My wonderful followers here at TDNC gave me some terrific questions to answer yesterday, via my #askmeanything campaign. I thought it would be nice to share them, as not everyone reads through comments.
My soul sister Kat, from KittyKat’s Bits and Bobs kicked us off with:
“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
I do, yes. Though I think sometimes we don’t realize it’s love till third or fourth or fiftieth sight.
She followed up with another great one:
“How would you differentiate between porn and erotica? Is there a place for both or is one favourable to the other?”
For me, personally, I see erotica as a combination of human emotion and sex. I always want my reader, no matter how explicit the material, to want to know more about the person experiencing the things I’m writing about. I think pornography is sex without that emotional connection. Porn gets the body off. Erotica gets the mind off.
B.B. from Human Interest asked: “Have you ever written an erotic post that was really about an experience of yours but you had used a pseudonym instead?”
Yes, B.B., I certainly have. But more accurately, there is some part of every single thing I’ve written that I’ve personally lived. There is one piece in particular, taken completely from experience, but I’m not tellin’ which it is. 😉
Kimberly from Words4jp asked: “what sparked your interest in writing – in general and in the genre of erotic works?”
Writing just happened, through constant journaling as a teen. But what made me want to write was reading the books of James Lee Burke, Anne Rice, William Faulkner and T.S. Elliot. Anne Rice inspired the erotica side… coupled with a need to express things I was feeling at the time. My writing is still a catharsis for things I go through in my life that I don’t know how to deal with otherwise 🙂 And, I have an intense love of words, and how the fit together.
Shane asked: “What steps did you take in high school to expand your writing skills?”
I was homeschooled, so I think, that I had the complete freedom to explore creative things went a long way in making me what I am today. So if you want to write, write! But sound, fundamental knowledge of basic grammar and composition, and a healthy vocabulary, will also help you in the long run.
Gail Fae asked:
“Are you ever influenced by any of the erotica greats? eg: Anais Nin? If so, which ones?”
I’m not sure if I’m directly influenced by them, but definitely am inspired by Anais Nin and Anne Rice (she wrote some erotica under a pen name, though I find all her writing very sensuous). I think my writing is more influenced by non-erotic writers, like James Lee Burke, Robert B. Parker, Catherine Cookson, just to name a very few. 😉
She followed up with another great one: “I had better strike again quickly while you are still taking questions. ….what a wonderful opportunity you have given us! I lead a double life: my day life where I am a parent, spouse, friend, professional. Then I have my other life: erotica writer, online friends and readers. The two lives can never intersect. How do you manage? Does your inner circle of family and friends know you are an erotica writer and how does that play out? I would love to have a friend in RL who did that but I know how those in the conservative society in which I love would react!”
This is the tough line we walk in a world where ladies don’t talk about sex, right? And yes, I am from a very conservative, religious background; like you, my two lives cannot intersect. So I manage by writing under a pseudonym. My husband is the only one who knows, but that is a secret, too, as he is on the web as himself! It is hard, because when you’re passionate about something, and good at it, your instinct is to share it with your loved ones. My family does recognize me as a writer, and I do write more mainstream and censored fiction from time to time that I share with them. So it’s a balancing act, for sure. It’s the main reason it has taken me 20 years to establish myself as an erotica writer… I don’t feel completely safe even under a pen name! 😉
“Many of us that write blogs are not considered writers. That doesn’t stop us and we all get better as we go. SO…my question is: How and when did you know you were an actual “writer”?”
I suppose I was first called a writer at 19, when I won a poetry contest. That was 20 years and a lot of practice ago! But I think I’ve thought of myself as a writer since my mid-teens. I looked at the people around me and realized pretty early on that not everyone can express themselves through the written word. It was something that always came naturally to me. You make a good point about blogging and writers. Whatever your ‘outlet’ writing is writing, and you’re right! We do get better as we go. Blogs are an excellent way to hone skill; even at this stage of the game, TDNC has done wonders for developing my own skill, just by getting me back to writing regularly. Because practice makes perfect. And feedback and criticisms are also excellent tools for growth.
So many thanks to everyone who participated yesterday!