Interview with Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Published 2014-04-24.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Two things. I started out as a publisher of other writers' eBooks, back in 2005, when I was the head of the Erotic Authors Association and was looking to publish truly transgressive books of high literary quality that no traditional publishers would touch. I moved into publishing my own work when most of my publishers folded in the turbulent financial crisis of 2007. I have to say that I really like the ease and speed of self-publishing. I also really like the ability to create my own cover art. For two decades, it didn't matter what I wrote about, publishers almost always stuck stock photos of girls in their underwear onto the covers. Nothing wrong with girls in their underwear, but I was always writing about things that were way more complex than that but you'd never know it by the cover! I have also always believed that literary erotica should be treated the same as any other literary genre. In the realm of indie publishing, that vision has finally come true.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is truly the greatest thing that has happened for authors, ever. We have control over our content and how it is presented to the world. We can publish a book in an afternoon instead of the 6 months to a year or more scenario that is common with traditional publishing. The royalty rate is much higher and we get our money faster. And with Smashwords, our books reach pretty much all the available outlets for eBook sales at once.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is my source of sanity. It is my connection to God, to my higher self, and subsequently, to all of humanity. Writing helps me to reach people, to help heal people, to cause people to think, to cause other people to feel joy. I am happiest, most content, when I have nothing on the calendar to do but write. It helps me define myself, which helps me understand other people a lot better, and also get closer to God.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans have given me a lot of joy and have helped me feel like my voice matters in the world. I do not always write about easy topics, but I have discovered that life is not often easy for people! Nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than to get a note from a reader telling me that something I wrote helped them get through a difficult time in their life, or simply gave them something to smile about while everything around them was causing them a lot of stress. Either way, my readers help me feel a sense of purpose.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on TV series about an African-American family struggling with their Christian faith in the turbulent social climate of Cleveland, Ohio in the 1960s. I am also working on screen adaptions of Freak Parade, Twilight of the Immortal, and Neptune & Surf. My next book project is a memoir titled, At the Edge of God.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite fiction authors are F. Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Oscar Hijuelos, William Faulkner, Hunter S. Thompson -- among many. My favorite non-fiction writers are Jane Roberts and Dr. Raymond Charles Barker, along with a bunch of religious stuff.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My connection to God and to Christ and that feeling of joy that I'm alive; that is what gets me out of bed each day! And a bunch of cats wanting to be fed.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I am studying the history of Christianity as well as the nature of reality and the Universe, as I understand it. I never stop studying or thinking, or thinking about what I'm studying! I also like to stream movies on my iPad, mostly murder mysteries. And also the old Jack Benny radio program. But my ministry is probably the most important thing in my life right now.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Frankly, people write to me and ask me to read their eBooks. Otherwise, the eBooks I read are historical treatises on Christ or Christianity that are in the public domain. Fascinating stuff.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was really little, I wrote a lot of songs and little plays. Then, when I was 11, I wrote a short story for school. It was some sort of science-fiction/fantasy type thing about a little girl who goes blind and somehow goes into outer space. It was very popular with my classmates, but I remember my teacher being really mystified by it.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is to get my butt in the chair and sit at my desk and then STAY there. Staying there is often the hardest part because a large part of the writing process is sitting and staring at nothing, and that can drive me nuts. Once the writing starts to flow, though, nothing can tear me away from it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book that I read on my own and remember loving a lot was Harold and the Purple Crayon. Looking back on it, the story has such a great message about the mind and the nature of creativity. How simple it really is to create things that delight us, or frighten us, or rescue us, or protect us. As we get older, society encourages us to make that kind of thing really complicated, but it isn't. We have to grow up and then re-learn that the nature of creativity is actually really simple; creating the good as well as the not so good. I still own the book. In fact, I have quite a collection of children's books that I still really love. And Harold and that purple crayon still delights me.
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Books by This Author

The Muse Revisited Volume III: More Early Erotica
Series: The Muse Revisited. Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 37,190. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
Volume Three of a three-volume specially priced set of early erotica by award-winning erotica writer, Marilyn Jaye Lewis.
The Muse Revisited Volume II: Erotic Novellas
Series: The Muse Revisited. Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 99,590. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Literary
Volume Two of a three-volume specially priced set of early erotica novellas and longer works by award-winning erotica writer, Marilyn Jaye Lewis.
The Muse Revisited: Volume 1, Early Erotica by Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Series: The Muse Revisited. Price: $2.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 29,310. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Literary
Volume One of a three-volume specially priced set of early erotica by award-winning erotica writer, Marilyn Jaye Lewis.
Freak Parade
Price: $3.99 USD. (Free until July 31!) Words: 128,260. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2010 . Categories: Fiction » Erotica » General
(4.60 from 5 reviews)
Independent Publishers Silver Medal Award-Winner for Best Erotica! A literary mix of scorching sex and heady romance; Eugenia Sharpe & Eddie Ramirez take one wild ride through New York City as they learn all about love.