I really enjoy the thrill of sitting down to a new project and starting with a fresh page. There's always such a great opportunity to try new things with a fresh piece of paper.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a series of novellas called "Tears of Eros" as well as some essays and a handful of short stories that I'll put up for free on Smashwords. "Submission" will actually be the first published volume of "Tears of Eros" (though it isn't actually the first in the series, that's another novella called "First Loves" which has yet to be finished).
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to list here. I like Anais Nin, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Sir Richard Francis Burton, the Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
What is your writing process?
I write whenever and wherever I have the time. I work two jobs in addition to my academic position, and I do a lot of volunteer work, and so I usually compose on the fly, with a notebook, laptop or even my iPhone serving as the receptacle for my words.
How do you approach cover design?
I like minimalist covers which can create a sense of arousal and even panic in some viewers. I am a very big fan of the Olympia Press covers of the old day, or of the plain white cover of "The Story of O" used for most American editions. Something about the sparseness of that cover just magnified the scandal of that book in my mind. It didn't need naked women, didn't need whips, didn't need blindfolds--it was just there. The legend advertised well enough. I take photographs of my friends or of singular objects and try to make them less the focal point of the image than a sort of after-thought to the minimalistic colors that constitute the rest of the covers. I like washed out images of people blending into a solid color, and so I try to keep that as a theme with all of my design work.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of philosophy and political science. (Submission starts with a quote from the Stoic philosopher Epictetus.) I enjoy reading radical thinkers like Zizek and Emma Goldman, as well as reading very dense works like Wollstonecraft. I really love Samuel R. Delany's writing, and right at the moment I'm enjoying reading the works of Franz Fanon for my one class. I keep re-reading the "Song of Solomon" because it is one of the finest examples of erotica I've ever encountered. I also regularly read the New Yorker and New York Times as well as several major LGBTQ papers and magazines
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I prefer paper books, but I do have the kindle program on my computer.
Describe your desk
My desk is a complete mess with drafts, books, tissues, pieces of fruit, review copies and a cup of tea. My husband says that I have the desk of a scholar--it's complete chaos.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I always wanted to explore the BDSM culture in the gay community, and when my friend requested that I write an erotic story for her birthday, I decided this would be the place to start. "Submission" grew from that story.
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