Here’s an author interview with Nena Reddy. Take it away, Nena…
- How did you start writing erotica?
I started reading/inhaling romance novels when I was thirteen-years-old, and discovered erotica when I was fourteen. I wrote my first erotic romance short story when I was sixteen and didn’t know what to do with all that was surging through my body. Writing what was in my head was a way to deal with all of the commotion inside, and it was exciting to see the characters and stories come to life.
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
Horrible when someone asks you to throw any of your babies under the bus, but if I must, I will have to say that Tia’s War might be my favourite so far. I love Tia as a character, and all of the struggles she’s facing as a bi-species female in her world. She has such a lovely mix of strength and vulnerability. But, also, I think I began to find my erotic romance voice by the time I got to her story. For Kessa’s Pride, I was writing more or less what the editors and publisher wanted, and with Sehra’s Honor, I rebelled somewhat. But by Tia’s story, I’d developed some of my own muscles in the genre.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
I love so many authors! Just off the top of my head, I will say Suleikha Snyder, Solace Ames, Nalini Singh, Alisha Rai, and Jade Lee are among the faves that come to mind.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Most of the time I have a story – or at least the nugget of the story already fully formed in my mind. Then I roll up my sleeves, “go in”, and begin to flesh out the details as I write the narrative.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
At my kitchen table when the kids are gone and I have quiet, delicious, alone time!
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
Since I write YA fiction as well, they know what I do, but they do not know the erotic romance bit. I keep the two separate because I have some rather young readers for my YA novels and I don’t want anyone exposed to anything they don’t want to be exposed to, or aren’t ready for. It’s also to protect the tender sensibilities of my “nearest and dearest,” to be honest. Don’t need anyone keeling over just yet.
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
Several shots of whiskey will do it. Just kidding! Actually, it’s more boring than that. Usually, I just get back into the story. I get into the heads of my characters and their thoughts and feelings propel me through the story. But if I haven’t started a story yet, I watch movies that are old faves, like Sliding Doors, or Two Moon Junction, or I read the works of favourite authors. That usually gets me excited about writing again.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
“Just write.” I hate that tip, and I’ve unfriended people who’ve told me that (re-friended them later, when I was less bitter), but it’s the horrible, god-awful truth. The best writing tip is, really, to stop procrastinating and just write – no matter how pathetic or intolerable the drivel is that you’re seeing come out on the page. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re getting something onto the page.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
All of my male leads! Because I’ve created them in my own image of perfection and they’ll do exactly as I want. *grin*
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I love paranormal and fantasy, historical, and anything to do with the spiritual and/or sacred. I’m not sure why I gravitate toward these particular genres, but I wonder if it has something to do with wanting to be whole…and these genres, either directly or indirectly, tend to incorporate themes of spirituality, politics, social and economic issues, and power dynamics.
- What are you working on at the moment?
An erotic short story with two politically opposing main characters. I’m living in the midst of Trump’s America and I think it’s fascinating some of the discourse we’re having. I also know that this kind of tension in the streets can make for some of the hottest scenes in the sheets.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
All of my novels! They’ve been both my biggest challenge and my biggest achievement because I’ve written them with children to attend to, a divorce raging all around me, and all of the financial and emotional challenges that go with those two. I am extremely proud that I’ve managed to simply wash my hair in the midst of all that, let alone pen a few novels. 🙂