Here’s an author interview from Piper Mackenzie. Take it away, Piper…
- How did you start writing erotica?
I began reading Mills & Boon romances in my teens, and the more I read the more I became attracted to the racier stories. I became a bit disillusioned as time went on, and I realised that each of them followed an incredibly similar pattern, so I stretched out my feelers and found a whole range of paranormal romance which entertained me for a while. Eventually (quite by accident) I found myself reading erotica, after the initial shock I realised I quite enjoyed it and have been reading it between young adult novels for some time. When I began writing, I wrote only young adult novels. I never really thought about writing erotica until recently, when I realised I could have fun writing a short story which I could finish quickly and not have to stress about writing 75,000 words. It was instant gratification. I approached Sara Pierce, a friend and fellow erotica writer, for advice and with her encouragement (and the lovely people over at eroticaforum.net) I worked on it a bit and decided to publish Thank Me Tomorrow.
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
It would have to be Thank Me Tomorrow, because it’s my only published work. I’m planning on remedying this shortly (I have a story with my lovely beta-reader right now) so this answer may change soon.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
My current favourite would have to be Tawny Taylor, but I enjoy many others including Gia Blue and Kelly Haven.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From books I’ve read, stories I’ve heard and pictures I’ve seen. I’m not exactly sure of the primary source, everything just gets mixed together in my mind and spat out onto the paper.
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
I don’t consider anything I do particularly unusual… I tend to just sit down and go for it.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
It depends what I’m writing. If I’m writing my young adult novels I like writing in cafes. I can’t do that when I’m writing erotica, I get nervous and flushed, worried that people are going to be peeking over my shoulder and judging me for what I’m doing. Erotica gets pounded out in the office.
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
Scarlet from Thank Me Tomorrow. She only has a small role but she’s confident and knows what she wants. I’m contemplating writing her a story of her own.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
My boyfriend knows that I write erotica. He doesn’t mind, he laughed when I told him. I haven’t told anyone else except for a few choice online writing friends and my two oldest ‘real’ friends. Telling my two friends exactly what I was doing was actually really entertaining, they wanted to read and offered to proof the stories too. One had tried her hand at erotica in the past (although hadn’t told me about it).
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
Career? I’d say it was careers. I changed my mind constantly. I wanted to be a ballerina, a fashion designer, a lawyer, a zoologist, an actor, a model, a casting director, a personal trainer and so many more things… I always enjoyed writing, but never thought of it as a valid career path.
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I’ve found that wrapping up in my big blanket with plenty of snacks nearby helps, although I still have to force myself into the mood half the time.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Your readers don’t want your characters to be happy until the very end. Make your characters miserable and make them find a way to the finish line.
- If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
I don’t often have that problem with erotica because the stories I write are rather short so I generally have the whole thing mapped out in my head. With my longer stories I find it helps to take it step by step, with at least a basic outline. If I’m not sure what to do I generally try to think of the most hideous thing that could happen and make everything go wrong, before trying to piece it back together bit by bit. If that doesn’t work I try writing something else for a while.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
Dominic, oh yes, I think he is the one I’d choose. I’d be even happier if he came with James 😉
- Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
J.K. Rowling. I was glued to her books for ten years. I carried them everywhere and read them over and over. She probably had just as much stake in how I turned out today as my parents… Well, not quite but you know what I mean.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I’m not really picky tbh… As long as something is entertaining I can appreciate it.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I’m beginning a brand new series of erotica short stories featuring a book club writing their own stories.
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
I’m currently in the middle of NaNoWriMo, I don’t know if I’ll ‘win’ but I’m going to damn well try.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
I don’t know if any feeling will top completing the very first draft. The sense of achievement was immense!