the last administration, I wouldn't have been surprised to hear about stonings of pornographers or erotica writers.

    Slang, on the other hand, is perfectly fine in erotica. I primarily use the old standbys: cock and pussy. I do often use penis and vagina, as well, if they fit better. It depends on the context and who's using the word. Some characters say balls and some say testicles. I think it's important that the word coming out of the characters mouth is the one that person would be most comfortable using. I'm sure that if I ever write about a sexually repressed, childish character, they will probably use one of the words I hate. I'll cringe while I write it.
  • LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours 3 users seconded this question.

    You mentioned your next project, last Tuesday, during the Naked Reader Book Club meeting, which is a collection of steampunk erotica. I am not sure if I've ever seen anything like this published. What inspired that particular topic focus?

    I don't know if there has been anything like Carnal Machines (that's the book's title).

    I said previously that I enjoy reading a variety of genres, among them, science fiction and fantasy. I love Sherlock Holmes and I grew up on Jules Verne and H G Wells. When I got older, I found books like A Man With A Maid and collections of The Pearl (Victorian erotica, for those who've led a sheltered life...).

    Science fiction and fantasy, set in a Victorian world that never was, is a good jumping off point for Steampunk. And raise your hand if you don't think button laced boots, white stockings and garters with a tightly cinched corset, capped with a jaunty top hat is sexy?

    I went to the New England Leather Alliance's Fetish Flea Market last winter and saw the huge contingent of steampunk aficionados and thought, now there's a great idea for a new anthology and Cleis Press agreed! It's been very difficult to decide on the table of contents because I was sent some of the best writing I've ever seen. This book is going to be a bit different from most erotic anthologies; the stories are a little longer, as a rule, and a bit more literary but I can tell you they are really and truly hot. I don't think it would be speaking out of turn to say that I lived in a state of perpetual dampness while I was reading the submissions. I can't announce the table of contents until it's been finalized, but the book is due to be released May 1. You can pre order it on Amazon.

    Tori Rebel (host): "It sounds amazing but also, it sounds like it might expose some readers that don't normally read erotica to the genre by mixing it with something else they're interested in!"

  • Happy Halloween! Any special plans to celebrate All Hallows' Eve?

    Well, at the moment, I'd doing laundry... But I love Halloween. I usually carve a couple of pumpkins and put them out, with candles inside and hope they draw trick-or-treaters. I returned from LA the evening before Halloween and so didn't have a chance to get any pumpkins, but I did get some candy. I'm hoping children come by (otherwise, I'll be forced to eat it). It seems, these days, people are afraid of their neighbors and if they don't know you, they won't always allow their children to ring your bell. I think that's a shame.
  • Kindred Kindred 1 user seconded this question.

    It seems that you have dabbled in many careers already. Do you think being an author is the last career for you? Or is this just another stop in your journey?

    As I mentioned earlier, I haven't really "dabbled." I've been working in the same field (day job) for most of my adult life and will probably continue until I die at my desk. I'm sure I'll also continue to write for the same length of time. It would be fabulous if I were able to support myself with my writing and wouldn't have to have the day job, though, so get out there and talk to those cable producers...
  • UrNaughtyaAngel UrNaughtyaAngel 1 user seconded this question.

    Which one of your novels would you most like to see turn into a movie? Why that one in particular?

    I'd love to see The Melinoe Project turned into a movie--it already is one, in my head--but it would be a porn film and, as written, it probably couldn't even be produced as that. I like the book and think it would make quite the porn flick--the kind of porn flick I'd buy and watch over and over. There just aren't that many well-done BDSM and fetish movies out there.

    The Art of Melinoe, the sequel, is probably a bit more story conscious and has more of a plot, so would probably make a better movie. I would hate, however, to see it made into a farce the way Anne Rice's Exit to Eden was. I'm not saying the books are meant to be taken seriously, but I am saying they weren't meant to make fun of BDSM or fetish. Now, The Marrying Kind is another story--that one is a comedy.
  • Tori Rebel Tori Rebel 3 users seconded this question.

    We have quite a few aspiring erotica writers in our community - what advice would you give them to achieve their desired success?

    My advice would be to keep writing--and to read. Read anything and everything, but if you want to write fiction you should read fiction. It always floors me when I hear erotica writers say they don't read erotica. I've actually heard derisive remarks about erotica--from erotica writers. Firstly, how can you write a particular form of fiction if you never read it? How can you gage people's sensibilities and likes if you're unfamiliar with the market. And most importantly, how can you write in a genre for which you have no respect? That, to me would be the true definition of a hack writer.

    I would also suggest joining a writers list, like The Erotica Readers and Writers Association. I joined the list back when I was writing The Melinoe Project to get critiques of my work and find out where to send submissions. ERWA publishes an amazing list of calls for submission in the genre and has a very active group of writers discussing the business of writing erotica and erotic romance. There is a list when writers can post their stories for criticism. You can learn so much about writing simply by reading the critiques of other stories, let alone critiques of your own work!

    Develop a thick skin! You'll get lots of rejections but don't give up. What one editor doesn't like, another might. Keep improving your craft and keep practicing.

    Tori Rebel (host): "Thanks! I know I'm not the only one here that really appreciates advice from someone who's been there."

  • Tucker Cummings Tucker Cummings 3 users seconded this question.

    As a writer, what is your take on the digital vs. paper book war? It's pretty clear that paper books are an endangered species at this point. In 20 years, will all erotica be digital?

    Let me start by saying that I'm not that sure that paper books will be gone in 20 years. At least I hope they won't. That said, I must admit to owning a Kindle and having read electronic books on my old Palm and on my iPhone for years. (By the way, I love my Kindle.) But perhaps you were talking specifically about erotica? I suppose it's possible that only "special" books, like atlases and art books, will be in print although, again, I hope not.

    Erotica is a genre that lends itself very nicely to electronic editions. Some people are still embarrassed to walk up to the cash register with a book of erotica and some places simply won't carry it at all. Mail order is great in both instances. Places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble have just about everything and will send it out to you fast. But for the instant gratification generation, downloading a book the minute you see it online, is even better. (I actually love that about my Kindle. I read a review and think, ooh, that sounds good. Is it a Kindle? Yes? OK. And I click the button and, as the Brits say, Bob's your uncle.)

    The Melinoe books were first published as ebooks and just about every other book I edited or in which I have a story has been published in one or more electronic editions. Kindles and ebooks are cheaper than print books so you can afford to buy more of them and they don't take up room in your house.

    But I do love books, too. And without books in print, what would authors sign at readings?

    Tori Rebel (host): "I hope you're right! I'd hate to see paper books go away."

  • Dusk Dusk 2 users seconded this question.

    What is your process for starting a new piece? Are you a fan of outlining your work and then filling in the details, or do you normally start wherever your inspiration takes you?

    In the immortal words of Pretty Woman, I'd have to say that I'm a "fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl." I never outline. Sometimes I think, hey, there's an idea, but it always sounds like far too much work.

    I get an idea and I start typing and find out where the characters take me. I may have this great story plotted out in my head about these characters and how they meet and what they do together and how they end up together, but they may have other ideas. I'm often surprised by the way my stories--and my novels--end up. And I'm not alone. I've heard the same thing from lots of writers.

    I had this great idea for The Melinoe Project and then my main character met another tertiary character, and really liked her. She seemed to really like him, too and they decided they wanted to get together. That wasn't what I had in mind at all when I started writing the book, but they wouldn't take "no" for an answer. (And now you know all writers are crazy...)

    So, is it inspiration? Sometimes it is. More often, when it comes to short stories, it's a call for submission. I generally write stories specifically to submit to a certain editor for a certain book. It's actually rare that I write a story just because I'm inspired. Novels, however, are pure inspiration.
  • ToyGeek ToyGeek 1 user seconded this question.

    Did you find it difficult to find an editor or agent as a first time novelist? How did the experience meet or differ from your expectations?

    I don't have an agent; never have had one. Nor have I had an editor, at least not in the way I think you mean. (I've had lots of editors--one for every submission--but no one editor who always reads my work before it gets sent out to the publisher.)

    Very few erotica writers have agents. Most publishers and editors will accept both solicited and unsolicited submissions of manuscripts. Sometimes they prefer a synopsis and the first three chapters of a book, rather than the complete manuscript. The process generally involves a query letter to ask if they'd be interested in the book you've written, or want to write. And, if they are interested, they'll ask you to send either a partial manuscript or a full manuscript, along with a synopsis.

