Thursday, 31 July 2008

Interviewed by Victoria Blisse

Recently I was interviewed by Victoria Blisse for a workshop she runs. Here's my answers to her questions.

How did you start writing erotica?

I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Back in secondary school, I used to love getting story-writing as homework in English lessons. I even started writing a novel when I was 16. I didn’t finish it, but that’s not the point. (It was about six teenagers given super powers by an alien in a last ditch attempt to save the planet from other alien invaders, since you didn’t ask)

I turned my hand to erotica when I was around 23-ish. I’d been reading a lot of “sex stories” (as opposed to erotica) on the Usenet, particularly alt.sex.stories and thought “I can do that”. So I did.

As you can imagine, at that age I had lots of other distractions (I still have lots of other distractions, the chief of which is a three-year-old monster that my wife assures me is my son) so I didn’t really write that many stories. It was only after I joined a writers groups called The Fishtank (http://www.desdmona.com/fishtank.php) in spring 2004 that I started to take this writing business seriously. By the end of the year I’d plucked up the courage to submit a story for publication. I’ve sold 14 short stories since then, a whole bunch of “flash” stories (less than 300 words) and had two novellas published by Phaze. I’m currently working on a novel (70000 words and counting) and I’ve got more shorts and two other novels sitting in the back of my head waiting patiently to be written.

Do you use British Spelling in your writing?

Yes. I can’t be having with all those ‘z’s and I do love a good ‘u’. Besides, my stories are set in the UK. Well, most of them are. There’s on set on a train from Rome to Paris, but the main character was a Brit. The only exception was Lost & Found which is set in America and so it seemed appropriate to use their spellings.

Why do you think Brits are cool?

We just are.

What, you want more? Okay, here’s a list…(deep breath)

James Bond, Aston Martin, E-type Jags, Oasis, Blur, Lilly Allen, Robbie Williams, Dame Judy Dench, Alan Rickman, Harry Potter, Huge Grant… I mean Hugh Grant, David Beckham, Shakespeare, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Jammie Dodgers, Doctor Who, Overpaid footballers, Men Behaving Badly, Wimbledon, Lara Croft… Do I need to go on?

Are Brits more open-minded about Erotica than their American counterparts or not?

I don’t know. And I think it would probably be a huge and stereotypical generalisation to try and say if they were or not, which ever side of the argument you came down on. I think people are people and they are all different, regardless of what their nationality is.

Spanking is the English Vice, do you think the Brits only like spanking stories?

Well they’ve never done anything for me, I must admit. Mind you, I can think of one or two girls in the office I wouldn’t mind putting over my knee – but that wasn’t what you asked, was it.

Share some of your favourite slang words and what they actually mean.

Oh, my fave has to be Bugger. It’s such a great word. And you can say it with such passion or tone it down and have it still carry the same meaning. See Hugh Grant in Four Wedding and a Funeral for the best cinematic usage of this word. Oh course, Bugger, actually means anal sex.

The Dog’s Bollocks is a great slang phrase. Sometimes it gets mutated into The Mutt’s Nuts which is just as good. I’ve no idea why this reference to canine testicles means ‘really, really good’ though. Perhaps it’s something I should Google.

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