Here’s an author interview from Jeffe Kennedy.
Take it away, Jeffe…
- How did you start writing erotica?
I always read a lot of erotica and thought I could write it well, though I felt shy about taking that step. I wrote an erotic essay quite a few years back and published it with an online magazine under a pen name I’ve never used again. It felt like my little secret. And it got great responses. Then I’d always had a yen to write the Beauty & the Beast story with all the dark sexiness *I* saw in the tale. That became Petals and Thorns, possibly one of my fastest sales ever.
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
I’d have to pick my novel that’s coming out in July. (It’s currently being re-titled.) I’ve been working on it for a long time and I really love the story and the hero. It’s about a neuroscientist who accidentally ends up in Faerie – and in a complicated political and romantic waltz with Rogue. He’s manipulative, sexy, charming and impossible. I’m ever so fond of him.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
I love the classics: Pauline Réage, Anaïs Nin, A.N. Roquelaure. I go back to the them a lot, to see what they did that makes their work continue to resonate.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I have a rich fantasy life. 😉
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
I think I probably have the usual ones. I’m a fan of writing at the same time every day, which is mornings for me. I do wear the same thing to write in and then I change clothes for my day job. If I’m feeling stuck, I listen to certain music. The soundtrack to The Mission has been a long-time favourite for coaxing myself into the writing frame of mind.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
At my desk. I have an amazing view. Being in the same place, too, is part of my ritual.
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
If I’m picking from only published (or soon-to-be published work), I might have to say Misty from Feeding the Vampire. She’s a very different person than I am, but I just love her plucky attitude. She feels like a friend.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
I am tremendously blessed in the support of my nearest and dearest. My husband thinks it’s great. My mother tells all her friends to buy my “dirty books.” There are more conservative people in my extended family, but so far they’ve politely declined to say anything and I make an effort not to throw it in their faces.
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
I totally wanted to be an exotic animal veterinarian. Wouldn’t Zoo Vet be the greatest job ever?
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
Music, if I need it. Mostly I make myself start writing and don’t leave it to mood. I’ve found that if I wait to “feel like writing,” then it doesn’t happen.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Write every day. I didn’t like the advice and I resisted it for a long time, but it truly works. If you write every day, it becomes a habit and you don’t have to think about things like getting in the mood to write.
- If you get writer’s block, how do you get around it?
I really don’t get writer’s block. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing, but my daily writing plan takes care of that. I write whether I’m feeling it or not.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
Ooh, interesting question. It might be Rogue, just because I find him so interesting. Then again, he might be pretty dangerous to unleash on the world.
- Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
I really, really wanted to meet Anne McCaffrey, because I grew up reading her books and they meant a great deal to me. I was sad to hear she died and that I won’t ever meet her now.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I love BDSM and other forms of power play. I’m fascinated by the interplay of power in personal relationships. And I think it’s hot. 🙂
- What are you working on at the moment?
I’m writing a follow-up to Sapphire that I’m calling Platinum. Different characters, but a similar theme.
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
My second novel is kind of a departure from the other things I’ve written. My CPs describe it as complex and cerebral. The editors and agents say it would be difficult to market. So, right now it’s sitting in a drawer. I’m not sure whether to call it a success or not. I wrote the story I wanted to write, but if it’s not publishable, is it a success? The jury is out, I suppose.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
There are so many ways of measuring writing achievements. The awards are lovely. Getting fat royalty statements is fabulous. Having people tell you that they loved what you wrote is always one of the best parts. If pressed, I’d have to say that getting the offer on my novel coming out this summer felt like the biggest achievement. I started the book in 2006 and have rewritten it many times. I outlasted rejections on it and stuck with it because I believed in the story. I’m proud of myself that I didn’t give up on it and that I did what it took to make the novel work. I just finished line-edits with my editor and I can see what a better book it is now. It’s a great feeling.
Through good luck and healthy cowardice, Misty has survived the earthquakes that have torn the world apart, but has no skills to speak of. Or so she thinks. She does have blood, and someone must feed the vampire who has offered his protection and strength in exchange for sustenance. Feeding Ivan is a priority, and Misty finally serves a purpose. But when she awakens tied to his bed, an unwilling gift to Ivan from the townspeople, she discovers he has hungers other than blood. Hungers he expects her to satisfy in the most carnal manner. Under his seductive persuasion Misty discovers she has the power to sustain Ivan in all ways, while experiencing unspeakable pleasure herself.
Jeffe (pronounced Jeff- ee) took the crooked road to writing, stopping off at neurobiology, religious studies and environmental consulting before her creative writing began appearing in places like Redbook, Puerto del Sol, Wyoming Wildlife, Under the Sun and Aeon. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow (2001), was a Wyoming Arts Council roster artist, when she lived in Wyoming, and received the state’s 2005 Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award for a woman writer of exceptional talent in any creative writing genre and the 2007 Fellowship for Poetry. Jeffe has contributed to several anthologies, Drive: Women’s True Stories of the Open Road. (2002), Hard Ground (2003), Bombshells (2007) and Going Green (2009). Her first book, Wyoming Trucks, True Love and the Weather Channel was published by University of New Mexico Press in 2004. An erotic novella, Petals and Thorns, came out under her pen name of Jennifer Paris in 2010, heralding yet another branch of her path, into erotica and romantic fantasy fiction. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and frequently serves as a guinea pig for an acupuncturist-in-training.