Today I have Maxim Jakubowski on Erotica For All, as part of his month long blog tour to promote the release of his latest novel Ekaterina and the Night.
Find out what Maxim has to say…
- How did you start writing erotica?
It feels as if it was the moment I was born. But, seriously, somehow an evident form of eroticism was already present in the science fiction I wrote when still a teenager and it quickly spilled over into all my later writing, irrespective of genre and category. I insist on making my characters credible and, as a result, they cannot escape the spider’s web of sexuality which has always surrounded me and, surely, everyone, or am I an exception?
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
It always has been the most recent book to date, in this instance EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT. That is, until I begin the next book. And so it should be; we should all strive to improve endlessly until we drop dead. I identify strongly with its characters, as much the female ones as the central male and somewhat hapless protagonist, and I find their plight physically painful and sometimes wish I wasn’t so hard on them.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
I will refrain from mentioning current practitioners. As an editor highly active in the field, I can’t highlight any personal favourites. But amongst deceased authors or writers who are no longer active Michael Perkins, Paul Mayersberg, David Meltzer, Pierre Bourgeade, Florence Dugas, Pauline Reage, Jeanne de Berg, Francesca Mazzucato, Isabella Santacroce, Leonard Cohen even, if only for certain chapters of BEAUTIFUL LOSERS.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everything, everywhere and everyone.
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
I always begin writing early in the morning on an empty stomach with loud rock music playing, usually drinking Coca Cola from the bottle.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
Ideally my desk, in a room on the first floor of the house with a window that overlooks the garden and its green lawn, apple and pear trees and frequent visits by squirrels and pigeons and with the two buildings at the back of the garden that house much of my book collection at the heart of my personal landscape. But every 5 years or I migrate to a different room for a period (it’s a large house).
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
All the female characters who represent improvisations on women I knew, alone or in subtle carefully encrypted combinations. Ekaterina, for example, has appeared in one novel and several short stories, albeit under a different name on every occasion, although I know who she truly is. Or sadly, was.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
My wife reads what I write and keeps her sage counsel as to the stories’ share of reality and fiction. She actually is not bothered by the explicitness. My children, however, have always carefully avoided reading most of what I write and publish.
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
To be a bike racer in the Tour de France and later to be a bass player in a rock n’roll band. Sadly, writing was the only realistic choice (although I spent years in the export business thanks to my languages and later as an editor in the book publishing business).
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I procrastinate as long as I can on every new project and then pull up my braces when the deadline begins to loom dangerously out of control and I buckle down and work like a slave in a Roman galley. I have never missed a deadline in my life and take great pride in that fact, even if it means working almost 20 hours at the keyboard for 7 days a week to achieve my aim. Actually, I know that I function well under pressure, so it all works out in the end. Anything for a challenge.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Don’t talk about it. Just write.
- If you get writer’s block, how do you get around it?
I’ve never had writer’s block. Just lengthy periods of reflection in which the next books and stories were just going round and round in my brain until I had the right grasp of the idea.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
Again, Ekaterina, which of course would mean bringing someone I have great affection for back into my life.
- Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
None. I have met all the people I admire (and many I dislike too). But working as editor for William Golding shortly after he’d been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature was a great lesson in humility as he always such a generous and easy-going person and so impervious to fame and truly modest. Another idol and close friend was J.G. Ballard who passed away two years ago and miss terribly both as a person and a writer.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I just call it erotica, regardless of the sub-genre I fear. But I must confess to be awfully wary of much of what is labelled as erotic romance, though.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I’m spending 4 months working on translations before I take the leap back into fiction, having exhausted myself with EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT. I’ve just completed translating MONSIEUR by Emma Becker, from the French, an admirable 600 pages novel by a young French author who is only 21, a daring autobiographical work which I discovered and convinced UK and US publishers to take on,. And am about to begin a shorter translation of a French crime novel for Little, Brown in New York. Then the time will come to start my next novel. It will be titled DEFINED BY ABSENCE and will probably be preceded by a few new short stories, which is the way I ramp myself up for a new full-length book. But I never talk about works in progress in any detail.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
Every new story or novel is always like a new mountain to climb, and the day before I type the opening line, I am often in despair, unsure whether I will conjure the old magic up again. I’m by nature a deep pessimist and am always amazed when I manage to complete any new venture. As to whether I have really succeeded, that’s up to my publishers and readers to decide. I am probably the worst possible judge of what I have achieved. Modestly, I feel it’s very little, but all the book are there on the shelf (or on amazon) so what can I say? A book I’m still rather proud of is CONFESSIONS OF A ROMANTIC PORNOGRAPHER.
Lolita meets Story of O, another memorable tale of love, sex and feelings from ‘the King of the erotic thriller’
When Ekaterina meets Alexander a shockingly sexy but tender romance develops.
She is a young Italian trainee journalist, who dreams of wild sexual adventures. He is the older Englishman who she believes can fulfill her fantasies. When Ekaterina is sent to interview the ageing writer Alexander in London, she is blinded by his charm and experience. Their relationship explodes in a sensual orgy, which defies society’s acceptance.
When a mysterious angel of death who calls herself Emma enters their lives, Ekaterina and Alexander know their days together are numbered.
A shocking climax set in Venice in winter brings the three protagonists together.
A tale of sex and tenderness that ranks alongside Jakubowski classic The State of Montana.
MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI worked for many years in book publishing as an editor (including titles by William Golding, Peter Ackroyd, Oliver Stone, Michael Moorcock, Peter Ustinov, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Paul Ableman, Sophie Grigson, Marc Behm, Cornell Woolrich, etc…) and launched the Murder One Bookshop, which he owned and ran for over 20 years. He now writes, edits and translates full-time in London.
COMMENT TO WIN!
Courtesy of Xcite Books, three lucky winners can get their hands on a copy of Ekaterina and the Night in their choice of paperback or digital format. (International entries welcome)
Simply leave a comment on this post to win. Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the tour, because the more comments you make, the more chance you have of winning! Go here to see the blog tour schedule.
PLEASE leave your email address in the body of the comment. No email address = no entry. Winners will be drawn and contacted on the week ending 11th November 2011.