Thursday, January 15, 2009

Writing that touches

Kristina Wright

I am absolutely thrilled to have the fabulous Kristina Wright with me today - author of a gazillion short stories, a Silhouette novel, and a novella in the recent Bedding Down anthology. Plus, she has four cats. I am jealous.

Why do you write?

Writing sustains me. It's in my blood, a part of my identity. I can't *not* write, as so many others before me have said. I wrote my first story when I was six (about a shape-shifting witch, of all things) and I never stopped. I don't write for the money (insert hysterical laugh here), that's for sure. Writing has been the one constant in my life since the day I realized someone wrote all those stories I loved to read.

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

Honestly, I just want to be a good storyteller and connect with the reader on some level. There's a little bit of me in everything I write-- not necessarily things I've done or experienced, but my belief system. I write under my real name-- which I've been criticized for by several people-- but I think using my real name makes me work harder to make that connection with the reader.

It's as if we already have this intimate connection, the reader and I, because they know who I am. Through my words, I hope to show them that maybe I know who they are, too.

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

I guess it depends on what you mean by "success." The stories that have been the most financially successful aren't necessarily what I would consider my biggest successes. On the other hand, when I start a story I'm not sure I can write-- a story that scares the hell out of me to write-- and I somehow find my voice and finish it, that feels like success to me.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a story called "At Midnight, In the Month of June" about a widow scattering her husband's ashes. (Yes, it's erotica.) That was a hard story to write-- and a harder story to sell. It is also one of my favorite stories because it was such a challenge to write.

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

Inspiration comes from everywhere and I love to people watch. I spend a good chunk of my time writing in Starbucks where every overheard conversation is fodder for a story. It really is amazing what people will talk about in public. Lovers' quarrels are the best-- from an erotica writer's perspective, of course!

Other writers inspire me, too. When I start getting lazy, I only have to look around at the accomplishments of my wonderful group of peers and I'm driven to push myself harder and pursue those challenges that are so scary and so rewarding. I sold my first two stories to Black Lace this year and I can credit the talented authors at Lust Bites (including you!) for motivating me.


Kristina Wright is an award-winning author whose steamy erotic fiction has appeared in over sixty anthologies, including Bedding Down: A Collection of Winter Erotica; Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women; and four editions of The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica. She lives in Virginia with her husband and a menagerie of pets and she can be found writing at Starbucks most days of the week. Visit her at

Thanks so much, Kristina!

Next week I'll have the superb, sexysweet Saskia Walker stopping by.


Emerald said...

I like to write in public too. I remember one time I was stuck on naming a character. I just couldn't seem to find what her name was to be. I was in a park, and I heard a mother (presumably) call, "Kellie, time to go!" and immediately knew my character's name was Kellie.

I also started writing when I was seven, and relate to the "never stopped" statement. (I haven't yet anyway. :))

Congratulations on staying with yourself in facing challenges and acheiving what you have perceived to be successes. It was very fun to learn more about you here!

Thank you once again, Nikki! :)


Nikki Magennis said...

Oh, I can't write if there's someone else in the house! I think I tend to frown and mutter when I'm working, and if I was in a cafe or whatever I'd be in fear of being escorted gently outside ...

Shame though, because there's so much wonderful material out there!

Janine Ashbless said...

when I start a story I'm not sure I can write-- a story that scares the hell out of me to write Yes yes yes - those are the great ones. Kudos Kristina, and what a great interview!

Jeremy Edwards said...

Kristina, you're always such an inspiration! An inspiration to write, to publish ... and (as I visualize you in a café) to refill my coffee mug!

Seriously, you are a star—and deservedly so. I get a thrill every time we go to press together. And you're a real sweetheart, too.

Speaking of sweethearts ... thanks, Nikki, for another great WTT installment!

Spamword: alkaga

I could dance the alkaga till dawn!

Kristina Wright said...

Oh, you're all so sweet to me. :)

Hello, again, Emerald! It's so nice to see you here! If you're ever in my town, you're welcome to join me in a writing fest. :)

And Janine-- I hope there are stories scaring you this winter. I do so love your stories!

And my dear Jeremy... you flatter me and I love it. :) Here's to sharing space in many more delightful anthologies!

Thank you so much, Nikki, for letting me be a part of your little world today. One day, I must come to your wilds and meet Petra. :)

Thank you, all!

Smut Girl said...

Oh, that's my favorite story by you. I read it in Mammoth (if memory serves) and emailed you about it. Lovely.

And whoever criticized you for writing as yourself is a pud-- I'm just saying.

Thanks again, Nikki and yay, KW! Sorry it took me all day to remember what day it was :)

p.s. i have a copy of Bedding Down and cannot wait to get my greedy mitts on it. It's next in the TBR pile *grin*

Alison Tyler said...

