I’ve said this time and again: writing sex is hard work. Every romance author I know has struggled with drafting love scenes, making sure they titillate without sounding corny. When I read Dr. J’s bio and found out she was a professor of human sexuality, I knew I had to have her on the blog!
Hailing from the Atlantic coast, author Dr. J started her career teaching sex. Now she spends her evenings writing about it! Her first foray into fictional writing was as a contributor to Women On Top, a collection of erotic short stories (FREE on Kindle, FYI!). Her latest project is Forever Tattooed, a tale of a steamy romance rekindled after time apart. Read on about Dr. J’s NaNoWriMo project, her writing influences (which may surprise you!), and how she applies her academia to her erotica.
Hi, thanks for agreeing to this interview. In a few sentences, tell us a little about yourself.
Eliza, thank you so much for including me in a spotlight! Who am I? I am a former condom packer, sex educator, sex therapist, and college professor of human sexuality. I live an island life on the Atlantic coast. When I am not writing, I play petanque, knit, and supports all the visual and performing arts of the area.
How long have you been writing?
It feels like I have been writing academically forever. However, I’ve been writing erotic fiction for just one year. I took an erotic writing course with Rachel Kramer Bussel, the editor for Best Women’s Erotica, and I haven’t looked back.
Why did you decide to become a writer?
My college students suggested I write erotica as a new medium for sharing what I know. Because sexuality is an integral part of my life, I didn’t want to give it up. Having spent my professional years in field of sexuality, if I was going to write, then romance and erotica had to be the genre. I can still lend “permission” to my work.
Tell us about your latest project.
Being so new to the field of writing, I was tickled to be invited to become a writer with eXecssica publishing back in August. I just finished my first short story for them. It’s called Forever Tattooed. Before I was asked to join eXecessica, several erotic writers banded together for a perma-free anthology called Women on Top. My short story, Topping You, is included there.
Who is your ideal reader?
My ideal reader is anyone who interested in exploring the world of sexuality in his/her own life and mind. I write across the continuum of sexuality that includes many combinations of people and sexual activities. I write with a focus on permission.
How do you create your characters and build your worlds? Are you a planner or a pantser?
I consider myself a PLanster. I have a plan which is the backbone of a story idea and then the pantser in me comes in and takes over.
Who do you consider your literary influences?
My literary influences are diverse. First, I love Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer. I read it over and over to enjoy all the themes she ties together. My favorite of Geraldine Brooks is People of the Book. Her movement of the ‘book’s’ story through time is magical. Roger Rosenblatt wrote Unless it Moves the Human Heart and he is my go to for inspiration. In erotic writing, Anais Nin is my queen. I was lucky that my aunts were writers so I was surrounded by creation everyday growing up. That was inspirational before my writing even began.
~I write with a focus on permission.~
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest thing about writing for me is having enough time to get all the ideas out of my head and on paper.
Name three of your best writing tips.
- Structure is a key component for writing. Know yourself and plug in specific times during the day that work for you to write.
- Get it down on paper, first. You can always edit. Don’t let the story or characters slip away.
- Stop writing in the middle of a scene. It is a lot easier to slide back into the story and write from that vantage point.
What are you working on now?
I am using NaNoWriMo 2016 to create an erotica science fiction series. Using my background is as a Sex Therapist and Sex Educator, I am addressing a question regarding sexual desire and body function with sexuality research. I am also completing my first novel entitled Pleasure Buds. In this story, sex educator/researcher Dr. Indigo Lang lands her dream job to create positive sexuality education in a small conservative Florida town. However, to win over the community, she must form an unexpected alliance that risks her heart with hot pharmaceutical CEO Everett Jordan Lea.
What are you currently reading?
I’m eclectic in my reading. Books serve different purposes for me. For romance, I’m reading Rebecca Brooks. Modern Sexuality by Dr. Michael Aaron is a read to keep my finger on the pulse of sexuality culture change and new research. Beards is an anthology I am reading, whose theme is all about the bearded man and is a fundraiser to benefit the Movember Foundation.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I would tell aspiring writers to get out of your own way and just write. One word at a time is all it takes. The pace will come to you. Enjoy it.
Thanks for joining us today. Readers, feel free to stalk this sexy author at the following links:
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