Interview with Serafina Conti

Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many! I love ancient and medieval authors: Homer, Ovid, Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, Chaucer, Shakespeare. Among later authors, Jane Austen is a favorite: a shrewd and funny observer of the mores of her time and a wonderful romance writer. Dickens and Charlotte Bronte are amazing. Moderns: Neil Gaiman, Tana French, Ursula LeGuin, Suzanne Collins, Iain Pears—any author with a sparkling style, a twisted imagination, and sympathy for the human condition.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Anticipation of my first cup of coffee. I get up at dawn every day, leaving my late-sleeping husband in bed, turn on the coffee maker, and sit down to write. I can get a tremendous amount done before anyone else in the house is awake.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I read reviews, talk to friends, and listen for hints on social media. I find that hearing what others have to say about a book is a much better predictor of a good read than reading the blurb or admiring the cover art. That said, you should totally be swayed by my blurbs and cover art!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was about eight or nine, I wrote a story in the style of Edgar Allen Poe. Its style was very florid, it dripped with blood, and I'm quite sure it was perfectly dreadful. I'm so awfully glad it's lost forever. Next I wrote a story about a little girl who cheats on a test and gets caught. That won a fiction prize at my elementary school, which shows what wretched critics the judges were: the story might have been worth reading if the girl had turned herself in instead of getting caught.
What is your writing process?
I start with some person, place, image, or plot device. For "Olivia & Owen," a graveyard I visited years ago haunted my memory till it finally came to me what kind of story wanted to be set there. Sometimes it's a person I've spotted on a bus, in a coffee shop, or on the sidewalk: someone with an interesting face that suggests a story. For "The Abduction of Aria," the horrible premise of the story came to me out of the blue; I only learned later that something like it had been done in the "Hostel" movies. I usually don't know where a story's going to end till I've written a good bit of it, and I often have to try out two or three endings till I find one I'm satisfied with.
How do you approach cover design?
I know I'm supposed to hire a professional, but this is such a low-margin business—for the time being I'm doing it myself with the help of the cheapest stock images I can find. I want a cover to suggest the emotional content of the story, not the narrative detail. Aside from that, well, the title needs to be big and my name visible.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mysteries, romances, fantasy, a little horror. I'm not too picky. Oddly, though I write erotica, I don't read it much. Maybe I don't want my own fantasies to be invaded by anyone else's, or maybe it's that other people's fantasies tend to be different from my own.
Describe your desk
A total mess, with papers and books in random heaps, a telephone I don't answer when it rings, defunct hard drives and other hardware I've never gotten around to throwing out, pencils and pens, dust bunnies, and in the middle of it all a small cleared space just big enough for a laptop computer.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a leafy suburb where the homeowners pretended they lived on country estates. It was an easy place to grow up, and I was raised by gentle and kind parents. So naturally many of my stories feature people damaged by really unspeakably horrible childhood experiences—as if I were saying to myself, "If I had to be really screwed up, how would I like to be screwed up? What traumas would I like to have suffered?" I guess I like to imagine myself far less lucky than I actually am.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is in the process—getting out of my own life and into someone else's, being someone else for the time it takes to write a story. Not that there's anything badly wrong with my life, mind you—but I like to escape now and then, and I find escape to a place of my own making much more enjoyable than escape of any other kind.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm not sure I have any fans! But when I hear from readers, what makes me happiest is to find out that my stories moved them in some way—to laugh, to cry, to sympathize with someone else's condition, or to find an echo of their own lives in those of my characters. Oh, and since I write erotica, it's enough to hear that I've turned them on if I can't get any of those other responses.
Published 2016-07-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Julia and Mr. Page
Price: Free! Words: 50,610. Language: English. Published: January 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM, Fiction » Erotica » Erotica Anthologies
Born to wealth and privilege, Julia Lindstrom suddenly finds herself broke and abandoned. In desperation, she answers an ad placed by an eccentric gentleman looking for a sex toy and is soon immersed in the New York kink scene. Follow Julia through these two novellas as she explores the limits of her need to submit and discovers a strange new love in the world of doms and subs.
Manhattan Kink: A Boxed Set
Price: Free! Words: 153,890. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM, Fiction » Erotica » Erotica Anthologies
A collection of two novels and a novelette set among New York’s wealthy kinksters. Follow the amorous adventures of the consensual slave Emily, who yearns for love and pain, her frenemy the humiliation slut Pipit, and a respectable and eminent chemistry professor who discovers her submissive side.
Olivia & Owen
Price: Free! Words: 15,050. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » General, Fiction » Erotica » Historical
(5.00 from 1 review)
An anthropologist stays with her brother in the Virginia hills while investigating reports of a pair of ghosts—a brother and sister born on the same day in 1908—who haunt a secluded graveyard. As she observes the couple and establishes communication with them, she makes discoveries that will change her own life, and that of her brother, for all eternity.
The Polyerotic Reader: Seven Group Sex Stories
Price: Free! Words: 65,830. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Menage/Multiple Partners, Fiction » Erotica » Erotica Anthologies
A collection of three novellas and four short stories, each featuring at least one group sex scene, the number of participants ranging from three to twenty-two. Most of these pieces are lighthearted, and some are even romantic; but beware! some are dark and disturbing. Things can so easily get out of hand when a woman finds herself alone with a roomful of hungry men.
The Abduction of Aria
Price: Free! Words: 29,210. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Romance, Fiction » Erotica » Action/Adventure
A troubled twenty-three-year-old is kidnapped on her way to a rave, hauled across the country in bonds, and delivered to a remote desert shack to be a sex toy for a mysterious millionaire. As the true horror of her situation becomes clear to her, she finds herself developing feelings for her captor. Can love bloom in this parched wasteland?