Love the lovely interview, Nikki & KW. And I'm thrilled to know there are other "public" writers out there, too. I have always liked to write in bars, on planes, in cabs, on trains... (I'm not channeling Dr. Seuss on purpose. I swear.)

And man—what a smoking hot redhead. Just felt I had to say that.


Alana said...

K, you're one of my favorite people on the planet. Who the hell criticized you for using your real name as a writer? I respect you more for using your real name and respect the fact it drives you to work harder at a writer/reader connection. Thank you.


Craig Sorensen said...

First, I'll chime in with Sommer and Alana, with a WTF for those who criticized Kristina for writing under her given name.

There's nothing wrong with writing under a pen name, and there's nothing wrong with writing under your own name. There are very good reasons for both. I'll leave it at that.

I relate to her inspirations and though I don't write in public (waiters and waitresses get touchy when you try to set up a desktop PC on a four-top table) I get so much from watching and hearing people.

Kristina's work observes the sexiness in common settings, and convey them with tantalizing power. Her desire to be "a good storyteller and connect with the reader on some level" is realized over and over in the exceptional prose of her tactile stories.

Thanks Nikki and Kristina for a great interview.

Madeline Moore said...

Another talented author opens up in Nikki's excellent series. Thanks to you both.

When I had my mid-life crisis, I searched for the truth about me - what makes me tick. It was writing.

Like you, K, and others, I started writing as a girl and never stopped.
It's part of my identity. Without it I not only don't know what I'd do but I'm not sure I'd know who I am.

Yes, I'm other things - a mother, a lover, a volunteer. But these came along later. The writing was always there.

Kristina Wright said...

You all are so fabulous. What a lovely gathering!

Darling Sommer, I hope you enjoy Bedding Down. :) And thanks for the kind words about "At Midnight." I love that story.

Alison, you know how to make me blush. Seriously. I do like to write pretty much anywhere there's some noise and people. Just wish the laptop wasn't so darn heavy to lug around.

Craig, you make me blush *and* stammer! Thanks so much for your kind words about my writing! And you're right-- there are reasons to use a pen name and I hope I didn't come off sounding condescending. I recognize that it's necessary for some writers and I respect and support that.

Alana, you are incredible. Thank you. Criticism of using my real name has come from non-writer friends who think I will someday regret it if a) I have a child, b) sell a "real" book (ha!) or c) want to teach. I'm already teaching community college, as you know. :)

Madeline-- Exactly! The writing is always there. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Nikki Magennis said...

"there are reasons to use a pen name"

So you've met my mother in law, KW?!

Heheh. Often I think it would be lovely to be able to dispense with the double-identity. But, then, sometimes I'm grateful for it too.

Thanks all, for stopping by! It's lovely to see you. And I would like to say that Petra and I love guests. Come by anytime for tea/gin/fizz, and I'll make carrot cake! That is a promise! : )

Kristina Wright said...

Nikki-- My in-laws know what I write because they've read my blog (by following a link from my husband's blog). They're probably shocked, but they've never once commented on it. Honestly, I've reached the point in my life where I don't really care what people think. :)

Thanks for having me here. I really would love to visit Scotland, so perhaps one day you'll show me around your part of the country! And if you ever come stateside, let me know. :) I'm about 3 hours from Washing DC.

Alana said...

"Honestly, I've reached the point in my life where I don't really care what people think."

K, I read that and got this feeling: I'll try and describe it. Hope.

You're my hero.


Donna said...

A bit late to the party, but I had to pipe up and say I'm a big fan of Kristina's work and even more inspired by her words here. Her definition of a successful story, her dedication to connect with her readers, her sense of fun, and, whoah, that steamy author pic...I love it all!

Thanks so much for sharing with us!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Kristina! Thanks for the lovely interview! I have to say that I raced through my copy of Bedding Down and have to find your backlist now. Your story was wonderfully moving AND hot. Thank you!

Kirsten Monroe said...

Such an inspirational interview! Thank you Kristina & Nikki.

I really appreciate your comment on challenge: "That was a hard story to write-- and a harder story to sell. It is also one of my favorite stories because it was such a challenge to write."

Such a positive approach. I'm tucking that away in my treasure box.


Isabel Kerr said...

You've said it all, from revelations to reservations to inspiration.

It's SUCH a pleasure to meet you here.

Kristina Wright said...

Donna Storey is a fan of my work? *Swoon!* Thank you so much, Donna. :) I adore your stories (and your column in ERWA).

flchen1 -- So glad you liked Bedding Down. :) I'm delighted with how that anthology turned out.

Kirsten-- Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm looking forward to your progressive dinner a la blog. :)

Isabel-- And it's a pleasure to meet you, as well! I feel as if Nikki has thrown a party for me, with all my favorite authors (the ones I know and the ones I want to know). I'm honored. :)