    Erotica tends to pay quite a lot less than mainstream and literary fiction. I think that's the main reason an agent isn't necessary. There's really no deal to be made. I'm not saying that an agent wouldn't be helpful in introducing you to the larger publishing houses, but most erotica is published by smaller, independent publishers.

    Tori Rebel (host): "It's kind of nice to know that the agent and the editor aren't must-haves. It makes writing and getting published seem more personal and more approachable."

  • hyena in petticoats hyena in petticoats 1 user seconded this question.

    Both erotica and "genre fiction" (horror, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.) are snubbed as less worthy than "literary fiction." Do you think there are any steps authors in these genres can take to improve the general perception of their work?

    Actually, I don't think there are any steps to be taken, other than the steps many authors are currently taking, which would be to write the best possible story or novel they can.

    I think the people who snub genre fiction, especially erotica, will always think of those writers and books as inferior. I've actually had literary writers say things like, "Why do you waste your time with that junk, you're so much better than that?" First, how do they know I'm better than that? And second, what the hell's that supposed to mean, anyway? It's really very annoying. I'm pretty sure the same people said the same things to Stephen King, earlier in his career. Actually, I believe they were saying those things long after he'd had numerous short stories published in The New Yorker. Some of them may still be saying it...

    All I know is that there's an art to writing good sex, just like there's an art to writing good horror or good science fiction, etc. I've read more abysmal sex in literary fiction and, as we all know, there's nothing worse than bad or boring sex writing. So, to all the people who tell me I'm selling myself short or could do much better than writing about sex, I'd like to see them try it!
  • Do you see more career changes in the future? Do you think writing will stick to you throughout your life?

    I doubt I'll change careers at this point and, yes, I'm sure I'll write for the rest of my life.
  • Sera Sera 1 user seconded this question.

    What's your favorite story that you've ever written?

    This is an interesting question--and a hard one, too. I think at different times, I have different favorites. But I've actually been thinking about this question, on and off since I saw it, two or three days ago and there seem to be two stories that stick in my mind, both for different--and not so different reasons.

    "New York Story" was first published in Best Lesbian Erotica 08, then in Italian in Best Erotica. I wrote it specifically for a lesbian ghost story call for submissions in 2004 (it was rejected). It's very unlike most of my work because it's romantic. It's about a closeted woman, who comes to New York in the 60's to attend NYU. She moves into a floor through in an old brownstone on Washington Square and there's a ghost in residence. She fantasizes about sex all the time but can't bring herself to come out of the closet and she and the ghost have a torrid affair. That's when the story got away from me, like I mentioned earlier. You see, that was what it was supposed to be about, a lighthearted romp with a ghost, but something happened. SPOILER ALERT*** She ends up at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

    I'm a New Yorker and I think I can say, as a class, we were, and continue to be deeply effected by the events of 9/11. I've been to readings several times where I've read this story. I kind of hate reading it aloud because I have an extremely difficult time holding it together. I wrote it a long time ago and it still makes me cry.

    The second is "Park Suite," published in Maxim Jakubowski's Sex in the City: New York (also written for a specific call for submissions and rejected). It's about the closing of The Plaza Hotel. A little history: The Plaza was sold to an Israeli guy a few years ago, who closed it to make changes--like turning a large part of it into condos. The Plaza is a New York Institution and, for whatever reason--because I'm a New Yorker--its closing moved me.

    The story is about a woman who has worked in the housekeeping department for thirty years but isn't old enough to retire, and what she does to celebrate that part of her life. Again, it's very unlike most of my stories in that it's a sweet romance (with a killer blowjob...). And again, for some reason, reading it always makes me cry. I won't spoil this one for you.

    Did I mention I was a New Yorker? A lot of my stories are about New York, even more than just being set in New York. New York permeates my being and gets into everything. While both stories are really love affairs with The City, they're very different from each other. They both affect me.

    Tori Rebel (host): ""New York Story" sounds great!"

  • Madeira Madeira 1 user seconded this question.

    Erotica is often discounted by literary fiction writers, and as a genre there's a lot of poorly written work out there. Yours however stands out as the perfect balance of literate work, with beautiful language and hot sexy wank material. It reminds me of Stephen King's saying that "even popular novelists care about the language in their way" and you clearly care about the language. How do you think you manage to combine meaningful artistic expression with sex so fluidly?

    I love you.In love

    Thank you very much.

    You're right, there is a lot of crap out there. But there's a lot of amazing stuff, too. I spoke about some literary fiction writers earlier, so we won't go there again...

    I think Stephen King putting the modifier, "even," in that quote makes it "even" more tongue-in-cheek. I know Stephen King cares a great deal about language. I think part of his brilliance is that he uses language in a very precise, yet accessible way. He's one of my heros and one of my goals is to be able to write like that.

    And about that last sentence--did I say I Heart you? But in all seriousness if, indeed, I do that, I have absolutely no idea (I just write about some people having sex...).
  • Phoenix77 Phoenix77 1 user seconded this question.

    Have you ever done or considered doing erotic photography, either as a completely separate endeavor from your writing, or to accompany it?

    Do you shoot with digital or film, color or black and white?

    I did a lot of fine art nudes in college and I've always loved photographing the human body. I think it was after seeing a movie called "The Eyes of Laura Mars" I really, really wanted to be a fetish photographer. (She was a fashion photographer, but if you've seen the movie...) Unfortunately, I never had any real access to a studio.

    I shot the cover for The Art of Melinoe in my apartment and there was really NO room. It was tough. I still wish I had the opportunity to do fetish work from time to time, but I suppose I'll have to live vicariously through my friend Stacie Joe (Spank! cover photographer).

    I shot film (black & white) and did all my own darkroom work for years and years. These days, I shoot with a digital SLR.
  • Sammi Sammi 2 users seconded this question.

    Have you ever thought of doing a book featuring photographs that you've taken to complement the erotic stories (sort of a coffee-table book)?

    I did think about that once and others have brought the idea up, from time to time. Please see the above answer regarding lack of studio space. I doubt this will happen--but it would definitely be fun.
  • Tori Rebel Tori Rebel 1 user seconded this question.

    It's been my experience that most avid writers are also avid readers. So when you're not writing or editing for anthologies, what do you read? Do you have a favorite genre or author?

    I read a lot of things. I try to keep up with whats going on in erotica but I also read a lot of disparate genres and authors. Currently, I'm reading The Passage, by Justin Cronin and Vampire Academy by Richelle Meade. Before starting The Passage, I finished The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and Map by Audrey Beth Stein. I'm surrounded by stacks of books and have a bunch of stuff on my Kindle.

    I love the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child books, Terry Pratchett ROCKS, I've been a huge Stephen King fan since Carrie. I've been on Arthur C Clarke kicks and read all his books. I love Laurell K Hamilton and Charlaine Harris. Gordon R Dickson wrote a series of bizarre books about a dragon knight (yes, really) and I loved them. All the Harry Potter books, of course, and the Golden Compass books.

    I could go on and on but it just gets scary after a while.
  • You say you have favorite authors, more than favorite genres. Who are the authors you'll buy the books of without thinking twice?

    I immediately buy any Laurell K Hamilton books, any Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse books or Grave Sight books, any Terry Pratchett books and any Preston/Child books.

    At the moment, I think those are the only books I'll rush right out to buy, or pre order from Amazon. But there are other books I'll rush out to get, even if I don't buy everything the author writes.
  • Kayla Kayla 1 user seconded this question.

    Do you have a particular opinion to how Twilight has affected the vampire genre in general? (I totally am looking forward to this answer. Smile )

    I hope I don't disappoint...

    Here's the thing: I've read all the books and have seen the movies. Yes, it's true. What can I say? It's a guilty pleasure. For a first novel, Twilight is pretty damned respectable. And her writing continued to improve in the subsequent books.

    Do I think vampires should sparkle in the sun? Well, no. But you have to admit it's pretty imaginative, as changes to the mythos go. I used to be a vampire purist: vampires burned up in the sun, cast no reflection, were repelled by garlic, burned by holy water, allergic to silver, killed by a wooden stake through the heart or decapitation. Then some really imaginative writers started changing the rules. It took me a while to get behind them, but I did and am now willing to suspend my disbelief for just about everything--and I can do it when I'm watching a Twilight movie or reading a Twilight book--but I still think it's pretty silly.

