Here’s an author interview from [intlink id=”357″ type=”post”]K D Grace[/intlink].
Find out what she had to say…
- How did you start writing erotica?
I’ve always written fairly graphic sex scenes in my fiction, and it was always one of my favourite parts of writing, never too difficult for me to do. So I decided to send off a short piece to Scarlet Magazine (sadly now defunct) three years ago. They took it. That was the beginning.
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
My novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly. I love it not only because it’s my first novel, but I love the characters and the story, and I also have fond memories of writing it. Of my shorter pieces, I’d have to say it’s a toss-up. I love my story, ‘[intlink id=”774″ type=”post”]Pheromones[/intlink],’ which has recently run on EFA, but was originally published in Erotic Review. It’s the story of a woman who experiences the world through her sense of smell. And I love my story ‘Vegging,’ which appeared in Cleis Press Best Women’s Erotica 2010. It’s a story of vegetable thievery, in which the punishment very much fits the crime.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
Jeremy Edwards, Justine Elyot, Charlotte Stein, Kay Jaybee. Those are just a few of my favourites. There are lots of others, and lots I’m sure I still haven’t discovered yet.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I like to take clichés and twist them, and there are so many clichés to twist in the world of sexuality. We’re inundated with clichéd images in television, in movies in magazines, everywhere. They all contain a grain of truth, but in and of themselves they’ve become overused. I like finding what actually drives that cliché and using it in a different way.
I’m also inspired by mythology. The Initiation of Ms Holly is a modern retelling of the Psyche and Eros myth. A lot of my stories have a mythological seed at their core.
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
I walk my stories. In an ideal world, I would always have a long walk before I begin to write. Not always possible, of course, but when I am able to walk before I write, the results are always good.
I don’t write to a word count. I never have. I tried it once for NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago and I turned into the Evil Bitch from Hell. However much I get done each day, that’s how much I get done. Some days, most days, I write a lot of words, some days not. Otherwise I write wherever I am for as long as I can and when I get tired, I stop.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
I love to write sprawled on the recliner in my lounge looking out the big window at the back garden and the veg patch and whatever birds are congregated on the feeders at the time.
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
I have to say Tino from my story ‘On Keeping Pets’ from the Black Lace anthology, Sexy Little Number Best Women’s Erotica.. I love Tino because Tino is so much more than he appears. And because Tino bridges the gap between the world of his unusual sexual proclivities and his life in the real world so flawlessly. I’m hoping that Tino will appear in future writings because he’s just so much fun to work with.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
Everyone knows what I write. I’ve never kept what I do a secret, and because I’ve always written vivid sex scenes even in my non-erotica, I think no one was particularly shocked. People have either been pretty accepting or at the very least not confrontational.
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
I wanted to be a space explorer like on Star Trek, or a secret agent like Emma Peel. Now I can do both on the written page.
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I’m seldom not in the mood to write. It’s more a matter of getting myself in the mood to do the boring non-writing stuff in my life. If I am stuck, though, I go for a walk.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
A writing teacher in university once told me to go to the place in myself that was the most painful, most frightening, most disturbing and write from that place. He said that from that place, the writing would always be good. It’s not about the incident, but about the emotions those uncomfortable times in my life inspired and all the issues born of those experiences. I’ve found that to be the best advice I ever had.
- If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
I usually try to just keep writing, even if I feel like it’s crap. Often the pushing through opens up a lot of places in the unconscious where the good stuff is stored away. If that doesn’t work, I go for a walk.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
It would have to be Tino because of his innocent, non-judgmental approach to sex and because of his ability to be completely in the moment and totally in his body.
- Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
I would love to have met Marion Zimmer Bradley. I think her novel, The Mists of Avalon is one of the very best novels ever written and a watershed for telling the archetypal stories through female eyes. In her Darkover novels, Marion Zimmer Bradley created a world where she often experimented and played with sexuality. Coming from a very naïve small town background, sex on Darkover frequently made me uncomfortable, and that was often the first step to a better understanding of sexuality. Reading all those Darkover novels is probably, in part, why I can write about sex so comfortably.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I love voyeurism. Sometimes what other people are turned on by may not turn me on, but the idea of watching people who are turned on is always arousing. And watching is such a deliciously guilty little pleasure. It’s so forbidden, so invasive in a non-invasive sort of way. I think there’s something really hot about getting what you didn’t pay for, so to speak, while no one else knows you’re getting it.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I’m laying the groundwork for my next erotic novel. I have a couple of short stories that are in my head but haven’t found their way to paper yet. Hopefully soon. And I’m about halfway through a mainstream romance with a paranormal edge. So much to write, so little time!
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
Getting published the first time. I was thin skinned, terrified, and had no clue what I was doing or what I was up against. And because I had never been published, it was hard to GET published. It was not an experience that was good for my fragile little ego. I could paper the walls of our house with my rejection slips, and that’s not even counting the electronic ones. Strangely though, the more rejections I got, the more invested I became. Good thing I was tenacious.
I did succeed. I finally got published, and it really was easier after the first time. On some days it feels like I’ve paid my dues and I can play with the big girls now. On other days I still feel like a beginner. I guess in a way that’s good. It keeps me honest and keeps me sharp.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
Getting published felt like the biggest achievement, but having The Initiation of Ms Holly published, holding my own novel in my hands for the first time, after so much hard work, was truly an amazing experience. I could happily repeat that experience – often! I think the reason it feels so damn good is because I know how hard I worked, how much went in to getting me from that first rejection slip to my first published novel. And, it’s such a rush to know I created something fun, something that people enjoy.