Friday, November 07, 2008

Writing that touches

Jeremy Edwards

Gosh, what a week! After all the delirious excitement, I'm delighted to round it off by kicking off Writing that Touches. And I'm overjoyed to have Jeremy as the first in this new series of interviews. Reading his work always brings a smile to my face.

So let's go!:

Why do you write?

Writing has always been a natural--and available--way for me to be creative. And creative expression is, in turn, my favorite productive activity--the one most important to my happiness. (N.B. I said "favorite *productive* activity." Sex doesn't count as productive--at least not if one takes certain precautions.)

I'm motivated to write by this inner urge to create, and a desire to (hopefully) make something original that I'm proud of, and that I myself can enjoy. But I admit that I'm also motivated by external factors--an audience for my work, opportunities for publication, etc. I'm a bit of an extrovert, and I definitely get a thrill from having my writing out there dancing in front of strangers.

My specific creative goals in writing usually boil down to (1) trying to be comically witty, or (2) (most often, these days) trying to be artistically arousing. Engaging other people's erotico-literary appetites is a challenge I relish.

Is there something in particular that you'd like to express?

For me, writing erotica is largely about celebrating the sexuality of intelligent, charismatic, compassionate, sensuous, laughter-loving women. That's what appeals to me as a person, and that's what shows up time and again in my erotic imagination. And my goal is to make literary love to such characters (often, though not always, with the assistance of a sensitive-male character who appreciates the things I appreciate, but who is slightly taller and can hold his liquor better) using evocative, seductive language. I love words, and I love using them to arouse, to convey the details and the flavors of the sexual scenarios in my head--hopefully in fresh ways.

I'm also specifically looking to create scenarios that are joyous. I want to entangle myself in the web of relationships among beauty, pleasure, desire, laughter, camaraderie, love, and fun. Dining, drinking, and dancing. Table tennis and shuffleboard and volleyball. (Sorry, I seem to have gotten off track here. But the cruise was lovely, and you must come over and see the slides some evening.)

What is the most successful piece or work you feel you've written, and why?

I could probably answer that in a couple of different ways, according to what type of "success" I focused on. But in one sense that comes to mind, I think a story of mine called "Slightly Ajar" might be what I'd consider my most successful. Readers who follow my exploits will know that I sometimes explore a kinky fascination with women who indulge in erotic forms of, um, peeing. "Slightly Ajar" (which originally appeared in F is for Fetish and is appearing again in the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 8) is perhaps the story in which I most extensively depict the psychology behind that fascination, as the protagonist couple awaken to it together. I hope that the piece succeeds in giving a vivid literary picture of the erotic obsession it seeks to celebrate.

Please name a recent thought, event, person or whatever that inspired you:

The other day on your blog, you encouraged us to name favorite songs. I linked to K. D. Lang's "Sexuality," and in so doing I listened to the song for the first time in a while. I'd forgotten quite how powerfully, life-affirmingly, sweetly and hungrily and passionately erotic the track is--it's infused with such raw sexual oomph! I definitely felt sexier after that.


Jeremy Edwards is a pseudonymous, libidinous fellow whose work appears in many anthologies offered by Cleis Press, Phaze Books, and Xcite Books; and online at Clean Sheets, Oysters & Chocolate, Ruthie's Club, The Erotic Woman, and other venues. He can be found periodically in periodicals, and, as regularly as the sun sets, in bed with his wife (so try there first). You can also drop in on him unannounced (and thereby catch him in his underwear) at . Jeremy's greatest goal in life is to be sexy and witty at the same moment--ideally in lighting that flatters his profile.

Profuse thanks, Jeremy! Join me next week, when I'll be interviewing the lovely Michelle Pillow.


Craig Sorensen said...

A lovely kick-off interview, Nikki.

Jeremy, your writing is always so well crafted and so upbeat, it is a treat to read your work. And of course, that wit is the icing on the cake. Maybe with a cherry on top too!

And as for the quote: often, though not always, with the assistance of a sensitive-male character who appreciates the things I appreciate, but who is slightly taller and can hold his liquor better...

I can't speak for the latter, but I know you're already a tower of a man, even without the fedora.

Janine Ashbless said...

Jeremy is always a delight to read - whether it's his fiction or his witty comments on blogs. Great to see him kicking off this series!

Nikki Magennis said...

Yep, yep, totally agree, both. I declare this official Jeremy Appreciation Day.

What I particularly admire is how Jeremy suffuses his work with genuine warmth, good feeling and humanity. And how he manages to pull off fabulous literary efforts while making it look so effortless!

Neve Black said...

Nicely done, Nikki.

Jeremy, you already know how much I enjoy your writing, your quick wit and lyrical charms - I've mentioned wanting to be you in my next life.


Jeremy Edwards said...

Wow, folks! I'm blushing so intensely even my fedora looks like it's been dyed in a beet bath.

Praise from people one greatly admires is the most meaningful praise; and I don't know how to even begin to thank you, Nikki, and all of you for your so, so generous words. (Except by making jokes about beets, of course.)

But seriously ... wow.

Nikki Magennis said...

We made Jeremy blush.


; )

Emerald said...

A lovely interview! Thanks, Nikki, and I look forward to following Writing that Touches.

Jeremy, I have really found the emphasis you mention on joy in relation to sexuality very beautiful and heartening in your work. Thanks for offering that creative energy to the world!

Nikki Magennis said...

A total pleasure, Emerald! Look forward to seeing you here.

What a lovely idea, aswell, of offering creative energy to the world.

