Before 50 Shades of Grey took the literary world by storm, not many people would admit venturing into the Erotica Genre. Where most people go wrong is in assuming Erotica is all these stories are about. Wrong.
These are novels that explore one of the most powerful driving forces of the human race: sex. It's the type of writing that raises many eyebrows and produces an alarming rate of "closet" readers.
What gave you the idea to write Erotica?
KCS: My brother kept Penthouse magazines under his mattress. I took a peek and just happened to come across their forum. The little stories were provocative to say the least, but they focused solely on the sex parts. I thought to myself, what if they really had a story to tell? Then I began writing, hoping to find enough of a balance. I think there's a difference between Erotica and Pornography. One turns you on, one doesn't. If you ask, most women are Erotica fans. They expect the male to be gorgeous and all, but when that character is intriguing and enchanting, it's much more exciting.
Erika's Chronicles was too short in my opinion, but that's by design, correct?
KCS: Yup, entirely deliberate. One of the remarks that stuck with me when I talked to my friends about other Erotica books was that after a while, the sex wasn't even interesting anymore. They just wanted to know what was happening. Realistically, no one can be turned on the entire time. We all have stresses, obligations, a job, and life just gets in the way. I took the risk of writing scenes that some may find over the top, however, the situations are more real than anyone is ready to accept. I also wanted for the reader to care for the characters. I felt a series of shorts was the way to go.
Speaking of characters, is there a real Sean O'Connor?
KCS: (grins) I'll say he's a collage of different men in my life. He's been a challenge to write. No one really knows exactly what to make of him, angel or demon. He's jaded, probably a little afraid, and absolutely insatiable when it comes to... you know. In many ways, I hoped to create a unique character, a man every woman wants, and every man wants to be. I've always hated when the male in a romance is so beyond perfect, but once I started writing him, I figured it was my right as an author.
In other words, he's your own fantasy.
KCS: Not just mine, trust me.
What's behind the pages of Erika's Chronicles?"
KCS: The consequences of retaining what makes Erika a woman in a profession where clinical detachment may work best. Maybe even a glimpse into issues no one has the courage to talk about. Unlike Europeans, Americans remain conservative and carry all sorts of inner guilt instead of exploring sexuality for what it is. In Erika's Chronicles, the taboos come out to play.
Does the general consensus that authors like you write "dirty books" concern you?
KCS: Not in the least. I love the fact that we enjoy freedom of speech. It took a long time to launch the series. I've taken a little hiatus to deal with some life issues, but I'm eager to get readers thinking, gasping or needing their significant others beside them. Most of all, I'm just looking to entertain readers.
In your genre, you do much more than entertain your readers.
One of the greatest accomplishments of the controversial 50 Shades of Grey was to bring Erotica closer to the mainstream. Erotica authors are incredibly brave. Admittedly many won't even use their real names on the byline, but like any writer, they have a story to tell that just happens to have that extra spice.
Miss Sheridan contacted me, looking for an advance reader for her series. In an effort to give back to aspiring authors, I agreed, and actually enjoyed the short novella, (the first of the series)and not for the, naturally assumed reasons.