    How do I think Twilight has affected the vampire genre? I think it gave vamps a big push in popularity. All in all, I can't denigrate her. But the whole "marriage before sex" thing was pretty annoying. I did, however, like the fact that it was the old fashioned vampire who felt that way, not the teenage girl--and it was a YA book, after all.

    The Sweetest Kiss, on the other hand, contains no sparkling vampires and marriage just isn't an option before sex. I'm just sayin'...

    Tori Rebel (host): "You make a great point - people seem to either love or hate Twilight from what I can tell - but either way, it definitely moved vampires into the forefront of pop culture."

  • Tucker Cummings Tucker Cummings 2 users seconded this question.

    What three things make for a great piece of erotica? What three characteristics can ruin an erotically-charged story?

    Three things that make for great erotica

    1) Hot sex
    2) Interesting characters
    3) An intriguing story that is, if not believable, at least worth suspending your disbelief

    I think the worst sin, with regards to a piece of erotica, is boring sex. When I read a short story and find myself skimming the sex scenes, or thinking to myself, 'oh, no, not another sex scene,' I know we have a problem! It's not easy to write good, interesting or exciting sex, but if you're writing erotica, it really is a necessity!

    The second worst sin is making your characters do completely unbelievable things. If you're running from the killer (insert generic bad guys here), and they're really hot on your tail, please don't stop by the side of the road to have sex! I mean, really people... Just because the pizza guy brings you extra mushrooms without your asking for them doesn't mean you'll throw him on the floor and tear his pants off. It seem much more likely, to me, that if he screws up your order, for the third time that week, you might want to tie him up and--make sure he never does that again.

    I think interesting characters, whether they're sympathetic or unsympathetic, are essential. If your characters are boring, your story will probably be less than exciting.

    If you take sex out of the mix, these are good guidelines for any fiction. A lot of people argue that conflict is the most important characteristic of any good story. I understand that, but I don't necessarily buy it, at least for erotica.

  • What kind of computer do you have? What program do you use to write?

    I'm a Mac girl. I have an iMac and a MacBook. I use Microsoft Word for Mac as my word processing program. I don't use any fancy writers' software--just Word.

    Tori Rebel (host): "Once again, you've made writing seem more approachable - to know you don't need much more than most people probably already have - thanks!"

  • You mentioned that you liked the show "Fringe." Are there any other shows that you like? Are there any shows that you can't stand?

    I can't stand reality shows--with the possible exception of Project Runway.

    I have a Tivo and get to watch/catch up on shows on my time and I like quite a few of them. So what do I watch?

    Eureka, Fringe, Medium, Castle, Sanctuary, Stargate Universe, Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, Haven, Bones, and I really liked the first Walking Dead. My guilty pleasure is Gossip Girl.

    Some of my all-time favorite TV includes Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse (Yes, Joss Whedon is God), Blood Ties, Star Trek (all of 'em, but I think Voyager is my favorite), Stargate SG1, Roswell, Farscape, and Forever Knight.

    Yep, I like TV.
  • Seeing as grad school ended up not having much to do with your current career would go the same path if your could do it again with your current knowledge? Would you recommend graduate school to others?

    I went to graduate school so I could teach on the university level. The terminating degree in my field was an MFA, which I got. The year before I graduated, there were 12 jobs in the country and Canada; the year I graduated, there were 8. The year after that, there were 4. I couldn't afford to do adjunct teaching in hopes of getting a full-time job somewhere down the road, so I gave up the quest for a university teaching job.

    I think, pragmatically, that's what one goes to grad school for, unless one goes to med school, law school, social work school or business school. You can go to grad school to expand your mind, but if you have to support yourself while doing it, you really don't have time to immerse yourself in creativity. (I had three simultaneous jobs while I was in grad school). Grad school, done right, is something very few people can afford.
  • You said that you are a procrastinator when it comes to writing... what do you use to motivate yourself when you're being stubborn?

    Deadlines!

    Tori Rebel (host): "Great answer!"

  • Do you ever get turned on by your own writing?

    I hope to always get turned on by my writing. If it doesn't turn me on, I can't really expect it to turn anyone else on, and that's my goal.

    If I spend several hours at the keyboard, my underwear is usually pretty soaked by the time I get up. Oh, was that too much information???

    Tori Rebel (host): "Don't worry - there really is no such thing as 'TMI' here."

  • You answered that you'd like The Melinoe Project to be made to a film, if it were a porn flick would you prefer it to be softcore or hardcore?

    Also, what turns you on most, softcore or hardcore films and what type?

    Definitely hardcore. I suppose The Melinoe Project might work as softcore, but it would have to be significantly rewritten.

    When I watch porn, I prefer hardcore BDSM, usually femdom, often with various fetishes thrown in. My favorite porn film of all time is The Fashionistas. It's brilliant.
  • UrNaughtyaAngel UrNaughtyaAngel 1 user seconded this question.

    Have you ever had times where you just write non stop? Meaning staying up all night taking a nap, not showering just so full ideas that you have to get it all out?

    Writing my first novel was something like that. It consumed me.

    I started it on the Friday after Thanksgiving, so I had three uninterrupted days to write, which was great. Twelve hours a day is my limit, I think. There were a lot of 12 hour days writing the first draft of that book.

    It was a great time to start because lots of holidays were coming up. I took the week between Christmas and New Year's off and pretty much wrote non-stop for a couple of weeks in December. Work became an imposition and a distraction from the all-consuming novel. I'd get home from work and sit down at the computer and not move, other than to get something to eat, until about 1:00 a.m. every day. I had the first draft completed by the end of January.

    I've gotten into "the zone" with a few stories, and have written until they were finished because I couldn't pull myself away--or because I didn't want to lose the momentum. But most of the time I'll write for a few hours a day and be quite happy with that.
  • Tucker Cummings Tucker Cummings 1 user seconded this question.

    The image of vampires in popular culture has been in a state of flux since Bram Stoker. Which interpretation of vampires in books, film, or TV has been most intriguing to you, and what do you think our pop culture obsession with vampires says about us as a culture?

    In literature, I was most intrigued by Anne Rice's vampires. I remember picking up Interview With the Vampire from a paperback rack when it was first published. I knew nothing about Anne Rice and the book hadn't made a splash yet. I picked it up because, as it's already been established, I'm a vampire junkie. It turned out to be one of the most amazing books I'd read. The idea of a sympathetic vampire was new to me and it struck a chord. I think I read it in one or two sittings--and then had to wait for The Vampire Lestat to come out!

    Possibly my favorite film interpretation was Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula because, again, Gary Oldham played him with a certain vulnerability and sympathy. Telling the story of Vlad's wife's death set the scene for a good gothic tragic romance. I also really like the touch of Dracula wearing sunglasses and watching silent films of sunrises. It's kind of a steampunky Dracula.

    My favorite TV vampire series is, without a doubt, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think I've already mentioned that Joss Whedon is God--even though he wouldn't get back to me about writing a forward for Sweetest Kiss...
  • What's your favorite holiday? Have you ever written a story about it?

    I don't write much holiday erotica. And I'm not saying it's my favorite holiday, but I did write an erotic Chanukah short story. It's a married couple, BDSM, femdom romp with candles. I've been told that some people might think it was sacrilegious, but I don't really see why. It's kind of a memory of Chanukah when I was a kid (minus the BDSM, of course).

    It hasn't found a home yet. It was published on the Erotica Readers and Writers site for the month of December last year, but it has yet to be put into a book.
  • sbon sbon 1 user seconded this question.

    What inspired you to go for an MA in Education?

    It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Actually, it was a good idea. I really love teens (I taught in an arts high school) and I was a very good teacher.

    I'd been working in custom color labs since graduation from college (professional color labs) and got laid off. I thought about what I might want to do with my art and came up with teaching. Since I already had a BA, I had to take graduate classes and ended up with a Masters by the time I'd completed my student teaching.

    I taught high school for four years, until I left to pursue my MFA.
  • Do you listen to music while you write? What are your favourite artists?

    I don't listen to music while I write; I can't. I need silence for both reading and writing.

    Being asked to name my favorite artists is really tough. I can never think of all my favorites. So, I'll list a few favorites and then, after I submit this answer, I'll realize I left out the most important one. But, here goes...

    U2, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Poe, Leon Russell, The Beatles, Sarah McLaghlan, Jefferson Airplane, Concrete Blonde, Delerium, Pink--sort of an eclectic mix. Like I said, I'll think of lots more after I submit this.
  • I remember during the Naked Reader Interview that you said you enjoyed writing FemDom erotica. What appeals to you so much about it? Do you identify as the Dominant or as the submissive being dominated? Or maybe you just like writing it?

