Please note that the links on today's post are NOT work safe or appropriate for young impressionable or old uptight readers.....
Today Sheena chats with Romantic Heretic, Drinking Buddy and Smutmeister Extraordinaire: Rob Graham.
Sheena: Hey Rob. Congrats on the upcoming publication of your first book. This erotic literature thing is going really well for you, how did you get started?
Rob Graham: That’s a long tale. I’d been creating stories for years, but as a gamer. I liked role playing games, mostly as the Dungeon Master or what ever it’s called. So I was used to creating plot, settings, and conflicts. Wrote stories on occasion but very rarely. I drifted away from that a few years ago. So I was looking for a new creative outlet.
I’d been spending a lot of time at Literotica.com, for just the reasons you think. The site had a bulletin board connected to it and I started participating in a sub-forum called ‘The Author’s Hangout’ figuring I’d meet interesting people there. I was right.
Neat. But... you weren't an author, were you.
No. After a couple of months I started to feel guilty. So I decided to do a story with an idea bouncing around my head. I sat down and wrote it. I posted it with the title "Fatima".
I got a lot of positive feedback for it. So I wrote some more. And kept getting more nice feedback. I enjoyed it so much I kept on writing.
There are a fair number of published authours at the Hangout, and they were pushing me to publish. Eventually they browbeat into doing so. I was rejected the first couple of times, but they kept pushing and I kept trying. Finally I was successful.
So, any particular favourites you'd like to share with SheenaVision?
I have several favourites, depending on the category. I occasionally indulge in what I call ‘Short Pieces of Smut’. Just short little stories for no other purpose than to titillate the reader.
My favourite in that category is "Bed of Roses"
Heh heh... Rob said "Titillate".
My favourite in the romance genre is "The Orange Slip". This one is interesting because it’s one of those rare romances written from a man’s point of view. What inspired this is interesting as well.
Oh? What was the inspiration?
I was working at The Distillery District and went into the The Blue Dot Gallery. Saw this picture. This picture really struck a cord. It is, to me, a very erotic picture. I started wondering “Who is this woman? Who is she smiling at? Why?” Answering those questions eventually grew into the story.
J.T. Winik is the artist, hmm... I like her stuff...
Sometimes I like going into areas that I’m not entirely comfortable with. "Librarian" is the best of these.
The piece that means the most to me though is, "I Can’t Have Her" The woman who inspired this died last year. She was 36.
I'm sorry to hear that, Rob. I remember you talking about that when it happened. Very sad.
On a cheerier note, tell us about "In The Dark".
It is an anthology of vampire stories I wrote over the last year, posted on Literotica. They share a story arc of a vampire, Georges Belleveau, the woman he fell in love with, Diane Patterson. The stories received a lot of good feedback and developed a following through the whole series.
The first story I wrote, Abyss, I entered in the 2005 Halloween Contest at Literotica. It won. A damn good trick considering there were over 160 entries, and some entries were by great writers. More importantly, those same writers commented on how good Abyss was. That's when I started to believe my work might be of publishable quality. And I got very caught in the main character. I kept wondering what happened to him after the first story. The ideas just kept coming and I just kept writing them down. It’s a lot of fun.
How can people buy the book?
They can go to the Aspen Mountain Press site, on the ‘New Releases’. It will also be available at Fictionwise
But why Vampires?
I’m fascinated with power, it’s as simple as that. They are very powerful and erotic creatures. They’re also the most human of the supernatural monsters. This allows me to explore both power and humanity.
My vampire, Georges, is also very restrained and responsible. He has to be. If his power is let loose, people die and in an unpleasant manner. He knows his power is only a relative thing. If it’s discovered what he is, he’ll be destroyed, if he’s lucky. So he’s careful.
And again, emotion drives him. He likes people and not just for dinner. When his power and dark nature get the better of him he feels a lot of guilt. Just like humans should do.
Oi! I should shut up now, or you’re going to get a looooong lecture on ethics and history.
Ok, you can pontificate on that topic over beer next time.
I remember once you said it was much more difficult to write a piece for a female audience than male, why do you think that?
For a lot of men, in my opinion, sex is pretty much a physical thing. So it's pretty easy to write for them. Putting ‘Tab A into Slot B’ as we refer to it in the smut industry.
Ha ha. You make it sound like Ikea Furniture.
(several hundred words
describing a blow job, missionary position, doggy style and perhaps anal)
See? Too easy. But a lot of guys get off on that.
For women you need the whole shebang. You need characters. You need plot. You need conflict. You need emotions. You need the sex scenes to be richly described.
So, for guys, you need only involve the head. The head at the other end. With women you need to seduce them, draw them in, engage them. It’s not even a head thing, it’s a heart thing. A good erotica writer catches a woman’s heart.
Even if you’re chaining her to a table and teasing her with vibrating toys for an hour, or two.
That's really sweet, Rob.
Where's my Sheena story, anyways...
Working on it.
Cool. See you soon. Good luck with the book sales. I hope you hit the Valentine's Day rush.
Thanks, Sheena. It was a pleasure as always.