Here’s an author interview from [intlink id=”869″ type=”post”]Fulani[/intlink].
Find out what he had to say…
- How did you start writing erotica?
I wrote a few short erotic scenes and stories that were a prelude to real-life bdsm scenes. I’d write something and send it to a play partner to read before we played.
In 2007 I came across a call for submissions to Erotic Review magazine and thought ‘why not have a go?’. They published my piece ‘The Phenomenology of the Whip’ in January 2008 and I have pieces in there three or four times a year now. That led to writing for Xcite, who have my stories in anthologies and some as stand-alone publications. At the same time, I began work on something that just grew until it was novel-sized. Given the theme, I thought it would work well for Pink Flamingo. Fortunately they thought so too.
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
The favourite is always going to be the one that isn’t yet published, the one I’m writing at any given moment. I’d like to think I’m getting better as I go on.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
Oddly enough I don’t read a huge amount of erotic fiction though I’d like to mention a friend of mine, Sharazade, whose excellent collection of short stories Transported came out a short while ago.
Mainly I read contemporary, fairly experimental literature – and it’s interesting how much sex is there and how edgy some of it is. Thomas Pynchon, for example, has sex scenes in some of his writing that are so strong I doubt any editor of erotica would want to take them.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everywhere. Places I’ve been, art I’ve seen, conversations I’ve had, dreams… I once went to a writing course where the key speaker pointed out that ‘inspiration’ can also mean ‘breathing in’ – if you can breathe, you can find something worth writing about. And it’s true.
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
I so want to say that in order to write, I first carry out a ritual that involves calling up several succubi and having depraved sex with them. But that would be a bit limiting so it’s just as well I walk from the bedroom to the study, turn my computer on, and go for it.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
My study (or, as my partner calls it, ‘the pit’) is certainly the most convenient. I have reference books, internet access, all my work-in-progress files and easy access to coffee. But I can and do write anywhere once a piece is flowing – I just take my laptop and get on with it.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
Friends know – but then almost all my friends come from the fetish scene and are pretty tolerant people. As to family – I don’t see family that often, don’t discuss my erotic fiction with them. But even though I use a pen-name I don’t try that hard to protect my anonymity and some of them probably know. They’ve chosen not to make a big deal of it, either in a positive or a negative way!
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
To be honest, I don’t remember. I was a sickly kid and often at home ill, so I read a lot. Apparently I had an over-active imagination – I probably wanted to be an alien and pilot a UFO. Or become a philosopher. Or a writer.
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I’m a professional writer; I publish science fiction and horror under another name, and to me writing is something more than a job – my partner tells me it’s more like obsessive-compulsive disorder. So it’s not a question of whether I’m in the mood to write, just what I’m focusing on at any given time. That’s usually a function of which deadline is coming up next.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
There isn’t a single one, but three that are equally important. The first is that in order to be a writer you must actually write, and keep going until the piece is finished. The second is that the first draft has the same relationship to the finished product as a block of stone has to a finished sculpture. It needs to be worked on to get it right. The third is maybe the most difficult: if you want others to read your work, spend a lot of time investigating the market and finding the publishers most likely to take your pieces.
- If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
Work on something else for a while. A block is usually because there’s something in a story that’s not working the way I want it to, or with a story I’ve just started, because not all the elements are in place and I’m missing some characterisation, or motivation, or setting. By turning my attention elsewhere I trust that my subconscious will supply the details, or some random event – a chance line in a conversation, something on the news, or the other thing I’m working on – will trigger a chain of thought that will give me a solution. It always does.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I’m at the tail end of a story cycle of a dozen erotic stories all involving the same half-dozen characters in different situations.
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
The biggest one is always the next one… so I don’t know whether it will succeed…
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
In terms of erotic fiction, I’d have to say ‘The Phenomenology of the Whip’, which came out in Erotic Review magazine in 2008. It was the first piece of erotic fiction I had published, so it was the one that gave me the sense that ‘I can do this’ and the confidence to keep going. It didn’t, strangely enough, start out as ‘erotica’ – it was a thinkpiece with roots in a particular type of philosphical method, and quite experimental.