    Especially when it comes to erotica, it can sometimes be hard to imagine writing from the perspective of the opposite gender. How do you deal with this? Do you prefer to write from your own gender perspective, or is writing from the other more intriguing to you?

    have you ever used any of your life experiences in your writing?

    I identify as a dominant and so writing femdom tends to be what turns me on most. I write about things I've done, things I wish I'd done or things I fantasize about. But femdom is something I understand, probably more than anything else. It makes sense to me.

    I started out writing from the male point of view, primarily because I think readers like to identify with the submissive, more than the dominant. I think it's generally felt that what's happening to the submissive is the most interesting part of the erotic expression. The dominant acts and the submissive feels.

    If I'm writing femdom, then it would make sense that I'd write from the male perspective (assuming it's a male sub--sometimes it's femdom with a female sub...). So, I'm kind of weird; I like to know how things work and I pay attention during sex. I wasn't sure I'd got it all right when I first wrote from the male point of view, so I asked some guys to read it and tell me where I'd got it wrong. They, pretty much thought I'd aces male sexual response and they kind of got freaked out and wanted to know how I knew what I knew. (I have no idea. Sometimes I just channel stuff.)

    Occasionally, I get it wrong and someone explains it to me and I make changes.

    I written a few stories from the dominant's point of view: "Hard, Wet Silk" in Frenzy comes to mind, as well as "Tasting Chantal" in Best Lesbian Erotica 10.
  • What actors would you like to play your characters?

    When I began writing about Ray (the Melinoe books) I had someone very specific in mind. (I don't usually.) I have no idea who he is, but you may remember seeing him on a Dentyne chewing gum TV commercial (it may have been a regional NYC commercial). There's this guy standing on a subway platform and he sees a girl in the train but the doors are closing. She breathes on the glass and writes her phone number in the frost. Two other guys write it down, but our hero can't tear his eyes from hers, so he doesn't get the number. That's Ray!

    For "The Marrying Kind," I think Susan Sarandon or Michelle Pfeiffer would make a marvelous mother. Maybe Anne Hathaway would be a good Claire. Maybe Bradley Cooper for Bill and William H Macy for Claire's father. Dana Delaney would make a great Dr. MacIntyre. I can't think who would make a good Tony, but since he's naked all the time, it would be an important role...

  • Tucker Cummings Tucker Cummings 1 user seconded this question.

    What's the difference between steampunk erotica from other forms of erotica? What are the common threads in those two sub-genres of literary fiction that make them work well together?

    I'm not sure I completely understand the question but I'll take a stab at it.

    If you're talking about two sub-genres of erotica, then sex would be the common thread, and if you're talking about steampunk erotica vs regular steampunk, I'd have to say the common thread would be the speculative nature of the stories, set in the steam age. The main difference between the two would be the sex. If we're talking about erotic steampunk, by its nature, the sex has to take center stage. Erotica, after all, is about sex. The more interesting the plot, the better, but in order to be called erotica (different from simply erotic), sex needs to be what drives the story.

    I think pretty much anything can be erotic, but it's easy to eroticize the Victorian age. One can imagine a lot of seething passion and repressed sexuality hidden under those layers of clothes, corsets and stays.
  • Beyond fantasy or experience as your inspiration, what else inspires you? As a trained photographer, do you find your imagination stimulated by visual images. Or are you more inspired by snippets of overheard conversations or flights of fanciful music?

    Anything and everything inspires me. I remember being inspired by watching a woman knitting on the subway one morning. The thing was I couldn't figure out what she was knitting. It looked like a little bag. Too big for baby booties or socks and too little and shaped wrong for a baby cap. So, I'm watching her and I'm trying to figure out what she's making, and then it hits me--she's knitting a testicle cozy so her boy's balls don't get cold while he's naked and doing the housework.

    OK, so now everyone is moving to the other side of the room and staring at me...

    But anything can be the impetus for a story. That particular story is just a snippet that hasn't gone anywhere, but I still remember it!

    Art can trigger an idea; overheard bits of conversation can easily trigger an idea. I think watching people is often where I get ideas. I don't think music has ever done that for me, though.
  • What comes to you first: characters, plots, or situations? Do you tend to write in a free-flowing continious stream or more of a staccato piecing together?

    Usually the situation or plot comes first and then I figure out who's there--if that makes sense.

    I always write from beginning to end. I seem to be unable to skip around. I think I'm a very linear kind of person and I would describe my writing style more as free-flowing than staccato.
  • Do you ever get an idea that you don't want to lose, so you just start writing no matter where you are? What was oddest thing you've written on/oddest place you've written at?

    It does happen from time to time. Usually I'll write it in my notes file on my iPhone, but I've written lines down on cocktail napkins, in bars and once or twice on a bank deposit slip, because I had no paper. ...I can never read the stuff written on bank deposit slips because there's no room to write! Probably the oddest place--although it's not very odd anymore--would be walking down the street. That would be on the iPhone. It's like texting while walking. It happens.
  • Had you grown up in a less open area of the world, do you think that you still would have found your way to writing erotica? Do you have any suggestions for spreading ideas about sexual health and positivity to these areas of the world where sex is a strongly taboo subject?

    I strongly doubt I'd be writing erotica had I grown up somewhere like that--unless I escaped. Sadly, I have no suggestions for spreading sex-positive ideas or getting people to stop suppressing, mutilating and killing women because of their real or perceived sexuality. I have absolutely nothing good to say about places and people like that. The whole idea is too upsetting and all I come up with are thoughts of violence.
  • Do you have any sex toys of your own? What do you think of the toys on this site?

    What is your favorite sex toy? How about your top ten?

    Do you include sex toys in your stories?

    I have tons of sex toys. Well, maybe not tons, but I have a cabinet full and there are several on my bed table. As a matter of fact, I just bought a new one from Eden Fantasies tonight! It was out of stock and so I put it on my wish list and it came in today! Yay!

    Donna George Storey actually put a picture of my toy cabinet on her blog in February 2009. You can't see much, but there it is.

    Favorite sex toys are another matter. I have lots of vibrators I like to play with and I'm really looking forward to the retro one I just ordered, but some of my favorite things to play with partners are my floggers, canes and paddles. I have a nice, heavy buffalo flogger that provides quite a good thud and I have a cool purple rubber flogger that stings nicely. I have lots of other things to play with--like this cool rice paddle I got at a Japanese home goods store--but I think we can leave it at that.

    I very often include anal plugs and strap-ons in my stories, as well as impact toys. Thinking about it, I suppose I often include a plethora of toys in my stories.
  • What's your favorite day of the week to write? Do you have one, or do you just write when the thoughts come to you?

    I don't have a favorite day of the week to write. I write either when the spirit moves me or when I need to (those pesky deadlines...).
  • Are your ideas from self experience?

    Everyone always wants to know about this. "Have you done all those things you write about?"

    I have done a lot of what I write about, but let me remind you, I write fiction. So, while I've done a lot of what I write about, I haven't done everything and I haven't necessarily done it in the way I've written it.

    Some stories are basically true, as in "only the names were changed to protect the guilty." Some begin with a kernel of truth and embellish their way far beyond anything that could have ever happened. Some are complete flights of fantasy.

    So, yes, I've done a whole lot of things carnal, but I've also done a whole lot of research. I almost never tell people what's true and what's fiction.
  • You said that you are a huge horror fan. Do you have a favorite horror movie?

    I used to love watching Chiller Theatre and all the scary movies on TV when I was a kid. I remember a movie I saw when I was nine or ten that really scared the crap out of me. I can never remember if it was The Haunting, adapted from a Shirley Jackson book by Richard Matheson or The House on Haunted Hill, with Richard Price. I think I liked them both but, I think it was The Haunting that did it. I think it may have been the scariest movie I've ever seen.

    I tend to like the older movies because so many of the later movies became little more than slasher movies. I've never been a fan of slasher movies. I was a huge fan of Hammer Films and Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. I also absolutely loved Roger Corman's The Fall of the House of Usher. There's this amazing mad scene that will make you scream!

