Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Riding Bare Back

My interview with Bare Back Magazine is included in its February issue:

  • Alessia, I want to thank you for interviewing with Bare Back Magazine. Can you tell us about your background and how did you decide to become an erotic author?

    My “background” has nothing at all to do with writing or publishing. I have a degree in mathematics, of all things, and I worked for the federal government as a computer scientist for almost 10 years before quitting to have a family.

    I started writing – essays, articles, OpEds – when I became a civil rights activist. However, I didn’t pen a word of fiction – erotic or otherwise – until just over three years ago (in the late summer of 2003). Apparently, the erotic fantasies in my head reached critical mass and demanded to be set free. Poetry is an even more recent fetish.

  • How would you describe your style of writing? And what would readers expect from your stories?

    I write very concise prose. Every word counts – much like poetry – yet my work is evocative and flowing. My style is ideally suited for short stories. I pride myself in being able to pack a lot of emotion into a small package, and I have a knack for dialogue.

    Readers can expect strong women, lots of humor, a heaping dose of irreverence, and very hot erotic encounters. No alpha males and damsels in distress for this author. I can’t write what I wouldn’t want to read.

  • How many erotic stories and poems have you written in total?

    In addition to the eight short stories & eight poems in fine flickering hungers, I’ve completed another twenty-two short stories & twenty-eight poems. I also have two novel-length works in progress and several short stories.

  • Where do you get your ideas for your stories? Do you have a process that gives you your inspiration to write?

    Inspiration comes from all angles and can hit at any time. A lot of times a story idea will grow out of a conversation with my bestest buddy. I’m not (yet) disciplined enough as a professional writer to have a “process.”

  • Are your stories and poetry from your personal experiences or purely from your fantasies? Also, do you enjoy writing stories better or poetry?

    You really think I’m going to fess up to writing autobiographical erotica? *snort* How ‘bout you read my work – and then you can decide for yourself if I have an intimate knowledge of what I write, eh?

    I enjoy writing poetry and prose equally, but my poetry muse is a fickle bitch.

  • What is the most challenging part of writing erotic stories? And what advice would you give others who are interested in becoming erotic writers?

    The biggest challenge, for me, was letting go of any trace of propriety. You simply cannot write sizzling hot sex if you’re holding back for any reason. Advice to aspiring writers? Release your inner slut! There is an element of exhibitionism in writing erotica. Get over it. Better yet, revel in it. Only then will your erotic prose feel authentic to the reader.

  • How long have you been a Phaze author? How did the opportunity to write with Phaze come about?

    Just over six months. I got “the call” from Phaze in late June of 2005. I’ve long been a fan of Piers Anthony, so Mundania Press (and Phaze, its erotic imprint) held a certain name appeal. After reading the no-nonsense sample contract, I knew I need look no further. I’m not interested in pursuing other relationships unless it’s for work which Phaze chooses not to publish.

  • Do you have any up coming writing projects and what can we expect from any of those projects?

    I’m working on several pieces at the moment. First, a novel-length work called Snatch. It’s about sexuality and rape and mother-daughter angst. Oh, and football. Next, is a novel-length piece of historical fiction which I started for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers’ Month – see for details) last year. It’s entitled Zane and is the story of Betty Zane, her brother Isaac, and Wyandot princess Myeerah – set on the Ohio River frontier at the end of the Revolutionary War.

    I have two completed short stories, which were co-written with Will Belegon: San Diego Sunset and Artistically Inclined. (Excerpts of each can be found on my blog!) We’re hoping both will be picked up by Phaze.

    A short F/F piece entitled Hallowing Eve will appear in the March issue of Torquere Press’ Fresh Off the Vine.

    I won’t bore you with the LONG list of partially-completed short stories. *grin*

  • Let's talk about "fine flickering hungers." The name is very intriguing. Can you talk about the book and what the term “fine flickering hungers” means to you?

    The title is taken from a poem entitled The Moon Is Always Female by my favorite poet, Marge Piercy. Here is the passage:

    There is knowing
    with the teeth as well as knowing with
    the tongue and knowing with the fingertips
    as well as knowing with words and with all
    the fine flickering hungers of the brain.

    It has come to symbolize all of the desires we keep locked inside – all of the wicked sexy thoughts that we don’t dare voice or act upon. Things like tying your best friend to a tree and mercilessly seducing her – like masturbating in a confessional – like having ghouls tongue fuck you – like blowing a tour guide in the rain forest. Yeah, things just like that. ;)

  • Besides writing erotica, you spend a lot of your time crusading for the disadvantaged, ranting about injustice. What kinds of things have you done for the disadvantaged and regarding injustices?

    You name it! I’ve picketed. I’ve soapboxed. I’ve written a gazillion letters to legislators. I’ve kissed ass, and I’ve kicked it. I’ve testified before legislative committees. I’ve lobbied. I’ve chaired boards and committees. I’ve fund raised. I’ve done radio shows. The only thing I haven’t yet done is get arrested for civil disobedience – but I’m young(ish), and it’s always nice to have goals.

  • How would you describe yourself and your personality? And are you like any of the characters that you write about?

    The easiest way to describe myself would be to tell you than I am an “INFJ” on the Myers-Briggs Personality Profile. (Google if you’re unfamiliar. Fascinating stuff!) Every description I’ve read of that type is so accurate it’s downright spooky. I’m like most of my strong, female characters in several ways: resourceful, irreverent, bisexual, witty, and … humble. *grin*

  • What would you like to see for your career as a writer? Do you want to write any other writing genres? Do you have any long term or short term goals either in writing or other than writing that you would like to share?

    Wow! My “career” as a writer. Has a nice ring to it. First, I suppose, I should start THINKING of it as a career instead of a deliciously naughty little (well, BIG) secret, huh? I have no aspirations to branch into other genres. Sex is just too damned much fun! I simply want what I do write to be published and appreciated. Judging from the reviews for both Erotique and fine flickering hungers, it is certainly appreciated.

    Thanks, Natasha!

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