Here’s an author interview from Eve Sophie Shackleford.
Find out what she had to say…
- How did you start writing erotica?
I love playing with my lovers via e-mail and we were sharing stories, chats, etc. I was getting good feedback and so I decided to give it a shot. Having received a master’s degree in creative writing, the mechanics were already there, I just had to train them on my favourite pastime, sex.
I tried a few stories out on friends and fellow writers. When they came back with sheepish grins, I knew I was onto something!
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
I could be vague and say “all of them.” I think I will because that is true. But, I’m currently most enamoured of my growing Cecile series – particularly part one of Czech Mate which I just finished. Cecilie’s a hot-blooded midwestern girl who is traipsing through Europe after college (university.) In Czech Mate, she meets Angus who is the main character. I take his point-of-view for this story.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
Steve Almond comes immediately to mind. While he’s not a traditional erotic author, he does write a lot about sex. I also love Milan Kundera, who showed me the beauty of erotic literature while I was still a teenager.
Both of those are considered more literary or mainstream, but reading them led me to where I am today.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m inspired by a lover I took on a year or so ago who showed me how the pure carnality of sex, the pure animal lust of it, could bring me closer to a person. I always drew a distinction between “making love” and “fucking” – one was tender and real, one possibly shameful. I found that getting to the raw animal of the act was where the liberation was. So, that fuels my writing. By getting real and totally explicit, I set a part of myself free.
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
I’m pretty boring. As an American, I love my coffee and I use a few cups to get me going. I am also writing all of my erotica on open-source software. I don’t know why I chose to do that, but it creates a boundary between my erotic literature and the rest of my life.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
My desk sits in a window overlooking the Western Ridge of Portland. I watch rain and grey skies roll in from the Pacific. At the end of the day, I might be lucky enough to see a spectacular sunset.
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
I think Cecile must be. I love her more with every page. She’s young but sassy, unafraid to take what she wants. The opposite of myself at that age. LOL!
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
Oh, no! I was raised in the Deep South where ladies do proper things like keep their mouths shut and have sex missionary style. Nothing against missionary, but there’s more to life!
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. After many false starts, I think I’m finally on the path to making a living at this. I’m so grateful to the new technologies which offer me the chance to go directly to my reader. I feel my writing is strong and is ready to reach an audience.
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I see it as work. I sit down and get to it. Writing erotica is such a pleasure and I love sex so much that it’s hard to not be in the mood.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Robert Olen Butler has a book called, Write from Where you Dream. That title pretty much sums it up for me.
- If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
I push on. If a story is giving me fits, I start a new one. If a particular paragraph won’t budge, I find another to work on. I can always write. It may be that certain projects demand more time to marinate in my mind, but there’s always something I can work on.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
I think my most recent male character, Angus, needs to come to life and spend a few weekends with me! LOL!!!
- Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
I love meeting anyone who writes. That said, I would like to meet Milan Kundera. He has so much to say about writing and was such an inspiration to me when I was in high school and ever since.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I prefer more literary erotica. I like to see where sex plays in the larger scheme of a character’s life. Of course, I don’t always write like this, but I do aspire to the literary. My most recent instalment to the Cecile saga, Czech Mate, has more literary elements.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I’m writing the next part of Cecile’s adventure with Angus. I’m also working on a Young Adult novel, though that is purely literary and the sexual overtones will be accurate for the characters.
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
Writing from the point-of-view of a man was a daunting challenge. I didn’t have confidence that I’d be able to do that. But, I’ve known enough men and I know myself, so I took a chance. I think it was a success.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
I once wrote a literary story and I printed it out and left it on the kitchen counter. A girlfriend came by with her unruly 12 year-old boy. He meandered off while we talked. I assumed he was torturing the cat or burning the shed out back. After a while, he came running in to the room with my story and insisted that his mother read it. The look of sheer pleasure at having read a story that I saw on that young boy was an achievement far beyond any I can imagine.