    There is a little-known production of Dracula, made for PBS. It starred Frank Langella and was produced in three parts, I think. It was one of the best acted and creepiest Draculas I'd ever seen. For newer movies, I really like Sixth Sense a lot. I suppose I like psychological horror and old monster movies, like Dracula and the Wolf Man more than blood and guts.
  • When you write, does your mood deeply affect your writing? Like if you woke up late and spilled coffee in your pants and just had a bad day, would you writing turn out dark?

    I can't get over the image of spilling coffee in my pants. Iced or hot, either would be quite the rude awakening! (Yes, I know, you probably meant on my pants--but in is so much more fun!

    But, in answer to your question, I don't think my mood really affects my writing. I suppose if I'm really angry, or in a bad mood, I might subject my protagonist to an especially rough scene, but I'm sure he'd like that.

    My writing only turns dark when I want it to. And most of the time, it's pretty light hearted.
  • I myself write poetry and blogs, What would you say is the key to getting in the mood for writing?

    I think you have to just write--whether you're in the mood, or not. I will often become totally immersed in writing, once I've get going, even though I didn't feel like I was in the mood to write.

    Sometimes, even when you give it your best shot, you still aren't in the mood. I think that's when it's time to stop and go watch TV. I'm not one for wasting time when I know I won't be coming up with anything good. There are plenty of times I will, given the chance. But, in order to know if the day is really a total waste, you have to try.
  • There's been a run on re-imaginings of classic literature with a sci-fi/horror/steampunk twist in the last 12 months: Android Karenina, Pride and Predjudice and Zombies, etc. What classic story would you love to re-imagine with your signature style?

    Actually, a while back I began this great femdom adaptation of A Christmas Carol. I really have to get back to that one; thanks for reminding me!

    And, for the record, I simply can't see anything sexy in zombies. I'm just sayin'...
  • What's the kinkiest thing you've ever done sexually?

    Kink is totally in the mind of the beholder. You might think a clothed woman, peeling and eating a banana in front of a naked, bound man is the kinkiest thing ever or you might think doggie style intercourse is kinky. I've taken people to a public BDSM club, ordered them to take their pants down and spanked and caned them until they were welted. Is that kinky? I've give someone a punishment enema. I like to play with electricity and genitals.

    I could go on, but I think I've already said too much. I hope some of that was what you had in mind.
  • Would you suggest reading vampire erotica books if one is not familiar with it? What is your favorite sexual position?

    If you've never read vampire erotica, I'd suggest you give it a try. You never know if you'll like something, unless you try. And, of course to be perfectly mercenary about it, I think you should start with The Sweetest Kiss. But, then again, it depends on what kind of erotica you like. If your tastes lean more towards the erotic, than the romantic, it might be a good suggestion. But there are lots of vampire-themed romances and erotic romances out there. There's a very nice lesbian vampire anthology, edited by Cecilia Tan, called Women of the Bite.

    As for my favorite sexual position, if you mean to write about, I would say it's not really a position, but an act. I love anal sex. I suppose that would be my all-around favorite sexual act.
  • In contrast to the question about there being things you wish people would ask, are there any questions that you hate getting asked... e.g. Where do you come up with your ideas?

    I actually do hate getting asked that--where I come up with my ideas. Because, really, I have no idea. Sometimes I'm in that twilight sort of sleep, on the verge of waking up, and I get an idea or have a lucid dream. If I'm lucky, I get up and write it down and if I'm even luckier, I'll be able to read it a couple hours later...

    Calls for submissions give me ideas. When you have to write in specific parameters, it's sometimes easier to come up with the ideas. But really, I don't know. That's the hardest part for me.
  • Has there ever been a question that you wished people would ask, but don't want to give up the information right away?

    You guys have asked just about everything there is to ask. I really can't think of anything else I wished people would ask. I know, that sounds like a cop out, but really, I can't think of anything. Sweating
  • What is your personal and professional views on LGBT equal rights?

    I don't have any professional views, but personally, I'm 100% for equal rights and marriage equality.

    I simply don't understand what people are so scare of. Why should anybody care if two people get married? If someone is good enough to fight and die for the country, why shouldn't they be allowed to be who they are? Why anybody is concerned about someone else's sexual preference is beyond me. Who's business is it? How could it possibly effect them?

    Why some people think they can tell everyone how to live their lives is beyond me. These are the same people who like to burn books because they think there's something dangerous about knowledge. Well, they're right, there is something dangerous about knowledge. With knowledge comes enlightenment and with enlightenment comes the fall of ignorance!
  • What do you do to help you write?

    I don't think I do anything to help me write--unless you mean, like, have a drink? No! I don't drink and write. Really I don't. --Maybe I drink and get ideas to write...
  • Back when you were in high school would you have ever thought that you would be writing and reviewing about erotic stories?

    Did you ever think you would be in the erotica business?

    Writing erotica was not on my radar until shortly before I began writing The Melinoe Project. Certainly not when I was in high school. I didn't really think about writing erotica until I read G. C. Scott's The Passive Voice. It wasn't flowery or particularly romantic. It was matter-of-fact and very, very hot. I thought I'd never read anything like it and after a while I began to think I might be able to write something along those lines, myself.
  • If someone was looking to possibly get involved with publishing and organizing their first erotic anthology, what suggestions would you have for them?

    I'd want to know if they had a publisher lined up, who'd already agreed to publish the book, or if they were looking for one.

    The best idea, I think, is to have a publisher, rather than to try self-publishing, although if one wanted to go the ebook route, sites like Smash Words are really great. I think, however, having an established publisher is far better for getting your book seen and for selling it! It's difficult to market your own work, especially if it's your first book.

    But, assuming you have a theme or an idea for the book, and you have a publisher, you need to go about finding the right stories. I put out a call for submissions, telling people what I'm looking for, who the publisher is, how long their story should be and what they will be paid for it. Then I give them a deadline and tell them how I want it their story formatted and sit back and wait for the stories to come in.

    I read the stories and choose the ones I like, then edit them, put them in the order I want, then write a forward or introduction and send the manuscript off to the publisher. Unless you're going to self-publish--then you have to do the rest of the work!

    That's a very short answer to a very complicated topic and it really requires a whole discussion.
  • Do you write about other things besides erotic?

    As of now, I only write erotica.
  • Can you write better at specific times of the day, days of the week, or certain months.

    I'm a night person. When left to my own devices, I tend to write better between the hours of about 3 in the afternoon and 3 in the morning. That requires sleeping 'till noon--which I'm more than willing to do. Unfortunately, I have a day job and have to get up early in the morning and go off to work. That leaves the evening to write, when I get home from work.

    If things are really flowing, I'll work until 11:00 or 12:00 and then go to bed. Sometimes I'll only write an hour or two. It depends. It also depends on deadlines. Yes, deadlines rule my life.

    If I'm really immersed in something, I'll write all weekend or over a holiday, because I won't have to be anywhere else. Otherwise, I really don't care what day of the week it is or what month.
  • Does having different degrees help you to write better?

    I'd have to say no. Perhaps if one was an MFA in Creative Writing--but probably not then, either.

    I think education is a wonderful thing. The more you learn the more the world opens up for you and the more there is to write about. But degrees, in themselves, don't really have much to do with sitting down and writing--or at least, my degrees don't have anything to do with my writing.
  • Do you plan to write forever?

    I'll write as long as I enjoy it. So far, I don't see any signs of stopping.
  • Do you ever see yourself retiring from writing? Or do you see it as a life time hobby more-so then a job?

    I should have put this question together with the one above!

    At this point, I can't see writing as a job, unfortunately. I simply don't make enough money to make a living with my art. If that ever happened, I would definitely write full-time. I had a small taste of that when I was laid off for nine months. It was wonderful!
  • Tucker Cummings Tucker Cummings 2 users seconded this question.

    What are the most over-used settings in erotica? What are some of the great settings that you feel are criminally neglected?

    In my little corner of pervy smut, I'd say the private sex club in a castle, mansion or on a private island are probably the most overused settings. I've, of course, used them myself. Melinoe is a private sex club for dominant women and The Marrying Kind is set on a private island.

    But just about anywhere can be a great setting. I like setting stories in mundane, everyday places and then making them veer off the tracks into unknown territory, plot-wise. When I'm not setting stories on exotic islands or private sex clubs for the rich and famous, I like to set them in neighborhood bars in Brooklyn or lofts in Midtown. The setting becomes one of the characters in the story--or at least it does, usually, when I set a story in New York.

    I have written some stories that took place in bedrooms, living rooms or backyards. Then, it's more about the story than the setting.
  • Do you have any pets?