Smut Girl said...

oh what a great kick off! that fedora sure does get around. oh, the stories it could tell ;)

thanks for sharing.

Kirsten Monroe said...

November 7 is hereby entered onto my annual calendar as "Jeremy Appreciation Day!"

What a great interview. Jeremy, you know I'm a big fan of your work. I also love your approach to life and sexuality.

Thanks Nikki!


kristina lloyd said...

Super interview! Thanks both of you.

I love the way Jeremy's work manages to be delicate and nuanced without being too fragile for the sex. And the wit that runs through it is a treat to read - there's often humour in the scenarios and dialogue but it's embedded in the prose too, in those perfectly-placed phrases and craftily well-chosen words.

Also, Jeremy is wonderfully generous, positive and enthusiastic, and is a very giving sort of writer - the sort all other writers want to hang out with.

And to top it all off, he has a smashing pair of pins!

Nikki Magennis said...

Yes, more more more! Let's see if we can turn him *vermilion*!!!

I just know I'm going to love these Friday posts!

Jeremy Edwards said...

Let's see if we can turn him *vermilion*!!!

I'll tell you ... I'm glowing such a bright red at this point that I've had three separate offers to work a window in Amsterdam—as the light. : )

Jeremy Edwards said...

And I love you all!

Donna said...

An interview as joyous, witty, and sensitive to the power of words as one of Jeremy's stories. Jeremy is truly one of the great talents of erotica today. I'd rather narrow-mindedly thought that a male erotica writer could never really reach me--this based on Henry Miller, Saul Bellow and other supposed chroniclers of sexual truth. But Jeremy has changed my mind completely. It's fascinating, too, to hear about his creative process. I can't wait to read more in this series, Nikki, thanks so much for doing this.

Nikki Magennis said...

Whoaaah, Jeremy, you beat Saul Bellow!

And thanks for stopping by, Donna. I'm very excited about these interviews!

Jeremy Edwards said...

I'm traveling this evening (the other vehicles will probably mistake me for a stoplight, given my vermilion-watt blush) ... so, regrettably, I have to leave cyberspace for a few hours now.

You beautiful people have given me one of the best days of my life. The erotic-writing community is the most collegial and supportive community I've ever been a part of, and I'm so very lucky to associate with such gifted, brilliant, funny, sensitive, good-hearted, generous souls.

Thank you!!!!!

EllaRegina said...

What a great interview! Bravi!

I loved getting inside your head, Jeremy. (The fedora was an obstacle at first but I made it through the felt with small safety scissors). Your joyous and sensitive creative process is truly an inspiration and wonderful to read!

Thank you for sharing yourself with us and thank you, Nikki, for this series. You've started it off with quite the bang!

Isabel Kerr said...

Late for the party as usual, but thank you Nikki for this wonderful peek into the world of Jeremy.

In addition to his delightfully dirty writing he is a terrifically supportive and encouraging reader.

Thanks both for this uplifting interview.

Nikki Magennis said...

Hi both, thanks for coming!

Alana said...

Hi Nikki. Cool idea, writing that touches. Thank you.

Jeremy, "Mindy's Pheromones" still stands as one of my favorite stories, regardless of genre or subject matter. I haven't yet read "Slightly Ajar," but look forward to it. A fetish in of itself is often shocking but hardly interesting without an enlightened character sketch around it. I can imagine you feel very proud of a story that doesn't just present a fetish but offers a character in all his human-y-ness. You rock.

I've entertained my own pee fetishes. I think I told you, or wrote about it, something. I like to pee outside. I like to pee standing up and don't mind the warm and wet stuff on the inside of my leg. I like to hear men pee. I used to ask an ex lover if I could hold his cock while he peed. When men piss first thing in the morning it's a mighty stream, and there they stand cock in hand.

A man mid-stream is vulnerable.


Nikki Magennis said...

Hey, Alana, lovely to see you! Nx

Jeremy Edwards said...

Oh my goodness—even more of my favorite people have dropped by to help paint me shades of red! Thank you!!

Madeline Moore said...

You make a good point, Jeremy, when you mention writing about creating joyous scenarios. I think many of us, and I include myself, confuse 'erotica that is literature' with 'erotica that is dark and sad.' It doesn't have to ache to be beautiful. Maybe that's why the sad stuff I write doesn't make its way to publication!

Food for thought. Thanks Nikki, and Jeremy. Now that Lust Bites is winding down (owwwwwww!) I'm going to need blogs to visit that make me think about my craft. {Photos of the authors mostly naked are a plus, may I add...

Alana said...

Well. Thin line between joy and sorrow. I can laugh so hard I cry, and not long ago I cried so hard I started laughing.

"Literary erotica" is just another dumb and unneccessary label, just like "erotica" is an unnecessary genre, another way to create distinctions, draw lines in the sand, cattle writers into cliques, and there we are, pretensious.

Susie Bright and Maxim Jakubowski continue to impress me in the way they recognize how multi-faceted literature is in the stories they publish. Yeah, "erotica" is in the title, and generally a woman in some state of undress is on the front of the book. Still. We start somewhere.

I write stories that some call "sad," some call "dark," some call "erotic" some call "not erotic at all," but the point is I write stories.

Call my work dark and depressing, if you like. My stories come from a pure and specific place; I write for reasons that are my own and have a message to send with everything I write. I don't censor characterization by genre. It's more like my characters arrive despite genre, to spite it. I like to think of my characters as human beings going through human experiences for reasons that are human.

People respond to high emotion. Writers almost always write in a state of high emotion. Joy, sorrow, anger, desire, envy. All equally powerful.