Here’s an interview with Josephine Myles.
Find out what she had to say…
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
First Impressions – I worked on that short story compulsively until I didn’t think I could improve a single word. I also loved the turnaround when the narrator realises the bloke he’s been obsessing over isn’t remotely like he’s been imagining – but in a good way!
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
K.A. Mitchell writes steaming hot gay romances and I aspire to write as well as she does. I’ve also enjoyed stories by Penelope Friday, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Kay Jaybee, G.R. Richards and Rob Rosen. And Jordan Castillo Price, although she seems to be moving further away from the erotica these days, is an all time favourite author.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everyday life – the little details in overheard conversations and furtive glimpses of things I probably shouldn’t have seen. I’m one of those people who’s always spun “what if…” stories in her imagination, so inspiration is absolutely everywhere.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
On the sofa in my parent’s spare room. It’s on the first floor of an Edwardian house with huge, south facing bay windows. It gets bloody cold when the sun isn’t shining, but I huddle up with a hot water bottle and a blanket. It’s not only more peaceful than my own house, but there’s no wireless internet there, so I can’t get distracted by the web!
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
It would probably have to be Dan Taylor from my novel, Barging In (to be published in September): he’s a born optimist, outrageous flirt and shameless hussy. It was fun watching him fall in love despite himself.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
Yep, they all know. My parents were accepting as I’ve always been a bit odd and they’re used to me coming out with bizarre things. My husband is supportive although he does want me to spend less time at the computer! The usual reaction from straight friends is a request to write some het or lesbian erotica as they don’t want to read about men getting it on. Screw ’em. I write what my muse lets me, and he seems to be obsessed with men loving men.
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
I wanted to be an astronaut for several years until I realised you had to be a scientist and at peak physical fitness, neither of which particularly appealed. I think I just loved the idea of floating around in zero gravity.
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
Reading over the last thing I wrote and pouring plenty of tea into myself. Looking at saucy pictures can be inspiring too… although I don’t really need an excuse to do that!
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
You have permission to write a crap first draft. It’s far better for me to just get the words down, then come back and redraft obsessively until the prose is as good as I can make it. My first drafts are riddled with clichés, missing beats and have severe pronoun confusion in the sex scenes. Pronouns are the bane of my life – especially on those occasions I decide I really have to write an all male threesome…
- If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
I make a cup of tea of course! I’m not saying it helps, but I do love tea. I’m less likely to get writer’s block than I am to be frustrated at not having enough peaceful time to write in.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
I think it might be Steve from First Impressions. He’d be like the living embodiment of my muse, and I’d love to meet him. I do love characters who look perfectly respectable, but who are wild underneath.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
Definitely contemporary gay erotica, although I am very fond of menage stories too. I do like a good helping of romance with my erotica, but I don’t like it to be sappy. I’ve been reading more BDSM just lately, although I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel up to writing anything too heavy. The power dynamic is fascinating, though.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just started a novelette called Tailor Made, which needs to be finished by September if I’m going to make the submission deadline. It’s a first-time, college based story starring an uptight textiles student and an outrageous art student. I’m going to have to throw myself into that one over the next month.
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
I think that’s got to be the novel. It’s taken me about a year, although that has been while working at another job and churning out a fair few short stories while I was at it. I never thought it would take this long, but it was worth spending all that time redrafting as it’s ended up much stronger.
I definitely succeeded because it was taken on by my first choice publisher: Samhain.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
It has to be editing two anthologies of LGBT short stories (erotic and otherwise), British Flash and Tea and Crumpet. I had this recurring thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if someone put together an anthology of writing by some of our talented UK writers, to help promote our annual GLBT fiction Meet?”, then realised that if I wanted it to happen, I had to make it happen myself. Fortunately my friends Alex Beecroft, Charlie Cochrane, Clare London and JL Merrow agreed to help edit, and lots of generous authors gave their stories for free. I’m so proud of the results!