    Not currently.
  • how do you feel about reality tv?

    I hate reality TV, although I wrote a story about it--sort of. "A Different Kind of Reality Show" was first published in Yes, Ma'am and then in Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 9.
  • What's your favorite animal?

    I don't know that I have a favorite animal. Do dragons count?
  • Do you have any children? how would you explain to them what you do for work when they get older?

    I don't have children. But if I did, I'd be completely open with them about sex and what I write. I'm sure they'd be absolutely mortified and would never want to read what I'd written or let their friends know what I did--until, at some point, probably in college, it became a cool part of their background. They'd tell strangers they wanted to impress at parties. But they wouldn't want to tell their significant others until the relationship was really solidified.
  • When did you start wearing glasses?

    When I was nine.
  • mnc5051 mnc5051 1 user seconded this question.

    Are doing interviews fun for you or are they annoying, answering all of the questions.

    Interviews are usually fun. I enjoy putting thought into them.

    This interview, however, is overwhelming in its scope. But I'm really enjoying it. I just hope I can answer all the questions by the deadline. Ooh, there's that word again: deadline.
  • I've been trying to write the actual script (not code script, that would be extremely time consuming) for an erotic graphic novel for about a year, but I'm completely stuck on the first level (about chapter 4 if it was a book). What do you do to get rid of writer's block?

    I don't really get writer's block. I suppose, when I get stuck, or bored with something, I save it and put it away for later and begin something new.

    I have a few novels I've got on the shelf, so to speak. Some are little more than the first page and some are at the third or fourth chapter. I recently went back to one and am in the process of finishing it now.

    I think if you've been stuck at the fourth chapter for a year, you should put it away and work on something else for a while. I think the more you stare at something that isn't moving, the more you begin to resent it or think it's a failure when, in fact, it might be the coolest thing ever. Perhaps you need some distance, without thinking about it. Stephen King, in On Writing, says that you should put your completed first draft away, without looking at it, for at least six weeks, before starting a rewrite. There's great wisdom in this. I think it would also be beneficial in your case, with the unfinished piece.

    Or, if you've tried that and it still doesn't work, perhaps the idea isn't viable. Maybe you need to start over.

    The thing is, I can't really tell you what to do. Only you know what you want/need to do with your work. But if it's frustrating you, my advice would be to work on something else, at least temporarily.
  • do you speak or write in different languages?

    I don't. I'm a true American: I only speak English.

    Sometimes I insert French or Spanish (perhaps Latin once or twice) into a story. Sometimes it's necessary. But I write in English.
  • Whats your view on proposition 8 in CA?

    The fight against Prop 8 is one of the causes to which I contribute. The sheer amount of money spent to campaign both for and against Prop 8 is staggering and I hate the fact that so much of the pro Pro8 8 rhetoric and funding came from out-of-state Mormons. Like I said before, I really don't understand why people are so dead set against gay marriage. I also have never understood why certain people think they need to "protect" everyone else and tell us what is good for us.

    I'm always appalled by the Christian Right. I'm not a Christian and I resent people telling me what to do. I think I'd probably resent it even more if I were a Christian.

    And now I've said too much. Religion and politics never seem to mix properly with sex, have you noticed that?
  • Have you found that blending erotica with horror, steampunk or other genres of fantastic fiction opens new possibilities for exploring erotic themes or reaching a broader readership?

    Yes, I think the mix definitely reaches a broader readership. I'm sure readers, who were primarily vampire fans, picked up The Sweetest Kiss and came away with a new respect for erotica or, at least, I hope they did. And I know that will be even more the case with Carnal Machines. There's very little steampunk erotica available and I think the steampunk community will be blown away by Carnal Machines.

    I received more submissions for that book, than for any other, from people whose work I was unfamiliar with. And it was some of the most literary work I'd ever received, as well as being some of the hottest. I'm pretty sure I got a lot of writers crossing genres with that book: sci fi, fantasy, steampunk authors who'd never written erotica before. They will bring readers with them and, hopefully, there will be a whole new appreciation for erotica.

    Personally, I loved writing an erotic steampunk story for that book. It was a new experience for me, as I'd never written historical fiction before, and in this case, a history that never was! It was great fun and I was very happy with my story.
  • What audiences do you tend to write towards/ favor?

    The audience depends on the particular story or book. I primarily write erotica that would appeal to three groups, but that doesn't mean lots of other people might not be interested in my work, as well. But, because I primarily write femdom/male sub erotica and lesbian erotica, probably most of my readership falls into one of those three groups.
  • DO you ever feel overwhelmed while writing?

    No, I can't say that I've ever felt overwhelmed while writing. But perhaps I'm not fully understanding the question.
  • What is the most difficult thing you've had to write about (assignment, self-imposed or otherwise)?

    Because I'm a dominant woman, I don't really get stories about dominant males and submissive females. I don't usually write them, but sometimes I challenge myself. Those are the most difficult stories I've written because I don't usually find them sexy. I have been successful with a few, though. One I'm very proud of is titled "The Day I Came in Public" and it's in Rachel Kramer Bussel's Yes, Sir.

    I've recently written another, although it's a bit different, which will appear in Xcite Press's Power Play, which I believe will be released in the Spring. That story, "The Uninitiated Bottom" is about a female top who's never bottomed before, but agrees to bottom for her mentor, a gay male top. I think it's a very exciting story and surprisingly hot.
  • Do you find that there's any major difference between how your male and female readerships respond to your work? Do men tend to look to your erotica for escapism, sensual inspiration or any other particular quality more than women, or vice versa?

    That's a really good question, and one, unfortunately, I don't really have an answer for. I don't get a chance to hear from that many readers. I'd say both genders look at my erotica as 'sensual inspiration' more than anything. A few submissive men have said that my novels are more extreme than anything they've done or thought they would like to do, but they find themselves riveted and really turned on.

    I think most people tend to read erotica for the "turn on" factor, but that men probably are even more interested in the, as you put it, sensual inspiration, and women might also read for the escapist value. But I have no scientific evidence to back that up.

    I also think that males are, generally, more visual than females and that if a man spends time reading erotica, when he could be looking at pictures online, he's not just looking to get turned on, but also to enjoy a good story.
  • mnc5051 mnc5051 1 user seconded this question.

    Do you write mostly for males or females?

    It depends on what I'm writing. I began writing erotica with The Melinoe Project. I'd set my sights on having it published by Virgin Nexus, which was published predominantly for a male readership. So I think I wrote it mostly for the enjoyment of men. But I knew it was really for a specialized readership of both genders. It was definitely a book I'd want to read, and I'm a woman.

    So, I'd say the bottom line is that each story I write is targeted for who I perceive is its perfect readership. If I write a story about submissive men and dominant women, I tend to target a male readership and if I'm writing about submissive women, I target a female readership. When I write lesbian stories, I'm writing for women. If I'm writing about vampires or scary, Victorian, female scientists, I'm writing for everyone. So, I don't suppose I can generalize.
  • Have you ever written a story that you ended up not liking? If so, why?

    I've been thinking about this question for a while now. There are stories that just don't work, and I usually either trash them or put them aside before finishing them, so I can't really count those. Of the finished stories, I can't really think of any I ended up not liking. Sometimes, when I read some of my earliest efforts, I cringe at the writing, but I don't dislike the stories, themselves.

    *I just looked through my files to see if there was anything that stood out as something I'd rather not claim ownership for, but I can't say there was. Hey, not too shabby!*
  • how do you feel about the current economic status of the country?

    It sucks!

    I watch more and more small businesses close every day. The lay offs have slowed but they're still happening. The whole country is beginning to look blighted.

    I can't believe some people are trying to blame the current state of affairs on President Obama. I was laid off for nine months--before Obama was elected. (I'm working again--for over a year, now.) It's amazing to me that one guy could pretty much destroy the world, yet we watched it happen. And that's a bit more political than I wanted to get...
  • In school, what was your favorite type of science? For example, I love studying viruses.

    I wasn't that big on science and math in school, but I did like chemistry in high school.
  • Do you ever feel like being an Erotica writer, that other published writers of more mainstream genres look down on you?

    Yes, it happens, but I wouldn't generalize and say all mainstream writers look down on erotica writers.
  • How did your family and friends react when you first started writing erotica? Do they even know?

    What does your family and friends think of your writing?

    My mother died long before I began writing erotica but I think she would have been really proud of me. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with her reading everything I've written, though.

