Here’s an author interview with Van Roberts. Take it away, Van…
- How did you start writing erotica?
It all started when I flicked through Judy Blume’s Forever to get to the good bits, then I discovered my parents’ copy of The Joy of Sex and then Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller. It was an old-fashioned introduction but I loved reading about sex – and it carried on from there. That’s why I started Little Raven Publishing.
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
I’d have to say Suomi. It’s the story of a woman who goes to Lapland on a mission to fulfill a fantasy she has about sex in the Arctic Circle. I had a lot of fun researching how you would actually have sex in freezing temperatures. I had been to Santa Claus Village in Finland and set the story there.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
At the moment – Tobsha Lerner, Sera Gamble, Tsaurah Litzky.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Sex, life, the Little Raven writers and the events we put on. There are a lot of people in Melbourne doing interesting, erotic things.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
I have a writing space at home with natural night and no internet connection. I lose myself on YouTube sometimes.
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
In my story Me and the succubus (got a good thing going on) a shy Kung Fu fan, Shelley, discovers that she is a succubus and sexy, funny shenanigans ensue. I enjoyed writing Shelley because she was irreverent and I could imagine having a drink with her.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
Yes. My family is supportive and quite amused by it; I think they enjoy telling people what I do. They don’t read my work, which I can understand. I don’t want to think about my parents having sex and vice versa!
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
A National Geographic photographer or a Criminologist.
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I sometimes struggle to get in the mood to write, so I just make myself do it. The mood usually follows.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Keep it simple – the power of succinct writing.
- If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
I find exercise or moving is good. If I’m stuck I get up, walk around, sometimes have a dance and get back to it.
- Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
I’d love to chat to Junot Díaz. He doesn’t write erotica but his writing is beautiful and the man himself is rather attractive!
- What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on an article about erotica vs. porn writing for a publication, also a screenplay and an erotic radio play.
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
Creating a publishing house was a big challenge, writing or otherwise. We are small, so our achievements are not about money. We’ve been able to create a sense of community for writers and readers of erotica in Melbourne and Australia. I want to extend that to the rest of the world. As for writing, my biggest challenge is a series of short stories I’m writing about Mexico – we’ll see.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
My biggest writing achievement is getting a short story published by Lingua Franca, part of Australian radio.