    When I told my sisters, they were very supportive. I was pretty sure my father wouldn't particularly like it and I told my sisters not to mention it to him. One of them figured he'd be really proud to know his daughter was a published author and told him about it. I was right, he was "less than proud" and doesn't want to know anything about it. So we don't talk about it. It's a shame I can't share my successes with him, but that's life.

    I'm proud of the fact that my sisters think what I do has worth. One (the tattle tale, with the English PhD) thinks I write very well, so I'm satisfied with that.

    My nieces like my writing and I think they enjoy telling their friends they have a crazy aunt who writes erotica. And yes, they're over eighteen...
  • Did you have an interest in erotica before you started writing it?

    I'd read erotica, off and on, for years, but I don't know that I'd say I had an "interest" in it.
  • What do you enjoy writing about the most?

    First, and foremost, I enjoy writing BDSM. I probably have the most fun and prefer to write stories about dominant women and submissive men.
  • What are you asked most in your interviews?

    The most-asked question seems to be: Have you done all the things you write about?

    (And yes, it was asked--and answered, here, too.)
  • Has having so many careers helped you with your writing?

    All life experience is valuable to a writer. I got my first job when I was 16, selling concessions in a movie theatre. The hookers, on the stroll, used to come in to buy hot dogs for dinner.

    See what I mean?
  • Do you think you made the best choice by going into erotic writing?

    I'm not sure what you mean by "the best choice." I write erotica now and enjoy it. I might write something else at some point, but my writing erotica won't have any bearing on any other choices I might make.

    If you said to me, "Do you think you made the best choice by becoming a pro domme?" I might think of that decision in terms of my life direction, but not so much in my choice of the genres in which I choose to write.

    (And about the pro domme question--no, I'm not a pro domme, but I think it would have been a great choice. I'm just saying...)
  • On your blog, you discussed your Spank tour. I am relatively new to BDSM, so I was curious when you mentioned some furniture you have been lusting over. What are your most desired pieces?

    I was talking about spanking benches on that post. I can't get the picture link to work but here is a url that will take you to a page with a picture of a classic spanking bench (this, among lots of other designs, was in the dungeon at Floating World).

    http://www.dungeonfurniture.com/blackstallion.htm

    This company seems to have gone out of business, however. In any case, if you search the web for spanking benches or dungeon furniture, you'll see lots of things I lust after. It's all very expensive and not terribly portable and doesn't easily, or comfortably fit in a small New York apartment...
  • what is your favorite sexual position to write about and why?

    OK, I think I answered a similar question about this earlier, but I may have read it wrong. Sorry, if that was the case.

    Anal sex generally works its way into my stories--pretty much all my stories...
  • What aspects do you focus on when reviewing erotica? Do you find it very different from reviewing any other type of literature?

    I publish and edit a review site (Erotica Revealed dot com) but am not a reviewer.

  • What is your favorite erotic novel or story written by an author other than yourself and why?

    My favorite erotic novel remains G C Scott's book, The Passive Voice, followed closely by his, His Mistress's Voice.

    Scott's books were the inspiration for my writing erotica.
  • I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to ask a kind of out-there question. If you had to lose on of the five senses--taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight--which would you choose and why?

    This is a really tough question.

    I love fine food and wine, so I don't think I could go without my sense of taste. And I hear a sense of smell is very closely related, when we're talking about taste. Although, I think I could still enjoy flavors without the sense of smell.

    Sight is a sense I've always worried about losing. I create art and would hate to lose that ability.

    I think it would be between hearing and touch. I think I'd have to go with hearing, although it's safe to say I'd rather not lose any of my senses.

  • What is the weirdest question you have been asked, in your opinion?

    I think the one previous to this one might win that award, although I'd call it the oddest question I've been asked, not the weirdest.
  • I love your covers-they are beautiful. With a photography background, have you shot any of them? I know generally authors don't get much input on their covers. Does this apply to you also?

    Thank you so much! Although I really can't take the credit for most of them. You're right, authors seldom get any input into their cover designs. But I have designed one (Spank!) and shot the image for both the ebook and print edition of The Art of Melinoe (they're different) and The Marrying Kind. I also found the photographer who shot the cover image for The Melinoe Project.

    I'd seen his work and asked him if I could use some of it on my website. He agreed to allow me to use his images and then asked if I'd be interested in his shooting a cover sometime. I asked him to shoot the cover for The Melinoe Project and gave him a rough idea of what I wanted to see and I think he did a fabulous job. His name is Rod Hood and you can find his images here.
  • Mocha98 Mocha98 1 user seconded this question.

    Would you ever consider teaching a class at a BDSM event?

    Yes, I've been considering it, actually. Although I'm not sure what I'd like to teach. I suppose I ought to do a workshop on writing and editing erotica. But I wouldn't mind doing a CBT workshop.
  • Lif3sambiguity Lif3sambiguity 1 user seconded this question.

    Have you ever watched the L word on Showtime? Would you consider screen play writing a show that encounters the LGBT communities across the nation?

    Yes, I have watched The L Word. I watched the first three seasons, I think, and then it got a little crazy. I should probably go back and watch the whole thing. It was a fun show. (I was a big Shane fan.)

    I've never written a screenplay, but sometimes I think about writing for television. If someone wanted to give me the the chance, I'd probably take them up on it and really hope I didn't make a fool of myself!
  • mnc5051 mnc5051 1 user seconded this question.

    What are you doing when you come up with your ideas to write about?

    I come up with some of the most interesting ideas when I'm asleep--on the verge of waking up. But I've come up with ideas on the subway, driving in the car or just staring into space. Occasionally someone will say something that triggers an idea in my mind and I'll write it down and save it for later.

    I find I don't have a lot of luck trying to force an idea, though.
  • is it true you can never have to much detail when writing in general?

    I think too much detail can kill a good story. Some people are great with detail. Anne Rice comes to mind. the atmosphere and gothic nature of her work is all about the detail. I happened to love that aspect of her books, but many of her critics couldn't get past it to get to the story.

    I think writing with that much detail can often stifle your characters or overshadow the story. That much detail can easily turn into purple prose, as well.

    I'm a believer in just enough and no more. I like to let my reader see what he or she wants. I'll add what I feel is enough detail so the reader can start to see the person or place I'm describing, but can then add their own embellishments.

    Have you ever read a book and really seen the characters? Known exactly what the rooms looked like? And then been disappointed when you saw a movie made from the same book because things didn't look the way you thought they should?

    As a reader, I usually like my ideas better than someone else's. If there's too much detail the reader can't make the story their own. Unless, of course, you're Anne Rice.
  • What is your favorite sexual erotic to read?

    I like reading femdom.
  • Tucker Cummings Tucker Cummings 1 user seconded this question.

    What is the one setting for a story that you have been afraid to use/would want to research heavily before writing about?

    I don't think there's been a setting I've been afraid to use, but then, I don't go looking for things I don't think I can write.

    I often do a lot of research when I write. I like to get things as close to right as I can. If I write a character into a situation and don't know if it will work or how to describe it, I'll stop and do the research. If I find I'm wrong, I'll backtrack and do something else.

    I don't write historical fiction, as a rule, so I would assume my steampunk story required the most research--although I did an awful lot of medical research for The Melinoe Project. But the steampunk story required clothing research, in both China and England and research into early science in the field of electricity and electro-magnetic energy. That story is called "The Treatment," by the way, and will hopefully be in Carnal Machines.

    I think if I felt too woefully unknowledgeable in a field or setting, I'd think of something else to write.
  • what is your process of writing?

    I just sit down at the computer and go to work. I don't know that I have any particular process.

    I don't outline, plot or chart my stories. If I need to remember character names or colors or favorite sexual positions for a piece, I tend to scratch them down on Post It notes and scatter them on my desk. That's about as much process as I get into.

    So, I write, and then I rewrite and often I'll read a passage, or the whole story aloud to make sure it sounds right. I think that's about as technical with my process as I get.
  • Mocha98 Mocha98 1 user seconded this question.

    What is your favorite TV show/program?

    I think I talked about favorite TV shows before. I'm not sure I can narrow it down to just one, but if I had to, I think it might be Fringe.

    I was watching Tivo'd episodes of The Sons of Anarchy today, though, and thinking what an amazing show it is. So that one probably runs a close second. Favorite guilty pleasure? The Vampire Diaries.
  • Do you get ideas from things you might see on television?

    Actually, I don't think so. I use television more as an escape and entertainment. I'll often sit down to watch TV to turn off my "writing brain" after working for a while. Sometimes I see actors that inspire me, though.
  • Pandahb Pandahb 1 user seconded this question.

    How has the online community of erotic writers helped you grow? Do you think there is anything that you wish had been there but wasn't?

    I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing or be as successful at it, if I hadn't gotten involved with The Erotica Readers and Writers Association. First, ERWA gave me access to a wonderful group of professional and amateur erotica writers. They answered my questions and critiqued my work. They cheered me on and made me laugh. I've made some of the best friends I have on that writer's list, many of whom have stayed at my house--or I've stayed at theirs. Some of whom I've had great writerly discussions and gotten drunk with. I don't know that I'd have stuck with it without them!
  • Who has been the most inspirational person in your life?

    I don't actually have a most inspirational person. I'm not big on inspirational people. Sometimes I think I'm a sociopath, but I don't fit the definition in the DSM IV, so I guess not.
  • Sera Sera 1 user seconded this question.

    How did you feel about the aptitude test? I'm sure I might not remember back that far, but who knows, right? If you remember, what did it feel like? Were you offended at all by the thought of a silly test telling you what you're good at?

    Ah, back to the aptitude test.

    I wasn't offended because I felt I was telling it what I was good at, more than it was telling me. It was far too easy to manipulate it and I guess, at the time, I didn't see the value in being brutally honest with a test like that to see what would happen. I've always been kind of a control freak, rather than allowing myself to be controlled.
  • Mocha98 Mocha98 1 user seconded this question.

    If you were allowed 5 items to take with you on a desert island. What would you take and why?

    All right, here goes. I think these are probably boring, but...

    1) A knife
    2) Plenty of waterproof matches
    3) Fishing line and tackle
    4) A cooking pan
    5) Vegetable seeds

    As you can see, I'm all about food and survival. Building a fire is essential and if I had a cooking pan, it could also double as something to carry water in, although I thought about asking for a canteen, instead of vegetable seeds. But every time I eat a tomato (well, maybe not every time...) I think about how it would be good to have some tomato seeds if I were ever stranded on a desert island. Seriously. But you knew I was strange... And fishing's a given and I don't have long hair, so no hairpins to turn into fish hooks...
  • Favorite vacation spot?

    Bali
  • We have a little tradition around here...If you would be so kind, please complete the sentence: "Sex is.."

    The best thing ever!
  • Brendada Brendada 1 user seconded this question.

    Why are people so fascinated by Vampire sex???

    I think people are fascinated by the idea of immortality. The idea of stopping the clock at the best time in your life--the time when you were strongest, most alive, most attractive--and remain that way forever, is pretty heady stuff.

    The idea of immortal beauty, paired with extreme danger is pure sex appeal.

    Now, if you stop to think about it, vampires really shouldn't be able to have sex, being dead and all. I mean, how could they get hard? I'm just sayin'... But I don't want to get that technical because, well, that spoils the sexual fantasy and I really like the idea of vampire sex...
  • The Wishful Lamb The Wishful Lamb 1 user seconded this question.

    What do you feel about teenagers exploring their sexual side? How can we teach them to stay safe?

    Exploring sex is human nature. It's programmed into us. Teens have been doing it since prehistory; it's not something one can stop. Education is the key. Kids need to know how to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease. They need to know how to protect themselves from exploitation and how to empower themselves.

    I think defunding comprehensive sex ed in the schools was criminal. The idea that schools should only teach abstinence was an insult to our children's intelligence. Kids are going to have sex. Teaching abstinence might make them wait a year or two before they would otherwise have chosen to have sex--and maybe make them feel guilty about it, when they finally do. Teaching abstinence only is a great way to assure they don't have the tools to keep them safe from pregnancy and STIs.

    The point is, human beings are designed to have sex. Why does sex feel good? It feels good so we'll keep having it! We're actually designed to have sex starting shortly after puberty--that's the way the race can be assured survival. So, isn't it better to teach kids about it, before it's too late?

    Unfortunately, too many people are too embarrassed about sex and think it's something dirty, to be hidden away. They aren't able to teach their children. That's why I think teaching comprehensive sex education in school is so important. There's nothing wrong with teaching abstinence. I think it's a fine idea, as long as teaching the correct way to put on a condom is included for when a kid does decide to have sex.

    After all, we can't stop them. We're only kidding ourselves if we think we can.
  • Lif3sambiguity Lif3sambiguity 1 user seconded this question.

    Do you feel you have opened doors for future young erotic writers and bloggers? Would you every mentor someone who was interested in doing what you are making a career of?

    I don't think I've opened any doors for future writers, I've just written. If I've inspired anyone else to write, great!

    I don't always have enough time to mentor people but I try to help out as much as I can. I can't reiterate enough how valuable the Erotica Readers and Writers Association is to any new writer. If you're thinking about taking that step, you should really check them out!
  • what sets the mood for your writing?

    I don't need to have a certain mood in which to write. But if you mean, what sets the mood for each individual story, I'd have to say it's the theme, which comes from the particular call for submissions to which I've chosen to write.

    I find I can make just about anything funny, and depending on the mood I'm in at the time, that could happen. Most of my stories have at least some small bit of humor. I tend to laugh a lot during sex and think that should translate to my erotica, as well.

    Of course, not all stories are funny. "Perhaps a Worthy Offering," in the Circlet Press book, Like a Sacred Desire: Tales of Sex Magick, isn't at all funny. There are a few others that aren't particularly funny, but I find a lot are. Again, I don't necessarily plan it that way, it just happens. I like to let whatever happens, happen.
  • Sera Sera 1 user seconded this question.

    Who's your favorite person in the whole world? Who is your inspiration for writing?

    I've been thinking about this a long time and can't come up with an answer. There are a lot of people I'd place in the "exceptional" category but I can't come up with one, all-time favorite person. And I don't know that I have an inspiration for writing. Sorry.
  • mnc5051 mnc5051 1 user seconded this question.

    Are you working on anything new and juicy now?

    I'm always working on lots of things! I've just put out a call for submissions for a new butch/femme anthology titled Daddy's Little Girl. I'm expecting some really great stories to be forthcoming for that one!

    Carnal Machines will be released May 1 and I can hardly wait!

    I'm trying to finish a novel about a sex spa.

    I've got a few deadlines looming on a couple of new pieces, one of which is a lesbian erotic romance based on the zodiac sign of Taurus.

    There are a couple of other things on the back burner but I'll count myself lucky if I can just finish that novel...

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About Erotica author and editor, D.L. King

Occupation: Smut Writer
Achievements: Founder of the review site, Erotica Revealed. Editor of Where the Girls Are, Lambda Literary Award finalist, and other titles.
Current Project: Currently editing an anthology of steampunk erotica and will soon release a call for submissions for an anthology of butch/femme erotica. She is also working on a 3rd novel and several short stories.
Statement: Just your normal, every-day, femdommy smut writer from New York.
Publications: Editor of The Sweetest Kiss, Spank! & Where the Girls Are. Author of two femdom novels, her stories appear in Best Lesbian Erotica, Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica among others.
Education: MFA in Photography and Masters in Education—currently working in neither of those fields
Age: Definitely over the age of majority.
Editor’s note: D.L. is a fascinating and talented woman with a great sense of humor—which almost guarantees this will be a great interview!

Host

Tori Rebel

Tori is a sex toy reviewer and beginning sex blogger, fascinated by all things sexual, sensual, and artistic. When she's not obsessing over new sex toys or writing, she's well disguised as a full-time office worker who loves to cook, read, paint, and snuggle with her pet rats, Bowie and Ziggy.

Recent interviews

  • July 11, 2012 Fred Petrenko: "EdenFantasys Celebrates 10 Years of Sexy Innovation! " Read full interview
  • January 24, 2012 Sex Educator and Author, Ducky Doolittle: "Ducky Doolittle, an Author, Speaker, Educator, and Activist, has spent the last 23 years being on the forefront of sexual education. Why did she decide to become a sex educator? How did she come up with the title and content for her book? What does she plan on doing next?" Read full interview
  • November 15, 2011 Editor and Author, Delilah Devlin: "Delilah Devlin, an editor and author, has tried multiples careers in her life before finding her calling in writing erotica. What brought her into writing and editing erotica? Where does she get her inspiration for her writing? What's the hardest part about being a full-time writer? " Read full interview
All interviews